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Why I Oppose Gay Marriage | Provoketive Magazine
12 Dec 2011

The Author

Alise is married to her best friend and is the mom to four incredible kids. She loves knitting, writing, playing keyboards in a cover band, and eating soup. She also loves making new friends and you can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook or at her blog. Alise is the editor of Not Alone: Stories of Living with Depression and is currently compiling stories for the book Not Afraid: Stories of Discovering Significance, both with Civitas press.


Why I Oppose Gay Marriage

Recent comments by presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann have stirred up the discussion about gay marriage once again. While speaking to a group of high school students, she said that gay people could get married, just not to someone who was the same sex. “They (same-sex couples) can marry a man if they’re a woman. Or they can marry a woman if they’re a man.”

Later she went on to add that “there are no special rights for people based upon your sex practices. There’s no special rights based upon what you do in your sex life.”

And there it is; the reason why I oppose gay marriage.

Because when we talk about gay marriage, we’re talking about the kind of sex that this couple is having.

Some will suggest that we don’t talk about straight marriage because marriage already implies that it is to be a man and a woman. But I think it’s more than that. We don’t call it straight marriage because we know that there’s far more to a marriage than what happens between the sheets.

There are the foot rubs on the couch after a hard day at work.

There are the discussions about budgets and menus and chores.

There are birthday gifts to buy, vacations to plan, family reunions to attend.

There are arguments and apologies. Good times and bad times. Births and deaths. Laughter and tears. All things that make a marriage.

None that have anything to do with sexual orientation.

When the discussion is framed in terms of gay marriage, it becomes much easier to call the more than 1100 marriage rights that you enjoy “special.” When it’s called gay marriage, it becomes much easier to see it as something deviant or frightening. When we call it gay marriage, we dehumanize the people who are getting married by stripping them down to their orientation.

So by all means, let’s all oppose gay marriage.

Instead, join me in supporting marriage equality.

  1. Oh, phew! When I first saw the headline, I was wondering if Alise had suddenly had a strange 180 turnabout on the issue! But, actually, this makes one hell of a lot of sense. These are really good thoughts – thanks for this, Alise!

    • I do love to cause terror among folks who read regularly! ;-D

      Nope, I’m still firmly LGBT affirming. Just figured it was time to talk about why I don’t ever talk about gay marriage.

  2. I too was wondering where this was going as it was easy to make an assumption based on the title 😉

    Love this, Alise. Funny that the words meant to condemn gay marriage said by Michele Bachmann, in effect have actually condoned it.

  3. I didn’t think for a second that you were opposed to marriage equality from the headline – love your work!

    I’m going to do my gay volunteering at the Salvation Army today (now, THAT stirs up contention for some people). Tonight I’m going to do some gay packing so my partner and our kids can go on a gay holiday for a few days.

    Have a gay day y’all!

    • We’re enjoyed some straight eggs and bacon for supper. Now we’re watching straight Jeopardy.

      I think those would be WAY more fun if they were gay.

  4. Great play on words and hook for your article!

    And of course, you make a strong, valid point.

    Good stuff..!

  5. I love, love, love this! I stopped calling it “gay marriage” ages ago and have long since referred to marriage equality, out of respect for the many people in my life with same-sex partners. For the same reason, I object to people referring to it as “the gay lifestyle” (what does that even mean?) and “the gay agenda.” I’m proud to live in a state where marriage equality already exists by law.

    • Yeah, I jettisoned both of those phrases a while ago. Especially “gay lifestyle.” Because seriously? That just doesn’t mean anything at all. I held onto gay marriage longer, but it’s been out for a pretty long time. Just never said anything about why I quit using it until now.

  6. I once read a tweet by Chris Coulfer (Kurt on Glee) that went something like (hugely paraphrased): “I don’t call it gay marriage. I call it marriage. I don’t park my gay car in my gay garage”

  7. Our Creator defines marriage as between a man and a woman, period: “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man [male] shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife [woman, female] and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh.” (Matthew 19:4-6)

    • Ken, just wanted to ask where the word marriage is in that statement. I’m not finding it.

      • Well, Jonathan; I’m guessing that since the context is a disccusion the Pharisees were having with Jesus re. divorcing one’s wife, we on pretty safe ground assuming we’re talking about marriage. I hope this clears the fog for you.

    • I understand that this is how you read this passage. But given that marriage has changed significantly since the time of Christ anyway (and even more from the time of Genesis), I consider those words to be more prescriptive than definitive. In other words, if you’re married, be with your spouse – put their needs first. I think this applies regardless of the sex of the people in said marriage.

      • And I understand how you read this passage as well. The covenant of marriage, as only being between a man and a woman, as described by our Creator hasn’t changed at all; because God doesn’t change. That said, no doubt culture’s ideas of marriage have most certainlychanged. I have no doubt that one day soon it’ll even completely sanction same-sex marriage. However, that will be in spite of the Word of God, not because of it.

        • In spite of the gospel Ken? Really?

          • yes, I agree with Ken. God doesn´t change even though we may from time to time but I don´t think there has ever been a time when same sex marriage existed in any legal format until these days. That strikes me as at the very least significant. But the point isn´t only this. The point is whether we understand marriage as between a man and a woman. Divorce the reproductive purpose of marriage from the relationship and you can more or less agree to anything but the unfortunate fact is that men and women have natural children that bond them, same sex partners cannot. You can find diverse ways around the problem but not naturally.

            In a liberal society such as the western world is one has to learn to live with other options but my worldview is that if samesex marriage were to become the norm it would bring about substantial changes to natural childbearing and that is the part which has the strongest argument against. Sorry folks. But there are strong and natural arguments against same sex marriages. The fact that the Bible even mentions it clearly indicates this too. I would like to hear gay christians making their point though. I haven´t heard them discussing the issue.

      • “as it was in the beginning is now and will be forever.” Humanity (being created) does not controll the creator. If he was controllable, that would be a god I would’ve t want to believe in. What we have morphed into does not translate into what god now accepts.

        Regarding the word “marriage” being biblical. Many concepts we believe to be truthful, accepted by society and happen to be biblical at the same time are not necessarily spelled out in the bible.

