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Gay Marriage: right or wrong?
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Feedback archive → Feedback 2017

How gay marriage harms people

Three reasons that abandoning God’s design for marriage is bad for society.

Published: 24 June 2017 (GMT+10)

Even now that same-sex marriage has become widely accepted in many countries, Christians cannot surrender. We must continue to lovingly and graciously stand for the truth. Also, if we want to be effective, we must learn to articulate the reasons why gay marriage not only violates God’s moral standard, but actually harms society. Indeed, a faulty view of marriage will create many victims, as we highlight in response to today’s question.

123rf man-woman-marriage

G.P. from the U.S. asked:

[M]y question is what do you think about gay marriage and adoption?

CMI’s responds.

Hi G.P.,

We have addressed this topic in a short booklet called Gay Marriage: right or wrong? You might want to pick that up from our webstore to read more details about some of the things that I’ll touch on below. Also, I’ll be drawing on a book called Truth Overruled by Ryan T. Anderson, which I’d recommend if you want another helpful resource.

The debate over same sex marriage is not fundamentally a disagreement about who can get married, but about what marriage is. Is marriage an arbitrary custom that people invented, one which they can define however they please? Or is marriage an institution established by God, well-matched to His design of human beings?

The Bible says that marriage is rooted in God’s creation of mankind (Matthew 19:4–8). In Genesis, we read how God made Eve out of Adam’s own flesh as a helper suited to him, and then the text says, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).

Throughout Scripture, it is clear that marriage is a lifelong, exclusive covenantal union of two people—a husband and a wife—which forms the foundation for the family. That is, marriage is oriented toward producing and raising children, if God so blesses (Genesis 1:28; Malachi 2:15). God created us male and female to complement one another, and the production of children requires both a man and a woman. So there cannot be any such thing as gay marriage, because marriage requires husband and wife.

The reason, then, that the Bible opposes the homosexual lifestyle is that it violates God’s design for marriage and family. Two people of the same gender do not complement one another as husband and wife do. Their union cannot produce children. And homosexual activity is harmful and destructive to oneself and others. So there are good reasons why the Bible explicitly condemns homosexual relationships. See Does the Bible really forbid homosexual relationships? and What does the Bible really say about homosexuality?

Let me mention just a few of the problems with gay marriage and gay adoption, in particular.

Same-sex marriage debases true marriage, and thereby weakens society

If we abandon the Bible’s teaching on marriage and just make up new definitions as we go, then why couldn’t marriage be redefined in other ways? Why couldn't it be more than two people, for example? Why couldn't it be a temporary rather than a lifelong commitment? There’s a logical slippery slope from same sex marriage to polygamy, temporary marriages, and other corrupt practices, because the same wrong thinking underlies these ideas—that people rather than the Creator have the authority to decide what marriage is. Sadly, once the definition of marriage is separated from the Creator’s design, it becomes so flexible that it begins to lose any significant meaning. Indeed, many homosexual activists have admitted that their real goal is to destroy the institution of marriage altogether. They realize that championing same-sex marriage works toward undermining the norms of marriage (like monogamy, permanence and exclusivity) and ultimately even the very concept of marriage itself.

But healthy societies are built on healthy families. The more we move away from the biblical teaching on marriage, the more we’ll have broken homes, because other arrangements simply do not work as well as God’s design. Logic indicates that the undermining of marriage will lead to an increase in cohabitation, divorce, single parenting, abortion, etc., and various studies help to confirm this. The weakening of marriage will place a burden on society as a whole, because others will have to step in with time, energy, and money to try to repair the damage. They will have to minister to hurting adults and help to raise the children of broken homes, and those children will be more likely to get into trouble, causing further problems. This leads to my next point.

Same-sex marriage harms children

What’s wrong with same-sex couples producing children through a surrogate or adopting children?

The fact that many children require adoption means they are already in a less-than-ideal situation. The ideal is that children would be raised by their own parents. Children long for and tend to be healthier when raised by their biological mother and father.

