Are gay relationships always outside God's created order?
by Preacher Dan
(west of the Mississippi)
Plato, unsaved Greek philosopher
and father of
Rick Brentlinger Answers -
I received several rather long communications from a conservative preacher kindly pointing out that since gay couples cannot have children
their unions are: 1. barren, 2. against nature and 3. always outside the will of God because 4. they are not part of God's "created order."
Preacher Dan understands God's created order to be one man with one woman, like Adam and Eve in Genesis 2:24, to the exclusion of all other marriage relationships. Any other marriage relationship is sinful and could never be affirmed by God according to Dan's opinion. Here is my response to this sincere yet sincerely wrong Christian gentleman.
Thanks for writing to me. I understand where you are coming from yet I disagree with your conclusion that homosexuality is always against God's created order. You have no basis in what scripture actually says to draw that conclusion.
Your position is known as Complementarianism
and is as old as Plato (428-348 BC). In fact modern biblical Complementarity
came from Plato, the unsaved Greek philosopher.
Just for the record, its not that women and men are not complementary. Certainly they are in many respects just as two men or two women are complementary in many respects.
Yet viewing male-female complementarity as the only option God will accept reads into scripture a private opinion that scripture never states. Your argument from the presumed silence of scripture is never a persuasive argument.
Preacher Dan noted that
"the union of a Holy-Spirit-filled man and woman together in marriage reflects the image of God on earth."
Implicit in your argument is the idea that Adam by himself or Eve by herself did not reflect the image of God. That has been argued by theologians for fifteen hundred years and your view is almost universally rejected.
As with your Complementarian/created order argument, you are drawing a conclusion based on scripture not saying something
, like for example: 'God blesses gay relationships.'
Because scripture does not use those precise words, you conclude that God does not bless gay relationships. You then form your doctrinal belief based on what scripture does not say
Using your logic, we could also conclude God does not bless ice cream, air conditioning, jet travel, Ford pick up trucks, interstate highways and indoor plumbing. Therefore anyone who uses those things is in open rebellion against God. Flawed logic always leads to flawed conclusions.
If your created order argument is true, that a Holy-Spirit-filled man and woman together in marriage is the only arrangement God will accept, then no marriage between unsaved people can be blessed by God since the unsaved are by definition not Spirit-filled.
Further, polygamy cannot be blessed or affirmed by God if your created order argument is true since it violates the one man with one woman paradigm.
Only 44 verses past Genesis 2:24, in Genesis 4:19, scripture records the first polygamous marriage, not part of God's created order according to Complementarians. And in Deuteronomy 21:15-17, God makes provision in the law for inheritance in polygamous marriages.
God makes two other direct statements in scripture which lead us to believe God affirms polygamy (thus negating your created order argument), a statement by God the Father, 2 Samuel 12:7-8 and a comment by the Holy Spirit as the narrator of scripture, 2 Chronicles 24:2-3. I'll wait while you look them up.
Remember that God created the nation of Israel from the children of a polygamous marriage in which Jacob married two sisters and their handmaids, four wives in all. God affirmed this polygamous marriage by choosing children from each of the four wives to create the twelve tribes of Israel.
What about heterosexuals
unable to have children?
I do not argue for modern polygamy. I simply point out that scripture does not teach the exclusivism for 'one man with one woman' which you believe is the only kind of marriage relationship God will bless. If we accept your exclusivist viewpoint, that
"A heterosexual union produces life. Children as the continuing of the generations are the result. This is the created order at work. That created order reflects the nature of who God is"
then what do we do with an elderly heterosexual widow and widower who want to marry each other? They cannot have children. Their union is barren, exactly as you described the homosexual union.
"A homosexual union is barren. No life springs from it... For this reason, it cannot and does not reflect the nature of God or his character."
The elderly couple can nurture children or young parents. They can teach Sunday School, babysit for children or perform some other nurturing function for children. But of course, a gay male couple or lesbian female couple can also nurture and raise children.
There are many grandparents raising children today because the biological parents are drug addicts or in jail or prison. Does not life spring from their loving nurturing of children regardless they are not the biological parents of the children they nurture?
Do you remember the biblical story of Samuel, beginning in 1 Samuel chapter 1 in the Bible? When Samuel was about three years old, he was given by his biological parents to the elderly priest Eli who raised him as his own son.
Did life spring from Eli's nurturing of Samuel? Eli, a man who made a mess of raising his own biological children, managed by God's grace, to raise an extraordinary foster son, Samuel, who became a great prophet of God and who also wrote part of the Old Testament.
And isn't God's amazing grace
really the point?
Life and nurturing depend on God's amazing grace more than on meeting some rigid formula based on your 'created order' argument.
Although you view your argument as perfectly valid against gay male couples and lesbian female couples I am quite sure you will allow an exception for elderly opposite sex couples who cannot have children.
In your view opposite sex couples who cannot produce children may still marry in spite of the fact that they cannot have children and therefore by your own definition, their physical union is barren.
Yet if your argument permits exceptions at the two points listed above, (1)
polygamy and (2)
inability to produce children due to infertility, sterility or old age, by what logic do you allow those exceptions yet forbid similar exceptions for gay couples?
As much as you prefer to believe your views are based on the Bible, it is clear to many of us that your beliefs are never affirmed in scripture as God's truth. Instead, you've based your beliefs on what scripture does not say.
And now you expect the rest of us to join you in affirming what scripture does not say as absolute truth? Its not gonna happen! We have too much respect for the scripture
to do that.