  8. I’d like to bring up a different, but related point.

    You started this off with a quote by Michelle Bachman and the political environment in which the discussion of “Gay” Marriage that revolves in that sphere (or marriage equality, I get the point). I’d like to question why we put marriage in the civil sphere at all? It seems to me that the most effective response to the marriage debate is to look at the history of marriage. It seems to me that institutionalizing marriage has caused many more problems than it solves. Going back to the institution of the Church of England, the interracial marriage debate in the last century in the US, and now the marriage equality debate, it seems that the debate around the legalization or the legal institution of marriage has been very damaging. Granted, with the foundation of the Church of England, there was more going into it than merely the Pope’s refusal to annul Henry’s marriage, but that was a major point. Also, it was a religious institution that was doing this, but primarily for political reasons (he was being held by the Holy Roman Emporer, uncle to Catharine – Henry’s first wife).

    Regardless, it seems completely inappropriate to me that our politicians are setting the agenda on an instution that was founded in the religious arena. Why are we resorting to political means to authorize marriage of any type. It seems to me, that for those of us who view marriage as primarily a religious institution should be boldly declaring that the government has no authority to define/restrict/promote/whatever marriage. That the Church is the only appropriate institution to define it, and thereby, that the religious institution of marriage is protected by the religious institution of the Church.

    If the government views long-term, stable relationships as healthy and beneficial to the community, then let them create a legal institution that they can protect and define, just don’t call it marriage – the term itself is and has always been too laden for politics.

    I am regularly frustrated that this is primarily a political debate. Especially because it usually turns to religious issues (as can be shown in the comment string).

    • Austin…you are among “the few, the proud”…the people who ask the RIGHT questions! Why do we put marriage in the civil sphere at all? (It originated from the ungodly marriage of Church and State and amounts to nothing more than a form of control over the way individuals “pursue happiness”). We don’t want the State meddling in our religious affairs…until it suits our desire to control others to have it that way.

  9. Hi Alise!

    This is a great write up…I do have to state that I admire your writing. I have since we have connected. However, there is a divide between us on this issue. I once held, within myself for many years, a condoning of same sex marriage – until I really started to see what God had to say about it through His Word. And considering such, I now find myself not able to condone this lifestyle in my heart.

    Boiled down…no matter how anyone tries to breakdown scripture to make it sound all inclusive…homosexuality is a sin. It’s no greater a sin than any other laid out in scripture, but nevertheless is it still a sin. And considering this, my heart can’t find it’s way to condone it…therefore, I cannot condone marriage between two people of the same sex.

    While I love and respect everyone, I can’t condone or tolerate lifestyles that are outwardly sinful. And when asked on a ballot if I support it or not, I will make my mark in a lack of support because I know how God feels about this lifestyle – and I can’t turn my heart away from God on a heart issue I know he outwardly opposes Himself. This battle can’t truly be fought in a courtroom or government body (based on the votes of the majority of the citizens who cast their votes), it can only be fought at the feet of God by approaching His throne on our knees in prayer for all our sins (homosexuality included)…therefore, leaving what we truly cannot conquer in His hands.

    Until the day comes when the truth is revealed for all of us to see with our own eyes, beyond the written word we are given today, I will love others and respect their choice to do as they will, but you better believe I am placing [even my own opinions] in His hands and praying for a change of heart for all mankind concerning the nature of sin and how it can only be fought on the battlefield of His grace.

  10. Please tell me that someone will kindly respond to Marni and wiskers. I am a former evangelical Christian, now an atheist, but support more progressive/open-minded forms of Christianity. I would love to hear the Bible’s explanation for exactly WHY homosexuality is allegedly sinful. After all, if God exists and the Bible is his word, and science and logic and regard for fellow human beings do not contradict these facts, then one would think there would be a good explanation for why two consenting adults who mutually love and commit themselves to one another is sinful. I’m sorry, but there just aren’t any explanations that cut it.

    The question about child-rearing is a slightly different matter, apart from morality, but still an inadequate reason to keep gay and lesbian folks from being able to marry. People who are attracted to the opposite sex and want to have kids will continue to do so, even if marriage equality is implemented. Given the high heterosexual divorce rate, and the massive problems with child abuse, poverty, and other problems that strike gay and straight households alike, wouldn’t you say that the most important thing would be for a child to have two parents, if possible, who can assist one another with raising the child, and teach him/her how to cope, adapt, thrive and succeed in this difficult world? Gay and lesbian couples often adopt children whose (straight) biological parents are unable or unwilling to raise them to properly. On whose side is the moral shortcoming in this scenario?

    • Arbie,

      I have but one sincere question for you…and please deeply study this question (and study the scriptures). Does God commend anywhere in scripture the man+man, or woman+woman relationship, in a sexually intimate manner…or does He condemn it?

      • I would suggest that it is simply not addressed. Reading through the Scriptures, it appears to me that the same sex sexual relationships that are condemned are those that are of an idolatrous nature (sex with prostitutes as a form of worship of false gods).

        Comparing that to a loving, monogamous relationship between two people of the same sex simply makes no sense.

        Regardless, even if one finds that it is sinful, I cannot understand how that plays into extending the legal rights to committed same sex partners that are extended to non-Christian heterosexual couples. We recognize that marriage benefits should be an option to people regardless of their faith. So while you SAY that all sins are the same, this one is clearly worse because you suggest that there should be legal ramifications accompanying this one that do not apply to other sinful couples.

        • Excellent response, Alise. In ancient Greek, no word existed in their vocabulary that referred to our modern concept of “homosexuality.” There are very few verses in the bible that even remotely try to speak to same-sex matters, and I would agree with Alise that what the biblical authors decried was, more precisely, sexual immorality–being sexually loose or, as Alise puts it, idolatrous, with whomever/whatever crosses one’s path. The Bible has lots more to say about “sinful” situations between men and women, ranging from lust to adultery to divorce, etc. (but no one today is seriously trying to criminalize these “sins”). Ancient cultures hadn’t yet formed the concept of two consenting adults of the same sex who mutually loved and committed themselves to one another as married couples do today.

          But like I said, I am an atheist (after having spent many years as a very sincere and well-meaning Christian). I understand that I have strayed onto Christian turf by finding and commenting on this site, but if you could humor me for a moment: the fact of the matter is that appealing to the authority of the Bible means nothing to me, or to other people who view it as a collection of books written and compiled by fallible men. If you really want to pull out a small, isolated handful of verses as support for labeling same-sex relationships as sinful, and you want the law to enforce those views on the rest of society, you will have to reach out further to find some kind of extra-biblical common ground with people who don’t view the Bible as an authoritative voice on matters of public policy and 21st century concerns.

