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Part 1: Top Evangelical Gives Lukewarm Sermon 


By Carman Bradley


This article continues a series of essays exploring reasons why the Christian witness made so little impact during the same-sex marriage debate.  The focus of the paper is the guidance given by Charles Price, one of Canada’s most renowned television preachers and Senior Pastor of The Peoples Church in Toronto.  On the first Sunday of May 2005, Pastor Price spoke on the topic, “The ‘Same-Sex’ Marriage Dilemma.”[1]  He did not give this presentation on camera before his national Living Truth[2] television audience.  The talk occurred Sunday evening in The Peoples Church and was recorded on compact disc.  This article is based on the audio record of the presentation and all quotations are of Charles Price unless cited otherwise.  The premise of my article:

Adopting a biblical position on same-sex marriage is not a dilemma.


Why is this commentary important?  It is certainly not to disparage a biblical scholar and brother in Christ.  No delight comes from that notion.  This review is done in the spirit of Proverbs 27:17 and with a deep conviction that enactment of same-sex marriage is a stern judgment upon Canadian Christendom.  When one of Canada’s top biblical teachers delivers a contradictory and confusing message on marriage redefinition, particularly near the decision point in the long national debate, it should be a concern.  Embodied in “The ‘Same-Sex’ Marriage Dilemma” is a serious underestimation of the negative consequences of redefining marriage, a misleading view of its inevitability, and a troubling articulation of liberal-minded thinking, at the expense of a clear evangelical message.   In as much as any single viewpoint can symbolize the weakness of the Christian influence during the national debate, “’The Same-Sex’ Marriage Dilemma” is the poster illustration.  By the end of the evening, May 1, 2005, Christendom held four viewpoints on same-sex marriage: (1) unwaveringly against; (2) adamantly for; (3) generally indifferent and apathetic; and (4) Pastor Price’s perspective - seriously in a quandary.

Merriam-Webster’s defines a “dilemma as a problem involving a difficult choice, or an argument presenting two or more equally conclusive alternatives.  The same-sex marriage decision involves a choice and there are two or more alternatives; however, Christians are not to be of double-minded opinion.[3]  We should not be in a quandary between beliefs which embody biblical integrity, seek God’s will, and usually oppose the cultural current, and notions that capture the cultural trend of the day, seek the will of the “world” (see 1 John 2:15-17), and drift with the flow.  This article examines what Pastor Price has said regarding the “dilemma” and addresses questions like:

How difficult is the same-sex marriage issue?      How equal are the same-sex union alternatives?


What is gained and lost should evangelicals liberalize their witness to homosexuals?


Tackling the questions and defending the assertions requires that the presentation be broken down into manageable parts and sorted according to points-of-view.  It is important to recognize the instances when Pastor Price is: (1) conforming his guidance to scripture – in his words “where God has spoken;” (2) giving a theological opinion - “where God has not spoken clearly;” and (3) voicing opinion on purely non-theological matters – science, Charter and Constitutional issues and politics etc.  Towards this end, the key quotations from the sermon are colored coded inside a table in accordance with the following legend. 



Evangelical Statements

by Pastor Price

A statement agreeable

only to the Evangelical perspective.

Universal Statements

by Pastor Price

A statement agreeable

to both Evangelical and Pro-Gay viewpoints.

"Pro-Gay* Statements

by Pastor Price

A statement agreeable

only to the Pro-Gay perspective.

Misleading Statements

by Pastor Price

A confusing, ambiguous or factually inaccurate statement,

or an error of omission. Never implying a deception. 


* The term “Pro-Gay” is used here to label statements commonly made by liberal churches, which believe God sanctifies the homosexual lifestyle and approves of same-sex marriage.  Pro-Gay churches allow ordination of unrepentant homosexuals.  The United Church of Canada is an example of a  “Pro-Gay” denomination. 

What Does Scripture Say?

Early in the presentation Pastor Price makes the point, “if it could be argued that scripture does allow homosexual relationships to take place, then most Christians would not have an issue with same-sex marriage.”  Having said this, he devotes only a few minutes of the seventy to speak to what the Bible specifically says about homosexuality.  He explains:

Now when we turn to scripture, God has spoken about sexual behavior.  I am not going to look with you tonight at the four main passages where He speaks to you about homosexuality in scripture, and two additional passages, one in the Old Testament and one in the New Testament because that is not the purpose of the evening.  It would take a long time to do that.

In the course of the talk Pastor Price does affirm the evangelical interpretation of what the Bible says on homosexuality. 


Evangelical Statements by Pastor Price


· scripture makes it clear that homosexual behavior and practice is in violation of the will of God as is other sexual behavior outside of marriage.

· God made us male and female and the institute of marriage is between men and women.  Same-sex marriage cannot be endorsed from scripture. 

· If we look at all these passages, there is no affirmation of homosexual relationships within a committed context, which is what sometimes is being argued.  And all the passages that do address homosexuality are negative.  None of them are positive or encouraging in anyway.  However, having said that


What Was the Aim of the Sermon?

So what was the purpose of the evening, if not to declare and explain relevant scriptural guidance?  The few evangelical statements above are eclipsed in the presentation by the hour devoted to offering opinion related to the pastor’s notwithstanding scripture phrase: “However, having said that…” More than anything else, these four words express the agenda for the evening.  The impression from the talk, if not the implicit purpose of the evening was: “To appeal to the evangelical audience to adopt a more liberal attitude towards homosexism.”

And the homosexist worldview states:

Homosexism is a new cosmology (worldview) that asserts there is no meant relationship between anatomical sex (genitalia), sexuality and gender.  The meanings attached to male and female are seen as social constructs, which can be “deconstructed.”  Homosexists claim one’s sexuality is a given, not a matter of choice; and therefore, the acting out of one’s sexual attraction is seen as a morally neutral decision.  Gay and lesbians claim an innate orientation; transsexuals and gueers claim a fluid orientation; and bisexuals declare alternating and simultaneous sexual attractions.  Homosexists deny the possibility of sexual reorientation and negatively label all heterosexuals who challenge the tenets of their worldview as “homophobes” and “bigots.”  Homosexuals who criticize the ideology are seen as victims of “internalized homophobia.”  Homosexists contend it is the state’s responsibility to develop technological and pharmaceutical solutions to overcome ecological hazards of their lifestyle, rather than constrain their sexual practices within “natural” and “safe” limits.  The worldview is wedded to the feminist analysis that claims heterosexuality is the “male-beneficent” organization of women’s labor, a patriarchal form of oppression.  Homosexism promotes a “free sex” ideology.  Homosexists assert the inert nature of same-sex intimacy is not appropriate grounds to discriminate in the social institutions of marriage and family.

