The last few days there have been several comments pro and con on my recent post “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” (See below.) The main criticism leveled by my detractors was that I should not have made the comparison between gay marriage and human/animal marriage. A couple of friends charged that this was a “red herring” argument. And that really made me laugh because I had just read an article online where a woman in the UK “married” a dolphin and gave it a kiss and a herring as a wedding present. I wondered if it was red. (Check it out here .)
The point, of course, is that once you redefine marriage to be allowed between two people simply because they “love each other,” you have removed the creational mandate for marriage in the first place. When you do so, marriage becomes a reflection of whatever culture wants it to be rather than what God created it to be. When we do this, why not allow incestuous marriage, which God restricted under the Law? Why not marriage between old men and young boys? The Greeks and Romans had no problem with pederasty, why should we? What about marriage between three or four people? Jeffrey Lord in the American Spectator has a deadly serious satire along these lines. (Check it out here .)
Others wondered if marriage between the elderly or otherwise “unfruitful” should not be allowed since I argued that the reason for marriage was to “be fruitful and multiply.” But I do not mean to say that the only purpose for marriage is to have children. I mean to say that “be fruitful and multiply” is the beginning of a dominion program for which marriage is the central instrument. Companionship is a valid reason for marriage, as long as that marriage is formed for the central purpose of creational and covenantal dominion.
And even so, any companionship that can truly be called a marriage is still between a man and a woman. When God created a fitting helper for man, He gave him a woman. So, even from the standpoint of companionship, two male companions are not married, no matter what the judge says. They may be friends, they may even be lovers, but they are not married. Marriage is by definition between a man and a woman. And it is so because God said so.
The next objection is tired and worn. This one says that, if we cannot marry our best buddy because God said so, then we cannot eat shrimp since God forbade it under the Law of Moses. Besides, it would certainly lead down the slippery slope to cannibalism, as one so cleverly put it. But this completely overlooks libraries filled with volumes addressing the question of how the New Covenant in Christ fulfills the Old Covenant law. We are free to eat shrimp because Jesus declared all foods clean, and Paul confirmed it over and over shouting, “Yee Haw!” in Hebrew all the way down to Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue for a rack of ribs. The man loved his liberty in Christ.
But neither Jesus nor Paul ever said that homosexuality is now okay since Christ has made us free. In fact, both Jesus and Paul said the opposite. Jesus reaffirmed that God made marriage “male and female” (Matthew 19:4), and Paul was clear in several places that the New Covenant still holds to the original creational pattern of male and female marriage. (Romans 1, etc)
And then, finally, another friend noted that marriage is a “legal contract” with legal benefits unique for married people. Thus, we must offer that equally to all people. But that misses two things–at least. First, Christian society sanctioned marriage both on the civil and ecclesiastical levels and provided certain benefits for marriage in order to support it and promote it. The old folks, bless their hearts, used to believe that society did better when based on the foundation of strong marriage and family. So, they created certain benefits for getting and staying married. Second, we cannot reduce marriage down to just a legal contract. As if anyone really thinks for a moment that this debate is merely over property rights, hospital visitation and custody of Fido. The ramifications are much larger than tax deductions.
But the real point is that none of this was my point in the first place. My point, and all my gay-marriage proponent friends should listen closely right here, is that the real root of all this confusion–and I mean confusion in the biblical sense–is heterosexual hypocrisy. The reason we are in this mess is because we have tolerated adultery and unbiblical divorce, mocking God and all His quaint ideas about hating divorce and such. I am not preaching to homosexuals. At least not here. I do preach to them, and I am ecstatic when they repent of their sin. But the real sin I am after here is the sin of fragmenting families.
And this point must not get lost in all the furor and hubbub. We need family renewal! We must pray for God to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers. If the church will start praying for renewal in our own homes and stop wasting our time trying to halt the gay agenda, then the revival that we need will flow up out of the heart of this nation. That is really what I am trying to say. And I plan to say it more and more. As you might imagine.