          I appreciate Alise’s reply, because at least as a Christian, maybe her voice will carry beyond the reach of mine to engage her fellow believers in discussions like this. As an outsider, my perspective is usually dismissed outright, with the rationale that I have been blinded by Satan and the lure of secular society. But I think there is room for Christians to approach their own book of scripture with a more careful and critical eye, and come away with a deeper understanding that differs from traditional interpretations of the same text. With the “culture wars” raging, I do think that many people simply see what they want to see (or what others have told them is there) when reading between the lines printed in the Bible. Please, Christians who are more receptive to marriage equality and similar values: please let your voices be heard, please keep engaging with your own communities to help move us all beyond injustice and backwards thinking. As a non-believing outsider, I fear that my hands are tied.

          • This is a functional misnomer. While the words in the Greek typically refer to an older man and a younger boy, they also were applied to men of the same age in comitted relationships. Likewise, the Greeks played on the idea of female same sex unions (the Isle of Lesbos is where we get our word Lesbian from). They had these ideas and they applied them. While it is popular nowadays to read into the culture a condemnation only of the adult/child homosexual relationship, this is only possible if it is read into the scripture, rather than extracted from scripture. Likewise, looking at the Greek fails to address the Hebrew basis (OT) for the Greek usage (NT). In Leviticus, there was no pattern of adult men/boy relationships to be paralleled. From a biblical basis, the pattern of behavior has to be understood from the earlier basis rather than viewing this strictly as a Greek discussion. Remember that Paul was a Hebrew first, a Pharisee second, and a Christian Apostle third. His understanding would be derived from the Hebrew Scriptures.

            While the word used in Leviticus can be debated, the understanding is difficult to reverse. The List of sins decried in this list is all sexual sins, and homosexuality is included. The idea of homosexuality being openly allowed in the society is difficult to accept… The committed relationship is not talked of because the committed relationship is only allowed in marriage which is by implication between a man and a woman. The idea is to remove sexual sin – which includes sex outside of marriage. Since marriage is between a man and a woman (there are innumerable marriages listed in scripture and not one of them is homosexual in nature, the creation was a man and a woman, the institution of marriage is between a man and a woman – for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and they will become one flesh, the language has words for bride and groom seperate than man and woman, and they are used in complementary text – I could keep going), committed homosexual relationships cannot be called marriage in a religious sense, therefore, they still fit the category of sexual sin.

            If we as a society want to look beyond the biblical definition of marriage, I have serious issues with using the religious word marriage, or claiming that it is based off religious understandings (that is, allowed to be instituted by clergy). If this is the case, it becomes merely a legal institution, which is fine.

        • I am not understanding this legal ramifications point.

          So we should not ever legislate morality? But isn’t defining what is criminal an issue of morals in general? Where does this lead? Where does this end? So when I say murder is wrong are you going to call me religious?

          What about prostitution? Like Nevada should it be legal in all states. Then there are drugs, polygamy, and ultimately bestiality (I mean how can an animal ever give communicative consent and yet at my friends house her dog tries to hump my boots each time I am there – is that consent? Should I have at it. Am I negligent to the dogs needs? [Rather I kick her away]).

          Now drugs and prostitution in some instances benefit from it being illegal – for it keeps prices high. Honestly I have seen the destructiveness of polygamy it lessens the relationships and causes all kinds of neglect and abuse throughout the family. I have not seen anything by my own eyes in a homosexual relationship so I cannot speak to its destructiveness. But where does it end?

          If you don’t grant these and fight for these at the same time as “equal marriage” are not biased? Are you not being selfish for wanting only what you want?

          It seems to me (I am not an educated man or smart) that this is the same type of logic the Nazis used for killing gays, Jews, cripples, etc.! “We were just following our law” they would say; and in order to defend that killing GAYS was wrong the allied attorneys appealed to Natural moral law.

          Just because it is legal or illegal don’t make it write. The majority may rule but that does not mean the majority is not wrong.

        • This is where the detachment comes in…there is truly always a different lens in which to utilize to read scripture. I understand where you are coming from, Alise…I do. I used to actually believe as you do now. I have been an encouraging guest at a family member’s union many years ago (when I wasn’t a Christian, however)…and didn’t understand how God wouldn’t condone a loving union between same gender couples when He honors the man/woman union. Because love is love, right? No. It’s not. Love is objective (Christ), not subjective (prone to different lenses being use to bring about various versions of truth).

          This all goes well beyond just on the surface here that we don’t find specfic areas of scripture to address this…but we’re given enough examples of how He responds when human beings engage in same sex unions…and it isn’t the kindest of responses. This leads me to believe (based on scripture) that He looks upon sex and intimacy between humans in a very holy manner…and He created man to be with woman and woman to be with man to give us an image (an example) of the relationship we are to have with Him, and it doesn’t involve man being with man or woman being with woman.

          To address the Pagan worship that you reference as well…while it did occur frequently in scripture (the two hand in hand)…these are two very separate sins being addressed. Therefore, no…it isn’t any greater of a sin than another. Many Christians have this all twisted unfortunately…and it is time it needs to be addresssed in such a manner. But I can’t blame many for being upset, because it does violate God’s example of relationship; however, how it is being addressed is far from appropriate in my opinion. For it’s magnifying one sin to be greater than another…when in reality it is no greater than any other.

          There is a fine line being played with here when eveangelicals getting into the mox politicall. One side is addressing the holiness of the scriptures, and one is keeping it some kind of balance to make it all digestible to the world. The truth is…it doesn’t mesh. So we need to make a choice…Him or this world. Plain and simple. Not an easy choice…for this world makes it confusing…but it is one we need to make as Christians. But despite the choices we make on the level of which side we choose to be on…we really should respect one another and value others viewpoints.

          I value and appriciate yours and others in opposition to mine…for they are valid. They bring up very vital points…and this is all a journey. And the journey should prompt us to learn from one another. This however never means my viewpoints are going to change another’s…or another’s will change mine. That should never be the agenda on either side, for the only one who should always be changing us is Jesus…no one else.

  11. P.S. I also wanted to mention that huge red flags should go up any time someone says they KNOW what God thinks or how he feels about certain things, especially when it comes to making judgments about human behavior.