On the other hand, the heterosexist paradigm states:

Heterosexism is the view that humankind is made up of two purposefully designed sexes - male and female.  Like a lock and key, male and female are companion sexes anatomically designed for procreative union.  Heterosexism does not imply that all males and females must mate and procreate; however, there is the reality that survival of humankind requires that some do.  In most societies marriage has been the privileged sacrament for these men and women, institutionalizing their union and legitimizing their offspring before the state.   The family consisting of a father, mother and biologically connected children is seen as the model.  Blended families by divorce and remarriage and other family variations, although common, are viewed as departures from this ideal.

There is a genuine dilemma in this sermon and it is rooted in the reality that one cannot hold two mutually opposing worldviews at the same time – heterosexism and homosexism.

World Versus Church Dilemma

Early on in the talk, Pastor Price explains that same-sex marriage is a dilemma because the issue is very complex, very sensitive, and the “world” and the “church” are concerned about two different things. 


Misleading Statements by Pastor Price

· The debate is taking place in two places, taking place in the world and taking place in the religious community, but let me limit that to the church, the Christian church.  The world at large is taking place in governments all over the world, at lower courts, as has happened in Ontario paving the way for government to legislate because they are finding it to be unconstitutional...But one dilemma it seems to me, is that the world and the church are concerned about two different things primarily. Within the world the issue is a concern about civil liberties and equality and human rights; that’s the appeal, that’s what the Charter addresses in this country.  Within the church the concern is more about homosexuality itself and the meaning of marriage itself.

The notion that the same-sex marriage debate is fundamentally a tug-of-war between a list of concerns of the state (government and courts) and those of the church must be challenged as perilously simplistic and misleading, too much parroting the propaganda of the homosexual rights movement.  Portrayal of the governments and the courts as the altruistic agencies of civil liberties, equality and human rights, pitted against religious communities implies a level of unity and grouping of opinion that has never existed.  Government and courts aside for the moment, the church is hardly unanimous in its opinion on same-sex marriage.  The largest so-called “mainline protestant denomination” wants marriage redefined, as do some splinter Anglican churches.   Moreover, the concerns of Christians vary and go far beyond the meanings of homosexuality and marriage.  When 76 percent[4] of the population claims Christianity as their religion (and other world religions account for another 4 percent), the idea of the concerns of “government” versus those of the “church” seems counter intuitive, if not undemocratic.  An EKOS survey[5] of Canadians conducted over 7-9 February 2005, showed that only 42 percent of the population were in favor of same-sex marriage.  The majority of Canadians (churched and non-churched) either did not see the matter as a human rights issue or did not care.  In Pastor Price’s “world versus church” framework the inference is that all non-churched Canadians are advocates of same-sex marriage.  This is not true, secularists can be ardently opposed to redefining marriage.  The non-religious rationale against same-sex marriage is no less persuasive than the religious.  In a democratic country, governance should reflect the values and interests of its citizens not usurp them.  And when this happens, it is vital to understand why.  For these reasons, no balanced articulation of the same-sex marriage issue can leave out the machinations of politics and the scheming of special interest groups, a complication Pastor Price avoids.

In 1999, the government and the church were actually united in thought.  The Liberal majority Parliament had voted 216-55 in favor of protecting traditional marriage.  Justice Minister Anne McClellan said at that time:

We on this side agree that the institution of marriage is a central and important institution in the lives of many Canadians.  It plays an important part in all societies worldwide, second only to the fundamental importance of family to all of us…the definition of marriage is already clear in law…Let me state again for the record that the government has no intention of changing the definition of marriage or of legislating same-sex marriages.  No jurisdiction worldwide defines a legal marriage as existing between same-sex partners.[6]

Five years later, before the American homosexual organization Equality Forum, Justice Minister Martin Cauchon admitted how precarious the same-sex marriage fight had been, even among Liberals.  He said that only four individuals in Ottawa were instrumental in reversing the Liberal same-sex marriage policy.  And once Prime Minister Chrétien was on board, the rest was easy – he ruled over his Caucus and Cabinet like a dictator.  Indeed, the reality of the actual same-sex marriage vote, two months after Pastor Price’s talk, was that 45 percent of parliamentarians were against it, 35 Liberals said “No,” and the 39 members of the Liberal Cabinet were ordered by Prime Minister Martin to vote “yes,” regardless of the will of their constituencies.  One member of the NDP voted against the bill, subsequently losing her riding.  The final tally was 158 - 133.  These are not images of dilemma – concerns of an altruistic government versus concerns of a homophobic church; but rather reflections of raw politics.   Indeed, the vote in June 2005 was only possible because the Liberals survived a non-confidence vote in May by one; the Honourable Belinda Stronach crossed the floor to the Liberal camp.  Marriage redefinition was never inevitable and never the church against the world.

Court Versus Church Dilemma

Framing a dilemma of concerns between the “court” and the “church” is equally troublesome.  When the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was ratified by parliament and ten legislatures in 1982, the document said nothing about homosexuality in spite of gay and lesbian lobby.  And the Preamble to our Constitution reads: “Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God.”  Strictly speaking the Constitution and the Charter were composed with a heterosexist worldview in mind.  Most are familiar with these facts.  However, when Pastor Price refers to the lower courts paving the way” for the federal government to legislate the redefinition of marriage, the message received is one of the innate rightness and progressive nature of the provincial court rulings.  This impression of constitutionally based justice working its way through the system is far from the truth.

