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…
I do not think C. S. Lewis ever directly said anything about gay and lesbian unions. But he did write about whether or not the federal government might be involved in defining what exactly is marriage and what exactly is not.
In his timeless book, Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis penned something which directly links with the topic in our courts and places of worship at this time about defining marriage. Lewis was discussing marriage between divorced couples, but the approach can equally be relevant to marriage between two gay people.
Here’s what he wrote:
Before leaving the question of divorce, I should like to distinguish two things which are very often confused. The Christian conception of marriage is one: the other is quite the different question-how far Christians, if they are voters or Members of Parliament, ought to try to force their views of marriage on the rest of the community by embodying them in the divorce laws. A great many people seem to think that if you are a Christian yourself you should try to make divorce difficult for every one. I do not think that. At least I know I should be very angry if the Mohammedans tried to prevent the rest of us from drinking wine.
My own view is that the Churches should frankly recognize that the majority of the British people are not Christian and, therefore, cannot be expected to live Christian lives. There ought to be two distinct kinds of marriage: one governed by the State with rules enforced on all citizens, the other governed by the church with rules enforced by her on her own members. The distinction ought to be quite sharp, so that a man knows which couples are married in a Christian sense and which are not.
It is time for Christ-followers to realize the fact that the United States Government (or any human government for that matter) is not the enforcer of scriptural guidance and laws. Governments create their own laws and regulations which they feel might help bring peace, safety, and stability inside their own lands, nevertheless these laws can sometimes be at odds with the directions and directions of Scripture.
Although the state makes something “legal,” this does not mean that it is now appropriate for Christians, for we must carry out both the laws of God and also the rules of our government, with the laws of our King taking precedent in our individual behavior over the laws of our land. And we must be cautious about seeking to get our lawmakers to put in force Scriptural rules on all the people in the country, for if it can be enforced with “Christian” guidelines, it can also be done at a later time with “Muslim” guidelines, or “Mormon” laws, or whatever religion happens to be “control” at the time. C. S. Lewis gives the example of Muslims and their restrictions on drinking alcohol. Nobody would want this, but in a number of ways, this is exactly what Christians are hoping to do on culture when we try to pressure our community to adopt biblical laws about the gay lifestyle.
In some locations Muslims are making national laws to impose their Sharia law upon everyone in that country, much like here in the USA some Christians are attempting to impose some of our laws on all the people in our land. If anything may be gleaned from history, we understand that it is damaging to everybody when any religion takes up the sword of government and attempts to put in force religious guidelines on others.