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
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.