In The Charter Revolution & The Court Party, social scientists F.L. Morton and Rainer Knopff, describe the challenge of deconstructing the heterosexist basis of Canadian governance:

To use the Charter as part of such an ideological battle, gay and lesbian activists had first to overcome the intentional omission of sexual orientation from the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination in section 15 of the Charter.  They thus began publishing articles advocating that it be added by way of judicial interpretation.[7]

In order to prevail over the so-called “homophobic” will of the heterosexual majority the strategy became the persistent and incremental conversion of the judicial system to a homosexist worldview, starting with the provincial courts.  The goal - to convert the judiciary to the ideology of sexual orientations: gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual and queer (GBLTQ), and to the corresponding need for homosexual rights.  Choosing the judicial system as the key battleground, human rights as the claimed grievance and sympathetic judiciary as allies became the means by which three percent of society was able to deconstruct heterosexism.  By a process of judicial rulings the court read homosexual rights into the Charter.  At the 1998 International Human Rights Commission, Justice Rosalie Abella, described this allied ideological battle: “…unlike civil liberties, which re-arranges no social relationships and only protects our political ones, human rights is a direct assault on the status quo.  It is inherently about change.”  Here the status quo is “heterosexism” and the assault is targeted at “marriage” and the “family.”

Again the courts have never been unanimous on the need to redefine marriage.  Not all the justices interpreted the Charter in the pro-gay manner of Justice Abella.  In his 2001 verdict, which denied Shane McCloskey and Dave Shortt a marriage license, BC Supreme Court Judge, Ian Pitfield, concluded that marital discrimination against same-sex couples is justified.  He wrote:

The objective of limiting marriage to opposite sex couples is sufficiently important to warrant infringing on the rights of the petitioners.  The gain to society from the preservation of the deep-rooted and fundamental legal institution of opposite-sex marriage outweighs the detrimental effect of the law on the petitioners.[8]

Judge Pitfield went on to say that equality rights can be overridden by Section 1 of the Charter.  He dismissed other arguments, ruling that, for same-sex couples, current freedoms of expression or association, as well as mobility rights and rights of liberty and security are not infringed by the ban on marriage.[9]  In time he would be replaced.

In “The Idolatry of Law: When Law is Seen as ‘Like Religion’,” lawyer, Iain T. Benson, warns Canadians to be aware of a totalitarian “jurocracy,” where judges deem themselves capable of replacing morals, philosophy, or religion and making their own wills the measure of right and wrong.  In a jurocracy an elitist party usurps their proper role in a democracy.  Benson writes:

This new legal movement uses the language of ‘equality’ and ‘dignity’ (the first of which is in the constitution itself) to effect ends that are well beyond the usual judicial role.  In this new juggernaut of forced consensus, what is really at issue is the power of judges to force their own personal moral and theological beliefs upon society.  Under the guise of ‘legal interpretation,’ the ‘new theologians,’ believing law is comprehensive, promulgate the dogmatic rules of the day.[10]

Morton and Knopff label these judicial activists the “court party” - a group with their own elite agenda.  In their own words, Ontario Chief Justice Roy McMurtry says the court’s role is to “forge a new social concensus,”[11] and Justice Rosalie Abella, says the justices are pushing “the juggernaut of rights.”[12] These terms are Court Party phraseologies for adopting homosexism.  The connection of this Court Party from provincial to federal level (just in time for the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage) is described in the Lesbian and Gay Law Notes, edited at the New York Law School.  The Notes record the appointment of two Ontario Court of Appeal Justices to the Supreme Court in August 2004:

The Supreme Court of Canada will take up the questions posed by the government in connection with a proposed marriage bill in October.  Meanwhile, new Prime Minister Paul Martin had to fill two vacancies that have occurred on the court, and he angered the same-sex marriage opponents by appointing Justices Louise Charron and Rosalie Abella of the Ontario Court of Appeal.  Both of these judges are seen as generally supportive of gay rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and Justice Charron was part of the three-judge panel that issued a favorable decision for gay plaintiffs in M v. H, 1996 Carswell Ont 4723, 31 O.R.(3d) 417 (Ontario Ct. App. 1996), a case that required the provincial government to extend certain recognition to same-sex couples and which, on appeal to the Supreme Court, produced a ruling that stimulated reforms in Canadian federal law to recognize same-sex partners in scores of federal statutes.[13]

And media records of the first-ever Parliamentary Committee to review these appointments show a vexed screening process: 

Conservative deputy leader Peter MacKay called the process ‘a sham’ that breaks Prime Minister Paul Martin's promise to open the high-court selection system.  `It's a joke,’ MacKay said after the hearing. ‘It's window dressing. It's lip service. It's just running it by us for some form of credibility that doesn't exist.’  MacKay and Conservative justice critic Vic Toews lambasted Cotler [Liberal Justice Minister] for giving the panel 24 hours' notice, a three-hour televised hearing and just two days to report on the candidates. Abella and Charron weren't announced as nominees until Tuesday.  Cotler, on the other hand, spent eight months researching potential nominees, consulting with judges and lawyers, and reviewing rulings.  Even before the hearing began, Toews noted that Abella and Charron are both known for judgments supporting same-sex rights. The nine-member Supreme Court will hold a milestone hearing in October on Liberal efforts to legalize same-sex marriage. Toews suggested a political connection.  ‘It is clear for everyone to see that this is part of the prime minister's agenda’ to allow gay weddings, he said.[14]  Asked whether he was ‘hiding’ behind the Supreme Court on controversial issues such as same-sex marriage, Cotler declined to address the issue directly. He said only that in selecting the two nominees, ‘the one criterion [the government] had in mind was merit, which extends far beyond the subject matter of one case.’ [15]

Notwithstanding the “stacked” status of the Supreme Court at the time of the December 2004 ruling, the Court did not order Parliament to redefine marriage.  The ruling stated that redefining marriage to include same-sex couples was constitutional.  The Court declined to respond to the Government’s question - Is the traditional definition of marriage consistent with the Charter [summarized text].  And in defending its position the Supreme Court asserted, “the federal government has stated its intention to address the issue of same-sex marriage legislatively regardless of the Court’s opinion on this matter;” the same-sex litigants in the lower court rulings “have relied upon the finality of the decisions and have acquired rights which are entitled to be protected;” and a “no” response would “throw the [proposed] law into confusion.” Call this circular argument the proverbial self-fulfilling prophecy, jurocracy style.

