Churches and Marriage

Aug 5, 2022 by

by Mark Tooley, Juicy Ecumenism:

How should churches think about the definition of marriage in civil law?

The U.S. House of Representatives having already voted to repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, defining marriage as man and woman, the U.S. Senate is now poised for a vote. The vote is mostly symbolic, as the 2015 Obergefell ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court discovered a constitutional right to marriage between persons of the same gender. But proponents claim the court, having overturned its 1973 Roe v. Wade assertion of a constitutional right to abortion, could now do so on marriage.

There is a tendency for some traditional Christians not engage this issue because it is viewed as politically settled. But The Church has timeless and universal teachings that transcend political seasons. The definition of marriage both inside the church and in wider society is such an issue.

Politicians by vocation pursue what is politically practical. Senators typically aligned with traditional Christian preferences so far have largely avoided substantive comment on legislatively affirming same-sex marriage. Polls indicate that perhaps two thirds of Americans marriage affirm same sex marriage.

Of course, The Church’s teachings on core doctrine do not shift to conform with preferences of a particular society.  Its core doctrines, if true, are universally true, regardless of any poll. Core Christian teachings are never determined by popularity, they are not sustained by popularity, they do not shift in response to popularity, and they do not command respect if they surrender to or accommodate popularity.

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