Friday, November 7, 2008

Why We've Already Lost the Fight For Marriage

I've always wondered why we as Christians tend to fight against gay marriage and yet we are silent on premarital sex and adultery. Surely these other two sins are much more prevalent and take as great, if not greater, a toll on the sanctity of marriage and the strength and union of family.

According to an article in the New York Times, the lifetime rate of infidelity for men over 60 increased to 28%, up from 20% in 1991, and for women, it was 15%, up from 5% in 1991. The rate of increase for women is a surprising 200%. What else is surprising, the changes in infidelity rates among older people is due more to the advent of sexual enhancing drugs like Viagra and estrogen supplements as well as better hip replacements. This means that higher rates of infidelity has more to do with the ability to cheat, not necessarily the will to cheat. In addition, historically, men have been cheating more often than women, but researchers are not sure if that is true or if women were just less open about their affairs when speaking with researchers. The "Leave it to Beaver" view of what American morals were once like is probably flawed.

Truth be told, supposedly only 1% of the American population is openly homosexual, but that number, long purported by the religious right to be proof that homosexuality isn't as widespread as gay activists claim, omits certain other truths as well. The percentage of men and women who engage in homosexual acts is higher than 1% because not all people who participate in those types of relationships are open about it. Also, some people who practice homosexual sex are married and/or prefer sex with member of the opposite sex, so they don't claim to be bisexual or homosexual either. Like infidelity, actual percentages may be higher than people will admit to.

Americans, and Christians specifically, seem to have their heads in the sand if they think that homosexuals are the biggest threat to the sanctity of marriage and family. The Bible is clear, homosexuality is a grave sin, but we forget the other things like premarital sex, adultery, and high divorce rates that threaten the sanctity of marriage just as much--and I believe--more than homosexuals. I think part of the reason we ignore these other sins is because it is so widespread. How many people in your church are on their 2nd or 3rd marriages? How many engaged (or are engaging) in premarital sex? How many had (or had) a live-in boyfriend/girlfriend? The numbers are high, and we prefer to ignore it instead of identify it at the sin it is. After talking with some of my married friends, we've all come to the conclusion that, although we didn't have sex before marriage, we all regret some aspect of our physical relationships before we got married.

I haven't been using a lot of scripture in my recent posts, partly because I believe that my audience generally understands what the Bible teaches on these topics, but to highlight the severity of the issue, read what Hebrews 13:4 has to say, "Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral." I find it interesting that the author mentions "adulterer" specifically. Is it perhaps because adultery was the biggest threat to marriage? I don't know, but it was certainly a major threat to the sanctity/holiness/purity of marriage back then, and I believe it is still a major threat now. It it a wonder the lost call us hypocrites?

And let's not stop there. Aside from homosexuality, premarital sex, and divorce, we are threatened by pornography, machismo, feminism, and all other manners of sin and unrighteous attitudes and behaviors. If homosexual marriage is legalized in this nation, and my thoughts on the legalization of abortion through the Freedom of Choice Act are the same, it will not be because of a few liberal activists or recent changes in American morality. It will occur as a spillover from a battle that was already lost. Why we took the battle from the pulpit and Christian witness and brought it to the political ring, I will never know. Christians will now have to fight just to save the sanctity of marriage within the Church, much less within secular America.

What do you think?

(I reserve the right to edit and/or delete inappropriate comments)

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