So what’s wrong with homosexual marriage? That’s a question many have rhetorically asked since the recent flood of successful gay-rights initiatives have been inundating not only the US but also many other parts of the world. For these activists, the answer to the question is obvious: nothing at all. In fact, it’s a wonderful and long-overdue alteration of cultural mores in our increasingly “enlightened” post-Victorian age.
But when the euphoria wears off, we will experience the bitter and growing long-term repercussions of a social tsunami that has rent the basic fabric of society—the family—from top to bottom. In this sense, gay marriage is not, as some have opined, the beginning of the end. In America, that process started back in the 1970’s when “no fault” divorce laws were passed, making it that much easier for families to be “faultlessly” torn apart. And these laws were made sensible by the prior embrace of personalist and existentialist philosophies that had been brewing in academia for nearly 75 years. These false ideologies embraced and celebrated the humanist myth that “freedom” simply means “lack of external restraint,” and promoted social theories suggesting that basic social institutions like marriage and the family are nothing more than man-made contractual agreements between willing and like-minded individuals and groups.
When the family was reduced to nothing more than a contract between consenting human beings, the seeds of destruction had been duly planted and their ghastly germinations were sure to follow. Marriages were no longer meant to be honored until death, but only until consenting adults came to change their hearts (mostly) and minds. The stability of the institution was subsequently shattered and the resultant crops of insecurity and lack of moral guidance and restraint frequently produced by such broken homes yielded an entire generation of children who did not know who they were, did not clearly know the difference between right and wrong, and did not understand why seeking to discern such things was so important in the first place. At the same time, these children were perpetually bombarded through secular media, peers, and even adults all around them with the message that they could be whoever they wanted to be. No one could tell them what to do, what to think, or who they were. In fact, the sky was no longer the limit. They merely had to “look within” and nowhere else to become true to themselves, letting that authenticity take them to new and almost unimaginable heights of being and becoming.
But the scriptures warn us that whenever we choose to be and become “authentic selves,” we choose to be and become authentic sinners, for that is who we truly are apart from the grace of God made known through Jesus Christ. This, of course, is not a very encouraging, self-affirming, or “politically correct” picture, but it is the reality with which we must deal if we are to courageously face and overcome the wickedness that lurks and festers deep inside the heart and mind of every man, woman, and child—myself included. But our refusal to submit ourselves to God and admit our desperate need for Jesus, the righteous and transforming Savior of the world, blinds us to the tragic and inevitable aftermath of being “true” to our insidiously sinful selves.
It is not at all surprising, then, that a new movement is rapidly growing out of the fertile and toxic soil of gay marriage promotion: polygamy. If marriage is nothing more than a contract between consenting adults—male to male, female to female, male to female—then why should the number be limited to only two? Why not three or more consenting adults? If everyone is agreeable with the arrangement, then how can anyone outside the community place limits on the contract made between concurring friends?
Further, why should it be limited only to human beings? Isn’t that blatant “speciesism,” the bigoted and arrogant assumption that we can “discriminate” based on the species of animal? If we are nothing more than a highly complex animal, why place ourselves in a seat of special superiority over other animal species, especially those who exhibit significant aspects of genuine personality? So, for example, we might conceivably “marry” our miniature schnauzer who has ever been our constant companion and faithful friend in life.
I am not speaking tongue-in-cheek at all, although I wish that I were. I predict polygamy and its many odd and subsequent permutations will shortly become a significant source of ongoing dispute in the increasingly confused courts of American jurisprudence as well as in the hearts and minds of average citizens. Such skirmishes are already looming as people are both forced and forcing judges, legislators, and others to face the subtle and not-so-subtle implications of putting ourselves in the place of God Almighty and promoting the idea that divinely-sanctioned institutions like marriage are, at their root, nothing more than social conventions and inventions subject to ongoing human revision and innovation.
