Why should we strongly defend the institution of Marriage?
Firstly, because its biblical. When I was President of NSW Council of Churches (Evangelical Churches), we made this clear statement that reflected the position of all mainline churches:
“The NSW Council of Churches has restated its view that the Australian Parliament should define marriage as the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.
Christians are guided by the teaching of the Bible, which never condones the marriage of persons of the same sex or other alternatives to the traditional norm, which is the union between a man and a woman. (Genesis 2:21-24, Matthew 19:4-6)
For practical purposes, marriage has been understood as a man-woman union since the dawn of time, and Australian law reflects that consensus.”
Because it is our Australian (Western) cultural and legal history that has made us strong in protecting families and marriage. The legal definition of marriage at Common Law was given by St James Wilde in Hyde V Hyde and Woodmansee (1866) – “Union for life of one man and one women to the exclusion of all others, as understood in Christendom”.
Those who are opposed to our Judeo-Christian heritage know that the prime attack must be focused on family and marriage.
Because the ramifications would be massive if the law was changed. Previously I wrote, it will not only be the family that will suffer, because as we have seen internationally where same sex marriage has been legislated, the Christian small businesses, wedding celebrants, schools and Christian tertiary institutions are persecuted and prosecuted if they fail to adhere to the new moral agenda.
For example, a small bakery that is owned by Christians, rightly serve everyone who comes into the shop and do so with grace and a smile. However, yet reserve the right to determine whose wedding they cater for as that directly associates them with a couple and as a business endorsement.
We know from the cases in America and elsewhere, that businesses that stand firm in this matter, find themselves before all sorts of tribunals and suffer financial retribution.
We need to stand strong as this is not the direction the world is taking, contrary to what the “fake news” suggests.
In a recent media interview I was asked why we don’t follow Ireland and Portugal in their stand on same sex marriage. I pointed out that 90% of the world’s population lives in countries where marriage is only between a male and a female. In fact, only 20 or so countries have taken the same sex marriage path. And we in Australia are constantly being told by our politicians, and rightly so, that Asia must be our focus for the future.
Asian nations are our neighbours in trade and culture. They provide our new immigrants. I said name me “one nation in Asia that has taken this path!” Why listen to Portugal! And in Ireland only one third of people voted so the vote hardly represents the will of the people.
Let us positively say yes to traditional marriage and the family. We are committed to supporting children and families in the God given way!
Rev Dr Ross Clifford AM is the Principal of Morling College (NSW Baptist) and author of numerous books many of which focus on Christian Apologetics. He is a Vice President of the Baptist World Alliance, President of the Asian Baptist Association, an acclaimed international preacher and speaker, a columnist in many Christian publications, winner of many national and international awards and for many years the Sunday evening Sydney Radio 2CH host. Ross is married to Bev, father and grand father.