  12. Hi there,

    The whole debate hangs on what you personally believe in and adhere to. For some of us it is God´s Word, understood as the Bible and all that it has to say on any particular issue.

    If you are a Bible believing Christian and want to personally live your life in accordance with God´s word and the light you receive from it, then it is pretty difficult to ignore the fact that nowehere are same sex relationships actually condoned. But there are a number of passages that do condemn such relationships.

    Now, as we are not living in a closed shop society like the Israelites did, we cannot compell our view on any collective or group if their base belief is not Bible based. That is obvious. We can only pray that more and more people will come to a saving knowledge and submission to God in His Word and live in the power of the Holy Spirit. Incidentally this is the power that “empowers you” to live a life that pleases God. You cannot even hope to win over sin if you are not filled with the Spirit. That is the key and the message. Living a christian life in your own human strength is absolutely useless AND VERY FRUSTRATING TO BOOT!. You have no power to sustain victory in your own strength. For that reason ALL sin can only be defeated by living constantly under the power of the Holy Spirit. And when you do you begin to discern God´s heart on all such matters and you begin to see things from God´s point of view in a clearer way. So I say to those who are calling themselves Christians and yet indulge in same sex relationships that this is because you lack the power to win over this particular weakness. So you have to try and find a reason that condones something you can´t change in your own power. The key then is to submit to the Holy Spirit, adore Him as you do the Father and the Son and tell Him you want His infilling to win over sin and to be made more like Jesus.

    I guess some of you will think I´m mad. Believe me, I know from personal experience about this and I know it is the heart of the Gospel and the heart of God´s victory over the sin we founder in. I don´t condem anyone, I encourage you towards victory and towards hearing God´s heart on these issues. But I have yet to see any heated Christian debate about the current world economic crisis and the inmense greed we have nurtured in our midst and allowed in our society go unchecked. Comparatively speaking the effects of greed have had a much wider damaging effect than the ethical debate about same sex partnerships. My main worry is that, like the abortion debate, Christians have lost the battle, we lost it in many other areas. We are losing the battle over sin generally. The ONLY way to win is Spirit filling.

    I hope to have helped here. If I haven´t or have offended anyone the offence is only because I hold very firm views, not from personal animosity towards any of you or what you believe or do.

  13. I am a very, very, very serious student of scripture and after very, very, very much study of the few passages that address same sex relationships (studying the original contexts and original language) it is obvious that those scriptures are not referring to loving, monogamous same sex relationships and now that most Christians are aware of the error in trying to use those scriptures to condemn same sex relationships many are now trying to say that same sex relationships should be condemned because there is no scripture to condone them. I think that is a dangerous way to use scripture as a guide or authority. When I realized that scripture did not address loving, monogamous same sex relationships I had to ask myself how would God want me to proceed? – should I condemn something because it isn’t addressed? what would be the just thing to do? I came to the conclusion that it would be unjust for me to condemn anything without sufficient evidence if it doesn’t cause obvious harm to someone…. therefore, I cannot condemn same sex relationships that are loving and monogamous – and I believe it is unjust for anyone to do so based on the fact that scripture does not address the issue.

    • If sin hurts the individual, then sin always hurts someone.

  14. It’s taken me a very long to accept the idea of same sex marriage. I never felt I was bigoted, and I never minded what kind of sex two consenting adults engaged in within the privacy of their own homes. I did support civil unions with all the same rights (still not aware of the 1,000 or so I have that single folks don’t have) as marriage, but just did not want to redefine the word “marriage.” I feared that it would open the door to plural marriage. I do want equality for gays, but I wonder if those who are so strong on this issue would think me bigoted if I said I hope we can at least confine marriage to be between two people. I’ve been on some sites where you are considered bigoted if you don’t support plural marriage, and I think if we are going to make it legal for any amount of people, be they a group, a cult, or whatever can be married to each other, we might just as well toss out marriage altogether and just have legal commitments for anyone who wants to be committed to however many people they want. Like I have said many times, I do believe in equality for all, but I wonder where this is all taking us, and mainly I worry about what it will do to the strides women have made throughout the centuries. I’ve heard even some feminists say nothing’s wrong with plural marriage, that they could dig it, while some of my liberal women friends say it’s not for them, but they are okay with it for others. I believe that no matter what people say there are some basic differences with the majority of men and women and that most women favor monogamy, while most men like the idea of “severals” and if it there were no laws against it, women who want to marry would not have a very strong argument against it if their beloved wanted to bring others into their home. Not a bigot in my heart, only truly concerned.

    • I don’t know how to get a name and picture on here, but this comment was made by Buddy AKA Beverly, Alise. I was hoping to get a response to my post from someone, if not you.

      I want to add that I don’t think we Christians or any other religion have the right to make laws based on what we view as sin. My fears about plural marrage are not based on sin or if I think “severals” in a mutual sexual relationship is sinful because polygamy was practiced in biblical times, but purley as something not good for our culture and that could reduce many strides women have made. I do not see same sex marriage in the same way, as they are two people, a couple, which comes a lot closer to my view of how marriage should be and less chance for exploitation.

      I’m not sure that I buy the idea that the homosexuality “do nots” in the Bible were purely about temple prostitutes or older men with young boys, although I’ve heard that a lot. I also do not believe that the sin going on in Soddam and Gormmorah were just homosexual acts, but people wrapped up in all forms of sexuality to the point where they had forgotten lost their humanity to their own lusts. However, I believe that scripture is up for intrepertation, and I respect others to have their own views and interpretations. And my feelings about all of this aren’t really biblical anyway, but based on concerns for society and for the impact on the female sex especially.

      I am aware of different cultures both ancient and more recent, and there have been some where same sex is okay, but people married opposite sex partners to reproduce. That said, I’m not sure reproduction is a necessary function for all persons in today’s world as we are already overpopulated, and some people cannot reproduce and some choose not to. I would not base any opposition to anyone marrying based on that. In fact, it could be said that homosexuality is a built-in evolutionary response our burgeoning overpopulated world.

      With all the things we have to worry about, people without work, caused by greedy corporations moving their factories to other countries to exploit foriegners while denying their fellow Americans a way to support their families, with people dying because they cannot get health insurance or afford it, with a war going on where children and civilians are often maimed and killed by our own soldier children, with our own laziness poluting our planet, who people love and marry is the least of our problems. And that said, I think same sex marriage is way healthier than group marriage, and I do support it but hope in my heart of hearts that it doesn’t open the door for something I do not see as a good move for feminie equality which I believe would be the outcome of legiticizing plural marrage

      God bless us and help us,
      Buddy aka Beverly.