So blatant is the Court Party’s bias, that in the same ruling they dismiss the opposing interveners’ allegation of a “collision of rights” by a complete reversal of their previous line of reasoning.  The Supreme Court ruled, “The Proposed Act has not been passed, much less implemented.  Therefore, the alleged collision of rights is purely abstract…Charter decisions should not and must not be made in a factual vacuum.”  Try and square this ruling with the fact that Catholic School Boards had already been ordered to allow homosexual dating at school proms; that Scott Brockie, a religious print shop owner, had already been ordered to print explicit homosexual materials for the “Lesbian and Gay Archives” regardless of his faith convictions; and that promoting homosexual culture in public school curricula already has privileged status over affirming orthodox religious values.  

The picture described above is not of the so-called “world” (representative government and impartial judiciary) concerned with implementing the inherent provisions of the Charter.  What is described is a shell game with the goal of hiding the blame for enacting controversial and patently undemocratic governance.  The Liberal Government hid behind the Supreme Court, claiming that the justices require marriage redefinition.  The Supreme Court remained mute on the constitutionality of exclusive heterosexual marriage and hid behind the claim that the Liberal Government had already decided to redefine marriage.  What makes this undemocratic, beyond the machinations leading to the final vote (158 – 133), is that neither the Liberal government nor Supreme Court was prepared to adequately inform the voting public (and their MPs) of the downstream governance implications and of the “collision of rights” resulting from the law.

Civil Equality Dilemma


Misleading Statements by Charles Price

· Within the world the issue is a concern about civil liberties and equality and human rights;

· When the debate is about civil equality, we need to affirm that.


Where is the scripture evidence to support the notion of “civil equality” regarding homosexuals?  Pastor Price admits that there is no affirmation of homosexuality in the Bible.  So this notion is drawn from the world, from a homosexist paradigm.  He has not only succumbed to the postmodernist culture, but the Court Party has also victimized him.  If same-sex marriage is truly a Charter “equality” and “human rights” issue, and not a “political” issue, the so-called “world” (government and courts) would be enacting legislation to also allow bisexuals, queers and transsexuals to have their equality marriage rights.  But they are not, even though the Charter is interpreted to give them the same protections against discrimination on the grounds sexual orientation.

Moreover, the bid for marriage access represents a complete turnaround of homosexual liberation interests and strategy.  Throughout the 1970s and 80s, the institution of marriage was rabidly proclaimed by lesbian feminists and gay activists as oppressive, patriarchal, hierarchical, a social institution to be avoided.  Now, after decades of deriding and undermining marriage, all in the name of free sex and feminism, the demand is for marriage inclusion.  Gareth Kirby, editor of Xtra West, is one of a number of homosexuals who admit to the incongruency of this new claim.  He writes:

Marriage belongs to the heterosexual culture and we should respect that.  It’s a ceremony tying a woman and a man together… Gay men and lesbians tend to divvy out the emotional ties between different people… And love, in gay culture, is a spectrum, not a hierarchy.  That’s our culture…If we win access to this marriage snake-pit, it will begin the erosion of the culture that we’ve worked three decades to build.[16]

In the beginning, typical liberation activists, like Margaret Small, sought separation not inclusion.  She wrote:

Heterosexual ideology limits our vision of any alternative sexed, erotic community…You have to create the space that stands outside of all the boundaries of heterosexuality - assumptions about the family, about marriage, about motherhood, about housework, about childrearing, about rape, about illegitimacy, about spinsterhood - about everything that has to do with the relationships between men and women.[17]

And in 1990, Paula Ettelbrick, Lambda’s[18] legal director, argued for upholding the original radical feminist analysis, which declares marriage oppressive and discriminatory, an intrusion of state authority into individual relationships.   Rather than bring gay people into the marriage system, Ettelbrick would eliminate the preferential treatment granted to married people.  If gay men and lesbians were given the right to marry, she fears, a replication would occur of the discriminatory two-tier system already existing among married and unmarried straight couples; legalized gay marriage, then, would make gays who don’t marry outlaws among outlaws.  She argues:

I don’t know that any of us are ready to push for more than two people getting married.  If you have two women and two men who are raising that child, assuming that one of the men is the biological father and one of the women is the biological mother of the child, you still have two individuals in that family unit who do not relate legally to the child.  The broad nature of gay relationships - some sexual, some mentoring, some fraternal, some utilitarian - commonly involves more than two individuals.  A movement to bring lesbians and gay men into the existing marriage system would almost certainly curtail ongoing experimentation with new extended families that recreate the complex emotional and practical support systems that existed in extended families of pre-industrial times.[19]

Given that marriage is about monogamy, the homosexual bid for inclusion seems spurious and hazardous to the meaning of the institution.  The 1994 National Health and Social Life Survey (US) revealed that 75 per cent of heterosexual men and 85 per cent of heterosexual women said they had never cheated in their marriage.  On the other hand, a federally funded health study of Vancouver gay men found that only two per cent were in long-term relationships.[20]  In his book, The Male Couple’s Guide: Finding A Man, Making A Home, Building A Life, Eric Marcus gives insight into the meaning the majority of gay men associate with primary partnership. He suggests the following rules be negotiated:

Sex with other partners is allowed, but must be kept secret. (2) Sex with other partners is allowed, but must be discussed.  (3) Sex is not permitted with mutual friends.  (4) Only anonymous sexual encounters are permitted.  (5) Sex is permitted only when one partner is out of town.  (6) Sex with other partners is not permitted at home.  (7) Sex with other partners is permitted at home, but not in the couple’s bedroom.  (8) Outside sex is permitted, but only when both partners choose a third to join them. [21]

Further separating homosexual coupling from heterosexual marriage, Marcus adds: “Once you’ve set rules, leave room for discussion to adjust the boundaries should you find that the original rules aren’t working in practice.”   Robert Williams, the first openly gay Episcopal priest to be ordained, declared a virtual homosexist free-sex commandment in Newsweek, when he wrote: “If people want to try, OK.  But the fact is, people are not monogamous.  It is crazy to hold up this ideal… ”[22] Finally, Mark Steyn makes a severe point about the multi-partner lifestyle of gays in the American Spector: “A grisly plague has not furthered the cause of homosexual monogamy, so why should a permit from a town clerk.”[23]

