“You eating at Chic-Fil-A today?”
I received that text while I was on vacation. Had been out of the loop a bit, so had no idea what was going on. I said, no, not planning to. I didn’t. Battle lines were drawn…people chose sides…the debate rages on.
Biblical Family…Biblical Marriage…these are the phrases that mark the battle line. Either you believe in what the Bible says about marriage and family, or you don’t. Gay marriage has become a hot political issue this year, and all kinds of folks are weighing in on where they stand. Most of the time, the argument against gay marriage is that it goes against Biblical marriage.
It’s clear- the Biblical Family is traced back to Adam and Eve. And we should all pattern our families after that- and hopefully have two sons…and if one of them kills the other, as can sometimes happen in Biblical Families, God can always bless you with more kids…and you’ll teach them not to throw stones.
Well there are other Biblical Families we can look to for guidance. There’s Righteous Lot; after Sodom is destroyed, in a cave with his two daughters (his wife isn’t there because she had been turned into salt)…his daughters get him drunk, and then have sex with him on successive nights and bear him children. There’s Abraham- the father of the faith…He and Sarah were joined in their Biblical Family by her maid Hagar, who bore him several children because Sarah couldn’t. It was Sarah’s idea…then she got mad at Hagar and had her thrown out into the desert. There’s Jacob, who had the twelve sons that became the twelve tribes of Israel, all borne out of different wives and handmaidens…(we’re still looking for the Biblical Family that we in modern-day America can pattern our families after so that we can fight against those who want to do it differently and in the mean time we will also eat lots of Christian Chicken Sandwiches.)
Let’s see.. can we look to David? Nah. He married Bathsheba after getting her pregnant and having her husband killed. That produced Solomon, and he had a gazillion wives (that can get you arrested in America today)…no good example there. Guess we better look to the NT, where we can find Paul (who wrote half of it) telling us it’s better to not even get married at all, or if you are so horny and might sin, go ahead and get married- but you’d be better off to stay single.
Biblical Marriage. Biblical Family. Catch phrases for political and religious argument, but not very substantive in and of themselves. Maybe we would be better off just calling it “Traditional Family Values”. What would be wrong with that? Well, I guess then you get into the argument about who’s traditions we’re talking about. That opens up another can of worms…no, it’s better to simply attach God’s name to it.
That- in many minds, ends the argument. If God said it, that settles it. “God told me”. That is the trump card that supposedly ends all discussions on the matter. But there is a problem with that. Sometimes, God hasn’t spoken very clearly on a subject. Even if you hold to the view that every word printed in every version of every Bible is the literal Word of God, you’ll have a hard time finding clear instructions on what a Biblical Family looks like.
It seems to me the Bible speaks more clearly and more often on other subjects. Like love. And kindness. And not judging others. And love. And forgiveness. And…love.