Who Will Stand For Marriage?
The greater something is, the greater the chance that it will come under attack. One of the greatest gifts of God to mankind is the holy institution of marriage. No wonder it is therefore under attack from every quarter. And the long war against marriage is simply part of the long war against God.
Today especially there are plenty of activist groups out there seeking to destroy marriage and family, chief of which being the radical homosexual lobby. But it is sadly true of course that we have done a pretty lousy job of preserving marriage ourselves.
Indeed, with easy divorce, rampant adultery and fornication, widespread promiscuity and debauched hedonism the norm throughout the West, we have done a pretty good job of making a mess out of marriage as well. Thus heterosexuals have a lot to answer for, and Christians especially need to do some heavy repenting here.
But still, when activist groups are telling us that they want to destroy marriage, we really need to pay attention to them, and act accordingly. And as my books and articles have demonstrated over the years, there are many such forthright activists. As but one example, lesbian journalist Masha Gessen is quite candid about what her side has in mind here:
It’s a no-brainer that (homosexual activists) should have the right to marry, but I also think equally that it’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist. …(F)ighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we are going to do with marriage when we get there — because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change, and that is a lie.
The institution of marriage is going to change, and it should change. And again, I don’t think it should exist. And I don’t like taking part in creating fictions about my life. That’s sort of not what I had in mind when I came out thirty years ago.
I have three kids who have five parents, more or less, and I don’t see why they shouldn’t have five parents legally… I met my new partner, and she had just had a baby, and that baby’s biological father is my brother, and my daughter’s biological father is a man who lives in Russia, and my adopted son also considers him his father. So the five parents break down into two groups of three… And really, I would like to live in a legal system that is capable of reflecting that reality, and I don’t think that’s compatible with the institution of marriage.
In the light of all this, where is the church of Jesus Christ? Why are there not more Christian leaders speaking out about this and taking a stand? Why are most pulpits stone-cold silent about all the pressing social and moral issues of the day, such as the assault on marriage, the war on the unborn, and so on?
Some leaders are taking a stand, but far too few. Consider one US-based initiative:
Declaring that “God will not be mocked,” the American Pastors Network (APN) is calling upon clergy to preach in support of traditional marriage on Sunday, June 1st, in response to recent court rulings that overturned same-sex marriage bans in Oregon and Pennsylvania. “This flagrant and arrogant attack on God-ordained marriage and on the freedom of all Americans demands a response,” APN said in a press release Tuesday denouncing the rulings. Sam Rohrer, APN’s president and a former Pennsylvania state representative, urged pastors and other Americans to support traditional marriage, telling CNSNews.com that they have the “duty and…responsibility to teach their people about civic freedom…as well as the spiritual…as our founding pastors did in this country.”
Another initiative in the US is the 2014 March for Marriage in Washington DC. This is actually the 2nd Annual March for Marriage, and is now a very important event on the pro-faith and pro-family calendar. Please plan to attend. You can see more details about this key event here: https://www.marriagemarch.org/
Finally, one small but brave band of resistance fighters have been taking on the gaystapo for years in the US state of Massachusetts. MassResistance is now a veteran fighting unit, doing great things to protect marriage and to resist the homosexualist vandals.
One recent article describes the work of these brave troopers, and how they are now helping pro-marriage forces around the globe to grow some backbone and to resist the activists. The article begins:
The few workaholics at the pro-family MassResistance long have been fighting for traditional values, parental involvement in schools, and responsible education system decisions. Until now, they’ve focused much of their attention on Massachusetts, which has provided no lack of work. But now their outreach is touching those who want to pull the reins on “gay-straight” clubs, promotions of books like “King and King” to children, and other components of a strategy pursued by homosexuals to make those lifestyle choices mainstream in Estonia. And Hong Kong. And Finland. And more.
The organization created a straightforward video presentation a few months ago simply describing the changes in their state because of the advance of homosexual “marriage” and more. For example, people getting fired for their personal beliefs about lifestyle choices. Or that lawyers can fail their bar exam if they don’t know the proper way to deal with “gay marriage,” and its inevitable breakup. Or that the taxpayers, through their state and local health departments, are teaching children “how to perform sex acts on other males” and giving them a list of “bars in Boston where men can meet for anonymous sex.”
And taxpayers are distributing the “black book.” Word started spreading. Officials with Mass Resistance soon were contacted by activists in Australia, and now the group’s report is being produced on a DVD in order to provide to churches and other organizations trying to enlighten the nation about the impact of making the lifestyle choice mainstream.
