Recently The Gospel Coalition posted an article asking self-proclaimed Evangelicals to answer 40 questions that challenge their reasoning, in light of the recent favoritism being shown toward the non-traditional marriage ruling by the US Supreme Court:
If you consider yourself a Bible-believing Christian, a follower of Jesus whose chief aim is to glorify God and enjoy him forever, there are important questions I hope you will consider before picking up your flag and cheering on the sexual revolution. These questions aren’t meant to be snarky or merely rhetorical. They are sincere, if pointed, questions that I hope will cause my brothers and sisters with the new rainbow themed avatars to slow down and think about the flag you’re flying.
(for the purposes of brevity I’ll used “non-1/1” to represent what might otherwise be described as varieties of marriage that are not 1-man/1-woman)
These are my answers to those questions, broken up into sections: 6-10 (below); and to be linked when created: 1-5, 11-15, 16-20, 21-25, 26-30, 31-35, 36-40.
6. If so, why did he reassert the Genesis definition of marriage as being one man and one woman?
(previous question: 5. Do you think Jesus would have been okay with homosexual behavior between consenting adults in a committed relationship? answered here, short answer: Jesus in the woman-at-the-well example of having multiple husbands in ‘illegal’ marriage arrangement was concerned for her salvation above all else and used it as a point of conviction for needing the life-giving water, not as a threat)
Firstly, I believe Jesus would focus devotedly and resolutely upon ascertaining whether the person were saved or not, specifically. The why-where-what/etc of which particular sin when is irrelevant, because all fall short (Rom 3:23) no matter who you are. The whole point regardless of your particular thorn is salvation, and that’s the sword that Christ brings. Did you marry a man? Guess what: you fall short of the glory of God. Bam. Did you disobey your parents, ever? Guess what: you fall short of the glory of God. Bam. The people who disobey their parents are equal under the law as men who marry men, or women who marry women. No matter who Jesus met, no matter where.. every single person would have fallen short, and they why/when/how is a level playing field. To call someone out on their sin in condemnation is to condemn the self because that person is your equal under the 613.
Secondly, the passage I can only presume the passage you fail to cite specifically is Matthew 19:3-7:
“And Pharisees came up to Him and tested Him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that He Who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” (Matthew 19:3-7, ESV)
The claim that this is the “definition of marriage” is fraught with folly. You could just as easily claim that this is the “definition of why a man will leave his father and mother” and propose that there can be no other reason under the sun that a man may leave his father and mother, despite Jesus having done precisely that without marrying.
If the definition of marriage pivots squarely upon being male and female according to the parenthetical aspects passage, then you must intentionally omit all of the other aspects of the same parenthetical nature, including the plainly stated fact that ‘a man shall leave his father and mother’ as being the role of a male, leaving no other reason for a man to leave his mother and father but to marry.
What you are doing is extracting a single detail from a list of clauses that lead up to an answer about divorce, and trying to insert from that single detail that it is somehow the only permissible prescriptive nature of marriage. Jesus himself left his mother and father, but did not marry — so by your extraction method of single details within a clause-built rationale against another topic entirely, Jesus would himself be just as guilty of failing to abide by the 613 and therefore render all of salvation ineffective for failing to be the unblemished sacrifice. Or, perhaps this is not actually the definition of marriage.
Thirdly, your interpretation conflicts with other verses. How do you reconcile other verses that conflict with this position you’ve extracted? If you are at liberty to extract that marriage is defined as one man and one woman, then how do you handle, “What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate,” immediately following it? That would fall under Romans 13:1-2 stating,
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.”
Even further, to drive that point home, Romans 13:7 proclaims, “Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” It is your scripturally-defined duty to honor the marriage of gays in lands which declare it legal., as stated here. You yourself are knowingly transgressing the law. Simple breaking of the law could be ignorance of it, but you are not ignorant. You are acknowledging the law and then trampling upon it in defiance.
