Please Pass the Eyesalve
Vol: 135 Issue: 20 Thursday, December 20, 2012
It seems that Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life and pastor of the 20,000 member Saddleback Church in California (where else?) made a video in 2008 expressing his support for Biblical marriage.
The phrase “Biblical marriage” as used in this context doesn’t refer to a marriage between two Bible-believers, which is about the only way the phrase “Biblical marriage” would make sense.
No, what “Pastor” Warren was referring to as “Biblical” is marriage between a man and a woman.
And so now, I find myself scouring the internet for examples of marriages in other cultures that aren’t between a man and a woman. . .
The first historical mention of same sex marriage was during the reign of Emperor Nero, according to Wikipedia. But then the same entry goes on to report that even during Roman times, it was not considered a ‘real’ marriage.
“For instance, Emperor Nero is reported to have engaged in a marriage ceremony with one of his male slaves. Emperor Elagabalus “married” a Carian slave named Hierocles. These were usually reported in a critical or satirical manner. It should be noted, however, that conubium existed only between a civis Romanus and a civis Romana (that is, between a male Roman citizen and a female Roman citizen), so that a marriage between two Roman males (or with a slave) would have no legal standing in Roman law (apart, presumably, from the arbitrary will of the emperor in the two aforementioned cases). Furthermore, “matrimonium is an institution involving a mother, mater. The idea implicit in the word is that a man takes a woman in marriage, in matrimonium ducere, so that he may have children by her.”
Apart from two perverted Roman Emperors, the only other ancient mention of same-sex marriage was in Spain in 1061 — and evidently it was a big enough deal that we’re still talking about it 951 years later.
Well, not the only other mention. The Roman Emperors Constantius and Constans made same-sex marriage a capital offense, but what I find fascinating is that now, in 2012, what had simply been “marriage” for the past six thousand years has suddenly been transformed from “ordinary” to the unique status of “Biblical”.
And now, having first reinvented ‘normal’ to mean ‘Biblical’, the guy who claims the title of America’s pastor says he regrets supporting the Biblical model?
“During a recent interview with Marc Lamont Hill of the Huffington Post, Warren sought to clarify matters pertaining to his creation of a video years ago in which he stated that those who follow the Bible should support California’s Proposition 8 ballot initiative. He had been accused of lying months after releasing the video for stating during an interview on Larry King Live that “[d]uring the whole Proposition 8 thing, I … never once issued a statement, never once even gave an endorsement in the two years Prop. 8 was going.”
“People say that I campaigned for Proposition 8. The meaning of the word ‘campaign’ means two different things,” Warren told Hill. “To me, that means that you go out and you speak at rallies, you do advertisements for it and stuff like that.”
“I never made a single statement on Prop. 8 until the week before, and in my own church, some members said, ‘Where do we stand on this?’” he explained. “[So], I released a video to my members. It was posted all over like it was an advertisement.”
So, if I am understanding this correctly, what Rick Warren is saying is that his personal and private beliefs are different than his public professions as a Christian. What he teaches is not necessarily the same thing as he believes.
Perhaps I am missing something? Perhaps not:
Hill then asked Warren if he could do it all over again, if he would still have created the video.
“I would not have,” Warren replied. “I would not have made that statement. I wanted to talk to my own people as a duty, because as a shepherd, I’m responsible for those who put themselves under my care. I’m not responsible for everybody else. I am responsible for the people who choose to be under my care and ask me a question.”
Am I reading this right? Is he really saying that ‘the lost aren’t my responsibility’? ‘It isn’t my job to teach Biblical principles to the lost’? ‘My job is to preach to the choir’?
Is he kidding?
Warren also told Hill that he wasn’t sure if homosexual conduct is a sin, but says it might be.
I wonder what he tells unmarried heterosexuals about heterosexual conduct in the light of Exodus 20:14, Deuteronomy 5:18, Proverbs 6:32, Ezekiel 16:32, Hosea 4:2, 4:13-14, Matthew 5:32, 19:9, Mark 10:11-12, Galatians 5:19 and about a hundred other references?
That it MIGHT be a sin to have sex outside of marriage?
About the only place where I can find any agreement between the Scriptures and Warren’s theology is where he said that homosexuals will go to Heaven if they accept Christ. That, at least, is true.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
All unrighteousness. What a Savior we have in Jesus!
Biblical marriage is not simply a marriage between a man and woman. If it was, then how in the world would you characterize a civil ceremony before a Justice of the Peace?
“Biblical” marriage is defined by the Bible — and not by Rick Warren or Marc Lamont Hill.
The secular world doesn’t necessarily like Biblical marriage, but just because it doesn’t like it doesn’t mean it can redefine it. Biblical marriage is outlined by Ephesians 5:21-32.
“Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and He is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it. That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.”
Marriage, Biblical or otherwise, has been defined the same way in every culture since the beginning of time. But Biblical marriage is the model for the relationship between Christ and the Church. Jesus is the Bridegroom and the Church is the Bride.
And so, Biblical marriage is exemplified by the relationship between Christ and His Church — it is far more than simply pointing out the obvious.
“For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.”
“This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”
If marriage were merely Biblical, then there would be little reason for history to take note of the exceptions as exceptions to the rule. For doubters, here is an exercise you can do at home. Dig through Wikipedia for examples of notable heterosexual marriage cultures.
There is a reason why same-sex marriage is historically noteworthy whereas heterosexual marriage is not. Historically speaking, one is routine, unremarkable, common or normal.. The other is uncommon, unusual, remarkable and different.
If that were not true, then there would be no debate, no?
What is at issue here isn’t what seculars believe about same-sex marriage. We live in a secular, post-Christian society and so it is to be expected that the secular view will be whatever the secular majority says it will be.
But we aren’t discussing the secular perspective on marriage. Rick Warren has been dubbed “America’s Pastor” and it was Rick Warren that dubbed marriage, as it was understood throughout history, as “Biblical.”
What was marriage before the Bible? If it wasn’t between a man and a woman, where did that next generation come from?
“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth.” (Revelation 3:14-16)
Can you think of a better example of lukewarm Christianity? Rick Warren is the pastor of one of the largest churches in America.
He has over 20,000 congregants, more than 200 separate ministries, a dozen different locations, a dozen or more media programs, and he isn’t sure if sexual conduct outside of marriage is a sin?
“Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” (Revelation 3:17-18)
Again, let me repeat the fact that Rick Warren has been dubbed “America’s Pastor“. His “Purpose Driven Life” is the second best-selling book of all time. That probably makes him the most influential Christian in America today.
“Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” (Ephesians 5:33)
To “America’s pastor” that is ‘pontificating’. Welcome to Laodicea!