Saturday, January 10, 2015

Is it Time to Rethink "Marriage"?

Hello friends!

I’m excited to tell you that, after many years of thought and planning, I have purchased a new BOAT!  I’m very excited about it. It’s a small boat, able to handle only three people at a time. It’s very stream-lined, so it should be fast in the water.  It’s carbon-footprint is minimal as it has no engine and runs solely on human power.  But the seating is comfortable and I want to invite YOU to go on the first cruise with me as we travel to the Bahamas. No expenses to you, just your company and a willingness to enjoy this incredible journey.

So here it is!...a picture of my new BOAT!!!

 Well, what do you think?  I showed this picture of my lovely boat to a good friend and he was so rude, insensitive and unloving. He had the gall to say, “That’s not a boat…that’s a bike!”  “No”, I told him. “That is a boat no matter what others have called it in the past.” Then I invited him to go with me on my initial cruise and he was so judgmental saying, “You’re crazy if you think I’d go with you into the water on THAT!”  I just could not understand why he felt the need to ruin my joy by suggesting that my new boat is a bike. Why is he so narrow-minded? Is he stuck in the antiquated constructs and definitions of the past?  Yes, my boat looks different from most boats, but that is the essence of its uniqueness. I’m confident my boat will float and satisfy my needs.  How mean for him to deny me this right of boat ownership…and he calls himself a Christian.

Okay…back to reality. The truth is, no matter how much I call this bike a boat, it will never be a boat. No matter how veraciously I defend my position that a bike is a boat, it’s still a bike.  No matter how many times I try to redefine what a bike is by calling it a boat, it’s still inherently a bike.  One might put flotation devices on the bike so it will
float on water like a boat, but it’s still a bike pretending to be a boat.

There is a massive campaign in our culture to redefine something far more important:  Marriage. For those who accept the Bible as the authority of life and its practices, we know as the church has known for millennia that from the beginning God has defined the marriage relationship as Male/Female.  Adam and Eve are God’s created order for the perfect expression of human sexuality.  Certainly, a person can be a whole person as either male OR female, as both are made in the image of God. But when it comes to expressing human sexuality, God designed that expression to be male and female.  Even after the Fall God stuck to his definition.  Jesus endorsed God’s intended design for marriage by saying, “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’  For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’” - Mark 10:6-8 (Side note…I find it interesting that Jesus made this statement in the context of another group – the Pharisees – trying to redefine “divorce” – and the reasons one could divorce.  It seems people think they know better than God and are always to accommodate their own pleasure and practice by redefining God’s ways to suit their personal desires or circumstances.  Thankfully Jesus set the Pharisees right, too, even as he sets right those who would try to redefine marriage.) 

If you said, “It’s absurd to call a bicycle a boat!” you would be right.  Yet, how much more absurd is it to redefine marriage to include relationships that God, the Creator of marriage, did not include. This perfect design for the expression of human sexuality in marriage was revealed before sin entered the world through Adam and Eve. This was recorded in the book of Genesis for God’s people to accept long before sin began to corrupt human sexuality.

If one were to accept my definition of a “boat” it would be damaging, at least, if not deadly.  The deceit of my redefinition causes harm not only to me but to any who would ride along with me.  So it goes with those who would dare to defy God by redefining marriage.  The deceit and dishonesty of the “Re-definers” (i.e.: those who would redefine what God has defined) cause damage and destruction to those willing to follow the lie.

Our purpose in the church is to proclaim God’s truth, not adapt or redefine it so the culture will like us better.  We speak the truth in love so that we might encourage godliness and experience the fullness of Jesus Christ! (Ephesians 4:15)  Thus, the least loving thing one can do in any situation is to redefine God’s Word, denying God’s sovereign right to declare how things should be.  Yet some so-called scholars, both secular and spiritual, say, “We know more about sexuality now than the Biblical writers did in their day, so we know better.”  Really?  Last I time I checked the Bible says God is all Wisdom. Do you know better than him that you would dare to challenge his Word?  Perhaps Paul is speaking of the modern-day Re-definers when he wrote, “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.” (Romans 1:21-22)

The Re-definers will say:
  • “Jesus never spoke against these alternative marriages.”  An absence of explicit teaching does not constitute approval. If so we would have to approve child sacrifice or other forms of corruption since Jesus never spoke explicitly about them.
  • “Who are you to judge me?”  Well, if by “judging” you mean condemning, then you are right. I do not have the authority to condemn you for your actions. That is above my pay grade.  BUT!...if by judging you mean discerning, then Jesus gave the church the responsibility of discerning right from wrong (Matthew 16:19).  We discern without condemning since condemning is NOT within our responsibility…but we judge (i.e.: discern) between right and wrong, with God’s Word as our eternal guide, as we were called to do so. 
  • “You are bigoted and hateful if you say I cannot marry the person of my choice.”  Truth is, we define and implement morality all the time.  In the United States, for example, bigamy is illegal.  No…we do not allow certain acts because we deem them contrary to God’s moral code. Such is the case in marriage when anyone other than a unmarried man and an unmarried woman wish to unite in marriage.
  •  “If you love me you will let me marry whomever I choose.”  It is precisely because we love others with the pure love of God that we will speak the truth in love to them.  Anything else is tantamount to handing a loaded, cocked gun to a precariously unstable person.
In the end, many of God’s teachings may be redefined, but that does not mean that God approves of the redefinition, nor does it mean we should remain silent about such evils.  There is no need to redefine or rethink marriage, but there is a need to defend it. Human sexuality in its perfect expression is a gift from God for the pleasure of his people and the procreation of humanity. So when one man and one woman commit to one another in a covenant relationship before God, this is pleasing to him.  Any other expression of human sexuality simply is not.

Now…if I have not convinced you, yet, about what God says about marriage, how about a ride on my new boat?  You seem to be a very persuadable and open-minded person.

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