“Many who deem same-sex marriage to be wrong reach that conclusion based on decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises, and neither they nor their beliefs are disparaged here.”
—Justice Kennedy, Obergefell v. Hodges


By speaking to the theological issues related to marriage, we are not speaking for or on behalf of all the supporters of this initiative or the legislation associated with it. In fact, some supporters may have a strong disagreement with the theological perspective below and some may think that theology has nothing to do with the social, constitutional, and legislative issues being addressed by this initiative.

Every person’s view of every issue in life is necessarily framed in terms of his or her belief regarding the existence or non-existence of God, even if only subconsciously. And, for those who believe in God’s existence, their view of life’s issues is further framed by their understanding of God’s nature and character, even if that, too, is done subconsciously. In light of this, we offer the following for consideration and comparison by others to what they believe.

Concept #1

A Scriptural Passage That Provides a Frame of Reference for Understanding Who We Are

The theological basis for the belief that marriage is the relationship of one man and one woman and does not exist apart from that relational form may be drawn from any number of passages in the Bible, but for the purpose of this explanation, we will draw from these words of Jesus found in Matthew 22:34–40 and their implications.

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But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”

Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (NKJV)

From this Scripture passage, we learn that all the moral or ethical commands or duties found in the Ten Commandments can be summed up in two things: (1) loving the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind, and (2) loving your neighbor as yourself.

Concept #2

The Problem With Which Jesus Confronts Us

The duty Jesus says is ours is easy enough to say, but the whole witness of the Bible, from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22, is that none of us do either one and an honest assessment of ourselves confirms that conclusion. There’s no reason for any of us to think that at all times we measure up to God’s standards, not one of us. (See Romans 3:10).

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This is particularly problematic because the text indicates that understanding how to do the second of our duties—love others—depends on and flows from understanding how to do and do well the first, because the second is “like it.” This helps explains why the Bible says over and over that the “fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7, NKJV).

But as the next section explains, we have an insoluble problem in knowing God, which, in turn, makes it impossible for us to love others correctly from God’s perspective.

“Love like Jesus” might make for a nice bumper sticker or sound bite, but, as will be explained, the weight of its fullest meaning would crush the car and its proclamation would drown out all other sounds!

Concept #3

Who We Are and Why We Exist

Another reason we must understand the first duty of which Jesus speaks is because the Bible also asserts that the first human beings were created in the very image of God. Consequently, to be made in God’s image means we were created in such a way that we were capable of knowing this God who, in His very being, is perfect love and righteousness, part of that which the biblical writers call the “glory of God.”

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This also means we could know something of, experience, and reflect this glory in a way that God thought suitable to our nature as created beings.1

This is an incredible, hard-to-believe claim, but if true (and we believe it is), what an honor, privilege, and blessing! However, one of the logical implications of this image bearing is that we cannot know who we are until we know the truth about the God whose image we bear and, without that truth, we cannot know how to function as human beings or the purpose—the why—of our functioning.

If our identity is found in being made in the image of God, then we are bound to distort our identity when we turn away from God to look for that identity elsewhere. When we begin to look for our identity apart from our Creator, we will look for it in something that is part of or arises out of the creation—material possessions, appearance, social status, sex, sexual prowess, educational attainment, employment, athletic prowess, fantasy sports champion, involvement with a church or other religious organization, or our moral standards (either as political conservatives or liberals) compared to others. (See Romans 1:18–2:29.) However, these often prove inadequate to meet our deepest longings.

Consequently, it is not surprising that those with integrity and courage enough to admit dissatisfaction with the identity they have chosen will find themselves moving from one identity to another; they are in search of a better “true” identity. As Augustine said of himself, “Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you.”

[1] Our actions show we long for real, unconditional love and for righteousness. We want to be loved for who we are. We want to be treated “right” by others and feel guilty when we don’t treat others even according to our own view of what is right. We spend our lives either trying to satisfy these longings or finding ways to suppress them when we conclude that the longings cannot be satisfied.

Concept #4

We Invariably Avoid Looking God in the Face

Sadly, making the knowledge of God our first priority—looking in His face to see the reflection or image we are supposed to have—is the last face into which we really want to look. Like the Beast in the famous 18th-century fairy tale, we don’t want to look in the mirror because we know we are not going to like the image we’ll see.

