September 27, 2016 (Public Discourse) — Up until now, I’ve used only secular arguments involving logic, reason, and experience to address the issue of same-sex marriage. That’s how I first came to think about the issue. But as I explained at Public Discourse last year, once I began thinking, reasoning, and examining my life, an extraordinary thing happened: I couldn’t stop. Reason led me to acknowledge natural law, which led me to begin rejecting some of my former ways of thinking and acting. Reason then led me to recognize God.
I am now a Christian, and even though I am same-sex attracted—or, more likely, because I am same-sex attracted—I marvel at the extraordinary significance of marriage in God’s eternal plan. Marriage is under siege because it stands at the heart of the Good News of the Gospel.
I am neither a philosopher nor a theologian, and I possess no advanced degree, but I try to be an informed observer and reasoning contributor as best I can. As a former apologist for the sexual revolution, and as a gay man who once promoted same-sex marriage, here’s what I’ve concluded.
No matter what you read or hear, the heart of the battle over the redefinition of marriage and genderlessness in culture is not found in our courts, legislatures, ballot boxes, or media. This is not a tug of war between political parties, between left and right, conservative and liberal. Likewise, this is not a battle of “gay versus straight.” And while focusing on religious liberty is an absolutely necessary pursuit, if it stands by itself, it too misses the mark.
Taken as a whole, this is a war of one kingdom against another. At its heart, this is a spiritual battle.
Accepting this as a spiritual battle has profound personal ramifications. We must each examine and deal with our own spiritual passivity and culpability in casually embracing the ways of the world. Each of us bears responsibility. This battle hinges on one thing: the creation of a vibrant marriage culture based on the participation of millions of individuals who value and commit themselves to the spiritual truth about marriage. These people must commit themselves not only to the structural, traditional aspects of marriage, but also to its vitally important spiritual component. The future rests on our shoulders—yours and mine.
Many now chide those of us who oppose the notion of same-sex marriage, telling us, “The battle over marriage has been decided. Move on.” And for the time being, as a political reality, this may be true. However, there is a much larger, far more important reality that must be acknowledged: spiritual reality. While the political battle may be over for a brief time, the spiritual battle is just beginning.