What’s Wrong With Same-Sex Marriage

Title: What's Wrong With Same-Sex Marriage

Bible Book: Selected Passages

Author: Paul E. Brown

Subject: Marriage; Same-Sex Marriage



The issue of so-called “same-sex marriage” is very much in the news these days, and has been for a long time now, as all of us are aware. A few years ago, when it first became a major public issue, the polls showed that the majority of people in America felt same-sex marriage to be wrong, but there has been a continuing erosion of moral and spiritual clarity across our beloved land, so that now--if certain reports are to be trusted--a majority of people polled say that they see nothing wrong with such unions. Indeed, the proponents of same-sex marriage have pushed their point of view to the extent that now it has become politically correct to endorse same-sex marriage. In fact, those who dare to publicly denounce such unions are often criticized as bigots, and some have lost jobs or have been persecuted in other ways.

My guess is that I’m speaking to a congregation, most if not all of whom, agree that it’s wrong, but I’m speaking on the subject for two reasons: First, to remind all of us afresh why it’s wrong, in the hope that our thinking together on the subject tonight will help us to be at least a little better equipped to explain our position to others. Secondly, and of great importance, I’m also speaking on this subject just in case there might be someone present who approves of same-sex marriage, or at least might be “soft” on the issue--and if so, my prayerful hope is that you will face up to the truth about same-sex marriage and abandon the notion that it is in any sense acceptable.

So, let’s consider the question, “What’s wrong with same-sex marriage?” 

I. It is Contrary to the Biblical Pattern for Marriage

First, same-sex marriage is wrong because it is contrary to the Biblical pattern for marriage.

A. That fact EVIDENCED

The very expression, “same-sex marriage” is a contradiction in terms. The Bible teaches clearly that marriage is the God-ordained union of one man to one woman, for life.

Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Genesis 2:21-24 elaborates:

“And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

In Matthew 19:3-6 we read of a statement Jesus made about marriage:

“The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

Throughout the Bible, it is evident that marriage is between a man and a woman. For example, in Romans 7:2-3 we read:

“For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.”

B. That fact EXPLAINED

The Bible teaches that there are at least two purposes for marriage:

1. Companionship

One purpose of marriage is that husband and wife provide one another with the unique companionship that can only be provided by a member of the opposite sex. In Genesis 2:18 we read: “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” The Hebrew word for “meet” means “appropriate” or “suitable”--in fact, the NIV translates it that way: “suitable.” The inspired writer goes on, then, to tell of how God created for Adam a suitable companion--a woman.

Men and women are not only different physically, they are different psychologically and emotionally. Each spouse complements the other because of those differences. Two people of the same sex can’t meet one another’s needs in the way that God intended.

2. Procreation

Another purpose of marriage is for the propagation of the human race. In Genesis 1:28 we read: “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion....” Obviously that is impossible for two people of the same sex.

Those contending for gay marriage point out that some heterosexual couples can’t have children, or in some cases choose not to have children--as if somehow that makes gay marriage all right. Not so. For one thing, couples not having children are the exception, not the rule--and exceptions do not invalidate the rule. All exceptions and special cases notwithstanding, the simple biological fact is that only a man and a woman can produce a child.

Gay activists protest that the real enemy of marriage today is heterosexuals who break their marriage vows or abuse their spouse in some other way. Well, of course, no right-thinking person would defend adultery or any other type of spousal unfaithfulness or mistreatment--but the fact that some have not lived up to an ideal does not invalidate the ideal. God’s ideal, God’s pattern for marriage, is one man married to one woman for life--the Bible makes that fact unquestionably and emphatically clear.

II. It Subverts God's Plan for the Raising of Children

In that same connection, but deserving separate mention: same-sex marriage is wrong because it subverts God’s plan for the raising of children.

