The March issue of First Things includes a statement by the ecumenical group founded in 1994 by Richard John Neuhaus and Chuck Colson, Evangelicals and Catholics Together. Some of my favorite theologians, such as Timothy George and Kevin Vanhoozer, are members of the group today. The title of the statement is “The Two Shall Become One Flesh: Reclaiming Marriage.” While Evangelicals and Roman Catholics hold somewhat different views on the morality of contraception, the legitimacy of divorce, clerical celibacy, and the status of marriage as a sacrament of the Church, on the fundamental truth that marriage is a union based on the complementarity of male and female, they are fully united. Here is a particularly incisive section of the statement:

The crisis of marriage culture in our times now poses a direct and fundamental challenge to the very nature of marriage. By redefining marriage to allow a union between two persons of the same sex–Spouse 1 and Spouse 2–a kind of alchemy is performed, not merely on the institution, but on human nature itself. In such a world, the distinction between men and women is denied social recognition and marriage is no longer a unique bond uniting male and female. It becomes an instrument created by the state to give official status to the relationship between two generic human beings. In these circumstances, what the state defines as marriage no longer embodies God’s purposes in creation. An easy acceptance of divorce damages marriage; widespread cohabitation devalues marriage. But so-called same-sex marriage is a graver threat, because what is now given the name of marriage in law is a parody of marriage.

If you are interested in engaging this issue intelligently, carefully, biblically, I commend the statement by Evangelicals and Catholics Together. Here is the denouement:

Faithful Christian witness cannot accommodate itself to same-sex marriage. It disregards the created order, threatens the common good, and distorts the Gospel.

Spot on.

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