If many homosexuals are against redefining marriage, and if so few are genuinely interested in the institution, what is the movement really after with all this effort?  Redefinition of marriage is fundamentally not about equality, it is a bid for sameness, a strategy to achieve social acceptance, as already said, a way to deconstruct heterosexism.  Orthodox Rabbi Reuven Bulka of Ottawa describes the dynamic:

Nobody wants to look like they’re denying anyone else equal rights – that’s the mantra of today, equal rights.  Still with regards to the definition of marriage, this is not an issue of equality, but a claim to sameness; and it’s not the same.  Marriage has always been a sacred thing throughout the history of civilization, and religious traditionalists are defending what they see as the sanctity of marital union.  If everything is marriage, then nothing is marriage.[24]

Same-Sex Marriage Is Inevitable


Misleading Statements by Pastor Price

· Same-sex marriage is legal in Spain, Netherlands, Belgium.  Denmark in 1989.  South Africa soon.  Watch social trends in the Netherlands and Scandinavia; these are pace setting nations in terms of change to morality.  Usually, what happens in Scandinavia happens ten years later in North America.

· If I can say, there is little doubt that this [same-sex marriage] will in fact become law.  Maybe a general election, if it is called shortly, will interrupt the process, but it will come back in due course on the statute books as it is in much else of the world.


In articulating his prediction of the inevitability of same-sex marriage, Pastor Price made little distinction between enactment of same-sex marriage and other legislative options open to governments and courts.  Given his argument about Dutch and Scandinavian social trends, he should have predicted that Canada would enact civil unions or civil partnerships over redefining marriage.  Norway has not redefined marriage; the Civil Union Act of 1993 is in effect.  Sweden has not redefined marriage nor altered their Registered Partnership Act of 1995.  Denmark, the first country to address registered partnerships, retains Civil Unions as enacted in 1989.  Finland created Civil Unions in 2002.  All of Scandinavia, France (1999), and the United Kingdom (2004) have unanimously not redefined marriage.  And today, same-sex “marriage” is recognized in only 5 of 194 countries worldwide - Canada, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain and South Africa; and only 16 other countries have enacted some form of registered partnership.  As of the beginning of 2008, the United States has not redefined marriage.  The question begs to be asked, “Are all but five countries, worldwide, violating the inalienable right of homosexuals to “marriage”?  France, the bastion of secularism, would not redefine traditional marriage.  What does this say about the notion of a dilemma of concerns between the world and the church?


Indeed, Martin Cauchon, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, wrote in “Marriage and Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Unions: A Discussion Paper, November 2002:

What are others doing?

Canada is not the first country in the world to address whether and how to legally recognize same-sex unions.  Indeed, Canada is coming to the debate later than many countries.  Several countries have debated this issue for many years and have come up with a variety of approaches, ranging from same-sex marriage in the Netherlands to the legal recognition of domestic partners, registered partnerships and civil unions in Scandinavia, parts of Europe and parts of the United States.  Although some of these approaches appear to be similar, each is quite different, as it has been created to fit the particular society and to comply with the specific constitutional and legal structures in each country.  Most countries have decided to retain marriage as an opposite-sex institution, and none has decided to leave marriage exclusively to religion and stop recognizing it in law.[25]


Marriage could remain an opposite-sex institution.  What would this be like?

If Parliament chooses to keep marriage, as it is, that is the “union of one man and one woman,” this opposite-sex meaning could be set out explicitly in a new federal law.  In that case, this would be a clear expression of what Parliament believes marriage is, but would not address the equality concerns of same-sex couples.

If Parliament wished to also address some of the equality concerns, it would enact a new federal statute creating a new registry that would be deemed equivalent to marriage for the purposes of federal laws and programs.  This new civil union or domestic partner registry would either be open only to same-sex couples and to opposite-sex couples who choose not to marry.  The federal statute creating this new registry could include a provision stating that marriage is an opposite-sex institution.[26]

What does this say about the inevitability of marriage redefinition?

Marriage Is Not a Christian Ordinance



Misleading Statements by Pastor Price

· Now marriage is a creation ordinance and not a Christian ordinance.  Because it wasn’t something started with the church because it predates that and goes back to Creation. 

· Do you know why the church marries people?  Marriage has always been a civil event in a place in the market square.  There were no church buildings for the first four hundred years of the church’s life.  In was around the 900s that as these marriages would take place, this big family civil event, when it rained they went into the buildings that would accommodate them.  And in the course of time the churches began to build buildingsSoon to escape the rain they moved from the market square to church shelterSo that was nice and they asked why doesn’t the priest bless the weddingAnd that’s how weddings became a church event. 

· Getting married in church is actually not biblical.  So if it was taken away from us, so what, we could return to being a proper church.  Marriage is a civil recognized event. 


Pastor Price’s statements speak volumes, but not in evangelical vernacular.  Ironically, only two months before his sermon, The Peoples Church paper (Pastor Price’s church paper) carried an article by Bruce Clemenger, President of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, which shows the EFC President holding an opinion in contradiction to Price.  Clemenger said:

There is no strict separation of church and state when it comes to marriage in Canada.  To suggest otherwise is to misunderstand Canadian constitutional history, our traditions and practice…Civil and religious marriage have been fused in Canada.  Seventy-five percent of marriages in Canada are performed by clergy, ninety-eight percent in Ontario.  It is naïve to presume that these can be separated without consequence to marriage.


Marriage has deep cultural, religious and social significance.  Marriage between a man and a woman is the foundation of family life.  Changing the definition of marriage refashions its meaning and hence its substance in law and public policy.  Marriage becomes adult-centered, increasingly mundane and less able to accomplish its purposes, which is, to foster the enduring sexual bonding of one man and one woman and affording children the right to be nurtured by a mother and father in a committed relationship.  In refashioning marriage, the essence and full purpose of marriage, hence the reason it has deep religious significance, is lost.[27]


According to Pastor Price’s assessment of the history and meaning of marriage one hardly needs be concerned over the advent of marriage redefinition – marriage is not a Christian ordinance; it’s a civil affair.  Applying his creation versus Christian ordinance logic, the Ten Commandments would not really be Christian decrees.  The casual manner in which Pastor Price deals with the institution of marriage shows a heartbreaking acculturation to the prevailing equality rights and legalist dogma, which downgrades the sanctity and importance of marriage.  He does say that the Roman Catholic Church asserts from the “Garden of Eden to the Book of Revelation” that “marriage is ordained by God and blessed by God,” indeed, is a sacrament.  However, failing to see the Roman Catholic position as cause for reflection, he rejects the sanctity of marriage as something “discarded by the protestant churches since the Reformation.”

