Saturday, May 25, 2019

Love & marriage

An evangelical Christian publicly solicits advice about whether he should break off his engagement to a woman who believes abortion and homosexuality are morally licit. My response, though I'm sure others can do better:

1. I'm assuming you and others (e.g. friends, family, pastors) have already attempted to reason with her, but she still won't change her mind. If you haven't, of course, then this is something you should try to do if you wish to salvage the relationship. Try to graciously win her over to the truth. If you have tried, time and time again, but she remains unconvinced, then what more can you do? You can't reason with her if she doesn't wish to listen to reason.

2. Romantic love that motivates people toward marriage is wonderful. However, a good marriage can't be built solely out of romantic love. If romantic love is all there is, a marriage simply won't last. It'll be like fireworks fizzling out after all the champagne, toasts, kisses, and celebrations are finished. After the honeymoon period, there needs to be something that will give a marriage staying power. Staying power to last a lifetime. In short, what's most needed is fundamentally shared beliefs and values about the most important things in life. And nothing is more important in life than God. The God of the Bible, who is the one, true, and living God.

3. There are central issues and peripheral issues in Christianity. There are issues which Christians can agree to disagree on and issues which they can't or else it'd undermine what it means to be a Christian. Abortion and homosexuality are central issues.

a. Abortion is, at heart, about life, about neighbor-love, about loving and protecting life in the weakest and most vulnerable, i.e., babies. This reflects the character of the God of the Bible who protects the helpless, the weak, and so on. If she's willing to put her "right to choose" over and against the baby's "right to live", to prioritize personal autonomy over what's moral, then is that the kind of person you want to be your wife and the mother of your children? For example, wouldn't you be concerned she might abort your child behind your back if she decides it's inconvenient for her?

(By the way, I can cite medical and scientific literature demonstrating a zygote-embryo-fetus is a human life. All these terms are different stages of development but the same baby. It's like saying newborn, infant, toddler, child, teenager, young adult, adult, elderly. Just different terms for different stages in life but the same human being.)

b. As for homosexuality, as well as transgenderism and other related issues, the problem is this dives deeply into what it means to be human. To be male and female. To have been created in the image of God.

That's something secular society is confused about because they don't really believe in God. Of course, if God doesn't exist, then there's no objective universal foundation for "being" a human being. Not that I can see. If God doesn't exist, or at least if God's thoughts don't matter, then humans don't have a fixed fundamental nature of what it means to be a human being. We can decide for ourselves who or what it means to be human if we don't need to hear from God what it means to be human.

Hence, in essence, almost anything goes. You're a man who wants to have sex with other men? You're a woman who wants to have sex with other women? You're a man, but you want to be a woman? You're a woman, but you want to be a man? No problem, do whatever makes you happy. That's the basic mantra in secular society.

However, one need only look at the lives of homosexuals who have had plenty of sex with other homosexuals. Not to mention the lives of transgendered men and women who have become what they always wanted. Sure, like everyone, they put on a happy front, but their lives are often hollow and miserable on closer inspection.

And read what Rob Gagnon, Rosaria Butterfield, Vaughan Roberts, Christopher Yuan, and Jackie Hill-Perry have to say about homosexuality. Some of them were former homosexuals who became Christians.

4. You're already doubting yourself, asking if you're a "silly fundamentalist", and so on. As such, it seems to me if you marry her, then it's far more likely she'll have a liberalizing effect on your beliefs and values than the other way around. It's a story I've seen more than once with my own eyes. A husband gradually accommodates to his wife. He believes whatever she wants him to believe. He does whatever she wants him to do. He lets her be the boss. He thinks she'll be pleased. However, in the end, how much does she really respect him for believing or doing whatever she thinks best?

5. By contrast, if you do break off the engagement, it might make her see that you really do have beliefs and values you're willing to stand up for, even at great personal cost to you. It shows her, as heart-breaking as this would be for you and her, and as much as you love her, that you have a higher love and duty to God. This may or may not make her reconsider her own beliefs. That's not something you can or should count on. However, she won't be able to disrespect you for living up to your beliefs and values. If anything, it'll likely be the opposite: she may be sad, angry, upset, or worse, but she'll have good reason to respect you.


  1. He shd. definitely not marry her.

    Btw, do you realize that your wording in one para. gives the impression that Gagnon is a former homosexual? I've never heard this claim before. Is that what you meant to say?

    1. Apologies, you're right about Gagnon! Not what I meant to say. I'll change it.