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EDITORIAL: A clarion call to fight for marriage

As the Supreme Court of the United States ponders the legality of same-sex marriage, we pray. We watch. We wait.
And we dread.
We dread the days ahead. We fear the media spotlight on those of us who believe God designed marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman.
Though we did not seek this fight, it has come to our doorsteps. Christian judges in states that have passed gay marriage legislation face a difficult decision. Should they refuse to preside over same-sex unions? Will they lose their jobs?
Will churches that refuse to allow same-sex weddings lose their tax-exempt status? What about Christian universities? Will those that refuse to hire gay and lesbian faculty members lose funding?
It may matter little what the Supreme Court decides. Society has judged. A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll showed that 58 percent of respondents — 80 percent of adults under age 30 — approve of same-sex marriage.
As Christians, we should never fear to speak the truth in love, regardless of how many, or few, stand with us. Love compels us to take a stand for Bible-based marriage.
But how? Should we boycott businesses that support same-sex unions? Should we take to the streets, protest signs in hand, and attempt to shout down all those with whom we disagree?
As we have done countless times on this page, we urge our fellow believers to be the change we want to see in society.
Yes, we face a marriage crisis, but it is not being debated in the country’s highest court.
David Frum, a CNN contributor, identified the problem in a recent opinion piece. He wrote that, “while straight young Americans support marriage for gays, increasingly they opt against marriage for themselves.”
He cited a report by academics and social activists that shows 48 percent of first-time mothers in the U.S. are unwed. For the first time in the country’s history, the median age of women having babies is lower than the median age of marriage — 25.7 years and 26.5 years, respectively.
“It used to be called illegitimacy. Now it is the new normal,” the New York Times reported in a piece about unwed mothers last year.
We used to lament the notion that our society had exchanged “as long as we both shall live” for “as long as we both shall love.”
In truth, both of those phrases have been exchanged for nothing at all. America’s gay community is fighting for access to a word, “marriage,” that secular society has rendered all but meaningless.
Christians should fight for marriage — our marriages. We must demonstrate God’s intention for marriage: two living as one, practicing the self-sacrificial love Christ has for his church.
We also must reach out in love — not judgment — to single parents. We must cross racial and socioeconomic divides, surrounding them and their children with love and compassion.
Now, more than ever, we must be that town on a hill Jesus urges us to be in Matthew 5, letting his love shine, “that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Whatever the polls show, whatever society deems right, let us hold on to the real truth of God’s Word. Let us practice the pure religion we read about in James 1, “to look after orphans and widows in their distress” and to keep ourselves “from being polluted by the world.”
When the court makes it decision, may we be too busy serving to notice. 

  • Feedback
    We may well be raising (have raised) several generations of people who don’t understand what marriage means. We have to judge and speak the truth not hide under the pews from sin.
    “Whosoever is ashamed of me and my words…”
    John Smith
    Chantilly, VA
    United States
    May, 2 2013

    Marriage as practiced in today’s Church does need to be re-examined, and a change in practice is called for, indeed.
    Let the State do whatever it wishes for persons to enter into a contract having legal status and protections commonly afforded by the State. Call this mutual contract what you will, “civil marriage,” or whatever.
    And let the Church teach men and women what it means to follow Christ, to be molded by him into his image, whether as single men and women, or as married men and women. Let the Church get out of the business of hosting weddings and get into the grit of leading a married man and woman into holiness.
    Jon Paden
    Juneau Church of Christ
    Juneau, Alaska
    April, 20 2013

    I’m amazed that prayer wasn’t suggested as one of other means to deal with the situation. (Just an observation). We can also train and teach our brethren the truth about the evil of redefining marriage.
    I agree- be that city but the problem is too many within the walls of that city have given over to the world’s ideas.
    Convince the converted first and then move outward. IMO that is the only answer for the Lord’s church. AND, pray… it ain’t a done deal yet.
    Query: “We also must reach out in love — not judgment — to single parents. We must cross racial and socioeconomic divides, surrounding them and their children with love and compassion.” can the CC write just one article without calling us old rich bigoted mean white folks?
    Don Neyland
    Church of Christ
    Montegut, La
    April, 15 2013

Filed under: Editorial

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