Of Marriages And Diets

Is this a valid reason to abandon marriage? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

As I was writing yesterday’s blogpost, I had a number of people tag me on Facebook and ask “What do you think of this?” and this was the very picture I was writing about. Today, I’d like to tackle another one that has been making the rounds. It’s another one that sadly convinces me those on the left in this debate really don’t bother to listen to what their opponents say.

First off, the opening claim is just false. Even if you are a skeptic, it should be easy to accept that a redefined marriage of two men or two women is against someone else’s religion is a fact. That doesn’t say anything about the emotional state of the person who holds that religion. The anger is already imposed. (This happens all too often as those of us who are conservative are often accused of having hate towards the other side.)

I don’t go to bed at night steaming about homosexual couples. The issue matters to me, but I have many other things to think about. It’s on the other side unfortunately that if we are told we don’t agree, well here come the hounds out to shut down our businesses and demand our freedom to operate be taken away.

That’s only the start of the problem.

The majority of the real argumentation on the right is not going “The Bible says X, therefore Y should be forbidden.” Most of us are making arguments based on the nature of marriage and a natural law understanding of marriage. Yes. I am sure Pastor Bob down at the local Southern Baptist Church is getting up in the pulpit screaming about what the Bible says and doesn’t have a clue about these natural law arguments, but note I stated the real argumentation. I am not against the Bible, but if one side doesn’t believe it, it has no authority for them, at least in the sense that it doesn’t change their thinking.

Ultimately, when I have seen this debated online, it comes down to what a marriage is. It has always before been understood as two adults of the opposite sex coming together in a union generally with the goal of bringing about and raising children. Now we are told that it doesn’t matter what two consenting adults do.

But why should this be the case?

First off, consider the case of Armin Meiwes. He was a cannibal who was convicted for eating someone. Here’s the relevant part. This person wanted to be eaten. He fully consented to everything. Thus, we have an action between two consenting adults. To make this wrong, you will need another qualifier then. Two consenting adults is not sufficient.

Second, what exactly is an adult? In Biblical times, as was much of the world back then, as soon as the kids hit puberty, it was time to marry them off to someone else. Teenagers in the past would be forming families. Today, having a relationship with a teenager can get you hit with a statutory rape charge. There is nothing magical about the age of 18 that makes someone an adult. We’ve all known adults well over 18 who are essentially children and we’ve all known children younger than 18 who have been forced through circumstances to grow up early and practically function as adults. Also, consider how many children who commit crimes can be tried as adults.

Consent is also not good enough. This is supposed to protect it from applying to children as well, but we constantly make children do things without their consent that is for their good. They go to school, do chores, go to bed, eat healthy, and get vaccinations and medical treatment they don’t like, without their consent. Loving parents who genuinely love their children do this.

Third, we might as well ask about the number two. Why should marriage be limited to two people? The Mormons held to polygamy for some time and were brought before the government for that one. If we are removing the requirement that the people be of the opposite sex, it would be far easier to remove the number. Not only that, there is a much greater historical basis for polygamy than for the redefinition of marriage.

What is being asked is what marriage is and what is the purpose of it. It is not just a union for the happiness of two adults. It is a nation building institution in the sense that these people are the ones capable of bringing about the next generation. The state has all reason to want to promote that as it kind of needs new people to survive. Hypothetically, imagine how much damage we could do to China and Russia if we could launch a biological attack somehow over those entire nations that would sterilize everyone in those nations.

And if marriage is about the continuing of the species, then the state has an interest in promoting the type of union that can do that job. The state has no interest in promoting a same-sex couple as they can never do that. Marriage is not to be meant about the affirming of the people involved, but why the people are coming together in the first place.

Now suppose someone says “Well, Christians can really say that these are the reasons, but we know the real reason is what the Bible says!” Let’s suppose 100% that that’s true for the sake of argument. That doesn’t change the fact that the natural law based arguments are on the table. Those still have to be addressed.

Suppose someone makes a powerful argument to me for atheism and I don’t know how to answer it. It does not work to say, “You only make that argument because you want to be free to live your life sexually however you want.” That could even be 100% true. I am sure there are Christians who hold to Christianity just for the benefits they want to receive and I am sure there are some atheists who hold to atheism because of the sexual freedom.

The argument still has to be addressed.

This meme is not addressing any real arguments. It is not even making one. It is just pointing to motives and trying to read emotions into the other side.

It’s a shame so much has to be written to deal with something because so many do take it seriously.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)


What Do You Love?

Do you really need to love something a little bit less? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

C.S. Lewis once wrote that the problem we have is not that we love something too much. It’s that we love what we ought to love too little. Our loves get out of order. I thought about this today as I saw my sister put up a meme about the two things women want. They want to eat and they want to lose weight. Many times, we do want things that are contradictory. We want to study the way that we should, but that new show came out on Netflix and we really want to binge watch it.

Right now, at the apartment complex we live in, the pool has just opened up. This is wonderful for Allie because she loves to swim and that’s good exercise for me. It’s a challenge for me because I really do not like water at all. I say this mainly because I want you to know I have to apply this in my own life. I had a frightening experience with water as a child growing up and so it takes everything to get me to function well in it. Still, it means a lot to Allie and I’m not sure how many people out there have noticed it, but women can sure be awfully persuasive to men.

So here I am caught between two things. I want to please Allie as much as I can, but there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to step out of my comfort zone. I want to stay safe. I want to avoid pain. Now to be sure, it doesn’t mean that it’d be wise to say “I’m going to do the right thing right now and get over this and just jump into the deep end.” No. That would be foolish. It means step by step I overcome the fear. For me for now, I’m working on getting used to getting my face to come into contact with water more and more until I’m comfortable with it.

To go to what my sister said, there’s a really simple principle I think to dieting. When you love health more than you love food, then you will start to get health. That might sound really basic, but I think you will find it holds up. Unfortunately, too often we like to cheat with things like this and say “It’s just a little bit.” How many of us have said “I’ll just spend a couple of minutes on Facebook” only to find out we’ve spent about half an hour scrolling through our news feed?

This is also what happens in marriage. It involves giving of yourself for the sake of the other. If I want my marriage to be the best, I have to look out for Allie first and myself second. Now for this to work optimally, Allie has to be willing to do the same thing. Unfortunately, there’s a tendency to try to look out for #1. For men, it can be “What can I do to get sex out of this?” For women, it can be “What can I do for that emotional closeness to my husband?” This is why it’s said that men usually give love to get sex and women give sex to get love.

So for getting past my fear of water, I need to seek to be more loving to my wife. How will this apply to other areas? Will I not be more willing to do anything for Jesus if I learn to love Him even more? Will I not want more of what He wants and live the way He would have me live?

Basically then, pick the area you want to succeed the most in and ask what you love the most. Whatever it is, that is the way that you will go. If you don’t like where you’re going, that’s the time for some real introspection to ask about your priorities. It’s something we all have to do, myself included.

Don’t seek to love something else less. Just love the greater good more. See the good in it for what it is and seek to pursue it regularly.

In Christ,
Nick Peters