Marriage The Key To A Great Society?
So, is marriage really the foundation upon which a society is built such that dramatically altering marriage will put that society in imminent danger? That is the argument put forth by a number of my good evangelical brothers and sisters concerning the issue of homosexual marriage. And while I agree with them that marriage between and man and woman was created and ordained, (i.e. He conferred a special and unique blessing on this relationship) by God I’m not so sure that He intended for marriage by itself to be the key foundation of human society. What does this have to do with the price of tea in China? Well, since we’re talking about marriage and its value to a good, well-ordered and strong society my thought is that we should examine all of the key aspects to such a society of which marriage is but one.
Those evangelicals who wish to strengthen our society by appealing to God’s creative norms cannot stop with our opposition to homosexual marriage. We cannot stop there because according to Scripture marriage is but one key to a good, well-ordered and strong society. I think part of our challenge as evangelicals is our reading of Genesis 2, or should I say our myopic focus on Genesis 2:18-25. If I didn’t know better I might actually think that Gen. 1 ended with ‘and there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day’ with Gen. 2 beginning with ‘Then the LORD God said “It is not good that the man should be alone”. But before we get to Adam’s marriage, Scripture introduces us to at least two and possibly four other key components crucial to Adam’s overall well-being and thus to the well-being of any society that consists of Adam’s offspring.
What are these components and what can the church do about them? To answer the last question first, let me say that the church can advocate for them in much the same way we advocate for marriage. Now it is true that marriage is different in that it is the only one of these components that has direct government intervention. Consequently, I must admit that this is where things get just a bit tricky. Most evangelicals agree on the biblical principles of marriage to the extent that advocating for it is pretty clear cut. This isn’t necessarily the case with the other key components I plan to discuss. For example, beginning with Gen. 2 I believe that meaningful, satisfying work that garners one more than enough to care for himself or herself and their family is also a key component to the kind of society in which we all wish to live. And lest we forget, Adam had such work before he had a wife. Or as I heard one preacher say, ‘romance without finance is a nuisance.’ So though it may take some doing, we evangelicals must also find a way to advocate for and encourage our society and those within it to seek, cultivate, create and sustain meaningful employment which can provide more than enough to live on for those who engage in such work.
Why in the world Lance would we want to take the trouble to do such a thing and what does it have to do with the cultural war against marriage? The main reason we should be just as mindful to advocate for the pillars of humanity revealed in Gen. 2 is that each of them in their own unique way say something significant about the God who created us, the Savior He sent to redeem us, the great salvation He has secured for us and our God’s view of humanity. You see, for us there is far, far more for us at stake in this than just the temporary fortunes of a temporary country as important as all that may be. What’s at stake is our witness which is the very reason we exist. The church of the Lord Jesus Christ in America does not exist to protect, preserve or promote America’s place among the rest of the countries of this world. Our calling has little or nothing to do with ensuring that Americaremains the richest, most militarily powerful country on this earth. No, our mission is to be a constant witness to all Americans of the greatness, grandeur, glory, majesty, supremacy, character, nature and actions of the living God as expressed fully in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. And that’s why we cannot stop our advocacy at the altar when a man and a woman turn to each other and say ‘I do’.
To Him Who Loves Us…