This is not going to be easy.
Writing about this topic was not really in the plans (as if there were plans). I recently received notice that a bill to legalize same-sex marriages in Illinois was on the floor in Springfield. I shared this with some friends, to keep them informed and I received a response from a good friend of mine. He was curious why I wasn’t loving homosexuals.
So, that’s when it gets interesting. I’m not sure if anyone will ever read this, but I figure that this is a topic that can get blown out of proportion and heated, very quickly. That is not my hope, but a likely conclusion.
My disclaimer is this: As a follower of Christ, I must apologize on behalf of others who also claim the title “Christian” and then regularly go about openly hating other people, of all shapes, sizes, colors, ethnicities, sexual orientations… heck! even other Christians. The truth is this: Christ exemplified love and someone who goes by the name “Christian” should be about love as well, or else they are a false witness of who Christ really is. That’s my disclaimer.
From here, I’d like to briefly explain myself. I don’t expect to be agreed with, but I hope to find civil discussion, challenge and be challenged in this. Can we agree on that?
At the most basic, static, neutral level, this is true: men are anatomically created to procreate with women. All we all in agreement on this? I’m really not trying to be trite, but this is something to remember. And at the very least, we must see that there is biological reasoning for the idea of “one man and one woman”. The “one” part could really help with the whole AIDS issue, couldn’t it? I mean, it would be a lot harder for the disease to spread if people were faithful to each other. But that’s another topic, for another time.
The idea of “marriage” is something that is currently changing, or completing a change, in our society. Historically speaking, marriage was only something that is necessary if you were part of a religious congregation. I have friends who never intend to get married because they don’t believe in God and don’t see a need for it. I love them. I’m okay with them. Sure, I think that there is a way that is different that would be more fulfilling and that offers eternal life, but I don’t stop loving them because I disagree. Likewise, I have friends who have a same-sex attraction; I love them, even though I believe there is a better way. That’s their prerogative and my belief colliding… but not a lack of love.
When we take a concept of “marriage” and change the whole definition of the word, which has historically been defined as a union between a man and a woman for the purpose of procreation and lifelong commitment to one another, the game changes. The word changes. When a word like this changes, it calls to question everything that it pertains to. We are now taking something that exists, picking it up and turning it from side to side and saying, “what is it?” The reality is that marriage is still a union between a man and a woman. A man who is in love with a man, is just that, “a man in love with a man”. If we want to make a name for that, we can. But to redefine “marriage” is big thing, and it changes all that currently exists in regards to marriage.
This feels muddy, so let me try to explain. If I enjoy politics, that makes me one who enjoys politics, and not a “politician.” Correct? If I start passing laws because I am a self-declared “politician”, should anyone listen?
Or if I feel that someone is driving poorly and I wish to pull them over and write them a ticket, does that make me a police officer? No. It really doesn’t. And doing so will land me in jail with a sweet fine tacked on as well, for impersonating a police officer.
So, does a woman who is in love with another woman make her “married”? If she wants to be publicly recognized as having promised herself to her lover, is that wrong? No. I don’t think so. But I don’t think we should define it the same as we do for a man who wants to be recognized for having promised himself to a woman. I think it deserves a different definition and different permissions. I disagree with redefining such a fundamental concept within our society.
Christians, love. Love one another, love your neighbor, love your enemy. Love your wives and husbands and love those who have a safe sex attraction. But protect concepts such as “marriage”. Protect concepts such as “life”. When words loose their meanings, we lose our concept of truth and reality. Everything then becomes casual, meaningless, and surrounded by apathy. We become a culture that says, “Who cares? About you, me or anything?”
Our society is well on our way to this destination. In my short lifetime, I’ve noticed the swing. We became the “Whatever!” generation during the 90’s. Then we got a kick out of saying “It is what it is” during the first decade of the 21st century (This one always got me. I’m convinced that no one really knows what “it is” anymore, so that whole phrase is absolutely devoid of meaning). And as we continue as a society, we are becoming a body of people who don’t care, don’t know and don’t want to care or know.
This may seem like a tangent, but I believe that our hold to words and definitions will be something that saves or defeats us. In particular, “marriage” being a union established for lifelong commitment, procreation of future generations, and benefit to society.
Summary: “Christians” should love people. Men and women are anatomically made for one another. Words are worth defending. “Marriage” is a word that should be protected as currently and historically understood.
I’d like to end with a quote from Ravi Zacharias:
Being spiritually minded was okay as long as people kept their spiritual beliefs private and did not bring them into the public arena. The irony of this was the fact secularization — which had its assumptions on absolutes and anything of the metaphysical nature — was allowed into the public place. In fact, its very trust was to bring it into the public place. But anyone who believed in a spiritual Essence, an Ultimate Reality, and the fact there were transcendent absolutes that needed to be adhered to was told to keep those beliefs private. That ultimately paved the way for the loss of meaning.
These three moods — secularization, pluralization, and privatization — brought about loss of shame, loss of reason, and loss of meaning. How was this authoritatively pontificated in the social strain? This is when philosophy stepped in, the moralizers against morality came in, and political correctness came in. These gave society some parameters that allowed it to expel the moralizing from outside the secular realm.
As a result, everything became pragmatic. Philosophers and naturalists stepped in. In this new century, we have lost all definitions of what it means to be human, and what sexuality, life, and the home are all about. We are on the high seas, battling the storms of conflicting worldviews without a compass.