Christian Hypocrisy on Non-Traditional Marriage?
Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, recently provided a thought-provoking response to accusations that Christians are “hypocrites” because Christians have not gone after other “unbiblical” marriage as they have “same-sex marriage.”
As an example of an unbiblical wedding, [Kirsten Powers and Jonathan Merritt] cited a ceremony between a Christian and a non-Christian or involving a divorced person who does not have a biblical basis for divorce.
Moore’s response is fairly simple: While the Christian worldview may not support those people getting married, once they are married, they are in a valid, biblically-recognized marriage.
“[W]hile a biblical view of marriage would see that such people (fornicators, believers to unbelievers, unlawfully divorced, etc.) should not get married, and that the church has no authority to marry them, we also would affirm that such people, when married, actually are married,” Moore said. “A pastor who joins a believer to an unbeliever bears an awful responsibility for doing something wrong, but the end result is an actual marriage.
“The same-sex marriage differs not in terms of morality, but in terms of reality. It is not that homosexuality is some sort of wholly different or unforgivable sexual sin. It’s that the historic Christian view of marriage means that without sexual complementarity there is no marriage at all.”
In response to those statement that Christians can be required to provide services contrary to their faith, Moore responded with a broader example:
Should a Christian (or Muslim or Orthodox Jewish or feminist New Age) web designer be compelled to develop a site platform for a legal pornography company?
The question can be broadened again, of course. By creating a service-oriented business, is an American citizen required by law to serve every person, regardless of the ideology that person wants to celebrate or otherwise promote? If people thought about it, it is unlikely they’d answer “yes.”
Betsy Childs of the Beeson Divinity School had a more direct response [emphasis added]:
“Hypocritical Christians are those who forget that they are sinners in need of a savior. Apart from God’s grace we would be damned, and we are hypocrites if we refuse to call others from their sin to experience that same grace. To profit by helping others celebrate their sin, thereby perpetuating the illusion that homosexual behavior is not sin, would be hypocritical for any Christian, be he butcher, baker, or candlestick maker.”