So in the US some activities are taking place, some leaders are waking up to the war we are in, and some resistance is being raised against the militants. But when I look around a place like Australia I wonder where all the leaders are. Where are the brave Christian men and women who are taking a stand here?
There really are very few indeed who even have a clue as to the war we are in and who are doing something about it. I salute these few great saints. But where are all the rest? Why is the church as a whole asleep here? Who will awaken God’s people from their deadly trance?
We desperately need some champions here who will stand up for God’s institutions of marriage and family. What will it take to get some Christian leaders to snap out of their slumber, put on a bit of courage, and lead God’s people in this most important of battles?
Or will the church just sleep through this revolution as well? Time will tell.
20 Replies to “Who Will Stand For Marriage?”
We do speak about this in the pulpit, often. We stress the importance of marriage, of children having a mother and father, of the truth of God’s Word. I’m sure that hundreds and thousands of pastors are doing this across Australia, the same as we are. We are using the platform that we have for proclaiming God’s truth about the family.
Of course the anti-God squad wants to defile and/or destroy the institute of marriage. Its part of the desacralisation of all things sacred. marriage is a sacrament and is symbolic of the union of Christ with the His church- the husband/bride where, just as a man and wife become one flesh through the consummation of marriage, so too the Church and Christ become one through Holy Communion. Sodomy was considered as one of the most heinous of sins in the Old and New Testaments, on a par with bestiality and represented the most extreme way of debasing the sacredness of the marriage act. So is it any wonder, the atheistic thrust to destroy God should employ the most basest of acts to destroy the institution of marriage?
We fall over backwards and pass endless laws to protect what is scared to the Aboriginal ( ancient rock-art sites etc) and for which I have no complaint and fully support, yet at the same time, those in our legislature who are the greatest supporters of such legislation (the Australian Greens) are also at the vanguard of supporting same-sex marriage. Its obvious its not the principal of protecting what is scared, but supporting the side- that of anything anti-Christian. I ask everyone to write to the Greens Senators, especially Sen, Hanson-Young, who seems to be the darling of the homosexual lobby, to consider the sacredness of marriage to the Christian with as much fervor as she supports the sacredness of Aboriginal sites in protecting them from mining interests.
The family and marriage were destroyed when
a) emminent domain replace family property rights, and
b) the state replaced the Church as the determiner of what marriage is or is not.
A most frugal expression of freedom FOR marriage! If only more Conservatives on the Tea Party side were as bold in their support for untrammelled freedom of expression, political, social and sexual!
Of course, the moral revolution that has transformed marriage in our times did not start with the demand for legal same-sex marriage. It did not begin with homosexuality at all, but with the sexual libertinism that demanded (and achieved) a separation of marriage and sex, liberating sex from the confines of marriage and moved into the backroom, the steamroom, the sordid jock changeroom – anywhere where sweaty homosexuals could parade their political “masculinity” in the most audaciously sexual form.
So sex was separated from marriage, and then sex was separated from the expectation of procreation and child-rearing except for those pedophiles from US who adopted that kid but that was a rarity and they caught anyway. Marriage was separated from sex, sex was separated from reproduction, and the revolution was launched. Adding to the speed of this revolution, then, was the advent of no-fault divorce and the transformation of marriage into a tentative and often temporary contract, and a whole lot of on-site sex parlours popping up like the proverbials – meaning suddenly the gay marriage thing was out in the open and on everyone’s lips! Next stop – “Proper” Marriage didn’t look culturally “dominant” andy more and everyone was doing it on their own rules – ie slippery slope to know knows where!
We are teaching and preaching on this through our HopeNetwork and ACC churches too and highly value such resources as these articles provide.
I think that those who say marriage is a sacrament are weakening the case for right views on marriage throughout society, whatever people’s religious beliefs or lack of them. Marriage involving one man and one woman is indeed ordained by the God who made us, and our message has to be that such a union applies to all people, and point out how natural and sensible that attitude to marriage is. We can certainly tell people that it is the Christian view, but it has generally been the view of most people groups. It has been so throughout history because it is so obvious that it is right.
It’s a bit like being against theft and murder. Most people can see that they are wrong, and sensible people can see that same-sex marriage is at least ridiculous, if not wrong, so long as they are not brain-washed by the media and other influences. By all means we must protest the rightness of the Christian attitude to marriage, but calling it a sacrament like the Lord’s Supper or baptism implies that the biblical view of marriage applies only to Christians.
