1. John Weaver says:

    Stephen, I come from the other side of this issue, and I don’t think this is going to affect the church at all. As regards to Christian fiction about homosexuality, you could always check out Spenser Hughes’s The Lambda Conspiracy about a cabal of gay new ager pedophiles who plot to kill supposedly harmless homophobic senators in order to promote the evil values of tolerance and multiculturalism. And that wasn’t some small press publishing it either. It was Moody Press.

    • dmdutcher says:

      I’ve found the opposite, honestly. Usually Christians who accept gay marriage as normative tend to throw out the rest of it too.  I don’t really see any conservative, orthodox Christians in the basic tenets of the faith hold it as doctrine. I mean that they never seem to say “gay marriage is okay” and yet retain the rest of the orthodox teachings of the faith. Lot of them don’t even retain the idea of monogamy after marriage.

      This is why it’s such an issue, because it seems to be a bellweather for compromise with the world to a degree where it really destroys faith. I don’t see it not affecting the church when embraced; you just have to look to the churches that affirm it to see.

      • notleia says:

        I’d actually say that complementarianism/gender essentialism vs egalitarianism is more important of a bellwether. Because if people don’t have set roles according to their genitals, why insist on only the pairing of opposite genitals?

        And then there’s the question about whether orthodoxy is worth keeping.

        • dmdutcher says:

          No, because you can be one or the other and still believe in the core tenets of the faith. If every egalitarian I met or talked to didn’t really believe the rest of the faith, yeah.

          If orthodoxy isn’t worth keeping nothing is. Might as well be an atheist or hedonist rather than a play Christian who isn’t honest about what he believes in.

  2. notleia says:

    *Facepalm* I probably shouldn’t even touch this with a ten-foot stick, but no, just no. Marriage is not only about procreation. Have we turned Catholic all of a sudden, or why else are people here making noise about non-specifically-procreative sex? Protestants made fun of Catholics for that before it became a stake in the pro-life stuff. The freakin’ Puritans thought it was a divorceable offense if the wives said they weren’t getting enough of it. Sex for fun (within the bounds of marriageblahblah) is only a sin in the minds of pseudo-ascetics who think sex is icky, and they should stop projecting their hangups on the rest of us. Hey, let’s take this to the ridiculous logical extreme and proclaim that anyone who eats anything but rice and beans are gross, disgusting gluttons.

    And same-sex marriage isn’t just about the sex, just like hetero marriage isn’t just about the sex. Try meeting some queer people sometime.

    • R. L. Copple says:

      I never said marriage and sex are all about procreation. Rather, without the possibility of procreation, sex is not a maritally uniting act. It is the literal fulfilling of the two becoming one and the biological basis of why there is even a need for marriage. Doesn’t mean you have to have children to be married, but there is simply no necessity to postulate a marital bond without it. It is just two friends, maybe really close friends, enjoying an intimate pleasure together. They may be emotionally close, live together, etc., but without the possibility of procreation from the act, that’s all you have. Like I said, it becomes no more bonding than sharing any other pleasure with someone. Only differing in degrees of intimacy. Intimacy, though important, is a poor substitute for becoming one flesh, an act of God through the sacrament of sexual union.


      I didn’t see you put forth a model supported with Scripture and logic. What you are telling me is you don’t agree with it because it doesn’t jive with your culturally inducted ideas of what marriage is. Where in Scripture does it say the state bestows marriage upon a couple? What basis would you put forth for such a view,or what view do you have and why?


      My views are my own. There are some aspects of the Catholic take on this I’d disagree with. Rather my view is based upon a clear reading of Scripture and how God created us. You are correct, it is not a “traditional” Evangelical view, but neither is it anti-Evangelical in my opinion. That said, other columnist and Evangelicals do disagree with me. I’m not claiming to speak for Evangelicalism or SpecFaith on this point. But I find it inappropriate to throw a label on me, declare me guilty by association, and base your view on that instead of dealing with my points in a constructive way.


