Great Stuff — Homosexual marriage changes nothing and it changes everything: A post-mortem on marriage in American culture

Another great post on


During the past several weeks I have had a chance to read many articles dealing with the redefinition of marriage to include homosexual couples.  I have posted a number of these on my blog.  As I have read these articles and watched the events at the Supreme Court case dealing with marriage, I now find it impossible to avoid the conclusion that homosexual marriage in the United States is now inevitable.  It really doesn’t matter what specific decision the Supreme Court arrives at in relation to the matter before it.  It is no longer a question of if, but rather when full legal status for homosexual marriage arrives.

When homosexual marriage becomes legal in all states, it will be a significant moment. It will signal that marriage in American culture is in its death throes.  But such a decision will not be the cause of this. Instead, it will be a moment that forces us to recognize what has already taken place.   It will impel us to grapple with developments that have been going on for a very long time. It is easy to describe homosexual marriage as a “redefinition of marriage.”  However, in truth this misses the point. Instead, the fact that homosexual marriage can be discussed as a potential option bears witness to the fact that marriage has already been redefined.

Contraception – the revolution of “the pill” – has allowed people to use sex as an end itself.  They have been able to use sex solely for the purpose of physical and emotional pleasure and enjoyment.  Previously, marriage, sex and children provided the foundation of human society just as God ordered it.  These three were indivisibly united with one another.  However, since the end of the twentieth century we have lived in the first time in human history when people have had the technology to separate sex and children.  When sex became disengaged from having children, it inevitably became disengaged from marriage as well, since marriage existed for the purpose of creating and raising children.  Set loose from the channel that was intended to control and constrain it in positive ways, sex has run wild in our culture.

Once marriage was disengaged from the creation and raising of children, it took on a new purpose: adult personal fulfillment.  Marriage was now about the personal satisfaction of adults.  The inevitable result of this was the “no fault divorce.”  With children removed from the center of marriage’s purpose, now if adults were not experiencing the personal fulfillment in marriage they desired they simply ended marriage in divorce and sought a new marriage.  This was truly the moment when marriage was redefined.  Everything that we are experiencing in regard to marriage is really just the working out of this basic fact.

Sex was unhinged from marriage. This produced not only a culture of fornication but also the new development of wholesale cohabitation.  Of course despite all our efforts using contraception, sex never wholly ceases to produce the result God has given to it.  It continues to produce children and so generations of children have not been born outside of marriage, and with great frequency, to single mothers.  This along with divorce have decimated the family in American culture.  They have proven to be the sins that visit themselves upon the children of the parents to the third and fourth generation … and beyond.

The course of this development since the 1960’s set the stage for today’s legal effort to include homosexual couples within marriage.  Yet in order for this to reach the full fruition we are now seeing, the homosexual movement had to accomplish one other thing. They had to convince the public that homosexuality was a natural disposition.  This is a goal they have achieved.  It doesn’t matter that the research on this topic has yielded mixed results and that presently the best evaluation is that homosexuality is a combination of nature and nurture in varying degrees in different people.  The homosexual movement has convinced the general public “that they were must made this way.”

Since marriage is not about producing and raising children and is instead about adult personal fulfillment, there is no reason that “marriage” can’t include couples who are of the same sex. Yet along the way, something interesting happened.  Homosexual couples began to decide that children were a part of the equation that provided personal fulfillment.  By definition their union could not produce children.  But just as they had a right to marriage for the sake of personal fulfillment, so also they maintained that they had a right to children for the same reason.

