Is same-sex marriage a matter of adiaphora?
A number of pastors have expressed the view that same-sex marriage is a matter of indifference, adiaphora. Is that the case? The following definition is taken from the oxford on-line dictionary:
Adiaphoron – usually in plural [adiaphora]. An issue or practice not considered to be central to religion, especially Christianity; a religious matter that allows latitude, a non-essential element of the faith. Also, something of a morally neutral nature; a thing which is neither inherently good nor bad.
Is same-sex marriage neither good nor bad? Is it morally neutral in nature? In describing matters of indifference frequently that has been demonstrated by topics like it doesn’t really matter what color the carpet is in the church. Is same-sex marriage in the same category as the color of the carpet? I would think that if many people who experience same-sex attractions were polled they would not be likely to consider it adiaphora. As Dr. Brownson has pointed out, some people can only see themselves as being sexually involved with a person of the same sex. They desire sex so much that they do not consider it possible to remain celibate. For them it is an extremely difficult and important matter.
Historically the Christian church has understood any and all same-sex erotic acts such as would prevent a person from inheriting the kingdom of God (I Corinthians 6:9). It would condemn a person to hell for eternity. From either side one looks at the matter, it would not be considered adiaphora. This is why there is such an energized debate over the matter going through much of the Christian church today. For those who consider Scripture as our only standard for faith and practice, it is justified to spend much time and effort towards properly understanding what exactly Scriptures prohibit and what they don’t. There are some studies being published these days claiming that those involved in same-sex relationships have a higher likelihood of depression and suicide. Statistics indicate this is the case even in countries such as the Netherlands where same-sex relationships are widely accepted. The stakes are high and the reward for correctly understanding the Word of God is major in scope. At this point it appears that greater likelihood of depression and suicide as well as eternal salvation are at stake. This being the case, it is our belief that it is not true that this is “neither good nor bad,” this is not “morally neutral in nature.”
If you would like to submit some additional thoughts to be considered for posting on this page be sure to utilize the contact us link above.