Five Lessons from Last Week’s Post
The High Cost of Denying the Obvious, Part 4
Part 3 is available here.
Some of the lessons arising from last week’s post might be elusive without further reflection; so, using last week’s discussion as a backdrop, I want to explode some of the myths the left has used to destroy society’s moral underpinnings. As you have opportunity, read or review “God’s Definition of Marriage is Self-Evident.” Then consider how the article refutes the following five myths.
Myth #1: There are no absolutes; people can make up their own truth.
The natural world gives us a window into the unchanging nature of God and therefore the unchanging nature of morality—right and wrong. Truth is like the law of gravity. It is not something that is negotiable, nor is it something that can be invented by each person. Instead, it is observable. It also is discovered, and it applies to everyone at all times and in all places. Adjusting ourselves to accept and conform to the realities we discover paves the way for fulfillment and happiness in life.
Myth #2: We ought to live according to our feelings.
Try telling that to the parents of an infant! Few parents ever feel like getting up in the middle of the night to feed or change their baby, but they do it anyway because of the reality of the immediate need. Similarly, an individual experiencing same-sex attraction does well to restrain himself or herself from acting on those feelings. Why? Because nature tells us that God’s plan does not include same-sex intimacy or same-sex marriage.
Myth #3: Homosexuals are “made that way” or “born that way.”
[Note: These links will take you to explicit descriptions. Reader discretion is advised.] The physical harmony that occurs when a husband and wife come together sexually, as well as the health risks of homosexual sex, demonstrate conclusively God did not design any man to have sex with another man or any woman to be sexually intimate with another woman. We didn’t mention it last week, but the life expectancies of homosexual males are up to 20 years less than those of all men. Twenty years!
Yes, feelings of same-sex attraction are real in some individuals, and to them they seem quite natural. A person may not even know why the feelings are there. Even so, don’t be misled. Even though a married man may at times feel a “natural” attraction to his secretary over his wife, acting on these feelings would violate God’s plan. So, too, would acting on one’s feelings of same-sex attraction.
Myth #4 is often conveyed in the form of a rhetorical question, like this: How will my same-sex marriage affect your marriage or your own personal life? The clear messages are that it can’t and it won’t—so why not let people of the same-sex marry?
Same-sex marriage is on a collusion course with religious liberty, but for now we won’t even consider this important issue. If last week’s discussion taught us anything, it (hopefully) taught us that marriage is not just about two adults. It’s about children and their needs. It’s about children and their futures. It’s also about society as a whole and society’s future. And it’s about a lot of other important things as well. James Q. Wilson said, “The vast majority of people do better if men marry women. The sexes complement each other. Having a woman in your household makes men better, and having a man in your household makes women better.”1 Better men and better women make better parents, and better communities, and a better world.
During the second hour of the Tuesday, August 11 broadcast of the Eric Metaxas Show, Eric interviewed Eric Teetsel, coauthor of Marriage Is: How Marriage Transforms Society and Cultivates Human Flourishing. In their discussion, Metaxas offered a tremendous analogy of the complexity of marriage and the varied benefits it brings to society and culture. Here is a paraphrase of what he said.
Marriage is in many ways like a pocket watch. You examine the inside mechanism, and you focus on one of the gears. Yet the pocket watch itself isn’t one gear—it’s made up of many parts and is, on the whole, very complex and intricate.
All the parts of the watch work together to give you the time. Marriage too is complex. It’s a balance a many gears and springs and other parts that all work together, and it ties into so much. There’s family; there’s raising kids; there’s replacing the population; and many other things as well.
Yet people want to focus on only one gear: “It’s about love!” No, no, no! Not exclusively. “It’s about sex!” No! Sex is a part of marriage, but not the whole. All the parts and pieces that make up marriage work together in a tremendously complex way to benefit society broadly. We make a huge mistake when we pull out only one gear and focus only on it, or when we look at one gear and think we can get along without it. Removing that one part messes the whole thing up. Marriage is intricate and fragile, and the reason it has worked for millennia is because it relates to and touches so many things.
Eric Metaxas is exactly right.
Myth #5: You ought to be able to marry whomever you love.
Translation: You ought to be able to marry whomever you want to have sex with. This is false. Love does not equal sex, and to imply that it does is to distort the truth about love. Moreover, as we have seen, marriage is about a lot more than sex and love.
In the same radio program cited above, Eric Metaxas and Eric Teetsel discussed a statement made by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Advising friends who soon would marry, Bonhoeffer observed, “Up to this point, your love has sustained your relationship, but from here on out, your marriage must sustain your love.” Man-woman marriage provides the shelter a couple needs to weather the storms of life, but statements like “You ought to be able to marry whomever you love” trivialize and minimize not only marriage, but the needs of children as well, and life itself.
Only natural marriage recognizes the realities of life in all its dimensions. Only man-woman marriage provides a haven that enhances a couple’s own relationship and provides the best environment to meet the physical, mental, and emotional needs of children. This is nature’s testimony. This is the reality of human experience. This is the truth.
Next week, we will briefly explore the relationship between God’s revelation in and through nature and His written revelation in the Bible. It, too, will be a discussion too important to miss.
Part 5 is available here.
Copyright © 2015 by B. Nathaniel Sullivan. All Rights Reserved.
Reference that could not be hyperlinked:
1Quoted in Kerby Anderson, A Biblical Point of View on Homosexuality, (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2008), 28.