The Death of Marriage-
Don’t Eat the Fruit
Paul Gordon Collier
Genesis 3:4-5 And the snake said, Death will not certainly come to you: For God sees that on the day when you take of its fruit, your eyes will be open, and you will be as gods, having knowledge of good and evil.
Today was a difficult day for me and many other God-fearing Christians. We saw our nation openly embrace sin and prepare the way to condemn those of us who would defy their decrees. I had a lot of emotions and thoughts, but for most of the day I didn’t know how I felt about the rulings striking down DOMA and Prop 8. At the end of the day, as I write to you now, I ended at an unexpected place.
My initial struggle was in the role of the natural kingdom in reflecting the standards of the Godly Kingdom. I recognize that for Christians, marriage is one of the centerpieces of our faith, marriage defined in very specific ways. I will show just how significantly as this article proceeds.
Because of this, I will never give endorsement to what God calls sin, even under threat of the government or for the sake of societal acceptance. To do so would not be ‘tolerant’, it would be hateful, enabling people to more easily move towards the second death.
There is only one marriage that is sanctified and loved by the one true God. That marriage is not simply a marriage between a man and woman, but one in which the man and the woman recognize the purpose of their marriage, to glorify the King and lead others to do the same. There is only one relationship where two people are said to be of ‘one flesh’, the marriage of a man to a woman. No human logic, no majority opinion, no assaults on God’s law by man’s arrogance, by man’s desire to play at God, will change that.
But what is it we can expect from the natural kingdoms we live in? Should we, for instance, expect this natural kingdom to uphold God’s law by force of the gun? The question is complex, and, despite my efforts to sincerely understand what I can expect my natural nation to be called to do in the name of God, when it serves believers and non-believers alike, I don’t have a clear understanding.
I am sure of abortion, for it involves the murder of unborn children. But I am unsure of what a state should be expected to do or not to do regarding defining marriage by God’s terms. I would say I lean towards not wanting governments to define marriage, tax marriage, or even give benefits to marriage. Taxation should be simple, a reflection mostly of one’s ability to share the burden of funding governance, protection, public need (much more narrowly defined than this leviathan currently has done in our age).
Having said all that, I am not seeking, in this article, to come to resolution on the role of the natural kingdom in defining marriage as God has defined marriage. While I wrestled with this question for much of the day, I found myself increasingly veering from the question altogether. I found myself reflecting on what the decision and the acceptance of the decision tells us about this nation and, much more importantly, the whole sea of people that God regularly places around us.
You see, as a Christian I find myself more concerned over souls than ‘rights’. Nations will defy God for as long as there are nations. And this nation already defies God in a multiplicity of ways, and has so since 1787 with the provision in our Constitution defining other men as being 3/5 of a person. Yet God blessed us and gave us an opportunity to fulfill the promise set out by that Constitution, a promise never fulfilled, and a promise that, it seems, will most likely never be fulfilled in the American iteration. It will fall on nations that will come after us to pick up the promise and seek to draw closer to fulfilling it.
If we look at the promise and its limitations, this will help us understand more profoundly what today means in our experiment as a republic that once reflected, imperfectly, inconsistently, the shadow of the Kingdom of God. This is important for us to understand what this says about individual people who comprise the spirit of a land that would be given to such declarations as we bore witness to today.
America’s promise is one that can never be fulfilled, for it rests in the full faith of a life, a community, a people completely surrendered to and centered on the love of Christ, not from legal compulsion but a personal, loving encounter with Christ through the Holy Spirit. Then and only then will we love with perfection. Then and only then will we see character as our only definition of the people in front of us, not the color of our skin or the shapes of our bodies or the accent that colors our words.
Galatians 3:28 There is no Jew or Greek, servant or free, male or female: because you are all one in Jesus Christ.
America’s promise was written by imperfect men, some of whom walked deeply in Christ, others of whom had deep reverence for Christ and a belief that His standards, His ways, were the model for governance, and still others who were agnostics, even atheists, who saw in Christ a man who had a good teaching and nothing more.