What is the Sanctity of Marriage?

I came across this picture while on Facebook and I’ll admit it made me laugh.  I appreciate the sarcasm and sadly I’ve often thought the same thing.  it made me ask the question “What is the real issue with Gay Marriage?”  As I thought about it, I broke it down into several parts:

1.  Is it about the sanctity of marriage?  The holy union brought together by God that no man shall tear asunder.  If that is the case why aren’t Christian’s more outraged about the joke that has become marriage?  Britney Spears was married for 55 hours.  While no Christian would claim her to be a moral standard for anything, I don’t recall hearing Christian’s calling for sweeping legislation similar to the one above that would change the way people approach marriage.  Even among Christians, the divorce rate isn’t any lower than the secular world.  So is preserving “Holy Matrimony” really the issue?  If so, why aren’t Christian’s doing more on a broad scale?

2.  Maybe it’s the establishment of what is a “Family”.  But is that really an argument with so many cases of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse by both Christian and non-Christian traditional families?  Who then can set the definition of what a functional family really is?  And you really can’t use the argument “gay families will make gay kids” because there’s not valid study that proves that.  If there is, please post in the comments because I can’t find it.

3.  Is it the definition of “Marriage”?  That definition and ownership of the “marriage” title is debatable.  Is it an ordination of the church?  If so, why do you need a marriage license issues by the state?  If the state owns it, why can’t they grant civil unions to anyone?  How did it become a religion issue?  And if you were to argue that America is founded on Christian morals and we enforce laws based on the Bible, why then do we get offended at Sharia law?

4.  Is it the acceptance of homosexuality as a lifestyle?

If I were to pick one, I’d probably say #4 is the answer.  Many Christian’s are split on the Gay Marriage debate and Rachel Held Evans recently wrote an excellent piece on the two positions of Christians to the issue.  The acceptance of homosexuality is what Christian’s have the biggest problem.  It’s where the “love the sinner, hate the sin” hits a dead end.  Deep down I don’t think Christian’s see it as a civil rights issue, family issue, or sanctity of marriage.  It’s about tolerating something the Bible spells as sinful and is very foreign to many.  But is that the right response?

Christian’s over the years have come to abolish slavery and segregation (remember the Bible was once used to promote slavery), accept multi-racial families, and accept divorce.  Is gay marriage the next phase in Christian evolution?

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7 thoughts on “What is the Sanctity of Marriage?

  1. I don’t support gay marriage. I have trouble becoming motivated to make a heavy stand on it because I definitely do see too many people making commentary on homosexuality. I think its us taking the bait. We wouldn’t be talking about gay marriage if we as a society understood what marriage is about. We need to talk about what marriage is about rather than take the bait and talk about one particular group of people.

    I think gay marriage though is the one thing still with a large amount of agreement. We don’t all agree on philosophies of dating, on when divorce is permitted, but we do still agree that marriage is not a legal piece of paper of stately recognition of romantic love for the purpose of distributing assets after death, granting visitation rights, and allowing us to own mutual property.

    I’m not panicked about whether gay marriage becomes legal. When I see some people stand up against gay marriage, I don’t see it as being about homosexuality. I see it as hope that to some capacity, the definition of marriage hasn’t been entirely lost yet.

    I do think though that the real battle is among heterosexuals. We continue to look for methods to get out of the reality that no matter how in love we are with someone, we often want to throw in the towel. So we lengthen our courtships hoping to destroy the risk of wanting out, and then we strive to make divorce as easy as possible. Reality is, we’re afraid of real marriage.

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  2. I honestly care very little where the government lands on this issue. In so far as they sanction living arrangements, let them do what they feel is best. I’m struggling to see how the comparison between gay marriage, slavery, and interracial marriage holds water. I understand that some Christians in the past attempted to use the Bible to endorse such things but do you really foresee a legitimate interpretation of Scripture that permits homosexual unions? If so, please make the case now. Thanks.
    Please see my latest for my musings on this issue: http://spiritualsavant.wordpress.com/2012/08/02/starbucks-appreciation-day/

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    • There is no biblical case for homosexual unions. There’s no biblical case for homosexuality. As another commenter pointed out, there are almost to cases for homosexuality is any religion. And you won’t have an argument from me on the case of homosexuality other than the tired old “love the sinner” part. How then is the government’s position on the acceptance of gay marriage a biblical issue? That’s where I begin to differentiate. Should the regulations of a multicultural country be biblically governed?

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      • Yeah, I agree with you on that point. I think that if the church would quit the lobbying and would focus on making disciples, so many of the social issues we fight over would solve themselves. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 denounces homosexuality with lots of other sins but also offers these words of hope, “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
        While I don’t think we should use the levers of political power to forbid marriage (peferably civil unions) to consenting adults, I do think that members of the church should be clear regarding the message that homosexuality is a sin and therefore gay marriages are invalid before God.

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  3. Interesting questions you posit…
    Is divorce a Christian evolution or a rejection of the Christian Sacrament? Is the broad acceptance of sexual sin an evolution or is it a problem that we are not facing? Let me speak from my experience with adultery, another one of those sexual sins.
    My ex-husband first committed adultery, then left our marriage. He chose to live out this, what I call, sin. In leaving our marriage, he left our children. In leaving our children, he has given up his fatherhood. He has turned his back on being a husband and a father. He has since then remarried the same woman he had an affair with, but will have no more children. To me, that means he does not want a marriage. I leave it up to you to decide what he wants. So, when this continued affair was being brought into the light, it began with him bringing the woman in his car, onto our driveway, telling me I had to hand over our children. It was what he wanted. No, it is what he demanded. I had just had our fourth son a couple months prior. My initial reaction was NO WAY…
    So, we have to ask ourselves…what is sin? Is it just another boundary that needs to be crossed, redefined because not living sin is too limited? Or is sin the box? Does sin cause harm to another? Does sin cause harm to self? Does it work to negate beauty? In my case, yes his sin hurt. It hurt to the core of my being, my family, and all those who have to take up the slack that he refuses to pick up. His sin has put his family into a box. He redefined what our marriage meant by joining with another, but now he has just twisted it, maligned it, made it into something that is full of pain for me and my children. So is it a good thing to do that? Because he chooses to live out his adultery, does that make it right for everyone else to live out their sexual sins? Is that an evolution? Or is that just further justifying his choice? Is it an attempt to make what he did right? Was it right for him to do that? Is it right for a person to back out on his promises? Is it right for a person to redefine marriage because it suits his own selfish desires?
    As far as marriage licenses go, they began in the U.S. when people wanted to marry others from another race, and the state did not want to let that happen, so they made couples get a license so that they could stop interracial marriages. Before that, marriage was left up to the churches to define. I will find the article for that if you would like.
    Thank you brother for another thought-provoking article….

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  4. thought provoking!!! here in India gay marriages are almost unheard of and gay relationships not even acknowledged! so, its not only christians, Hindus, muslims and probably other people of other faiths too don’t look favorably upon such unions! fear of the unusual maybe. Like you said, I believe we will be able to overcome this psychological barrier too just like we have made major strides in overcoming racism. That’s the beauty of the human race, isn’t it? We constantly evolve (hopefully for the better!)

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