Bill. Your article, like many others you regularly post raises some far larger questions about the priorities which should mark the Christian churches. Its central focus I think, especially in the USA is how to engage fully in “culture wars” and the tension created with the church’s mandate to be preoccupied with the Gospel.
Several have written about this tension and the challenge it provokes. viz; Dr Jon Zens, “A Better Society Without The Gospel”? John MacArthur on his site, and Erwin Lutzer “Why The Cross Can Do What Politics Can’t”
“There are powerful and well funded organisations from the Religious Right making skilled use of TV, radio, personal appearances….led by charismatic leaders… to use any means necessary, especially political, to arrest if not reverse America’s moral freefall. It is our Christian duty they believe, to restore our alleged “Judeo-Christian” heritage as the foundation of the nation’s culture” The same organisations and voices are also influential in the UK.
I am not disparaging their work and witness for a moment or critical of the Christians involved – their fight to often protect basic Christian civil liberties is to be applauded.
However, we need to recognise that such action is severely limited, often based on the assumption that “unregenerate sinners, the real majority in our society(s) can and will turn from their hedonistic quests to embrace and practice en masse a Mosaic code of morality”
Further: “It is only as the Holy Spirit brings men and women into the Kingdom of Jesus Christ through regeneration, repentance and belief in the gospel that we can ever expect to see a turning from this world’s idols to a willing obedience unto the living God”
MacArthur: “I hear a lot of talk about the church impacting culture…..But our goal is not to impact our culture by changing their moral values. Our goal is not to impact our culture by creating traditional values, family values through legislation or judicial process. Our goal is not to ensure that the (USA) adheres to a national policy that equates to biblical morality…. we are interested in people becoming saved”
Likewise Cliff Bjork: “Paul certainly does offer a solution to the sinner’s helpless bondage to sin, but it is not to be found in more rules and regulations or laws…..only the gospel has been divinely imbued with such transforming power.
We must return to the cross, bowing in submission to the One who was crucified on it. And until we are willing to humbly carry this cross into the world (the sole mission and mandate of the Christian church), often at great personal cost, every victory will be fleeting and superficial. We can be involved in legislation and moral crusades, but let us not think that this is the way to transform society.”
Much more in this vein could be quoted but I recommend this issue of the magazine “Searching Together” which seeks to place the “culture war” within a biblical perspective.
(ST 1999 Vol 27.) “An examination of the unbiblical cultural expectations inherent in the political activism encouraged by many of today’s Christian leaders”
Graham Wood, whilst I probably agree with you that the impact of civil action by Christians to defend a Biblically based culture is likely to have limited success, I would disagree that we should therefore not pursue civil improvement, and restoration of Biblical values.
Even for non-Christians, a Biblical world-view and Biblical values are far better than any alternative available from a man-made religion. As Puddleglum said to the Green Witch in “The Silver Chair” “my Sun may be a dream in my head, but it still beats your little light in here hollow!” (slight paraphrase).
I will probably reiterate arguments you have seen already, but here goes my logic:
a) God is the Sovereign Creator of the single entire Universe in which all mankind lives
b) He has established laws of physics etc to organise the material world, and spiritual/moral laws which govern people and their actions and reactions to external phenomena
c) it is part of the Gospel message that God is the Sovereign Creator, and “He rules by His rules, OK?”; we disregard those rules at our peril
d) the argument “Just get ’em saved” vs. “just fix society” is not “either-or” but “both-and”; those two short-cut expressions represent polar extremes on a continuum
e) the Christian gospel is one of only two faith systems which deliberately/consciously impact upon daily behaviour (the other? Islam – a heresy & spin-off from the Truth)
f) the Christian faith is the only one which avoids fatalism in the face of God’s Sovereignty, by teaching that man is significant, and that he is capable of changing things. This we see in the Incarnation – Jesus was fully God and fully Man – an integrated Person without confusion or mingling.
So I still believe that the Church needs to be woken from it’s slumber by watchmen such as Bill, Michael Brown, David Skinner, etc. and it needs to collectively take the fight back to the enemies (Enemy) of God, by the warriors they champion and encourage.
Bill, you would be pleased to learn that on Sunday in our monthly Fast and Testimony Meeting. Many of those who bore their Testimony did so on the Sanctity of Marriage between a Man and a Women and the importance of the Family Unit as an Anchor and Root in the wellness of Society.
I was heartened to hear these Testimonies and to know that we still have Members willing to stand on their beliefs. I like you Bill have no time for Weenies, Whimps, Woosies or Pansies who sit comfortably on the sidelines hoping to appease all Men with their indifference to the Moral Truths of God.
