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Genesis 2:18-25; Matthew 19:1-12
A BIBLICAL EXAMINATION OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
Intro: As most of you are aware, on May 8, 2012, voters in North Carolina will go to the polls to cast their ballots in a vote on The Marriage Protection Amendment. This amendment, if it is approved by North Carolina voters, would alter the state constitution to define marriage as an institution between one man and one woman. If this amendment fails, it could potentially open the door to same-sex unions in our state. It is important that every registered voter in this state go to the polls and vote for this amendment.
Here is the actual language of The Marriage Protection Amendment:
“Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts.”
Some may wonder why we need to amend the constitution. Escalating legal challenges to the federal Defense of Marriage Act pose a significant threat to state laws, including North Carolina’s. Preserving the definition of marriage as the union between one man and one woman through an amendment to the State Constitution is the only way to protect North Carolina’s marriage laws from redefinition by the state courts, radical liberal judges or the legislature. Putting the definition of marriage in the Constitution removes the ability of the state courts or the legislature to redefine this all-important institution.
“Same-sex marriage” is already illegal in North Carolina. North Carolina General Statute 51-1.2, titled, Marriages Between People Of The Same Genders Not Valid, says, “Marriages, whether created by common law, contracted, or performed outside of North Carolina, between individuals of the same gender are not valid in North Carolina.” A statute is binding law, but a statute can be changed at anytime by a vote of the legislature and the signature of the Governor.
Changing a constitutional amendment would require a 3/5th vote of the legislature and the consent of a majority of North Carolina’s voters. It is vital that this amendment to our state constitution be passed on May 8th.
The Genesis passage we have read today describe the world’s first family. In that scripture, God brings together and man and a woman and unites them in marriage. The Matthew passage we have read speaks to God’s design of, and government is, marriage.
Since this issue is front and center in our state and in our world, and since the radical homosexual community is demanding recognition of their lifestyle and same-sex marriage, I think it is important that we take the time to examine this matter from a biblical perspective.
This issue is important because if The Marriage Protection Amendment does not pass, marriage as we know it could be redefined. If that happens, the very bedrock of society and the church will become increasingly more unstable, and could lead to the collapse of our society.
This issue is important because, as goes the family, so goes the church, the community, the government and the nation. God has a plan for the family and it is important that we understand, acknowledge, and abide by the plan.
I want to speak to you today about A Biblical Examination Of Same-Sex Marriage. Lets consider what the Bible says about the institution of marriage and the abomination of homosexuality. I want to share with you a brief overview of marriage, homosexuality and the problems of so-called “same-sex marriage.”
I. A BIBLICAL VIEW OF MARRIAGE
A. A BIBLICAL SURVEY OF MARRIAGE
1. What Jesus Taught About Marriage
a. Marriage was instituted by God at the beginning - Matt. 19:3-4 (cf. Gen. 2:18-25).
b. Marriage was designed for those created male and female - Matt. 19:4.
c. Marriage is for man and wife, who become “one flesh,” in the eyes of God - Matt. 19:5.
d. Marriage is a union that God joins, not the state - Matt. 19:6.
e. People and the state may try to end a marriage, but only God an begin or end a marriage - Matt. 19:6-9.
1) One may divorce and remarry, yet still commit adultery - Matt. 5:31-32.
2) God allows divorce only for fornication, unrepentant sexual sin, and remarriage by the innocent spouse - Matt. 19:9.
f. The kingdom of heaven may require some to “make themselves eunuchs” (i.e. remain celibate) - Matt. 19:11-12.
2. What The Apostles Taught About Marriage
a. Sex inside the marriage relationship is honorable; sex outside the marriage relationship is not - Heb. 13:4.
b. To avoid the sin of fornication, sexual fulfillment must be found within the framework of the marriage union - 1 Cor. 7:1-2.
c. All other discussions pertaining to marriage describe the marriage relationship as existing between a man and a woman - 1 Cor. 7:3-48; Rom. 7:1-4; Eph. 5:22-33; Col. 3:18-19; 1 Tim. 3:2,11-12; 5:14; Titus 1:6; 2:4-5; 1 Pet. 3:1-7.
