In today’s culture, one of the top issues that is sure to bring out emotionally charged opinions is the topic of marriage. While marriage has been traditionally defined as the permanent relationship between one man and one woman, there are many today who want to redefine marriage as any combination of one man and one woman; two men; two women; or any combination of men and women. When Christians resist these changes to the definition marriage, many will ask why are Christians against gay marriage?
While opinions may vary, even among Christians, the only opinion that Christians should hold is the opinion of God. Unfortunately, many people who call themselves Christians give opinions of marriage that God condemns, much less endorses, and in doing so show that their allegiance is not to God, but to their own or public opinion. The Bible refers to these types of believers as being “of the circumcision” and how they teach things they shouldn’t as follows:
(Titus 1:10-16 KJV) “For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: (11) Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. (12) One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. (13) This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; (14) Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. (15) Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. (16) They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” (Emphasis added)
Notice how the Bible says they teach things they ought not: They teach the commandments of men; they do not believe in the idea of purity; and their minds and consciences are defiled. In other words, they do not teach what God says, because they do not believe that what God says is more important than what they have to say. With this in mind, let’s examine what God says on the matter.
What is God’s perspective on homosexuality?
When it comes to the idea of gay marriage, God eliminates the confusion by clearly defining what a marriage is (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5-6; Mark 10:8; Ephesians 5:31). Unfortunately, many Christians who are against gay marriage will throw out some Old Testament quotes about homosexuality being an abomination as their reasoning for not allowing it. The following verses are examples of the same:
(Leviticus 18:22-23 KJV) “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. (23) Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion.”
(Leviticus 20:13 KJV) “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”
(Deuteronomy 22:5 KJV) “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.”
While it is clear that God commanded in the Old Testament that homosexuality or cross dressing was an abomination, he did not use the same words in the New Testament. Many who support gay marriage are quick to point out this observation. However, what they do not understand is that while God clearly commands against it in the Old Testament, he does not approve of it in the New Testament. To do otherwise would then mean that God varies His standards of right and wrong, which is clearly denied in the Bible (James 1:17; Malachi 3:6).
If God never changes His standards, then His Word never changes either. God clearly states this and greatly condemns anyone who tries to change His Word:
(Proverbs 30:5-6 KJV) “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. (6) Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”
(Deuteronomy 4:2 KJV) “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.”
(Isaiah 40:8 KJV) “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”
(1 Peter 1:25 KJV) “But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”
(Revelation 22:18-19 KJV) “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: (19) And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”
Despite these verses, some people will try to claim that the Old Testament condemnation on homosexuality was done away with in the New Testament. Again, God says otherwise in the Bible:
(Matthew 5:17-18 KJV) “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. (18) For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Emphasis added)
So then, when does the law get fulfilled? The following verses tell us many things about how the law gets fulfilled:
(Romans 8:1-9 KJV) “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (2) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (3) For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: (4) That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (5) For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. (6) For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (7) Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (8) So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. (9) But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” (Emphasis added)
(Romans 13:8-10 KJV) “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. (9) For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (10) Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.“
(Galatians 5:14 KJV) “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
(James 2:23 KJV) “And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.”
According to these verses, the law is fulfilled when we are able to love our neighbor above our self. However, loving our neighbor is love according to God’s definition, not our lustful definition. Lust is selfish, love is selfless. This means our love is not based on our affection or feelings, it is based on sacrificing our desires and needs for what is best of others.
How do we get the ability to love others above our self?
When we believe what God says about salvation through trusting Christ as our Saviour, then God gives us His Spirit, which seals us until the day of redemption and is a guarantee of our inheritance (Ephesians 1:13-14; Ephesians 4:30). It is this Spirit then that motivates and enables us to live our lives in a way that pleases Him and to esteem others above our self. It is the motivation of love, that comes from our appreciation of what God did for us through Jesus Christ (1 John 4:19) that make our motives and practices pure.
To live our lives in ways that please God, we need to look at how God’s Word says to live our lives. The Bible tells us that all of the Scripture is our guide and that all of it is profitable for our use, not just the New Testament:
(2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV) “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (17) That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
The point of this article is not to debate the points of the law, but only to say this: God gave us the law to show us that we are guilty of selfish desires leading to sin before Him. The law is our schoolmaster that teaches us of our need for a Saviour to pay our penalty for our sinful desires and behaviors. Once we have trusted in Christ, we are no longer under the our schoolmaster, the law, because He paid our penalty:
(Romans 3:19 KJV) “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”
(Galatians 3:21-25 KJV) “Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. (22) But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. (23) But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. (24) Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. (25) But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.”
