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?

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.

TAG is the Pits!

One popular objection to the so-called ‘Transcendental Argument for God,’ or ‘TAG,’ is that it does not amount to anything more than a generic theistic proof (if it amounts to anything at all). A number of ‘naïve presuppositionalists’ have stumbled over this apparent difficulty. Their extra-biblical rationalistic bent does not help. But they are far from being alone in failing to mount a satisfying response to the objection in question.

One helpful attempt at responding to the objection is an unashamed affirmation of revelational epistemology. ‘God said it, I believe it, and that settles it’ works quite well with this brand of apologetics. It works quite well, that is, until one presses a bit more on the specifics of the program. Imagine the thoroughgoing biblical apologist in an apologetic exchange insisting that the Valley of Siddim was full of bitumen pits. The unbeliever is confused by the seemingly random statement, to say the least. The confusion is not a result of having been soundly refuted. Rather, the confusion results from having just heard a Christian apologist tell him, several times, that the Valley of Siddim was full of bitumen pits.

Why is it so important that the apologist point out that the Valley of Siddim was full of bitumen pits? Because the fact that the Valley of Siddim was full of bitumen pits is a precondition of intelligibility. You see, the apologist and the unbeliever were talking about logic, science and morality right before we joined them. The unbeliever asked the apologist how Christian theism provides the preconditions for intelligibility and the apologist responded that the Valley of Siddim was full of bitumen pits.

We rarely, if ever, have seen Christian apologists assert that the Valley of Siddim was full of bitumen pits in response to a question about how Christian theism provides the preconditions of intelligibility. We might see the Christian apologist quote Exodus 3.14 with respect to logic, or Genesis 8.22 with respect to science, or Mark 10.18 with respect to morality. But Genesis 14.10 is strangely absent from typical apologetic presentations and responses. Why is that?

Because the particular details of Scripture are set aside in most presentations of TAG. Apparently they are unimportant and irrelevant to the preconditions of intelligibility. The apologist is not functioning in accord with a revelational epistemology at all. Rather, the apologist is functioning in accord with a derivative set of supposed preconditions of intelligibility. The implication is that the preconditions of intelligibility – the preconditions for logic, science, and morality – are found within the Christian worldview. That is, within the Christian worldview we find a subset of preconditions of intelligibility. These preconditions are expressed in something like the three verses cited in the paragraph above. Now, it seems the apologist is merely appealing to a Christianized framework of sorts to account for logic, science and morality. But establishing a Christianized framework is far from establishing the Christian worldview as a whole. A mere subset of Christian beliefs is not the same as the entirety of the Christian worldview. Not only do most non-Christian theistic worldviews share the Christianized framework the apologist sets forth, but even non-theistic positions might attempt to ape the set of preconditions in question. So, we are back to the same problem stated in the introduction of this post. How does the Christian apologist prove Christian theism in particular through TAG?

Tell me, what is the necessary connection between logic and the Valley of Siddim that was full of bitumen pits? And if the connection is so important, then why are Christian apologists so frequently forgetting to mention that fact in their presentation of TAG, along with so many other seemingly irrelevant, though crucially important particulars of the biblical text?