Some time ago, in the beginning years of my changed life in Christ, I took it upon myself to sign up on the Rational Response Squad’s site to hold conversations with people who did not believe. This exposed me to a flood of different forms of atheists from the introverts who do not actively preach, but, instead, merely do not believe and the proselytizing atheists who ridiculously embrace the logically incoherent claim, “There is no God.” Needless to say, while life events halted my continuation of discussions there, the time that was spent doing so reaped numerous benefits in the methodology with which I address skepticism, for which I am very thankful.
Recently, due to my laziness in not stopping them, I received an email update about their blog, on which was an “Open letter to Christians against gay marriage”. Never one to shy away from something that might be challenging, I read through it and felt the need to address the essential points of the letter:
- Marriage was created by men to control women
- Marriage is now considered a formal, legal agreement
- The Biblical definition of marriage is antiquated and on equal grounds to supporting slavery
- Complaining about “gay marriage” is anti-human
- Homosexuality as caused by genetics has scientific support
- God does not exist
To start, I say to all who may count themselves among the brethren that we should feel ashamed if we should ever treat anyone with anything but love. It does not matter what the sin is, for we are all sinners, yet transformed by grace and being conformed to the likeness of the Son – that is the only difference. The reality is that we are in a fallen world and experience life, ideally, as pilgrims who are on a journey home. As such, we should live the lives we are taught and told to live.
Now, in the letter, Brian Sapient starts by claiming that marriage was created by men to control women, which was left unsubstantiated and would normally be left as mere opinion and held to be irrelevant. The history we have does reveal that, in many cases, marriage had ties with sexual desires, but the exact reasons why men and women became bound to one another does not exactly exist in worldly accounts. If we turn to the Scriptures, we get a sense as to why men and women choose to submit themselves to one spouse and, naturally, choose the opposite sex:
“The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’
Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.” (Genesis 2:18-22, NIV)
Going further, it reads (v. 24), “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”
Say what you will about your individual acceptance of the validity of the Scripture, but this does offer an explanation as to the reason why men and women through time long to bind themselves to one another. It [marriage] had little or nothing to do with control or possession of the woman, but to fulfill the inherent need for companionship. In the sections that discuss the traits and responsibilities of spouses, we see that both the man and the woman have responsibilities to each other. In the last chapter of Proverbs, for example, we read of the woman, who does so much for her family and is praised for her hard work. The husband, likewise, is seen as a respectable man who is both kind to his wife and respected in the public arena where he had his duties with the elders. Furthermore, Paul writes to husbands with the duty that they should love their wives [“just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her”] as they would love themselves (Ephesians 5:25-33). This is hardly an antiquated notion that should be abandoned.
Marriage, though, has always been something of a legal binding as well; this hasn’t really changed much, however, the legality, which recognizes the binding, is but the surface of the binding itself. Marriage is argued to be the uniting of two puzzle pieces which were cut from a whole in a manner specifically made for each other that fits according to the spiritual and physical intent of the binding itself.
The problem we have against homosexuality obviously stems from the world-view that God created man and woman to be united and multiply. Assuming that multiplying is a responsibility we are given, we conclude that homosexuality would go against the physiological purpose of the designed, human body; this is not disgraceful in the least and, if anything, is consistent with the belief itself. Through history, one can also see this lifestyle as a sign of growing decadence in a culture (think Rome before its fall). Our desire, though, as parents, soon-to-be, or hope-to-be parents is to be able to protect our children from over-exposure to growing decadence while enforcing the moral guidelines we know to be right for human life. I understand the prior comment is a point of contention, but the moral guidelines are essentially those which protect, preserve, and further human life, if we are to merely look at the worldly sense of it.
Sapient adds that there were reasons, also, to believe that homosexuality is genetic and provides a resource from which we are to be reasoned into the acceptance of such genetic inheritances (“Are We Born Gay?” by Tom Bestor). What is “shocking” is the lax of supporting resources to substantiate the claims in the article itself, but, in all fairness, the writer writes,
“Science doesn’t have ‘proof’ as to what causes left-handedness, either. Like sexuality, it is probably a combination of genetics and in utero environmental factors, reinforced in early childhood by societal norms. But it’s clear that both are most likely fixed at birth.”
This is a weak resource and in no way supports the claim that such sexual leanings are genetic. In fact, there has been no conclusive evidence, so far, that proves the link between homosexuality and genes in humans. As for homosexual actions performed in animals, one cannot say that this is necessarily part of a genetic predisposition.
I can remember my late dog, Gizmo, who, in his prime, would try to have his way with every stuffed animal in the home. It is also not unusual for people to be “assaulted” in a similar sense. If we argue for the genetic predisposition of one, it is fair to argue for the other as it is quite common in canines. More could be said on this, but I would prefer to keep it free of any more examples to fit in line with the purpose and nature of this website.
Everything in the letter is wrapped within a single point, which guides the message: “Your God does not exist.” I have addressed this logically incoherent nonsense elsewhere, so I will spare a full look at it, but it explains why the perception is that marriage’s original intent was control/possession. In fact, Nietzsche made the mistake in Chapter 14, Book One, of his classic work, The Gay Science (“Gay” being used in the original archaic sense of the word), where he argues that love itself is merely an avaricious lust for possession. The point could not be further from the truth, yet eyes fueled by a natural world-view cannot see beyond this.
We have no choice outside of living and teaching accordingly, though this is not inherently opposed to the demand to love as we have been loved first. Our disagreement and opposition is not one of hatred, but of an underlying hope that all would surrender their lives to Jesus, who suffered what He did not deserve to give a wicked people what they did not deserve: salvation and reconciliation to the Father.