Jude 1:19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
"Natural instincts" is Strongs number 5591.
psuchikos: natural, of the soul or mind
Original Word: ψυχικός, ή, όν
Part of Speech: Adjective
Phonetic Spelling: (psoo-khee-kos')
Short Definition: animal, natural, sensuous
Definition: animal, natural, sensuous.
5591 psyxikós (an adjective, derived from 5590 /psyxḗ, "soul, natural identity") – properly, soulish, i.e. what is natural, as it relates to physical (tangible) life alone (i.e. apart from God's inworking of faith).
5591 /psyxikós ("natural") typically describes the natural ("lower") aspect of humanity, i.e. behavior that is "more of earth (carnality) than heaven." 5591 (psyxikós) then sometimes stands in contrast to 4152 /pneumatikós ("spiritual") – the higher, spiritual aspect of humanity that develops through faith (4102 /pístis).
I am writing this out of a heavy heart. Knowing that in the near future, the Uniting Church General Assembly will meet and vote on the issue of ministers being free to perform a marriage ceremony for non-heterosexual couples.
The context is that Australia has recently voted as a population that same sex marriage should occur in our society, and this has been made into law by our government.
No church has yet taken this government initiative and made it part of their practice, but I am convinced that, at this next meeting, the Uniting Church will likely vote in favour of this change.
It was interesting to see the strong general support our society portrayed toward same sex marriage. People were strongly in favour, and made their views known clearly on social media. But not only individuals; companies, corporations, and even the Australiana College of GPs, was strongly supportive, making a public statement of their support, and implying that those GPs like me, who did not support the change, were somehow unloving, uncaring, judgmental and bigoted. (There were no words to that effect, but I was accused of this when I suggested that the college remain neutral on the issue, in view of some members, such as myself, disagreeing.)
The debate took on a strong moral flavor. Those in favour being the more loving and compassionate, those against being the Pharisees, so to speak.
The Uniting Church is also having their own vote. We (I am a member) will use “science”, and social justice to argue the case for homosexual couples who, until now, have been denied a church wedding.
The science used in support will suggest that homosexuality is a genetic condition, and therefore, God would be unjust to deny such people the happiness that comes from marriage.
And as God in Christ was merciful and loving towards the marginalized, eg prostitutes and tax collectors, so we, as Christians, and witnesses of the love of Christ ought to likewise show love and compassion to homosexual people by allowing full access to a marriage under God.
The paper discussing this makes mention of the Holy Spirit guiding the church into these considerations.
But what if marriage is more than the lifelong support, love and companionship that two people share. What if marriage is also a sign, an image, a physical reminder of who God is and what he is about in all history.
What if, when God created woman out of man, because it was not good for man to be alone, he was already foretelling the birth of the true bride out of the suffering of the true man. Christ and the church, the bride and the Lamb. What if every wedding is in fact a foretelling of the truth of a man leaving his mother and father and being united to his wife, of a Son being sent by the Father, in the power of the Spirit, to give up everything, and become human, in order to save humanity, to make a bride out of the unfaithful, and for the full salvation to be revealed in a great wedding feast at the end of history?
Surely then, as Christians, we would want to preserve the truth and significance of marriage in a fallen world?
Surely then we would encourage chastity as a worshipful gift and sacrifice of the believer, trusting God for the provision of a husband or wife, in God’s time and wisdom, and then the blessing of children?
Do all marry? Do all have children? Clearly the answer is no. Do we exclude people because they are not married? We ought not to. Do we/should we push every person towards marriage? The Apostle Paul accepted his non-married state, and advised believers to stay single if possible, explaining it was better for God’s work. Jesus never married during his earthly ministry, no doubt satisfied to wait for the true marriage that all believers will participate in with Him.
To allow homosexual marriage in the terms described by those presenting the case, would be to deny the great mystery that earthly marriage represents. It would take away the spiritual significance of marriage, and go against the order set up by God himself in creation.
Jesus, in speaking on marriage and divorce said “Whatever God joins, no man should put asunder.” (Matthew 19:6)
But are we now saying “What modern man joins, no evangelical, or even God himself, should put asunder.”???
I am sad that the words of this letter of Jude may well apply here, as the effect of a vote on same sex marriage will divide congregations, is based on natural ideas (ie scientific opinion, not fully proven) and ignores the Spirits teaching in the Word of God, (rightly divided), on the truth and significance of marriage.
My prayer is that this issue be abandoned.