Adam & Eve stained glass
That statement about Adam and Eve sums up the belief system of many Christians. They view Genesis 2:24 as God’s final answer on who can get married. The Adam & Eve marriage model, ‘one man with one woman’ is the only marriage model God will truly bless, according to some Christians.
They say "truly" because they know that God blesses gay marriages. By saying "truly," they intentionally denigrate gay marriages - gay marriages may be blessed by God but gay marriages are not truly blessed by God.
Their logic works like this. Since God only mentioned a heterosexual couple in Genesis 2, anti-gay Christians assume God intended to condemn homosexual couples because He did not specifically mention them in Genesis 2.
1. In the Adam-Eve story, did God or Moses give an explicit command that gay and lesbian partnerships are wrong?
2. In telling us about Adam & Eve, did God or Moses intend to prohibit all lesbian and gay relationships?
Thomas E. Schmidt, Ph.D.
Tom Schmidt is a conservative evangelical Christian author and college professor who believes all intimate same sex partnerships are sinful. Yet here is his surprising answer to our two questions (bold emphasis mine).
"So while it is true that the Genesis creation story does not provide explicit commands about sexuality, it provides a basis for biblical commands and for subsequent reflection on the part of those who wish to construct a sexual ethic to meet changing situations.
Applying this principle to our subject, it is fair to say that the human author of Genesis was not consciously prohibiting same-sex relations when he wrote the creation account, but it is appropriate for us to explore the relevance of biblical commands about marriage and to evaluate modern homosexuality in light of Genesis."
- From his book, Straight and Narrow?, Thomas E. Schmidt, Leicester: IVP, 1995, 240 pp.
If anti-gay Complementarian reasoning about Adam and Eve is valid, we could also conclude that God is against grandparents and aunts and uncles because none of them are mentioned in Genesis 2.
But of course, God is not against grandparents, aunts and uncles. It goes against our common sense to conclude that if God did not mention grandparents, aunts and uncles in Genesis 2, God must be against them.
In the same way, it also goes against our common sense to assume that because God did not mention gay couples or gay marriage in the Adam-Eve story, God must be against gay couples and gay marriage.
In reality, the traditional view of Genesis 2, believed by many Christians, distorts scripture by assuming facts not in evidence. Genesis is an explanation of origins. It is not a dissertation on marriage relationships. God asserts the importance of human relationships by observing:
“It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” Genesis 2:18
(from the KJV - the most gay-friendly English Bible available today. "Meet" means fitting, suitable, appropriate for).
Adam, the original, perfect man in a perfect world, had God as his intimate companion yet God knew His companionship was not enough for Adam. In the midst of fellowship with God, Adam still needed someone like himself - an orientation compatible partner - for emotional, physical and spiritual companionship.
Emotional, physical and spiritual companionship form the basis of all loving heterosexual and homosexual human relationships.
When God created Eve and presented her to Adam, Adam rejoiced because Eve was:
“bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.” Genesis 2:23.
3rd Century Fresco of Adam and Eve from Roman Italy.
In Genesis 2:23, Adam is adam and Eve is ishshah, the Hebrew words for man and woman. Adam is also referred to as 'iysh, meaning man, because Eve - ishshah was taken from the 'iysh-man's, side.
“It is not good that the man should be alone.” Genesis 2:18.
God includes the story of Adam and Eve in the Genesis historical record because God intended to populate the earth, not because God intended to forbid every marriage model different from the Adam and Eve model.
Just as the dyadic (two person) nature of Adam and Eve’s relationship was not used in Genesis to forbid polygamy, so the heterosexual nature of Adam and Eve’s relationship does not forbid homosexual unions for the small percentage of the human population who are homosexual.
Some Christians read far too much into God’s presumed silence concerning Adam and Eve and gay marriage. Here is another important question thoughtful Christians ask.
Adam and Eve leaving Eden.
The answer is that biblical marriage models reflect the ancient cultures in which they occurred. There were no grandparents or gay couples, in the beginning, with Adam and Eve, so there was no reason for God or Moses to mention grandparents or gay couples in the Genesis 2 account.
It should also be pointed out that there are gay people and gay couples mentioned in the Bible. Never be afraid to embrace truth, even when it is different than what you were brought up to believe.
Since loving gay marriages as we know them today, were relatively rare in the ancient biblical cultures, we rightly expect not to find much mention of gay couples in scripture.
If the logic of Christians who condemn gay couples is valid, that since God did not mention other marriage models in Genesis, God must be against gay couples, we can use the same logic to prove any number of things which are not true. It sounds kind of silly but here is where such illogic takes us.
Of course, no one believes that and no thinking person would draw that conclusion from Genesis 2.
Would anyone with more than two functioning brain cells draw that conclusion from Genesis 2?
Really now, doesn't such a crazy conclusion assault our common sense?
No one believes God is against adopting children simply because adoption is not mentioned in Genesis 2.
That kind of reasoning does not make sense. It goes against the inborn common sense we have as human beings. Such arguments are called reductio ad falsum, reduction to the false or reductio ad ridiculum, reduction to the ridiculous. Such reasoning leads to false and ridiculous conclusions.
Reading into scripture, something scripture does not say and then teaching as doctrine, what scripture does not say, is false interpretation. It leads to wrong conclusions about God’s will for the human race and His purpose for creating Adam and Eve.
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Sep 04, 20 12:30 PM
Romans 1, in historical context, is about ancient Roman fertility goddess worshipers who engaged in shrine prostitution to worship Cybele, not gays and lesbians.
Sep 04, 20 12:29 PM
Gay Christian 101 - Presenting accurate biblical and historical info defending LGBT Christians from those who rip verses out of context to condemn.
Aug 13, 20 05:46 PM
Rick Brentlinger Answers - Thanks for such an interesting question. Same sex activity is mentioned in ancient writings as far back as 4000 years ago.