The next best thing, though, would be for children to be raised by a married, opposite-sex couple, as opposed to a single parent or a same-sex couple. Adoption by a same-sex couple would give children additional difficulties to overcome instead of giving them the best chance for success. This is because same-sex parenting would deny children the ability to have a parent of each gender (both a mom and a dad). This isn’t good, because men and women parent differently. They bring different strengths and weaknesses to the table, so children learn different lessons from mom than they do from dad, and vice versa.

If a same-sex couple brought children into the world through a surrogate, that would be even worse, because they would be creating children with the intention up front of separating them from at least one of their biological parents. Studies show that children do better if they are raised by their actual parents rather than one parent and one step parent, but same-sex parenting necessarily involves a step parent.

In fact, numerous testimonies from people who spent their childhood in a same sex household bear out these truths. For example, Heather Barwick was raised by her mother and her mother's lesbian partner. Although Heather loves them both dearly, she writes about how the lack of a father in her home negatively affected her. She says, “My father’s absence created a huge hole in me, and I ached every day for a dad. I loved my mom’s partner, but another mom could never have replaced the father I lost” (Truth Overruled, 2015, p. 170).

According to the champions of same-sex marriage, though, two parents of the same gender should be just as good as having one’s own mother and father. This simply isn’t true. Advocates of same-sex marriage are primarily concerned about the desires of adults, but they largely ignore the fact that, in the process, they trample on the best interests of children.

Same-sex marriage undermines religious freedom

It should not be surprising that, once gay marriage is declared legal, those who oppose it are seen as enemies of the law. This is why, especially since the US Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, those with moral and religious objections to same-sex marriage are increasingly being persecuted for simply following their deeply held religious convictions. See Gay Marriage—a big stick to beat the church with.

Religious adoption agencies are being forced to close if they will not place children into same-sex households. Christian schools are being threatened with loss of funding and accreditation if they do not allow their students to actively engage in homosexual practices. Professionals in the wedding industry and even pizza shops are being forced to participate in same-sex ceremonies, or face financial ruin. Even individuals like former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran and former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich are being hounded out of their careers for simply opposing gay marriage in their private lives. Kim Davis was sent to jail because her convictions would not allow her to sign a same-sex marriage license. And we’ve only seen the beginning of this tidal wave. All of the transgender lunacy we’re now facing is a result of this moral revolution as well.

Clearly, gay marriage advocates want more than the freedom to do as they please. The movement includes many bullies who want to force everyone to either join them or be destroyed. They talk a lot about love, but they don’t really understand it. True love “does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth” (1 Cor. 13:6). Amazingly, in the name of ‘love’, the freedom to think and act like a Christian is being taken away.

Christians, on the other hand, are called to love our enemies. So we must continue to show love even to those who persecute us. We do not return evil for evil, but neither do we capitulate to their demands. "We must obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29). And, because it violates God’s expressed will, Christians must continue to oppose same-sex marriage.

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Readers’ comments
A. T., United States, 7 July 2017

Well thought out article. However, I do question stating that children raised by biological parents is better and more desirable by the child than adoptive mother and father. I myself am adopted, have never desired to be raised by the family God intentionally removed me from, and have felt very blessed to have my adoptive "real" parents.

Keaton Halley responds

Thanks for sharing. My comments about how it's best to be raised by one's biological parents should be understood in terms of 'all things being equal', and that's what the social science studies try to get at. But adoption is certainly a biblical and important good in a fallen world. It rescues many children from otherwise difficult circumstances, and reflects the relationship Christians have to God (Eph. 1:5). So I'm glad God blessed you with your family, and didn't intend to denigrate that in any way. But it's also true that many adopted children do have a yearning for a relationship with their biological parents, and this is understandable given God's purposes for the institution of the family.

Alan W., United States, 7 July 2017

In such discussion we typically ask the wrong question. In fact most discussions would be far more productive, and succinct, were the founded on the MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION IN THE UNIVERSE, "Is God?" Can you see how the answer to this MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION will, for all practical purposes answer the "gay marriage" issue. For the person answering the MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION in the affirmative, the issue of "gay marriage" has already been disposed of by God. For the person defending "gay marriage," he has obviously answered the MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION incorrectly and thus his worldview is so skewed many of his other answers to important questions will be serious;y suspect. The important issue IS NOT "gay marriage," the issue is how each and every person LEARNS to answer THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION. Get that right and everything else falls into place.

