WHO DEFINES MARRIAGE?

Just who do we think we are?”[1] This was Chief Justice Roberts’ response to the June 26, 2015 Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, declaring that “The Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-State.”[2] The reason for Chief Justice Robert’s incredulity is that this ruling has officially changed the definition of marriage which, as Justice Kennedy noted during oral arguments, “has been with us for millennia.”[3] If there remains any doubt that this is what has happened, then consider the words of Chief Justice Roberts to the petitioners during the Supreme Court oral arguments, “You’re not seeking to join this institution but [to] change what this institution is.”[4]

 

Make no mistake about it; marriage as it has always been understood and defined in every civilization and at all points in history until 15 years ago is now fundamentally altered in the eyes of the law. Nevertheless, we as Christians understand that marriage is a sacred act that is divinely defined and accomplished. As such, we have neither the right, nor the ability to redefine this institution in reality. Just because a father has the ability to require and enforce that his children refer to him as the President of the United States does not make him the president in reality. Likewise, just because the Supreme Court has redefined marriage and can enforce this definition does not make it legitimate in the eyes of the Creator God.

 

Jesus, as the Creator God, declared the purpose and nature of marriage to be the supernatural uniting together of a male and a female. Matthew 19:4–7 says, “He answered, ‘Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.’”

 

It is in circumstances such as this Supreme Court ruling that we as Christians need to be reminded of from where it is that we draw our definitions. We do not derive our definition of marriage from Black’s Law Dictionary. Rather, the Bible is our infallible and eternal standard for truth, and it is from the Bible that we derive our morality and our definition of marriage.

Related Article: “Hasn’t Same-Sex Marriage been Settled by the Supreme Court?

This article is excerpted from the book Laid Bare: Uncovering the Relationship Between Homosexuality & the Gospel.

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Timothy Zebell

Timothy Zebell

As a former missionary to Asia for twelve years and the author of several books, Timothy is passionate about helping people understand the relevancy of God's Word in today's world. His goals are to help Christians discern truth from error, empower Christians to speak into cultural matters with relevancy, and to help Christians capitalize on the opportunities that these matters provide for sharing the truth about God and His gospel message.
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1. Wax, Trevin. “Top 10 Quotes from the Dissenting Justices on Same-Sex Marriage.” The Gospel Coalition, June 26, 2015. Accessed June 26, 2015. http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/trevinwax/2015/06/26/top-10-quotes-from-the-dissenting-justices-on-same-sex-marriage/.

2. “Supreme Court of the United States October Term 2014 Syllabus: OBERGEFELL ET AL. v. HODGES, DIRECTOR, OHIO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, ET AL.” Supreme Court of the United States. Accessed June 27, 2015. http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/14-556_3204.pdf.

3. Barbash, Fred, Mark Berman, and Sandhya Somashekhar. “Supreme Court Hears Same-sex Marriage Case: Who Said what (with Audio).” The Washington Post, April 28, 2015. Accessed June 27, 2015. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2015/04/28/supreme-court-hears-arguments-in-same-sex-marriage-case-obergefell-v-hodges-today/.

4. Ibid.

 

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.