What Is "Marriage"?

I have been contemplating posting on this subject for some time, but with the recent events here in Arkansas, I will risk the label of “reactionary” to publish this.  One word of caution – this post is likely to be long, as there are so many factors and points to address.

#1 – What Is Marriage?

I will just jump right off on the subject.  I find it nearly impossible to grasp that in my lifetime, this is even a question being asked.  Most of us who have been alive more than a decade can recall a time when this question would have been though of as “silly”.  But the answer is far from it.

Biblically, Marriage is the form of relationship established by God between one man and one woman.  This was first exhibited in the first humans to walk the earth – Adam and Eve.  God created Adam, then seeing that it was not good for Adam to be alone, God created Eve, beginning with a rib from Adam.  Eve was created as a “helpmate” – a lifelong companion and help.  Yes, not so long thereafter, we find that Eve was far from a “help” when she chose to cooperate with the serpent in the deception, opening the floodgates of sin and corruption that we are still facing and suffering with today.  But that does not diminish the picture God put into place – His divine plan played out time and again (and has been corrupted time and again by humanity) through the ages.

Both the Old and New Testaments clearly depict God’s intent for humanity is to either live within the bonds of His definition of marriage (one man, one woman – for life Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5), or to live single and celibate (1 Corinthians 7:1-8).  He gives no other option to still be living within His will.

Marriage has never, either in biblical terms or on the so-called “laws of nature” been defined as between two of the same gender.

#2 – What’s Going On?

In the span of about a decade, a war has been launched by those choosing to live the “homosexual” lifestyle.  A war that gained a great deal of traction in a government that has thrown God out of the public realm.  As this war began heating up, several states began passing legislation, and even constitutional amendments to “protect” (maybe better – enshrine) the definition of marriage according to historical and biblical definition – one man and one woman.  Arkansas was among those states, with the legislature voting overwhelmingly for a piece of legislation, and with the voters approving a Constitutional Amendment to protect this definition.  Many felt the battle was over, but while this issue was working its way through both the legislature and to the polling place, one county in Arkansas chose to issue marriage licenses in violation of these laws – Carroll County, Arkansas (Eureka Springs).  While these “licenses” were overturned, it proved that some would not give up so easily, even in the face of overwhelming opposition by even those outside of Christianity.

Over the course of the last several years, the war has been taken up in other states where there is measurably more sympathy for homosexuality.  Even in California, a state that has long been identified as pro-homosexual, a Constitutional Amendment was passed by voters by a large margin – only to be overturned by a court.  State-by-state, courts have ignore the will of the people and the very constitutions these judges swore to uphold and protect.

And Arkansas has found itself now the center of the spotlight in the nation in the same war.  This past Friday (May 9), Circuit Judge Chris Piazza issued a ruling, right at the close of business, overturning both Arkansas’ “Marriage Protection Act” and Arkansas Constitutional Amendment 3 of 2004, based on the “Equal Protection” clause of the US Constitution.  In that ruling, we find that Judge Piazza was acting, not based upon law or the Constitution, but on a personal political agenda.  There is little other explanation on how a judge can find a Constitutional Amendment to be unconstitutional.  But the real evidence comes when one considers that the judge waited until the very last moments of business hours Friday to issue his verdict – precluding there being an appeal and a likely stay issued before the weekend.  And imagine this – but the same Carroll County Clerk was ready and waiting to be open on Saturday (outside their normal business hours) to issue a slew of “marriage licenses” to same-sex couples.  How much more blatant and obvious could the coordination be?

But what it comes down to – Marriage is being redefined daily.  The Word of God is being further thrown out, and this nation will pay a high price.

#3 – How Did We Get Here?

This is the “Million Dollar Question”, and yet when we begin to take an honest (and not very popular) look, we will find that we shouldn’t’ be so surprised by the events of the last decades.

You see – the war on marriage has been going on since the very first couple in the Garden of Eden.  As I mentioned earlier, Even willingly participated in the corruption Satan plotted to insert into creation.

