It is an oft heard assertion these days that “Jesus said nothing about gay marriage.” Indeed, this is true. But he did talk about marriage:
“Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his 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” (Matthew 19).
You’re right. Jesus didn’t directly address homosexual “marriage” – because that is not marriage, according to Jesus. Thus, to expect Jesus to have said something meaningful about homosexual “marriage” is akin to expecting Him to have said something meaningful about unicorns. It is simply not a part of the definition of marriage Jesus gives.
The next step that many than take to assert a “biblical” basis for homosexual “marriage,” particularly if they are coming from a “red-letter Christian approach” (which seems to understand the words of Jesus to be extra biblical) is to assert that we now have more knowledge than people in the 1st century AD. We know more, we have evolved, we are more sophisticated now. I have even heard some “pastors” of this persuasion assert that Jesus could not have known about sexual orientation.
Which, of course, immediately begs the question: Which Jesus are you referring to? The one of the Bible? The one who was with God in the beginning, who is God, and by whom everything (including “straights” and “gays” alike) was made? That Jesus? Because if that is the Jesus who he is claiming “didn’t know” about such things as sexual orientation, I would suspect that he is not talking about Jesus, but someone else entirely.
But, of course, that gets us to the crux of the matter – and that is modern society’s seeming unwillingness to confront the death and decay within each of us. It has enamored itself with going after the supposed problems outside of us, those endemic to “society,” hence the popularity of such vacuous phrases as “social justice.” But what of the sickness inside? Modern man in pop America does not consider this relevant and is offended when it is even brought up.
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That’s why it is so difficult, and on many occasions seemingly impossible, for modern society to confront itself with the question of the moral propriety of homosexual conduct. After all, it is what some have decided they are. This is how they express love. And being who you are, and loving the way you do, can’t possibly be wrong, right?
But this is where the character of Jesus is so flippantly maligned. Our culture has imbibed the notion that anything related to personal conduct (particularly sexual conduct) is just fine so long as it can be asserted in the name of “love.” What does “love” mean in this context? Apparently very little beyond a fuzzy feeling of emotional satisfaction, which is why Jesus has been re-made in the image of those who peddle this vision of “love”: Jesus is a great guy who meets my emotional needs, and if I ever feel like my emotional needs are not being met or satisfied, whatever caused that could not possibly be from Jesus, or something Jesus would support.
But, of course, any honest look at the life of Jesus completely belies this notion. And it is high time that Christians of all places press into the knowledge of the Messiah that goes beyond merely how he makes us feel, and includes how He would have us think, and behave. If Jesus came merely to offer fluffy feelings, that would presume that man’s most fundamental problem, the problem that God Himself felt compelled to send Jesus to fix, was that he had had a bad day, and simply needed a boost.
But this is a false Messiah – a Messiah formed by the hands of a culture that does not want to be saved, but in the time-honored tradition of the flesh, and as all of us are prone to do, seeks to justify itself.
Some things must be said, particularly when our culture seeks to transform the Messiah of God into an idol of its own creation, rather than the Lamb of God offered for my sins and theirs, because of our death in those sins.
Which Messiah shall we listen to: the Messiah of God, who beckons us into new life, or the Messiah of our perverse imaginations, who only take us further into death?
Only one saves.
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