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Those who argue that same-sex marriage is a civil right (and now it is considered as such since the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision; and sadly, with the passing of this [Dis]Respect for Marriage Act) are defining sexual preference or orientation as part of the created essence of a person. It is no different from skin color. It is the idea that a person is born oriented a certain way and that cannot be changed. Therefore, that orientation is part of the essence of their personhood.

But this is deeply flawed. If it were so that sexual orientation is part of the essence of a person, then people who have come out of a homosexual lifestyle and gone on to thrive in a heterosexual marriage should not exist. Because sexual orientation is immutable…according to the culture. So former homosexuals are like unicorns.

But the reality is that sexual orientation is a behavioral moral choice. One may have a predisposition toward homosexuality from a young age, it is still a choice to act on that desire. Despite what our culture teaches, we are not defined by and do not find our identity in our sexuality or our sexual sins.

The Organic Laws of the United States grounds our rights in our status as created beings endowed by the Creator Himself. The concept of rights comes from God’s Word. Ultimately civil rights flow from God and His Word and it is clear that we are created in the image of God and therefore have a unique worth, value, and dignity. The Bible is clear that all humans are one race and that all are made in God’s image.

So, starting with God’s Word, Christians can categorically reject racism, discrimination, and other hateful attitudes and actions. But Scripture is equally clear that homosexual behavior violates God’s design for marriage, and sexuality outside of biblical marriage is sinful in the sight of God. And on those grounds, understanding that our rights come from God, we know that homosexuality is NOT a civil rights issue. It is a moral issue. And it violates God’s moral code.

Many would argue that not allowing homosexuals to “marry” is discrimination. Marriage is defined for us by God in His Word. People want to borrow the concept and then corrupt the doctrine of what it actually is.

The current laws in our United States regarding marriage “discriminate” against a wide variety of people. Children are not allowed to marry; men cannot (yet) marry two women; no one can marry an animal, etc. If homosexual “marriage” is a civil right, where do you draw the line for other sexual behaviors that some find desirable? In the end, following this logic, anything and everything must be permissible.

Homosexual desires are a consequence of living in a sin-cursed world. And just as those who struggle with heterosexual lust, greed, anger, gossip, etc., homosexuals are called to repent, place their faith and trust in Jesus Christ, and live for his glory, obeying his word by the power of the Holy Spirit.

In 1962, school prayer was ruled unconstitutional. In 1963, Bible reading in public schools was deemed unconstitutional. In 1973, abortion was made legal. In 1985, Nativity scenes on public land were ruled to violate the supposed separation of church and state. In 2015, homosexual “marriage” was legalized. And now, in 2022, same-sex marriage is about to be codified into federal law.

Human beings have many ideas about right and wrong, but as described in the book of Judges, when God’s Word is ignored, everyone does what is right in his own eyes (Judges 21:25). Only God, who created mankind, is justly in a position of moral authority over all mankind. And his standard is not arbitrary but absolute. It is based on the unchanging character of the righteous, holy, and perfect Judge of the universe.

When we start with God’s Word, we are not prisoners to the changing tide of public opinion. Unlike the changing laws of our society, the Creator provides a firm foundation on which we can base human morality.

I believe the time has arrived for Christian Pastors to bar the state from having any influence or input on how weddings are done within our places of worship. A man and a woman is married because they have filed a for a marriage license and then had it signed. No. A man and a woman is married when, in a sacred ceremony, the two pledge love and fidelity to each other before witnesses and, most importantly, before Holy God.

If the State is so set on maligning that which is holy and sacred, then the State no longer can have a seat in our ceremonies. Maybe from this point forward, couples can either choose to have a state-sanctioned ceremony (one with a judge and a few witnesses) or they can seek out Holy Matrimony (one with a minister of the Christian faith). I, for one, believe the less the State has any involvement in anything we do, the better off we will indeed be.

Author: Pastor Michael Demastus

Michael Demastus is the executive pastor at Fort Des Moines Church of Christ.



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