I am surprised to see that the discussion about historical marriage has come full circle so soon. My dialogue began when a local writer in essence suggested that another local minister shut up and sit down. Now this same sentiment has been spewed at me.
One recent writer seemed to label those who stand on the side of historic Biblical definition of marriage as "intolerant." It seems odd to me that the writer would give the word "intolerance" a negative connotation. Our bodies were created to be intolerant of foreign matter. We teach our kids to be intolerant of the advances of strangers (at least we should). Our great country was founded by a group of brave individuals who were intolerant of the shackles of the Motherland. The work of the great inventors began as intolerance of the status quo. We are intolerant of shoddy food preparation at restaurants and housekeeping at motels. The list goes on and on. Intolerance isn't such a bad thing after all is it?
We gasp at the notion of our government providing a temporary financial fix by printing more money. When they choose that option it makes all money less valuable. Relaxing the guidelines for marriage would cheapen its value for all as well.
Another recent writer wrote that the "idea that love plays some role in marriage is only a couple of centuries old." Yet Hebrews 13:4 says "Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. "Ephesians 5: 25 states "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it." These ancient Biblical references clearly refute the notion that marriage is a new concept or began as a loveless business contract that has evolved in definition.
Several years ago my wife and I were in town for the holiday season. We chose to stay in a hotel on the outskirts of Parkersburg. Sometime during the night an arsonists set a vehicle on fire just feet from the entrance to our hotel room. We were sleeping soundly until a good Samaritan, a total stranger, knocked loudly on our door in order to warn us of the flames. It was one of the greatest acts of kindness that I have ever experienced from a stranger. I didn't get mad or call him names I heeded the warning and evacuated my position. Hebrews chapter 10 verse 27 states that who continue to sin after hearing the truth have an "expectation of God's judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies." My prayer is that this letter may serve as a stranger's knock on the door of those who face the fiery judgment of God.