A More Liberal Approach Is Needed

Maggie Gallagher, author of The Abolition of Marriage: How We Destroy Lasting Love, has measured the institutional erosion over the decades:

Over the past thirty years, American family law has been rewritten to dilute both the rights and obligations of marriage, while at the same time placing other relationships, from adulterous liaisons to homosexual partnerships, on a legal par with marriage in some respects.  To put it another way, by expanding the definition of marriage to the point of meaninglessness, courts are gradually redefining marriage out of existence.[28]

What marriage redefinition advocates are not revealing, is that same-sex marriage opens the institution to further assault (deconstruction) by the hostile majority within the homosexual community.

Misleading Statements by Pastor Price

· By and large we agree that we should be equal before the law.  I think most of us would agree on that.  You know the church hasn’t always been good on this.  Some Christians fought the abolition of slavery, now nobody would.  But they did it on the grounds it was biblical.  

· Even the civil rights movement which brought about equality, it was primarily the liberal churches that pushed that and evangelicals held back.  But we do believe that men and women stand equally before God, therefore equally before the law.  I think the question about marriage is not simply a question about civil liberties because it is a redefining of the meaning of a word that has had meaning for thousands of years and there are strong implications from that.  When the debate is about civil equality, we need to affirm that. 


Merriam-Webster’s defines the word “liberal” as lacking moral restraint; not literal or strict; and not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy or traditional forms of change.  Few would flinch at labeling the United Church of Canada as a liberal entity, if not apostate.  The Peoples Church is evangelical, a member of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada.  So too are Baptists.  Martin Luther King Jr. was a Baptist minister, as were his father and grandfather.  Is Pastor Price implying by his “civil rights - liberal churches” analogy that only the liberal-minded can “have a dream;” that only the liberal-minded are defenders of civil liberties and human rights?  Evangelical Christians look at abortion and cry for the rights of the unborn, and see a parallel with slavery and with treatment of those in Nazi death camps; they “have a dream.”  Both liberals and conservatives try to claim ownership of renowned reformers such as William Wilberforce to advance their points-of-view.  The fact is William Wilberforce was as interested in promoting moral and spiritual reform at home as he was in the abolition of slavery.  One of his lesser known accomplishments was the issue of a royal proclamation for the “Encouragement of Piety and Virtue.”[29

Postmodernism, according to Pastor Price, is the dominant “world” view that there is no complete picture, morality is subjective, and there is a plurality of sexualities.  If this assertion is correct, then Christianity must be inherently conservative.   In this era of phenomenal liberalization and moral change, Christianity must be counter-cultural to preserve the good from the past.  The Christian objective in the “world” is always to conserve the idea that God exists and that society, government and courts should recognize His will in their behavior and governance.  It is not clear what aim is served by putting evangelicals on the defensive regarding civil liberties and human rights.

In the context of his sermon on homosexuality and same-sex marriage what is the rationale in the connection of “civil liberties” or “civil rights” with “men and women stand equally before God; and therefore, equally before the law”?  God has not given same-sex attracted men or women license to have sex with the same gender.  In His kingdom such behavior is not an available civil liberty, not a civil right.  In one sense homosexuals and heterosexuals are equal before God; all will face their Creator and give an account on judgment day.  But clearly, the saved and the lost, the sinner and the saint, are not equal in God’s eyes.  There are many vices that will preclude both unrepentant heterosexuals and homosexuals from the kingdom; however, Apostle Paul specifically identifies homosexual offenders as excluded from the kingdom.[30]  This is not the declaration of equally before God that fits with Pastor Price’s line of thinking.

Is he implying that homosexuals cannot/need not repent of their behavior because, like one’s skin colour, they have no choice in the matter; they are not responsible for their so-called “identity”?  It is true that one cannot repent of skin colour, ethnic background, gender or physical disability.  God will not judge people on these criteria.  In this regard, men and women stand equally before God.  [Much more will be said later on the issue of “identity” in Part 2 of the article]  But gender and physical disability does impose natural limitations, which invalidate the notion of equality.  Two females are not equal to a male and a female in reproductive capacity.  And a blind person is not equal to one who can see in all situations.  For example, the blind are precluded from obtaining an automobile driver’s license; they are denied eligibility to play in the National Hockey League.  God does not judge anyone for his or her blindness, but nature discriminates on this basis.  The history of marriage is entirely rooted in providing legal license to procreate and rear children; hence the associated term “born out of wedlock.”  If Pastor Price is implying, for the sake of “equality before the law,” that the inert nature of same-sex unions should be overlooked in granting homosexuals a marriage license, he should not link his argument to God, because male and female were created by God exclusively for heterosexual pair bonding and procreation.  

Pastor Price demonstrates a liberal bias and humanist acculturation in the emphasis he places on civil liberties in contrast to the absence of meaningful guidance on the negative consequences of redefining marriage.  Most would contend that scripture does not depict choosing between the Law of God (where sodomy is a sin) and the Law of man (where sodomy is legal) as a dilemma.