Leigh D Stebbins
Hi John. Thanks for your response but I profoundly disagree – especially with the implications of your points (B, D, and F).
“God has made laws … spiritual and moral laws which govern people and their actions and reactions to external phenomena”
Indeed he has, but we know that the moral laws God has given are the very ones which man collectively and personally cannot obey, and constantly fall short of.
As Luther had to impress upon Erasmus, and as Paul argues in Romans, there is nothing wrong or weak about God’s laws, it is man’s impotence to obey them for his WILL is in bondage to sin. Only the Gospel can deliver from that bondage.
“Just get ’em saved’ is a cliché and a caricature. Of course only God “saves” but it is through the instrumentality of the Gospel alone. Simplistic though some Christians may mistakenly believe – the message of salvation is the only one that is effective to change men/women and ultimately where powerfully presented and believed, then society itself in some measure locally is also changed in the process.
When Paul came to Corinth, the most evil culture around with homosexuality, violence, idolatry and deep moral decadence he did not preach a message of the need for ‘moral improvement’, but rather “I determined to know nothing amongst you save Jesus Christ and him crucified”.
Why? Because he knew full well that nothing less than a transformed whole personality through faith in Christ would suffice. In other words: “a new creature” (2 Cor.5:17)
Re your point (f) Yes of course man is “significant” for he is made in the image of his Creator. But that he is “capable of changing things” begs the question as to what.
As Dr. Zens puts it: “The purpose of Jesus death, burial and resurrection was not to re-model the old man but to create a “new man” where believing Jews and Gentiles would dwell together in righteousness and peace – in other words – to create an entirely new nation (Christians), the body of Christ. The Church therefore is the only community “created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do (Eph. 2:10)
Of necessity to preach a ‘social’ or ‘political’ message is to diminish the Gospel itself as being the sole instrument that Gods has ordained to effect real change.
Thus evangelism is not merely one option amongst other attractive pastimes for Christians – it is the ONLY option which fulfils Christ’s mandate “Go ye into all the world…..
preach the gospel……”
As one commentator in the USA has aptly put it: “despite thirty years of vigorous and sophisticated activism the Religious Right has failed in its mission to end abortion, eliminate pornography/ homosexuality, and restore the shattered American family and usher in a better world based on “traditional” values”
Does not that fact speak for itself?
Many libertarians are clueless too about the coercive nature of the push for SSM. On libertarianism’s relationship to SSM the gay activist Simon Copland comes out and indicts marriage altogether and at least has the insight to see capitalism and traditional marriage as two sides of the same coin. By implication then, the push for SSM is the flipside of the push for socialism/leftism that many libertarians are naive about (Ludwig von Mises was arguing this all the way back in the 20’s).
“Much of this structural oppression is imposed by the state; marriage being a perfect example. Marriage, as an institution, has not only been oppressive for women, but through social pressure promoted by a religious and state apparatus it also subtly reinforces a particular set of sexual and relationship rules.
This sort of oppression is common – from marriage and the military, to regulations about sex work and how we define our gender. It is for this reason that it is ironic that many libertarians focus their energies on marriage equality, instead of the abolition of marriage itself.”
Graham Wood, I have to disagree. The church is supposed to be different. Salt stings when it comes into contact with wounds. Real ‘seekers’ are not looking for more of the world. Real ‘seekers’ are fed up with the world and want something different. Real ‘seekers’ will recognise that God is holy. Real ‘seekers’ will not mind an unpopular, politically incorrect Gospel – in fact they will find solace in it. Real ‘seekers’ will actually need a Saviour. These people are drawn by God in response to truth. That truth must entail upholding the moral righteous standards of a Holy God. I’m sorry, but I’m more than a little sick of our puny efforts to be politically correct, cool, relevant and hip. It has come down to this: we think that the only way men are saved is by crying ‘love, love, love’ or ‘grace, grace, grace’. All the while, the angels around the throne cry ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’! Loving people to hell is not love… at all! We are brilliant at loving people to hell. I have been too brilliant at loving people to hell. Charles Finney was horrible at it! I don’t see rules, regulations and laws as the focus of Bill’s message here. What really is the central message is that the church is becoming more and more like the world. We don’t want to be seen as uncool, different and separate. Instead we want to be cool and hip – excellent sausage sizzlers and nice neighbours. “If the world hates you, remember it hated me first”. Your job, my job, our job is to shine light where darkness doesn’t want it and to apply salt where it stings. This is the ‘personal cost’ that the church is becoming less interested in. The offence of the Cross will never be promulgated by a church that is offended by the Cross.
