Why I Do Not Support “Homosexual Marriage”

My more libertarian friends seem to believe we as Christians can get off scot-free in the political debate over so-called homosexual marriage. “Why not let the homosexuals have their heyday in the secular realm?” I am afraid I must vehemently disagree. Right off the top of my head, here are five reasons I do not support homosexual marriage even though I strongly sympathize with libertarian sensibilities:

1. “Homosexual marriage” is an oxymoron.

Christians have conceded the debate before it has begun by adopting the language of “homosexual marriage.” Marriage is, in terms of Christianity, between one man and one woman. The very concept of homosexual marriage is incoherent. How can any incoherent concept do anything other than harm society? While legal language and laws cannot put asunder that definition which God has joined together, legal language does define marriage in the legal realm, right where biblically derivative concepts have, until very recently, resided.

2. Homosexual marriage promotes a culture of death.

Homosexual couples, in principle, cannot bear children. Children are necessary to the continuance of a culture. The very existence of homosexuals depends upon the proliferation of heterosexuals. Homosexuality is a parasitic perversion of heterosexuality. Homosexuality rips the pro-life aspect of sex right out of heterosexual practice and thus promises only death. A homosexual race is self-destructive. There’s no such thing as a pro-life homosexual. But life is necessary to liberty.

3. Homosexual marriage harms children.

Homosexuals will, of course, want children to go along with their marriage. Since homosexuals cannot have their sexual interfail and children too, they will want to take children from others. A society where homosexual marriage is recognized is a society where homosexual couples attempt to raise children. The difficulty is the overwhelming amount of research showing that children, to oversimplify matters, turn out better with a father and a mother at home, not a father and a father or a mother and a mother. Advocates of homosexual marriage cannot consistently condemn the adoption of children by homosexual “parents” even though this practice permits the psychological rape of children.

4. Homosexual marriage infringes upon the rights of others.

Not just children, but others as well, must be harmed by homosexual marriage before all is said and done. Already we have seen report after report of Christian business owners who are forced by law to violate their consciences in serving, in some significantly symbolic way (wedding cakes and photos, for example), the desires of the homosexual lobby. Legally, all looks well and good. Christian business owners just need to deal or face the consequences. And that is where the problem is. What was once no legal implication at all has become one, and that legal implication infringes upon the rights of Christians who desire to both liberally exercise their religiously informed consciences and own and/or operate a place of business without the strong arm of the state government intervening. Not much legal wiggle room stands in between that corrupt state government and the church.

5. Homosexual marriage is far too socially conservative.

The arguments proffered on behalf of homosexual marriage aren’t nearly progressive enough. Some have rightly pointed out that homosexuality is an “extra right,” if you will. Given a number of legal conditions, all have the opportunity to marry in the United States of America. That is, if one meets the proper legal conditions to marry, then one may marry a person of the opposite sex. Homosexuals have that opportunity just like everyone else. But homosexuals have twinkered with the system. They argue that this age-old system is in some sense unfair to them. Homosexuals want to loosen the conditions people must meet in order to be married. The difficulty is that the slippery-slope argument does not a fallacy make in this situation. Why should homosexuals have the “right” to “marry” and not polygamists? Of course the homosexual lobby will fire back with arbitrary social norms and supposed psychological and sociological facts. But if the Word of God did not stop the homosexuals, if thousands of years of anthropological data did not deter them in the slightest, what makes anyone think a little sexual taboo here or there is going to amount to a hill of beans when it comes time to redefine our policies again?

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Capsized Canoes and Christ’s Commands

‘Transformationalism’ seems a bit of a loaded term. ‘Two Kingdoms’ seems a bit incoherent. Nevertheless, arguments against ‘transformationalism’ from those of the ‘2k’ position seem a bit weak.

One ‘argument’ 2kers use against transformationalism is to point out that the world is like a sinking ship. Trying to ‘redeem’ anything in this world is like polishing brass on that sinking ship. Dispensationalists also use this rhetoric. 2 Peter 3.5-7 appears to support the illustration:

For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

Obviously, the antediluvian world is similar to the world we live in now in many significant ways.  Genesis 2.10-14 appears to support this contention:

A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is the Gihon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush. And the name of the third river is the Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

Moses assumes the audience he writes to after the flood is familiar with the rivers Tigris and Euphrates which existed before the flood. It would seem that at least two of the rivers of the world were left even after the flood. And if some geographic features survived the flood, and if the world shall perish in a similar geographical way in the future, then one might expect that at least some geographical features might remain after God destroys the world by fire. The observation is not limited to the Genesis text either, for all assume the world that was flooded is the very same world we live in today, changed though it was through flood, and changed though it will be by fire.