Ignoring The Assault On The Biblical Family

While focusing on equality rights, Pastor Price omits to acknowledge the longstanding homosexual assault on the nuclear family and to recognize the negative consequences of marriage redefinition on the family.  Deconstruction of heterosexism made the nuclear family a target.  Jodi Freeman, an activist who helped develop EGALE’s[31] factum in the ground-breaking gay rights case, Mossup, had written that “rights litigation can be a useful tool in the pursuit of social change, as part of a broader strategy.”[32] Just as the traditional family is defined by law, so changing the law can deconstruct it.  And in 1990, Didi Herman, Canada’s most published gay rights lawyer described the assault on heterosexist governance in stronger terms: “law reform is part of an ideological battle, and fighting over the meanings of marriage and family constitutes resistance to heterosexual hegemony.”[33]  Thus began a publishing strategy aimed, in Herman’s words,  “to supply the appropriate argument for lesbian and gay litigants to make.”[34]  David Raymond Greener conducted a study of 22 law review articles discussing the definition of family, all published since the 1982 Charter.  While the broader literature revealed a lively debate about the merits of the family, including defenses of the traditional family, the law journal articles were “uniformly critical of ‘familial ideology.”  The “traditional family,” was portrayed as “the ideological centerpiece of heterosexual supremacy.”[35]  Morton and Knopff comment:

The only serious disagreement in this literature was whether to seek a partial deconstruction of the heterosexual definition of family so as to allow homosexual marriage, or to pursue ‘a more radical deconstruction that aims to abolish any meaningful distinction between family and non-family.[36]

According to Jodi Freeman, “recognizing marriage between gay men or lesbians would revolutionize its [the family’s] meaning.”[37]

In The Case for Same-Sex Marriage, William N. Eskridge Jr. contends that homosexual culture will not assimilate and disappear in an era of redefined marriage, but will continue to experiment and improvise.  He writes:

Initially, it seems unlikely that married gay couples would be just like married straight couples...Nor would the gay and lesbian culture cease to be distinctive. One feature of our experience has been an emphasis on ‘families we choose,’ anthropologist Kath Weston’s felicitous phrase…Such families are fluid alliances independent of ties imposed by blood and by law.  Often estranged from blood kin, openly gay people are more prone to rely on current as well as former lovers, close friends, and neighbors as their social and emotional support system.  Include children in this fluid network and the complexity becomes more pronounced…Because same-sex couples cannot have children through their own efforts, a third party must be involved: a former different-sex spouse, a sperm donor, a surrogate mother, a parent or agency offering a child for adoption.  The family of choice can and often does include a relationship with this third party.  Gay and lesbian couples are pioneering novel family configurations, and gay marriage would not seriously obstruct the creation of the larger families we choose.[38]

Christians should not be indifferent to the number of children growing up without knowledge of their biological heritage or to the effects of “fluid” parenting or to the effects of mother or father absence.  Does Pastor Price’s affinity for homosexual equality rights extend to indifference to family make-up; indifference to the importance of heterosexual parenthood; indifference to the use of technologies to overcome anatomically inert same-sex coupling?  We can look to Scandinavia for some idea of the consequence of breaking down the nuclear family model.  A study of kinship rights in Sweden shows the path that the country has taken.  Homosexuals have enjoyed marriage equality through registered partnerships since 1995.   Lawyer Siv Westerberg said in her lecture to The Family Education Trust:

Sweden has, during the last decades, developed into a kind of socio-medical totalitarian state.  A totalitarian state where families are deprived of the right to care for and educate their own children; and are deprived of the basic human right to both family life and private life...both people with low incomes, and professionals have no choice.  You have to leave your small children for eight to ten hours every day in state governed care.  In statistical terms, a child is in day nursery from the age of one year till the age of six years, will encounter, on average, 275 different grown up people who care for them.  As for their own parents – they are lucky if they see them for more than one or two hours a day.  By this means, everybody is delivered into the embrace of the state and its servants.  By this means too, the state has succeeded where many other tyrannies have failed, in controlling the family.[39]

Social anthropologist Peter Klevius warns against other abuses of Scandinavian governance on nuclear family kinship.  He writes:

The word religion can namely be traced to Latin re- ‘back’ and ligare ‘tie,’ i.e., kinship tied back in the form of ancestor worship.  Kinship could therefore be seen as the main element in binding the society together and religion the form in which this is done.  Today the base on which most of the child protection laws stand is the view that ‘the child is an independent subject of its own rights’ (Finnish child protection law of 1984) and therefore stands in an obvious state of opposition to kinship systems and religion…Actions severing family bonds take the form not only of taking children into the custody of the state, but also…of marginalizing parenthood by an increasing amount of rather aggressive interventions by the social state in matters of child-rearing.  What has been forgotten in legalization of these efforts ‘in the best interests of the child,’ is the child’s right to continuity concerning its family and relatives…In a recent and quite remarkable study, Flinn and England have shown how reduced kinship ties in the rearing environment increase children’s stress measured as cortisol levels…In a Finnish study consisting of 7,000 15-16 years-old children the incest (sexual abuse at home) figures for girls raised by their biological parents was less than 0.15 percent while the figures for girls living with step fathers or in completely non-biological environments, were 15-30 times higher (Sariola 1990).[40]

The heterosexual system of marriage and nuclear family is the chief obstacle to an experimental and totalitarian society, where the minority dictates social policy to the majority, through state-sponsored homosexism.  If biblical marriage prospers, the biblical family will also and the realm of the state and its bureaucratic intrusion into the affairs of its citizens can be limited.  If the biblical design and code for sexual relations is favoured, the imposition of technological reproductive alternatives will be mitigated.  George Gilder describes the imminent technocratic intrusion this way:

If the family should widely breakdown, then the world of artificial wombs, clones and child-development centers would become an important reality rather than a laboratory curiosity.[41]

Pastor Price Knows Better Than Those Committed to Stopping Marriage Redefinition


Misleading Statements by Pastor Price

· It [same-sex marriage debate] is also taking place within the church and wider religious community.  Articles are being written, books are being written, rallies are being held, lobby groups are meeting, and marches are taking place that predominately draw from that constituency.

· If I can say, there is little doubt that this [same-sex marriage] will in fact become law.  Maybe a general election, if it is called shortly, will interrupt the process, but it will come back in due course on the statute books as it is in much else of the world.


Edmund Burke’s famous dictum aptly warns us: All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men [and women] do nothing.”  In spite of listing all of the means by which “the church” and agencies like Focus on the Family, R.E.A.L. Women of Canada and the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, have been trying to influence the marriage redefinition decision, Pastor Price makes no call to resist.  To the contrary, the Living Truth audience is not reached and The Peoples Church are told that same-sex marriage is inevitable in Canada.  And he proclaims this with such sincerity and conviction that, if taken seriously, he would sap the energy from any one’s effort at resistance.  We know that the “other side,” for want of a better term, has also been doing all the above listed activities and more - working towards strategic placement of pro-gay judges and influencing key people like Prime Minister Jean Chrétien are two examples.  To suggest that same-sex marriage is inevitable, while so much effort was being placed on winning the same-sex marriage fight is, at the least, unfortunate. 

