Tuesday, December 09, 2008

In case anyone really doubted it, Newsweek magazine confirms that gay marriage advocates don't think much of marriage

The cover story of the latest issue of Newsweek magazine is a religious case for same-sex marriage. Lisa Miller's central questions seems to be that the Bible doesn't have a very high view of marriage (the Old Testament Patriarchs were lax in their observation of its restrictions, and Jesus and Paul just didn't like it very much), and therefore, there's no reason for us to have such high view of it.

Somehow, I doubt that Newsweek arguing for a low view of marriage is going to be very effective in combating the argument of religious conservatives that same-sex marriage will result in a lower view of marriage. It apparently didn't notice that it was actually proving its opponents right.

Of course, the whole assumption that the Bible has a low view of marriage will come as news to people who actually read the thing.

But the sorry state of Newsweek's actual arguments has been been well put by Christianity Today magazine:

This is astonishing, for it not only misrepresents religious conservatives, but also Jesus and Paul—all in one fell swoop.

"Have you not read," Jesus once said, "that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate" (Matt. 19, ESV).

"Husbands, love your wives," Paul wrote, "as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her … husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh' " (Eph. 5).

Where, oh where is this supposed New Testament indifference to marriage? Christ deserves our primary loyalty, yes, but the New Testament never suggests an indifference to other loyalties, to family, to neighbor, to the world.

In fact, marriage is the very analog for the relationship between Christ and the Church, which makes it that much more amazing that a writer for a major news magazine could say something so utterly ridiculous. Does Newsweek really think that if two men decided they wanted to get married in first century Jerusalem, no one would have batted an eyelash?

The article is quite frankly an intellectual embarrassment and will probably redound to the discredit of case for same-sex marriage generally. But what has been just as interesting is the response to it. Christianity Today magazine, which has gotten more and more "moderate" as the years have gone by, has thrown down the gauntlet on this issue with its recent editorial and related articles.

This seems to be a sign that the mainline evangelical community is not going to lay down and play dead on this issue. For those of us who have counseled resolve in the face of what we have suspected may be ultimate defeat on this issue, this could be a sign that the tide may be turning.


Lee said...

Liberalism in America finds its disparate political allies for one reason: it exists to tear down institutions. Liberals live for it.

It's not even all bad. If there is an existing institution that desperately needs to come down, call in the liberals. Problem is, once their wrecking ball starts swinging, they don't care where it lands or what it breaks.

All of which is perfectly consistent with their world view. Man is unconstrained by silly notions of his fallen nature or lack of innate goodness and wisdom. They agree with the despised Christians that man is certainly imperfect in his present state, but chalk the reasons up to lack of "education" -- indoctrination into the liberal view -- and the failure of our institutions. All "root causes" are educational and, ultimately, economic. All justice is economic: if we are born unequal in circumstance, our goal is to make it more equal. Existing institutions are blind to this brand of cosmic justice, and therefore they must go down.

Anonymous said...

"marriage is the very analog for the relationship between Christ and the Church"

That is an outstanding point.