In the June 30th edition of USA Today, Elton John spoke about his upcoming “marriage” to his boyfriend.
Everyone, of course, is entitled to their opinion, and Elton John took time to express his. He said, “These are old and stupid things, and the church hierarchy might be up in arms about it – the traditionalists – but times have changed . . . We live in a different time. If Jesus Christ were alive today, I cannot see Him as the Christian person that He was and the great person that He was, saying this could not happen. He was all about love and compassion and forgiveness and trying to bring people together, and that is what the church should be about.”
This sort of thinking is not uncommon in our day and age. As our society continues to move away from biblical standards, people of faith will be forced against their will to embrace sodomite relationships as normal and beneficial under penalty of law. People will lose their jobs, businesses will be threatened and people of faith marginalized. Some, including churches, will buckle to preserve themselves in this world by redefining Scriptures to teach what it obviously doesn’t say in order to gain approval of the state. Others will do what is right regardless of the cost. They will suffer greatly but will have their faith refined, like silver in a furnace pot, purged by fire.
When Jesus spoke of marriage, it was always in the context of a man and a woman. This is apparent from Matthew 19:4-6 where Genesis 1:27 and 2:24 are quoted. In Matthew 19:4-6 we read, “And he (Jesus) answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Marriage throughout Scripture is always in context of a man and a woman.
In Romans 1:26, the Apostle Paul describes same-sex relationships as “vile affections.” It is not love in the biblical sense and falls under the condemnation of God.
Now comments regarding Elton John’s upcoming event run the gamut of opinion, as one would expect. One person, in an attempt to justify “gay marriage” wrote that eating certain animals and mixing clothes of different material or seed was condemned in the Old Testament. This obviously is ignored today. He was trying to make the case that the Bible is outdated and we don’t follow Moses’ teachings in the Old Testament today.
In a sense, he is correct except that acceptable food and clothing requirements change throughout the Bible. The civil penalty for those in the nation of Israel for eating unclean food or mixing cloth or seed is – nothing. The penalty was spiritual in nature and was directed only toward the nation of Israel, not her neighbors. Nowhere in Scripture is Israel’s neighbors punished for eating unclean food, mixing cloth or seeds together.
On the other hand, homosexuality is never presented as a positive expression of human sexuality. The penalty in Scripture is always in the same category as murder, blasphemy, kidnapping and rape.
There is, however redemption through Jesus Christ. There is hope in I John 1:9 which declares, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Everyone of us needs redemption that Jesus Christ provides. Perhaps you are struggling in this area. God can help you live a life that honors Him. It won’t be easy. God, however, is good. Jesus said in John 10:10, “I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.”
Abundant life, this world and the next – isn’t that what life is about?
The Rev. Art Zacher is pastor at Berean Baptist Church in Fairfield. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.