Even if marriage had already been redefined on the basis of adult personal fulfillment, and homosexuals had convinced the public that they had a natural disposition, there was one other hurdle to clear in order for homosexual parenting of children to be accepted by the public.  They needed to convince the public that there was no appreciable difference between the experience of children raised by heterosexual and homosexual couples.  Since academia as a whole and the social sciences in particular are dominated by a pro-homosexual orthodoxy, it is not surprising that their research produced these very results using research samples and methodologies that were suspect. Subsequent research by Mark Regnerus has called attention to these deficiencies and using better samples and methodology his research has yielded different results.  Not surprisingly, Regnerus has received concerted attacks ( As with the nature of homosexuality itself, once again a lack of certainty in the research has not stopped the homosexual movement from proclaiming as “scientific fact” that homosexual couples make equally good parents as heterosexuals (

This set the stage for what really made homosexual marriage inevitable.  At its most basic level, marriage is about children. Armed with “research” declaring that they made equally suitable parents, homosexuals began to be granted the right to adopt children.  There were already children in the homes of homosexual couples that had been produced in a heterosexual relationship from one of the partner’s past.  Artificial insemination and similar methods were allowing homosexuals to possess children. But when the state and society as a whole began placing children into the homes of homosexuals, the future of homosexual marriage was assured.  All efforts to prevent it amount to a rear guard action.  The arguments for homosexual marriage are a custom fit for the spirit of our age (

In the last few weeks I have posted links to many fine articles that accurately describe why homosexual marriage is detrimental to society.  However, the fact of the matter is that when homosexual marriage becomes a full and complete legal reality very little will change.  The redefinition of marriage and its ongoing death in American culture was already happening. Homosexual marriage really does nothing more than provide the unavoidable conclusion that marriage in our culture in now in hospice.  It doesn’t fundamentally change things.  Instead it forces us to acknowledge that things have fundamentally changed for marriage.

Yet at the same time, homosexual marriage as a legal reality changes everything.  It does so because it provides the legal basis for the homosexual movement to attack everything and everyone in society that does not fully accept it.  It provides the legal basis for insinuating homosexuality into many different aspects of society such as education.  It is an even more powerful tool than “hate speech legislation” since it takes the form of a “civil rights issue” that can be aimed at many different targets.  As Robert Knight has written:

Which brings us to the bigger picture. The Left’s drive for “gay rights” poses the greatest domestic threat to the freedoms of religion, speech and assembly. When traditional morality is equated with racist bigotry, civil rights enforcement becomes a gun aimed at the head of citizens, forcing them to choose between God and Caesar. That should never happen in America, where our founders said rights come from our Creator, not capricious man, who can mistake fashion for morality (

The Church and the homosexual movement have very different approaches to one another.  The Church condemns homosexuality as sin.  Yet like many other sins that continue on in a fallen world, the Church realizes that she cannot stamp it out. She can only speak Law and Gospel as she seeks to lead sinners to repentance.  She understands she will have to live in a world where sin like homosexuality continues until Christ returns.

The homosexual movement on the other hand is not willing to tolerate the existence of a position that labels homosexuality as sinful and contrary to God’s ordering of creation.  It will use every means necessary to destroy the opposition. The legal status of homosexual marriage will provide the hammer of civil rights enforcement they need to do just that.

Marriage, of course, cannot really die or be destroyed.  It was instituted by God and is part of his ordering of creation.  It can be perverted and ignored in ways that bring unimaginable harm upon the adults and children who are touched by these things.  Yet it will continue to exist and certainly will find a healthy presence among many couples in the Church.

What then does homosexual marriage mean for the Church?  First, it underscores the fact that with renewed vigor the Church must uphold marriage among the baptized.  She must allow herself to be examined by God’s Law and be led to repentance where her practice has not been faithful to God’s Word.  In particular, there are two areas where this must happen.

The first is divorce.  The fact of the matter is that the Church has caved into the culture when it comes to “no fault divorce.”  She has lost her nerve and is unwilling to listen to her Lord when he says, “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery” (Matthew 5:31-32).  She fears and loves the world more than Christ and so ignores him when he says, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:4-6).

I am a parish pastor, so I understand well the tremendous challenges that divorce presents.  I recognize that there are times when despite our best efforts to discern black and white we are unable to see anything but grey because of the hideous ways sin twists and perverts things.  I recognize that there is a valid exegetical insight in the recognition that these biblical texts about marriage are not intended be a kind of “canon law.”  But at the same time they also clearly say that divorce should not occur.  When divorce becomes the easy default position with absolutely no consequences for the Christian, I find it hard to believe that the Church really is being faithful to God’s Word.

