John Piper on NY Gay Marriage Decision

Today at DesiringGod.org, John Piper offers some sobering remarks about gay marriage in general and about the NY law in particular:

On June 24 the New York legislature approved a Marriage Equality Act. This makes New York the sixth state where so-called homosexual marriages will be institutionalized: Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, (and the District of Columbia).

My sense is that we do not realize what a calamity is happening around us. The new thing—new for America, and new for history—is not homosexuality. That brokenness has been here since we were all broken in the fall of man. (And there is a great distinction between the orientation and the act—just like there is a great difference between my orientation to pride and the act of boasting.)

What’s new is not even the celebration of homosexual sin. Homosexual behavior has been exploited, and reveled in, and celebrated in art, for millennia. What’s new is normalization and institutionalization. This is the new calamity.

My main reason for writing is not to mount a political counter-assault. I don’t think that is the calling of the church as such. My reason for writing is to help the church feel the sorrow of these days. And the magnitude of the assault on God and his image in man.

Christians, more clearly than others can see the tidal wave of pain that is on the way. Sin carries in it its own misery: “Men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error” (Romans 1:27).

And on top of sin’s self-destructive power comes, eventually, the wrath of God: “sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming” (Colossians 3:5–6).

See also Piper’s post from last May about the Minnesota marriage amendment. He offers five reflections to help Christians think through the issue:

1. There is no such thing as so-called “gay marriage.”

2. Same-sex sexual relations are sin.

3. Not all sins should be proscribed by human law, but some should be.

4. The legal significance of marriage makes a statutory definition necessary.

5. It is wise that our laws define marriage as between a man and a woman.

He concludes with this:

I am not making a case for the legal prosecution of homosexual practice. Nor would I advocate the legal prosecution of heterosexual fornication. But I would make a case against the institutionalization of fornication, or making it a building block of society, or mandating its approval, or imbedding it in our laws. It is one thing to tolerate sin. It is another to build society on it.

Read the rest of this one here.

15 Responses to John Piper on NY Gay Marriage Decision

  1. Marty Schoenleber, Jr. June 30, 2011 at 9:31 am #

    Amen pastor John. This has been my growing grief in these days. And it is not just the continuing slide into base and destructive behavior but my own lack of passion for lost people getting “loster.” Where is my brokenness over sin? Where are my tears for the wrath of God approaching?

    When will the heart of the church echo the psalmist in Psalm 119:136: “My eyes shed streams of tears.
    because people do not keep your law.” Where is our anguish over our own sin, let alone the sin of our sin-affirming culture?

    Can a nation survive whose people have no heart for prayer?

  2. JohnnyM June 30, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    powerful stuff and so true.

  3. Greg Alford June 30, 2011 at 10:38 am #

    What is even more troubling to me is what Romans 1:28 says about those who embrace Homosexuality… “God gave them over to a reprobate mind”

    Most Christians think that God is going to Judge us for embracing/normalizing Homosexuality… While that is true, there is more going on here than that.

    This verse (Romans 1:28) tells us that Homosexuality is a result of God’s judgment already being poured out on a people. Notice how that first “God gave them over…” then we find the results of that abandonment by God is a people who embrace Homosexuality.

    Piper is right to warn us of “the sorrow of these days” in which we now live.

    Grace for the Journey,

  4. Dillon June 30, 2011 at 10:59 am #

    “I tell you even with tears, that many glory in their shame” (Philippians 3:18–19).

    Ouch.

    As an aside – is anyone else having trouble with the ” Follow Me ” tag that’s been added to Denny’s blog? It seems rather distracting and makes reading the page more difficult.

  5. Gabe June 30, 2011 at 11:35 am #

    I think ten years down the road when same-sex marriage is legal in almost every state, Christians will will see that our country hasn’t gone to hell in a handbasket like many have been saying. The biggest change from all this will simply be that those who are gay will be getting married. Society will not collapse because of a minority group having the same rights that you do.

  6. Dillon June 30, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

    Thanks for moving it to the other side Denny!!!

    Much better.

  7. JohnnyM June 30, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    Gabe,

    Back during the sexual revolution when laws and attitudes about sex were loosened, people said the same thing. And since then we have seen an explosion in unmarried couples and children in single mother homes.