      I do know some homosexuals. They are good people, and agree they shouldn’t be discriminated against based on their sexual preference, even though I believe that their lifestyle choice is destructive on various levels. That doesn’t change the fact that a legal marriage isn’t marriage in the full sense, and biologically it is impossible for them to be married. The law is recognizing something that does not exist for the sake of granting them legal benefits that are bestowable by other means. It has nothing to do with anti-homosexual hatred and the like.


      Yes, sex outside of a full commitment to a life-long marital relationship is destructive because it abuses the marital bond it creates. As Paul said, “What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.” (1Cor 6:16). Sex isn’t merely about having fun. It serves a God-ordained purpose. Ignore it at your peril.


      • I appreciate your response, Rick.

        Also, I find it interesting that at some point — for many people — the discussion of homosexual desires and practice shifted from those desires/practices themselves. Instead the discussion focuses on whether Christians who disagree with this increasing majority perspective should even be allowed to talk about or hold their beliefs. At that point the discussion hasn’t a thing to do with sexual identity or morality. Instead it becomes solely about freedom of religion and speech. And the fact that we’re even talking in those terms about basic freedoms suggests something very civilly and morally dangerous about society.

      • notleia says:

        Buuuuuut, you’re still using the idea that marriages with kids are more legit than those without. Way to minimize other people’s relationships. I understand you don’t mean to delegitimize infertile hetero marriages, but you obviously think that’s an acceptable loss if it means you get to move the goalposts out of queer peoples’ reach.

        • R. L. Copple says:

          There is no legitimizing about it. It isn’t a matter of degrees, or who’s in and who’s out.


          The couples who don’t or are not able to have children are not any less legitimized by not having them. It isn’t about whether a couple has children, but whether the sexual act they are participating in is designed and/or has the potential to produce children. Whether it ever actually does or not doesn’t matter. The fact it could happen, and frequently does, means the act produces the bond to make a family, otherwise known as marriage. Participating in that act is biologically committing oneself to that outcome with that person. Nothing to commit to, no bond.


          Meanwhile, homosexual sex can never biologically result in a child. A million homosexuals having sex a million times will produce zero children. The only purpose it serves in that context is the mutual enjoyment of an intimate pleasure.


          So, what in your understanding makes a marriage a marriage? What is the difference other than legal between a homosexual couple before marriage and after? What turns a relationship from intimate and close friendship into a marriage? I know many friends who are more emotionally close than many husbands and wives (shouldn’t be that way, but it happens).


          I’ve given the Biblical answer, but you’ve still not offered any other model that would make sense of the above questions.


      • notleia says:

        But if you want some Biblical stuff, Matthew Vines wrote a book discussing the Biblical “proofs” against homosexuality. He uses the same hermeneutic evangelicals do (because he identifies as a Bible-affirming evangelical while also being gay).

        • R. L. Copple says:

          I watched a Youtube presentation he made at a church. At least in that presentation he didn’t address a biblical model of marriage. He was attempting to interpret biblical verses used to define homosexual sex as immoral and  sin as not saying what they have been traditionally interpreted to mean. He made some good points, but his hermeneutics was flawed at points.


          If in a book he’s discussed a biblical basis of marriage which includes homosexual marriages, I’d be interested to read/watch it, but I don’t have time to do so now for the sake of this discussion. So a summarizing or at least a link to something where he discusses this would help.


          As it is, I know of no verses in the Bible that would support marriage as a state-created entity. Especially since governments didn’t even start issuing marriage licenses until the Byzantine Empire, a good 1000 years plus after the Bible. Before that it was a contract between families, sealed by a party and the couple having sex the first time. Which as it turns out, in Jesus’ day, is the point a couple were considered married, when they had sex. It had been that way for thousands of years.

          It isn’t Christianity or the Bible that is moving the goal post. Secularism has been working on that for many years now. We’re just refusing to move them from where they’ve always been.


