Homosexual Marriage

gay marriage

The summer of 2012 I wrote here concerning the dangers facing “traditional” marriage in the United States.  This past week the US Supreme Court, at the direction of the Obama Administration, took up the issue of whether or not marriage can be defined as between one man and one woman.  Even political conservatives, like Rush Limbaugh, are admitting the Court is likely to strike down “traditional marriage.”  In other words, any day now, homosexual marriage will be the law of the land.  Twenty years ago, the Clinton Administration told us this day would never come; now it is here.

US federal and state authorities will begin defining marriage by various measures and means.  Homosexual marriage is just the beginning.  Soon multiple partners will be permitted, as a Georgia court recently recognized 2 lesbians and 1 homosexual man as joint parents of a child.  Adults marrying children will be allowed, as it is in some Muslim nations.  People marrying their pets will be okay; here’s a website that offers advice on how to do it (http://www.pleated-jeans.com/2010/07/06/how-to-marry-your-pet/) or just do an internet search for “Marry my pet” and see what you get!

Within a few years, pastors will be required to perform these weddings.  You doubt it, but consider what’s happened with healthcare since 2010.  Private companies and religious institutions are required to violate their religious beliefs and pay for birth control and abortions.  Private individuals are being forced by law and the courts to support homosexual marriage already.  Ministers of the Gospel will be forced to perform homosexual marriages or face civil rights violations.

This predicament is the result of churches and pastors giving government the right to control marriage.  It was decided decades ago that marriage has everything to do with a “license” from the government.  But from the Biblical perspective, does purchasing a license from a bureaucrat and standing in front of a captain, a clergy-person, a judge, or an Elvis impersonator make a marriage?  Not in God’s eyes!  If marriage is a relationship ordained by God, only God can create a marriage.  It is then the responsibility of the Church to recognize what God has joined together (Matt 19:6; Mark 10:9). Government can create civil-unions, but not marriages. Churches do not create marriages, but the Church can recognize marriages.

Dog licenses and driver licenses don’t make you better citizens, pet owners, or drivers.  In fact, you can order a dog license from my county of residence online for a small fee … without even owning a dog.  In the same way, a government issued marriage license (also available on-line) does not make a better spouse.

In Oregon, anyone can perform a wedding ceremony, as long as the individual lists his or her contact information on the license.  Anyone can pick up a marriage license for $60 – without identification  – as long as two parties are present to sign for it.  You will be required to provide a Social Security Number for statistical reasons, but do not need to prove the number is yours.

What are we, as followers of Christ, to do?  If you are a pastor, a minister of the Gospel of Jesus, a church leader, or concerned Christian, what should be our next steps?

(1) We must discover from Scripture what God says constitutes a marriage and then teach it to our congregations.

(2) We must be prepared to recognize God-ordained marriages – whether there is a government-issued license or not.

(3) We must consider the consequences of performing or not performing civil unions and government-recognized marriages.

(4) We must make our commitment to Christ and His Word our priority, not politics or popular acceptability.  Churchianity must go; Biblical Christianity must rise.

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About Richard L Rice

Just an ordinary, balding, blind guy, making my way to Heaven by grace through faith in Jesus. Richard has been an ordained minister since 1986, and pastored 6 churches. A graduate of Multnomah School of the Bible (Portland, OR) and Abilene Bible Seminary (Abilene, KS), Dr Rice is the author of numerous books, including a commentaries on Matthew, Romans, and the Pastoral Epistles of Paul. He is the pastor of a congregation in Portland, Oregon, and serves on the faculty of the Berean School of Ministry in Tala, Kenya. He lives outside of Portland, Oregon with his wife Kimberly and son Daniel. Further details about him can be found written on the pages of his blog.
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5 Responses to Homosexual Marriage

  1. Noel says:

    Honestly, I don’t think there is a stop to it. These radical changes will continue to occur, no matter what the churches do. Churches have allowed this to happen, so there is no turning back. But I also ask myself, why concentrate so much energy and efforts on reversing the unavoidable evolution of society regarding marriage, when we still have the problem of hunger, injustice, poverty, war, illnesses, etc. in this world? This is the mistake that religious organizations have done. They have focused so much on “civil rights” that they have forgotten “human rights”. The churches have been distracted with the less important, while the “least of these” continue to suffer. I sincerely think that Jesus would rebuke all of these hypocritical “Christians” that claim to work for God’s vision, while ignoring God’s children. Jesus continues to be naked, hungry, sick, lonely, thirsty, right below our noses. But we are too busy looking up to the sky and asking for God to change the hearts of our government officials so that a man is not allowed to marry another man. Pitiful.

    • You’re so right. There is no way to stop the quick moral slide. Like an avalanche, once it begins, there’s no turning it back.

      There are many issues for the people of God. First is the preaching of the Gospel of salvation in Jesus. Every other issue is a sub-category; realizing that moral issues stem from the heart. Child prostitution, elder abuse, the slave trade, homosexual marriage are all moral issues with physical symptoms. If we only address the physical signs, we lose the battle. We can put a band-aid on a heart attack, but without addressing the heart it’s still a lost cause.

      The Church has surrendered too many issues to the government or private business to handle. Until the Church re-discovers it’s Biblical purpose, it will cease to have an impact on society as a whole.

  2. isaiah43123 says:

    This, same-sex marriage, was the prevailing topic at my Christian writer’s group meeting last week. What is the reason for the silence of Christians across this country? What will it take to wake this sleeping giant to be the driving force in leading those who are spiritually thirsty and hungry to the only One capable of satisfying?
    Keep the Faith!

    • The Church has forgotten it’s purpose for existence. It’s become sidelined into many different fronts.

      Ephesians, which is Paul’s exposition of the Church, explains: Unto Him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus (Eph 3:21). When we fail to make the glory of God our overriding purpose, we lose our reason for being. The Church becomes Churchianity instead of Christianity.

      I saw a sign last week for a local church having an Easter egg hunt. The website for this 3-campus congregation was replete with activities, but there was zero, zip, nada mention of “Jesus” or the purpose of manifesting the glory of God. It had everything to offer – except the Saviour.

      The local church must determine to manifest the glory of God through the preaching of the Word – then the Spirit, working through the preaching of the Scriptures, will motivate believers to awaken.

      We need another Reformation if we are to have an impact on the world around us. We must have a Biblical and well-reasoned answer for the hope that lies within us.

  3. Pingback: When a Volcano Erupts | CHALLENGING CHURCHIANITY

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