B. A BIBLICAL SUMMARY OF MARRIAGE
1. All sex outside of marriage is sinful, whether heterosexual or homosexual.
2. Marriage is a divine institution, and not a civil institution. While the state issues marriages licenses and regulates the practice of marriage. Marriage is a gracious gift of God that unites a man and a woman as one flesh in His sight.
3. God determines the parameters which constitute a proper marriage. Those parameters are not set by men.
4. The Bible always speaks of marriage as a covenant that exists between a man and woman.
5. There is not one mention regarding same-sex marriage, although the practice was known among the Gentiles.
6. There is no biblical teaching on how same-sex marriages would work, even if they were recognized by God. (Who is the head? Who is to submit?)
II. A BIBLICAL VIEW OF HOMOSEXUALITY
A. A BIBLICAL SURVEY OF HOMOSEXUALITY
1. Old Testament References To Homosexuality
a. The Sodom incident - Gen. 19:1-13.
b. The Levitical prohibition - Lev. 18:22; 20:13.
c. The Gibeah incident - Jud. 19:15-25.
d. The sodomites, or male temple prostitutes, in ancient Israel - 1 Kings 14:24.
2. New Testament References To Homosexuality
a. Women and men who practice homosexuality and lesbianism are said to be committing acts against nature - Rom. 1:26-27.
b. Practicing homosexuals and sodomites are not saved, and will not will not inherit the kingdom of God - 1 Cor. 6:9-10.
c. Sodomites contrary to sound doctrine - 1Tim. 1:10.
d. The Bible refers to the actions of the men in Sodom and Gomorrah, as going after “strange flesh” - Jude 1:7.
B. A SUMMARY OF DIFFERENT VIEWS REGARDING HOMOSEXUALITY
1. Arguments By Those Approving Homosexuality
a. The incidents at Sodom and Gibeah were gang rapes, which are wrong whether homosexual or heterosexual.
b. The Levitical prohibitions were condemning ritual sodomy and prostitution like that referenced in 1 Kings 14:24.
c. “Acts against nature” are not against nature if you are born homosexual.
d. The Greek words used in the New Testament (“malakos” and “arsenokoites,” 1 Cor. 6:9, 1 Tim. 1:10) refer to either temple prostitution, pedophilia, or male rape, not to homosexuals who are in committed relationships.
e. Some seek approval for gay sexual relationships from the relationships of:
1) David and Jonathan - 1Sa 18:1,3; 20:17,24; 2Sa 1:26-27.
2) Naomi and Ruth - Ruth 1:16-17.
f. Gay sex by two loving, committed companions is never condemned in the Bible.
1) Jesus never mentioned it.
2) He condemned divorce and adultery, but not homosexuality.
2. Observations By Those Opposing Homosexuality
a. Homosexuality is condemned every time it is referenced in the Bible.
1) Just because Jesus did not condemn homosexuality is not an argument for its permissibility.
2) Prophets prophesied against homosexuality.
3) The proscription against homosexuality in first century Judea was strong and certain.
4) The fact that Jesus did not defend homosexuality shows He was in agreement with its proscription in Jewish law.
b. The Levitical prohibitions against homosexuality condemn its practice.
1) Not just against pagan ordinances, but also “the doings of the land” - Lev 18:3.
2) Forbid adultery, incest, bestiality; shall the same arguments be applied to them? Should we accept incestuous relationships as valid? Should a man be allowed to marry his pet goat if he wants to? Once the door is opened to “same-sex marriages,” what is to say that plural marriage, incestuous marriages and marriages between people and animals won’t be next?
c. The argument seeking to undermine Rom. 1:26-27
1) The arguments for homosexuality assume that individuals are “born gay.” No scientific study has yet proved this to be true. The very fact one’s gender is evident, even before birth, argues that no one is “born gay.”
