December 12, 2017

Theological Base – A Firm Foundation for Moving Forward

A Christian Response to “Same-Sex Marriage” and Same-Sex Attraction:
Part 2 of 5.

by Ken Endean

In part 1, I discussed the rise of homosexual acceptance in the wake of the sexual revolution of the 1960s and deliberate activism in support of acceptance. In this article, while I am going to cover things we might think “go without saying,” they are too important not to repeat. Truth is too important to say only once. Effective ministry involves repeating truth.

imageChristians must strive to glorify God in thinking about marriage and sexuality.

Doxological Foundation

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 — Within the context that deals with various sinful attitudes and sexual sins, Paul concludes by pointing out that a believer’s body is the temple of the Holy Spirit…therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit which are God’s.

This runs counter to the course of the citizens of the world, they …glorified him not as God…and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God… (Romans 1:21ff.).

A proper foundation recognizes that humans are made in the image of God, to fellowship with God, and to reflect His holiness, with a holy desire for Him. Instead, mankind rejected God, exalted himself, and seeks to indulge his sinful, inordinate desires.

One’s position against homosexuality must be held because it is sinful, not merely distasteful; otherwise one can become desensitized over time. The “wisdom of repugnance,” or the “yuck factor,”[1] is an emotional reaction of disgust that lacks substantive moral argumentation. It is not a strong position from which to denounce homosexuality. This visceral reaction might explain why some Christians denounce homosexuality, but laugh at sitcoms that encourage fornication, adultery, and other displays of promiscuity. One’s position must be based in God’s glory, not personal repulsion. The discussion must be rooted in the glory of God because that is where marriage begins.

imageChristians must root the definition of marriage and understanding of the institution of God’s original design as revealed in Genesis 1-2.

Webster’s Dictionary, 1828 (pre-political correctness): “Marriage — the act of uniting a man and woman for life; the legal union of a man and woman for life. Marriage is a contract both civil and religious, by which the parties engage to live together in mutual affection and fidelity, till death shall separate them. Marriage was instituted by God himself for the purpose of preventing the promiscuous intercourse of the sexes, for promoting domestic felicity, and for securing the maintenance and education of children.”, 2016: “Marriage — (broadly) any of the diverse forms of interpersonal union established in various parts of the world to form a familial bond that is recognized legally, religiously, or socially, granting the participating partners mutual conjugal rights and responsibilities and including, for example, opposite-sex marriage, same-sex marriage, plural marriage, and arranged marriage.”

Marriage has been weakened by our culture of convenience. “[T]he cultural crisis is symptomatic of an underlying spiritual crisis, the solution likewise must be spiritual, not merely cultural.”[2] Humans are a special creation bearing the image of God and thus consciously able to know and glorify God. Human identity is found upward toward God, not downward toward animals. Several bedrock principles are at stake, including:

  • God instituted the family.
  • Marriage is the backbone of society.
  • Stable families strengthen society.
  • Redefining marriage erodes religious liberty.

The argument that traditional marriages have problems and that divorce has harmed the institution of marriage is not a reason to further erode the institution that God ordained to be permanent, heterosexual, and monogamous. Marriage was God’s idea. God brought the woman to the man (Gen. 2:22). She was a perfect complement for him, and his first words — words of poetry — express this realization.

Clarity seen in God’s design — Gen. 2:24

  1. Marriage is priority — leave father and mother
  2. Marriage is complementary — cleave to his wife
  3. Marriage is monogamous — a man… his wife (singular)
  4. Marriage is permanent — God has joined together (Mark 10:9)
  5. Marriage is a holy covenant — “Gathered in the sight of God….” (see Malachi 2:14)
  6. Marriage is heterosexual — two shall be one flesh

Special Note: Where does the Bible state love is the basis of marriage? The first statement of love in Scripture is parental (Gen. 22:2). The first mention of love between a man and woman is in Genesis 24, and it speaks of love after the marriage. Point: While love is an indispensable part of marriage, just because someone claims to be in love does not give them a right to marry. There is a love that displeases God. Someone can fall in love with a married person or a person of the same gender. The discussion must not be built on feelings, but principles.

Part 1Today’s Article ♦ Part 3Part 4Part 5

Pastor Ken Endean is President of International Baptist College and Seminary.

This material was presented at a workshop during The Gospel Proclaimed Conference, March 8, 2016 at Tri-City Baptist Church, Chandler, AZ.

  1. Terminology used by Leon Kass (called the “president’s philosopher” for George W. Bush by U.S. News and World Report) 1997. []
  2. Andreas Köstenberger, with David W. Jones, God, Marriage, and Family: Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation. (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2004), pp. 15-16. []

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