Burning Questions, Part 2: Are All Marriages Created Equal?
Why this question?
• There is increased emphasis in our culture on acceptance of the practice of homosexuality.
• It has become a kind of primary litmus test of “tolerance.”
• Some churches have followed this trend and accepted the practice.
•Many churches have been divided, even split over this issue
•It is imperative for us to understand what the Bible says to this polarizing issue and just as important, how we must respond
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
Genesis 2:18 & 24
“The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”…
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”
- God created male and female, and each were uniquely in His image
- God created sexual intimacy
- God created one man to be with one woman
We read throughout Scripture some clear instructions that the practice of homosexuality is a sin (Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:26-27)
4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’5 and said,
‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?
6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
-To be clear, Jesus isn’t asked to address the issue of homosexuality specifically
-But in speaking to the issue of marriage, it is important to note that he points us back to Genesis 2
-It should matter to us that “marriage” as described by Jesus is between a man and a woman
-Jesus did look past the moral laws of the Old Testament
-There is no biblical concept of same-sex relationships or same-sex marriages
No, all marriages are not created equal. God designed marriage to be between one man and one woman.
The challenge is as our culture has ELEVATED its emphasis on the acceptance of homosexual behavior, some Christians have ELEVATED homosexuality as the sin above all others.
15 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus.2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
–As believers in Christ, how are we to respond? We begin by taking our cue from Christ.
-In response to this accusation, Jesus tells three of the most powerful stories about the value of the one
-To Jesus, each one matters. Each one has value. No one is discarded.
-When we consider, not just Jesus’ words, but Jesus’ actions, it is clear that he always leads with love
-When encountering the Roman centurion, Jesus doesn’t create a thick wall of moral conditions for him to leap over
-When encouraging Matthew, the tax collector, Jesus doesn’t say “first you need to know where we stand on your sin”
-People were drawn to Jesus, not because their behaviors were affirmed, but because their humanity was affirmed
Let me answer this burning question with a question of my own: Whom have you disqualified from God’s Love?
Other Possible Texts:
26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
5 Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord[c] at one time delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe.6 And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. 7 In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins[a] and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”