How Not To Argue Marriage

Is there a way to not argue for marriage? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

I recently got shown a letter in the local newspaper by a minister writing about how unconditional love demands the recognition of same-sex marriages. I was quite appalled at what I saw and immediately drafted out a response that after some shortening, the newspaper is going to put up.

In checking the web site to see what people are putting up, I notice the rampant quoting of Scripture. Now I love Scripture and think we should all know and treasure it, but I do not think the way we are going to win the marriage debate is by quoting Scripture.

Here in the South, it might have more credibility, but I’d like for you if you’re a Christian to imagine what it would mean for you if someone said that their Scripture, the Koran, tells you how it is you’re supposed to live. It could even be something you agree with as Islam does not approve of homosexuality, and yet you would not take it seriously. It is doubtful you’d go out saying “The Koran says the same thing!”

The problem is the person you’re usually dialoguing with will not accept the Bible as authoritative. Now if they do, that would change things, but even still there can be a problem.

What will usually happen is that someone will quote Leviticus 18 and tell how homosexuality is considered an abomination. The skeptic will reply “And so is eating shellfish. Should we do away with that?” Now I do not believe this is a good argument, but it is a common one. What will happen? You will immediately shift away from the topic of homosexuality to a debate on biblical inerrancy and interpretation.

In fact, you could, and I believe you can, win that argument and the person will then just say “Well that was also another time and culture.” This is a route where you could win the battle and lose the war. Of course, there is an answer to that, but would it not be best to avoid the debate altogether?

The moral commands of the Bible were not new. One does not need Scripture to know right from wrong. If you were to go to Leviticus 18 and 20, two passages that condemn homosexuality, you would find this. In both passages we are told that the nations Israel is dispossessing are being driven out because of these actions. In other words “They are getting punished for what they know is wrong.” If this knowledge could not be known, there would be no basis for punishment.

If this is the case, then instead of looking at just what Scripture says, which is informative, let’s look at why it says it. What is the reasoning that we can all possess that should show us that homosexual behavior is wrong and is part of general revelation?

There are many ways of doing this. Some people come from a medical perspective and show the dangers of the behavior. Some come from a statistical behavior and using social sciences study the behavior to show the problems. Some, like myself, come with a philosophical bent and seek to study sexuality that way and the family and show how it’s wrong.

These are all effective ways and prevent another great danger. When we reason with just the Bible, we are more prone to look like brain-dead fools. I am certainly not saying we are, but I am saying that that is how we will be perceived. We can actually take up the weapons of the enemy and meet them on their own turf and win. The one who loves the Bible should also love knowledge outside the Bible.

This will lead to better debates, debates we can all take more seriously, and let’s hope that they are.

In Christ,
Nick Peters