What's Wrong With Same-Sex Marriage
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by James Kennedy, Jerry Newcombe
Description: Two trusted authors explain what the Bible says about homosexuality and marriage--that homosexuality is wrong and marriage is for one man and one woman. The authors call for a loving, organized response to same-sex marriage.
eBook Publisher: Crossway Books, 2009
eBookwise Release Date: June 2009
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [187 KB]
Reading time: 100-140 min.
Before the state, before the church, God created the oldest institution on this planet, and that is the institution of marriage. It is the oldest and the most universal of all of God's institutions. Wherever you would go in this world today, whatever continent, whatever nation, you would find there men and women joined together in the bonds of matrimony, rearing families.
This is a very critical time in the life of marriage. The New York Times declares, "The United States is becoming a post-marital society." Remarkably, in the entire history of the human race, what has happened in just the last few years, a millisecond in the history of mankind, is a massive effort to destroy that institution--an effort that is making ominously large strides forward.
[Footnote 1 : The New York Times, November 23, 2003, quoted in Phyllis Schlafly, Phyllis Schlafly Report (Alton, IL: Eagle Forum, December 2003), 2.]
[Footnote 2 : James Dobson, "Family News from Dr. James Dobson," Colorado Springs: Focus on the Family, September 2003, 4.]
But as far as the biblical record is concerned, God created one man for one woman. So it was in the beginning. It's really awesome to think, ladies and gentlemen, that God took part of a man and tailor-made a woman for him. We were made for each other by divine design. So it was seen in the Old Testament, and also in the New.
Christ performed His first miracle at a wedding in Cana of Galilee (John 2). He defended marriage before the Pharisees, pointing out that when men and women departed from God's design of marriage, it was because of the hardness of their hearts. He said it was not so from the beginning. And He brought them back to creation to make His point (Matt. 19:39). Marriage is of historical and biblical importance, and it is basic and essential to the culture in which we live.
This nation has been built upon good families, and that has been the strength of every nation. Even Napoleon Bonaparte said that what was needed was good mothers--women in families rearing children, and with that, France would be strong, he said. He was a very perceptive man. Marriage is important for culture, it is important for individuals, it is important for husbands and wives.
But in the last few decades marriage has been under a threefold assault, more intense than it has ever seen before. First came the no-fault assault, when lawyers and politicians decided they were going to make it easier to get a divorce. The result was the skyrocketing of the divorce rate in America. One recent sociologist said mountains of evidence show there never was a law passed that brought so much misery and unhappiness to so many people as no-fault divorce. Some of you have probably been through that. It has been, indeed, tragic.
Many people I have talked to have told me, "We just don't love each other anymore. Things have gotten so bad, we can't go on. We just have to get a divorce. After all, didn't we get married just to be happy?" And with that self-centered, self-indulgent, hedonistic view, which we find so prevalent today, it seems perfectly logical to get divorced. "I am not happy now. If I get a divorce, I am going to be happy in the future."
Like all of the lies of Satan, eventually time proved this idea to be false. What have the studies shown? There have been more sociological studies on marriage and divorce and families in the last few decades than ever before--taking couples that were at the point of getting a divorce, who were about to throw it all over, throw in the towel, and these studies found that five years later only 22 percent of those who went ahead with the divorce were happy. What about those who decided to stick it out, seek help and counseling, and try to fix their marriage (which for most probably seemed hopeless)? Five years later, 86 percent said they were happy. God's way is the right way. Unfortunately, only too often we discover that too late.
[Footnote 3 : Linda J. Waite and Maggie Gallagher, The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially (New York: Doubleday, 2000), 67, 148.]
Studies have shown that married couples, more than divorced or single people, are generally happier. They have more wealth; they, on average, have better homes; they feel their lives are more fulfilling; and, note this, they have more fulfilling sex lives than single people, in spite of what nearly every television program is saying. God's way is the right way. A tremendous book documents all these things--The Case for Marriage by Linda J. Waite and Maggie Gallagher. In fact, they state:
The scientific evidence is now overwhelming: Marriage is not just one of a wide variety of alternate family forms or intimate relations, each of which are equally good at promoting the well-being of children or adults. Marriage is not merely a private taste or a private relation; it is an important public good. As marriage weakens, the costs are borne not only by individual children or families but by all of us taxpayers, citizens, and neighbors. We all incur the costs of higher crime, welfare, education and health-care expenditures, and in reduced security for our own marriage investments. Simply as a matter of public health alone, to take just one public consequence of marriage's decline, a new campaign to reduce marriage failure is as important as the campaign to reduce smoking.
[Footnote 4: Ibid., 186.]
