“In Defense of Marriage”

Nearly two weeks ago it was announced that President Obama had ordered the Justice Department to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the courts.  DOMA was adopted in 1996 as a safeguard against one state requiring another state to recognize same-sex marriages.  Throughout his two-year tenure as president Mr. Obama has made it clear that he is inclined to side with gay rights groups on this issue.  White House Press Secretary Jay Carney stated that the President “has long opposed it (DOMA) as unnecessary and unfair.”  Attorney General Eric Holder stated that “the proper course is to forego the defense of the statute.”

What this means is that the President and his administration are on a course to fully legalize same sex marriage.  Apparently he feels that there is sufficient support among Americans for the move, and that to do so would not be politically risky for him.  If the President is correct in his assessment of the American will on this matter the U.S. is in grave danger.

Like never before we must stand up in defense of marriage.  No doctrine is more central to God’s creative order for the planet.  He established marriage as the very first and foundational institution among humans.  He stated its value in the Ten Commandments by prohibiting adultery, which weakens and often destroys the marriage relationship.  The Lord Jesus affirmed the Old Testament teaching on marriage and added, “What God has joined together let no man pull apart.”  The New Testament writers specifically taught how husbands and wives are to live together in a Christ-honoring, covenant relationship. 

No man has the right to redefine what God has defined.  To call a same-sex union a legally recognized marriage is as outrageous as saying that a dog is a cat. 

The battle to defend marriage must be waged on at least two fronts.  The first is in the church where the doctrines of creation and of marriage are faithfully and carefully taught.  Apparently there is wavering commitment to traditional marriage among many so-called Christians.  No doubt this is due, in part, to the lack of clear biblical teaching and preaching on the matter in churches.  No clear reading and interpretation of Scripture can leave room for any position other than that it is a life-long union between a man and a woman. 

The second front on which this battle must be fought is the political arena.  God has ordered societies to be built upon the foundation of stable marriages. In marriage there is a unique connection between the church and the state. Marriage licenses are secured from a public official.  Most marriages are performed by persons authorized (ordained or licensed) by a church to perform weddings.  Because marriage is the foundational institution of a civilized society, government must do its part to protect it.

Believers must exhaust every possible means of influencing public officials on this matter.  Again, the current administration is convinced that public opinion has shifted away from a conservative view of marriage.  We must rise up as the Church, the pillar of truth, and let them know otherwise.

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  • Bio & Introduction

    Dr. Michael Dean has been the senior pastor at Travis Avenue Baptist Church since 1991, having also served churches elsewhere in Texas and New Mexico. He and his wife Nan are blessed with two married children and three grandchildren. With a keen sense of calling to shepherd the flock of God entrusted to his care, Michael longs to see people become passionate followers of Jesus Christ. His hobbies include long-distance running, golf and hunting.

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