Summer Sale Extended! Get unlimited digital access for 13 weeks for $13.
News Opinion

Jesus opposed same-sex marriage

"What would Jesus do?" The Sun's Dan Rodricks asked recently in reference to same-sex marriage ("Same-sex unions: What would Jesus do?" Oct. 25). He was highly upset by remarks made by a local Baptist preacher regarding a New Testament Bible verse, Romans 1:32, that states that homosexuality, along with other sins, "is worthy of death." The short answer is, according to both Old and New Testaments, in scores of verses too numerous to cite here, all sin is worthy of death.

But the writer took it upon himself to inform us how Jesus felt about the matter, explaining that although he isn't a scholar of the New Testament, nor does he know or feel inclined to be informed about Old Testament teachings, "I know in my bones what Jesus was about." Jesus was about the truth, which he said unequivocally: "For this cause I came into the world, to bear witness of the truth. Every one that is of the truth hears my voice" (John 18:37). Truth is not something one feels in his bones, but it is to understand with the heart, accept, and apply the teachings of Jesus Christ to his life.

While the writer referred to the Golden Rule and the Sermon on the Mount and their unparalleled teachings of hope and love, neither of these speak directly to marriage. Why not cite the passages where Jesus did specifically address the subject of marriage?

In Matthew 19, certain religious skeptics came to him with the motivation to ensnare him in his words. They asked him "whether it was lawful for a man to divorce his wife for every cause," which many were doing. They referred to what Old Testament law said about divorce, but Jesus bypassed this and went straight to the heart of the matter — to the beginning when God instituted marriage: "Have you not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they two shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more two, but one flesh." Then he added this stern warning: "What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder." This inaugural design, which Jesus espoused, obviates adultery, polygamy, and homosexuality.

Jesus referred back to Genesis 1-3 and the creation of man and woman. God created the man and then he created the woman out of the man: "and brought her unto the man" (Genesis 2:22). God did not bring a man to a man; nor did he bring a woman to a woman. Then God blessed them and said: "Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion…" (Genesis 1:28). There is no way that either two men or two women can multiply without bringing in a third party of the opposite sex. God's design for marriage establishes equality, monogamy and heterosexuality.

It is clearly stated in both Old and New Testaments that all sin carries the death penalty. The good news is, God hates sin, but he loves sinners. God is a righteous judge, and this requires consequences for breaking his laws. Jesus Christ did not come to rescind the death penalty for sin, or he would have circumvented the justice of God, making his laws a mockery. Rather, he came to suffer the punishment, to fulfill the sentence of death on our behalf, and was executed on the cross. Romans 6:23: "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

As recent events have shown, those who dare to act on their convictions against same-sex marriage, even in a civilized, legal use of their freedom of speech and freedom of religion, are more often the ones who are "persecuted because of righteousness."

Sharon A. Knotts, Baltimore

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Marriage equality can't wait

    Marriage equality can't wait

    In 1967 when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down laws banning interracial marriage in Loving v. Virginia, there was not a single dissent. Never mind that Virginia's anti-miscegenation statute had been in the books since 1924. The justices unanimously found discrimination in the institution of marriage...

  • How will Kennedy vote on same-sex marriage?

    How will Kennedy vote on same-sex marriage?

    As a long-time civics teacher I follow the Supreme Court's decisions very carefully. I have long admired Justice Anthony Kennedy because he is the swing vote on the court and his decisions are often unpredictable.

  • Court's silence on marriage speaks volumes [Editorial]

    Court's silence on marriage speaks volumes [Editorial]

    Our view: Same-sex marriage is set to be legal in a majority of states, making eventual Supreme Court victory appear inevitable

  • Religious beliefs can't excuse discrimination

    Religious beliefs can't excuse discrimination

    A recent suggestion that some people should be exempt from serving gays because of their religious beliefs is nonsense. If you are licensed to provide a service or employed by the government to do so, you are required to perform that service without unlawful discrimination. Neither government employment...

  • Equality in Alabama

    Equality in Alabama

    These are heady days for advocates of marriage equality. The Supreme Court is due to hear arguments this spring in a group of cases that could settle the question of a national Constitutional right to same-sex marriage, and this week, a decision not to enter a stay on the enforcement of a federal...

  • Yes, some people do follow the Bible to the letter

    Yes, some people do follow the Bible to the letter

    In his recent column ("The conservative case for same-sex marriage," March 29), Eddie Zipperer gives three reasons why conservatives should favor same sex marriage. I find his second, poking fun at the Bible, to be both offensive and ignorant.

  • Get states out of the marriage business

    Get states out of the marriage business

    In light of the recent Supreme Court on same sex marriage being protected under the Constitution ("Freedom to marry," June 27), there is now a movement afoot in Montana by a Mormon, Nathan Collier, who is legally married to Vicki, to be allowed to marry his second wife, Christine. Many have predicted...

  • Selective reading of Leviticus won't justify bigotry

    Selective reading of Leviticus won't justify bigotry

    Letter writer Adam Goldfinger objected to Eddie Zipperer's references to Leviticus and states that he does indeed try to follow the laws in this book ("Yes, some people do follow the bible to the letter," April 3). I find myself wondering how many people Mr. Goldfinger has personally stoned to...