Peninsula Community Church
Moral Compass – God Values Marriage
November 4, 2012
Text: … Genesis 2:23-25 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
It is hard to believe that this Tuesday is finally Election Day. For me, I am so ready to cast my vote because it seems that this election cycle has lasted forever. I don’t know about you but sometimes I feel like the little girl in this clip (show video).
As we enter the last few days of this election and we come to the end of this series, I want to share one more key issue that I believe we need to consider before we vote on Tuesday. Today, we will look at the sanctity of marriage and how that plays a role in what we will be as a nation and how it should play a role in how we vote. This is a critical issue as it is my opinion that the sanctity of marriage is under attack today like we have never seen before. We see the sanctity of marriage diminished in a number of ways. We see the increase and normalizing of divorces and multiple marriages. We have seen this glorified by way of TV and movies that present a model of marriage that is far from the ideal established by God. It would be nice to say that the church is immune to these new paradigms but the church is just as susceptible to divorce. In fact, studies have shown that while the divorce rate is 50% plus in society the divorce rate is unfortunately the same for the church.
A second attack on the sanctity of marriage is related to an aggressive gay and lesbian agenda. We have witnessed an increase in gay and lesbian relationships being interjected into many TV programs and movies. It is interesting to note what The New York Times had to say. “Gay marriage may not be the law of the land, but it has become a cornerstone of network television. NBC calls its new comedy about a homosexual couple adopting a baby “The New Normal,” and that kind of understates it. There is nothing particularly new about gay characters on sitcoms. This season they are not only normal, they seem de rigueur (required by fashion, etiquette or custom). GAY is the new straight.” (The New York Times, September 6, 2012).
To date there are six states where gay marriage is legal. So far Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington D.C. have passed laws legalizing gay marriage. Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey and Rhode Island have civil unions and California, Oregon, Nevada and Washington offer domestic partnerships (Freedomtomarry.org). As we know, today, Maryland has on their ballot a proposition to legalize gay marriage. The sanctity of marriage is certainly under attack.
While the world around us is attacking the sanctity of marriage we can to look at Scripture to set our compass, I would like to submit to you several ideas that are presented through the Gospel.
First of all the concept of marriage has always been designed by God as a Covenant between one man and one woman. In the text we read this morning, we see that God created man and woman and that the man was to leave his family and to cleave to his wife. In the Hebrew language the term man is in the masculine tense and the term for woman is a female. Therefore, God’s design was always for marriage to be between a man and a woman. We also see that Paul in Ephesians 5:31 speaks to this as well when he states “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”
The marriage between a man and woman is also a covenant as noted in Malachi 2:14 where Malachi stated But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the LORD was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.
It is interesting to note that that in the traditional Jewish wedding ceremony and the KETUBAH or the marriage contract the husband accepts certain marital responsibilities, such as the provision of food, shelter and clothing for his wife, and promises to care for her emotional needs as well. The contract is so important that the marriage is not complete until it signed by the groom and presented to the bride. This demonstrates that both husband and wife see marriage as more than a just a physical and emotional union, it is a moral and legal commitment. It is forbidden for Jewish couples to live together without this document. For the Jew, the marriage covenant symbolically represents the covenant between God and His people, Israel.
For Christians, marriage goes beyond the earthly covenant as well, as a divine picture of the relationship between Christ and his Bride, the Church. The marriage relationship models the work of God in us. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her. The wife in turn is to love her husband in recognition of his leadership and his commitment to Christ. So again we see that God’s view of marriage is to have one man and one woman united together in this covenant relationship.
A second issue that is seen through the Scripture is that misplaced emotions and ideologies cannot redefine marriage. One’s emotions and personal ideologies must never be the foundation of scriptural truth. When we depend on our emotions we can be easily deceived because our emotions can easily change.
Listen to what Paul says in Romans 1:19-32 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
It should be noted here that one sin is not greater than another. However, the problem is that some sins have greater consequences. God never intended for man to have a depraved mind but it is the response to rejecting the truth of Christ and His plan for life. So it is when we reject God’s plan and purpose for marriage.
The problem is that once again we see a slippery slope of degradation occurring as this relates to marriage. What began as people of the same sex wanting to have relationships has now evolved to them wanting all of the rights afforded married couples as defined by God. Unfortunately, it may not stop here. The organization LAMDA has reported that they are pushing for laws that will allow men to marry young boys and to have sex with them as a natural action of life.
And, finally moral depravity has always been at the center of the demise of every great nation or empire. Carl Zimmerman, a Harvard sociologist, in 1949 wrote a book entitled Family and Civilization. In the book he wrote, there are six major characteristics of any major world empire just before its fall.
- Marriage is no longer viewed as a sacred institution and today we see the demise of the marriage union in this culture;
- Alternative forms of marriage and family are condoned; gay marriage is being readily accepted as the norm;
- There is a rise of feminist movements and the emasculation of males – it is interesting to note that the Bible has done more to liberate women than any other document. In Jesus’ time a man could divorce a woman for as little as burning the toast. Women were treated as a second class citizen but Jesus on many a occasion stated that man and woman were equal as a created being.
- There is a breakdown of parental authority – Schools, computers, games and TV are now the greater substitute for parents.
- Adultery is celebrated instead of recognized as a sin
- There is a rise of sexual perversion including incest and homosexuality
As a nation we are on this slippery slope of our demise but we can make a difference. We can live according to God’s plan and purpose in regard to marriage. And, we need to know where the candidates stand on the sanctity of marriage. We can change and we can live out 2 Chronicles 7:14.
Where do the candidates stand? It is my belief that if our current administration remains in power that it will not be long before the church will be forced to support gay marriage or it will cease to exist as an institution. We see this in the recent developments with contraception and the Catholic Church. There is no regard for religious freedom and I believe that sanctity of marriage will be the next area that we see attacked. How do the candidates match up? Take a copy of the voter guide as you leave so you know where your candidate stands.