The second area is fornication and cohabitation.  Paul told the Thessalonians, “Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God” (1 Thessalonians 4:1-5).  Paul wrote these words to Christians who lived in a culture that was awash in sexual immorality, just as we are.  And yet all the evidence of the New Testament and the first centuries of the Church indicates that this was an important emphasis of the Church’s life.  It was something that set the Church apart from the world and those refused to live in this way were set apart from the Church (see 1 Corinthians 5:1-13).

The Church of the twenty-first century knows little of the earnestness with which the early Church approached this.  We desperately need to learn.  We live in a time when we congratulate ourselves that the couple that has been living together finally was married in church.  The pastor teaches the Sixth Commandment in catechesis on Saturday morning and then turns around and denies everything he just said by marrying the unrepentant fornicating couple on Saturday afternoon. Pastors don’t practice discipline because they are afraid they will lose members.  Congregation members attack faithful pastors who seek to practice pastoral care and discipline toward their cohabiting son or daughter.  Members learn that they can transfer to the congregation of the neighboring pastor who will allow them to live together and then will eventually marry them whenever they decide the time has arrived.

The Church has been called out of world.  She must be different from the world when it comes to sexual ethics.  If being faithful in this way causes her to lose members, then she must become smaller so that she can be healthier.  Until we are willing, fortified by God’s Word, to take this stance we will never be able to face the challenge of the world around us.  The Church will continue the long, slow slide down into the morality of the world, and the practice of marriage in the Church will suffer.

On the positive side, the Church must make renewed efforts to hold up marriage and sexuality as God’s good gift.  We need both catechesis and preaching that directly address these areas of life, because God’s Word does.  We need to frame this preaching and teaching in terms of vocation using the guidance provided by the Table of Duties in the Small Catechism. We need to learn from the master practitioners of pastoral care throughout the history of the Church.  We are not the first to learn marriage can be difficult for two sinners.  Surely the fathers who have come before us have insight to share – insight that is less laden with spirituality of our own age.

Finally, the Church must be ready to suffer with Christ.  Homosexual marriage will bring hardships upon the Church.  If we continue to confess what God’s Word says about homosexuality, the time will come when we will have to pay the price for this confession.  Naturally we need to look to the promises of God’s Word as we prepare for this challenge. We also need to become friends again with the saints who have gone before us – the martyrs and confessors.  We need to learn their stories so that we can see how God’s grace was at work in their lives, and so that we can learn from their examples of faith and confession.

It is Christ’s Church and he has promised that as she lives a life of faith that confesses him “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).  Nourished by his Means of Grace we will be able to walk the way our Lord sets before us praying “Come Lord Jesus!” Until that Day we must live in the confidence of the apostle Paul’s words:

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us (Romans 5:1-5).

About Norm Fisher

Norm was raised in the UCC in Connecticut, and like many fell away from the church after high school. With this background he saw it primarily as a service organization. On the miracle of his first child he came back to the church. On moving to Texas a few years later he found a home in Lutheranism when he was invited to a confessional church a half-hour away by our new neighbors.

He is one of those people who found a like mind in computers while in Middle School and has been programming ever since. He's responsible for many websites, including the Book of Concord,, and several other sites.

He has served the church in various positions, including financial secretary, sunday school teacher, elder, PTF board member, and choir member.

More of his work can be found at


Great Stuff — Homosexual marriage changes nothing and it changes everything: A post-mortem on marriage in American culture — 15 Comments

  1. Personally, I don’t think gay marriage is completely inevitable (remember the secular media always exaggerates the demise of the conservative right & religion), although there is a lot of momentum on the other side. There is a pressing need for clarity on this issue, and let’s not forget how the tide has been curbed on the abortion issue, where gains have been made with incremental legislation.I argued this issue on my blog too, and our best position is arguing a clear definition is what’s best for the poor.

