True Justice: Halting the Push for Gay Marriage
by Andrew Comiskey, M.Div.
Desert Stream Ministries
As I read of the 2600 same-sex couples wed in San Francisco last weekend, I studied a telling photograph that accompanied the article. In it, two small children looked on in confusion at the gay unions being formalized in front of them; they covered their eyes in shame as Mother locked lips with her new “spouse”, alongside of several other same-sex couples.
I thought of the confusion and shame we all feel as “in your face” gays and lesbians assert their right to justice. Shame, because we are caught between our “let’s not rock the boat and alienate anyone mentality,” and the conviction that gay marriage is not a justice issue at all but a bad idea empowered by strategic, deluded activists.
As Christians seeking to be compassionate, and relevant to the market place, our mouths have nearly been shut. Our sin is not that of the raving fundamentalist; it is the sin of passive, naïve centrism. For this we must repent. For too long we have not exercised our rightful inheritance. As Christians, we hold the keys to what constitutesthe Designer’s vision for humanity, and His repair for the broken image. We must find our voices today. Otherwise we participate in the desecration of God’s image in humanity. I believe that we should not ignore the unjust push for gay marriage. We must broaden our view to consider all who stand to lose if gay marriage becomes normative in our nation.
Consider the rhetoric of “justice” being used to defend gay marriage. Justice for who? Not for the children being subject to the pathos and instability of gay couplings. And not for the greater good of society. Perhaps the gravest injustice is visited upon gays and lesbians themselves. Formalizing gay unions undermines their true selves, andendangers their wellbeing. Here we must understand the Creator’s design for all His creation. To deny the witness of the Designer is to act foolishly and ignorantly at a time when we must assert the truth and its relevance to the law of the land.
I am convinced that every human being possesses the witness of the Creator and His design for creation. No matter what our faith commitment is, we each bear His image. The truth of that image in us may be dim in us but is not lost to us. A wise man writes: “Foundational moral principles are not only right for all, but at some level known to all.” [J. Budziszewski, What We Can’t Not Know (Dallas: Spence, 2003), p.3]
The Apostle Paul asserts this truth in Romans 1:18-20 when he describes how men in their wickedness suppress the plain truth about God and His ways that God made known to them, “so that men are without excuse.” (v.20)Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Creator’s design for gender and sexuality. His image is revealed in male/female relationships, with sex reserved for heterosexual marriage. This applies to all people—to violate this intention is to transgress His ways, and to act unnaturally, inhumanly. Out of the 10 Commandments, Commandments 6 and 9 further defend marriage by forbidding married persons from engaging sexually outside of the heterosexual covenant (“Thou shall not commit adultery”), and even forbidding them from secretly longing to do so (“Thou shall not covet your neighbor’s wife”).
“OUR SIN IS NOT THAT OF THE RAVING FUNDAMENTALIST; IT IS THE SIN OF PASSIVE, NAÏVE CENTRISM. FOR THIS WE MUST REPENT.”
Heterosexual marriage is an inviolable and inspired institution designed to protect the dignity of all persons. It alone is the solid ground in which children are conceived, secured, and empowered to stand. One man and one woman together are required for this task. This truth applies to all, and is available to all, as God has placed His design in our hearts. “Heterosexual marriage is a universal institution…one recognized by all cultures and esteemed above all other erotic relationships.” (ibid. p.36)
The homosexually inclined protest: “That is not natural to me!” But naturalness is not defined by one’s feeling state; the Creator defines the truth of what is natural and right for His creatures. In spite of his or her inclinations, the homosexual struggler possesses the witness of that design. (S)he wrestles hard against that inner voice. How often I hear of men and women with same-sex inclinations forsaking the witness of their conscience for gay sex; in violating that holy boundary, something dies in them. For a temporary rush of connection and sensual solidarity, these bearers of God’s image become less human, less true to their essential selves. Delusion sets in, a darkening of conscience. The longer (s)he remains in such deception, the more extreme will that distortion become. No true complement exists for the man or woman seeking completion in same-sex marriage. God’s design for marriage contains within it a natural boundary and balancer that helps round out the intrinsic goodness of the man and the woman.
No such grace operates in same-sex unions. As such, men with men become more extreme in their addiction prone sexuality, women with women more enmeshed emotionally, and dangerously dependent. The Apostle Paul references this downhill moral slide in Romans 1:26-32; he describes how those engaging in homosexualbehavior receive in themselves “the due penalty for their perversion” (v.27), marked by ever increasing license and approval of those who do the same (vs. 28-32).
After 25 years of offering pastoral care for same-sex strugglers, I say with conviction that blessing gay marriage is a grave injustice to the intrinsic humanity of the strugglers seeking to marry. To support their delusion is to commit a grave act of injustice against them.
As for the common good, gay marriage signals just another slam to the witness of God’s design in the culture. God has given each the witness of His design in our hearts. And that witness requires the apparent and steady witness of God’s image as we manifest it in the world. We are social creatures, created to draw meaning from the symbols of marriage and family in our culture. And to manifest those symbols to others in whole-enoughheterosexual relating.
Such a witness of God’s image is essential for the culture. Especially for those from broken homes who crave the security and empowerment that whole-enough witnesses of marital love can afford them. Even those from the most challenging background can draw life and meaning from such “icons” of order. The law must support the common good in this way: by reserving marriage and its privileges for heterosexual unions alone.