2) Reproductive organs indicate otherwise, to use them in gay sex is “against nature.”
d. The Greek words in the New Testament
1) The word “malakos,” used in 1 Cor. 6:9, may have limited meaning. It means “effeminate, soft.” It refers to a male who carries himself and acts like a female.
2) The word “arsenokoites,” used in 1 Tim. 1:10, refers to “male sex” and can include any homosexual act.
e. The Bible praise same-sex platonic relationships.
1) David and Jonathan illustrate the value of friendship (phileo)
2) Ruth and Naomi exemplify the beauty of familial love (storge)
f. There is not one indication of gay sex (eros) being approved in the Bible
Conc: That is a lot of information to take in. I think it is clear from the testimony of Scripture that God sees marriage as an institution between a man and a woman. It is also clear that all forms of homosexuality, and any sexual expression outside of the marriage relationship, is sinful. Let’s conclude our time together by considering a few questions about the “same-sex marriage” debate.
1. What harm can come from “same-sex marriages?”
The harm comes from the fact that “same-sex marriage” changes the historic definition of marriage from a divine institution that is based on the will of God, needs of children and society to one that is based on the desires of adults. “Same-sex marriage” also poses a serious threat to religious freedom. “Same-sex marriage” will influence what children are taught in public schools about sexuality, relationships and marriage. It would also result in religious individuals or organizations being stigmatized, persecuted, or denied the right to offer services. For example, Catholic adoption agencies have been forced to end their state-funded adoption and foster care programs in some “same-sex marriage” states. If “same-sex marriage” becomes the law of the land, churches like our would be forced to recognize those marriages as valid. Pastors would be forced to perform “same-sex marriages” or face fines or imprisonment.
2. Doesn’t a ban on “same-sex marriages” interfere with love?
Love is a great thing, but marriage is not only about love. By its very nature, marriage is an exclusive institution. We don’t allow siblings, children, or more than two individuals to marry because of the potential harm to both individuals and society. Clearly, marriage is not only about love; it’s about binding together a man and a woman in a complementary union that creates the best environment for having and raising children. It is a special familial relationship that has been recognized by the government because of the many benefits that it brings to society.
3. Would a ban on “same-sex marriages” deny crucial benefits for same-sex partners, unmarried couples and their children?
This is a smoke screen being thrown up by those who favor allowing “same-sex marriages.” The real issue isn’t benefits; it is marriage. Local groups, private companies, and governments can decide benefits for themselves. The heart of the matter is about redefining marriage, our most basic societal institution, and the best family environment for raising healthy children. Allowing state or local governments to recognize any other domestic legal union undermines the institution of marriage. Marital recognition is not necessary for healthcare, insurance, hospital visitation, education or numerous other benefits that opponents to the marriage amendment are asserting.
4. Do opponents of “same-sex marriages” believe that same-sex couples cannot be good parents?
Two men might each be a good father, but neither can be a mother. Two women might individually be good mothers, but neither one can be a father to a child. The ideal for children has always been and always will be the unique, irreplaceable love of their own married mother and father. Thousands of studies involving children from single parent, and broken homes, have shown how much little girls and little boys need the opposite-sex parent to thrive. Two parents of the same-sex cannot provide the opposite-sex parents that every child needs and deserves.
5. What should our position on “same-sex marriages” be?
Our position should be the same as God’s. God sees marriage as a divine institution between one man and one woman. He sees all “same-sex” sexual relationships as sinful, detrimental to the family, and ultimately destructive to the very fabric of society.
The Bible is not silent on this issue, and neither should we be. Get out and vote for The Marriage Protection Amendment on May 8th. Let’s conclude our time together by going before the Lord the pray for our state, our nation, the protection of the family, and for those trapped in sexual sin.
Let me close with several reasons why we should all go out an vote FOR this amendment.