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To look into the face of the One whose very being is glorious in perfect love and righteousness is what caused the prophet Isaiah, after pronouncing six woes on everything else, to pronounce the seventh one on himself; in seeing God’s holiness, he saw who he really was and how short he fell of the glory of God he was created to enjoy and reflect (Isaiah 6:1–5). In his own words, this man of God, upon getting a fuller glimpse of God, was “undone” in terms of who he thought he was and how he saw himself.

When He got a glimpse of the glory of the God he was to love with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength (Deuteronomy 6:4), he realized how far short he fell of the love, affection, devotion, and admiration he owed such a glorious being. He realized, too, that he had no capacity in himself to bear the glory of the image he was created to bear.

This is why the Bible defines sin not in terms of a failure to do this or that particular thing and why it discounts the merit of outward religious acts of sacrifice and circumcision (or today’s corresponding equivalents of trusting in our moral superiority compared to others, going to church, being baptized, or taking communion), but, according to Romans 3:23, as “falling short of the glory of God.”

Concept #5

What We Have Lost

The point is that there is something substantial and determinative about our condition. We are separated from God because His glory and our debased condition are incompatible. That is why it has been said that we are not sinners because we sin, but we sin (all of us) because we are sinners.

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If enjoying and reflecting the glory of God is our highest privilege, then being unable to do so is our greatest loss. When we fall short of the glory of God, we can no longer enjoy the glory of God or reflect the glory of God—the very why or purpose of our being.

Concept #6

What God Has Revealed About Himself in Our Humanity

With enjoying and reflecting the glory of God as the end or purpose of our existence as image-bearers, we must make something of the fact that God gave us bodies. We were not created as dismembered spiritual beings or essences. As we read the creation story, we learn that the only thing in the creation story that God said was not good after He made it was the singularity of the male, Adam (not a lack in his ethical capabilities or uprightness).

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But then we are told something surprising: God did not address the singularity of Adam by making another male, which would have solved the singularity issue. Instead of just multiplicity, God created diversity by making a female. By this multiplicity in diversity God was (and still is) communicating to His image-bearers a truth about that which is part of His glorious being and, in doing so, giving them “information” about how they were to reflect His glory.

However, there is more. The story of God’s revelation of Himself in nature (Romans 1:19–20) and in man and woman, in particular, is not finished. We find something even more surprising than the means by which God addressed singularity and created human diversity: He made woman out of man.

This is glorious in a profound way. It is not, as some would assume, a derogation of women, though, like all truth God gives us, it has been perverted by men who seek their glory in relation to an assumed and false moral or physical superiority to women and apart from God Himself. 1 This is the profundity of God making woman out of man: God is revealing to them and to us that there is not just a diversity and multiplicity in God’s being, but a unity.

Male and female are intended by God to reveal to us a singularity that exists in complete and perfect harmony or unity with diversity. This is nothing less than a physical revelation of the Triune nature of God—one in essence of being and three in persons—through His image-bearers to His image-bearers.

Thus, in the union of male and female in their indissoluble commitment of each to other, what we call marriage, these image-bearers reveal or reflect to others a fundamental truth about the glory of God—an ongoing unity and diversity existing in harmony.

The goal of marriage should be nothing less than that—revealing and reflecting the glory of God—and to reduce it to anything less than that is to diminish the glory that is marriage and, consequently, obscure the glory of God. Though all married couples fall short of that and Christians tragically so, that is the goal.

The question Christian married couples need to ask is this: What picture or image of God do people draw from our marriage and is it accurate?

Many in defense of male-female marriage also note that the two sexes are oriented to procreation and, indeed, procreation is the means by which God planned to have His larger, ongoing purposes for creation carried out (Genesis 1:26, 28). But that is not the fundamental glory to be revealed by marriage. Procreation is a fruit of marriage. By procreation a married man and woman further reflect the image of the God who creates. Through procreation the purpose of God to further glorify Himself through the unfolding and development of His creation was to be advanced, and in the realization of that work, men and women were to grow in their understanding of and enjoyment of God’s glory. But even as God’s essence is not dependent on having created or on the continuation of His creation, procreation is not the fundamental essence to be revealed by marriage.

For that reason, Christians should not have been too surprised that defending the value of marriage strictly in terms of procreation failed in Obergefell. While there are good, logical arguments as to why infertility and physical incapability in the sexual union of a man and woman can be distinguished from the infertility and the organic incompatibility of a sexual union between two people of the same sex, the most basic difference is that the former reveals and reflects the truth about the nature of a Triune God and the latter obscures it.