But, you may say, we have done a pretty lousy job at making our “straight” unions work. How can we then discriminate against gay marriages? To be sure, the high divorce rate and general heterosexual malaise in our culture is the shaky ground on which gay activists stand. Shaky ground indeed: such reasoning advocates that the patient (our culture) be exposed to typhoid because she already has a nasty case of malaria.
As Christians, we must take seriously the sick state of the heterosexual image of God in our culture. And at the same time preserve that image from further desecration by combating the injustice of gay marriage. Same-sex unions, featured on society pages and TV shows, create false icons of love and intimacy. They confuse young lives that are seeking to sort out their inner witness of God’s design as they interact within our culture, through its icons.
Let us seek to preserve a world that does not celebrate and advocate unions that desecrate lives. This is justice: looking out for the common good by ensuring that the symbols and statutes of marriage and family remain heterosexual.
As Christians, we must be aware that another injustice is at work. Gay marriage mocks the Creator. The created—angry and rebellious due to its lusts being unrecognized— sets itself up against the Creator by declaring its marriage right. God cannot bless such unions, as He did not design His creation for such a purpose. So in the void, gay advocates create an artificial world of bouquets and babies conceived outside of the relationship.
Stunning rebellion, utterly selfish, born of self-will and self-affirmation. A slap in God’s face. Wherever gay marriage is blessed, God is mocked. It dishonors the clear witness of His intention for His creation. It dishonors His very essence, He whose image we bear as male and female. And the progression of gay marriage in our culture marks a moral slide that will continue unless we do something about it. “Man has never been able to keep on one level of evil. The road goes down and down.” (ibid. p.159)
Let those who insist on gay marriage be heard loud and clear: the gay movement has more in mind than preventing gays from getting beat up or shortchanged on the job. They want more than civil unions. Gay activists will not stop until they are granted the full rights and privileges accorded to heterosexual marriage and family.
This involves an “annihilation of natural boundaries,” (ibid. p.199), and a fundamental reordering of how we as a culture understand and symbolize our lives together. In the end such “justice” is an act of hostility against the design intended for us by the Creator, and against the Creator Himself. (ibid. p.200)
What then shall we do? We shall serve justice in a way that represents our God, full of grace and truth. We serve justice in a way that is entirely biblical, by granting release to those captivated by sin and disorder. This was Isaiah’s prophesy of the coming Messiah (Is. 61:1-3), and Jesus’ self-described mission in Luke 4:18. In order to do so, we must provide a clear witness of the Creator’s design for all people; we then invite those bound by sin into the mercy Jesus won for us on the cross. This is true justice.
“WE MUST STAND FIRMLY AND UNASHAMEDLY ABOUT THE TRUTH OF GOD’S DESIGN FOR GOD’S IMAGE IN HUMANITY AND ITS REPAIR. DO NOT SHRINK BACK FROM PREACHING THE TRUTH.”
The Psalmist heralds such justice as he recounts God’s goodness to him. He praises the Lord who has forgiven his sin, and redeemed his life from the pit. (Ps 103:3,4) He then proclaims: “The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.” (v.6) God serves justice by reclaiming our lives from the disorder that would otherwise destroy us.
The inner witness of conscience, the Creator’s design in our hearts, cannot take us there. We can have a natural awareness of sin and evil, and yet be without recourse. The law reveals our sin; we stand condemned without the revelation of Christ who bears our sin and brokenness. In Christ, we receive forgiveness. Justice is served. This is the good news that we must administer with unprecedented clarity and confidence.
We must stand firmly and unashamedly about the truth of God’s design for God’s image in humanity and its repair. Do not shrink back from preaching the truth. Fools will rush into the void of your silence. Prepare for battle. Become a spokesperson for the hope Jesus offers the homosexually vulnerable; at the same time, warn others about the false justice perpetrated by gay activists and their sympathizers. Beware of false mercy; do not dialogue with the deluded. Stand true in the justice of Christ and His way forward for the repentant.
Take a stand in your community. Do not hesitate to warn your people about the perils of gay marriage—what it means for the future of all concerned. Take whatever political action is necessary to halt the progress of gay marriage in your state. By all means, support any measures, state or national, that legislate marriage as solely heterosexual. To do so is an act of true justice for the deceived homosexual, for the common good, and for the Creator whose image we bear.
Be careful to not swing to the other extreme of making those with same-sex struggles the enemy. Remember, the gay movement gained its momentum on the foul ground of heterosexual dissipation—divorce, infidelity, impurity, and abuse. Thus we must contextualize homosexuality in the greater context of the broken image.
And we must repent. Paul, after describing the idolatry and suppression of the truth represented by the gays and lesbians in Rome, warned his religious readers of the condemnation they invoked on themselves by judging these obvious sinners when in truth they did the same or similar things! (Rom. 2:1-4) We must cry out for a true spirit of repentance. “Just as there is a momentum to evil, so there is a momentum to repentance: (ibid. p.217) to reprove perversion, we must repent of lasciviousness, to turn from infidelity, we must forswear divorce and impurity.” (ibid. p.216)
He shall answer our repentance; we shall become communities of truth and light for those wandering in the darkness. These ones shall find true justice—the witness of His design in our humanity and its disrepair, and Jesus the Healer, discovered in our gathering. Take heart! In spite of all the advances of moral darkness in this hour, we “have an advantage in the inescapable moral design, and in the Designer Himself who hears our prayers, can’t be defeated, and who acts beyond our little defeats, beyond our sight.” (ibid. p.201)
Copyright © 2004 Desert Stream Ministries, posted with permission of Desert Stream Ministries.
For more information and permission to reprint the article please contact Desert Stream by visiting their website at www.desertstream.org.
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