Verbatim response to the DOMA decision by the U.S. Supreme County written by Associate Professor of Exegetical Theology Peter J. Scaer and distributed Friday by Concordia Theological Seminary:
We are greatly saddened to hear that the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, has struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). This is yet another example of our nation's moral blindness and our fallen culture. The days ahead look to be difficult, and we must again dedicate ourselves to God's Word and to God's will, trusting always in the mercy and forgiveness of our Lord Jesus Christ.
As we meditate on God's Word, we recognize that the issue of same-sex marriage takes us back to creation. Having created the earth and all that is in it, God then created man in His own image (Gen. 1:26). God first formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathing into his nostrils the breath of life, Adam became a living creature (Genesis 2:7). Seeing that it was not good for man to be alone, He then formed Eve from Adam's side. Adam immediately saw that Eve was like him, and yet, in a wonderful way, different. Therefore, Adam offered up a word of thanksgiving, saying, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man" (Gen. 2:23).
So it is, Adam and Eve were made for each other, and from their complementary differences, the human race has come into being. From this special union alone, two become a creative whole. The creation of Adam and Eve became God's model for marriage. As we read in Genesis, "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh" (Gen. 2:24). From this one flesh union God continues His glorious act of creation, bringing children into the world and then providing for the care of those children. Indeed, marriage reminds us that fathers and mothers are wonderful, but not interchangeable, gifts from God. Through marriage, God provides the best way for children to grow, thrive and prosper.
As our society moves towards the endorsement of so-called same-sex marriage, it needs to be said that the biblical witness against homosexuality is clear. The book of Leviticus speaks to this fact, (Lev. 20:13). St. Paul also calls homosexuality a sin (1 Cor. 6:9) and sees it as an example of our sinful, fallen nature (Rom. 1:18-32). The truth of marriage is expressed by our Lord Jesus Himself, who said, "But from the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female.' 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together let not man separate" (Mark 10:6-9).
In the face of opposition and ignorance, we are bound to confess the truth of marriage. And we must do so in charity and love. For we know that no sin is greater than another. We also know that the institution of marriage has long been under assault. Divorce is far too common, also among us Christians. It is also far too common for Christians to live together apart from marriage. There is much sin, and we all have reason to repent. We also recognize that all sins are forgiven and have been paid for by Christ. Therefore, as a church, we will continue to be a place of welcome for all sinners, knowing that one common sin infects us all, and knowing that our Lord's death is the payment for all the wrongs we have committed.
And so, we speak with charity and mercy. But we will not be silent. We will continue to proclaim God's truth. Admittedly the task is formidable. Our people are being bombarded daily with lies. Many, even
Christians, have never heard the truth of God's good gift of marriage. So, we will speak the truth and as we speak the truth, we will proclaim the Gospel, the good news of salvation. If we deny Christ's words, we deny Christ Himself. But when we confess the truth of marriage, so also do we confess the greater truth of Christ' love for His bride the Church. Indeed, heaven is a wedding feast (Matt. 22:1-14), and the Church is the bride, the wife of the Lamb (Rev. 21:9). This is wonderfully good news, tied up in God's glorious act of creation and the new creation which we have in Christ.
What the days ahead will bring, we do not know. We should prepare ourselves for difficult times. Christians supporting the biblical understanding of marriage should expect to be branded and slandered. This should come as no surprise, as we remember the words of our Lord, "Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely for My account" (Matt. 5:11). Yet, by God's grace, we will continue to be salt for the world and pray that Christ's light of love and mercy would continue to shine through us and in our church.
Dr. Peter J. Scaer
Concordia Theological Seminary
Fort Wayne, Indiana
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