Monday, 26 April 2010

The divine original

Yesterday I preached on marriage and divorce from Mark 10:1-12 - the message can be downloaded from Here are a few thoughts following that.

Marriage is an illustration of why the doctrine of diviine creation is so important. After all, what is marriage?

Is it whatever society wants it to be? Is it a human creation, that we can mould and shape to the preferences of the hour? These questions have to be answered before we can even discuss ideas like "gay marriage", because they lie underneath them.

Jesus teaches us that to know what marriage is, and how it should operate, we must go back to the divine original. The original marriage was a prototype, a pattern for others to follow. Adam could not send Eve away without sending himself away; her creation from one of his ribs illustrated a permanent principle: that in marriage the two are intended to permanently be one. He could not take another wife, because there were no others to take: God made him one wife, not three. He could not take a man as his wife, because God made him an Eve to complete him, not a Steve. God set a binding pattern for us to follow - not to adjust according to the spirit of the age. Without the strong doctrine of divine creation, all of this falls apart. Attempts to re-sculpt marriage are basically atheism: they deny that there is any God who has set out a way for us to follow.

The fact that Western society's rejection of Biblical marriage has coincided with Western society's family breakdown is not a coincedence. Because we do live in God's creation and not the fantasy land of our own imaginations, if we don't follow the lines that God prescribed for us, things don't quite work. I might like to imagine in my head that my Land Rover Mark III is a nippy little BMW Mini, but if I actually try to live out that belief on the road it won't work out well for any of us. Rather, I need to drive it the way the designer intended. In the sexual revolution, the West decided that we can drive off a cliff and land safely at the bottom, simply because we wish it to be so. It's not working, and it never will. Sexual freedom is enjoyed not when we become slaves to whatever desire strikes us next (how could it ever be so?) It is enjoyed within the safety and protection of the limits that God set for us, and nowhere else: when we are free to have all that God wanted for us, protected from what he did not.

No comments: