Most Australians love Jesus’ teaching that we should “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. It’s a good principle to live by.
Jesus also taught that “no one has greater love than that they lay down their life for their friends”. This too is widely recognised as a worthy aspiration for us all. You’ll find it set in stone on lots of ANZAC monuments in our towns and cities.
Similarly Jesus’ teaching on marriage is something we all respect: “What God has joined together, let no one tear asunder”. Somehow, we all know that this is right.
Jesus said that from the beginning marriage has been the result of a man leaving his mother and father, joining to a woman and the two becoming one flesh. So faithfulness is a good thing. Enduring together is a good thing. And a partnership between two people of the opposite sex is a good thing. We shouldn’t tear apart this good thing that God has put together.
Once this was obvious for all Australians. Now Australians are hearing voices say that marriage is not about a man and a woman; that gender doesn’t matter at all to marriage. A new definition of marriage is being put forward, which claims that it is simply about two people who love each other and want to commit to each other. These advocates want the Government to change the legal definition of marriage so that can happen.
This is a big change. And it’s a long way from the good picture of marriage given to us by Jesus and the Bible – that God gave marriage to men and women, for their own good, for the good of children and for the good of human society. If we love our neighbours we will want good things for them. So we should be prepared to speak up for God’s good plan for marriage in the conversation our country is now having.
But how do we do this? How do we explain the relevance of God’s pattern for marriage to a secular nation? What does the Bible really say about marriage? And how can we answer questions people have – especially from those who don’t believe in God? What are the consequences for everyone if we don’t speak and the definition of marriage is changed? The material on this website goes some way to helping Sydney Anglicans in the conversations we’re having in the workplace, over the fence and at the school gate. I commend this material to you and encourage you to talk about the goodness of marriage for all Australians.
The Most Reverend Dr Glenn Davies
Archbishop of Sydney