To pull a trick from Zrim’s bag, I think it’s time for a re-post, revised and expanded for our current times (because if the Outhouse is about anything, it’s about Relevance!)
Here’s a “proof” that confessional Reformed Christians should vote against gay marriage:
From WCF 24, “On Marriage and Divorce”:
1: Marriage is to be between one man and one woman; neither is it lawful for any man to have more than one wife, nor for any woman to have more than one husband, at the same time.
4: Marriage ought not to be within the degrees of consanguinity or affinity forbidden by the Word. Nor can such incestuous marriages ever be made lawful by any law of man or consent of parties, so as those persons may live together as man and wife.
Yes, paragraph 1 is addressing polygamy, and yes paragraph 4 is addressing incest; but it seems to me to be no stretch at all to assume that the divines would also agree that any marriage other than that which is “between one man and one woman,” cannot “ever be made lawful by any law of man.”
With respect to the linked pastor’s recommendation to his congregation:
Point one: It is not a sermon, it is a blog post.
Point the second: Although there may be room for more NL/2K language and historical perspective, there is careful language that, frankly, is much better than I would have expected from a mega-church:
I also want Summit members to know that our elder team believes there is room for disagreement on this. Whether or not homosexuality is sinful is not up for debate at our church, but sincere Christians might disagree on whether this particular amendment is helpful. Our unity at this church is built around the gospel and the things the Bible is clear about, and while the Bible is clear on the sinfulness of homosexuality, it does not tell us what government actions are appropriate. After having studied the issues surrounding the amendment, I am comfortable with supporting it and encourage you to, but I’ll leave that ultimately to you and your conscience.
Honestly, there is a tension we feel regarding this issue. We are here for the long haul. Long after this amendment question is settled, we’ll still be here, regardless of the outcome. We do not want our ministry to be defined by this issue. We want to be defined by the gospel and our love for the city and our willingness to lay down our lives for those who fundamentally disagree with what we stand for, just like Christ did. I have turned down a number of opportunities to debate this issue in the public square for just that reason—I don’t want this issue to define us as a church.
Numero Trois: This language is even more restrained and 2K than Westminster itself, which unqualifiedly asserts that naturally invalid marriages cannot “ever be made lawful by any law of man.”
IV. Usually legislation is a complex grab-bag of compromises, and between what the right hand is giving and the left hand is taking away, there’s a lot of room for Christians (indeed anybody) to vote with a clean conscience either way, depending on how they balance the competing priorities. However, in my own backyard Prop. 8 was so cut and dried that I don’t think it left any wiggle room. (Then again, I don’t know what is up for vote right now in North Carolina.)
E. Because this language is in WCF 24, Presbyterian pastors who want (even personally and privately) to vote for gay marriage (and there might be some) would be compelled to submit themselves to their presbyteries to determine whether their exception to WCF 24 “strikes at the vitals.” (I don’t think it does, but it so happens that I am not a presbytery, so I don’t have the authority to make that call.)
Ultimately, TUAD asked for a short answer to the question of whether Greear’s recommendation violates 2K. So I’ll just say no.
Penultimately, however, I’ll ask another question, which is whether WCF 24.4 violates 2K, and I’d have to say probably. If I were to submit myself for ordination, I would have to confess an exception to WCF 24.4. While it says nothing false, it is natural, not biblical, in nature; and its presence in the confession contradicts 31.4 and perhaps sets a precedent for meddliness.
Another intriguing thought. We Americans revised LC109. If the second commandment does not forbid the toleration of a false religion, does the seventh forbid the toleration of a false marriage? (Argument from the greater to the lesser?) LC139 (unmodified) forbids the “dispensing with unlawful marriages,” and cites John rebuking Herod’s unlawful marriage. Was John speaking in the office of shepherd or prophet? And was he speaking to Herod in the office of sheep or king? And does LC139 address whom the state can declare to be married, or whom pastors can declare to be married? (Speaking of which, who ever vested pastors with the authority to declare marriage?)