Christians and “Gay Marriage”

By Dr. Rick Flanders


“Ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”

(Ephesians 5:8-11)

Of course, the homosexual “rights” movement has presented the Christian community with many new challenges.  One of the most dangerous developments for Christians in the United States has been the sanctioning of “same-sex marriage” by a number of states.  The implications of this new legal status are indeed dire for Biblical organizations, ministries, and individuals.  There could be serious consequences in the days ahead for Christians who continue to reject, criticize, or fight these so-called marriages, but we must follow what the Bible says, even if it means suffering persecution.

The fifth chapter of the book of Ephesians begins with admonitions to believers to live as “followers of God” and to “walk as children of light.”  A clear-cut testimony for the light of God and against the darkness of sin requires us to live in a way that distinguishes our lives from the practices of those around us.  Ephesians 5 deals particularly with practices related to sexual deviation (note verses 1 through 6).  We are told, “Be not partakers with them” (verse 7).  And we are told that “as children of light” we are to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (verse 11).  Light is distinct from darkness.  Christians must not only refrain from the works of darkness, but we must also keep from associating with them, or endorsing them.  To “have no fellowship” with sinful practices means refraining from complicity with them, by anything we say or do.  Rather we must “reprove them.”

There can be no serious debate or doubt over the sinfulness of homosexual practices.  They are condemned as sinful in Genesis 19, Leviticus 18, Leviticus 20, Deuteronomy 17, Judges 19, First Kings 14 and 15, Second Kings 23, Romans 1:26-27, First Corinthians 6:9-11, First Timothy 1:9-11, and Jude 7.  If you take the Bible seriously, as every real Christian must, you must regard homosexuality, not as a natural trait of some of our fellow-men, but as a sinful activity.

There also is no reasonable question about the Biblical definition of marriage.  Marriage is, and has always been, a life-long and legal commitment between a man and a woman to establish a stable environment (a home) for the bringing up of children.  Not only the Bible, but also human history and every human culture, have defined marriage as an institution specifically uniting people who can have children together.  If human children are conceived and brought into the world in the same circumstances as barnyard animals are, society could not continue to be in any real sense civilized.  Human children are not like calves or puppies, and must be nurtured and directed for years (“brought up”).  Therefore with the institution of marriage society charges the biological producers of a child with the responsibility of rearing him.  Marriage has nothing to do with emotional attachment or sexual activity (if we can call what they do by that name) between people of the same sex who, of course, cannot produce children together.  State-sanctioned contracts between homosexual people are not really marriages, by historical or Biblical definition.  At best they might be called “pretend marriages.”  The “gay marriage” is one of several departures from reason that are being currently pursued by our society, and it definitely cannot be embraced by Christians.  It is not being embraced by other sensible people either, but it certainly cannot be endorsed by people who believe the Bible.


The pressure will be on for everyone to accept same-sex “marriage” on the same level with real marriage, but Christians can never do it.  We are “stuck” because we have always told everybody that we believe the Bible to be the Word of God.  Political and societal pressure should not be able to change that.  Laws may be passed, or courts may hand down rulings, that say that everyone must accept a marriage sanctioned by the government as a true marriage, but Christians can’t do it.  We may be charged with discrimination or “hate speech,” but we must all stand our ground for the truth.  We have no choice.


Since according to the Bible, and on the basis of commons sense, same-sex unions cannot be regarded as marriages, Christians are not going to recognize them as such.  “This is my husband [spouse/wife]” will be met with “No, he’s not.”  We will love everybody as Christ does, but we will not agree that something that is not a marriage is!  In legal or business matters, Christians will refuse to recognize these contracts as marriages.  Won’t we?  The first time a believer complies with a request, or a demand, that he call it marriage will be the time he becomes disloyal to Christ.  And we will not turn from God in order to get along with society.


Already Christian florists and musicians and decorators and caterers have got into trouble for refusing to serve “gay weddings.”  This will happen more and more, and the consequences may get more and more severe.  But why should any American be punished for doing what he thinks is right?  Should a caterer or a florist be fined or jailed for refusing to participate in a Ku Klux Klan rally?  Would we expect a Jewish decorator to be forced to sign a contract to do a job for a neo-Nazi group?  Why then should Christians be forced to violate their consciences or be punished for not doing so?  Faithful Christians will not cave even to legal pressure, because they cannot bow to Baal.

The changing laws of our land are putting believers in the Bible and followers of Christ in increasingly precarious predicaments.  But it is still clear what we all must do.  We must walk as children of light and give no endorsement to the works of darkness.

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