A related question is whether pastors should continue to perform weddings with state authority. “The state has allowed pastors to be its agents in marrying people.” One proposal is to have civil weddings and church weddings separate.
Although the case for gender ideology, and thus same-sex marriage stems from a secularist denial of human nature, reviewed by this writer in an earlier article, common sense supports both Biblical revelation and the traditional morality of chastity and opposite sex marriage. Christians must continually make this argument as we move into the future, according to Rev. Ron Lutjens of the First Light ministry in St. Louis, which works with people who have problems with same-sex attraction, and more recently, with pornography addiction. He spoke at the annual apologetic conference of the L’Abri Fellowship on Feb. 12-13.
He noted that the Obergefell vs. Hodges decision, which mandated acceptance of same-sex marriage, represents “a sea-change” in how society regards marriage. “Does the common humanity of same-sex couples require everyone to agree that there’s no essential difference between same-sex and male-female coupling?” Lutjens asked. While same-sex marriage is now “the law of the land … how are we to respond as Christians to that, and how do we bear witness in a good and constructive way to what the Lord calls us to, which is always ‘to speak the truth in love?’”
Lutjens quoted Maggie Gallagher giving her reasons for not attending a homosexual wedding if asked by a friend. The reasons would be:
1) “We’re born male and female, and marriage is the union of husband to wife that celebrates the necessity of the two genders [i.e., sexes] coming together to make the future happen.”
2) “I know the law no longer thinks that, but I have staked my life on this truth.”
3) “I would be witnessing and celebrating your attempt not only to commit yourself to a relationship that keeps you from God’s plan, but worse, I would be witnessing and celebrating your attempt to hold the man you love to a vow that he will avoid God’s plan.”
4) “To vow one’s self to sin is one thing; to try to hold someone you love to it, that’s not something I can celebrate.”
Lutjens said he has “a deep concern about the young people that have grown up in our church, and where they are on this, because … it’s in the water” of the world around us. Homosexual liberation is supported “in sitcoms, and just every other place, that this is just the next frontier for civil rights.” Three values in the secular culture are held to feed into this: 1) “compassion for our fellow creatures” (holding “that there’s nothing higher than that”), 2) Nonjudgmentalism (we cannot say one way to believe or one way to live is better than another), 3) Radical egalitarianism (“everybody should have the right to pursue what anybody else has … [it is] equal opportunity absolutized”).Lutjens quoted R.R. Reno: “Pure desire must be seen as the deepest, truest source of life,” and pursuing this is now seen as the point of life. “If you care about other people, and your worldview does not include a divinely given moral order to live by, and the possibility of a personal relationship with the creator, then kindness to another human being basically boils down to affirming their right to pursue their desires,” Lutjens said.
But Christians must affirm the understanding of marriage evident both from nature and the Bible, Lutjens claimed. He quoted David C. Jones, Professor Emeritus of Theology at Covenant Seminary, who offers three criteria of marriage:
1) “Marriage is a sexually based social institution for the union of the couple and the procreation and nurture of children.”
2) “The primary purpose of marriage is the union of the couple in a lifelong companionship of conjugal love [between] sexual opposites.”
3) “Conjugal love is ordered to procreation, definitionally a man and woman … but its unitive purpose, i.e., to bring the man and woman together, is prior and primary.”
By contrast, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, that first legalized same-sex marriage in the United States, said of marriage that “we construe civil marriage to be the voluntary union of two persons as spouses.” According to Lutjens, this means that “the whole idea of sexual complementarity is gone.” This “radically alters that institution for everyone.”