Bible Answers 05-06-11

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“Is there anything in the Bible that might allow for same-sex marriage?”—Mark

The Bible is unabashedly straightforward: the ideal for marriage is heterosexual. There are admittedly various forms of marriage in the Bible that may not meet the definition of what is often called the “traditional family” (e.g., multiple wives, concubinage, close degrees of marriage between half-siblings, cousins, et al).
Furthermore, wedding “ceremonies,” as we moderns practice them, do not appear in Scripture. The arranged marriages and politically and religiously motivated unions found there are rarely openly endorsed or forcefully proscribed by Scripture.
This fact, however, does not sidestep the fundamental biblical understanding that God’s idea is one man and one woman for life in a “one-flesh” relationship (Gen. 2:24). This ideal reflects a deeper truth: maleness and femaleness are subsumed in the image of God (Gen. 1:26ff). The intimate connectedness of male and female in every dimension of their relationship and responsibility in the world (regarding both procreation and stewardship of the earth, Gen. 1:27) finds its basis in His very nature as the triune God. Husband (male) and wife (female) are assumed as “the norm” for marriage throughout the Bible (see, for example, Dt. 20:7; Pr. 18:22; 31; I Cor. 7:1-16; Eph. 5:22-33; I Tim. 5:1-16; Heb.13:4).
This is not to say that two people who define themselves as having a homosexual orientation cannot love each other or be committed to one another. What it does say is that such a homosexual relationship cannot by definition fulfill the biblical understanding of the intent and purposes of the one-flesh (heterosexual) union.  
Though some may attempt to construct an argument to support same-sex marriage, the Bible offers no help in such efforts (see the “holiness code” of Leviticus 18; 20; see also Rom. 1:18ff; I Cor. 6:9ff; I Tim. 1:8-11).