What a great topic! WHO will stand for marriage? I do!
I stand for the permanence of marriage, Gods way, as One man with One wife for LIFE.
Yes, where are Bible based Christians to stand and be bold enough to stand up, speak up and ‘shout’ that marriage is permanent for LIFE.
Stop making excuses and exceptions, stop blaming the other person, stop having pride and a hard heart.
Where are the righteous men and women of God to share and speak Bible truth, to uphold Godly values?
Mark 10 11-12 KJV And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. 12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.
Luke 16:18 KJV Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery; and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband, committeth adultery.
Thank you Bill for standing Gods way for Covenant marriage as One man with One wife for LIFE.
Graham, I hear where you are coming from and being a long standing opponent of ‘social justice’ as the means to reach society with Jesus, agree that if we are to change the world we need to preach salvation, however it is not an ‘either/or’ argument. John the baptist seemed to have a pretty good grasp on what was spiritually important and yet he lost his life due to speaking out against Herod’s immorality. He wasn’t the only one in the NT who died standing up for holiness sake.
I see both approaches as being required, since displaying the salt and light to an immoral world is both an outward sign of our salvation, just as preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven is, and sets the playing field and standards for the world.
Marriage was undermined with no fault divorce. Al what is happen is the long slide of moral decay when man does “what is right in his own eyes”.
“Marriage was separated from sex, sex was separated from reproduction, and the revolution was launched. Adding to the speed of this revolution, then, was the advent of no-fault divorce and the transformation of marriage into a tentative and often temporary contract.. .” (Paul Mathesso ibid.).
The unimaginable has happened – when even believing Christians have often (seemingly) lost the plot when it comes to that most basic of social institutions: Marriage & family!
I (for one) will NEVER concede that the State has the right to define what “Marriage” is or is not….
You said that “Marriage involving one man and one woman … has generally been the view of most people groups … throughout history because it is so obvious that it is right.”
I would suggest another reason. It has been the view of most people throughout history because they have all had the concept and practice of marriage passed down through the generations since Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve passed it onto their children, including Seth, and Seth to his children, including Enosh, and so on to Noah, who passed it on to his children, incuding Japeth, who would have passed it to his children, including Javan, who would have passed it on to his descendants, who were probably the Greeks (Javan is the Hebrew word for Greece), and (Japeth) to Magog, who would have passed it on to his descendants, which could include the Ukranians, and so on. (See here for rationale of descendants.)
Part of what you seem to be saying is that we should not spend effort passing laws that impose Christian morality. But, if so, what does that really mean? What other morality should we pass laws on instead? Or do we have no laws?
My point is that, at some level, most laws are based on “Christian” (biblical) morality. Why are there laws against murder? Not because, as the atheists like to argue, it affects someone else (the victim), because that merely begs the question of why it’s wrong to affect someone else. It’s because we are God’s creation and although God gave us dominion over nature, He did not give us the right to take human life, except in certain circumstances such as punishment for crime. More broadly, all laws exist for moral reasons, and ultimately those morals either have their basis in God, or they are bad laws.
I also take issue with your final comment of your reply to John Angelico. Did the “Religious Right” ever have the goal to “end abortion, [and] eliminate pornography/ homosexuality”? This is the same sort of straw-man argument put by those who oppose efforts to combat the drug culture. The goal is not to eliminate those things, but to minimise or reduce them. Nobody expects that it will be humanly possible to be 100% successful at getting rid of them. So any argument based on not achieving 100% is fallacious.
The argument should be that they have failed to have any effect at all. But is that actually the case? I very much doubt it. And preventing things getting even worse could also be considered a successful outcome. Can you say for sure that this has not occurred?
Forget gay marriage: ‘Fornicators and adulterers’ in church a bigger issue, says actor Kirk Cameron, in Alabama to talk marriage
Christians should clean up their own act before condemning gay marriage, said actor Kirk Cameron, who visits Alabama this month to lead marriage seminars.
“When people get too focused on redefining marriage, you’re distracted from the bigger problem – fornicators and adulterers,” Cameron said.
“If the people sitting in the pews are fornicators and adulterers, the church will destroy marriages much more quickly than those outside the church. When God’s people mock marriage, God doesn’t take that lightly.”
Cameron declined to criticize gay marriage and same-sex unions, saying that’s not a priority.
Thanks Michael. Actually both are vitally important and both must be a priority. One might as well have argued that during WWII only Germany was a threat and a priority, and not Japan or Italy. Sorry, all threats to faith, freedom and family are important, and all must be resisted simultaneously.