A union of two men or two women, no matter how indissoluble their commitment might be, represents only a multiplicity of sameness. There is no unity within the existence of multiplicity expressed in diversity, only sameness. Only marriage between a man and a woman is consistent with the nature of God and allows the marriage to reflect that nature.

Moreover, there is in God-given marriage a unity that does not destroy the diversity—the man remains a man accountable to God as a male, and the woman remains a woman accountable to God as a female. As a couple, they are accountable for what their unity reflects. In times past, through things like coverture (the common law’s word for “covering” or “shelter” in reference to a married woman’s property interests), many Christians lost sight of the unity and diversity that is found in male and female marriage, and diversity was subsumed by an emphasis on unity.

[1] In fact, the Bible says the woman is the glory of man (1 Corinthians 11). She makes man look good!

Concept #7

Why Does It Matter So Much to Some Christians That Civil Law Conform to Their Theology of Marriage?

If one believes that enjoying and reflecting the glory of God is the chief end and purpose of humanity, then it would follow that human law (civil law), which human beings as image-bearers “create” as part of their image-bearing, should be consistent with and be directed toward that end as well. This is part of the “all” aspect of the first duty about which Jesus spoke.

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It is in regard to and in fulfillment of this duty that the Christian loves his or her neighbor. If a Christian believes enjoying and reflecting the glory of God is the highest good to which any person could attain, then to allow that glory to be obscured and not to care that something has obscured it from consideration by those who have not yet seen and gotten a taste of that glory is to fail to love his or her neighbor well.

It is for this reason that the Bible says that those who oppose Christ are “contrary to [against] all men” (1 Thessalonians 2:15, NKJV) and Christians should be “casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5, NKJV), the importance of Christ being later discussed.

Concept #8

Is This Not the Height of Arrogance?

Some might say, “How arrogant can a person be to think I am not happy and contented with my life and you think you know what will fulfill me or what my purpose in life ought to be! In fact, if you are suggesting that I need to change my lifestyle or the basis of my identity, you are trying to harm me, to ruin my life. You are not loving me.”

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That is an understandable response and appropriate if the Bible is wrong about the real nature of reality.1  In fact, there is no argument against it if this life is all there is or if there is no God to be known and enjoyed. After all, even the Apostle Paul said, “If the dead do not rise, ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die’” (1 Corinthians 15:32)!

It is also understandable because some who profess to be Christian will approach this issue (politically, legally, and, sadly, theologically) with true arrogance and condescension. Those who do demonstrate that they do not yet fully understand the testimony of Scripture that there was nothing good in them (Romans 3:10-12), in what the Bible calls “the flesh,” and that there still is no good in them apart from the love of God the Father, the righteousness of Christ, and their union with Christ by a work of the Holy Spirit and His indwelling.

There is no basis for boasting by any who professes to be a Christian (Romans 3:27). The Christian’s only “boast” is he or she has come to “know God, or rather [is] known by God” (Galatians 4:9; Jeremiah 9:23), and that only because “He first loved” him or her (1 John 4:19). When a Christian loses sight of that, he or she falls from grace and into sin (Galatians 5:4), asserting again a glory found in self—having worked himself or herself up to some level of supposed moral superiority—and not found in God.

[1]For a two-page summary of the overarching story told by the Bible and the flow of history, go to this link.

Concept #9

What in the World Makes You Think This Doesn’t Harm Other People?

It is also understandable that many would think Christianity is destructive of their good; much that passes under the name of Christianity is not really the good news that is the Gospel.

The Gospel tells us that, from the beginning, human beings have been deceived into believing that God is not really good. Behind the question posed to Eve was the subtle suggestion that God had withheld from her something that obviously appeared to her good (Genesis 3:6). God had limited her freedom and withheld that which looked good to her; therefore, God was not good and not glorious and He was not more to be desired than “freedom” from the limitation God had placed her under.

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In the end, Adam and Eve chose autonomy from God as better than the glory that was theirs by living in relation to God as His image-bearers. They were not thankful for the glory they did have (see also Romans 1:21) and chose to exchange that glory for the glory they thought could come from being their own determiners of good and evil (Romans 1:22–23).

By doubting the goodness of God and rebelling against Him, Adam and Eve fell short of the glory of God and their incompatibility with the glory of God required their separation from Him, like when oil and water are mixed.
The consequence is that all of us descended from them, in that state which is now “natural” to our existence, continue to disbelieve that a relationship with the God of glory is our greatest glory. And we just can’t believe that being able to reflect the glory of God would be our greatest good and highest calling.

