Published February 7, 2012

Paul's Epistle...
"Marriage"

mar•riage \'mar-ij\  n  the institution whereby men and women are joined in a special kind of social and legal dependence for the purpose of founding and maintaining a family.

So says Webster's Seventh New Collegiate dictionary, a worn but trusted resource on my desk since school days. Remember dictionaries? They once actually defined the meaning of words, and those definitions were the basis of a common societal understanding of terms. But today the meaning of a word seems to be whatever the speaker says it means, based, frequently, on the speaker's social or political agenda.

That's the case with marriage. Since the human race began, marriage has been the holy joining of one man and one woman — and it's been understood as such throughout Judeo-Christian history. That is, after all, what God intended it to be. He was the Creator of this institution we call marriage when He declared Adam and Eve "man and wife." (See Gen. 2:21-25 and Matt. 19:4-6.) In fact, marriage between a man and a woman was the first human institution created by God, a necessary prerequisite to what is arguably His greatest human institution, the family.

But those who reject God see no need to abide by His definition if they want to define it otherwise for their own purposes. That's why you see so many attempts to change the definition to something, shall we say, more inclusive. Two men. Two women. Why not? "It's not up to God. It's up to the government. Right?"

Same-sex "marriage" is already legal in New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and, of course, the District of Columbia. It's likely very soon in Washington state and perhaps Maryland. Lawmakers in New Jersey will soon debate it.

All of this liberal revisionism in the definition of marriage — and, by extension, of family — is having quite a degenerative impact on our society. Sheila Weber, executive director of National Marriage Week USA, says, "Research shows that virtually all of the growth in child poverty in the United States since 1970 can be attributed to the nation's retreat from marriage." How many non-dysfunctional nuclear families – mom, dad, kids – do you see on TV these days?  (I mean, since "Leave It To Beaver.")  Hollywood's "normal" – the "normal" being subtly but consistently preached to today's generation – is completely antithetical to the traditional definition of marriage.

Proof of the impact of this continual chipping-away at traditional marriage and families can be found in a recent study by the Pew Research Center. They found the so-called "Millennials" – those coming of age since the turn of the century – favor the legalization of gay marriage by a 50 percent to 36 percent margin (with the remainder undecided). By contrast, only 32 percent of Baby Boomers approve. So you can see the direction things are headed.

And the anti-traditional-marriage forces currently have powerful backers at the highest levels of government. Back in 1996, both houses of Congress passed (by large majorities) and President Bill Clinton signed into law the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Under it, the federal government defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman. It's still on the books. It is, technically, very much the law of the land. But the Obama administration has decided that this law is completely contrary to its own goals of affirming, elevating, legitimizing and mainstreaming "alternative lifestyles" — so much so that they completely refuse to enforce the law. They don't like it, so they simply ignore the law. And, so far, they're getting away with it.

[Update: In May, 2012, President Obama openly endorsed same-sex "marriage," as had Vice President Biden and other top members of his administration, including many of whom Obama described as gay.]

Romans 1:24-32 paints a pretty grim picture of those "who exchanged the truth of God for the lie" when men "burned in their lust for one another," "being filled with all unrighteousness..." (Read it for yourself.)

God's first human institution – marriage between one man and one woman – obviously makes Satan extremely angry. If it's God's plan, Satan wants to do all he can to thwart it — whatever it is. It makes perfect sense that he would work tirelessly through his willing accomplices to attack and destroy marriage and the family. He wants to redefine it as something else. He wants to make a joke out of it. He wants to ridicule it. And he's succeeding, especially in the media and in our increasingly media-influenced culture.

Last week, President Obama, in remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast, said, "We can't leave our values at the door. If we leave our values at the door, we abandon much of the moral glue that has held our nation together for centuries..."

Ironically, a significant part of that "moral glue" has been the traditional family – especially so in a Christian context.

The President obviously is taking his own advice. He hasn't left his values at the door. He has made it very clear where he stands. Unfortunately, those values clearly aren't Christian values.

How about you? Will you leave your values at the door? Or will you stand for what is right?

- Paul

PS:  This week, February 7-14, is National Marriage Week, a time designed to get the word out about the need to strengthen marriages. More info is on their website, www.nationalmarriageweekusa.org.

Comments on this? paul@thegospelgreats.com

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