The most obvious thing about the recent “marriage equality” debate was how both the State and the Church talked past each other, almost as if we were using a different language. Of course, it did not help that anyone who made an attempt to put forward a reasoned Christian viewpoint was immediately denigrated as a bigot and ridiculed as some sort of fossilised dinosaur. It was clear from the outset of this piece of law-making, that the State was not interested in discovering the view of Christians on this matter. At the risk of being subject to similar invective, I will attempt to at least generate some understanding of the matter, now that we have silence from the myriad braying donkeys. As I represent no denomination, you may take this as a personal view, rather than an official one.
From the outset, this “debate” was couched in deliberately misleading terms. After all, proponents who were against the bill found themselves apparently arguing against marriage and against equality. Both of these things considered good things by most people. This was quite deliberate. It should have been obvious to all that equality before the law was easily achievable by a relatively minor adjustment to the Civil Union bill, giving Civil Unions equal legal status with Marriage. This would have avoided the vast majority of the objections thrown at the bill. Instead, homosexuals were determined to claim the word “marriage” for themselves. This was, of course, less to do with equality and much more to do with normalisation.
Normalisation has been the goal of the Gay lobby for many years. While the Civil Union bill was initially purported to be all gay couples wanted, it soon became clear that this was seen as a stepping stone towards normalising gay relationships. This redefinition of marriage was inevitable after the civil union bill, exactly as many of the opponents of that bill had claimed. It is clear that nothing less than complete normalisation will satisfy. Expect children to be taught that homosexuality is normal (and, by inference, gender is optional) from formative years. Expect religious freedom to refuse to perform gay marriages to be eroded. Expect many things to be redefined as “hate speech” against homosexuals, including this post.
You see, the chief problem with redefining marriage to include same-sex relationships is that the bible very clearly defines same-sex relationships as sinful*. Note that sinful does NOT mean that gays are bad or evil people, they are simply engaged in an activity/relationship that lies outside of God’s plan for our lives. This is something we all do – fall short of God’s standards. It is a universal phenomenon, not limited to the gay community! Many heterosexual relationships are also defined as sinful – adultery and any sex outside of the marriage relationships (AKA Fornication). In fact the only place where sexual relationships meet God’s standard is in marriage. It is what He designed marriage for.
Therein lies the problem for Christians. Marriage is the proper place for sexual relationships. But placing homosexual relationships into that context is not possible, as they are considered sinful. Thus there is a vast schism opened up between the State’s new definition of marriage and the Christian one. Unfortunately, without the anchor of a Christian definition of marriage, we have no idea where the State will now take this. Suggestions of polygamy, polyandry and polyamory being next on the agenda are not unreasonable (although they were derided as such by the select committee and other enablers. Of course, so was the idea that civil union was the first step to gay marriage).
If you have made it down to this point, I congratulate you for spending more time on this topic than the select committee or parliament. You should know that Christians do not hate gays, nor would we deny them human rights. But we simply cannot ignore the bible in order to accommodate peoples choices. History has shown us time and again that ignoring scripture always ends in tears. God designed us to work in a certain way and rearranging that design simply never works out. No matter how much we would like it too.
(*I am fully aware that there are scholars who dispute this idea. However, the vast majority of bible scholars agree that the bible defines homosexual relationships as sinful. If you are interested, the most useful passages to read are Romans 1:25-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10. )