As many of you know, I am candidating for the postion of Pastor at Eganville Baptist Church. The vote is December 11 (prayers appreciated). They recently had me up to do a Q&A session on various theological topic. I've decided to post these here in order to foster fellowship/conversation etc...
Some answers may be edited from the original.
Where do you stand on gay marriage?
This was the first of what I called the "fun questions"
There are two kinds of marriage there is "Legal Marriage" and "Sacramental Marriage". Legal marriages then, are whatever the State (in our case Canada) says it is. In Canada, the legal definition reads:
"Marriage, for civil purposes, is the lawful union of two persons to the exclusion of all others."
Legal marriage, then, is a contract. Entered into freely by two people who have decided to become legally married for whatever reason. A legal marriage is also relatively easy to end. Here in Canada, for example a marriage can be ended by three main means: 1) Adultery 2) Physical or mental Cruelty or 3) After having lived separately for a year. It's that easy.
Sacramental Marriage, then, as the name suggests, must conform to the biblical paradigm of marriage as set out by God and not legal authority. We know that God created sacramental marriage to be between a man and a woman, so in that regard, a “gay marriage” is not sanctioned by God and cannot be recognized by the church and is by definition, impossible but when it comes to purely legal marriage, in a secular setting, I tolerate it because we can not hold unbelievers to the same moral absolutes we place upon believers. The concept of marriage that we see today is all cultures and religions is a part of common Grace, a gift given by God to all of His creation. Marriage has extra layers for the believer, this is true, but to call marriage a strictly "Christian" word is a misunderstanding of God's provision to all people.