Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Many of my evangelical Christian friends are concerned about what is termed “gay marriage.” They feel that one of the requirements of a person running for office is his or her stand on this issue. It is seen by them as one of the two defining issues of our day. While I am sympathetic with their views I am not in total agreement.

California recently voted for an amendment denying gay marriage. I’m not sure just how this was worded on their ballot, but I am reasonably certain that it was not, as the media reported a “ban on gay marriage.” How can something be banned which does not exist? That would be like banning unicorns or space aliens.

Webster’s 10th Collegiate Dictionary defines marriage as 1. a: the state of being married; b: the mutual relation of husband and wife: wedlock; c: the institution whereby men and women are joined in a special kind of social and legal dependence for the purpose of founding and maintaining a family.

There are other definitions, some of which give marriage metaphorical implications. But nowhere do we find any hint that it could be the union of two persons of the same sex.

For most of us our definition of marriage, while in agreement with Mr. Webster, actually goes back to the first book of the Bible.

“For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall be joined to his wife and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24; quoted by Jesus in Matthew 19:5 and Mark 10:7, 8).

So how can the marriage of two persons of the same sex be “banned”? It does not exist.

When I lived in Texas this issue came up as an amendment defining (if I recall correctly) marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

When I voted for this amendment I voted not out of a fear of or hatred of homosexuals. I voted for it because I oppose redefining marriage as something it is not. To me it was and is an issue of Truth. We cannot make words mean whatever we desire them to mean, like some character out of Lewis Carroll:

“’When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more or less’” (Through the Looking-Glass}.

“What I tell you three times is true” (The Hunting of the Snark).

The Bible throughout condemns homosexual behavior as sin (see THE CHURCH AND HOMOSEXUALITY). But I don’t share the fears and concerns of many of my fellow evangelicals. I do not believe that today’s promotion of homosexuality is, as many claim, a threat to the family. I believe it is symptomatic of a sexual revolution that has permeated our culture.

Today we are totally saturated with sex. All we need to do is turn on our television sets. Illicit sex is the norm (and I’m not talking about what is called pornography). And we Christians – and our families – soak it up.

As for the destruction of our families that the so-called gay agenda will bring about, perhaps we have not noticed that our families are already being destroyed – and usually by heterosexual misbehavior.

All we need to do is look at the statistics: the divorce rate, the number of spouses cheating, the teenage pregnancy rate, the number of children conceived and born out of wedlock. I won’t bother to look up the figures. Most of us have seen some of them and besides they’re always changing anyway.

And the really sad fact is that these statistics are nearly the same for Christians as for the population in general.

Is a political solution even possible? Perhaps as a sort of holding action, but only temporarily. There are, however, “solutions” to the problem.

We need to recognize the false thinking of our culture and resist it. “ ... stop being conformed to this age” (Romans 12:2).

We need to be “ ... renewing our mind” (Romans 12:2). This involves biblical thinking. It means that we must make a major shift in both how we think and what we think about.

And this should lead to our being “transformed,” brought more into conformity with Christ.

We cannot expect those around us to behave. That’s not our responsibility. Our responsibility is to live sexually pure lives ourselves and to offer the grace of God in Christ to those who do not.
Revised (7/1/2015):  While I still believe that a biblical marriage is between one man and one woman (See:  MARRIAGE, AN EVER CHANGING UNION?), I recognize that current thinking accepts gay marriage.  Webster's 11th adds it to its definition.  I would not today vote against it.  I accept that there are certain rights and responsibilities associated with marriage and would not seek to deny them to any.


Dennis Cook said...

Bill, very interesting angle to take on this issue. I totally agree but do wonder what it would take to get the definition changed so that it says “Marriage is a union between two loving persons” or even “things”? Is that not just what the gay community is trying to do?

Bill Ball said...

I can imagine a time in the not too distant future when that definition will appear in Webster's and other dictionaries. However truth is not determined by Webster's .The Scripture is our source for this truth.

Gorio said...

I dont know why the so called Christian community is upset at marriage. We didnt get a chance to vote of your marriage. I do not want to be married in your "church". I only want civil marriage.
As an American, I believe in freedom of reilgion, I really dont belive in your view of christianity. Not with people like thrice married adultor Newt Gingrich telling me that he doesnt belive in gay marriage.
Marriage contract would be between two people who can sign a contract (like in Canada) not things.
Why do you so called christians thing that two 17 year old muslims that are married from Saudi Arabia ( with no formal cotnract, they say a vow to each other) have more rights in this country than two red blooded Americans that have been together for 21 years!!!!