      • Okay, I think I figured out what I’ve been doing wrong here. Alise Wright’s name has been showing up under my posts. Sorry Alise, I didn’t mean to do that. I just wanted to ann another comment about biblical condemnation of same sex relations. I guess I’m still a Christian, but I know that as we learn from science, our ideas on many things change. I’m thinking that in biblical times there was a concern about the human race surviving and reproduction was the main reason for marriage. Nowadays we marry for love and other reasons as well, but not necessarily to have children. Our world is overpopulated and in addition to a lot of people having fertility problems, there does seem to be more homosexuality as well. Could this be evolutionary nature taking over to correct so that we don’t overpopulate ourselves out of existence. Just a thought.

        Buddy aks Beverly

  15. I think it sounds a bit presumptuous to say that one´s Bible study has to be considered the most serious like our friend Liz inferrs above. So I throw the glove down and ask her to show how she has come to her conclusions based on very (very, very) serious study of the Bible. I don´t wish to knock, this is an open forum of ideas and i am learning as I go along from everyone else so its the wrong scenario to push everyone against the wall and make us think our own opinion might not be as kosher as someone elses. I know Liz doesn´t say that but I suggest it would help the forum to avoid being too categorical about our opinions or be prepared to be challenged. Having said that, I am also glad that Liz seems to take this seriously and so can we benefit from what Liz has discovered please? I would really appreciate the data as this is a controversial subject and we need as much input as possible. But I would ask one thing. Please don´t keep using love as the main reason for acquiessence. God´s love is on a par with His total, out and out determination to extinguish our fallen nature. For some that may be a real shock. God´s love delays His judgement. But judgement on sin will be carried out, dare I say “whether we like it or not”, so best be sure we got our lifestyle right!

    One last comment: If I stand the risk of being called “bigoted” because I do not think same sex partnerships or relationships are allowed by God then please call me bigoted. I´d say another example of my possible “bigotry” is about abortion. Where I live I am anti abortion and that puts me in the male chauvinist bigotry crowd for the majority of my fellow countrymen and women. It doesn´t bother me. I don´t think even Hitler killed as many innocents as the democratic and “free” Western civilisation has done since abortion was legalised. Sorry to digress, it was just an example of acquiessence to fallen nature that I won´t go along with.

    • Hi Wiskers,
      Have you ever stopped to wonder if you could be wrong? Could mainstream evangelical theology be wrong? I think that it is, and quite frankly substantiate it by using the bible and the writings of the first century believers. Jesus and his followers redefined the term word of God to mean either him or the gospel. I think it was to avoid the worship of the book that evangelicals are victims of. He also gave scripture a *solely* redemptive focus that points to God’s unconditional love and grace. So then, what if the bible is not the word of God per se, and is not a rule book that God judges anyone by? What if we arrived at this error by insisting on *sola scriptural* to overthrow the bad theology of the Roman Catholic Church?

      Believe me when I say that if one spends some time in study and begins to use the hermeneutics of Jesus instead of the hermeneutics of the scribes and Pharisees one gets a very different picture. A picture where God does accept loving monogamous same sex relationships.

      Think of the thousands, perhaps millions of miserable hetrosexual marriages, that remain intact year after painful year solely based upon the misreading of the book.

      I have written 150 blog posts that if you read them over time you can see that there is some substance to what I am positing. The minute you see that I have a scriptural viable hermeneutic then your certainty is gone forever.


      • It is dangerous to say that People redefined words, and therefore, we can do the same. If the Bible is the Word of God, then the meanings intended by the original authors (or speakers if you hold to the theory that many of these were spoken at one time, and written down later) to the original audience. If we are willing to add/change the meanings of words, grammar, etc, then the Word of God changes over time. While that may be what you are intending, it is concerning to me. If the Word of God changes over time, then we end up with the possibility of Scripture saying very different things tomorrow than it did yesterday – Jesus wasn’t really God (He himself said that he was the son of God and the son of man, so clearly, he was just a man like all of us who are called sons of God), there is no afterlife (we know better now, this was merely a cultural artifact), etc.

        I think you are also mistaken in some of your details. Jesus didn’t reinterpret scripture to be SOLELY redemptive, but to be leading to the redemptive climax. He Himself said “I have not come to change the law, but to perfect it”. It’s a question of highlighting the redemptive nature of God, which only has an effect in the context of a sinful world. The 1st century Christians may have reinterpreted the word of God to apply both scripture and Christ. That’s not the same as reinterpreting marriage to apply to both heterosexual and homosexual couples (in contradiction to the Bible), or reinterpreting the words that decry homosexuality to apply only to what we currently view as clearly inappropriate homosexual relationships (men and boys or temple prostitution as have been mentioned here). It seems like we are ignoring the judging, holy, awesome God we see in the Old Testament and in Revelation (and Acts – Ananias and Sapphira had an experience with Him) who played out the drama of judgement on His son as a substitutionary sacrifice so that He could eliminate the obstacles that we have built between God and ourselves in favor of the loving self-sacrificial God who in love and mercy accepted this judgement knowing full-well what the cost would be to Himself. We are in danger of ignoring the Father because we like the Son so well. Not only that, we are ignoring the difficulties Jesus raised for his disciples to come to Him (let the dead bury the dead -you must eat my flesh and drink my blood, and it is true flesh and true blood – You will indeed suffer what I will suffer – you must daily pick up your cross and follow me).

        The Christian walk is a hard one, and will ask something of each one of us that we don’t want to give.

        As to whether my hermeneutic is wrong… It’s entirely possible. Acknowledging that doesn’t overturn my beliefs. It’s merely acknowledging the human nature of understanding. We are still responsible to come to the best conclusion that we are capable of. As Saint Anselm said so well, we are [people] of faith seeking understanding. While I might acknowledge my potential wrongness, you must also. If we disagree on a point that is not fundamental to salvation, I’ll call you brother and we’ll talk. If we still can’t come to an agreement, I’ll call you brother and I’ll go away praying for greater enlightenment for both of us so that we can continue to love and pursue God in the best way possible. If we disagree on an issue fundamental to salvation, I might not call you brother, but I’ll still talk to you. If we still don’t agree, I may call you heretic and walk away praying for greater enlightenment so that we can continue to love and pursue God in the best way possible.

