The Government and Gay Marriage

With the cultural battle over gay marriage continuing throughout the US, there is one point that I believe Christians need to be pushing in this whole debate. There is no such thing as gay marriage. Two men cannot be married to one another. Two women cannot be married to one another. It's as simple as that. A law banning gay marriage would be similar to a law banning leprechauns from holding public office, or banning people from riding their hippogriffs on the interstate.

For too long, conservative Christians have acknowledged homosexual marriage as a real, albeit an immoral, possibility that ought to be forbidden by the government. This means that the debate has been framed as a debate over human rights. Liberals want homosexuals to have the right to marry one another; conservatives want to take that right away. In reality however, marriage is not a social construct. It is not a government institution. It is a divine institution. The one who created marriage gets to define marriage, and He does so in Genesis 2:20-24. This means that no government or human can change the meaning of marriage. If every government in the world passed laws allowing Bob and Joe to marry one another, and if all 6.7 billion people on earth, with no dissenting votes, decided to say in agreement that Bob and Joe are in fact married, this doesn't change the fact that Bob and Joe are not married.

If Christians really believed this it would change the face of the entire debate. Rather than arguing whether gay marriage would be good for the structure of society or good for the adopted children of such marriages Christians ought to be urging the government not to lie by calling something a marriage that is not in fact a marriage. With this goes the recognition that even if the government passes laws allowing "gay marriage," no Christian or Christian pastor ought to treat such couples as if they were married. The government does not have the power to change the fundamental nature of marriage any more than it has the ability to revoke the law of gravity.

In short, the debate is over whether we, as a nation, will be truthful or whether we will rebel against God by telling lies about His world. It is not a debate over whether or not to allow "gay marriage" to exist.

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