Thank you for your timely question. This is surely a current topic. In the last few years there has been an enormous change in our country on this issue. It appears that it will soon be the law of the land. We often read that a public official has changed his mind on gay marriage and now publicly supports it, sometimes because an individual close to them, a child or friend, wishes to make their relationship to another of the same sex legal, in some part because various legal benefits would be opened up to both individuals.
One problem with our law occurs when two heterosexual people of the same sex chose to live together as friends throughout their adult lives. Their bonds of friendship and mutual interests have drawn them to live under one roof and they have created a family. It’s sad that these two adults can’t file a “family” (in place of a married) tax return, or be recognized as kin in a medical situation. When it comes to inheritance, the living friend should receive the benefits of close family. This is a problem with our civil laws. Some proponents of same sex marriage justify their positions due to these legal issues. However, we, Christians, cannot base our behaviors on the laws of the land. Christians turn to God’s written word for our moral guidelines.
1) The Bible defines marriage in the following three Scriptures:
– Jesus said in Matthew 19:5, "…For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh…"
– The Apostle Paul gives extensive counsel on marriage between a man and a woman in 1 Corinthians 7:3-9 and in Ephesians 5:22-33, in which he quotes Jesus' words just cited given above [man, wife, one flesh].
– The Apostle Peter likewise gives counsel on marriage between a man and a woman in 1 Peter 3:1-6. Peter recalls from the Old Testament Abraham and Sarah and the nature of their relationship as man and wife.
There just isn't any wiggle room in Scripture to rationalize that marriage between a man and a man or a woman and a woman is ok. It is an absolute in Scripture.
However, a compassionate Christian may wonder how a homosexually oriented person might live a full life if he is not in a sexual relationship? The bond of a sexual relationship can bring many joys and blessings, but a full life is not dependent upon sexual intimacy. Our Lord Jesus was celibate. The Apostle Paul lived without sexual intimatacy, “To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am.” I Cor. 7:8 Therefore, celibacy is the Scriptural path for unauthorized sexual desires. Yes, it may be a very difficult course to follow, but all mankind struggle with fallen tendencies.
We, all, have imperfect bodies. As a result of the fall, some people struggle with anger and rage, others with addictions, and yet others with lust. Homosexual passions were never ordained of God and may not be acted upon. Part of the Christian experience is learning to battle the fallen flesh to be transformed into Christlikeness. As the Apostle Paul states, “For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.” Romans 7:22 – 25.
Should Christians support gay marriages? No, it is not Scripturally sanctioned. What should our attitude be toward those in gay unions? Compassion tempered with principle.