Gay Marriage? No!

Title: Gay Marriage? No!

Text: Hebrews 13:4

Time: August 25, 2008

I’ve been teaching a series on marriage, divorce and remarriage by examining passages from the Bible that shed light on the subject. It’s quickly obvious that in many places the prevailing philosophy and practice of the secular world today directly contradicts the teachings of God’s Word. But in no way is this more apparent than in the whole matter of so-called “gay” marriage. Never before have we seen such a rush on the part of secular society to make the gay or homosexual lifestyle acceptable as today. The latest effort to legitimize homosexuality in culture was the monumental decision on the part of the California Supreme Court to legalize “same sex” marriages or so-called gay marriages. By carefully reading the Court’s decision, we see rather quickly that it’s intent was to normalize or legitimize homosexual marriages to the same legal and cultural status as traditional heterosexual marriages. Now California is in no way the first territory to permit gay couples to legally marry; Massachusetts had already permitted that, and so have a few European nations, for example, like Holland. But what is different this time is that gay activists are now using the State of California law as the green light to push forward the total normalization of same-sex marriages everywhere, and the total and universal acceptance of homosexuality in all of society. This is in direct contradiction to the Word of God and the message of Christianity. If you remember I taught from the New Testament passage in Hebrews 13:4, showing that cohabitation — or living together before marriage — is sinful and wrong. I’d like to go back to that same biblical passage and show how gay or same-sex marriage is even more sinful and wrong according to the Word of God. Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” Now this is not the only Bible passage that teaches Christian sexual morality – there are plenty of biblical passages that teach sex before marriage is wrong, sex outside of marriage is wrong, and also that homosexual sex is wrong. But this passage is very clear in making the strong point that marriage – as a holy institution given by God himself – should be jealously and carefully honored by all. Same sex or so-called gay marriage dishonors holy matrimony, it dirties the whole understanding of marriage. I spoke before how cohabitation or living together in sin before marriage dishonors the holy institution of marriage, but so too does same-sex marriage dishonor marriage in a way greater than does cohabitation. At least with cohabitation there is at least the semblance of real marriage – granted, it’s a cheap and sinful imitation of the real thing – still, it involves a man and woman in a relationship that somewhat resembles marriage as given by God. But with same-sex marriage even that doesn’t exist. A sinful homosexual relationship is recognized, legitimized and perversely endorsed by society and given equal status with God’s holy institution. This is wrong if anything is wrong. Let me outline from God’s Word why this is so wrong.

First, marriage should be honored by all, and a same-sex relationships can’t do that. Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage should be honored by all.” You can’t honor marriage as God designed and instituted it by bringing sin into it, and that’s what same-sex unions do to the institution of marriage. You have a situation where a sinful relationship – homosexuality – is brought into a holy institution – marriage – and somehow it is supposed to fit together. It doesn’t fit, not in God’s eyes it doesn’t, and neither should it fit in our eyes either. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 states, “Do you not now that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the Kingdom of God.” The point is not that homosexuality is the only sin, but that it is sin. A homosexual relationship is a sinful relationship according to the Bible. It isn’t holy, and to equate it with holy marriage is to dishonor marriage in direct contradiction to the above passage, “Marriage should be honored by all.” Notice the verse says “all.” “Marriage should be honored by all” – not just Christians, not just church members, not just the religiously minded people of society, but by all members of society. Everyone is called to honor the institution of marriage. And for most of recorded history that has been understood and assumed. Yes, historically there have always been some societies that have permitted certain perverted forms of sex, but remarkably, marriage itself — as an institution of man and woman together — hasn’t been called into question. But today, marriage itself, it’s very concept and definition, is now being called into question and challenged. With the passage of the right to same-sex marriage, society is imposing the “dishonoring” of marriage by all, rather than promoting the “honoring” of it by all. And make no mistake about it, there is a definite movement at work in our society today to legitimize gay marriage. For example, if you’ve noticed lately the news reports of celebrity same-sex couples getting married in California – all of these reports are presented positively, affirming and encouraging. There is never any questioning or criticizing or complaining of these new same sex marriages. For example, I recently saw the coverage of the gay marriage of Ellen DeGeneres and her new actress girlfriend. The reports described the marriage ceremony and wedding as if it were no different than any heterosexual marriage. Pictures were shown of the newly married couple smiling in tux and wedding gown. The reports made it appear that everything was natural and normal, just a loving couple getting married. But by trying to normalize or legitimize sinful behavior, and even make it honorable, true marriage is dishonored. “Marriage should be honored by all.”

