Marriage: Between One Man and One Woman
See Garden Ministries complete Statement of Faith
Because Garden Ministries believes that the Holy Bible is the irrefutable Word of God, and through its written and living principles and commands, we believe that the Bible has an inherent and imparted authority to guide and direct a believing Christian’s moral and practical everyday decisions. Anyone who believes in Jesus as their Savior and Lord has access to his forgiveness and his grace in order to live a life in union with Jesus and with his commands. And we understand that learning to live in union with Jesus and his commands is a process that happens over time.
What does the Bible say about joining in sexual union?
Because Garden Ministries believes that the authority of the Bible is irrefutable and that the Holy Bible’s principals, laws, and moral standards can be trusted and practiced, Garden Ministries accepts that the Bible clearly states that the sexual benefits of a “joined relationship,” i.e. marriage, are to be shared and enjoyed exclusively between a woman and a man and only shared during marriage–not before. Garden Ministries accepts that the Bible clearly states that a man having sexual relations with another man or a woman having sexual relations with another woman is strictly prohibited.
Genesis 2:18-25 (NKJV): “And the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.’ Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him. And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.’ Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”
Leviticus 18:22 (NIV) “Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.”
Mark 10:6 (NIV) “But at the beginning of creation God â€˜made them male and female.'”
Romans 1:26-27 (NIV) “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.”
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NIV) “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
1 Timothy 1:8-11 (NIV) “We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers–and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.”
Hebrews 13:4 (NIV) “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and the sexually immoral.”
Other scriptures: 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8, Colossians 3:5, Ephesians 5:3.
Christians Answer First and Foremost to Jesus and His Righteousness
Inspired and led by the indwelling Holy Spirit, followers of Jesus Christ are to make moral and ethical decisions first and foremost based on the living and tangible authority of God’s written word, the Bible. When the surrounding culture affects the Christian’s decision-making process, believers in Jesus are to submit to the authority of God’s word over any cultural influence whose moral standards contradict the Bible.
In a democratic society, such as the United States of America (U.S.A.), it is understood (though not pure in its outworking and practice) that the majority will prevail in deciding what the “law of the land” supports and enforces. It is also understood that citizens of the U.S.A. have the inalienable right to exercise freedom of religion and speech, even if a majority of citizens cast a vote that does not support and enforce the moral and ethical standards of their belief.
Religious and Civil Disputes and “Good Manners”
When one group of citizens and their beliefs outnumber another group of citizens and their opposing belief, and democratic legislation supports the majority’s views and beliefs, the minority group is protected under the freedoms of the constitution’s provision for such opposing beliefs. But the minority group must also respect the rights of the majority’s belief.
Ultimately, no matter what position anyone takes on an issue, no one should threaten, insult, name call, or accuse of “hate crimes,” people who ethically and peaceably hold opposing social and religious views. “Peaceable” behavior does not throw glitter, pink feathers, or anything else at a person, or name-call someone who is giving the general public access to their person for the sake of book signings, or other public events. Such behavior is beyond bad manners. It is violence and should not be tolerated by either side of an issue. For those who hold opposing religious and social views, it takes courage to agree on anything. It should be easy, however, to agree that unprovoked violence is always unacceptable.
Thus, Christians or Same-Sex Marriage proponents alike are to respect each other’s freedom to choose while not necessarily respecting the choice that is made. In the matter of social issues, when people passionately disagree and hold opposing views, their opposition tactics are to remain peaceable and respectful of the dignity of the individual(s) and of the collective whole, which means, no name-calling, no physical or emotional injury or imposition of property, etc. by either side.
Because homosexuality is strictly prohibited in the Living Word of God, i.e., the Bible, Christians who adhere to the principles and precepts of the Bible in its totality, are necessarily unable to agree with homosexual practices in any part of society (like marriage). Biblical principles and commands do not allow Christians to say that sexual union between two men or between two women is a good and moral choice. That said, though they may not respect the actual choice, Christians are to respect people’s freedom to choose their sexual preferences. And while standing firm in their belief, Christians are commanded to practice love, especially using the forms of kindness, gentleness, patience, and respect for all human beings, no matter what their sexual choices are. Believers in Jesus are to treat all people, including themselves, as those whom Jesus loves and for whom he died to save. (James 3:13-18, II Timothy 2:22-26)
In the state of Minnesota and in the democratic country of the United States of America, the majority (not a select few), should be given the right to decide what the “law of the land” defines marriage as being. Giving Minnesotan’s the right to choose their stand on the definition of marriage can only happen by providing the entire general population the ability to cast their collective vote. Christian Minnesotan’s, who believe the Bible is the inherent word of God and hold to its infallible precepts, are expected to define marriage and its sexual benefits as exclusively between a woman and a man. Recent legislative action has given Minnesotans this opportunity.
The following is an excerpt from the Minnesota Christian Examiner, June 2011 edition.
SAINT PAUL, MN: MARRIAGE WINS – Legislature passes amendment, sending issue to the voters for the 2012 ballot. Amid protests, name calling, a controversial prayer delivered at the Capitol and cries of discrimination, the Republican-controlled Minnesota House and Senate passed the Minnesota Marriage Amendment last month. The Amendment, which doesn’t need the governor’s signature, will now be placed on the 2012 election ballot, giving Minnesotan’s a chance to vote on whether the state will recognize same-sex marriage. Minnesota already has the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), yet proponents of the marriage amendment believe the constitutional protection of the amendment will prevent lawsuits that otherwise could more easily be waged against the legislatively enacted DOMA.
Additional Important Information on Defining Marriage in Minnesota and the U.S.A.
The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA Act) signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996 was written to defend the rights of Christians and those who do not want same-sex marriage legalized. In February, 2011, President Barak Obama declared the Defense of Marriage Act to be “Unconstitutional.”
The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) â€“ Public Law 104-199
Approved September 21, 1996 and signed by President Bill Clinton:
7. Definition of ‘marriage’ and ‘spouse’
“In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word ‘marriage’ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word ‘spouse’ refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.”
The United States of America: Bill of Rights – Amendment 1 – Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
US Civil Rights Act – 1964 – Public Law 88-352
An Act: To enforce the constitutional right to vote, to confer jurisdiction upon the district courts of the United States to provide injunctive relief against discrimination in public accommodations, to authorize the Attorney General to institute suits to protect constitutional rights in public facilities and public education, to extend the Commission on Civil Rights, to prevent discrimination in federally assisted programs, to establish a Commission on Equal Employment Opportunity, and for other purposes. http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?doc=97
2/23/2011 – WASHINGTON — In a major policy reversal, the Obama administration said Wednesday it will no longer defend the constitutionality of a federal law banning recognition of same-sex marriage. Attorney General Eric Holder said President Barack Obama has concluded that the administration cannot defend the federal law that defines marriage as only between a man and a woman. He noted that the congressional debate during passage of the Defense of Marriage Act “contains numerous expressions reflecting moral disapproval of gays and lesbians and their intimate and family relationships – precisely the kind of stereotype-based thinking and animus the (Constitution’s) Equal Protection Clause is designed to guard against.” The Justice Department had defended the act in court until now. Excerpt from an article dated 2/23/2011 in The Huffington Post: Obama: “DOMA Unconstitutional”