Simply Amazing

Recently, Boundless posted this article from Glenn Stanton on their blog. In it, there is something that absolutely amazed me:

2) Marriage is a transformative institution. This is both in terms of what Gary Thomas so wonderfully teaches us — what if God designed marriage to make us holy, rather than happy? — as well as marriage being about joining yourself to another person as one flesh and how that coupling demands that we change to become a better, more selfless person in ways that no other relationship can rival. Marriage is a profoundly powerful institution and exists in all human cultures precisely because of the change it effects in the people who participate in it.

As far as I am concerned, all of this is utter nonsense. There have been only a few ways in which people have tried to defend this:

1. Gary Thomas teaches this too [So what? This calls Gary Thomas’ views of marriage into question as well].

2. The reformers taught it [Again, so what, since the Reformers were coming out of Roman Catholicism which views marriage as a sacrament].

In my mind, this is a major league compromise. If the primary purpose of marriage is to sanctify, then how can you not say that it is at least a means of grace or a sacrament? If that is the case, then this logic leads right back to Rome.

Again, I want to be careful to acknowledge that God can use marriage just as he can use anything else [even our enemies!] as instruments of sanctification. Still, that does not mean that God designed our enemies for our sanctification, just as it does not mean that he designed marriage for our sanctification. When you start connecting elements of salvation such as sanctification with things like marriage, it gets very dangerously close to a false gospel, because it challenges the sufficiency of Christ’s work on the cross to sanctify, as if the blood of Christ needs the help of marriage in order to sanctify.

I really wish evangelicals would abandon trying to connect marriage and sanctification. I know why they are trying to do it. It is largely because of the fact that you can historically find people who have done it, and it is expedient to do so given our societies profanation of marriage. However, not only is it a scripturally bankrupt position, it also destroys the uniqueness of the work of Christ on the cross. Both of these things are very good reasons to abandon such thinking.


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