This article will argue that Traditional Marriage is consistent with a proper interpretation of Christianity. This article introduces the issue and conducts a Right-Handed Proof. In a separate article we will conduct a Left-Handed Proof and conclude.
We will do this by conducting a Right-Handed Proof, a proof based on Christian Theology, and a Left-Handed Proof, a proof based on observational data. If Traditional Marriage can be argued consistent with Christian Theology a RHP has been established. If observational data is consistent with the RHP Theology then a LHP has been established and the proof will be complete. In particular the LHP must show that Traditional Marriage statistically significantly explains the observation of at least one of the following:
1 Spiritual fruit
2 Life expectancy
3 Per capita GDP
4 Happiness level
5 Rule of law
Perhaps there are others as well, but these are my big 5. Why? Because CAE is argued to help optimize reality, especially the political and economic systems of a unit, but that word “optimize” DOES NOT MEAN “to maximize GDP/Per Capita GDP/GDP Growth Rate/etc.” Optimization implies something far, far, far more subtle then simple value maximization. I will write a blog later describing in detail what optimization implies and also why those big 5 are my chosen tests for now. Long story short optimize means best which means most consistent with goodness which means most consistent with God’s nature. In the Bible these things, when observable, are called spiritual fruit and they include love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
Traditional Marriage will be defined as marriage between one man and one woman for life. As described here the idea of heterosexual marriage being traditional is both well-established and somewhat controversial, however inside of Christendom the idea is decidedly not controversial. In that article referenced it mentioned that in 1215 heterosexual marriage was named a sacrament and about 300 years later a standardized ceremony was introduced. In this article you can see that millions of self-proclaimed Christians have come to the same interpretation on what constitutes traditional marriage.
Finally, and most importantly, let’s get down to the actual biblical scripture references. Matthew 19:4-5 is where Jesus says that God created mankind as male and female from the beginning and for that reason a man and woman may be married by God and that no one should separate them after marriage has occurred. Leviticus 18:22 states that homosexuality is a sin and the story of Sodom and Gomorrah also illustrates how God thinks about homosexuality. Admittedly these two are old testament references and the new testament supersedes and fulfills the old testament, but the theology of NT>OT is a tricky and careful thing and not one where you simply get to say “that was the old testament therefore it doesn’t count.” The NT often includes and elevates old testament law rather than nullifying it, such as when Jesus says that simple anger and insult is possibly justified with the punishment of murder (Matthew 5:21-22). Lastly is the idea that adultery is sin. Not only is it one of the ten commandments of the old testament, but the New Testament says adulterers and homosexuals are two kinds of people that will not inherit the kingdom of heaven (1 Corinthians 6:9). Adultery is sex outside of biblical marriage. As previously shown, Biblical marriage is between a man and a woman, therefore homosexuality is a form of adultery, as are incest, bestiality, polygamy and other forms of nontraditional marriage and/or sexual conduct.
So consider that my RHP of Traditional Marriage. Basically I have attempted to define the term and prove it to be a logical interpretation from the Christian view. I referenced lay people, theologians and scripture itself. Next I will conduct a LHP by taking this interpretation and testing against observational data. If the LHP succeeds then I will conclude by surmising that the interpretation constitutes a CAE Interpretive Proof. This doesn’t render the interpretation flawless, but in my view makes it a very, very strong starting point.