Thursday, March 18, 2010

Matt Heckel's insights on "Grey Marriage."

One of my favorite Protestant writers, Matt Heckel, offers these insights on his blog, Christocentric:
My Pastor, Dan Perrin, cited some telling statistics in his sermon last Sunday. Here's the first: On May 5, Maine became the fifth state to legalize gay marriage declaring: "Two people have the right to decide for themselves how marriage should be constituted."

This statement reveals our heart problem. We think that we have the right to define marriage. We think that we can create this institution in our own image. We no longer believe that human nature is created and thus defined by God, even if we still pay lip service to that idea. If we believed that human nature was created by God, we could still accept the idea that there are some things that are bad for humans and there are other things that are good for humans. Because we no longer accept the idea of the fall, we think that the way that seems right to a person must be the right way. Thus we have a "right" to the right way and anyone that stands in our way is against freedom. Gay marriage becomes a civil rights issue as abortion became a women's rights issue.

We have little realization that this way of thinking was handed down to us from existential philosophers like Jean Paul Sartre. Sartre said "becoming precedes being." In other words, we are undefined at birth. Our being is not given by God but will be determined by ourselves. We are only a part of nature and not in anyway predetermined by nature, much less God. Don't let social conventions stand in the way of passion! If you've found your soulmate leave your wife or go ahead and shack up with your girlfriend to see if you're compatible. No two self-centered sinners will ever be "compatible." We've made eros the idol and were paying the consequences.

Allan Carlson, author of Conjugal America: On the Public Purposes of Marriage (click on "Grey Marriage"), was recently interviewed on Mars Hill Audio and traced the history behind this. A little over 100 years ago there was still a social difference between children born in wedlock and children born out of wedlock. Then came the contraceptive revolution, which started among married people but was soon handed down to minors, and sex became a right. Then came no fault divorce. If you wanted a divorce you used to have to prove that your partner had violated the marriage vow. But that stood in the way of our freedom, so the solution of "no fault divorce" took away the binding character of marriage. Then came the idea of cohabitation before marriage or cohabitation as an alternative to marriage. Today you don't even need a marriage partner if you want a child.

The second set of statistics was released by the US Center of Statics on May 18, 2009:
Of all births in 2007, 40% were out of wedlock.
Among women 20-24, 60% were out of wedlock compared to only 18% twenty years ago.
Marriage has become a hollow institution. Marriage no longer bestows legitimacy on children, it has lost its sole right over sex and procreation, its binding character is gone, and it is finally reduced to an option. From here it is only a short step to gay marriage. Isn't it true that grey marriage leads to gay marriage? Isn't this why it seems that the gay marriage movement has all the momentum? It almost feels like it's too late to say anything now. What's the church to do?

1 comment:

Agellius said...

That's absolutely right. Marriage has been a hollow shell for decades. It started with birth control and continued with the widespread acceptance of divorce. These facts undermine many of the arguments people make against gay marriage. We (as a temporal society) have in fact already turned marriage into something equivalent to gay marriage: No essential connection with procreation and no necessary lifelong commitment. It's no wonder the resistance to gay marriage appears to its proponents to be based on nothing but mere bigotry.