C.S. Lewis describes in The Weight of Glory this exchange of God’s glory for that which in this world ends with death as follows:

[I]f we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.


Concept #10

If Life Without God Is So Horrible, Then Why Is My Life Going So Well? There’s No Evidence of God’s ‘Judgment’ of Me.

This is a common conclusion and always has been. In fact, many who would agree with the Apostle Paul in his straightforward comments about homosexuality in Romans 1:26–27 don’t realize that they are making the same assumption made by those who engage in and find their identity in homosexuality.

They made a “decision” for Christ, got baptized, go to church, and take communion, and they think all is well between them and God because they don’t see any “judgment” from God despite being in an adulterous relationship; a growing porn addiction; recurring outbursts of anger; increasing covetousness of their neighbor’s job, house, or car; ruthlessness in business or politics (“it’s just politics,” they say); and what they consider merely other isolated foibles.

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But those who think this way need to remember that Paul’s argument that the Gospel is good news and the power of God unto salvation begins with a premise: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18, NKJV).

This is not a statement that the wrath of God will someday at the end of time on the great Judgment Day be revealed, though that is also true, but Paul is saying it is revealed even now, and he then proceeds to show the way in which it is revealed. In other words, a truth we suppress is that God’s wrath is now being revealed against ungodliness and unrighteousness.

The next critical section begins with “therefore,” meaning, as a result of or because we have suppressed this truth about God, something happens:

“Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves” (Romans 1:24, NKJV, emphasis added).

“For this reason, God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise, also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due” (Romans 1:25–27, NKJV, emphasis added).

“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful” (Romans 1:28–31, NKJV, emphasis added).

When we find ourselves doing as we please without regard to God and without any pangs of conscience, that is the “judgment” of God: “giving us up,” meaning letting us have our own way. If we say, “My will be done,” then God’s judgment is to let us reap that to which we want to sow (Galatians 6:7).

Unfortunately, the tendency of every human being is to take the fact that there appear to be no consequences as evidence that all is well and he or she is not under God’s judgment; but Paul addresses this in Romans 2:4–6:

Do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who “will render to each one according to his deeds.” (NKJV)

In other words, we may be presuming by the lack of consequences that we are not under judgment when, in fact, we are digging a deeper hole for ourselves (“treasuring up for yourself wrath”—Romans 2:5, NKJV); we don’t interpret the apparent lack of consequences as the goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering of God in withholding obvious and unbearable negative consequences as a demonstration of the kindness of God toward us; we don’t see this goodness because we continue to be deceived into thinking God is not good and continue suppressing the truth that He is good, demonstrated by His patience with us in our rejection of Him.

Then Paul turns his attention in Romans 2:1–3 to people who, after reading and agreeing about the sinners described in Romans 1:14–31 and the righteousness of God’s wrath against “those people”, think themselves faultless before God and not under God’s judgment:

Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? (NKJV)

In other words, whenever we judge as guilty before God only those described in Romans 1:24–27, we don’t understand that we have condemned ourselves, too. After all, which of these things said in verses 28–31 as a summary of those described in verses 18 through 27 are not true about the rest of us?

sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful. (NKJV)

Then, in Romans 2:17–24 Paul turns his charge of suppressing the truth about God’s present wrath and judgment against those who might claim they were excluded from “those people” in the first two categories, because they, after all, were the chosen people of God, which Christians now profess to be:

Indeed you are called a Jew [Christian], and rest on the law [your knowledge of Scripture1 ], and make your boast in God, and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law [the Scripture], and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law. You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? You who say, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who make your boast in the law [knowledge of the Scripture], do you dishonor God through breaking the law? For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” as it is written. (NKJV, emphasis added)

Next, in Romans 2:25–29, Paul turns to those Jews who point to their circumcision as a reason they are not among “those other people”:

For circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. . . . For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God. (NKJV)

The application of these verses to those who profess to be Christians and presume they can live as they please and escape God’s wrath simply because they know the Bible or have been baptized is clear.

The conclusion to all of this is that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23, NKJV).

[1]Just as Jesus said of the Jews, the same can be said of those professing Christians who boast in and like to make a show of their knowledge of Scripture: “But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life” (John 5:38–40).

Concept #11

Can We Get Back What We Lost?

The answer is yes. But getting back what we lost will require a willingness to give up on the notion that by our own efforts, by anything we can gin up or offer to God we can have a relationship with the God who made us.