Yet despite all the evidence, marriage is perceived today as out-of-date, of little consequence. Meanwhile, those who promote easy, no-fault divorce have sometimes been asked, "What about the children?" Their response? "They will bounce back." It is assumed that they are sort of like basketballs--they bounce back. Well, what have the studies shown? Sociological studies have shown that the children of divorce do worse in school. They drop out more; they make worse grades; they get into more trouble. Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, author of Culture of Divorce, catalogs some of the fallout on children from divorce:
For parents, divorce is not a solo act but one that has enormous consequences for children. A mounting body of evidence from diverse and multiple sources shows that divorce has been a primary generator of new forms of inequality, disadvantage, and loss for American children. It has spawned a generation of angry and bereaved children who have a harder time learning, staying in school, and achieving at high levels ... divorce is never merely an individual lifestyle choice without larger consequences for the society.... It has imposed a new set of burdens and responsibilities on the schools, contributed to the tide of fatherless juveniles filling the courts and jails, and increased the risks of unwed teen parenthood.
[Footnote 5: Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, The Divorce Culture (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997), 188-189.]
Now keep in mind, these are averages, and I am not trying to put a guilt trip on anyone reading this book. Some of you may have been divorced when you had no power to do anything about it. You were deserted, abandoned, or whatever, and you are doing the best you can to rear your children. Some of you are doing an outstanding job. But on average, children of divorce drop out more, make worse grades, get into more trouble, are expelled from school more often, are more likely to take drugs, are more likely to drink alcohol more frequently. They commit more crimes while still in school. That is not a very high bounce, is it?
And in life itself they don't do as well either. On average they get into more crime later. They make less money. They are more unhappy. And though they despise divorce, they are more likely to get one than those who have lived in intact families.
What about the impact that marriage or divorce has on how long a person lives? You may remember a longitudinal study that was begun about eighty or ninety years ago in California by Dr. L. Terman. He examined the lives of fifteen hundred children for their entire lifetimes. It was an eighty-year study. You say, "That must have been a very old doctor." Well, actually he died long before the study was over. Other doctors continued where he left off. These young people called themselves "Termites," after his name, and they had contact with each other and with him.
What were the results? Well, of these fifteen hundred children, some came from broken homes, and others came from intact homes. The one thing the researchers discovered was that on average, children of broken homes lived four years less. You want to get a divorce? On average, you are hacking four years off the life of your children. "It's a personal matter between your mother and me and has nothing to do with you." Wrong; it has something very definitely to do with the child. It will shorten his or her life, on average. Indeed, this is a very important issue for children. The basic reason for marriage was that men and women might not only have their own lives fulfilled and strengthened and might grow in grace together, but also so they would provide a safe and healthy place to rear children in this world.
The second assault on marriage was the feminist one. You remember that, don't you? The feminists said that marriage was a jail cell, a prison for women. Movement pioneer Betty Friedan likened being a housewife to being in "a comfortable concentration camp." So they abandoned marriage, and they said it was a terrible thing for women. All of their fulfillment in life was going to depend on their not getting married.
[Footnote 6 : Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique (New York: Dell, 1963/1977), 294.]
Well, as you may recall, several of the leaders and founders of that movement lived long enough to say that it was a great failure. Many of these women later were rushing, as their biological clock was ticking, to get married and to have children. They found that as important as a spreadsheet might have been in their business, babies loved back, and accounting sheets did not. The feminist movement was a disastrous attack, but a failed effort. I guess they learned to outgrow Gloria Steinem's maxim that a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. She herself got married--long after she coined that phrase.
The third and most current assault on marriage is the homosexual one. And this is more serious than any before it, because here people are trying to destroy the very institution of marriage, to redefine it. Throughout the entire history of the world, marriage has been a union between one man and one woman. As President Bush has said repeatedly, marriage is a union between one man and one woman in America. He hopes that it will stay that way, and efforts are being made to protect marriage. How did prominent lesbian Rosie O'Donnell react to President Bush's call for an amendment? She said: "I think the actions of the president yesterday ... are, you know, in my opinion, the most vile and hateful words ever spoken by a single president in my opinion. I am stunned, and I am horrified." For taking a stand for the traditional, time-honored definition of marriage--which has proven time and again to be the best for society--the President's words were called hateful and vile.
[Footnote 7 : Remarks of Rosie O'Donnell on Good Morning America, ABC-TV, February 26, 2004.]
Well, marriage is in great need of protection. Ten years ago there was not a single nation in the world that allowed anything other than one man and one woman to wed. There are some people you just can't marry. You can't marry your sister or your mother or your daughter. You can't marry the household pet. There are some things that you just can't do, and marriage has always been a union between a man and a woman. That is the way God designed it in the very beginning.
Well, what has happened? Today three countries allow marriages between two men or two women. The first of them was the Netherlands, and then Belgium, and now, more recently, Canada. And in our own country, the Supreme Court of Massachusetts ruled that same-sex marriages should be legal. They ruled this in November 2003, and on May 17, 2004--Black Monday--a thousand couples "got married" in the Bay State. This is the dropping of a cultural bomb, the threat of which most Christians don't seem to recognize.
Same-sex marriage won't remain in Massachusetts. Already homosexuals, through their legal arms, have instituted suits on all thirty-eight of the states in America that have passed DOMA laws--Defense of Marriage Acts, and they plan to take those states to court. They are using small groups of unelected officials in the courts to overthrow an institution that has existed as long as mankind has existed. And they have been amazingly successful.
