Defending Traditional Marriage in a Non-Christian Culture by Dr. Ross Parker (Assistant Professor of Christian Studies)

August 31, 2015

If the Christian God exists, and if God has revealed himself to us in Scripture, then as followers of Christ we must submit ourselves to what the Christian Scripture teaches about all facets of life. This includes the nature and purpose of human sexuality and marriage. As we look to the Scripture, God’s clear teaching concerning marriage is that it is a life-long covenant between one man and one woman. This is the general consensus of orthodox Christians across the spectrum of denominations and traditions. So if you accept the inerrancy and authority of Scripture, then it seems clear that two men or two women cannot be married[1], and that sexual acts are to be engaged in only within a covenant marriage.

But many Christians wonder how they are supposed to defend the traditional view of marriage and sexuality in the public square, specifically to those who don’t accept the inerrancy and authority of Scripture. One approach is to say that we should expect that the world will rebel against God, so we shouldn’t try to argue for God’s truth with those in a non-Christian culture. I think, though, that this is the wrong approach to take. Christians are called to be salt and light (Mt. 5:13-16) to our world, and further we know that those who reject Christ remain morally responsible agents who have a knowledge of the moral law (Rom. 2:14-15).

So I want to provide links to a couple of helpful videos to address the issue of defending the traditional view of marriage and sexuality in our culture. The first is a short conversation between J. D. Greear, Voddie Baucham, and Russell Moore. In this video these men discuss issues surrounding the question, “How Can Homosexuality Be Wrong if it Doesn’t Harm Anyone?” It’s well worth 10 minutes of your time.

Video #1 How Can Homosexuality be Wrong if it Doesn’t Harm Anyone?

The second is a longer lecture given by Ryan T. Anderson. This lecture specifically addresses the question of what marriage is, and gives a philosophical argument for a traditional account of marriage. I watched this video last semester with my Christian Ethics class. Let me be clear – this lecture doesn’t address the morality of homosexual acts. Rather, this is a philosophical argument about the true account of what marriage is. It’s a full lecture, but if you’re interested in understanding how to make an argument for the traditional view of marriage in the public square (whether in public discussions or in private conversations with our neighbors), I think that Anderson has much to teach us.

Video #2 Ryan Anderson Addresses what Marriage is.

[1] I recognize that there are some who want to maintain a commitment to the authority and importance of Christian scripture and see a place for the goodness of same-sex committed relationships. Responding to these claims, however, is beyond the purpose of this blogpost. Here I assume that most if not all of my readers will agree that the Scriptures teach the traditional view of marriage.

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