Monday, August 16, 2004

How Christians have contributed to the current state of marriage...

The April issue of Touchstone featured an article by Louis R. Tarsitano titled, Credible Marriages: on the Christian Destruction of Marriage. Tarsitano writes:
One need not be addicted to the 24-hour news channels to recognize that a great many Christians of late have been anything but credible in regard to chastity. Divorce and remarriage are so common among people calling themselves Christians that the pastor who resists the torrent of divorces at all is considered “odd” or “mean” (I know). This wholesale abandonment of marital seriousness and discipline is then employed by those with various special interests as a justification for the breaking of other vows and other divine commandments. “Everybody’s doing it” may seem an empty argument to a mature Christian mind, but it is quite powerful for those swayed by the dramatics of plausible persons. Worse still, the watering down of marriage, after so many centuries as both a divine and a human institution, calls for some sort of an explanation, and that explanation takes the form of a claim to a universal human “right” to sexual pleasure and self-fulfillment. It was essentially on the basis of this “right to sex” that the United States Supreme Court voided the Texas anti-sodomy laws, just as on the basis of the same “right” a majority of the nice middle-class people of the Episcopal Church’s General Convention found it impossible to reject a potential bishop simply because he had left his wife and children to find love in the arms of another man. Various churches are already, formally or informally, blessing same-sex “unions,” and more and more people are beginning to nod their heads at the assertion that heterosexual and homosexual pairings are interchangeable and ought to be equally recognized by the civil authorities... Let me be clear: There is absolutely no justification for treating homosexual relations as anything but forbidden by God and a sin. The problem is, the same can be said for most of the divorces and remarriages that take place in the context of our churches. It is not credible to oppose the one without also opposing the other... If Christians truly desire to make a stand for biblical marriage, they will be able to make that stand in only one way: by providing credible examples of Christian marriages, of Christian families, and of Christian self-discipline according to God’s Word. Marriage discipline in the Church is the instrument that God has given Christians to influence the world outside the Church. Salving our own guilty consciences by berating other sinners is worse than a waste of time since it only serves to make the smiling advocates of anything but Christian marriage more plausible in this confused and stumbling world.

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