Edward P., United States, 7 July 2017

The idea that homosexuals are born that way is pervasive in social media. They have done their job well. Those I run across who claim this, I respond by asking them to show me the blood test that proves it. I never get a response. What I'm hoping is that they will research it and realise they have been duped. I don't think people like being duped.

Keaton Halley responds

See my response to another comment by Janet E.

Russell H., Australia, 7 July 2017

Regarding the slippery slope- homosexual marriage is not the start of a slippery slope, or the thin edge of a wedge, it is much closer to the end of the slope and the thick edge of the wedge. Polygamy has been accepted in many societies. Young girls have been married off to much older men. But gay marriage is new. Unfortunately as Christians we have not done enough to argue against the many other deviations from Biblical truth have been accepted in our modern world before this latest step of allowing gay marriage. These include open acceptance and promotion of premarital sex- something that marriage seen rightly condemns and seeks to prevent; acceptance of divorce to the point of 50%+ rates is the abandonment of the lifelong nature of marriage; no fault divorce is the abandonment of the legal nature of marriage (a legal covenant- name another legal arrangement that people can break without penalty or blame!) Most people live together before marriage and the law does not discriminate between marriage and cohabitation which greatly undermines the nature of marriage. But gay marriage is a massive additional step that effectively rejects marriage. Sure other perversions can be added but these will only be the result of a completely different definition being accepted.

Doug R., United States, 7 July 2017

All attitudes and practices contrary to God's teachings in the Bible are sinful. They bring the wrath of God upon those that practice them. God's judgment is poised to fall heavy upon any nation or people who practice sin.

The United States has made laws contrary to God's laws and is causing great harm to all the citizens: abortion murders the innocent and their blood is on all the citizens of a Republic, not just those that commit these acts. Homosexual marriage, along with rejection of sodomy laws has brought this country down the same road as Sodom and Gomorrah whom God judged by raining down fire and brimstone.

The judgment of God against these and all other sins of this nation is real. Every Christian church should cry out against this wickedness within our country. But instead, we have churches and pastors who agree with this abomination and promote it. All such churches should be denounced and all people who support such evil should be put on notice that they are bringing the judgment of God upon themselves and all around them.

But instead we have apologists, afraid to tell the truth and to warn Americans and other nations of this great evil that destroys societies, not just individual lives. Why? Because they fear persecution and being called "judgmental," when it is the sinners who are bringing the righteous wrath of God upon the entire world, not those that expose them. The world will always hate Christians because the real ones testify that their deeds are evil.

Andrew M., South Africa, 7 July 2017

The question of abuse must also be asked. Can people that have chosen a lifestyle of homosexual acts be trusted with children, and notably, can they be trusted with the care of children that are not their own - NOT to abuse them and NOT to pass them around to their promiscuous friends?

Keaton Halley responds

Obviously, not all homosexuals would be abusive, but there does seem to be statistical data indicating that violence and promiscuity are more prevalent in homosexual relationships than heterosexual relationships. See, for example, The disingenuous and anti-Christian nature of 'gay rights' rhetoric.

M. K., Australia, 7 July 2017

'Marriage' is always related to 'religion', example Christianity. I have a genuine question, why is this so? Yes we know that it is originated from the Bible, but lots of other things that now become secular things, are also originated from the Bible. So can 'marriage' be secular'? Maybe, using different name, and perhaps having a different definition?

Keaton Halley responds

Marriage is rooted in the way God designed the world, in His purposes for creating humanity, and in the moral laws He established to govern society. So whether marriage can be 'secular' depends on what that means. Marriage isn't only for Christians or those who believe the Bible. God set up that institution for everyone. But since the institution of marriage was ordained by God, it can never be separated from Him. Non-Christians are not free to make marriage whatever they want, because God is Lord whether they acknowledge Him or not.

derek W., Australia, 7 July 2017

Today’s article on gay marriage was good, but only if you accept the authority of the bible.