  2. Ever since the introduction and cultural acceptance of contraception things have become dreadful for the institution of marriage. Where is God in all of this? I can only imagine that somehow his will (as mysterious as ever) is still being done. Or perhaps, he’s not on our side at all.

  3. @Pastor Ted Crandall #3
    Where was this article when I needed it?! It’s a good one that I will pass on when I come across this argument with friends. I would also want to ask those in favor of homosexual marriage whose authority they submit to. I submit to the authority of the Bible–but who’s their ultimate authority for determining what’s right or wrong? Would they be able to answer that question?

  4. Good article. I’d like, however, to read a posting from Norm or one of the other writers on what may be the true upcoming problem: our total loss of religious freedom. See, for instance,
    which compares where the U.S. is going to where Denmark, Iceland, and Sweden are now.
    What will the LCMS do when the governments demands that our churches perform marriages of gays, polygamists, and every other kind of deviant – or else (to start) lose their tax-exempt status and (at the end) go to jail? The contraception mandate in Obamacare was just the start. is another good article describing the rise of the anti-religious left in America. One of the most telling comments appearing here and in the other articles concerning homosexual “marriage” on AT and elsewhere is that the Christians “are not standing up to this barrage: [practicing] pacifism and retreat[ing] into their subculture.”


    Are we going to retreat into our subculture? Are we simply going to pull our heads in and wait for Judgement day?

  5. Paul of Alexandria :What will the LCMS do when the governments demands that our churches perform marriages of gays, polygamists, and every other kind of deviant – or else (to start) lose their tax-exempt status and (at the end) go to jail? The contraception mandate in Obamacare was just the start.

    If worse comes to worse, the Church may have to go underground as it was in pagan Rome, and as it is in modern China. But we will press on! But we should do everything possible to try to slow down (and even reverse, if that were possible) the West’s slide into antichrist totalitarianism. But ultimately it is in God’s hands, as are our very lives. Do not lose faith as Satan and his servants would have us do.

    You are correct about future attempts to force churches to perform sodomite “marriages”:

    “Homosexual activists are lobbying to change the law hoping that, in the future, churches may be forced to host gay civil partnership services.

    At present the gay lobby group Stonewall is seeking an amendment to the Equality Bill which will allow churches to host the services if they wish.

    But Ben Summerskill, head of Stonewall, said: ‘Right now, faiths shouldn’t be forced to hold civil partnerships, although in ten or 20 years, that may change.’” [End of quotation]

  6. #4 Kitty :Ever since the introduction and cultural acceptance of contraception things have become dreadful for the institution of marriage. Where is God in all of this? I can only imagine that somehow his will (as mysterious as ever) is still being done. Or perhaps, he’s not on our side at all.

    Thank you, “#4 Kitty,” for giving us more evidence of your apostasy and support for homosexuality, abortion, etc., as if we needed any more. For the benefit of everyone here, I will direct you to “kitty’s” previous comments denigrating the Holy Scriptures, Confessional Lutheranism, and us personally:

    Why should this be concerning? Because “#4 Kitty” is a member of an LCMS church, or so she claims. If we even have unrepentent heretics on the LCMS clergy roster, like Matthew Becker, Karl Wyneken, and David Benke, then it isn’t surprising that there would be even more among the laity, like “kitty,” Paul Simon, Andy Manar, etc. I have no doubt that “kitty’s” pastor is well aware of her views, and refuses to discipline her or call her to repentence and saving faith in Christ. He may hold to the same views, and thus be an apostate himself, but even if he doesn’t, he has openly rebelled against the Scriptures and deserves to have is ordination status revoked. But the LCMS won’t do it if they won’t revoke the ordination status of open apostates like Becker and Wyneken. The LCMS has a long way to go.

    In any case, I don’t believe that the moderators should continue to give trolls like “#4 Kitty” a platform to continue to insult our Scriptures, our beliefs, and us personally. We respond to them, but they are only here to mock and inflame.