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This is a terrible blow to our pride, but this confession is the first act by which we begin the process of re-exchanging all the things in which we may have gloried for the indescribable glory of being in an eternal relationship with God that nothing in this life can destroy.

Only those who have been humbled by a right assessment of the glory of God and of themselves will be fitted to see it. But Jesus has assured all of who are so humbled and come to Him in that humility He “will by no means cast out” (John 6:37, NKJV).

Concept #12

Why Is Jesus Such a Big Deal for Christians?

No doubt, many propose their own way to God, but the way proposed by the Gospel is unique. All religions are not the same.

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Apart from the belief in a Creator God, shared by Christians, Jews, and Muslims, “the mysteries of the Trinity and the Incarnation of the Son of God [are] the sole foundation of Christian religion.”1 If these two things are not true, then Christianity is false. Many think creation contrary to reason and, even those who believe in a creator, think the other two claims—the Triune nature of God and the Incarnation—are false because they, too, appear to be contrary to reason, and such has always been the case (1 Corinthians 1:17–25).

To appreciate these two fundamentals of Christianity and why Jesus is so important to the recovery of the glorious image of God we lost, the fore-referenced “incarnation of the Son of God” must be understood. It means that the Second Person of the one essence that is God, the “Son of God,” took on a human nature like ours, but without that human nature being comingled with or subsumed by the other, or vice versa. This was the point of being born of a woman like all of us, and also the point of the virgin birth—that the divine nature of the Son of God, Jesus, would not be comingled with or subsumed by the “non-glorious” state in which our human nature now exists as a matter of course through our procreation (Psalm 51:5; Ephesians 2:1, 3, and 5).

In this great act of unfathomable condescension to those who had sought their glory apart from Him whose being is truly glorious, the love of God was demonstrated to us.

The Father sent the Son to earth to bring “many sons to glory” (Hebrews 2:10). The Son, out of His great love for the Father and the Father’s glory and for the sake of the glory to be shared by those who would receive Him, was willing to cloak His divine glory as the Second Person of the Trinity in human flesh (Philippians 5:7). Jesus did this to “give [us] the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6, ESV, emphasis supplied).2

By faith, the disciples of Jesus “saw His glory” (John 1:14), and true disciples still do, and by faith, they are joined to Jesus by the work and indwelling of the Third Person comprising the one essence of God, the Holy Spirit, and it is of the “fullness” of Jesus’ righteousness in His perfect obedience to the Father’s will (John 1:16; Ephesians 3:19), that we receive righteousness, there being none in ourselves as demonstrated above.

This union, which God effects (1 Corinthians 1:30) and we do not earn or achieve by our efforts, is the beginning of what Christians call “sanctification,” a theological word describing the process during a Christian’s lifetime of becoming more like Jesus, “conforming to His image” (2 Corinthians 3:18). The Bible puts it this way:

But we all, with unveiled face,3 beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:18, NKJV)

That is why the Trinity and the Incarnation are fundamental to Christianity and why it ceases to exist (at least in the Gospel sense conveyed in the Bible) if the Triune nature of God and the Incarnation are false. There can be no Incarnation if God is not one in essence and three in persons, for He cannot exist in two essences, which would be polytheism. And there can be no bridge, mediator, or connector between the God of glory and those now separated from His glory unless God provides it. Otherwise, it would be like water flowing uphill, rising above its source.

This, of course, is utter foolishness to many, and rightly so, if approached by human reasoning alone. The view of the world given by the Bible commits those who accept it to a view of reality that is larger than their ability to explain everything that it contains. So, human reason which limits itself to what can be seem, heard, touched, smelled, and tasted would agree with the Apostle Paul that if this explanation for cosmos and our human experience of it is false, then Christians are, of all people, “most pitiable” (1 Corinthians 15:19).
Indeed, this theology is incompatible with any kind of religious scheme the mind of human beings would make up as part of their evolutionary progress. With human beings as a starting point, no human mind would conceive of anything glorious outside of what we can measure empirically by taste, sight, touch, or smell, nor would the human mind conceive of considering all humanity as utterly and hopelessly unredeemable by anything they could do. Plato thought there was more, a transcendent ideal beyond the particular things we know by our senses, but he could come to no final and clear knowledge of it, nor have any personal type of relationship with it.
Moreover, what God would seek to serve the lost by giving them what they could never by any means obtain? We are told by anthropologists and evolutionary philosophers that human beings created “God/gods” in their minds and by their imaginations, but these gods demanded something from them in return for “salvation,” whether it be from nature (withholding floods or sending rain) or from guilt feelings over something. But, the God of the Bible does not fit into any anthropological or evolutionary mold or template. (See Micah 7:18.)
What God has the human mind ever created who loves enough to give salvation as a free gift? But that’s the God found in the Bible (Romans 5:15–16, and 18).
But by faith we see that God the Father really is love, not some amorphous brooding Omnipresence in the sky waiting to whack us if we do wrong and not a God whose goodness and love are untrustworthy and suspicious. No, God the Father “sent” His Son and “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, NKJV).
For those who see this, it is the most incredible news they have ever heard—it’s why this “news” is called the Gospel, meaning good news.

