June Newsletter

 God created man in his own image, male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply.”  - (Genesis 1: 27-28)

Is same-sex, or same-gender, marriage right or wrong?  Recently, this question has dominated the news.  The president, vice-president, presidential candidates, and politicians of both parties have weighed in with their opinions.  So have bishops, pastors, and church bodies, as well as teachers, professors, schools and colleges.  Even the comic strip “Funky Winkerbean” has devoted a week’s worth of comic strips to the issue of same-sex marriage.

Is same-sex, or same-gender, marriage right or wrong?  Some say it’s a civil rights issue, saying all people should have equal rights and be treated fairly.  Others say it is a moral issue, and refer to the Scriptures as their guide for morality. They point to Genesis 2: 24, “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.”, as their reason for maintaining that marriage is a union between one man and one woman.  The fact that Jesus quoted this passage in both Matthew (19:4) and Mark (10:6) supports the biblical argument that marriage is between one man and one woman, and same-sex, or same-gender marriage is wrong.

But with all due respect, I think the question is misplaced.  Same-sex, or same-gender marriage is not “right or wrong”, it’s an impossibility.  It’s truly a matter of definition.  Marriage, by definition, is a union between one man and one woman.  It is no accident that Jesus said, “From the beginning, God made them male and female; and for this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife.”  By using the words “from the beginning”, the words of creation; Jesus was telling us that the institution of the marriage of a man and woman was built into creation.  This definition of marriage is not unique to the Christian faith or Christian Scriptures.  Marriage defined as a union between one man and one woman has been universally accepted by religions around the world, and by societies from the beginning.

Thus, same-sex, or same-gender marriage is neither “right or wrong”; it’s impossible.  It’s an absurdity.  It’s an oxymoron.  Even the phrase used to define same-gender marriage is an absurdity.  Those in favor call it a “monogamous relationship between two consenting adults”, and then ask why people of the same gender cannot have such a relationship.  The word “monogamous” points out the absurdity of the concept.  “Monogamous” is a combination of two Greek words: “mono” meaning “one”, and “gamos” meaning “fertilized egg”.  Obviously, two people of the same gender cannot produce a fertilized egg.  It is  impossible, and so is a monogamous relationship, or marriage, between two people of the same gender.  God said, “Be fruitful and multiply”.  Again, this is something that is impossible for two people of the same gender.  No matter how you slice it, marriage is defined as a “union of one man and one woman”, and that definition cannot be changed.  To do so would make the term meaningless.

But let me be clear.  I would not deny anyone their civil rights.  I believe, as Christians, we are called to treat everyone as equal, with respect and love.  Two consenting adults of the same gender should have the same civil rights as a married couple.  They should have the same economic rights, the same rights of visitation, even the same right to be recognized as a couple.  I am all for civil unions, endorsed by the state.  They can even have a civil ceremony, with an agreement or license to make it legal.  Just don’t call it a marriage, because it is not a marriage. 

But let me be clear about something else.  Don’t ask me to be a part of any such a ceremony.  If I did, I would be endorsing or approving a life style and behavior that I believe is sinful.  Here we do come to a question of right and wrong.  Is homosexual behavior right or wrong?  By any reading of Scripture, it is wrong, it is sinful.  President Obama says he knows some same-gender couples, and they are good and loving people; and he can’t in good conscience deny them their rights.  I too, know some same-gender couples, and they are good and loving people.  Some of them I know are good and loving parents.  I care for these couples, pray for them and their children, and I try to love them as Christ has loved me.  But part of Christ’s love is to admonish me when I sin.  Jesus admonishes me all the time, because I am a sinner.  Jesus says “No” to me all the time, when I want to do something that is wrong.

We are called to love same-gender couples, just as we are called to love all people.  That means protecting all their civil rights.  It means caring for and supporting them as brothers and sisters in God’s family.  It means praying for them, so they may “live a long and full life”.  (Exodus 20: 12)  It also means speaking the truth in love to them.  And the truth is, their union should be respected, and is deserving of all the civil rights that married couples have.  But it is not a marriage by definition, and if it endorses a life style or behavior that is sinful; then we must speak the truth out of love.

Your friend in Christ, 

Pastor Ron