Some time ago, a constitutional struggle in California brought the subject of same-sex marriage to the fore. The public had voted against making same-sex marriage legal. A judge, himself reputed to be gay, seemed on the way to overturning the will of the majority on the pretext that it was unconstitutional. According to the flow of news reports, emotions were running high.
A young Christian woman I encountered at the time responded to the issue in a way that troubled me. She seemed comfortable with the probability that same-sex marriage would become a viable option throughout the land because the oncoming generation was showing increasing acceptance of the trend. It seemed to me that for her the issue was just a matter of statistics — which side gathered the most votes.
Our conversation was serious but pleasant. I was talking with someone who was committed without question to Jesus Christ and who subscribed in theory to the wholeness of Biblical truth. Her response seemed sincere.
But in my heart I wanted a Christian response to be more biblical, more perceptive of the negative consequences if the judge’s interpretation should win. I hoped for a willingness to speak up in defence of marriage as a covenant between one man and one woman for life, supported by Scripture and the longstanding traditions of society.
Christian concern about standing for traditional marriage need not be rooted in any disrespect for homosexual men and women. I myself have had numerous respectful contacts with homosexuals and lesbians whom I could affirm fully as God’s valued creatures, while at the same time upholding the biblical prohibition of homosexual practices.
Christians believe in traditional marriage as the God-ordained union for bringing children into the world, and for preserving and stabilizing family, community, and society as a whole.
I don’t know how much is being done in evangelical churches to lead young believers into serious dialogue on this and related subjects dealing with the nature of marriage and the sins that violate this bonded union. I hope that marriage is being defended on scriptural grounds again and again in response to the frequent assaults in academy and media.
For Christian young people, the standards of society will be deeply affected by outcomes of the struggle. Therefore, piety, even evangelical warmth, will not be enough. Young Christians must be helped to shape their thinking in terms of Christian morality — embracing and defending standards of right and wrong as discovered in the Bible.