The fracas around the impending redefinition of marriage in Australia has been escalating at a great rate. A private members bill is likely to be put forward in federal parliament in the near future redefining the definition of marriage. If passed, it will mean that marriage will include the legal union of two people of the same sex. Martin has already addressed the issue briefly on this blog with regards to the obvious cascade effect towards polygamous marriage. This is a very important issue, with wide-ranging consequences, and one which the Church should be deeply concerned about, and more actively combating. Distressingly, much of the church is silent on the issue, and many churches are pro-gay marriage (including 10 Baptist Union of Victoria churches).
Further controversy was caused by Margaret Court, recently. She is a former tennis champion, and church pastor, who spoke out against homosexual marriage and has copped a barrage of criticism. Obviously everyone is allowed their own opinion, unless they’re Christians and opposed to gay-marriage. But that’s another story. My point is that the issue is on the metaphorical table, and it’s important. I’m convinced the legal redefinition of marriage will occur soon, unless our Lord intervenes somehow.
There are many reasons why the redefinition of marriage is unbiblical. My focus here will be on one passage, though. And my analysis will be brief, because I think the case is strong and clear. The passage is Ephesians 5:22-33.
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
The husband is representing Christ. The wife is representing the church. Marriage is a dramatization of the gospel, of Christ love for his people. A redefinition of marriage to include gay unions would twist this God-rendered picture of the gospel beyond recognition. Marriage is between a man and a woman, because Christ is married to his church. Christ is not married to Christ, and the church is not married to the church. Any redefinition of marriage would be theologically disastrous, and Christians and churches who support such a move ignore the clear teaching of scripture.
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