Re: 'monogamous' rels.

Kenneth Piers (
Wed, 14 Aug 1996 11:43:52 EST5EDT

Paul wrote:

> I'll just offer one post on this subject and then (I hope) no more.
> Let's consider the question of "monogamous relationships", i.e. "gay
>marriage" from 3 viewpoints: Biblical, physical, and cultural.
> From the Biblical viewpoint, I think William Frix gave a pretty clear
>exposition of the relevant verses yesterday. He concluded:
>'The question is not whether the Bible speaks about homosexual acts. The
>question is whether or not a person believes the Bible is the Word
>of God.'
> Hence evasion or escape or rationalization or redefinition of the moral
>requirement is not consistent; the Bible says what it says.

REPLY: I acknowledge that understanding the texts that Frix alludes to in a manner that
permits monogamous relationships between honsexual perosns is difficult - especially
for those of us who are not biblical scholars or theologians. Yet there is significant
disagreement about how these texts are to be understood.

> From the physical viewpoint, (which will be equally relevant to believers
>and unbelievers), there is a rather obvious anatomical problem with same-sex
>relationships, not to mention the cell damage and enhanced possibility of
>disease when substitutes are used. And, of course, such a "marriage" doesn't
>produce children, so there is no concept of family.

REPLY: I don't see what this has to do with the argument. What two persons do in the
privacy of their own home, providing that such acts are done with mutuality and are not
injurious to the persons involved, should not really concern anyone else. Just because
two adults can not bear children does not prevent a permanent relationship between them.
Again whether or not we call such a relationship a marriage or a family is secondary.

> From the cultural viewpoint, anyone who walks through a large city will
>notice that the pleasure-seeking, innuendo-filled, shallow, hedonistic "gay"
>culture is quite different from the family-oriented culture of the suburbs.
> In short, "gay marriage" is an oxymoron.

REPLY: Isn't this exactly the situation that needs redemption? Certainly I don't want to
endorse the hedonistic, pleasure seeking, promiscuous, anything-goes sort of lifestyle
for homosexual persons that you allude to. Instead, the witness to persons who live in
such communities would be to call them to monogamous, committed, and enduring
relationships with their partner. Certainly there exist many homosexual couples who
already live in committed relationships and who do not participate in the sort of lifestyle
you refer to.

> If a person finds himself trapped with this condition, and wishes to follow
>Biblical morality, I think he should remember that "there is no temptation taken
>him but such as is common to man" (I Cor 10:13). True, not all have the gift of
>continence, but it does not follow that one MUST act out his desires socially.
>It's precisely the social consequences that are injurious -- morally, physically
>and culturally.
REPLY: I agree that an that an individual does not HAVE to act out sexual desires socially.
But the reality is that most persons do act out their sexual desires. Unfortunately, for
many in the homsexual community this involves engaging in behaviors that are both
dangerous and immoral. So what is the gospel message to individuals engaged in such
practices? A call to celibacy is certainly appropriate. But perhaps a call to committed
monogamy is also permissable and may be the best we can hope for.

Kenneth Piers e-mail:
Dept.of Chemistry and Biochemistry. ph. 616-957-6491
Calvin College fax: 616-957-6501
Grand Rapids. MI 49546
"... and withal he seemed bisier than he was..." - Chaucer