Marriage book motivates us to engage culture
June 20, 2006
Same-Sex Marriage: Putting Every Household at Risk by Mathew D. Staver. Broadman & Holman, 2004. 154 pages, $9.99.
The Federal Marriage Protection Amendment came marching into the United States Senate last week with great fanfare from both supporters and opposition. This is the proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution that says: “Marriage in the United States shall consist solely of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.”
In other words, this amendment would disallow same-sex marriage in all fifty states. Why have we come to the point of amending the Constitution? After all, this is a very difficult task to achieve. In announcing the amendment, President Bush said, “In their wisdom, our founders set a high bar for amending the Constitution. An amendment must be approved by two-thirds of the House and the Senate, and then ratified by three-fourths of the 50 state legislatures. This process guarantees that every state legislature and every community in our nation will have a voice and a say in deciding this issue.”
The question remains – is this an issue about which Christians should be concerned?
Mathew Staver thinks so, and wrote Same-Sex Marriage: Putting Every Household at Risk to energize the church to be active in this particular engagement with culture. Staver serves as President of Liberty Counsel, dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of human life and the traditional family. He wants to move the reader to action, becoming more compassionate for those trapped in homosexual behavior and becoming more concerned for the defense of monogamous heterosexual marriage. Working against apathy, Staver argues that homosexual marriage is not a private matter between consenting adults, but is a social malady that affects the entire culture.
Same-Sex Marriage is a short 124 pages, but includes nearly 600 endnotes of documentation. Staver builds strong arguments on the foundation of medical research, historical legal precedent, psychological and sociological studies, and even testimony gleaned from the homosexual community itself. In fact, some of the most distressing data presented came not from Christian observation of the gay and lesbian community, but from their own writers who spoke candidly about their lifestyle.
Christian hope pervades this book. Putting aside both apathy and a complaining spirit, Staver says: “We truly live in a unique time. God has placed us here at this time in human history for a reason, and he expects us to take advantage of the moment. We can never give up. The Christian does not have the option of noninvolvement. Future generations depend on how we live and act today. We are here for such a time as this.”
Staver provides the church with a helpful resource for developing our thinking and motivating our action in this crucial area of cultural engagement. (Scott Lamb is one of the founding pastors of Providence Baptist Church, St. Louis, and is a regular book reviewer for The Pathway. To respond to this review or to read about other books, visit www.wisdomofthepages.com.)