This is not the message that most people these days want to hear – the bible, and the Creator God have been replaced by Gaia, (Mother) nature, or evolution, and your appeal to Genesis falls on deaf ears.

There is, however, another mode of attack, that of appealing to nature.

I have three dictionaries, a British, an American and an Australian, and they all define marriage as “a civil union between a man and a woman”; and one of them mentions the usual outcome of producing children.

And in fact, even if you have a church wedding, the first thing you do is the sign the civil register so that the State recognises your union. (The church register comes later!)

That this is often/usually the outcome of male and female coming together is attested in the whole of nature – the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees, as well as the other animals, including Man.

Any other “coming together” is thus seen to be contrary to nature – it is, dare we say it? – unnatural.

Whether it is the transfer of sperm or of pollon, nature provides for the reproduction of life in a grand design, a fact that cannot be denied.

Evolutionists are at a complete loss to explain how this happened – it can hardly be the result of chance, even assuming millions of years – the first living cell did not have that much time.

So by definition, marriage is the coming together of male and female, with reproduction in mind (Genesis 1:28),

Gay marriage is therefore a misnomer = two men will never reproduce, and one or both of a two woman union will only do so by the injection of donor sperm, so the use of the word “marriage” is completely contrary to definition, even in non religious terms. (more to come)

Keaton Halley responds

Actually, my article shows how extrabiblical evidence supports the authority of Scripture in this area. So it's not correct that it just takes Scriptural authority as an unargued given and requires non-believers to accept this a priori. But neither does it make a false concession to 'neutrality' by leaving the Bible out of the discussion. Rather, I gave reasons why we should think the Bible's teaching is in line with reality and brings blessing, while same-sex 'marriage' causes harm. It's an argument for the truths contained in Scripture. And I would further argue that we will not have long term success in this battle if we leave the Bible out of the discussion altogether, because at its heart the sexual revolution is about rebellion against God, and without a Gospel-based heart change I do not think most people will be convinced by an appeal to natural law alone.

Peter G., Australia, 7 July 2017

Gay marriage is contrary to the Bible but the Bible is contrary to logic. We'd have to accept a talking snake, a metal sky-dome, a plurality of gods and a universe less than 10,000 years old. I agree with the article on the children issues but not that a loving committed relationship between adults is wrong.

Keaton Halley responds

The Bible is staunchly monotheistic, and we've answered the charge that it affirms a solid sky. But we defend a young earth, and a talking snake is unproblematic as soon as you drop your bias against the supernatural.

But you didn't provide any reason to accept your arbitrary standard of morality. Why is commitment important? Why would moral sexual relationships be limited to adults? Or two people? Or human-human pairings? If the true and living God does not give us the standard for love, then what does? It seems that you want to replace God as Lawgiver and write your own rules, even though you acknowledge that your rules would harm children.

Janet E., Australia, 6 July 2017

Simple! We are created to procreate. But there are exceptions because children can be born male with female tendencies. I've lived with one in a country where homosexuality is not at all common. In over 49 years I've only seen one who seemed like he was 'gay'. I pray for the one whom I met last year. He was only 10. I've also spoken with a man who was being mentored to become 'gay', now dead from AIDS. If it's 'normal' how many animals in the animal kingdom are homosexual?

Keaton Halley responds

I'm not sure what you mean by children "born male with female tendencies." If you mean hermaphrodites, then this rare condition is one result of a fallen world. The fact that some are born with defects in their biological sexual characteristics has zero impact on whether homosexuality/transgenderism is morally good, just like the fact that some are born missing a finger does not mean that those with 10 normal fingers can destroy the ones they have. See Hermaphrodites and homosexuality and Celebrating gender confusion.

