Dr. John Piper on Same-Sex Marriage
by Joseph Backholm | June 20, 2012
Washington State is one of four state’s that will be voting on marriage this November. One of the other state’s is Minnesota, which happens to be where Dr. John Piper’s church is. Last Sunday he gave a sermon called “Let Marriage Be Held in Honor” --- Thinking Biblically About So-Called Same-Sex Marriage.
He provides a great example of how pastors can help their congregations deal with this very relevant cultural issue in a biblical way. Click the link above to watch the sermon or see the written outline.
According to Piper, laws exist to preserve and enhance the public good.
He poses the question: Which actions hurt the common good or enhance the common good so much that the one should be prohibited by law and the other should be required by law? While Washington is not discussing a constitutional amendment, the same principles apply to how the church should respond to the question of redefining marriage. Here is the guidance he provides as it relates to a constitutional amendment in Minnesota.
1. A constitutional amendment should address a matter of very significant consequence. To give you an idea of what has been regarded as worthy inclusion in the state constitution, Section 12 of Article xiii was passed by voters in 1998. It reads as follows: “Hunting and fishing and the taking of game and fish are a valued part of our heritage that shall be forever preserved for the people and shall be managed by law and regulation for the public good.” In deciding whether the meaning of marriage is significant enough to put in the constitution one measure would be to weigh it against hunting and fishing.
2. The recognition of so-called same-sex marriage would be a clear social statement that motherhood or fatherhood or both are negligible in the public good of raising children. Two men adopting children cannot provide motherhood. And two women adopting children cannot provide fatherhood. But God ordained from the beginning that children grow up with a mother and a father, and said, “Honor your father and your mother” (). Tragedies in life often make that impossible. But taking actions to make that tragedy normal may be worth prohibiting by law. That's a factor to consider.
3. Marriage is the most fundamental institution among humans. It’s origin is in the mind of God, and its beginning was at the beginning of the creation of humankind. It’s connections with all other parts of society are innumerable. Pretending that it can exist between people of the same sex will send ripple effects of dysfunction and destruction in every direction, most of which are now unforeseen. And many of those that are foreseen are tragic, especially for children, who will then produce a society we cannot now imagine.
4. Before now, as far as we know, society in the history of the world has ever defined marriage as between people of the same sex. It is a mind-boggling innovation with no precedent to guide us, except the knowledge that unrighteousness destroys nations, and the celebration of it hastens the demise. (; ;)