The attempts to redefine marriage have been going on for more than a decade. In the past few months, Ireland and USA have made overt, definite steps to legalise same-sex marriage. Many other countries around the world are moving in the same direction. In Singapore too, the voice in favour of same-sex marriage is getting louder. There is an incredible surge of interest in affirming homosexuality over the last few months. In my opinion, ‘gay marriage’ will soon become a common practice across the world.
Therefore, we must not dither over this issue! Should Christians go along with the changing mindset of modern society about marriage? Unfortunately, some churches around the world have made public affirmation of their approval of same-sex marriage as an acceptable practice. Some churches have accepted unrepentant homosexuals as members, and even appointed such as leaders of their denominations or congregations. Though it is a very sad phenomenon, we do know that such spiritual and moral erosion and decadence have already been predicted in the Scriptures as signs of the end-times. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
This original blueprint of marriage has been reaffirmed repeatedly in the New Testament as well. Jesus categorically declared the marriage union as between a man and a woman in Matthew 19:4, 5 (cf. Mark 10:6, 7). The apostle Paul also upheld the “man-woman” marriage union, just as God has originally intended it to be (Ephesians 5:31).
Marriage is created by God, and is defined by God’s Word as the covenantal and sexual union of a man and a woman in lifelong allegiance to each other alone, as husband and wife. God created man male and female, each with distinctive masculine or feminine natures and thereby distinctive roles in marriage as husband and wife. For modern churches and their leaders and members to “rewrite” the marriage institution as including same-sex union is an appalling defiance of God’s sovereignty over this solemn institution. No government or judge or church leader is above God! If human institutions and authorities would defy and violate the divine purposes and authority, then every faithful church and Christian must seek to stand firm for the declaration and practice of God’s command. As Peter and other apostles said, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
The mysterious and profound meaning that Scripture gives to marriage is that God has instituted the marriage relationship between male and female — which is the only manner they may fulfil their distinctive roles as husband and wife so that they may manifest the pure, sanctifying love that is between Christ and the church. The husband is commanded to pattern his relationship to his wife after Christ’s headship over the church; he is also to relate to her with the sacrificial love that Christ has demonstrated through His life and death for the church. The “great” (and thus glorious) mystery of marriage, as God has instituted it when He created man and woman, is that in the marriage relationship as male and female, they may represent Christ and the church. Thus, it is incumbent that the roles of man and woman as husband and wife should not be exchanged.
Romans 1:24-32 depicts it thus, “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”
However, ‘same-sex marriage’ proponents teach people not to repent from the sin of homosexuality for the salvation that Christ offers. The Gospel of salvation is also offered to repenting homosexuals. But habitual, permanent engaging in same-sex activity, and the rejecting of the Gospel call to repentance and belief on Christ, will exclude a man from God’s kingdom and will utterly condemn him.
The recognition of ‘same-sex marriage’ is a clear social and personal statement against God and His sovereignty, against Christ, the Church and the Gospel. It will lead to greater spiritual and moral declension in our homes, churches and society. May our church continue to preach the Word, rebuking sins and calling people to repentance, faith and salvation. May all our members walk to please God and, by their words and actions, promote godliness and the Gospel.