But if you mean biological males exhibiting female behaviors, then this could cover a range of things, some of which are problematic and others not. Either way, I would not jump to the conclusion that effeminate behavior is something one is born with. It can be a combination of biological factors, socialization, and choices. In fact, now that it's no longer politically necessary, the "born this way" mantra is being abandoned. Even before it became a dogma, it was acknowledged to be a lie by homosexual activists Kirk and Madsen in 1989. In After the Ball, they wrote, “We argue that, for all practical purposes, gays should be considered to have been born gay—even though sexual orientation, for most humans, seems to be the product of a complex interaction between innate predispositions and environmental factors during childhood and early adolescence.” Less than a month after Obergefell, New Scientist published an article called "Sexuality is fluid—it's time to get past 'born this way'". And just last month USA Today published a piece entitled "'Born this way'? It's way more complicated than that."

As for animals, we've pointed out before that there are some animals who exhibit homosexual behavior, but this is explained by the Fall and is irrelevant to whether it's moral for people. People should not 'act like animals', because if we did we'd also be thieves, murderers, cannibals, rapists, etc. See Homosexual animals.

All of this is also discussed in our booklet, Gay Marriage: Right or Wrong?

M. F., Colombia, 29 June 2017

Thank you for another great article. Ever since gay marriage and adoption were triumphant inthe USA and my country i have been feeling like we lost the battle, as other people note, when checking the studies you always find grand declarations saying that there is no diference but during my studies in mental health for my career it was evident that a mother and a father are very important in children's development... Even i cases when it is an only parent it is essential for him/her to transmit the essence of both genres (for example the kindnes of women and the firmness of men) for children to not have psychological problems, nowadays speaking this simple facts makes you target for derision. I was losing hope, but this article has reminded me of our struggle and pointed me to some good references to keep reading and improving my ability to defend the faith. God bless

James T., United States, 27 June 2017

@CMI a question,i looked up Heather Barwick and not surprising there was some articles that were blasting her from the LGBT activists,claiming that just because she was not happy doesnt mean other kids raise by gay people aren't.How would you respond to gays(who according to them)have raise "successful" kids and experience no problems?

Keaton Halley responds

Heather Barwick is certainly not alone. Other children of same-sex parents have spoken out, like Katy Faust who wrote an open letter to US Supreme Court Justice Kennedy before the Obergefell decision.

But we're not saying that children raised by same-sex parents cannot be happy or turn out 'okay'. We're saying that same-sex parenting adds additional obstacles for children to overcome. Single moms can also raise well-adjusted children who succeed, yet it's still true that the absence of a father is bad for children, and those children would have been better off with a father. The question has to do with what is best, not what children can tolerate or overcome.

Kim B., Australia, 26 June 2017

Hi there, marriage as designed by God is the joining of two flesh to become one. Same sex couples cannot join their flesh so therefore marriage is physically impossible. I have definitely pondered the verse in Genesis 2:24 that says: "That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh." As obviously at the time when this verse appears in Genesis Adam had no mother & in the rest of Genesis there are plenty of polygamous relationships. Therefore I believe when Moses wrote Genesis he had already been given the law in Leviticus regarding who could marry, (it was outlined that it was no longer ok for close relatives to marry. This could have been because of genetic entrophy). Don't forget that Abraham was married to his half sister Sarah. But even though Moses then outlined one man & one woman (as confirmed by Jesus in the new testament), King David - who came after Moses, still had multiple wives. I can only think that up until Jesus confirmed in Matthew 19:6 the statement that was made in Genesis, that maybe people were still not understanding the mystery of marriage as created by God. These are just some thoughts & I would very much like to know what you think.

Peter N., Australia, 26 June 2017

Keaton Halley correctly discounts N.O.'s reference claiming that "children raised in gay marriages 'experience no differences' compared to children from other parental configurations'". Studies making such claims don’t stand up to scrutiny. Rather, the evidence indicates that un-married same-sex parenting is overall detrimental to children, and married same-sex parenting is worse.

E.g. three studies of 44 lesbian mother families, using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health claimed no disadvantage in well-being for children with same-sex parents. Considering that the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health is considered to be “representative of the U.S. adolescent population with a high degree of precision” we could consider the ‘no disadvantage’ result to be reliable. But is it?