Loving Your Neighbor in the Way Jesus Loved Us

For those who have a foretaste of that overabundance of glory that is to come and a firm assurance of having it in full, it would be the most unloving thing they could do to a neighbor to let that good news be obscured and hidden by our civil laws, because those laws inform our ethical sense and basis of how we see ourselves.
After all, this is the way Jesus loved both God and His neighbor, fulfilling the whole of the law of God. Jesus came to show us the glory of God (loving God) and the glory that exist in being bearers of His image and how conformity to the law of God, being actually suited to our nature and growth as image-bearers, would actually be our delight (loving His neighbor)  See Psalm 1:2, 40:8, 119:16, 24, 35, 47, 70, 77, 92, 143, 174; Romans 7:14, 8:4).

[1] John Owen, The Works of John Owen, Vol. 1 (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1862), 287; see also, John Owen, The Glory of Christ.

[2] God being pure Spirit, apart from that which was manifested to us in the person of Jesus, and being a self-existing and eternal being, cannot be known by that which is not of the same “stuff,” not self-existing or eternal. It is, one might say, “over our heads” or “above our pay grade.” So, our knowledge of that which transcends us (different in nature of being, not distance as in Deism) is dependent on revelation from the Transcendent. Having originally been made in the image of God, we could truly know God and know the nature and character of God, though its infinite depths we could see but not fully plumb (as one has put it, “we can see the depths, but we cannot touch the bottom”). That direct face-to-face type of knowledge of God was lost in the separation of Adam (and his descendants) from God, though part of that knowledge is still revealed to us in what has been made (Romans 1:20; Psalm 191–4). Because all have access to some knowledge of God, we are all without excuse before God (Romans 1:20). As stated, even the unity and diversity of the male and female bodies in marriage is part of that revelation, though we “suppress” that kind of knowledge, even when explained to us, because of our unrighteousness (Romans 1:18).

[3]The words “unveiled faces” is intended to remind the reader that under the Old Covenant, Moses had to wear a veil over his face after he came out to see the people after having met with God in the tabernacle, because his face radiated with the glory of God (Exodus 34:34–35). Now, with the full revelation of God in Christ, that veil has been removed, though we still see in that mirror only darkly when compared to what we will see when our human flesh is put off. “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

Concept #13

The Only Real Difference Between Those Who Support and Those Who Oppose A Re-Definition of Marriage

Christians who support this initiative are no different from its most ardent opponents.

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Christians who support this initiative are no different from its most ardent opponents. Everyone knows that our civil laws should allow good to flourish and should hinder, restrain, and at times punish that which is destructive of our human flourishing, both individually and collectively. Everyone.1
So, it should be nothing less than wrong, and perhaps even a great evil, in the eyes of everyone, when the law allows that which they think is destructive of human flourishing and restrains, hinders, or even punishes that which would allow human flourishing. The only difference between those who support this initiative for the theological reasons just stated and those who oppose it is our different beliefs about that which leads to human flourishing.
For us at God-Given Marriage, real human flourishing is recovering the glorious image of the most glorious God who made us and aiding in that recovery by supporting civil laws that remind all of us of what God has revealed to us in both the Bible and our creation as male and female about what human flourishing looks like.

[1] See, for example, Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the ‘90s (New York: Doubleday, 1989), 69. In explaining why it was “paramount” for state “gay sodomy laws” to be repealed, the authors said those laws, “even unenforced, sen[d] a message to both straights and gays that homosexuality is intrinsically wrong, sinful, because it’s unnatural.’ And that, really, is the underlying purpose of such laws; to stand bolt-upright on the social plain as ugly monuments, visible symbols of society’s moral condemnation of gays.”

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