There appears to be a shift towards the acceptance of the concept of same-sex marriage. I say “appears” because of the dubious nature of the research involved in various studies. However many prominent people have shared that they have recently changed their minds and are now in favour of same-sex marriage. Their comments focus on three major reasons for a change in their thinking.
The first reason is that people want to be fair. Few people want to see others being deprived of what they think should rightfully belong to them. So there is a stress on justice and equal rights. There is a strong sense of this in nations like Australia where an underlying characteristic is that everyone should give others “a fair go”. It is a good attribute provided that what they want to have “a go at” is legal and beneficial. But we live in a world where God has given His creatures free-will. That does not mean licence to do whatever one wishes, but freedom to do or to refuse to do what God sees as best for His creatures. This involves both privileges and responsibilities. We have the privilege of being sexual beings. But there comes with that privilege, the responsibility to ensure that any sexual activity is to be carried out in the relationship He has endorsed, namely between a man and a woman in marriage. In God’s sight, chastity is the only other option. It might sound an impossible option to live by, but millions in every generation have done so. Many by seeking God’s help.
A second reason is that with more “outings” taking place people among prominent celebrities, some family members or personal friends have also been encouraged to “come out” as being gay. It is a very difficult thing to look at those close to us living in what appears to be a loving same-sex relationship and see that there is anything wrong with such a relationship. As one writer put it, when we are faced with beloved family members or close friends declaring themselves gay, out goes theology with its belief that God has spoken His mind about sex in declaring that only in a loving husband–wife relationship is it acceptable in His sight. One’s theology is overcome by a deep desire to maintain those close relationships and not to pass judgment on their personal activities. (Or by the temptation to twist one’s theology to cater for recent personal circumstances). That is perfectly understandable. Who would ever want to drive a wedge between ourselves and those whom we love? But in such cases we are faced with a choice. Either to go by what God has said in His eternal word or to disagree with what He has said. To reject His commandments is a breach of love towards God. To water down God’s commandments in order to maintain our friendships is not an act of love towards our loved ones. It is misplaced loyalty. His commandments can’t be watered down. What we can do is to love all people by seeking their best interests whilst disagreeing with the forms of sexual activity of some of them.
Some months ago a very loving, gracious Christian woman asked to share a deep concern with me. It turned out that her daughter had declared herself to be gay and was now living in a lesbian relationship. Some of the woman’s friends had expressed to her their sadness at what had happened. Others had suggested that she should think about closing her home to her daughter and her new friend. The woman asked me what her response should be. I suggested to her the following. I reminded her that she had an unique relationship with her daughter. She was the only mother her daughter would ever have. Nothing could change that. Christian love demanded that she continue to love her daughter by seeking her best interests. That meant being always available to her daughter when her daughter wanted contact or whenever she was in need. It meant keeping her heart and her home open to her daughter. But Christian love also demanded that she not consider the lesbian relationship as blessed by God especially in the light of Bible teaching that He saw such relationships as contrary to His will. Nevertheless she could love the daughter’s partner by seeking her best interests. It was not condoning the relationship but loving both partners in spite of the relationship. The woman told me later that she had come to experience a real love for her daughter’s partner who meant so much to her daughter and who was not trying to turn the daughter against her mother. The mother had come to know real peace in loving both parties in the relationship. But she still held to Bible teaching that such a relationship was contrary to the will of God. She had begun to pray that both her daughter and her partner might discover and walk in the will of God for them. In the words of the Lord’s Prayer she was humbly praying that God’s kingdom might come and His will be done in their lives as well as in her own.
A third reason why there appears to be a shift in the attitude towards same-sex marriage is that some gay advocates have been extremely successful in selling the concept that “being gay is normal”. Others go further and suggest that gays are born that way having a gay gene. There appears to be no medical evidence for such a concept. On the other hand there are thousands of those who once embraced the gay lifestyle believing they were gay, who have turned their backs on that lifestyle and embraced heterosexual marriage. Others have chosen chastity until they meet a life-partner of the opposite sex. The trouble is that evidence to show this change is usually ignored or suppressed. Those who seek to give testimony as to the change in their sexual orientation are often shouted down or persecuted. In recent days there has been a disturbing trend towards silencing those who have asked for and received counselling to be successfully set free from their homosexual life-styles. Their vocal opponents believe it is not possible to change, so they feel they must silence those who say they were changed. Because of this some have coined a new word “homo-fascist” to describe those who seek as one writer put it, to demonize, marginalize, and silence any criticism of or opposition to homosexual acts. It is sad that such terms as homophobe and homofascist have come into our vocabulary. Sad too that we can’t listen to each other without calling each other names or trying to ridicule or silence each other’s views.
As we discuss this whole topic we must never forget that the Creator who created all things and all people knows everything about human nature and what makes us what we are. He has revealed His will about sex and family life. He still declares same-sex activity as abhorrent in His sight. My very deep concern in all this lies in the fact that marriage and family life have always been the mainstay of society (even though some families have not been open to His guidance and love). Any attempt to overturn God’s plan for His world by redefining marriage to be something it was never meant to be, will have disastrous consequences. It will open the way to a push to have other sorts of relationships recognised which are far removed from the plan of God. In Australia we already have those who are pushing for relationships such as polyamory (the practice of having more than one open romantic relationship at a time). It could even lead to anarchy when people who have turned their backs on God and His laws and human laws based on His laws, feel no responsibility towards anyone else. They live only for themselves using others for their own advantage. This is the very antithesis of marriage as God planned it where a man and a woman come together in love in marriage and bring up their children in safety, security and in self-giving love. Marriage cannot be redefined. If it is, the cohesion of society will be damaged beyond repair. It will need a later generation to recognise they are creatures of a Creator and submit to His will in all things, especially marriage and family life as He intended.
Blog No.119. Jim Holbeck. Posted Sunday 14th April 2013.