What Does God Say About Same Sex Marriage?

Is It In There?
There are many ‘hot topic’ issues in our culture that seem to be hard to find on the pages of scripture. You’ll be hard pressed to find “Same Sex Marriage” in your Bible’s concordance! Maybe that’s why we’re starting to see a few supposedly “Christian” churches ordaining homosexual clergy and performing same sex marriages. Liberal theologians and denominations sometimes attempt to argue that homosexuality is not prohibited by the Bible, so same sex marriage is equally permissable. The Bible, however, is clear about how God feels about homosexuality (more on that HERE), so efforts to embrace homosexuality ought to be more at home in our secular culture than they in our Christian churches.

In order for us to address the topic of same sex marriage, we’re going to have to first recognize that this specific issue is NOT addressed in the Bible, per se. Moses never talked specifically about marriage between homosexuals, and Jesus was also quiet on the topic. But this does not mean that they approved of same sex marriage, and this also does not mean that we cannot know what they thought about the issue. We can understand the truth of the Biblical teaching on same sex marriage by first examining what the bible teaches on two topics that are subordinate to the issue! So let’s jump right in…

God Has An Opinion About Same Sex Relationships
The scripture is very clear about homosexual relationships. Both the Old and New Testament speak openly and clearly about homosexuality and the God of the Bible consistently denounces the behavior:

Genesis 19:1-14
“Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. And he said, “Now behold, my lords, please turn aside into your servant’s house, and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.” They said however, “No, but we shall spend the night in the square.” Yet he urged them strongly, so they turned aside to him and entered his house; and he prepared a feast for them, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter; and they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them.” But Lot went out to them at the doorway, and shut the door behind him, and said, “Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly. Now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof.” But they said, “Stand aside.” Furthermore, they said, “This one came in as an alien, and already he is acting like a judge; now we will treat you worse than them.” So they pressed hard against Lot and came near to break the door. But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. And they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves trying to find the doorway. Then the men said to Lot, “Whom else have you here? A son-in-law, and your sons, and your daughters, and whomever you have in the city, bring them out of the place; for we are about to destroy this place, because their outcry has become so great before the LORD that the LORD has sent us to destroy it. ” And Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, and said, “Up, get out of this place, for the LORD will destroy the city.” But he appeared to his sons-in-law to be jesting.”

This classic passage from the Old Testament describes the mob in Sodom as an evil group of men who wanted to “have relations” with the men of Lot’s family! What kind of “relations” is the Bible talking about here? Clearly the men of Sodom wanted to have sex with the men in Lot’s family. Further description of the situation can be found in 2 Peter:

2 Peter 2:6-10
“…and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly thereafter; and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day with their lawless deeds), then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority. Daring, self-willed, they do not tremble when they revile angelic majesties…”

Peter clarifies the fact that the homosexual men of Sodom are under the judgment of God for their corrupt desire to “indulge the flesh”. It’s not just that these men were condemned because they wanted to ‘rape’ lot’s family; it’s that these men wanted to have sex with other men. Jude describes this desire as unnatural:

Jude Verse 7
“Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example, in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.”

The homosexuals of Sodom were seeking after “strange flesh” in that they wanted to have sex with other men. The Old Testament consistently describes homosexual sexual activity as an abomination:

Leviticus 18:22
“You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”

Leviticus 20:13
“If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them.”

The Old Testament is consistent and clear: homosexuality is an unnatural abomination to God. The New Testament is no less condemning:

Romans 1:26-27
“For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.”

1 Corinthians 6:9-10
Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Timothy 1:9-10
“…realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous man, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching…”

The words of scripture are direct, clear and uncompromising. There may be many issues and topics that are not clearly addressed in the Bible, but homosexuality is simply not one of them. From these passages, we can safely deduce how God feels about homosexuality; God says that homosexuals are…

Living an “un-Godly” lifestyle
Living in an “unprincipled” manner
Denying God’s laws related to sexuality
Indulging a corrupt and base sexual desire
Despising and resisting authority
Living in a “self-willed” manner and challenging God
Indulging in a grossly immoral act that is an abomination
Committing a detestable sin worthy of death
Engaging in sexual acts that are unnatural and indecent
Incurring the harsh judgment of God unless they submit their desire

This list is decisively clear and describes the way that God feels about homosexuality. While the list is uncompromising, it certainly does not mean that homosexuality is any less forgivable than the plethora of sins that all of us commit daily. But it is clear that God detests homosexuality.

