letters to surfers

Same sex unions . How do you understand Romans 1:26-27?

by Robert Brow  (www.brow.on.ca)

Paul is describing four steps down in Greek civilization as a result of the philosophers putting God out of their mind. "Though they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him" (Romans 1:21). As a result the Greeks became fools and turned to idolatry (1:22-23). God then "gave them up" to various forms of sexual degradation (1:24-25). The next step down was that God "gave them up" to a disintegration of family life (1:26-27). The bottom of the pit was that "God gave them up" to "covetousness (greed for money), malice, envy, murder, deceit, gossip, etc." till they ended up actually approving what is obviously wrong (1:28-32). In the second step down family life was disintegrated when "women exchanged" sexual intercourse with their husbands for "unnatural" intercourse. And men gave up sexual intercourse with their wives in favor of "shameless acts with men."

My position is that in the Bible a marriage occurs when a man and a woman begin sexual intercourse (if there was a betrothal or legal contract it took place before the marriage). The Anglican marriage service offers a marriage contract between a man and woman, but there is no way we call an agreement between two men or two women who choose to live together a marriage. Our government may decide to give certain benefits to people of the same sex who contract to live together. But there is no way a government or a bishop or anyone else can make me conduct a marriage ceremony between people of the same sex.

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