If a heterosexual and a homosexual fall in love with each other and want to marry, what does that say about the definitions of love and sex? Are they forbidden to marry? Is love subject and bound to the flesh?
From the Amarillo Globe May 25th 2011, in the advice column, a heterosexual and a homosexual have fallen in love with each other. The feeling is mutual. The man wants to marry her and enjoys "romantic things" with her. The woman likewise wants to marry him. Both consider themselves to be each other's "soul mate." Even though they want to marry and even though they deeply love each other, they feel troubled about a possible future within marriage. Because they are two different orientations, is it proper for them to marry? Are mixed marriages acceptable in today's society?
Whenever I speak against gay marriage, one typical argument aimed at me is "if you ban marriage between homosexuals, then you have to ban marriage between heterosexuals." The notion exists that only people who are sexually attracted to each other should marry but that somehow marriage is "all about love." According to their argument, a heterosexual and a homosexual cannot or should not marry. According to their argument, it is not love unless they have a sexual attraction. This false belief of love and sex as synonymous has damaged society.
Love and sex are two completely different things. Yes, people who love each other can have sex together, but love and sex nonetheless remain two separate things. This is why recreational sex devoid of feeling is so rampant in today's culture; this is why people can deeply love each other without any sexual attraction. Love and sex are two separate things.
Episcopal author Rob Bell truly has no clue what he talks about. When he said, "I am for fidelity. I am for love, whether it's a man and a woman, a woman and a woman, a man and a man," he refers to the carnal acts between heterosexuals and between homosexuals. Contemporary culture has confused love and sex. Contemporary culture considers love synonymous with sex so that if there is no sexual attraction, then the two people must not love each other. This is a false belief and a very dangerous belief.
It is natural for people to love many others such as friends and neighbors because love is spiritual and because people have souls. When love and sex (falsely) require a sexual attraction, people pull away from loving relationships and isolate themselves due to the absence of carnal desire. The isolation and loneliness results in emotional injuries. Also, because of the love/sex confusion, there are more teenagers who repeatedly give themselves up sexually to many men for the sake of finding love; in the end, they feel used, worthless, and undeserving of love. When love and sex (falsely) require sexual attraction, the two people within a marriage lack strong, loving friendships to help them overcome difficulties and arguments with the husband or wife. This could be one reason why the divorce rate is so high, but anyway, due to the absence of loving friendships, the divorced person suffers from isolation and depression. The confusion of love and sex -falsely thinking the two synonymous - affects different people in different ways, but all of it is dangerous and damaging in every instance.
Concerning all the arguments against "redefining marriage," it is important to understand that marriage has already been redefined into something it was not meant to be. Actually, two things have been redefined - marriage and love. Marriage no longer serves a social function or purpose. The opponents of gay marriage argue as though the social function/purpose remains in place.
Marriage was once about families and communities. Now, marriage is about emotions, feelings, and whatever makes a person feel good about him/herself. Contemporary culture has replaced the objective and rational criteria of marriage with subjective, irrational, and changeable criteria.
As a result of this already redefinition of marriage, divorce rates have skyrocketed, a large number of children are born out of wedlock to parents who refuse to mature, etc. Not only have divorce rates skyrocketed, but there are also men and women who repeatedly divorce and remarry, never satisfied, always searching for that "special someone." The spouse has become a means of personal fulfillment, a false idol. This false idol applies to both heterosexuals and homosexuals. This false belief is prevalent among both Christians and non-Christians. Gays argue for the right to marry not because they want to redefine marriage, but because they embrace this already redefinition of marriage.
There is a misnomer in our society. It is the thought that we have to find someone else to be our other half or that we have to be married to be complete. This is totally against what the Bible teaches concerning the nature of man. God created man in His image. He created them male and female. It does not teach that He created two half beings that when they come together they are complete, but instead it teaches that both male and female are complete creations formed in His image.
The spouse cannot provide personal fulfillment because the spouse is also flawed and prone to error. It is just the way humans are. Marrying for personal fulfillment is filling yourself with someone else's flaws and failings. There is a difference between accepting someone and filling yourself. This false belief of marriage as personal fulfillment is precisely why some gays argue that marriage is a "human right." It is important to understand that heterosexuals have already redefined marriage by replacing its objective social criteria with subjective and changeable criteria. Homosexuals simply use the definition that they grew up with. Duke Tabor wrote that society believes people "have to be married to be complete" for why churches refuse to hire single pastors. This makes marriage the worship of a false idol.
