What right do we have?

An email recently came across my desk from the Australian Christian Lobby urging me to contact Bill Shorten to express my disapproval of the proposed changes to the Marriage Act which will allow people of the same sex to marry.

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Two becoming one?

I will say clearly upfront, my belief is that marriage is an institution created by God, between a man and woman  (first modelled by Adam and Eve) for life. But I have a number of problems:

1. I live in a democratic country and it now seems that a large majority of my fellow citizens no longer believe that my faith held definition is correct.  So how far should or can I go in enforcing my understanding?  This is in contrast to promoting my understanding under the banner of free speech which I believe, as a Christian, I’m responsible to do with my life and words at all times.

2. My second question bites more deeply. If we who are evangelical/Bible believing Christians have such a high view of Biblical marriage, why have we allowed it to be devalued through our own behaviours within our own Christian community? Divorce rates in the church, even though a little lower than mainstream society, are still high. Cohabitation by church goers is also on the increase. My struggle is that we are calling others to standards that we ourselves are, increasingly, failing to hold.

3. Are there other solutions to this issue which meet the requirements of both the churches and society as whole?  In many European countries marriage is a social contract which is entered into at the town hall.  This contract gives you access to government benefits and a legally recognised status. Those who are Christian then go to a church to seek the church’s blessing. If we took an approach such as this it would separate church and state and leave the church free to bless those who believe in a Christian marriage, and it would also free it from being a “sub contractor” for marriages.

Has the time come for the Christian community to take seriously the need to make the Bible’s views attractive, not through legislation, but through the winsomeness of her own lifestyle? Like the early church, our faith driven lifestyle, should encourage our neighbours to want what God has bestowed on us.

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Categories: Children, Church | Tags: , , | 15 Comments

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15 thoughts on “What right do we have?

  1. davidgroenenboom

    Well said.

  2. Elly Hollander

    I really appreciate your words on this Pieter. It gives me something to think about, reminding me again of the opportunity we have as believers to show the love of God demonstrated to us, even though we are so undeserving. We have all fallen short of the glory of God.

  3. As I understand it, biblical (Christian) marriage is a covenant horizontally between a man and a woman and vertically between the man the woman and God. Whether the covenant is made publicly or privately probably does not really matter too much. As for all other relationships, no matter how perverse we may think them to be, I tend to side with (I believe it was Thomas Jefferson). If it neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg what difference is it to me. Of course it could also be argued that these days, thanks to socialised medicine aka medicare I am expected to pay for the treatment of diseases resulting from perverted lifestyles that it does in fact pick my pocket. My final view I guess is that government has/had no business being involved in marriage, just as government has no business being involved in medical insurance.

  4. A refreshing take on a thorny issue. It’s certainly given me a new way of thinking about it. Thanks.

  5. Kees

    I think there’s a fourth point
    Once upon a time marriage was close to a calling, and not being married was a calling to do something else which you could do more easily because you weren’t encumbered by kids
    Marriage now seems to be wholly and solely for my emotional and physical satisfaction. Kids can be part of that, and although that values them as mere commodities, that doesn’t matter, as long as I feel good.
    BTW – I’ve borrowed part of your argument for a Facebook post. I might ‘borrow’ other bits later, if I get around to it. The problem with Facebook is to keep it in bite sized pieces so that people who think in the shallow end can cope.

    PS – the foto of the train tracks looks a lot like Ida Bay?

  6. I really enjoyed reading this, it touches on an issue which I think and personally believe to be wrong. I think that marriage should between a man and a woman. Can we please talk about his more in class? I don’t want to get carried away. 🙂

  7. But does this mean that your not going to send a letter opposing this? Even though all that is true should we keep quiet when there is something we can express our disapproval on and stop something extremely abysmal?

    • Really good question. You will note that I said that we still need to proclaim truth with our words and lives. I still need to tell my society what I believe God’s word says. On the other hand we need to take good hard look at ourselves – as Christians. We have turned a blind eye to a lot of sinful behaviour. Ultimately, like the early church, I think we need to win people over with our Christlikeness, so that they believe Biblical truth.

      Letters are good. Genuine Christian lives are better.

  8. Will Duwe

    My own story is that when i first saw my wife it was love at first sight and happily and gratefully it was the same for her. As far as we were concerned we were married before God there and then. All that other stuff, preacher, marriage vows etc, etc that was for family and state, anticlimax for us. I dont care if you are gay, transexual, bidelonean or whatever. You need to make your peace with God. If you can do that and you are happy, then to hell with everyone else, they are all basically second guessing God, putting words into his mouth, dangerous thing to do if you ask me. Anyway thats just me.

    • Thanks Will but I don’t believe we have to second guess God. He has told us quite a bit about His design for marriage. … and continue with your love of your “first sight” love.

  9. mickqhs

    “Our culture has accepted two lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate. “

  10. The concept of “Subcontractor” describes my discomfort with the way it has gotten out of whack. Years ago I quit saying, “By the power vested in me by the state of…” during weddings. What we were doing was not at the pleasure of the state, but God. Well spoken.

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