        On this topic in particular, I think we have a peripheral issue that may affect core issues. The Bible must still be authoritative, or the basis for Faith is overthrown.


    • Wiskers, you said above that if you divorce reproduction from marriage, it makes it possible to agree to anything. You said that men and women can have “natural” children to cement their bond, while same-sex couples can’t. So would you suggest that couples who don’t want any children, or couples who go into marriage knowing that they don’t possess functional reproductive organs should not get married? What if couples simply fail to produce offspring? Is their marriage bond weaker? How about couples who adopt–that’s not “natural,” it’s a way around the natural reproductive process. Is the non-biological child preventing a deeper bond in the marriage? How about when one person has been married before and has kids, but the other hasn’t, and they don’t end up having kids together? Or how about the elderly, long past their reproductive years (and do NOT quote to me about the unusual late-life pregnancies in the Bible).

      I’m not going to argue about same-sex marriage with you, we would just have to agree to disagree on that one. But I do take issue with your reduction of the marriage bond to biological children.

  16. Totally agree, marriage equality, not gay marriage.

  17. Response to Joe Machuta; I respect what you are saying and if you reread my comment you will note that my mind is more open than you may think. But I can´t easily get away from Bible based discussion. You seem to suggest (and forgive me if I have misunderstood your view) that we can dispense with the Bible as the Word of God. If that is what you are saying then we have not much to base any discussion on because I happen to believe firmly in a generous interpretation of Scripture certainly not from a Scribe or Pharisaic view (which was exactly what Jesus was opposing) but more based on His forgiving attitude. However, may I make the point that although Jesus forgives, his advice is 2 go and do not sin anymore”. So I don´t think anyone can show plausible proof for Jeus´theology on accepting same sex marriages in any way. In fact, his disciples and the writers of the New Testament develop his teaching and this makes clear that any sexual relationship outside of marriage is not in God´s plan and can not therefore be blessed by Him.

    May I also make the point that God forgives ONLY when there is repentance from sin. If the New Testament does not condone any sexual relationship outside of marriage then I cannot honestly be inclined to think that He is condoning as good same sex marriages either.Very sorry but I remain unconvinced although open to more comment, of course.

    • Wiskers, I don’t think you read what I said. I said that Jesus and his followers redefined the term/phrase word of God from scripture/Torah to Jesus/gospel. If there is one thing that I have proven by a preponderance of the evidence over two years of blogging it is that Jesus and his first century followers did not refer to scripture as the word of God. My question is this if Jesus and his followers changed the definition as they did, why is it that 2000 years later his followers have bought the Scribe and Pharisee definition. Please check it out at http://www.paradigmshift-jmac.blogspot.com.

      Further, when the New Testament was written there was a transition period going on where the Old Covenant/Temple and the New Covenant Church were limping along side by side. That changed at the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem.. Jeremiah stated that Leviticus, et. al. was obsolete and the writer of Hebrews quoted that and explained that though it was obsolete is was soon passing. It passed.

      • Your hermeneutic seems to be driven by your theology. You are assuming the New Covenant replaces the previous covenants, but looking at the OT, each covenant builds upon the previous covenant. We don’t have to worry about God destroying the Earth with a flood anymore, and we have the proof in the rainbow.

        If instead, the New Covenant builds upon the previous covenant, then the law reveals our sinfulness, and the new covenant allows a path for redemption from that sinful nature. If Jesus’ followeres did not refer to the scripture as the word of God, that doesn’t necessarily mean anything… it’s an argument from silence. They may have been trying to distinguish the climactic revelation of Jesus, they may just have used other words (the law and the prophets, the torah, the law of moses, the writings, the scripture, etc) which were equally important and useful for description.

        The idea of the OT covenants and the New Covenant existing side-by-side until the destruction of the temple is interesting and attractive, but to imply that replacement theology allows for the removal of the law itself (or the condemnation from disobedience) contradicts many passages of scripture (including Hebrews).

        I agree that we tend to idolize the Bible over God, and we should seek to correct that as the Bible is the guidebook to salvation, not the means of salvation. We can also talk about replacement theology, but that’s peripheral to the discussion of Gay/Equal marriage.

  18. For amy Mitchell: You have probably misread my intention which was to state clearly that the natural way of God is to marry man with woman. Ask any biologist if that isn´t the 100% natural way. But you are right about other possibilites and i haven´t suggested that couples who don´t want to have children shouldn´t get married, nor if they can´t have kids, for some reproductive problem, not be able to adopt. And hey, how many unsual births are recorded in the Bible (Isaac´s mum, Samuel´s mum, Jesus´mum! But the point I was making was that God´s norm is man + woman= child. That is something that can´t “naturally happen with same sex couples. I can´t equate sterility or adoption with same sex marriage. The fact that there are many hiccups in “normal” marriage doesn´t invalidate God´s plan. I´m saying that normal is a guideline to knowing what God intends. It is also a guideline to God´s intention that sex be kept within the marriage bond of male/female. The fact is that sin has brought about a total move away from God´s plan so I don´t see we can use current practice (extramarital sex) as the norm because that is called situational ethics. If we begin to use situational ethics then it will be difficult to get anything straight here.

    If God had intended same sex marriages then would he not have said so or given even a miniscule indication to open the door? What I see in the Bible, correct me if I am wrong using the Bible please, is that any sex outside of man woman and marriage is not God´s plan. Maybe you can prove that it is. If so I will gladly discuss that with you.

  19. To wiskers, Austin, Ken, and Marni: I’m sure glad so many people know what God intends and what he considers “normal.” Whew! What would I possibly do with myself if I didn’t have an enlightened elite to tell me exactly what’s best for my life? I wouldn’t have known that the golden rule wasn’t a good enough principle upon which to model my own thoughts and actions. I don’t know where I’d be if I didn’t have them to craft and pass laws that try either to outright prohibit me from being intimate with someone to whom I have committed my whole life and being, or at least to confer upon themselves the right to stick their noses obsessively, authoritatively, and creepily in my bedroom and make me suffer and feel ashamed and stigmatized about whatever I do there with another consenting adult. What would I do if I didn’t have all this helpful “moral” guidance to gently persuade me that I desperately need to return to the Christian faith?