Was the prohibition against homosexual relationships done away with in the New Testament?
So then, does this mean that homosexual relationships and gay marriage are acceptable in the New Testament? Not so for many reasons. First, God tells us that he does not approve of the same in many places in the New Testament. The following are examples:
(Romans 1:18-32 KJV) “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; (19) Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. (20) For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (21) Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (22) Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, (23) And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. (24) Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: (25) Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. (26) For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: (27) And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. (28) And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; (29) Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, (30) Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, (31) Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: (32) Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”
(2 Peter 2:4-18 KJV) “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; (5) And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; (6) And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; (7) And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (8) (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) (9) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: (10) But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. (11) Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. (12) But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; (13) And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; (14) Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: (15) Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; (16) But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet. (17) These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. (18) For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.” (Emphasis added)
(Jude 1:7-23 KJV) “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. (8) Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. (9) Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. (10) But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. (11) Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. (12) These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; (13) Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. (14) And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, (15) To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. (16) These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage. (17) But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; (18) How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. (19) These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. (20) But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, (21) Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. (22) And of some have compassion, making a difference: (23) And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” (Emphasis added)
So, it is quite clear that the New Testament teaches that the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was because of unnatural fleshly desires and it was set forth as an example (ensample) to those living today who do the same. That being said, in Jude 1:14-19, God clearly states He will pour out His wrath in the end times upon those doing the same:
(Jude 1:14-19 KJV) “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, (15) To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. (16) These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage. (17) But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; (18) How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. (19) These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.”
What does God say about marriage?
While we could go on with many more references, it is important to understand what God said about marriage, both in the Old and New Testaments as we saw previously:
(Genesis 2:24 KJV) “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”
(Matthew 19:3-6 KJV) “The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? (4) And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, (5) And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? (6) Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”
(Mark 10:7-9 KJV) “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; (8) And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. (9) What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”
(Ephesians 5:31 KJV) “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.”
It is this one flesh relationship that makes a marriage. As described in the Wisdom4Today article “Does a woman have to take her husband’s last name.” When we think of a one flesh relationship, it is more than just two people deciding to live together, it is a process whereby they give up or leave their former allegiances and cleave or join in a new allegiance with one another. This allegiance entails clinging to one another only and beginning the process of weaving their lives together to form one life, physically, emotionally, and Spiritually. This means that everything else in life, except for their relationship with God, comes second to their one flesh relationship.
How does history, biology, and language define marriage?
It is this one flesh relationship that creates a marriage not only Biblically, but historically. The word marriage according to Webster’s 1828 dictionary is:
MAR”RIAGE, n. [L.mas, maris.] The act of uniting a man and woman for life; wedlock; the legal union of a man and woman for life. Marriage is a contract both civil and religious, by which the parties engage to live together in mutual affection and fidelity, till death shall separate them. Marriage was instituted by God himself for the purpose of preventing the promiscuous intercourse of the sexes, for promoting domestic felicity, and for securing the maintenance and education of children.
Of particular note is the Latin roots of the word, Mas and maris. Mas is a word that denotes a man and maris denotes a woman. In most cultures, Maris is better defined as mother and some link it to the name Mary, as in Mary the mother of Jesus. This feminine indication can also be seen in the use of the term mare in horses. Mares are defined as a female horse of three to four years old, or of breeding age.
Other terms used for marriage are matrimony and monogamy. Matrimony takes its root in the word matron, which indicates a mother. Adding the -mony to matron, meaning one, makes the word describe a “one mother” relationship. Likewise, the term monogamy is derived from two terms mono, meaning one, and -gamy.
Gamy is the root of the word gamete. A gamete is described in biology as a male (sperm) and female (ovum) reproductive cell. When a male sperm and a female ovum unite, the two cells become one and a child is conceived. These combined gametes, a one celled child, also have the ability to reproduce through a process called meiosis where the cell divides to create a copy of itself. One fertilized egg cell divides into two, which divide into four and so on.
The significance of this in marriage is that it signifies that one man and one woman, a male and female, can join into one by the physical joining of flesh through mating. This too is a another derivative of the term gamete. With this in mind, when a husband and wife are first married, the marriage is “consummated” through the joining of flesh. The term consummated is a combination of the terms consume and mate. Simply stated, it is the process whereby the husband consumes or takes the wife through mating.
