Guest / Limited Access /

Our radically confused society is debating the meaning of marriage with increasing intensity. That question leads to a host of other issues—especially the boundaries of sexual behavior and the nature of procreation. No one is untouched by this debate.

Confusion in society spreads easily to the church. To help bring a biblical perspective to these discussions, Christianity Today offers this special section, the first of a series. Here we focus on the meaning of marriage in light of the national debate about gay marriage. In future issues, we'll go down other paths.

As we address these issues over the long term, we hope to communicate two things: First, a definite "no" to calls to lower the moral bar (whether they come from within the church or from secular critics). And second, a decided "yes" to respect and extend compassion to the people who advocate views and practices we oppose. The issues are too important to fall short in either direction.
   —Editors

"Have you not read that the one who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?" So Jesus declares that in the first marriage and in every marriage since, it is God himself who joins particular members of the opposite sex together in a natural relation unlike any other.

All societies have honored this special union that Christians, Jews, and Muslims rightly recognize to be a gift of the Creator. Even in an atheistic context like Russia during the Communist period, Muscovite couples were married with festal trappings at what passed for a sacred site, Lenin's tomb.

Our generation has introduced a tear in this universal ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this Issue
Subscriber Access Only Loving Military Enemies
War does not exempt Christians from the second-greatest commandment.
Current IssueGleanings: September 2016
Subscriber Access Only Gleanings: September 2016
Important developments in the church and the world (as they appeared in our September issue).
RecommendedSame-Sex Couples More Likely to Ask Presbyterian Pastors to Marry Them
Same-Sex Couples More Likely to Ask Presbyterian Pastors to Marry Them
More pastors are open to LGBT people serving in their churches than being married there, LifeWay finds.
TrendingWhy Most Pastors Aren’t Answering Your Phone Calls
Why Most Pastors Aren’t Answering Your Phone Calls
It's one the great mysteries of ministry. Why do pastors have such a bad reputation for answering or returning phone calls? Here are 9 reasons.
Editor's PickThe Good (and Bad) News About Christian Higher Education
The Good (and Bad) News About Christian Higher Education
‘Christian colleges are as strong as they’ve been since the 1920s,’ says historian William Ringenberg. But there are challenges on the horizon.
Christianity Today
What God Hath Not Joined
hide thisSeptember September

In the Magazine

September 2004

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.