TGC (The Gospel Coalition) hosts a brief essay by Darrell Bock on “6 common but mistaken claims” about same-sex marriage. One argument against same-sex marriage is  the utility of heterosexual marriages in bearing children. However, he admits there are weaknesses in this line of reasoning against same-sex marriage (e.g., heterosexual couples who can not or choose not to have kids).

Bock points to another reason heterosexual unions are part of God’s initial design, namely, to steward God’s creation as God’s image-bearers. If this is on mark (and I believe it is), same-sex marriages are somehow detrimental to the environment and are not eco-friendly. How this is so, Bock does not say, but I believe it has merit and should be further developed.

Included in the idea of “environment” are the “future people” of our world. Bock shows that same-sex marriage ends up disrespecting both genders in that it teaches children that one or the other of the sexes are unnecessary for a “healthy” childhood.

Read carefully his responses below.

Claim 5: Same-sex marriage doesn’t harm anyone, so it’s morally acceptable and people should have the right to choose what to do.

This is one argument that’s not so much biblical as it is logical. Often the church’s response has been that human design reveals the wrongness of homosexuality because of childbearing. A same-sex couple cannot produce a child. But what does that say about singles or couples who do not or cannot bear children? That rebuttal is fair. Marriage isn’t just about providing children, nor is sex merely for procreation. The Song of Songs lifts up love in marriage as having its own merit, as do many psalms and proverbs.

But here’s another place where surfacing gender in its distinction matters. In Genesis 1 and 2, God’s creation of male and female as a complementary pair—a pairing of another in person but not gender, both made in God’s image—is seen as part of God’s design. That image involves both male and female. Marriage depicts their mutual cooperation in a designed diversity to steward God’s creation. This is seen as creation’s pinnacle since it is the context in which God calls us to manage the world well. Part of that creation design is about the nurturing of future people, where respect for each gender is entailed and appreciated.

I ask a hard question now sincerely: how is respect and appreciation for both genders enhanced, affirmed, and modeled in same-sex marriage? It doesn’t even have the potential for showing it. In a somewhat ironic sense given our desire to be politically correct, same-sex marriage is discriminatory, for only one gender counts in the relationship.

Nevertheless, people do have the right to choose whom they live with and are morally responsible before God for their choices. In the end he will judge us—heterosexual or homosexual—for how we’ve lived in these areas, regardless of our national laws. The church’s plea has been motivated not by hate or fear, but out of a genuine belief that how we choose to live in this most basic of relationships affects our society for good or ill. So we should choose wisely, both individually and as a people. For those who trust Scripture, this means walking in line with the design and standards God says are best for love and flourishing.

Read the whole thing here.

I could say much more, such as how same-sex relationships/marriages deface and disfigure the imago Dei, thus becoming a form of idolatry. When we color outside the biblical lines, or remove the lines altogether, then we set ourselves over and above God’s intended design and worship self (which is why idolatry and same-sex activity is linked in Romans 1:18ff). Or I could mention how same-sex relationships/attraction subtly deprecates love by reducing it to sexuality and fails to appreciate and enhance the “otherness” of the opposite sex. What “wins” is not love but “lust” (contra Obama’s tweet–how silly!).

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