As Illinois joins the chorus for redefining marriage in the Summer 2014, recognizing a same-sex civil union as “married,” we will hold the fort on biblical marriage:
1. Because the civil magistrate is ordained of God (Rom. 13) and is duly authorized to uphold moral standards, being made in the image of God. Marriage is God’s idea and plan for the good of man. If the magistrate violates what God has blessed, then we will obey God and pray for man.
2. Because Scripture recognizes civil marriages between a man and a woman as legit in 1 Cor. 7:27, “Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free.” The reason he says this is because a man in the church came to know Christ while his wife didn’t. He was married as a lost man, out of church, but his marriage “was in the sight of God” because God is over the magistrate as well as the church, even if the magistrate does not recognize God’s definition of marriage.
3. Because a civil marriage union between any other than a man and a woman is not recognized by God no matter what the magistrate says (Gen. 3). The reason why is because human marriage is meant to display the marriage between Christ and his bride, the Church (Eph. 5:31-32).
4. Another reason why is because sex between a married man and woman is the only sexual expression that God has sanctioned for the welfare of mankind (Song of Solomon). Polls and surveys still show that sexual fulfillment ranks the highest among a husband and wife who keep covenant with each other no matter what, while sexual disillusionment, saddness and frustration ranks the highest among fornicators, adulterers, homosexuals, rapists, pedophiles, porn master-baters, sexual en-slavers of young girls, bestial purveyors, and so on. Even on Jay Leno, when a rare Holly Wood movie star comes on and reports a 40 year heterosexual marriage to the same person, the audience applauds. And no wonder, life-long monogamous marriage evokes amazement, beauty, and something transcendent that causes everyone to wonder if there is some deeper meaning behind this. There is!
The sexual frustration and brokenness in our world is not because of the Christians’ stance on sexuality. We don’t live in an a-sexual world where sex is a neutral expression between anything that feels up to it, or down to it for that matter. But rather, we live in a world and with conscience, where most fathers would beat the crap out of a 19 year old man who physically forced himself onto his 13 year old daughter behind the bleachers. Why do we feel indignant over any kind of sexual expression if there is not a Sexual God in Heaven who has made us as sexual beings to display what is holy and good, and therefore, what is not holy and good?
5. Because Sex without a Marriage Ceremony is Fornication. There is no Union, not even after 10 years of living with each other having sex, though the magistrate might say so. Without a Marriage Covenant Ceremony – it’s still 10 years of fornication. Jesus told the woman at the well that she was living in sin because she was having sex with a man that was not her husband (John 4). No one should think that Jesus would say otherwise after having sex with him for 10 years. A man having sex with a woman does not make him a husband and a woman having sex with a man does not make her a wife. What makes a single man a husband and a single woman a wife is a covenant that he/she accepts as a charge from God and Man (Gen. 3; Song of Solomon; Rom. 13; 1 Cor. 7; Hebrews 13:4).
6. Because Sex outside of Marriage Sex is Adultery. God sees sex outside of married sex as such a grievous violation of the Union, that he permits the violated spouse the recourse to divorce and dissolve the marriage, if he or she wants to (Matt. 19:9). To this day, not even the homosexual wants to be cheated on. But why have any repulsion at all if any kind of sexual expression and activity is permissible? The homosexual has no right to judge his or her partner for being unfaithful because that would be a moral judgment on sexual expression. But that is precisely the point: Faithfulness is part of the designed order of God’s world of sexual beings. Even the homosexual can’t help but desire what is good and holy – Faithful Sexuality. But where does this desire for faithfulness and commitment come from, but God?
7. Finally, We Will Believe in Something that is Non-negotiable. If blue is red and ice is warm and the moon is square and brussels-sprouts are delicious and marriage is whatever anyone says it is, then why believe in anything? Everyone believes in something worth fighting for no matter the consequences. Because we love both God and Man too much to believe in nothing, which is the same thing as approving everything, we will do our best with love and grace to hold the fort on marriage as defined by the very God who sent his Son to die to save his wife.