Traditional Marriage

by Doy Moyer

What bothers me about “traditional” marriage is the terminology in the debate. There is nothing wrong with tradition. Tradition is something established that is handed down through time, and certainly marriage is that. It is something that is customary, and marriage is surely that, too. But when we place something in the category of tradition, we may also be implying that it is a cultural convention that can be changed. “Traditional” marriage is changeable, open to new traditions that are equal to, if not superior to, what has been in the past. And this is where the problem lies.

Marriage is not a mere tradition. It is something provided for by God. A marriage can be lawful or unlawful (by God’s law). It can be legitimate or illegitimate.

With that in mind, we can see why the whole homosexual marriage debate must frame marriage as “traditional,” for the whole idea of the modern push is to change the tradition. If it is mere tradition, it can be changed. If it is something established by God wherein He joins together male and female, not to be separated (Matthew 19:4-6), then it is more than mere tradition and cannot be properly changed.

The problem, too, is that marriage is now being used as the tug-of-war rope to normalize a practice that is not divinely sanctioned. If marriage can be redefined, starting with the idea that it is mere tradition, then the practice of homosexuality can be legitimized. However, legitimacy is not determined by cultural practice or the sheer will of those who will push an agenda through; legitimacy is found in God.

So when it comes to marriage, it’s not about a tradition; it is about what is legitimate, lawful by God’s standards, and moral. Let’s pay attention to the terminology because that is what frames the discussion. If terms can be redefined and controlled, the outcome will be much more than semantics.