  7. @#4 Kitty #10

    Laugh it up, apostate, and continue to fill up your cup. The day is coming when you and your negligent, goat-herding “pastor” will be expelled from the LCMS. It’s a shame that you don’t even have the integrity to leave of your own accord.

    Here is why we are still plagued by people like Kitty, Becker, Wyneken, Benke, Domsch, Kieschnick, Seidler, Daystar, OWN, et al:

  8. Nicholas

    This is exactly why I called this board “the bottom feeders of the confessional movement” on another blog. That you directed people to that post is fine – it was meant to be seen by people here. Yes, I was wrong to use that phrase – and i apologize. But i was angry because this board prevents the exercise of the pastoral office and belittles the work of the ministry of God

    But dragging in posts from all over the place to directly attack another poster is wrong, especially when Kitty has never been reluctant to post her own opinion.

    Calling her directly “apostate” on an open board is wrong.

    As is continuing to question repentance after he has been publicly forgiven by a pastor, as has been over and over again with the pastor in Newton by posters on this board.

    When Rev. Benke joined in the interfaith service following 9/11, I was not afraid to say that false religions worship demons in the Lutheran Witness. And I took a lot of flack for that. But once President Kieshnick gave public absolution, the discussion of his repentance was inappropriate and a questioning of the office of the keys – I refrained from the firestorm of debate over whether he was “really repentant” or not. If we are to uphold the office of the keys, pastors must be willing to drop such questions and refuse to allow that kind of discussion on blogs they control.

    Yes, the issues must be debated and discussed – we are where we are today because we have not dealt with the theology of such events – BUT THE QUESTION OF THE INDIVIDUAL’S REPENTANCE IS NOT – REPEAT – IS NOT OPEN TO DISCUSSION.

    What is most disturbing is posts allowed on this blog actually prevent the very Christian discipline that pastors here pretend to support.

    The first step of Christian discipline is for the pastor to try and win the person over gently.

    That becomes impossible when unregulated discussion boards hosted by “confessional” pastors make the issue into a national issue and allow posters to call for the immediate excommunication of offenders as was done with the legislator in Illinois. Excommunication is the end result of the process, not the first step. And when it becomes impossible to take the first step, it is impossible to exercise Christian discipline. If I had been that man’s pastor I would have immediately posted here “homosexual marriage is an oxymoron and a sin. But since these posters have chosen to whine and cry for excommunication before I have had a chance to exercise Christian discipline, NO FURTHER ACTION WILL BE TAKEN ON THIS MATTER!” And I vigorously defend my member from the breaking of the 8th commandment that so often occurs here by putting the best construction on what he did. that would be the ONLY action a pastor could take given the behavior of those posting here.

    Again, the issue must be discussed. Attacks on an individual can not be allowed.

    That such attacks as those you are making are allowed on this board instead of a discussion of the issue clearly shows how far this board has fallen. It is time to change the attitude of this discussion board. Once a discussion board prevents the exercise of the pastoral office it is time for the moderators to repent or to close up shop and go home.

  9. “Those making comments are reminded to temper their words and deal with the substance of the debate, not the personalities involved.” – BJS Editors

    “We do censor inappropriate foul language and incessant personal attacks but for the most part we have allowed comments to stand.” –  BJS Editors

    I believe in recent weeks there has been improved monitoring, but the incessant personal attacks seem to continue and often dominate.  Such attacks are boring, annoying and add nothing to the quality of the debate. It is further alarming if they prevent exercise of the pastoral office.

  10. Comments on BJS cannot “prevent the exercise of the pastoral office.” That is a lie. If Andy Manar has not been called to repentance or disciplined in any way, then Manar’s pastor has rebelled against the Scriptures, in which case Manar’s pastor would be deserving of having his ordination status revoked.

    And pointing out Kitty’s previous comments calling the Holy Scriptures “forgeries”, and her support for the murder of unborn children and homosexuality, is not a personal attack.

