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Do same sex marriages fit into God’s pattern?
|Created by Gerard de Vos|
There is a lot of discussion about the traditional role of marriage in our society. We are told by some liberals that there are many ‘wholesome’ varieties of marriage: same sex, open (meaning one is allowed another partner on the sideline), or infidelity (it might be good for a marriage). Is there some way in which we can determine what is the truth?
Taking the Bible as our source of information, we ask this question: why did God think Adam needed a helpmeet? Surely there were many other options available to God. He is omnipotent and He could even have filled the earth all at once with people without one man and one woman to create people who would eventually fill the whole earth. God is a God of wisdom (Proverbs 3:19), and doesn’t do anything unless it makes sense. The sense of a marriage partner for Adam is that it points forward to God’s plan for His eternal Kingdom on the renewed heaven and earth (2 Peter 3:13). After the renewal of all things, the eternal kingdom will be one big family. It will be Father, Son and Bride. God the Father sent His Son Jesus to earth to die for the sins of the whole world. After the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, the Holy Spirit was sent to gather from all the peoples on earth through the ages, those who will be the bride of Christ. There will be a glorious marriage (‘Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready’, Revelation 19:7). We find hints of this marriage in the Messianic wedding song (Psalm 45), the parable of the wedding banquet (Matthew 22:1-14), and the ten virgins who went to meet the bridegroom (Matthew 25:1-13). Paul wrote to the Corinthians: ‘I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to Him’ (2 Corinthians 11:2). The same idea is found in Ephesians 5:32, the profound mystery of Christ and the church: the Bridegroom and the bride.
God gave us the picture of marriage so we can understand what is going to happen. Practically, it makes sense that there will be only one Bridegroom and one bride. It is easier to maintain peace and love in one family than in many. God’s design was that all believers in Jesus would make up the body of the bride. The bride is a body of millions of cells (children of God) with different functions (1 Corinthians 12:12-31). As we are all going to be one body, God is teaching us about love, support, forgiveness, honesty, and all the characteristics that will make peace and harmony possible. We all have different functions, and all work together for the good of the body. That is God’s structure.
Same sex marriages are becoming accepted as normal, and the church is under pressure to bless them as acceptable to God. Since this is such an explosive issue, we have to be very clear about the church’s role. God does not allow believers to judge people who are outside the church (‘What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church?’ 1 Corinthians 5:12a). Therefore, in this article, we are not talking about homosexuals in general. We are only concerned with people who insist that they were born as homosexuals and want to be part of the church. Then the church can do one of two things. They can either change the infallible Word of God, and bless same sex marriages, or they can say what God’s opinion about it is (He says that homosexual offenders will not inherit the kingdom, 1 Corinthians 6:9). They can then warn the homosexual/s about God’s unchangeable Word, but leave the decision with them. They have been warned, so if they appear before the judgment throne and are found guilty, the respective preachers or church members will not be guilty of their blood (Ezekial 33: 1-7 is about the responsibility of members to warn about coming danger).
What if they insist that the church declare them guiltless? We live in an interesting time: there are even suggestions that there is a ‘biological gene’ that causes marriage partners to be unfaithful. The reason is probably that people do not want to give account to God for their unrighteousness/sins. Will this lead to a day when thieves, robbers and murderers will have a reason why they are guiltless - they were born that way and cannot help themselves? Jesus warned that His followers will be brought before the courts (Matthew 10:17-20). Are they going to be ashamed of the words of Jesus and take the risk that He will be ashamed of them before the angels of God (Mark 8:38)? It is safer to do what we are told, namely to say what God says in His Word, and pray for those who will surely persecute us because of it.
What about the onslaught of homosexuals against the church? The kingdom of God has survived many attacks. Jesus told us that the gates of hell will not prevail against the church. Daniel writes about the eternal victorious kingdom (Daniel 2:44). But never, never take it upon yourself to sanctify sinful behavior (according to the Word). On the other hand, never stop praying for the church for wisdom and perseverance, as the storm clouds are becoming darker, bent on destroying an indestructible church.