7. When Jesus spoke against porneia what sins do you think he was forbidding?
I do not believe he was forbidding any sins that were not already specified, and that Christ has made no additions or subtractions from the law. The role of the law is to convict all, and under the law prior to Christ’s commentary on it, all do fall short of its complete obedience.
Complete obedience to the full letter of all of the 613 is the encompassing message by broader context, and guilt of just one law is guilt of all laws since you are sorted into one of only 2 categories: outside of the law, or under the law. If you’re under the law, you’re guilty of all it (James 2:10) all fall short. If you’re outside of it thru grace or because you are actually Jesus, then you are exempted and the penalties thereof are of no application to you. Your guilt of even the smallest amount, such as having ever disobeyed your parents even if your parents are complete lunatics, you are due the same penalty as the so-called transgression of homosexual marriage as homosexuals who marry.
Which specific sins he forbade in speaking against “porneia” or at any other point, is irrelevant. As a sinner, you, the accuser that homosexual marriage is sin and warrants condemnation, are as identical in guilt as those you accuse, as am I. You’re basically an equal calling out another equal as an equal, except condemning the equality you share.
8. If some homosexual behavior is acceptable, how do you understand the sinful “exchange” Paul highlights in Romans 1?
I am assuming that the “exchange” you speak of refers to Romans 1 beginning in verse 25 (since you insist on not citing specifics for some bizarre reason):
They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.” (25-28, NIV)
However, your diligence to point this out ever-so-conveniently omits 29 and 30 of that same passage:
They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; hey have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.
The acceptability of homosexual behavior (or any other kind) is two-fold: the relationship between the pot and the potter, and the relationship between one pot and another pot.
The relationship between pot and potter is strictly potter-sided, as in Romans 9:21, “Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?” and the pot has no room whatsoever for comment. Just as well, the potter is at complete liberty to break pots, and to use broken pot shards at his liberty even if they do not fulfill their roles as pots. Do you have ears to hear? If the potter were to use a pot shard to make a painful etching into a whole pot, is that not still the liberty of the potter?
Your identity as the pot and not the potter, to other pots is through the potter. You identity as a pot and role for you as a pot is assigned by the potter in the same way that the identity for other pots and role thereof is assigned by the potter. Your condemnation of other pots for being who the potter created them to be from the same lump of clay, jeopardizes your identity as a pot. When you strike at someone else’s identity as a pot, created from the same clump of clay by the same potter, you strike at your own foundation. You strike at the role the potter has assigned other pots, and therefore strike at the potter for having assigned them that role — because a pot has no other role than that which the potter assigns it.
(combined) 9. Do you believe that passages like 1 Corinthians 6:9 and Revelation 21:8 teach that sexual immorality can keep you out of heaven? // 10. What sexual sins do you think they were referring to?
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, (10) nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Cor 6:9) // But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death. (Rev 21:8)
The listed variables are not the limitations of that which prevent heavenly citizenship. But even assuming just for the wayside moment in your specific argument, let’s take examine others in that list that apply to those not engaged in homosexual marriages: you and me, for instance.
What would you propose an “idolater” is? Would agree that an idolater one that worships a false god? Would you not also agree that one who worships a false god as if it were YHWH and even claiming the false god to be YHWH an idolater?
If you were to dial a wrong number on the telephone, would you reach the person you had intended to call, or would you reach someone else? You would reach the person whose number you called, rather than the person you intended to call using all of the correct numbers in the correct order. You could still have even all the correct numbers, and even the correct number of numbers and quantity of each number, but not dialed in the proper order, you still reach someone else than you intended. When you worship a god you claim to be YHWH, but you omit even a single item of the truth about that God to suit your purposes, are you not an idolater?
Take also, into account the “faithless” whose portion “will be in the lake of fire that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death:
“What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal.” (Romans 9:30-31)
Let that sink in. The people of Israel sought to justify themselves in the righteousness of the law and do not obtain it. The Gentiles do not pursue righteousness but have obtained it, by their faith. ARE YOU NOT PROPOSING RIGHTEOUSNESS IN THE LAW?