The December 15, 2008 issue of “Newsweek” magazine attempts to support “homosexual marriage” by appealing to Scripture. Yes, you read that correctly. In the current issue, the magazine cover reads, “The Religious Case For Gay Marriage.” Under the cover of “Our Mutual Joy,” Newsweek attempts to formulate an argument from the Bible to support homosexual marriage. Below are the bulk of the arguments made, and a brief response.
Newsweek Exhibit A – Why should one look to the Bible to define marriage. The Bible says that Abraham had a child by his wife’s servant. Jacob fathered children by four women. And shall we speak of David and Solomon? No sensible modern person wants marriage to look, in it’s particulars, like what many people practiced in Bible times.
Defense – It is a gross misapplication and misunderstanding of the Bible to site an action recorded therein, and then assume that the action has divine approval. The Bible is a record of inspired teaching as well as uninspired actions.
Newsweek Exhibit B – Neither the Bible nor Jesus ever explicitly defined marriage as between one man and one woman.
Defense – (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6) “Have you not read [Newsweek included] that he who made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Newsweek Exhibit C – Jesus had a low view of marriage and expressed a lack of interest in it. In fact, he, himself was unmarried, and actually taught people to leave their families to follow him, even going so far as to teach that there will be no marriage in Heaven.
Defense -The fact that Jesus taught that our bond to God should be greater than our bond to our families does not minimize family, but rather exalts God. Surely all would understand and readily acknowledge that some things in life are more important than “family ties.” Would you “turn in” to the police a family member who was a child molester? To say that God should come first in our lives, even above our family ties does not minimize marriage in the least. Was it not Jesus who taught that the marriage vows were important, and that one could not simply walk away from them (Matthew 19:9)?
Newsweek Exhibit D – Paul didn’t like marriage any better than Jesus. In fact, Paul taught people to be celibate and to use marriage only as a second-best alternative.
Defense – Paul’s advice to remain unmarried was based on the present distress. “I suppose therefore that this is good because of the present distress – that it is good for a man to remain as he is.” (1 Corinthians 7:26). Keep Paul’s statement in context.
Newsweek Exhibit E – Paul never spoke a word against homosexuality. Rather he spoke against violent and promiscuous homosexuality. Furthermore, the extent of David and Jonathan’s relationship in the Old Testament is only limited by our imagination.
Defense – This is a blatant case of eisegesis (reading into the text). Read the passages for yourself and see what Paul really says (Rom. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 6:9; 1 Timothy 1:9-10). This line of argumentation reminds me of a book I once read entitled, “Just As I AM: A Practical Guide to Being Out, Proud, and Christian.” In this book, Robert Williams, an ordained Episcopal priest, who was a practicing homosexual attempted to defend homosexuality using the Bible. However, he unashamedly stated that in order to see homosexuality in relationships such as David and Jonathan or Ruth and Naomi you have to read the Scriptures with “Queer colored glasses.” In other words, rather than allowing the Bible shape your beliefs, you allow your beliefs to shape the Bible.
Newsweek Exhibit F – Jesus reached out to everybody, especially those on the margins of society. If he were here today, he would reach out to the homosexual community.
Defense – The premise is true, but he conclusion doesn’t follow. Yes, Jesus would reach out to the homosexual community if he were here today, and so should and does his church. However, there is one word that is overlooked, and that is “repentance.” Reaching out to all men does not equal endorsement of the sins in which they are engaged. Remember, Jesus reached out to the adulterous woman, but told her to “go sin no more.” (John 8:11).
Apparently the inclusivists and pluralists of our society have decided to eradicate sin through legalization and normalization. But allow me to close with this reminder… God knows the difference between good and evil, even if we don’t (Isaiah 5:20).