A. Children need a father and a mother

The 10 commandments were given by God himself, and were intended to be the bedrock for all of society, for all generations to come--and here’s what God said in the fifth commandment, recorded in Exodus 20:12: “Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”

The underlying assumption of that commandment is that a child will have a father and a mother present in the home to raise him. That same assumption is evident in God’s command to Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply--they are to have children, and those children are to have a father and mother. Indeed, that assumption is clear throughout the Scriptures, as God gives instructions for the family--children are to have a father and a mother--not two fathers, or two mothers.

B. Arguments to the contrary are invalid

Sometimes homosexuals and lesbians point to the fact that many children are raised by single parents, as if somehow that makes gay marriage a legitimate alternative--but it does not. Children being raised by single parents are exceptions to the rule--and, again, exceptions do not invalidate the rule.

My heart goes out to single parents. Many are single not because they desire to be, but because unavoidable or at least unbearable circumstances have brought it about. Some are single because a spouse was unfaithful, or was abusive, or walked out. Some are single because their spouse died.

Not only does my heart go out to single parents, but my hat goes off to them. Many of them are doing an admirable job. It’s a tough assignment. It’s not ideal. But many single parents are doing their very best to walk with God and to raise their children accordingly, and in many cases those children--by the grace of God--are turning out to be solid, even outstanding, citizens.

Proponents of the gay agenda ask, “But rather than have a child raised by a single parent, wouldn’t it be better to have him or her raised by a same-sex couple?” The answer is a resounding “no.” Generally, single parents are survivors of what at least began as the right kind of union--one man married to one woman; but so-called same-sex marriages are wrong from the beginning, and at no point can such a union become right.

Years ago in a publication from Focus on the Family, the author quoted Jaki Edwards, a young woman who spent her critical adolescent years, along with her younger brother, in a home with her lesbian mother and her mother’s various lovers. She said this about her experience:

“I realize that homosexuals feel they can give a child love and support that even many straight
families can’t provide. But I’ve been there. I know the finger-pointing and the shame one
carries. For years, you struggle with the thought that you might be a homosexual. People say,
‘like mother, like daughter.’ Most of us become promiscuous to prove we’re straight.”

She then went on to raise this question: “How will a man raised by two men know how to relate to a woman? A woman brought up like this doesn’t know how to emotionally connect with men. I had to struggle for years to believe a man could really love me.”

Same-sex marriage cannot be justified Biblically, logically, physically, or psychologically, or on any other legitimate grounds.

III. It Amounts to an Assault on the Home

All that we’ve considered thus far adds up to this: same-sex marriage is wrong because it amounts to an assault on the home.

The home is the basic unit of society. God created the home before the church, and before civil government. Plato said that a nation is but “the life of the family writ large”--and the inspired author of Psalm 11:3 warns: “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?”

Several years ago, in a letter to his listeners, Dr. James Dobson wrote: “Over the past several months, we’ve been in a downward spiral. Now, the very institution of marriage is on the ropes. Imagine a future where marriage means only a temporary relationship between any number of people of any gender. We could see polygamy, group marriage, even things I wouldn’t want to mention. Our sex-crazed society could fall right into the abyss. Western civilization itself appears to hang in the balance.” And now, years after he made those statements, Dr. Dobson’s words are even more relevant.

He went on to say: “But even for those who don’t take the Bible into account, heterosexual
marriage has been the cornerstone of every civilization from the beginning of humanity. Only in the last few ‘milliseconds’ of human history have we even entertained the idea that marriage is anything other than the union of a male and a female.”

Jeff Jacoby, writing in the Boston Globe several years ago, said:

“My foreboding is that a generation after same-sex marriage is legalized, families will be even
less stable than they are today, the divorce rate will be even higher, and children will be even
less safe. To express such a dire warning is to be labeled an alarmist, a reactionary, a bigot, and
worse....But it is not bigotry to try to learn from history, or to point out that some institutions
have stood the test of time because they are the only ones that can stand the test of time.”

Developments since he wrote those words show Jacoby to have been on target.

James Dobson said: “The stability of the American family today is not only being slandered, but slaughtered! Indeed, bad things will continue to happen if good people do nothing.”