      • Lela Markham says:

        I agree with you. A marriage is between God and each of the partners, separately and then as a couple before a body of believers. God only sanctify marriages with Christian individuals. We make this mistake of thinking that a piece of paper makes a marriage, but it doesn’t. Here in the wilds of Alaska, I know a handful of pastors who are willing to conduct a marriage ceremony sans license because they have become convinced that is the only way Christian marriage is going to survive in the coming years. I also know a couple of decades-old marriages where the couple does not have a state license — all of them heterosexual Christian couples with anarchist leanings who felt the state had no business in their marriage.

        The fact is that the Bible is pretty clear about God’s view of homosexual behavior. You don’t need to work very hard to interpret the message in Genesis about the angels in Sodom. The city was already marked for destruction, but God was willing to give Abraham time to gather some evidence that it was worth saving, but then the men of the city wanted to have sex with the angels so badly they weren’t interested in Lot’s virgin daughters. God said “Get out now, because I’m done.” Not a lot of interpretation needed there.

        Paul’s section in Romans about the sinfulness of mankind includes some pretty clear references to homosexuality and also a very clear condemnation of it.

        Christians are in the world, but not of it. We need to stop trying to fix the world’s immorality problem and concentrate on fixing the immorality in the church that makes it hard for us to even take this stand. When the divorce rate inside the churches is as high as the divorce rate of non-Christians, we’ve got a problem and we really should stop worrying about the insanity of the world and heal ourselves first.

        As far as Christian books with subplots containing homosexuality — mine has such a plot. The Willow Branch publishes October 20. If you’re interested in it, we could work out a free preview.

  3. John Weaver says:

    I agree with you notleia. I just think this whole evangelical obsession with the LGBT community is bizarre and I think the hermeneutical basis on which they condemn LGBT people is questionable even from within their own interpretive system, let along if you go outside that system.

  4. Adam Graham says:

    I have plans for a book about a future America where society has become so obsessed with sex that people are required to wear a holographic bracelet identifying their sexual orientation which is established by a test taken in high school. Anyone whose score is 15-85 on the test is labeled “Bi-Sexual.” My hero is the Captain of a space freighter who stays in space just to avoid the craziness.

  5. Jill says:

    I would not have framed this in the material way you did. People are spiritual beings; I grant that. Producing offspring has a spiritual aspect to it. But the focus on procreation gives your argument a material and physical bent that doesn’t quite get to the heart of the matter. If we assume that God is infinite and omniscient and that there are physical realities that we aren’t aware of in our own bodies, then we must also assume that an infertile male and female couple who join together in marriage NEVER had the potential to produce offspring. They had the intention, perhaps, but the potential was absent even as they consummated their marriage. And God, being omniscient, was aware of this lack of potential. Yet, we–and presumably God–still consider them married.  This is because male and female union is spiritual as much as it is physical. Marriage is about the mysterious union of male and female energies, regardless of the potential to procreate. Yeah, I know “energies” sounds new-agey, but I don’t have a better word for it. Male and female can procreate if all their physical parts are functioning properly, but that is secondary rather than primary function. Primary=companionship of seeming opposites that actually fit together. Secondary=producing offspring. This concept can be found in the second creation story, where we see God interacting with Adam and demonstrating that there is no companion for him in the animal kingdom–nobody to keep him from loneliness. And then God creates Eve to prevent Adam from being alone. God doesn’t say, “I’m going to create Eve so you can produce offspring.” No, it’s so that Adam won’t be alone. And then everything is ruptured by sin and they’re kicked out of the garden….and to this day we find ourselves at a loss, not understanding this mystery of male and female, forever trying to get back to the garden where we were complete as men and women. State laws are paltry; they can’t offer this completeness. It’s not their job. Their job is to maintain order and justice in society. So be it.

    • R. L. Copple says:

      Jill, thanks for your reply.


      You bring up some good points. I’ll attempt to address them.