Then, as the biblical record unfolds, we find that even among many of God’s chosen people and leaders – they stretched and adulterated God’s definition of marriage – through polygamy, adultery, and the failure to live as God called them to live.

God gave Moses instructions in dealing with those who wished to “put away” their wives – not because God condoned divorce, but because He fully knew that corrupt and sinful man would mess up anyway, so He gave some very specific guidelines for divorce (Deuteronomy 24:1-4).  Jesus addressed divorce in somewhat stronger language in Matthew 5:31-32.  Indeed, this latter reference is the one most troublesome in the current war on marriage.

You see – Christianity, while not the only voice in favor of natural marriage (one man + one woman), has long been the most influential voice in moral issues for this nation.  Yet what have we made Marriage?  Divorce among professed Christians is the same as those outside the church.  Entire denominations have accepted divorce as the “norm”.  Right along with that – both by Jesus definition of adultery, and in literal adultery, “the church” has been relatively silent.  We have condoned adultery and divorce as somehow morally acceptable (moral relativism), but have even encouraged it – providing excuse and soft talk to justify it.

Then, to further muddy the waters, how many local churches have members or the families of those members, who live together outside of wedlock?  They “enjoy the physical rewards” without the legal or moral commitment of marriage.  Generations now have been raised in such conditions – and we wonder why each subsequent group grows more sympathetic and even approving of cohabitation and by extension – the redefinition of marriage.

The sad and hard fact we must face – because the church has failed to live as the church – as the “Christ” we love to claim – because we have failed to “keep His commands”.  Because we ourselves have failed to give evidence of a greater Hope in Christ Jesus – our influence and our voice has been muffled and even silenced.

And this doesn’t even begin to touch on the related issue of unregenerate church membership (a whole other future blog post).

We have as much brought the current destruction of marriage on ourselves as those promoting homosexuality have inflicted.  And the unfortunate reality is – we have cornered ourselves into a reactionary position.  Now, when we speak out against homosexuality and the forcing of it as acceptable and to be supported by all – it sounds as if we have some kind of irrational hate to spew because we are focusing on the one issue at hand. We are in a difficult position.

#4 – So Now What?

The reality is – unless we, as born-again Christians wake up and return to God’s Way – to the “Commands of Christ”, we are going to accomplish little.  What it will take to change the course of events in this nation is a genuine revival.  Not a superficial “back to church Sunday” kind of revival, but a genuine revival, empowered by the Holy Spirit that spreads like wildfire.  But where does God’s Word say revival must begin?  It must begin where judgment begins (1 Peter 4:17) – in the “household of God”.  We who have received the Truth must LIVE according to that truth.  Recall the old saying – “your actions speak louder than words”?  If we speak the Truth, but fail to live lives reflecting the Truth – then we are no better than they hypocritical “do as I say, not as I do”.  If we want to see marriage respected as God intended it, we ourselves must respect it.  As long as self-identified Christians continue to make a mockery of marriage – the world will think no higher of it.

This does not mean we should remain quiet and by said silence, condone the current assault on marriage.  But it does mean we must remove the motes from our own eyes before we begin digging out the splinters in the rest of the world’s eyes.

If we are not willing to clean out our own spiritual house, then we have no right to try to clean out the rest of this nation’s moral failings.  In this flesh, we are not perfect, but that is no excuse to live willfully in sin.

The truth is – no-one will ever find genuine happiness and contentment engaged in the homosexual lifestyle, regardless of any legal recognition or mandates by a court.  Just as those who willingly engage in any sinful behavior never find genuine joy.  The only try joy and fulfillment in this life comes through a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.  Whether it be homosexuality (and all forms of sexual immorality), adultery, idolatry, pride, or any other chosen sin – we must be willing to shun it all.  We must fight against ALL sin, beginning with ourselves, our households, and in our local churches.  If we fail in this – then we WILL fail to see a moral (and spiritual) revival in this land.

And eventually – we will incur the judgment and wrath of a Holy and Righteous God.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s