by Chap Bettis
But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Editor: an earlier version of this post originally appeared at The Apollos Project.
Beginning in the Beginning
Scripture records that God made two people in the garden, Adam and Eve. In many ways they were identical. Each had two arms, two legs, two eyes, and two ears. They could walk independently, eat independently, see independently. All their systems worked well.
But interestingly and significantly, there was one way they were not alike: their reproductive organs. In this way they were different. But not just different without purpose. These organs were anatomically complementary. They were designed to fit together. And when they fit together, a new person was created.
Jesus affirmed the creation account in Matthew 19:4-6 when he said, “Have you not read that when he who created them from the beginning made them male and female…So they are no longer two but one flesh.”
These are radical statements today. God made them male and female. Male and female are the basis of marriage and not to be separated.
The Gift of Sexuality
The Bible teaches that this sexual union of a man and a woman has at least four different purposes: pleasure, procreation, “pasting” or bonding, and picturing.
But what we need to cover first is the power of sexuality. The Bible says that sex was God’s idea and it is a good thing. It is also powerful and to be used with care as prescribed by our Maker. It is like the power of radioactive uranium. Properly used, uranium can be a force for good. But if it is not handled correctly, radioactive uranium destroys the one handling it. The radioactive waves are invisibly destroying a person’s cells unbeknownst to them.
Similarly, God says this good and powerful thing I have created is safely used in the context of a covenantal marriage. When two people of the opposite genders commit to each other for life, then I am going to give them a powerful mechanism to picture their marriage and their union with Christ, to bond their hearts together, and to create life. With the right cautions of a life-long covenantal marriage, this is a powerful gift from God and a force for good.
Broken and Rebellious
But you know what happens in Genesis 3. Our great-great-great-etc-grandfather and mother rebelled against God and his good plan. Now everyone of their grandchildren is born both broken and rebellious.
That brokenness and rebellion affects our sexuality also. All of us are born sexually broken and sexually rebellious. We are simultaneously victims and villains.
Because of the power of this gift, we express our brokenness and rebellion in our sexuality also. The Bible would say any expression of this gift outside covenantal marriage between a man and a woman is rebellion.
The good news of the gospel is that God forgives repentant sinners through the glorious work of Christ on the cross. The Spirit is in the process of conforming us to the likeness of Jesus in all areas including sexuality.
That brings us now to the cultural question of the day. Why are Christians opposed to gay marriage?
At this moment in time, there are no other groups with sexual brokenness who are demanding specific legal rights and cultural acceptance. Our culture has shifted. We do not love the truth but declare love to be the truth.
Current Day Untruths
This movement is borne along by many untruths. Many would say I was born this way. It is my identity. Therefore you must accept me. Let’s unmask the false statements one at a time.
- First, my sexuality does not define my identity. My identity is who God says it is.
- Second, though there may be a genetic component, twin studies have shown there is not a one-to-one causation by our genes.
- Third, even if there is a genetic component, that says nothing about something being right or wrong. Plenty of people choose to fight against their desires when their hormones push them a certain way. That is the nature of holiness.
- Fourth, there are numerous men and women who can testify how the Holy Spirit has changed their desires. While this is not true for everyone, it is true for a significant number.
Biblical Christians are now using the words Same-Sex Attraction to describe attraction to the same sex. This is helpful language because it speaks to the issue of desires not identity.
Finally, a few short words on marriage. Why do Christian’s oppose homosexual marriage?
First, God is the one who defines what marriage is, not us. As his creatures, we are obligated to follow what he says. Second, Jesus reaffirmed this nature of marriage in Matthew 19.
But what about those who are not Christians? Why impose this on them? Ultimately, marriage is a creation ordinance that applies to all people – Christian and nonChristian. Universally, around the world, you see nonChristians getting married. God has put marriage in the conscience that comes preloaded on every person.
Why should the government get involved in marriage at all? If you think about it, the government does not regulate any other close relationships. For example, you could be best friends with someone, then have a fight and never speak to them again, and the government doesn’t care. So why does government care about marriage and creating strong families? The answer has to do with the furthering of the nation and the civilization. A strong home produces the best citizens. And a strong home consists of a male and a female in a committed long term relationship. Sociological studies prove that the healthiest children have a father and mother. Gee, that sounds like biblical marriage.
Since God’s Word says it is for our good and Jesus said he came to give abundant life (John 10:10), we should expect that those who live opposed to it will experience brokenness in their lives. As Christians our call is to proclaim the truth with love. Jesus said his truth sets free.
Jesus loved sinners and outsiders. But those outsiders also repented at they got closer to him. We too are called to love all people made in the image of God, even as we winsomely speak the truth in love.
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Chap Bettis is the author of The Disciple-Making Parent: A Guidebook for Raising Your Children to Love and Follow Jesus Christ. He is also a frequent conference speaker and executive director of The Apollos Project, a ministry dedicated to helping families pass the gospel to their children. For 25 years previous, he was lead pastor of a New England church plant. He and his wife, Sharon, have four children and reside in Rhode Island. You can find him on Twitter.