      When I refer to potential, I’m referring to it in a general sense, not a specific sense. Sexual union between a man and a woman is designed to procreate as one of its primary functions. That’s how God designed it. Therefore, it always has the potential in general, even if not specifically. So yes, even if it is impossible for a man or woman to have children, it is fully unitive as it is for the couple with six kids.


      On the spiritual union side of marriage, you are correct. It is not merely a fleshly matter. Rather, God united his joining with that activity as a sacrament of marriage. While Jesus states that marriage is the two becoming one flesh, He also says what God has joined together, let not man put asunder.  Indicating by the act of joining sexually, God creates the one-flesh link. That this is so is clear when Paul states that having sex with a harlot joins one’s body as one with hers, and quotes the two becoming one flesh to support that conclusion. It doesn’t create the fullness of marriage because it lacks the commitment, which is why it is sinful and destructive to become one with someone without the intent to follow though on all that union entails. It is an abuse of that bond created by God through sex.


      So yes, I fully agree there is a spiritual side to this I’ve not been focusing on, and agree I should have brought that aspect into the discussion. But that doesn’t negate the physical aspect through which God has chosen to create that union. Certainly He can circumvent it when needed or nullify it if He so desires, like one might postulate in the case of rape. Just like He saved the thief on the cross without baptizing him or having him pray the sinner’s prayer. God knows the heart. But He obviously designed sex to unite two into one, most literally fulfilled by a child from that union.


      Your reference about the “it is not good for man to be alone” statement in Genesis reminded me of how Matthew Vine interpreted it. His conclusion was for a homosexual person, they would be “alone” without their equivalent of a mate. Much of his conclusions are based upon that premise.


      His error on that is twofold. One, he assumes God is speaking specifically of individuals rather than of mankind, in general. Keep in mind, in the context of the Genesis account, Adam is the only human alive. If he doesn’t find a mate, not only will he be lonely, he’ll be the first and last human, short of God making more. There is no comparison to any of us who are surrounded by other humans from the time we’re born until we die–for most of us. None of us are alone like Adam was.


      Two, he assumes when God said that, that He meant it is not good for man to be lonely. But that is not what He said. He said alone. That has wrapped up in it much more than merely feeling lonely. As a matter of fact, God commanded them to be fruitful and multiply. Without a mate, how will Adam fulfill that? It is well within the context that God’s concern wasn’t merely Adam’s loneliness, which I’m sure needed to be rectified, but it wasn’t good for Adam to be alone because he would have no one to join to as a mate and to produce humans after his kind as God created all the animals to do. The human race would be short-lived otherwise.


      I’ll throw in a third point here. If one is to suggest that the basis for marriage is to alleviate loneliness, to provide for companionship, based upon that verse, then any friendship would be considered to be marriage. If we say, “Oh no, God was referring to sexual companionship,” as Mr. Vine might add to support homosexual relations, even though it doesn’t even imply that other than what I’ve pointed out, then we are back to sex being what makes the difference between a friendship and a marriage. But why does sex make the difference? Then we’re back to the one-flesh explanation, the only one Scripture gives us for why sex makes the difference, why sex consummates and makes a marriage a marriage.


      IOW, you don’t need marriage to solve the loneliness problem, and it is clear loneliness wasn’t God’s only concern why, in the unique situation of Adam, it wasn’t good that he be alone. Marriage certainly addresses the companionship issue, but it is not the only way to address it, therefore companionship cannot be the basis for the existence of marriage.

      • Jill says:

        Matthew Vine clearly interprets it differently than I do, as he focuses solely on loneliness, while my focus is on the joining of the male and female energies that make humankind complete (and hence, alleviates the loneliness of a missing part). Mankind was not complete while it lacked the other side of the coin. Marriage is the sexual union between these seeming opposites in nature. What I’m talking about is more fundamental and less materialistic than the usual “the purpose of marriage is to have children” or, as Steve calls it below, “the highest purpose”. The purpose of marriage is to join together the two halves of the human race. The natural consequence to this joining together of the two halves may be offspring, God willing, while it is never a possibility without the male/female union (I certainly agree with that part). My argument is merely one of focus. I focus on the more basic fundamental joining together of the human race because that is what alleviates the incompleteness or loneliness of man. Mathew Vine would no doubt disagree with that, if he believes that it can be fulfilled by two yang or two yin forces. So might single people. But that’s another discussion.

