Hiding Behind The Bible?
On April 12 a writer submitted an article for the Sidney Sun-Telegraph on the opinion page concerning the topic of whether or not homosexuals should be allowed to get married. My purpose is not to address all of the different subjects and opinions that were sporadically introduced as support of that so-called “right” for homosexual couples. I am most concerned about what I believe were misleading statements regarding the role of the Bible in this discussion.
The writer began by first of all dismissing the relevance of the Bible to this subject by concluding in three short sentences that the Holy Scriptures are in fact basically unreliable. She went on to say: “This brings me to the irritation I get when someone tries to hide behind God and God’s word to justify their opinion – which as I have pointed out (is) not based in fact…This all leads me to believe the argument of homosexuality being against God, therefore marriage should not be allowed, seems to be a weak argument.” Ironically, in the very next two sentences the writer then attempted to use the words and example of Jesus Christ, which are recorded in the Bible, to instruct us “to not pass judgment or be intolerant, especially to the point of being discriminatory.”
Like many millions of people over the centuries, I believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God. Yes – the Scriptures can be misused, as history records, and there will always be different opinions as to how to interpret certain portions of it. However, it is still without a doubt the most widely published and influential book of all time. It has stood the test of time for over 3500 years, and has played a major role in the history of our own nation. Multitudes of people throughout the world believe that it is the written revelation of God’s will for all of our lives. That is why I choose to say what it clearly says without apology. I do not, as the writer asserted, “hide behind God and God’s word to justify (my) opinion.” It is amazing to me that anyone can simply discount thousands of years of Jewish and Christian beliefs about marriage which have been held by so many millions of people.
So what does the Bible say that is relevant to any discussion of same sex marriage? Consider two foundational teachings of both the Old and New Testaments, parts of which are often quoted in marriage ceremonies. According to the book of Genesis, back at the beginning of time, God introduced marriage. The first married couple was Adam and Eve, with the Lord himself performing their wedding ceremony. It was at that moment in time that God established forever his plan and purpose for marriage. In the book of Genesis we read that when it came time for him to create a life partner for Adam, “the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.’ For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:22-24) According to the Bible that was God’s design for marriage from the beginning. A man and a woman became husband and wife.
Centuries later the Lord Jesus Christ affirmed that original design by quoting from Genesis. The Gospel of Mark records these words of Jesus: “…At the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” (Mark 10:6-9) So Jesus Christ also made it clear that from the beginning of time, marriage was meant to be the union of a man and a woman, a male and a female. That is what he said God joins together. That was his exclusive statement. So was he being discriminatory? Was he confused? Was the Lord Jesus Christ wrong? Add to this the fact that nowhere in the Bible is there any recognition or allowance of same sex marriage. It is never condoned. It should also be noted that this honest acknowledgement of what the Bible says is not, as we read in the Sun Telegraph article, an attempt by people to use God “as a way to perpetuate their own hate.”
Obviously, not everyone believes what the Bible says is true. Many people dismiss it as being irrelevant in regard to the debated moral and cultural issues of our day. If you believe the Bible is incomplete and untrustworthy, then of course you are logically free to discount its value in any discussion of marriage and homosexuality. However, you should then be consistent and also dismiss things like the Ten Commandments, the other teachings of Jesus, the resurrection of Christ, what the Bible says about love, justice, eternal life, heaven and any number of other well known Scriptural subjects. At the same time you should not use the Bible in any way to try to justify same sex marriage.
The writer of the April 12 article concluded by again referring to the Bible to condemn those of us who believe it does not support homosexual marriage. She wrote: “Personally, I think God would be upset and disgusted by the use of the Word being used in such a negative way.” Personally, I think God would be upset and disgusted by his Word being ignored by so many people on this subject.