Monday, May 14, 2012

Is the Bible wrong on this one?

Have you ever been in a discussion with someone and it seems as though no matter what you say you cannot convince them to see it your way? With President Obama's recent support of gay marriage I have entered into several discussions with some of my gay friends on the subject. We went back and forth on the subject. I am opposed to it and obviously my gay friends are for it.

As we talked back and forth the bottom line for me is what does scripture say. What has changed over the last 3000 or so years? Has God changed or have we changed? Are we allowing the Bible to have authority over us and our culture or are we allowing man and culture to have authority over the Bible? Is the Bible wrong on this one? After what seemed like hours of back and forth I have come to a few personal conclusions on the matter.

First, marriage is a God ordained institution. God designed it and he gets to define it.

Genesis 2: 20-24 - 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.

But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

23 The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
    for she was taken out of man. ”

24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

In the New Testament both Christ and Paul addressed the issue of marriage and either of them could have added a clause about marriage being between anyone but they did not.

Christ talked about marriage in Matthew 19:

Matthew 19: 4-6 - 4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
In other words Christ is validating what was written about marriage in the book of Genesis. This is where he could have stepped it up a notch like he did with the issues of adultery and murder but he didn't. He left the institute of marriage as is.

Paul also talked about marriage in I Corinthians:

I Corinthians 7: 1-3 Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry. 2 But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. and Paul continues in verse 39 A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.
Notice that Paul nowhere gives even a hint of allowing a homosexual relationship. If he were ok with it surely this is the section where he could have given his approval.

Second, the attack on the institute of marriage is ultimately an attack on the authority of scripture. If we can make the institute of marriage crumble we can make any issue in the Bible crumble. Society and culture are attacking the idea of Christ being the only way to God. They are attacking the fact that divorce is a sin. They are attacking the very thought of sin in general. We no longer sin, we make mistakes, we had a lapse in judgment, we strayed, and on and on. Again, all of these ideas are ultimately attacking the authority of scripture.

II Timothy 3: 16, 17 - 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

I Peter 1: 20, 21 - 20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
Finally, we Christians must understand that we are to be very careful in what we say and who we say it to. Many in the gay marriage movement want to tell Christians that the Bible says don't judge but the Bible also tells us TO judge. In judging we are told who to judge and who not to judge.

I Corinthians 5: 12 - 12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”
Paul is telling the church at Corinth that they are to judge those who call themselves Christians but they are not to judge the world. We often get this reversed. We often let all kinds of sin take place in the church and point fingers at the world. If someone says he is a Christian and is for homosexual marriage then we have an obligation to judge him. However, if someone says he does not believe in God and certainly not the Bible then the best thing we could do is to keep our big moths shut.

As I said at the beginning of this post I have been in several conversations about this issue of gay marriage and I have yet to have any of my gay friends say "Wow, you are right and I am wrong. How could I have been so foolish!" No, they typically leave saying that I am the fool! When this happens I have to keep reminding myself that I am not the Holy Spirit, my job is not to convict, that is the job of the Holy Spirit - John 16: 8. My job is to simply speak truth and let the Holy Spirit do his job.

In the end Christ's words ring true.

Matthew 7: 13,14 - 13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

John 15: 18,19 - 18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
If we are followers of Christ, we have to stand firm on the word of God, we have to realize that we are in the minority, the road we are on is narrow and difficult and we are called to speak the truth and let God do what God does best...move in the hearts of men and women. He did it long before you or I showed up and he will do just fine when we are gone!

1 comment:

  1. Great write up! It's hard to determine where we need to speak up. You are spot on with who we should be judging --I see that missing from the influx of articles.