Of course, Noah and his family were saved from destruction. They went on living. They existed both before and after the flood. God will also destroy the ungodly in the future while saving His own through grace. So in the destruction and renewal of the world through flood and through fire, we observe great discontinuity and great continuity. And that leads to my next point.

The illustration begs the question. Supposing some form of postmillenial eschatological view is correct, the world is not a sinking ship at all. Many transformationalists are also postmillenialists. For them, the sinking ship analogy just doesn’t hold water. I imagine the same can be said for those onboard any eschatological view that affords some sort of continuity between the world before and after destruction by fire. And what eschatological view doesn’t?

We know our bodies will be destroyed. Will they will be raised again? Read 1 Corinthians 15. If the world is a sinking ship, how much more the body? None of us have ever experienced the destruction of the world. We have witnessed the destruction of the human body.

Theologian B.B. Warfield believed the individual believer is a microcosm of the world. Without knowing much about Warfield and his theology, I would take this to mean that just as believers are ‘sanctified’ (in the abstract systematic sense) and thus become ‘better’ in terms of Christ-likeness, so also the world becomes progressively ‘better’ in terms of the expansion of the kingdom of God and the beneficial implications of that expansion. Thus argued Warfield the postmillenialist. But let’s run his thinking in reverse.

Let’s say that the world is not getting progressively better. So, postmillenialism is out (and indeed, should be out of initial clashes between so-called transformationalists and 2kers, since one can in theory hold to other eschatological views and still be a transformationalist, and, if I am not mistaken, vice versa). The world is not getting progressively better, and is a sinking ship. Our work here on this planet will ultimately be destroyed. The new heavens and new earth will replace the old. The 2ker tells us this is a good reason to stop with the ‘redeeming x‘ garbage.

But is it? To take Warfield’s thought in reverse, do we really want to say that the process of becoming more like Christ Jesus with faith working through love is actually for naught? There are certainly times when we do not feel as though we as individual Christians are getting any better. In fact, if we were honest with ourselves, we often despair that we might be getting worse. We are like capsized canoes. We are going down (quite literally). We will die. Our bodies will rot. Our souls remain sinful to the last. The new glorified self – body and soul – will replace the old. Is this a reason to stop with individual transformation through the gospel? Is all of our work for nothing?

Of course not. I wrote that the illustration of polishing brass begs the question. And it does. It assumes that polishing brass does not count for much, if anything. That’s simply not true. We need not become postmillenialists to agree. We merely need to be Christians. Not only is the individual Christian transformed through the gospel, but he must be transformed through the gospel. It is Christ’s command, and he works toward obedience to that command, whether the brass is tarnished or burnished. So also for the transformation of the world through the preaching of the gospel.

Mathis is Mistaken

David Mathis is a bit off in his criticism of those criticizing the firing of Phil Robertson from the Duck Dynasty show. Mathis believes A&E is profiting from the controversy. They are getting free advertising. So we should not talk about it.

Even if his suspicions were true, what difference do they make to the ethics of addressing this controversy?

None.

So much for that argument.

Referring to Duck Dynasty, Mathis mentions that “this show is scripted.” He piously opines, “this is not the reality worth fighting for.” Okay? What does the show being scripted have to do with sticking up for the biblical and historical view of Christian ethics pertaining to homosexuality? I will answer that question for him. Nothing. It has nothing to do with the issue.

Mathis goes on to write, “The network never owed us this show, never owed us how many times they haven’t censored the name of Jesus from Phil’s end-of-episode prayers, and never deserved that we get this upset and in the meantime litter the Internet with their name and boost their profile.” And who is saying that the network ever owed us any of these things? Mathis is like way off in left field here. He is also obsessed with how much A&E might be making off this controversy, which, as I noted above, is irrelevant to the opinion of Mathis that Christians should just shut up and take it when a high profile celebrity gets fired for simply stating the biblical and historical view of Christian ethics pertaining to homosexuality.

