The issue of marriage will be an increasingly prevalent topic of debate in Australia.
All the better for Christians to do their thinking now.
Up front: I believe that marriage was cre­ated and insti­tuted by God, and He defines what con­sti­tutes one, namely one man and one woman in the Bible.
I can appreciate that others believe marriage is a socially cre­ated con­struct, and that society can define what marriage is.
I think at some stage Chris­t­ian churches will find them­selves in a sit­u­a­tion where all unions will be reg­is­tered civilly and where some of those with civilly reg­is­tered unions will come to churches and be mar­ried.
If the gov­ern­ment want to reg­is­ter and give equiv­a­lent legal recog­ni­tion to rela­tion­ships of two peo­ple of the same gen­der (which is their cur­rent posi­tion, I think) then a sec­u­lar soci­ety may endorse that posi­tion, and prob­a­bly will.
In the mean­time there is a broader dis­cus­sion about the def­i­n­i­tion of mar­riage that Chris­tians, as part of soci­ety, are enti­tled to be involved in, and I believe that there are reasons why marriage should be recognised as distinct, and other committment relationships should be recognised as something else.
Should mar­riage no longer be under­stood as involv­ing one woman and one man, but any two humans, does any ground remain for the num­ber ‘two’ or the qual­i­fi­ca­tion ‘human’ to be con­sid­ered inte­gral to the com­pact. What about the ‘traditional’ concept of ‘to the exclusion of all others?’
If all of these elements are considered non-essential or changeable, what is left of marriage? And what would a society that embraced these changes look like in a couple of generations?*
There may be an inclination by some to instantly label these sorts of concerns as being alarmist or worst case scenarios or the technique of someone who is implacably opposed to change.
Well, I’ve stated my position at the beginning. But again, if society is going to place one of its foundational elements up for change, it needs to think about what the change might bring. There are competing agendas behind this push for change.
Some want it because they wish to fit more naturally within the society to which they belong. I can empathise with that desire.
Others want it because they see it as a means to completely and radically reconstruct the society of which we are all a part.

John Armstrong has written the first of a series of posts on the issue. He explores the themes I’ve mentioned, and provides some references to source materials that show that what might be considered by some as worst case alarmism is already being advocated by some.

This post carries no negative reflections toward anyone and comments of an abusive tone to anyone will not be published.

*The content of the paragraphs above have been excerpted and slightly modified from a couple of responses to a post by Nathan Campbell on St. Eutychus.

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