But God, who is there and is not silent, will not ultimately be mocked. As C. S. Lewis puts it on page 239 of God in the Dock, “[W]e are dealing with male and female not merely as facts of nature but as the live and awful shadows of realities utterly beyond our control and largely beyond our direct knowledge. Or rather, we are not dealing with them but (as we shall soon learn if we meddle) they are dealing with us.” And thus we will reap what we have already sowed and still foolishly continue to sow.
So what’s wrong with homosexual marriage? Everything. And the sooner we come to our senses and restore a God’s-eye view of this sacred institution, the better off everyone will be.
There has never been, nor will there ever be, a human being walking the face of this earth that is the product of a same sex union.
Well said Lewis!
Thanks Lewis for a very thoughtful summary and analysis. It is indeed a “slippery slope” that comes from a false concept of freedom that encourages self-fulfillment above all other values that has led to this point and will certainly lead further down the path of sinful behavior.
Well this all seems logical enough from the perspective of those looking from the outside in. But what about the reasons behind gay marriage laws in the first place: gay love? Those who love who they love not based on a choice but based on the reality of their hormones and their attractions niether of which theyu control. Are you saying they need to be celibate and burn with passion? Scripture teaches it is not good to leave people in that state nor is it good for man to be alone unless there is a call of celibacy on his life which entails a lack of sexual attraction to either gender. God loves us. He made us to need completion in a life partner. Thus if two people want more than anything to share their lives together why should the State to stop them? What compelling interest do they have to deny gays the same privileges that straight couples enjoy? These are the questions I still have after reading the above article and i would welcome your reply.
Hi Kristen. I appreciate your honest concerns regarding this issue. Unfortunately, these blogs do not lend themselves that well to sustained arguments that cover additional questions or concerns like an honest conversations can and do. But I will try to address briefly what you are wondering. One of the common fallacies of contemporary marriage is that we marry only (or at least primarily) for love, something that historically has not been the case. Marriage as an institution was not grounded in “love”–what C. S. Lewis calls a “storm of emotion” in his Screwtape Letters. Rather, marriage is concerned primarily with raising children in a safe and stable environment because they constitute the future of society and raising children in this way creates a certain kind of character in the parents who choose to stick things out through thick and thin. Governments must be vitally concerned with this basic building block of society because when the family unravels, society will follow suit. Gay marriage works against this basic goal for marriage because they cannot produce a child in the normal manner and largely marry for reasons that are not concerned with contributing to the future generations of society. That they still want children but must pursue some extraordinary means to do so only proves the point. It may sound uncaring but they are stepping outside the purpose for which they were created–to be holy and honoring to God, so yes, celibacy is one real and possible option. We have been lied to when we are told we cannot control our lusts. With God’s help, we certainly can. We have also been lied to when we have been told that singleness is merely a calling. It is not only called that in scripture. It is also called a “gift.” And sometimes we receive gifts (like pain, for example) that we don’t necessarily want but can recognize as valuable nonetheless. Many people have the gift of singleness not because they want to be single but because God has given them that gift. I have seen too many people (some of them close friends) choose to marry out of fear that they will never get married only to find that they are in a worse situation than they were before. I have hardly scratched the surface here of what can be said. If you are truly wondering about this matter, I would direct you to an excellent Mars Hill Audio Journal (Volume 117) interview with Robert P. George, author of What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense (Encounter Books, 2012) that gives the best defense of traditional marriage I have heard.
People with different worldviews will never agree on this subject. Rather than debating gay marriage one should first answer the question, “on what basis do we determine right from wrong?” If they agree that it starts with God’s word, then they can search the scriptures together to see what it says on the subject. If they cannot agree on that starting point, all of the rest of the discussion will be fruitless.
Lewis, your blog is so well-reasoned and well-written that it must have taken quite some time to pen. Please continue investing time into such reflections so that those of us less clear in our thoughts, less conversant with biblical and historical realities, or less fluent in expressing ourselves have a solid resource from which to draw. Blessings on balancing your time well for the kingdom!
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