Mathis wisely writes, “Wisdom isn’t picking a fight whenever we can, but picking the right fight.” He unwisely fails to follow his own advice, picking a fight with those whom he thinks are picking a fight when really the fight was brought to us. Where’s the wisdom in that? Mathis is simply begging the question in favor of his view that defending the biblical and historical view of Christian ethics pertaining to homosexuality is unwise by piously quoting passages of Scripture that fail to establish his point.

Frankly, I am not even sure that Mathis understands what has actually taken place. He insists, over and over again, that this is not the time to speak up in defense of the biblical and historical view of Christian ethics pertaining to homosexuality. But he continues to frame the discussion in terms of the silliness of a show and the profit of a television network. He makes a comment about how the Great Commission is not about television programs. Thanks. Totally helpful. But not really. And it has nothing to do with defending the biblical and historical view of Christian ethics pertaining to homosexuality.

Note, by the way, his arrogance in stating that the show is marginalizing Christians as “backwater.” Perhaps Mathis has been with Desiring God for too long. Perhaps he has lost touch with reality. I happen to know at least one local congregation who would have his head for implying something so offensive about believers in the South. It’s not that I am defending Phil Robertson as a Christian. Rather, I am pointing out just how unloving the comment Mathis has made might come across to those who are undeniably Christians and happen to live in the South.

Mathis misses the point entirely. He should have taken his own advice and not spoken to the controversy. We really did not need him breaking his silence to tell other Christians to shut up.

Mighty Ducks and Bigoted Bailiffs

Examples of moral idiocy abound in recent news.

State government has insisted that business owners bake ‘gay wedding’ cakes or face a penalty. And now polygamy – yes, polygamy – has made its way into the news as well. Men much brighter than I predicted long ago the necessary inclusion of polygamy in perverted proposals for the sexualization of our society. It turns out that they were right. We are talking about serious moral confusion here. Not surprisingly, moral confusion leads to legal confusion. So, we have a man marrying a man and a woman. Here again, the ‘I told you so’ of the ranting right rings loud and true. The arguments of the right proven right. This stuff is crazy. It’s like watching a particularly juicy Jerry Springer. But it’s nowhere near as entertaining. And the actors are real.

Outside the realm of legal insanity a battle rages as Phil Robertson of ‘Duck Dynasty’ has the audacity to share what Christians have believed about homosexuality since they began believing anything at all. On the opposite end of the pseudo-argument an enlightened, elitist GLAAD representative attempts to project his guilt onto Christians by implying that “true Christians” don’t oppose homosexuality, that only ignorant people say things against homosexuality, and that factual comments about the practice of homosexuality are “vile and extreme stereotypes.” How lovely. We should be thankful for those who have continued to embrace some semblance of sanity by sticking up for Robertson and his ilk in this instance. Of course, sticking up for Robertson is hardly sticking up for him at all, since standing behind his words merely means affirming and defending what historical, orthodox Christianity has always stated with respect to the sin of homosexuality. Yes, homosexuality is sin.

People are out of their minds. We have a disclaimer at the beginning of a report on the aforementioned affair. With all the garbage we see on television, the media warns their viewers before showing a piece expressing the biblical view of homosexuality? Yes, some of Robertson’s comments were crude. That’s because he was describing an absolutely crude practice. Overall, the television network that suspended Robertson for answering questions in accord with his beliefs when asked directly about them may have really, really messed up. But that’s not going to stop the ball from rolling. If homosexuality is normalized through rhetoric and bullying then so be it. If not, then back off and try smaller steps. A previous mistake serves as a guide to the extent of a future success. That’s one small facet of the beauty of incrementalism. Let’s be honest. Today we are arguing about a star on a television show. It really does not matter that much. But when we substitute a secular state for a television channel, and a police officer for a GLAAD representative, the situation suddenly seems much more serious.

If we can trust Romans 1 – and we can – then the United States of America, and many other countries besides, appear to be under the judgment of God. Christians have nothing to lose except for our fleeting comforts. Those look to be disappearing rather quickly.

Pray without ceasing. Push harder in your fight against sin. And prepare to be uncomfortable.