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Mar 5

Session 5 Recap: Walker: “Marriage: Creation, Vocation, and the Glory of God”

2016 | by Nathan Sherman | Category: Clarus 16

Editor’s Note: Spencer Brown is the Lead Pastor at Center City Church, Albuquerque, NM. He is a member of the Albuquerque Chapter of The Gospel Coalition. This post is a summary of Andrew Walker’s message from Saturday afternoon at Clarus, March 5, “Marriage: Creation, Vocation, and the Glory of God.”

•••••

In the fifth session of Clarus 16, Andrew Walker showed that modern culture’s perception of marriage is deeply flawed in not living up to the biblical model, and that the biblical view of marriage promotes God’s glory. Walker had three goals for his audience:

To understand the shifts in culture concerning marriage. The culture has redefined emotional and sexual fulfillment as the goal of marriage. We think about a flourishing marriage in merely romantic or sentimental terms or the emotional and sexual fulfillment of the couple. The sexual revolution empowered individuals to experience sexual freedom by divorcing sex from marriage. The process of redefinition comes by divorcing the goods, benefits and privileges from marriage itself, replacing it with a cheapened, substituted, and weakened form. Walker proposed five ways the culture has divorced the goods and benefits of marriage from marriage itself:

  1. Pre-marital/recreational sex — sexual intimacy severed from marital intimacy
  2. Contraception — recreational sex without the “fear” of children as an outcome
  3. Co-habitation — lifelong companionship severed from marriage
  4. Divorce — what was once assumed as permanent is now not permanent
  5. Same-Sex Marriage — removes the complimentarily as foundation for marriage

To understand the public relevance to the Christian worldview concerning marriage. Genesis 2 presents marriage as both creational and vocational. God created marriage as a creational ordinance meaning it relates to all people without exception and for all time. The definition of marriage is grounded in God’s created order. Marriage is also vocational. The vocational nature of marriage shows the purpose of God’s design for marriage. God chose marriage as the process to advance the next generation of kingdom citizens.

To understand why we must not cede the biblical understanding of marriage in society. Christians must not be comfortable to merely “sit down and shut up” on the topic of marriage. The Supreme Court does not have the right to redefine marriage, nor does the church have the right to let them. Instead, the church must work to “rehabilitate” marriage. Five reasons ground our need to fight for marriage:

  1. Marriage is not simply an ecclesial ordinance
  2. To allow any institution to promote a falsehood robs God of his glory and does not love his neighbor
  3. We don’t have the authority to cede the definition of marriage—marriage is not ours to give up
  4. Marriage is what the Bible says it is or else marriage doesn’t exist all
  5. By supporting same-sex marriage, Christians are proclaiming a false gospel

While the majority of the session uncovered the bad news regarding marriage, Walker concluded with the good news. First, heresy helps the church more clearly define orthodoxy. Orthodoxy wins! Second, the collapse of marriage in our culture gives the church new opportunities to testify to the truth. The church must proclaim the beautiful message of the Gospel to the “refugees” of the sexual revolution.