David Dunn recently wrote an incredibly insightful post about gay marriage and how many Christians are calling on the government to help us protect the “sanctity of marriage.” He says in his article that doing is basically making an idol of the state. I couldn’t agree more! Here is an excerpt from the article he wrote:
New York’s recent legalization of gay marriage is being hailed by many as a watershed moment in the history of the fight for equal rights for same sex couples. Whatever the long-term consequences of this decision may be, chances are, in the near term, it will be met with increased opposition from Christian conservatives. Their efforts, which reveal a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of marriage, are misguided at best and sinful at worst. There will always be Christians who oppose “homosexuality” on moral grounds, but enlisting the state to protect “the sanctity of marriage” is a mistake. Such efforts demonstrate a fundamental – even idolatrous – misunderstanding of the meaning of “holy matrimony,” effectively denying Christ by vesting the state with divine authority.
California’s infamous Proposition 8 and similar measures sure to make it onto the ballots during next year’s election fall prey to the so-called Constantinian temptation. When Constantine legalized Christianity in the early fourth century, some began to see an almost godlike authority in the state. An increasing number of Christians found it difficult to tell the difference between the things that belong to Caesar and the things that belong to God.
Yet, despite their confusion, those earlier Christians generally knew there was a difference between God and the state, even if they could not always tell where it was. Our sin is worse. Today’s Christian conservatives seem to be worshiping America, or at least a certain idea of it, when they ask the government to protect the “sanctity” of marriage. In doing this, they have vested the state with the power to sanctify.