God Has An Opinion About Marriage
God’s opinion related to marriage is just as clear as his opinion related to homosexuality. We don’t have to guess what God says about the relationship between men and women. God affirms the union of men and women because this union best reflects the entirety of God’s nature:

Genesis 1:27
“And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

Man, by himself, is not the ‘image’ of God; men AND women together reflect the complete nature of God’s ‘image’. Men are incomplete without women and women are incomplete without men:

Genesis 2:18-25
“Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.’ And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. And the man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh at that place. And the LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. And the man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.’ For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”

Man, on his own, is incomplete; it’s not good for him to be alone. And notice that the Bible tells us that the only suitable partner for a man is a woman. From the earliest scripture in the Bible, it is clear that human beings are designed for opposite sex unions and relationships. Men and women together are designed to form unions (“cleave”) and become “one flesh”. Why? Well, part of it has to do with the distinct nature of each sex. Men and women are obviously different from a physical and emotional perspective, and together they create a union that best reflects the image of God in its diversity and depth. But more than that, the relationship and union of men and women has a distinct purpose; men and women come together in unions for the purpose of having and raising children:

Genesis 3:20
“Now the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living.”

Eve’s name is important. Eve is seen, first and foremost, as the mother of all living people. The union between men and women is focused on reproduction and child rearing and Eve’s name tells it all. Heterosexual unions are not without a purpose: they are designed to provide the environment within which children can be raised. The Bible teaches that male/female relationships are not just natural, they are God-given:

Proverbs 19:14
“House and wealth are an inheritance from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.”

Proverbs 18:22
“He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the LORD.”

The New Testament affirms this view of heterosexual unions. Jesus Himself restated the words of the Old Testament as he described the union between men and women, and He affirmed the fact that these unions were designed to be permanent:

Matthew 19:4-6
“And He answered and said, ‘Have you not read, that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh’? ‘Consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.’”

Over and over again, Jesus describes the marital relationship as a relationship between men and women, not between men and men or women and women:

Mark 10:6
“But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.”

Paul’s letters reflect this reality. Marriages are ALWAYS seen as unions between two members of the opposite sex who submit to one another in a selfless and sacrificial way:

Ephesians 5:22-33
“Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each individual among you also love his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see to it that she respect her husband.”

And the Bible also tells us that marriages are not to be taken lightly. They are special and should retain a special and honored position within our society:

Hebrews 13:4
“Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”

The institution of marriage is to be honored in a way that differentiates it from other relationships. Marriage is to be revered, encouraged, honored and promoted as the specific and God-given relationship between men and women. Once again, the words of scripture are direct, clear and uncompromising. There may be many issues and topics that are not clearly addressed in the Bible, but marriage is simply not one of them. From these passages, we can safely deduce how God feels about marriage; God says that the institution of marriage is…

A union between a man and a woman only
The union that best reflects the ‘image’ of God
The only union that is ‘suitable’ based on the nature of human beings
A union that joins men and women permanently as they ‘cleave’ to one another
The union and context in which children are to be conceived and raised
The only union that is God given and approved
A union that should be committed, lasting and inseparable
A union in which women submit to men and men submit to women in a sacrificial way
A union that should hold a special place of honor in our society

Once again, the list is decisively clear and describes the way that God feels about marriage. Among al the other things that are described in this list, it is quite clear that the Bible describes marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

So, Does God Has An Opinion About Same Sex Marriage?
We know that God has an opinion about homosexuality, and we know that God has an opinion about marriage. So, it’s really not that difficult to determine how God must feel about same sex marriage. If the preceding verses tell us anything at all, it’s that God simply cannot be supportive of an institution that violates so many clear principles delineated in the scripture. If we merge our conclusions about God’s view of homosexuality and God’s view of marriage, we can formulate a number of reasons why God might oppose same sex marriage:

Same-Sex Marriages promote a lifestyle that
God describes as “unprincipled” and “un-Godly”

Same-Sex Marriages deny God’s laws related to sexuality
by indulging corrupt and base sexual desires

Same-Sex Marriages provide an environment in which people can openly
despise and resist authority by living in a “self-willed” manner and challenging God

Same-Sex Marriages promote what God describes as a detestably sinful and grossly immoral act that is unnatural, indecent and an abomination in the eyes of God

Same-Sex Marriages defy the “suitable” heterosexual design for human
union and relationship that has been approved by God

Same-Sex Marriages fail to provide the environment in which
children can be naturally conceived

Same-Sex Marriages are unsuitable for praise and honor. This veneration is to be
reserved for opposite sex traditional marriages

These conclusions are reasonable from the independent Biblical evidence related to homosexuality and marriage. If God feels as He does about homosexuality, and if God feels as He does about marriage, it’s virtually impossible to conclude that God would support the institution of same sex marriage.

So, Why Do Some Christians Disagree?
Interestingly, not every Christian believes that same sex unions are immoral or un-Godly. Not every Christian would come to the same conclusions that we have in this article. But Christians who base their opinion on the Biblical evidence will have a hard time ignoring the verses that we have described. In addition to this, Christians will NOT find any example in the scripture in which same sex marriage is either described or approved. Beyond that, Christians will NOT find any example in the Bible of an approved homosexual relationship (more on that HERE). Christians who accept and encourage same sex marriages must do so by denying what the Bible teaches; they simply must deny what God says about same sex marriage.

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