For this reason, the idea of consummating the marriage is found in our state laws concerning marriage. Until recent times, in state laws a marriage could be annulled if it was not consummated. This is because the marriage was not considered to be completed until the couple physically joined flesh. This concept of consummation is prevalent through most cultures and found in Biblical teaching. For these reasons, two men or two women cannot consummate a marriage because they are not biologically able to. Therefore, consummating a marriage between two men or two women is by nature physically and biologically impossible.
Can’t we redefine marriage how we want and ignore the facts of history, biology, and language?
Respectfully speaking, no opinion or court ruling will ever change these facts. Therefore, to know these facts and insisting on calling marriage anything other than a union between a man and a woman despite the facts suggests very flawed thinking called a delusion. A delusion is commonly defined as when someone embraces (1) “a belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument, typically a symptom of mental disorder.” A delusion is also defined according to the Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders as follows:
“A delusion is a belief that is clearly false and that indicates an abnormality in the affected person’s content of thought. The false belief is not accounted for by the person’s cultural or religious background or his or her level of intelligence. The key feature of a delusion is the degree to which the person is convinced that the belief is true. A person with a delusion will hold firmly to the belief regardless of evidence to the contrary. Delusions can be difficult to distinguish from overvalued ideas, which are unreasonable ideas that a person holds, but the affected person has at least some level of doubt as to its truthfulness. A person with a delusion is absolutely convinced that the delusion is real. (Read more: http://www.minddisorders.com/Br-Del/Delusions.html#ixzz3gpmlyXi5)
While this may upset some people who believe marriage is not about religion and can be redefined, these are non-Christian references that would call the holding of this belief a delusion, given the facts of history, biology, and language. This points out the very flaw in this thinking even when you leave what the Bible says out of the argument. This being said, the Bible does refer to delusions in many places like 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12.
What is the real reason Christians are against gay marriage?
Despite all of this, let’s get down to the real reason Biblically literate Christians are against gay marriage. It is not because they “hate” gay people. It is because the idea of any marriage that is not between one man and one woman makes a mockery of what marriage represents. To find out what marriage represents, we must examine Ephesians 5:22-33:
(Ephesians 5:22-33 KJV) “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. (23) For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. (24) Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. (25) Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (26) That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, (27) That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. (28) So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. (29) For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: (30) For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. (31) For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. (32) This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. (33) Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his (male) wife even as himself; and the wife see that she (female) reverence her (female) husband.”
In these verses, God tells us that the marriage relationship is a model of the relationship between Christ and the church with the man representing Christ and the woman representing the church. This is made clear in verse thirty-two: “This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” Here the Apostle Paul, writing under the direction of the Holy Spirit, uses the word mystery. When ever you see the word mystery in the New Testament a concept that has not been presented before in Scripture is being made.
Simply stated, the Bible is saying that the marriage relationship represents the relationship between Christ and the church. In consideration of this concept, we must also remember that the Bible is not subject to interpretation (2 Peter 1:20-21). For more on this topic see the Wisdom4Today article: “Is the Bible subject to interpretation?” As demonstrated in the article, the Bible was written by the Holy Spirit. The “authors” were really nothing more than scribes, writing what the Holy Spirit said to write.
This is an important concept because some will say that the Apostle Paul did not understand human nature when he wrote New Testament admonitions against homosexual relationships and that we know better today. This statement is made by those who are ignorant of the fact that the Apostle Paul was not the author, the Holy Spirit was the author (2 Timothy 3:16-17). While some may add that Paul did not understand human nature, it makes no difference, because Paul did not come up with this “mystery” or concept, the Holy Spirit did.
Since the Holy Spirit is God (1 John 5:7 KJV; Acts 5:3-4) it is clear that anyone who claims these Scriptures do not take into account human nature concerning homosexual relationships is ignoring the fact that God does understand. Since God understands, the Scriptural teachings concerning the same in the New Testament demonstrate that God’s opinion of the homosexual relationships has not changed.
In conclusion, the Word of God is clear from cover to cover about marriage being defined as the permanent one flesh relationship between one man and one woman because God wrote it. Since God wrote it, Bible believing Christians believe it and will not make attempts to change it (Proverbs 24:21-22). Since Bible believing Christians believe it, they are against gay marriage because God is against it and has not put it together. (Mark 10:9 KJV) “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” So, why are Christians against gay marriage? Not because they hate gay couples. They are against gay marriage because it makes a mockery of what marriage represents concerning the relationship between Christ and the church.
(1) Google. (2015). “Delusion”. Retrieved from Google, https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=delusion