What does a homosexual marriage look like? Well, the longest term that we have available to look at is in the Netherlands. Researchers found out that the average "marriage" between two men lasts one and a half years. Furthermore, during that time, men have eight other sexual partners per year. In one and a half years, that would mean that during the time of that marriage, a man has had an adulterous relationship with twelve other men. This is not something they would like to have known, but it's a fact.
[Footnote 8 : Maria Xiridou, Ronald Geskus, Jon DeWit, Roel Coutinho, and Mirjam Kretzschmar, "The Contribution of Steady and Casual Partnerships to the Incidence of HIV Infection Among Homosexual Men in Amsterdam," AIDS, 17 (2003): 1029-1038.]
Here in the United States, 75 percent of heterosexual married couples report being faithful to their vows. Again, from our media you would not suppose it would be 5 percent, much less 75 percent.
[Footnote 9 : Amy Fagan, "Study Finds Gay Unions Brief," The Washington Times, July 11, 2003.]
The most comprehensive study on sex in America to date was the one conducted in 1992 and released in 1993 by the National Opinion Research Center, which is affiliated with the University of Chicago. It exploded many myths about sex. They found that the group presented in the media as having the "hottest sex" (young, unmarried singles) were often the group least likely to have regular sex. In contrast, "boring" married couples who were faithful to each other were the ones having sex most often and with greater satisfaction. The researchers wrote:
Once again contradicting the common view of marriage as dull and routine, the people who reported being the most physically pleased and emotionally satisfied were the married couples.... The lowest rates of satisfaction were among men and women who were neither married nor living with someone--the very group thought to be having the hottest sex.
[Footnote 10: Robert T. Michael, John H. Gagnon, Edward O. Laumann, and Gina Kolata, Sex in America: A Definitive Survey (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1994), 124.]
The study found over and over that marriage--not fornication, not adultery--brought the greatest sexual fulfillment of all. Thankfully, they also found that adultery in practice was not the norm in America.
[Footnote 11 : Ibid., 112, 119, 124-125.]
[Footnote 12: Ibid., 89.]
But it is interesting that gays want to marry. What is it that they really want? Is it just that they want to get married? No. A number of their leaders have said that they don't really want matrimony. Why, all the legal entanglement that involves would only take away their freedom, which is the essence of their whole lives. This idea of "'til death do us part" and monogamous relationships is utterly abominable to them.
So what do they want? Well, activist leaders have said what they want is to destroy marriage altogether. They don't want to become like us, as so many naive people think. What they want to do is make us like them and to open the door to all kinds of sexual chaos. If two men can get married, what about three or five? That is called polyamory, and many loves and group marriage and all such things as this are already in the wings and are waiting to be filed in our courts. That would produce absolute cultural chaos in this country. Mother and father, husband and wife would be old-fashioned concepts in a generation. This nation would be unrecognizable. This is the most dangerous attack on marriage that the world has ever seen! What Can Be Done?
What can be done? It appears that the courts cannot be counted on to act responsibly. There are the DOMAs, the Defense of Marriage Acts, which have been passed by the legislatures of thirty-eight of our fifty states already. But these laws are vulnerable. You may recall the Supreme Court's decision to over turn a case in Texas having to do with a law stating that sodomy was a crime. That law was passed by the state legislature of Texas but was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court with the stroke of a pen. This could easily happen to all of the DOMAs, so that marriage would not be protected in any state in the union.
What can be done? The experts say the only thing that can be done is a constitutional amendment, and there is at hand a hundred proponents and signers in the House of Representatives for the Federal Marriage Amendment. It says in effect: Marriage in the United States of America is a union between a man and a woman.
Passing a constitutional amendment is a very difficult thing. Not passing this one would be disastrous. So I hope that you will pray about it. You will certainly be hearing more about it. We at Coral Ridge Ministries have been working with all kinds of other Christian organizations to do what we can to help pass the Federal Marriage Amendment, and we will do yet more. You need to first pray about it. That is vitally important. I hope you will make it a regular matter of prayer--pray for marriage in America.
Secondly, you need to contact your congressmen and senators and tell them that you want the Federal Marriage Amendment passed because marriage is too important to be destroyed in America. We all also need to work to strengthen our own marriages, which have been weakened by the other two assaults that I have mentioned before--that by no-fault divorce and that by the feminists. And now we face the homosexual assault on marriage.
Marriage is vitally important. It was obviously felt to be so by God, who made it the first institution that He created, with His own hands. We need in our day to defend it as best we can.
We are grieved at the lengths to which ungodly people will go to attack the basic institutions, the virtues and principles upon which this nation was built. We must ask the Lord to thwart their efforts. We must be faithful to work to protect marriage and to pray that our Congress may act and that the states may confirm the Federal Marriage Amendment solidifying marriage as a union between a man and a woman.