Second, the marriage bed should be kept pure, and a same-sex relationship can’t do that. Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure.” There is nothing pure about a homosexual relationship, it’s pure filth and sin, and of a particularly perverted form of sin. Here’s how the Apostle Paul describes the sin of homosexuality in Romans 1:24, 26-27, “Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual immorality for the degrading for their bodies with one another. . . . Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.” Same sex marriages are perversions of the institution of holy matrimony, and any equating of the two is foolishness. Holy marriage is clearly outlined in the Bible starting from the earliest chapters of Genesis: “But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, for she was taken out of man.’ For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame,” Genesis 1:20-25. Notice there are two sexes mentioned: male and female. Notice that marriage as given by God is for man and woman. Notice it says the man was united to his wife, a woman, and they became one flesh. The one-flesh relationship is symbolic of the sexual relationship between man and woman. Through the sexual relationship of a man and a woman in marriage the two become a new spiritual entity, one-fleshed. There is no provision for same sex unions in the Bible, that would contradict everything we know about God’s will for men and women. Yet today, secular society is trying harder and harder to promote the idea that marriage is anything and everything anyone wants it to be – and that’s where the chaos is going to start because once you depart from God’s holy will then the flood gates of all kinds of perversions will come in. Once the fundamental definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman is altered, then what’s to stop the union of man and animal, man and many women — otherwise known as polygamy; or woman and men — otherwise known as polyandry? “The marriage bed should be kept pure.” In Genesis, it says that the man and woman were naked and not ashamed. But same sex partners have everything to be ashamed of in their relationship; using the name “marriage” and getting society to recognize it doesn’t change a thing. Sin is sin, whether it’s given a holy name or not. And same-sex unions or relationships or so-called same-sex marriages are sin.

Third, God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral, including same-sex unions and marriages. Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” A while back I spoke about how God will judge in some form or fashion couples who by-pass holy matrimony and simply live in sin together without the benefit of marriage. Cohabitation dishonors true marriage by offering a cheap substitute to couples, but if God will judge cohabiting couples He will certainly and surely judge even more homosexual couples, especially those who try to call their sinful unions holy through marriage. And any society that just “goes along” with perverted same-sex unions and marriages will be judged by God as well. The Apostle Paul in Romans 1:18-19 says, “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.” So God has made it plain to everyone, according to the Bible, that truths like marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman, but because of godlessness, wickedness and sin, people refuse to acknowledge the truth. And because people know the truth of God, yet turn away from the truth of God, the judgment of God will come upon them. Unfortunately, that is what will result in society’s experiment with same-sex marriage. What has to happen is that Christians must speak up and out against same sex unions and marriages on principle. Christians must not sit on the sidelines and just keep quiet and play it safe and not cause any trouble. Instead, Christians must speak God’s Word to a sinful society. Yes, that will cause trouble. Yes, that will bring opposition. Yes, that will stir up criticism. Yes, that will result in controversy and division. But if Christians sit back and do nothing then according to the Bible God’s judgment will come upon the land and ruin it for everyone, Christian included. Not only individual Christians must speak out and oppose same-sex marriages, but also Christian churches must do so as well. For too long, churches have tried to avoid trouble and controversy in order to maintain an amicable relationship with society. Many pastors and church leaders fear that if their churches take strong stands against sin that people will stop attending or will be turned off by negativism, so churches try to avoid any negative criticisms of sin and focus only on the positive benefits of the Christian faith. But this approach simply is not in accordance with God’s will. The Bible if full of both positive and negative commands of God. A Christianity built only on positive thinking is not true Christianity, just as a Christianity built only on negative commands is not true Christianity. God gives us a faith that is mixed with both the positive and negative; we must believe and practice it all. So in answer to the question: should gay marriage be permitted? No! And Christians must say so loudly.

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