    The vast majority of people in poverty are single moms, and kids in single parent homes are more likely to be poor, to use drugs, to drop out of school, to be single parents themselves, and to go to jail.

    So the fruits of this loosening of sexual morality has led to more poverty and hardship. The same is true of SSM.

  8. Gabe June 30, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

    Johnny,

    You’re using unmarried couples as an example of why we shouldn’t allow gay MARRIAGE?

    Now please explain how gay marriage will lead to more poverty and hardship.

  9. Nate June 30, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

    Gabe, perhaps you should explain how redefining something that has been the accepted norm since the beginning of time, recognized by all nations regardless of religion and is the building block of the next generation will not be affected by allowing SSM.

    Tax issues, inheritance, and other items can all be had by other means, by the way.

  10. JohnnyM June 30, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

    Gabe,

    I may have been a bit ambiguous. The loosening of sexual norms has led to breakdowns in the family. The further loosening of these norms, via SSM, will also lead to further breakdowns, maybe not in exactly the same way.

    Dr. Heimbach goes into much greater detail here:

    http://www.profam.org/pub/rs/rs_2207.htm

    A snippet:
    “He came across the same pattern over and over. A society would begin with high standards limiting sex to one partner in marriage for life. This produced great social strength and that society or culture would flourish. Then a new generation would arise demanding sex on easier terms and would lower moral standards. But when that happened the society would lose vitality, grow weak, and then die. He explained that “In the beginning, each society had the same ideas in regard to sexual regulations. Then the same strengths took place; the same sentiments were expressed; the same changes were made; the same results ensued. Each society reduced its sexual opportunity to a minimum and, displaying great social energy, flourished greatly. Then it extended its sexual opportunity [lowered standards]; its energy decreased, and faded away. The one outstanding feature of the whole story is its unrelieved monotony.”[59]

    Therefore, based on overwhelming evidence, Unwin decided, “Any human society is free to choose either to display great energy or to enjoy sexual freedom; the evidence is that it cannot do both for more than one generation.”[60] Not only was Freud wrong, he was dangerously wrong. No matter how strong, no society can ever avoid losing social strength once it lowers sexual standards, and once it does, signs of growing weakness appear within one generation. Freud thought restricting sex to marriage threatened the survival of civilization and might even threaten survival of the human race. But Unwin discovered that restricting sex to the traditional marriage structure makes societies strong and that easing sexual standards supporting the traditional family structure always leads to social collapse. Based on Unwin’s findings, there is no other outcome, and if we heed his findings, it means we must realize that deconstructing the family to justify lust will certainly threaten the strength and survival of American society as a whole.”

  11. Gabe June 30, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

    Nate,

    Tradition doesn’t mean it’s right, or the only right way. Traditions change all the time. Maybe it was recognized by all nations throughout most of history, but the times have changed. And you still haven’t showed how it will hurt society, other than the fact that it goes against your personal religous views.

  12. Gabe June 30, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

    Nate,

    If marriage is redefined to allow gay marriage as well, so what. This won’t have any effect on heterosexuals getting married and having children.

  13. JohnnyM June 30, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    Gabe,

    I have a response in moderation (due to length), which will address some of your questions.

    In the meantime, you can read this to see the effect that loosening sexual norms can have on society:
    http://www.profam.org/pub/rs/rs_2207.htm

  14. Gabe June 30, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    Johnny,

    That piece you just posted by Heimbach has no parralel to same-sex marriage. SSM isn’t loosening sexual standards. The SSM issue is about allowing people to marry, it has nothing to do with sexual promiscuity, nor is it anything like the sexual revolution of the 1960’s where people began to feel free to have sex with multiple partners.

    I completely agree that our country would be much better off if people would be faithful to their SO rather than cheating and breaking apart their family. But this article completely misses the point.

  15. JohnnyM June 30, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

    Gabe,

    The point is that blessing and institutionalizing homosexual relationships is a loosening of sexual standards.

    Do you believe that allowing incestuous marriages would be a loosening of sexual standards? If so, then why is it different than SSM?

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