Friday, August 24, 2012

Same-Sex Marriage: There's A Larger Question That Needs To Be Answered

As I stated yesterday, the issue of same-sex marriage (homosexuality in general) is a volatile issue in our culture today. There is no doubt in my mind that Christians should know where to stand on this issue. Unfortunately, many Christians do not know how to talk to someone with these desires. But we must. I began yesterday by summarizing my view on the issue. The Christian must graciously, but boldly stand against same-sex marriage because the Bible explicitly and repeatedly says any sex outside the marriage relationship of one man & one woman is sinful. But how do we speak to someone about this issue? It might be something that will be impossible without bringing out the "this is hate" speech. But I think there is a place to start.

We cannot talk about same-sex marriage 
by beginning with same-sex marriage.

There is a much larger question that must be answered. If it becomes a debate over homosexuality, it is a debate that the Christian is destined to lose. We cannot start with man. We must start with God. Therefore, we must begin by asking the question: "Why did God create the universe?" Or even, "What is the purpose of all of creation?"

And of course, the answer to that question must lead us back to God's glory. We will be led to different conclusions on any morality issue if we begin with our temporal happiness as opposed to God's infinite glory. Is it all about "me" or is it all about "God?" All the Christian (or really anyone) needs to do is to open the Bible to the very first verse which states, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." It astonishes me how far we have come when we begin to think that we are the center of the universe that God created.

This theme of God's glory being the purpose of all creation is literally everywhere throughout the Bible (Psalm 135:5-7; Isaiah 46:9-10; 48:9-11; Ephesians 1:5-6). The Apostle Paul summed it up well when he said, "For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever" (Romans 11:36). We can't make the issue about us, but it has to begin with God.

There is a reason why. When the issue becomes about man instead of God, then the issue easily becomes an identity issue. It becomes a "I was made this way and there is nothing I can do about it" issue. No doubt, you have probably heard the phrase, "Gay is the new black." The statement reflects the attitude of a culture that sees homosexuality as the same as the color of your skin. And to deny rights to the gay person is the same as discriminating against someone because they are black.

I would highly recommend Voddie Baucham's words at this point. In an article entitled, Gay Is Not The New Black, he says,
"If sexual orientation/identity is the basis for (1) classification as a minority group, and (2) legal grounds for the redefinition of marriage, then what's to stop the 'bisexual' from fighting for the ability to marry a man and a woman simultaneously since his 'orientation' is, by definition, directed toward both sexes? What about the member of NAMBLA whose orientation is toward young boys? Where do we stop, and on what basis?"
He makes a great point. How far do we go with this line of reasoning? Polygamy? Bestiality? Could someone not say, "its not my fault, I was made a pedophile." And before we scoff at such statements, imagine what our grandparents would have thought about the need for this blog post.

If you are going to talk to someone about same-sex marriage, I would highly recommend that you begin with a much larger question than simply, "is gay marriage right or wrong?" You must begin with "why is the world here?" And any answer that deviates away from "for the glory of God" starts you on a slippery slope towards humanism. And you will never win the argument.

Next week, I will share my thoughts on each of the biblical texts that deal with this issue. Until then, please be filled with grace on this issue . . .

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