No! D. Paul Sullins debunked the ‘no-disadvantage’ claims in his paper “The Unexpected Harm of Same-sex Marriage: A Critical Appraisal, Replication and Re-analysis of Wainright and Patterson’s Studies of Adolescents with Same-sex Parents”. Sullins showed that 27 of the 44 ‘lesbian mother families’ were misidentified heterosexual parent families. After correcting for this, he showed that on all measures (except education), children with same-sex parenting were associated with worse outcomes than were children with opposite-sex parenting. Further, children were worse off in all measures (including education) when comparing married to unmarried same-sex parenting.

H. B., Canada, 25 June 2017

I have read your article and agree with all that you have said mainly because I uphold that if you go against God's laws nothing good comes of it as Gamaliel told the people who were willing to kill the apostles Acts:5 34,39: " If this thing is of God you can do nothing and you will find yourself fighting against God" the law that is broken is God's law not man's or Christian's or whomever and so it's going to be fraught with obstacles.

Keaton Halley responds

Thanks. We advise caution about the Gamaliel quote, though, because what Scripture reports it doesn't necessarily endorse, and the full context of what he said is not always the best advice. This is explained in: Answering some Hugh Ross supporters.

Terry W., Canada, 25 June 2017

The thought occurs to me just how many plugs we have designed as human beings: things break when we force fit incompatible things. We also designed various vehicles to be operated in a certain way. Next time you're on an airliner, wonder whether it would be okay if the pilots flew it upside down. Many airliner accidents have resulted from much more minor violations of the checklists and operating procedures. Is it not the onus of the pilots, drivers, and helmsmen of the world to operate their vehicles in ways that are compatible with their design? Is it not the right, even the responsibility, of engineers to specify how these devices and vehicles are to be safely used?

Why should God, the designer of human beings, be denied that right and responsibility?

N. O., Sweden, 25 June 2017

Keaton Halley, you write that the research indicating positive results for LGTB-people are based on "flawed methodologies, non-representative research samples, etc.".

But in a quick search for Anderson's book Truth Overruled at Google, reviewers seems to dismiss it as a case of 'cherry picking' material compiled with a 'homophobic' agenda.

When it comes to issues like this, you can almost always see both sides accusing each other for 'cherry picking' or being driven by ideology. It is difficult to know which side that is most in line with scientific evidence.

Keaton Halley responds

Accusations aren't necessarily true, so I think we need to look into the evidence ourselves as we're able and evaluate. Admittedly, I'm no expert on the social science, but from what I've read I am much more confident in Anderson's work than in his critics. When they accuse him of being 'homophobic' this shows their hand, because the charge is outlandish! Disagreeing with same-sex marriage does not mean you have a psychological disorder.

Mark L H., Spain, 25 June 2017

One argument against homosexuality and abortion which is seldom mentioned is the financial aspect. Practices like these, which reduce population, will ultimately place a greater financial burden on a decreasing work force to support an aging population. We are already seeing this happen. Also, these practices place a greater burden on health care services through the propagation of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. It is rare to find "sexually liberated" people who will remain true to a single partner; that is not "liberation." The financial and social implications are even deeper than this, but this helps give an idea of the problems created through disobeying God's order.

Ken C., Canada, 25 June 2017

The current marital predicament is due to societies focus on marriage as a state/church endorsed legal union rather then a conjugal life giving union as scripture repeatedly emphasized in Genesis 2:24, Mark 10:7-9, and 1 Corinthians 6:16. Focusing on the legality of matrimony has desensitized people to the sanctity of marriage.

Tonie S., Canada, 25 June 2017

Dear Sir,

In your article you mention "temporary marriages", but hasn't this been largely, or for the most part, embraced?

Keaton Halley responds

I wasn't thinking here of divorce, which people still generally see as a tragedy rather than something to be championed. I was thinking of marriages that are entered into with a sunset clause, more like a contract than a covenant which expires after a few years. This sort of thing has been seriously proposed.

Vemund B., Norway, 24 June 2017

I have read your article about gay marriage. As far as I have learned marriage in the form which is usual in Norway is a reminiscence from the Roman empire. There the habit of using rings and being married in front of a priest came from. The Romans did this before Christ was born, without any old testament to refer to. I do not know where the Romans got their ideas of marriage from.

