Search This Blog

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

"....but we love each other"

A "powerful" argument
One of the most common and powerful arguments used by those who advocate same-sex relationships is, "But we love one another, so how can that be wrong?" This, to them, is an unquestionable argument: how can you deny true love? Sometimes it is even given a theological twist, "God is love, so surely he must approve of any and all loving relationships."

This argument, in its most persuasive form, rules out promiscuous relationships, and asks us to focus only on same-sex couples who demonstrate monogamous commitment: what can be wrong with such a life-long committed loving relationship?, they argue.

The problem with love
The first problem with this love-argument is that in the end it must become the means which justifies all relationships where the two involved say they 'love' each other. If love is the final arbiter of the rightness or morality of a relationship, then it would be wrong to call illegal any relationship where the couple say "we love each other."

But what if the two involved are an adult and a child? You could argue that a child could not know if it loves the adult, or that the child is too young to know, but what if one day, clever arguments are found to "prove" that the child does indeed love the adult (and a child can love an adult, for example a parent)? If your only criteria is "do they love each other", you cannot rule out paedophilia. And what if the two are a brother and sister who are no longer children? We know full well that any children born to such a couple stand a higher risk of deformity, but how could you deny them the fruit of their "loving" relationship?

These simple considerations flag up the possibility that there may be a problem with "love" being the defining characteristic in determining the morality of a relationship.

It's possible for love to be wrong?
Perhaps not all loves are equal, perhaps some loves are wrong. Is that not a possibility? Is it not possible for someone who says "But I love her/him" to be actually wrong, no matter how loud their protestations? Most people reading this blog would say that an adult loving a child sexually was a wrong love, and yet it would not be difficult to find an adult who protested and said "but my love is real and genuine." Most people believe that it is wrong to fall in love with another man's wife or another wife's husband, and yet the adulterer will protest, "I truly am in love with her/him."  Most people reading this would say that love between a brother and a sister would be a wrong love.

Is it not possible for a human being to love the wrong person? If not, whence the tyranny of love?

These simple considerations show us that we all believe that some loves are wrong loves. It simply does not follow that if two people say they love one another that their love is necessarily, therefore, just by virtue of their insistence, right love.

Revelation is needed
So if love cannot be the arbiter of right relationships, since it is possible to love wrongly, what additional factor is required to determine the rightness or wrongness of love?

A good case can surely be made from nature itself. Heterosexual marriage makes a lot of sense.  A man's body is designed perfectly for a woman's body, for example. A man's body is not designed or a man's body. Severe health problems can arise from homosexual sex and from promiscuous sex. All of these facts ought to be seen as guidelines for leading us to the conclusion that an exclusive heterosexual relationship is the right one. But of course a thousand arguments will be thrown against this simple (yet sound) reasoning from nature, so where do we go next?

I do not think the world has anywhere else to go, and thus I can foresee the day when the word "marriage" will be used to cover any and every union possible, under the grand and seemingly incontrovertible banner "but they love each other". 

The Bible is clear
Christians who take all their theology (belief) and behaviour (practise) from the Bible (i.e. evangelical Christians) find very clear guidelines in Scripture. Taking their cure from the Bible is the same, they are convinced, as taking their cue from the Creator himself.  They know that in a fallen world it is quite possible for human love to fasten onto the wrong object. The now-fallen human heart can love all sorts of wrong things. "I love her" or "I love him" is no longer a guideline to propriety.
  • From Genesis 1&2 they observe that God made mankind heterosexually, and thus was designed for heterosexual love
  • From Genesis 19 (and Jude 1:7) we know that God was displeased with the homosexual sin of the men of Sodom (as he is with all sexual sin, we're not singling out homosexual sin, see Leviticus 18) 
  • From Leviticus 18:22 & 20:13 we learn that homosexual practise is an abomination in God's eyes (even though these verses form part of the civil law of the nation of Israel, they still have a teaching role)
  • From Romans 1:26-27 we learn that homosexual behaviour is shameful, unnatural and indecent.
  • From 1 Corinthians 6:9 we learn that homosexual offenders (and many other unrepentant sinners) will not inherit the kingdom of God (see also 1 Timothy 1:10).
There are simply too many statements on homosexual practise in the Bible to see it as anything other than wrong - and indeed sinful - practise.

Therefore same-sex love is wrong love.