    Why, without all of these things, maybe I would have never left the faith in the first place, or at least not have shaken the dust off my feet on the way out.

    I regret coming here and naively hoping that I would encounter arguments different from what I expected (although there were a few comments that inspired gratitude and hope). I’ll leave you all to quibbling about what the holy books say about this, that, or other, or what word to use to describe a wedded couple of which you don’t approve, or how/whether Leviticus is to any degree relevant to our modern society. I think I’ll stick to trying to live my life by having a realistic view of human nature and aiming to help and not harm others. Not because God or a book told me I should, but because it *just makes sense.* Not because I’ll get a reward in heaven, but because we all need a real, helping hand when we’re down, without anything being expected in return. Because life is tough and short, and the last thing we need is people tying up monstrous burdens to place on other people’s backs without lifting a finger to help.

    • I find it interesting Arbie that you describe our comments as dictating to you. This is the first time that I’ve been called elitist, thank you. I’m not arguing against homosexuality, or even against the state recognizing homosexual unions to the same degree that it recognizes heterosexual unions. Nor am I saying that because (I assume) you are homosexual, you are any more sinful that myself (who is heterosexual). I’ll admit that I am a liar, I am a hater, I am a theif, an idolator, I have been, and probably still am a sexual sinner. I could probably agree with Paul that I am the foremost of sinners, but that is because I recognize these things as sin.

      I am not saying you have to change your lifestyle to be Christian, or that you should desire Christ because of your sexual identity, or even that your identity (sexually or otherwise) needs to change UNLESS you are not recognizing yourself as a sinner in need of the grace God provides. My concerns have to do much more with Scripture, grace, and life.

      If I’m offending you because I am saying that the Bible says homosexuality is a sin, then it’s a failure to recognize sin that offensive, or a failure to accept the Bible as having the authority to identify sin, or a belief that my interpretation is so far off that I’m offending the truth by proclaiming it to be so. If it’s the last, then let’s talk about it. If it’s the first 2, I’m almost certainly not going to change my mind after having spent the last 10 years in theological study to come to that understanding. If the Bible isn’t the authority, then I have no hope of salvation, and I have no reason to believe that God is, God is personal, God is loving, or that there’s a heaven.

      I absolutely agree that we all need a helping hand, but we can’t give it to each other. That’s the story of the prophets to me. Trying to help people live rightly, and failing miserably. God is the only one who can help us, and I pray that he does. I have no intent to pile burdens on others, and I would hope that I help, although I am certain that I do not help as much as I could.

      I may be wrong, and I’ll acknowledge that as a possibility, but God helps us wherever we find ourselves. If we have to be perfect then only God is in heaven, and we’re all going to hell. If he comes where we are to help us where we are, then we have hope. But all that comes from the Bible.

  20. Arbie; I am not so sure from your comments above that you want to hear anything different from what you have already made your mind up about. Perhaps this is the problem. Stay with the conversation and extract what you can find of good in it and decide later whether this conversation is helpful or not. People have different views. Ours tries to include what we understand as God´s leading in our lives. You seem to be rejecting submission not to us but to what we see as guidance in God´s word. And Arbie, God´s word was sent not just to tell us that we can do anything we like cos God loves us but also to instruct and guide us towards His way of thinking and doing. It is a sincere search for us all and the fact that you don´t feel happy about our ideas is perfectly understandable. Keep questioning and we may all learn more but be sure about this, for those of us who believe in God, His Word is paramount, we may get it wrong or we may get it right but our motives are to learn for ourselves what we should submit to. And in the end the crux of the matter is submission to God or not. That is where the cookie crumbles. I don´t judge anyone for not submitting to God´s Word. It is their personal and private decision but at least can we continue to talk about it? Conviction is of the heart, not just the mind. The mind is coninced and the heart convicted and by love. That´s when you learn to submit. And believe me, noone, Christian or not, can expect to please God if we reject living in the power of His Spirit, sent to us precisely to empower us to live getting victory over the root of sin in our lives. That is the essential message of the Gospel for me. That is my conviction. Blessings.

  21. Joe Machuta: I have no doubt that the OT has passed away and none of my thinking is based principally on that although one has to take into account God´s “weaning off” period of OT revelation to mankind to then understand the basics of Jesus´teaching.

    I am sure that neither the OT or NT were considered Word of God until much after they had been written but there are indications in the NT that show an acceptance of the Pauline and Peter letters that were already widely accepted at least as testimony to what Jesus taught. So, for you and me in the 21st century, the debate about what is WOG is rather sterile given that most evangelical scholars now accept that the Bible as we know it contains (in its original texts) the revealed word of god and testimony of Jesus, sufficient for our `present and eternal salvation. At the present we are “saved” progresivelly from the root of sin through the power of the Holy Spirit (if we continually submit to Him) and eternally we are saved by grace so that we can enjoy Jesus in heaven directly. In my understanding which can be challenged by all means, the NT collection of writings we have today contain enough of Jesus´life and teaching inspired by the Holy Spirit to be enough to go on. No scribes and Pharisees for me, just W.O.G and Holy Spirit.

    I hope this helps a little. I don´t always manage to explain myself correctly and please forgive this.

  22. To Austin,
    I am answering outside of the actual thread because I don’t like the narrow indent that results from several replies. Actually, my hermeneutic is driven by my presuppositions as is everyone’s. My theology is informed by my hermeneutic not the reverse.

    Again, Jesus and his followers … not I… redefined the term word of God. (Maybe that should be addressed to Whiskers) Further, Paul stated that anything not done by faith is sin (Rom 14:23.) One could conclude then, that a loving, monogamous same sex relationship from faith would not be sin.

    I see more clearly where you are coming from and I will admit that it is not as judgmental as I had thought. Having said that, Christ did away with sin. To one of faith in Christ there is no sin. That is the state of the new covenant. Now, practically, does my anger, jealousy, lust or any other such sinful practice affect me and others? Of course. However, if one by faith concentrates on their sinless status… it automatically produces peace with God, love for God and love for God is the catalyst for our transformed living. That is not affected by what we do with faith or who we are partners with.

    There is no room in the new covenant for a legal mentality about scripture. It is not a rule book that makes one right with God. Using the scripture to condemn all homosexuals is legalistic and there is no way around it. The law of the spirit of life which is the law of the New Covenant does not condemn. Evangelicals use the law unlawfully.