The Romans can be traced back to Tubal, son of Japhet, son of Noah, and it could be that their oldest rules was letters being carried with the iberians from Mesopotamia. It seems to me that it was the catholic church and their monasteries who carried the Roman habit of marriage The oldest Norwegian rules of marriage must have been based on other scriptures than the bible.

Keaton Halley responds

To clarify in case it wasn't clear, my argument wasn't that cultures derive their views of marriage from the Bible per se, but that marriage is rooted in the way God created human beings and His purposes for us.

Dan M., United States, 24 June 2017

Another no-brainer!

I was raised in a broken home and it has caused great mental suffering in my life. My father left when I was about four and my mother was a train wreck so I know something about this subject. I didn't feel normal growing up and my experiences produced an angry man. I never married and had kids because by God's grace I knew I couldn't make it work and didn't want to reproduce my childhood. I had a hard time relating to God because I had no good example of a father growing up but by God's grace and his teaching I've been healed, spiritually, but there will always be the memories and satin knows how to use them.

Our parents shape us for the better or for the worse and our society must decide whether it wants stable citizens or not. It is sad that in a country made great by belief in Gods principles and the family structure, we are now self destructing and WILL fail if we keep going in this direction. It also amazes me how so few 2-3% of the population can have so much power. Of course that's because the church is sick also and will not stand for what is right and correct.

I will never, never, never concede to what is wrong whether it's gay marriage, divorce, polygamy or any other form of violation of God's plan for rearing children, (they really are the ones to suffer). The gay community talks about being marginalized and having no rights but where's my right to worship and believe what I want, (hypocrisy)?

We can't become discouraged because God has a plan and we win. Just keep praying for our nation and its people and God will sort it all out.

P.S. I hope I never have to appear in court because I no longer have any confidence in our so called justice system!

S. H., United Kingdom, 24 June 2017

The Bible starts with a marriage between a man and a woman and it ends with the bride and the bridegroom. Wherever there is Biblical truth, the enemy seeks to kill, destroy and intimidate people away from the truth. To see how true something is Biblically, just measure the levels and nature of opposition to it. This is one area where this is evident, with the battle against demonic forces and not people. Interestingly, those who claim they have been abused are now very often the bullies and aggressors, undermining the very equality they espouse, showing where the real bigotry lies. They have redefined 'hate' to mean 'someone who disagrees with what I think/want, or further still won't promote what I think/want.' And they aggressively go after anyone who won't bow to their agenda. Any difference of opinion is categorised by veiled soundbite threats of 'hate' vs 'love'. Their tactics are often closer to tyranny than democracy. But the love they want is the ability to do whatever they want, at whatever cost to everyone else. This is demonic deception. Godly love is something quite different. The story of the prodigal son in the Bible demonstrates this - the younger son (like the world) wants to go off and do his own thing at whatever cost. But the Father allows this in love and in love waits for the son's return and welcomes him home. As the church we just have to make sure we're not like the 'miserable' older son! But we wait eagerly, praying, speaking truth in love, ready to join the feast with those willing to hear and respond to the Father's voice.

N. O., Sweden, 24 June 2017

While I think it is good that you defend the christian standpoint against gay marriage, you are incorrect in your claim that it "harms children". In their 2015 work "Scientific consensus, the law, and same sex parenting outcomes", Adams and Light presented research indicating that children raised in gay marriages "experience “no differences” compared to children from other parental configurations" (Social Science Research, vol. 53: p. 300-310).

Just want to tell you. It is important that we always try to be aware of the current evidence.

Keaton Halley responds

There are good reasons for skepticism about studies like this, proclaiming "no differences" between opposite-sex parenting and same-sex parenting. First, note that this study was trying to demonstrate consensus, which is different from truth (as creationists well know). It's arguing from other studies, yet many of these have flawed methodologies, non-representative research samples, etc. Second, the more robust social science studies that investigate the importance of a married mother and father more generally show that all other common arrangements do not serve children as well. So it would be quite contrary to expectations to find that even though children do worse when raised by a remarried parent, cohabiting couples, and single parents, somehow same-sex couples defy this trend. Anderson's book has a good discussion of this subject even though it came out before the paper you cite.

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