As a Christian, I say that worshipping God and following Jesus are necessary for personal fulfillment. Of course, atheists and non-Christians would disagree. Even so, we can reach the mutual conclusion that marriage is a failure for personal fulfillment by looking at the divorce statistics. The belief that we need marriage to attain personal fulfillment is proven false within the high divorce rate. The Barna group conducted a study through phone interviews and 30% of all people interviewed had been divorced. The interview does not mention number of divorces and does not appear to look at previous divorce rates nor the likelihood of a future divorce.
Population Segment Have Been Divorced No. of Interviews
All adults 33% 3792
Evangelical Christians 26% 339
Non-evangelical born again Christians33% 1373
Notional Christians 33% 1488
non Christian faith 38% 197
Atheist or agnostic 30% 269
All born again Christians 32% 1712
All non born again Christians 33% 2080
Another website AboutDivorce.org compared various statistics concerning the rate and likelihood of divorce.
- •Divorce rate in America after first marriage is from 41% to 50%.
- •US divorce rate after second marriage is from 60% to 67%
- •After 3 marriages the US divorce rate is from 73% to 74%
Christians have the exact same divorce rate as the general population because Christians hold onto carnal beliefs and still follow the redefinition of marriage. Church leaders act as though marriage will prevent sexual sin, and churches also encourage marriage, thinking that more marriages will strengthen the institution. However, it is the quality and not quantity that strengthens the marriage. Duke Tabor wrote his article decrying the bias against single pastors, he said that society believes people "have to be married to be complete." In other words, Christians have abandoned the beliefs of Jesus for the beliefs of the world. Wanting marriage for completion or fulfillment makes marriage the worship of a false idol.
Gays argue for the right to marry not because they want to redefine marriage, but because they embrace this already redefinition of marriage. Homosexuals want to have completion and fulfillment, but they likewise believe this completion must come through marriage and through the love=sex falsehood.
Because gay marriage emerged from the false beliefs that damaged the institution of marriage, gay marriage will only pander to the problem and will never solve nor benefit anyone, especially society. Clamors for gay divorce began as soon as they stopped clamoring for gay marriage. Clearly, something remains wrong.
Because marriage is already broken and redefined, opposing gay marriage by itself will never solve the problem nor benefit anyone, especially society. Yes, oppose it if you feel called to, but also remember to speak against the failures of heterosexual marriages and speak against the false beliefs of marriage as idol worship. If you refuse to tackle the false beliefs prevalent among heterosexual marriages in today's society, then you would be a hypocrite and everyone, even the gays, would be right to point out your hypocrisy.
Furthermore, love has been redefined to be considered synonymous with sex. This redefinition, which is a false belief, is wrong and damaging. Ancient cultures never confused the two. The carnality of love never appears in scripture. Jesus said:
"This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:12-13)
"Now, hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us." (Romans 5:5)
"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. he who does not love, does not know God, for God is love." (1 John 4:7-8)
"And now, abide in faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. Pursue love..." (1 Corinthians 13:13-14:1)
Because love is spiritual and never carnal, love and sex have nothing to do with each other. Two people who love each other can have sex together, but love and sex remain two separate things. Is love completely dependent upon the flesh? Never!
"Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh... the fruit of the Spirit is love..." (Galatians 5:16, 5:22)
There is nothing wrong for a man to be in love with another man, and nothing wrong for a woman to be in love with another woman. The carnal, sexual act is wrong. The spiritual state is right. People can be completely in love with each other and never experience any sexual attraction because love and sex are two entirely different things. Love is spiritual and never carnal.
"Let all that you do be done with love." (1 Corinthians 16:14)
Love is not restricted to marriage. Love is not carnal. Love is spiritual. Love is for everyone.
In order to make our society healthy, we need to restore the purpose of marriage and we need to restore the definition of love. As a celibate, I understand from experience that love is spiritual and that marriage is not necessary for love. Celibacy is a lifestyle that fully embraces and immerses the person within spiritual love, which is actual and genuine love. The genuine and spiritual love opens up and increases the depth and options of whom to love. Now, you do not have to be celibate to enjoy love; you can love and still marry, but with celibacy, it is much more consuming because there is nothing else except love.
Marriage is not a means of personal fulfillment. Marriage is not necessary for love because love is spiritual and never carnal. With celibacy, spiritual love is all there is for the person. All people can enjoy this love. Marriage exists for a specific and objective purpose in this world. The question of whether to be celibate or whether to marry depends upon your purpose here.