IV. Because Homosexuality and Lesbianism are Wrong

The “bottom line” of the whole business is this: Same-sex marriage is wrong because the Bible teaches that homosexuality and lesbianism are morally wrong--they are sinful--and being in some kind of legally sanctioned relationship with another gay person doesn’t make it any less wrong. Homosexuality and lesbianism are not legitimate alternate lifestyles, nor are they genetic inevitabilities--they are sinful, God dishonoring choices.

In Genesis 19 we’re told of two angels, appearing as men, who came to visit the home of Lot in Sodom. In Genesis 19:4-7 (NIV) we read: “Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom--both young and old--surrounded the house. They called to Lot, Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them. Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, ‘No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing.’”

Then, with unimaginable cowardice and moral bankruptcy, Lot offered to give them his own daughters if they would leave his guests alone. They tried to force the issue, but the angels blinded the men, and then told Lot to get his family ready to escape, because the city was going to be destroyed. Genesis 19:13 (NIV): “because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the Lord against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it.” Genesis 19:24 says, “Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven.”

Another similar experience is recorded in Judges 19:22-30.

Leviticus 18:22 says, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”

In Romans, chapter one, the apostle Paul speaks of what can happen when people fail to acknowledge God, and thus fail to thank him for his blessings. From the point of ingratitude people sink lower and lower, one step at a time. Romans 1:22 says, “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” Verse 24 says, “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves.” Verses 26-28:

“For this cause God gave them up into 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 recompense 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.”

In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NIV) the apostle Paul, writing under divine inspiration, lists a representative, though not complete, list of sinners who will not inherit the kingdom of God unless they are redeemed by the blood of Christ:

“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

V. The Good News for ALL Sinners

Good news for ALL sinners--homosexuals, lesbians, and all the rest of us! Paul was reminding the Corinthians that they had been redeemed from such sins. In verse 11 he said: “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

Gay or straight--we’re all sinners. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 6:23 declares: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Sin--whether it’s homosexuality or some other sin--separates a person from God. But sin can be overcome, and your life can be changed--but it’s your choice. Ephesians 1:7 speaks of Jesus in these terms:
“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”

Jesus died on the cross to take the punishment for the sins of all mankind--and that includes the sins of homosexuality and lesbianism. God loves you, right where you are--but he loves you too much to leave you there. If you’ll repent of your sins and by faith receive Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, God will transform your life, and he will give you victory over whatever sins are dragging you down.

VI. Countering the Same-Sex Marriage Movement

What can you and I do to counter the increasing prevalence and acceptance of same-sex marriage?

A. Set A God-Honoring Example

We can be sure that our own lives are characterized by moral purity, and thereby set a God honoring example.

B. Speak Out

We can speak out on the issue, but being sure to adhere to the guideline Paul gave us in Ephesians 4:15, to “speak the truth in love.” Although many in the gay community try to intimidate anyone speaking against their lifestyle by labeling us as “haters,” we mustn’t be deterred by their tactics; we don’t do them or anyone else any favors and we certainly don’t honor God by “soft-pedaling” the issue.

C. Show Love

In that same connection, in our dealings with individual homosexuals or lesbians, we must always deal with them in love--not approving of their lifestyle, but loving them as persons whom God loves and for whom Christ died, and--when we have an opening--sharing the gospel with them, letting them know of God’s power to deliver them.

D. Share our Opinions with Elected Officials

We can let our elected officials know of our desire for them to take a strong stand any time they have opportunity to speak out on the issue or to deal with legislation regarding it.

E. Pray

We can pray unceasingly for a moral and spiritual revival in our land, that God might be glorified, Christians renewed, and lost people brought to a saving knowledge of Christ.

F.  Witness

We can seek to make Christ known and to be his witnesses, wherever we go. Someone has written:

“You are writing a gospel, a page each day,

By the things you do, and the things you say;

Men are reading that gospel, whether faulty or true;

Say, what is the gospel according to you?”


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