W hen President Obama unexpectedly announced his support for gay marriage on May 9 it added fuel to a social fire has been simmering for years. Homosexual activists have been relentless in their pressure to legally force Americans to recognize same-sex unions.
Liberal clergy have, predictably, been quick to issue statements in support of Obama’s announcement. For example, one minister quoted in favor of gay marriage was the Rev. Susan Russell, an Episcopal priest at All Saints Church in Pasadena, California. How does she justify a stand so clearly at variance with the Scriptures she is called to uphold?
Ms. Russell first asserts that since Jesus taught the most important commands are “Love God” and “Love your neighbor as yourself,” he would celebrate committed, same-sex relationships. She then presents her crowning argument: “Jesus never said a single word about anything even remotely connected to homosexuality.”
Apparently someone has distributed a memo with talking points for those who are promoting homosexual unions, because I have seen this same statement repeated by a number of different writers. It stands as one of the most egregious examples of “Scripture twisting” (2 Peter 3:16) I have ever seen, since it overlooks three fundamental facts.
First, Jesus was a Jew. He lived and died under the Law of Moses, and from the beginning of his public preaching Jesus proclaimed continuity with that Law (Matthew 5:17-20). The Jewish culture in which his ministry was conducted had, for centuries, been shaped and molded by the holiness code of the Old Testament, a code that included such clear moral standards as “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable” (Leviticus 20:13; cf. 18:22). God’s prohibitions against homosexual behavior were well understood by Jesus’ audience and did not need to be repeated.
Second, while Jesus did not need to specifically address same-sex unions, he did uphold the Biblical pattern of marriage as being between a man and a woman by quoting the account of the original union between Adam and Eve (Genesis 2:24). “Haven’t you read,” asked Jesus, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?” (Matthew 19:4-6).
The creation account cited by Jesus establishes the male-female union as divinely sanctioned, socially normative, and biologically necessary for the procreation of life (Genesis 2:27-28). I will personally believe in “gay marriage” when someone will identify for me, out of the more than 7 billion people now living on the face of the earth, just one individual who is the product of a same-sex union.
Third, Jesus himself explained that he had not, in his earthly ministry, covered every subject that should be addressed (John 16:12) but instead was sending the Holy Spirit to empower his chosen apostles to deliver his teaching in its fullness (John 16:13).
Once those apostles carried Jesus’ message out of the confines of Judaism and into the larger Gentile world, they immediately encountered a culture that was saturated with immorality, including the widespread practice of homosexuality (although not of same-sex marriage). For this reason the writings of the apostles are filled with moral instruction and urgent appeals to sexual purity, including the specific condemnation of homosexual behavior (Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
Those clergy who seek to justify gay marriage by asserting that “Jesus never said anything about homosexuality” are either demonstrating a profound ignorance of Scripture or are more concerned with politics than truth.
El Dorado, Arkansas