Marriage—one man and one woman committed to each other for life—is about the gospel. If we as believers love the gospel, then we also will love, honor, and defend biblical marriage. We won’t just work to help people have good marriages—as important as this is. We also will uphold man-woman marriage in the church and in the culture as the best design for human relationships and society as a whole. God’s fingerprints are all over this arrangement!
Unfortunately, Christians often are squeamish—or at least less than confident—with regard to the truth about a great many critical issues today, including sexuality, homosexuality, and the meaning of marriage. The following humorous exchange from the Jack Benny radio program airing October 18, 1953, illustrates the problem. The clip features Benny, voice talent Mel Blanc, and actress Veola Vonn.
We must be compassionate and loving—absolutely. No one ever has an excuse for hatred or gay-bashing. We must realize that we who never have experienced same-sex attraction are in no less need of a Savior than the most militant homosexual activist. Yet we also need to see that it’s impossible to love authentically without upholding the truth. To uphold it effectively, we must know it and understand it. This series is aimed at helping Christians do just that.
The Colson Center’s John Stonestreet has noted yet another reason we’re losing the battle for marriage, especially among the young. We have not made the case for it in ways that capture people’s imaginations. As Stonestreet indicates, to turn the tide “we must embody God’s design in our marriages and in our communities.” Yet we also must present to young Christians and to the church as a whole the theology of marriage. We have to show how natural marriage reflects the gospel and the very nature of God Himself. This is not boring stuff, but information that draws in people’s minds and imaginations as few other things do!
See for yourself!
Introductory article: Clarity Needed
Divine portraits are important, and Christians must work both to preserve them and to present them clearly. This will take a great deal of effort, especially in our day—but with God’s help and blessing, our efforts will pay off!
Upholding God-Ordained Marriage Is One of the Greatest Ways to Uphold the Gospel, Part 1
How can we share the gospel effectively? Believe it or not, if the church does it the right way, upholding natural marriage enhances rather than hinders its effectiveness in presenting the gospel. Why? Marriage is a picture of the gospel. Unfortunately, the church seems to have forgotten this.
Upholding God-Ordained Marriage Is One of the Greatest Ways to Uphold the Gospel, Part 2
Sadly, Christians and the church have subtly succumbed to cultural pressure regarding marriage. This post explores what happened.
Upholding God-Ordained Marriage Is One of the Greatest Ways to Uphold the Gospel, Part 3
If you really care about the gospel, you will work to preserve and defend marriage. This post explores two specific ways marriage mirrors the gospel.
Upholding God-Ordained Marriage Is One of the Greatest Ways to Uphold the Gospel, Part 4
Who is Jesus, and why did He come? If you want to to answer this question in a way that secular people might begin to understand, show them sacrificial love in Christian marriages. The marriage of Robertson and Muriel McQuilken is a wonderful example, and we highlight it in this post. One more thing, though—don’t fail to uphold God’s design for marriage, either. Really? Yes, really!
Upholding God-Ordained Marriage Is One of the Greatest Ways to Uphold the Gospel, Part 5
What qualities ought to characterize the church’s effort to uphold marriage as God designed it? Last time we began to answer this question by highlighting the first two items on a 12-item list. In this post, we highlight four more qualities. Will the church step up to the plate and fulfill its duty to defend marriage for the sake of the gospel? You can help make the answer to this question yes!
Upholding God-Ordained Marriage Is One of the Greatest Ways to Uphold the Gospel, Part 6
In our discussion this week, we highlight the remaining six qualities on our list of traits that should characterize the church’s case for natural marriage. Even though with this post we have discussed all 12, our list isn’t exhaustive. Even so, the church has its work cut out for it just to get these right. Yet with God’s help, it can. I encourage you to be a part of this worthy effort!
Upholding God-Ordained Marriage Is One of the Greatest Ways to Uphold the Gospel, Part 7
Can Christians “agree to disagree” on the issues of homosexuality and same-sex marriage? As we answer this question, we must keep in mind how the relationship of marriage to the gospel. Can Christians compromise on the gospel? If not, then they can’t compromise on homosexuality orthe definition of marriage, either.
Upholding God-Ordained Marriage Is One of the Greatest Ways to Uphold the Gospel, Part 8
When the Pharisees came to Jesus and asked Him about the legitimacy of divorce, He responded by recalling the history of the creation of humanity as male and female and stressed how that event set the stage for marriage. Jesus challenged the Pharisees with the question, “Have you not read” the Genesis account of creation and the establishment of marriage as the first institution? If we as 21st-century Christians will listen carefully to Jesus’ teaching in this exchange, I believe it can challenge us in ways we need to be challenged, especially in light of the ongoing debate over the true meaning of marriage.
Upholding God-Ordained Marriage Is One of the Greatest Ways to Uphold the Gospel, Part 9
Jesus’ teachings on marriage in Matthew 19 continue to offer insights that help us understand the importance of natural marriage. These same insights also will help us to uphold it in a culture that has lost its grip on what marriage is all about.
Upholding God-Ordained Marriage Is One of the Greatest Ways to Uphold the Gospel, Part 10
In this tenth and final article in this series, we continue to explore Jesus teaching on marriage and divorce in Matthew 19. In our quest, we uncover insights that surprise, inspire, and amaze. Marriage is all about the One who established it in the first place!
Bonus article 1: Flawless Design
God created marriage at the dawn of time, and His design is flawless. Of course, no marriage is perfect, but imperfections arise because of selfishness and other sins on the part of human beings. It isn’t God’s fault! How can we improve our marriages and be happier and more fulfilled? One sure way is to more fully appreciate and follow God’s design! Note: This article has been adapted from an article in a series of posts on The Nashville Statement on Biblical Sexuality. You can access the series here.
Bonus article 2: Challenging a False Assumption
An incident form the life of Harry Houdini illustrates that one of the biggest barriers to fulfillment and contentment for many is a false idea that needs to be challenged. We challenge it here with a very simple but profound truth—a truth that can open the door to freedom for all who honor it. Note: This article has been adapted from an article in a series of posts on The Nashville Statement on Biblical Sexuality. You can access the series here.
Bonus article 3: Relativism’s Flaws
What are the problems with relativism as a philosophy on which to base one’s life and decisions? They are significant in number, weighty, and consequential. They’re even devastating. Sadly, a great many people who embrace relativism don’t see this. We must help them! Note: This article has been adapted from an article in a series of posts on absolute truth. You can access the series here.
Bonus article 4: Twelve Qualities that Should Characterize the Church’s Case for Natural Marriage
In parts 4, 5, and 6 of our series, we presented twelve traits that must characterize the church’s case for God-ordained marriage, both within and beyond its walls. For convenience and ease of sharing, this post presents all twelve of these in one place.
Bonus article 5: Upholding the Gospel also Means Upholding Natural Marriage
This article presents all nine insights originally offered in parts 8, 9, and 10 of this series. The insights provide the theological foundation for natural, man-woman marriage. God’s fingerprints are all over this institution. Will we remain silent in the wake of elitist American leaders’ redefining it nationwide? Will we say very little as they effectively shake the nation’s fist in God’s face? The path on which they have set the country is one that, to an extent, every American is traveling. How will you respond?
Go here to learn about a series of posts titled “Myths that Led to the Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage in the United States.”
Image credits: top image and images accompanying summaries of part 5, 6, and 9; and bonus articles 1 and 4: www.lightstock.com
Copyright © 2017 by B. Nathaniel Sullivan. All rights reserved.