    • I agree absolutely that using the scripture to condemn all homosexuals is legalistic and against the spirit of life. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that condemning homosexual activity or gay marriage is likewise legalistic.

      The New Covenant says not that we are sinless, but that when we acknowledge our sins, repent, and confess, that we are deemed as not having sin AND that we are no longer slaves to our sin. If we were perfectly repentant, we would be sinless, but then we would be perfect in some way anyway, so kind of a sidestep :). Further, the grace that Jesus revealed, and is made more explicit in the NT eschatology, is that we can be/have been reconciled with God – that the effective barrier of sin has been removed. This is one area where I do and probably always will call “MYSTERY” – meaning I can’t explain it. That when we accept the call of Christianity, we are at once eternally perfected, and temporally still flawed. Our eternal state is more of less set (I don’t really want to go down the once save, always saved route – I think there are exceptions but it would be a serious rabbit trail), but we still have to live out the temporal world and the consequences of a fallen state in that world. I am still a sinner from my own perspective, and that is freeing. When seeing the eternal (which is a part of the struggle), I am not a sinner, and that is awesome, but I’m still temporal and still flawed.

      The law is what reveals to us our sinfulness, the grace of Jesus is that that sinfulness no longer has an eternal consequence. The new covenant doesn’t discard the law, or it’s imputation of wrong, but rather allows for that wrong to be passed on. The problem is that when we actively refuse to accept that there is something wrong, when we deny that we are in sin, or when we deny that something is sin that the law reveals as sinful. Then we are unwilling to release that, and have to deal with the consequences of that sin. We can’t ignore the law simply because we don’t like it, but we can put aside the death sin brings because God has overwritten that consequence and allowed us to attain the life He desires.

      I would say that there is room for a legal mentality ONLY to convince ourselves and each other of our first and ongoing need for salvation, not to conemn anyone out of hand. If I am no longer a sinner because of Jesus prior intervention then what do I do with my ongoing struggle with sin – that part of me that, as Paul says “does what I do not want to do”?

      I think the only way to make sense of the whole issue is to say that I am a sinner at the same time I am redeemed. I can not explain it any more than that, which is why I call “MYSTERY”.

  23. Another interesting and applicable and referenced article.


    • To be fair, Boswell’s hypothesis (the basis for this article) has been repeatedly repudiated, and the historical basis for these saints is questionable (as no evidence of them or their activities exists for more than a hundred years after their deaths). Regardless, the precise nature of their relationship is not known and not even really indicated until 600+ years after their death. Also, the Vatican’s position should be explored using their documentation rather than the potentially aberrent behavior of priests in the Catholic church.

      This does bring up interesting ideas though, as it seems at least possible if not likely that there were groups of Christian leaders who have been debating this for millinea. At the very least we join in the conversation. I have not been able to find any of these documents online and I don’t have access to the libraries that are likely to hold them. I would be very interested in finding the documents themselves if you know where they can be found.

  24. We live in a culture that has a real problem with sexuality. Sinful sexual practices abound from things that nearly everyone can agree is wrong to things that some people won’t agree is sinful.
    – adultery, sex with someone else’s spouse
    – sex outside of a lifelong commitment
    – pornography
    – sexual slavery
    – vivid depictions of a sex act in non-pornographic movies
    – stripping, exotic dancing
    – prostitution
    – homosexual sex
    – furries
    – fetishes

    Sex is a beautiful and powerful drive with the primary biological purpose of propagating the species. Like any drive for a good thing, it can be twisted into something bad or simply made into something less than it could be at its best. Homosexual practice misses out on all the great things that the opposite sex has to offer. No matter how feminine a man nor how butch a woman, same sex pairing misses out on the union of male and female that makes a complete whole. The ideal in sexual expression is the life-giving, love sharing union of a man and a woman who know only each other for their entire lives. Any homosexual union, no matter how committed, falls short of this ideal. Nearly all heterosexual unions will fall short of the ideal. However, any heterosexual union has a greater chance of achieving the ideal because it starts out with both different pieces that are made in the image of God.

  25. Ellen: Thankyou for that and agreed fully. Sin distorts, if sin is the norm then it gets harder to refute. The Word of God points us in the right direction. Biology confirms the uniqueness and suitability of male/female reproductive and pleasure organs. Paul´s letter to the Roman church clearly spells out a series of results of the fallen nature. Amongst them, not exclusively, is the opposites of heterosexual relationships. I take the NT as Word of God. Its difficult for me to extract from what I read any indication that anything outside of matrimonial sexual relationships are God´s plan for us, especially when we are given the best tool ever to defeat our fallen nature as I have mentioned before.

    If anyone can find for me any reference in the Bible which points toward a God approved sexual relationship outside of marriage please let me know. i´ve studied the Bible most of my life now and new things strike you each time that you didn´t see before. Will those in favour of same sex partnerships please show me where they get biblical approval for it? Someone mentioned Sola Scriptura as being a little narrow. Its an interesting theory. What other sources have we got that teach us about God or reveal His will for our lives? He is the Creator and therefore I reckon we do well to listen to everything that reveals Him to us.

    This is a very stimulating blog, thankyou everyone!

  26. No father ever wants to hear from his son that his son wants to be with another man. No matter which way you slice it, Just speaking from personal experience.

  27. I know I’m commenting way late, but I’ll do it anyway. I don’t buy the premise of your statement. You somehow think that a marriage is about sex. It isn’t. It’s the symbolism of a relationship between two people. Some married couples have virtually no sex at all. I don’t know why you would think this.

  28. Scratch that last comment. I had an oblivious moron moment there… You are exactly saying that marriage is not about sex. I am so silly.

  29. Well Cran Apple, glad you have joined in. Marriage is not exclusively about sex and you aren´t wrong in pointing this out but it is the norm in most that a man and a woman do have sex as the most intimate physical expression of their mutual love and pleasure in each other. It is definitely not the be-all-and end all of the relationship. Mutual trust and a common aim would be paramount for me. Companionship and mutual assistance too.

    Anything you want to define otherwise would be a very good friendship, perhaps? I know quite a few (mainly female) couples who live together for company´s sake and I don´t see this as wrong. But when a man and a woman wish to live together for the rest of their lives and build a family then sex has to happen and that is the real definition of marriage in every culture, not just the christian culture which we know best. But I´d love to hear other submits on this. Thanks Cran.

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