    And John Rixe, thanks for revealing that you are only here to “debate.” I got that impression when you constantly defended Robert Morris’s spiritual prostitution in the whorehouse of heathenism in Newtown. You best go hang out at ALPB and Transverse Markings instead.

  11. @Rev. Mathew Andersen #11:
    “As is continuing to question repentance after he has been publicly forgiven by a pastor, as has been over and over again with the pastor in Newton by posters on this board.”

    You made the same misleading claim in #48, March 10, 2013. Jim Hamilton, #16, corrected your claim:

    How could Matt Harrison have “forgiven” Pastor Morris for his unionism and syncretism? Pastor Morris has never apologized for it and continues to defend his actions. I don’t understand why this simple fact continues to be obscured, especially by LCMS pastors, who presumably are opposed to syncretism and unionism.

    Your misleading claim is even contradicted by Pres. Harrison, who noted on his video: “Pastor Morris issued a very kind apology, not for participating. He was quite convinced that what he did was correct, but he did apologize for the offense given, and it was given to some in our Synod. ”

    Rev Andersen, you then make another claim: “When Rev. Benke joined in the interfaith service following 9/11, I was not afraid to say that false religions worship demons in the Lutheran Witness. And I took a lot of flack for that. But once President Kieshnick gave public absolution, the discussion of his repentance was inappropriate and a questioning of the office of the keys “

    I’ll leave it to others to determine how much courage there is for a Missouri Synod Lutheran anouncing in a Missouri Synod publication that false religions worship demons.

    However, your claim about Kieschnick giving public absolution is, sadly again, a misleading statement. Pres. Benke apologized, asked for forgiveness, and received absolution for the same action for which Rev. Morris apologized and received Pres. Harrison’s acceptance. In the 2004 President’s Report to the Synod) (p.65) and in an audio recording President Kieschnick stated:

    Here are the exact words of Dr. Benke himself, originally posted on Jan. 4, 2002, online [Response to Charges, p. 3] and in print since that date, and referenced in my memo to the Synod almost two years ago:

    “I made a pledge very early on to take seriously those who differed with me. So in the area of specific wording, to whoever has had problems and criticisms, I am sorry that I didn’t get the words out more clearly or accurately or completely. Although it was never intentional, I know that my words have offended some in my denomination, and for that offense I apologize, sincerely, and ask for forgiveness.”

    David H. Benke
    January 4, 2002

    In the audio recording (approximately 31m30s into the tape) President Kieschnick immediately states:

    “As your ecclesiastical supervisor, Dr. Benke, as I have spoken to you before so I do so again this day assuring you of the forgiveness that you have requested, in the name of the Father, of the Son, of the Holy Spirit.”

    In both cases apologies for offending others were given and accepted, and the offending parties (and their sycophants) denied any other wrongdoing.

    What is different between the two cases is that a complaint was originally filed against President Kieschnick, which the CCM deflected with a vacuous opinion. It was then that official complaints were filed against Benke himself. So far, no official complaints have been filed against President Harrison, President Yeadon, or Rev. Morris.

    Even though Luther said, ” “What is it, if for the good and sake of the Christian church, one should tell a good strong lie?”, it is not right to make up revisionist history to fit the perceived needs of today, even if it is a synodical election year.

  12. The history of the transformation of marriage from an estate instituted by God, and recognized as such in law, to a mere contract, is instructive. In a nutshell, it was heterosexuals who began this change. The seed for the destruction of marriage was sown long ago, by selfish, lustful heterosexuals who passed so-called “no fault” divorce “reforms”. By fundamentally redefining the institution, its demise was all but guranteed.

    Recently the Virginia General Assembly revoked the prohibition against Cohabitation. The Senate voted unanimously to repeal the law, including one senator who styles himself a “Christian Conservative” champion. Some in the House voted against repeal.

    My point is that these things would not happen except for the sin of the heterosexual majority.RD

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.