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Ray Rooney, Jr.: Marriage Equality Does Not Equal Biblical Marriage
Thursday, July 18, 2013 1:06 PM

To hear many people speak on the issue of homosexual marriage you might think that “marriage equality” is analogous to “biblical marriage.”  Some would like for you to think they mean and are essentially the same thing. However they are in no way synonymous.  “Marriage equality” is the belief that any two consenting adults (at this point in time referring to the same gender) should have the right to enter into marriage enjoying all the rights and privileges (usually pertaining to insurance and death benefits) as those who have traditionally been united in marriage.  “Biblical marriage,” on the other hand, refers to marriage specifically defined in the Bible as between a man and a woman entering into a covenant with each other understanding their responsibility to model the virtuous relationship between Christ and the Church (Genesis 2:24 & Ephesians 5:32).  “Marriage equality” is what people are saying everyone has a right to in society.  “Biblical marriage” is what God says a man and a woman are privileged to enter into if both are willing to adhere to the terms of the covenant. 

The bottom line is this: homosexual marriage may be “marriage equality” in 21st century culture but it is not “biblical marriage.”  And even if the judiciary in America rules in favor of gay marriage over the course of the next few years it will not then, nor will it ever be, “biblical marriage.”  Humanity has the freedom to engage in any behavior it chooses to accommodate.  What it can never do, however, is to legitimize sin in the eyes of God.  A spouse may learn to accommodate unfaithfulness but he or she will not be able to undo adultery as a sin.  And that means there will always be a voice against it. 

The Gospel of Mark relays a very sad narrative about the cousin of Jesus Christ.  His name was John and he came to be known as “John the baptizer.”  Most people are familiar with John for two reasons.  First, he set the stage for his cousin, Jesus, by preaching “that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven” (Mark 1:4 NLT).  Second, after having been arrested he had his head cut off and put on a serving tray (Mark 6:27-28).  What is interesting is that Mark wants his readers to know some relevant facts.  He wants people to know that King Herod Antipas actually liked to listen to John (6:20).  Not only that but the King “respected John” and knew “he was a good and holy man” (6:20).  Why then behead this man whom the King had respect for?  His wife hated him and found a way to use her daughter (the King’s stepdaughter) to lower his defenses and entrap him into the execution.  What was John doing in prison in the first place if he was respected by the King?  He refused to accommodate the King’s unbiblical marriage to his brother’s wife who was also his niece.  That’s right, John spoke out against the King’s unbiblical marriage! 

The Kingdom of God is not a democracy.  Obedience to the will of God is not determined by a heavenly court made up of angels and saints who get to vote on whether they believe a person’s behavior constitutes a transgression of Divine Law.   Righteousness and holiness are not determined by popular trends.  Biblical celebrities do not get to lobby God on behalf of a group of people who feel biblical texts are archaic, out of touch with the way things are now, or just plain unfair and oppressive.  Homosexual unions will never be biblical marriages and faithful loving Christians will never remain silent about it.  John did not condemn Herod Antipas but he most certainly let it be made known “It is against God’s law for you to marry your brother’s wife” (Mark 6:18).   

I encourage the faithful Christian community to be faithful to the legacy of John the baptizer.  Boldly proclaim a message of repentance for forgiveness to everyone (without condemnation) but bravely speak publicly and compellingly against unbiblical marriage.  John was unjustly imprisoned and brutally executed for refusing to back off his message that just because a King engaged in it, legitimized it before his nation, and justified his marriage in his own mind, that didn’t make it right or biblical.   

Don’t give up or in.  Homosexual marriage may be trending towards societal and cultural acceptance and legitimization but that won’t make it biblical or acceptable by God.  Without condemnation, let your voice be heard that homosexual marriage is not right in the eyes of God. 

Ray Rooney, Jr. 

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