Christians Cannot and Must Not Support Same-Sex Marriage
Earlier this week, 47 Republicans snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by voting for the “Respect for Marriage Act,” which disrespects marriage, sits in judgement on it, and totally overturns it. If passed by the Senate and signed into law, the bill would codify same-sex marriage into federal law.
Amid a “red wave” midterm election cycle, and after the most successful Supreme Court term in living memory, including the long-sought-after overturning of Roe v. Wade, many Republicans seemingly feel a sudden urge to apologize for the victories by abandoning every conservative principle and give Democrats everything they want.
Everyone knows that the bill is about codifying same-sex marriage. Some Republicans were cowed by other provisions, such as a protection for interracial marriage, but even pretending to join the issues is silly. As Andrew Walker and Carl Trueman have argued, “interracial marriage is not like same-sex marriage in any respects. Interracial marriage possesses the attributes necessary to form a marriage — maleness and femaleness. Same-sex ones do not. Skin color is utterly irrelevant to one’s ability to form a marriage, whereas sex is essential.”
Virgil Walker of G3 Ministries suggests not even engaging. “Race is a social construct created by men,” he said. “Scripture is clear in Acts 17:26 that God made from one man every nation. … If we stand on the truths of Scripture, we don’t have to get sucked into these rabbit trails that would take us down in a direction that absolutely is meaningless.”
The real purpose of the bill, said FRC president and host of “Washington Watch” Tony Perkins, was “to drive a wedge between Republicans and their core constituency” — social conservatives. Turncoat Republicans have attempted to justify their abandonment of social conservatives and conservative values by their personal connection to someone who identifies as gay, lesbian, or other. “A lot of the conversations we’ve heard,” Perkins explained, amount to “you know, ‘I’ve got a gay brother, or this or that, and so I didn’t want to offend anyone.’”
That line of argument isn’t worthy of the name because it doesn’t base itself in objective truth. “Every hero that we look at in history … stood for something … not on the basis of some emotional appeal, but they did so on the basis of objective truth,” argued Walker, who joined Perkins to explain how a biblical worldview is fundamentally incompatible with support for same-sex marriage.
“For those who may think, ‘Oh, this guy’s an evangelical; he doesn’t know anything about homosexuality, doesn’t encounter our culture much,’” Walker explained how he understands the anguish better than most. “My brother struggled with homosexuality all his life,” he said. “In fact, [he] would contract HIV, and then full-blown AIDS, and then pass away as a result of complications due to AIDS. We watched … his whole life unfold in such a way where he would ignore God and [do] the wrong thing.”
Walker explained that the way their family loved his brother was by not compromising the truth. “We maintained fidelity to the truth of the message of the gospel. We loved him, but we weren’t going to change our position just because of the behavior that he was exhibiting,” Walker continued.
“He would rather hear something to make him feel good for the moment. By being truth and by loving him you faced rejection,” responded Perkins. “True love, real love, speaks truth.”
Telling the truth bears good fruit. “As a result,” explained Walker, “toward the end of his life, I’m pleased to say that he would come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.” Sadly, Walker’s brother died before he was reunited in Christ with his family. But, Walker added, “I have a hope, Tony, that I’ll see my brother one day again in heaven.”
Walker explained three factors that sap the courage of Christians and politicians on the definition of marriage. First, “there’s a number of folks who are just afraid. … They’ve sworn off saying anything.” Second, “many evangelicals have embraced the idea that [opposing] same-sex marriage … requires them to reject the person, rather than simply rejecting the behavior.” They’ve mixed up their doctrines about marriage and the image of God. Third, “pastors are not doing what they need to do in the pulpits.” They’re preaching shorter messages, and “embracing more of a TED talk model” than preaching in a way that will ground their flocks in biblical truth.
Perkins agreed that Christians have “conflated love with affirmation” so that “in order to express love for someone we have to affirm the choices that they have made.” This idea comes from the culture, not the Bible. Walker said lesbian and gay activists have relied heavily on this rhetoric. “Initially the message was, ‘I was born this way. So if you reject my behavior, then you’re rejecting how God made me.’” Ironically, the transgender ideology flips the script.
In response to this mental confusion, Walker said we need to separate two ideas. On the one hand, someone’s value and dignity “is an issue of the doctrine of man. You’re an image bearer of God.” On the other hand, someone’s choice to rebel against God’s law “is an issue of sin. This is behavior that does not please God.” Once separated, it’s then safe to combine them. “I can still love you while rejecting the sinful behavior.” After all, that’s how God has treated us.
But the courage to do so is rare among Christians today. “Rather than being martyred, we’re concerned about Facebook likes,” Walker lamented. “We’ve got milquetoast preachers preaching milquetoast sermons to milquetoast believers in the pew. And so we shouldn’t then at all be surprised … that our response to any pushback in the culture is a milquetoast response.”
Perkins agreed, “We’re flabby, out-of-shape Christians that can’t take up our cross and follow Jesus because we can’t even pick it up. We can’t get off the couch.” Here’s the bottom line: “We want to be like Christ. But Jesus offended people. … He came as an expression of love to save us from our sins, not to affirm us,” Perkins argued. “The truth offends, yeah. But the truth is also what sets us free.”
To imitate Christ, “we have to know Scripture,” Perkins concluded. “We’ve got to be reading it. We have to be in churches that are preaching it and showing how to apply it to the world in which we live.”
Imagine if Walker’s brother had never been confronted about his life of sin, and never heard the message of repentance? Walker summarized, “If we abandon truth, there will be no hope for us. There won’t be any opportunity to see God do a work in the life of the individual if we abandon truth. They’ll be lost, not just in the here and now, but for eternity.”
Joshua Arnold is a staff writer at The Washington Stand.