One Leads to the Other by Peter Toon

One Leads to the Other

One of the main arguments made in defense of homosexual partnerships is this: Most heterosexual persons today expect marriage to bring them personal satisfaction and fulfillment. Thus, if they do not find this fulfillment in a first marriage, they feel free, if not indeed morally required, to end it and enter a second one. Many Christians will argue that though a second (or a third) marriage is not God’s ideal, it is a necessary pastoral concession to bring people happiness and prevent unnecessary suffering. Therefore, homosexual people must be free to find such self-fulfillment and personal satisfaction in the only form of relationship available to them.

Of the traditional ends of marriage, the first, having children “to be brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord,” in the words of the Book of Common Prayer, is usually seen only as an option, even by those who want children. The second, that marriage is “a remedy against sin, and to avoid fornication,” is not even considered. Only a version of the third, that marriage is given us “for the mutual society, help, and comfort that the one ought to have of the other,” is allowed.

Recently a friend sent me an attractively written plea written by an evangelical Protestant for the full incorporation of both the divorced and remarried and homosexual partners in the Church. Lewis Smedes, recently retired professor of ethics at Fuller Theological Seminary and author of many books used in Reformed and evangelical seminaries, is a charming and affable gentleman and an ordained minister of the Christian Reformed Church.

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