        • R. L. Copple says:

          I think I see your point. Though I would say that union involves and is inherent in the design of the sexual union. A focus on that aspect isn’t a bad thing, but it can also be meaningless without a foundation in the concrete. Like, for me at least, I have no idea what a person might mean in talking about male and female energies. I draw a blank trying to conceptualize it.


          I agree, the two sides of the coin need each other, and is part of the two becoming one. And that happens on more levels than sexual, but is founded on God’s action to unite through the sexual bond. It is an integrated whole. Focus on one aspect to the exclusion of the rest and you have an incomplete picture.


          Which is why, yes, it would have been good to bring that aspect in on my column, but also I had to keep it focused. For secularist, which many Christians have adopted, marriage is defined by the state granting a marriage license. It isn’t much more than a legal status. Which is why they see no reason why homosexuals are excluded from those rights, and why so many accept living together and sex before committing to a marriage relationship no violation of anything. By the time many people get “married” nothing really changes other than their legal status, as they have been married in most every other way for months or years by that point.


          I know. I’m preaching to the choir here . . . mostly.


      • the joining of the male and female energies that make humankind complete

        So I’m going to start recommending that Christians start using this phrase more often, because it’s both biblical and even mystical-sounding in the best possible way. 😀

    • Steve C. says:

      The fact that a couple cannot have a child IN NO WAY changes the highest function and purpose of marriage, that is, to have children.

      The union of male and female is the ONLY union of all possible human unions that produces the next generation. Marriage is an acknowledgment of this purpose, and to protect and promote  traditional marriage is to protect and promote the future.

      By their very nature gay marriage produce nothing, and in fact, ONLY through heterosexual unions can the next generation of homosexuals continue.

      Yes, in essence the nature of homosexuality is parasitic. I’ll go that far. It may sound harsh, but it is the case. It can ONLY exist through heterosexuality, and offers nothing in terms of procreation in return.

      The two are not the same.

      But back to my original thought, even if a heterosexual couple is incapable of producing children, that in no way changes the nature, function, and purpose of marriage.

  6. Steve C. says:

    Yes… the God of the Bible ordained that marriage be between one man and one woman. If we hold to the belief that the Bible is the infallible word of God, then that argument ends there. God said it, and He knows better, right?

    But on a purely secular note, both society and the state has a vested interest in protecting traditional marriage. …The idea of the union of a man and a woman is an acknowledging of the wholeness of human kind. It is the uniting of both sides of the human race, and that union is unique above all other unions in that it is the ONLY way we continue as a species.

    ONLY the union of male and female- the two halves of what we are- creates the next generation. With this purpose in mind, any and all other unions are useless. Without the next generation, we die as a whole. There is no state to govern.

    The traditional family is the LITERAL building blocks of human civilization. It is the ONLY raw material necessary, and in fact, the idea of gay marriage is IMPOSSIBLE without heterosexual unions.

    Gay marriage produces nothing by it’s nature. It is useless, and arguably perhaps even a hindrance to the state in that it drains resources without the possibility of a return. (The next generation of citizens.)

    The state has a VESTED interest in supporting heterosexual marriage, and even giving benefits to those unions, making it easier to raise families. Even large families.

    By legalizing gay marriage the purpose of marriage is now muddled. Future generations will see it more as a lifestyle than a necessity and intrinsic part of human civilization. It’s purpose will be replaced by the pleasure it offers, and only as long as it offers pleasure will it be of any value to some.

    We are looking at the deconstruction of one of the central pillars of all human civilization.

    God help us.

What do you think?