On the same day that Pastor Price was telling his congregation of the certainty of same-sex marriage, Bishop Frederick Henry, released a letter of guidance to the over 400,000 parishioners in his Calgary Diocese.  Although facing two hearings with the Human Rights Commission for accusations of spreading hatred (both claims were later dropped), he wrote: 

Since homosexuality, adultery, prostitution and pornography undermine the foundations of the family, the basis of society, then the State must use its coercive power to proscribe or curtail them in the interests of the common good. The government has a solemn obligation to protect, not re-engineer, an institution that is more fundamental to human life than the state. In a word, it must ‘build fences’ to protect the institution of marriage.[42]

And in an earlier letter to his diocese, Bishop Henry advised:

Contrary to what is normally alleged, the primary goals in seeking legalization of same-sex ‘marriage’ are not the financial or health or inheritance or pension benefits associated with marriage. The search for stability and exclusivity in a homosexual relationship is not the driving force. The principal objective in seeking same-sex ‘marriage’ is not really even about equality rights. The goal is to acquire a powerful psychological weapon to change society’s rejection of homosexual activity and lifestyle into gradual, even if reluctant, acceptance.[43]

Cardinal Ambrozic, Archbishop of Toronto, raised another key issue in an open letter to the Prime Minister:  He wrote:

The law is a teacher. Does Canadian society as a whole, and do parents in particular, understand what the law will be teaching in this instance? It will be teaching that homosexual activity and heterosexual activity are morally equivalent. Public schools will be required to provide sex education in that light.[44]

The observations by these clergy are born out most recently, by marriage partners Kevin Bourassa and Joe Varnell.  In an article titled, “Purging toxic religion in Canada: Gay marriage exposes faith-based bigotry,” they call Bishop Henry, “The Bishop of Bigotry” and write:

We know from firsthand experience, as we've documented in our book Just Married, that gay marriage is leading Canadians towards acceptance of homosexuality.  Henry doesn't like this because he knows that either his church will have to change or it risks the continued loss of support from its dwindling faithful. The lies this religion maintains about homosexuals cannot be supported when society reflects reality.[45]

Advocates, on both sides of the issue, share a common understanding of the symbolic importance of same-sex marriage.  Redefinition of marriage represents strategic defeat to all of those, over the past forty plus years, who have been resisting sexual liberation, opposing its derivative homosexual liberation, and defending against the attacks on Christian values, traditional marriage, the nuclear family and public education.  And for these vanquished fighters comes increased pressure (social and legal) to end all public resistance.  Believing same-sex marriage to be inevitable, Pastor Price does not dwell on the negative implications; he does not side with those in the front lines of the struggle:


Focus on the Family Canada
The Life Training Institute
Senator Anne Cools
Canada Family Action Coalition (CFAC)
Christian Coalition International (Canada)
Institute For Canadian Values
Canada Conference of Catholic Bishops
Hutterite Brethren
Equite Famille
ECP Centre
Knights of Columbus
Concerned Christians Canada
Family Coalition Party of Ontario
Vote Marriage Canada
Defend Traditional Marriage and Family

National Alliance of Covenanting Congregations
Christian Reformed Church

Hon. Tom Wappel/Pat OBrien
Christian Legal Fellowship of Canada

Catholic Education Resource Center
Inst. Study of Marriage, Law and Culture
Canadian Marriage Defense Resources R.E.A.L Women of Canada
Defend Marriage Canada
Defend Marriage Canada Project
Institute for Marriage and Public Policy
Institute for Canadian Value
Social Conservatives United
Michael Coren
Catholic Civil Rights League
Evangelical Fellowship of Canada
Bishop Frederick Henry
United Mothers
Association of Christian Families

Community of Concern

Hamilton-Wentworth Family Action Council
Alliance for Marriage and Family
Atlantic Canada Assn. of Free Will Baptists

Christian Action Fed. of New Brunswick
Evangelical Pentecostal Church
Nova Scotia Coalition for Traditional Values
Alberta Fed. of Women United for Families
Catholic Women's League of Canada
The Office of Life and Family
Vancouver Christian Renewal Fellowship
North Shore Clergy Fellowship
Interfaith Coalition
Women for Life, Faith and Family
Promise Keepers Canada
Seventh-Day Adventist Church
Canadian Christian Women Organization
100 Huntley Street


Instead he focuses on arguing for a liberal adaptation to the new homosexist reality.

Pastor Price Lobbies For A More Pro-Gay Position

So let us shift focus from the global and national-level struggle, what feminist Diana Alstad[46] calls the “planetary battle” or “morality wars” over “who has the right to decide what’s right” to what Pastor Price spends most of his presentation on – a critical commentary on the evangelical witness to individual gays and lesbians and the homosexual “community” at large.  In general, this portion of the sermon attempts to win the audience to a closer stance with the pro-gay position. 


Misleading Statements by Pastor Price

· But when we stand for that [objective morality] there is one word that would sum us up, generally the person on the street would some us up as a bigot.  It is a bigoted perspective.  So we are called bigots.  I understand why.  Because if you have a framework, which says, you are going to have the right to judge me, then the very fact that you say something is wrong.  It is itself an act of bigotry.

· You know Jesus was a liberal, wasn’t he?  He was very liberal towards people caught in sin. 

· We don’t know what was behind the [adulterous] woman in that situation.  Maybe she actually had a rotten marriage and fell in love with somebody else, I don’t know.  Jesus understood that.  I don’t know.  So its not worth speculating.  But He was very kind to her.  No one ever went away from Jesus saying He is a bigot, except the religious leaders.  They might have said it.  No body went away and said He is intolerant, except the religious leaders. 


Kevin Bourassa and Joe Varnell, Canada’s first married gay couple and the name-calling originators of: “The Bishop of Bigotry,” would applaud this call to liberalism and tolerance.  Pastor Price makes a case that objective morality is a bigoted perspective, without any suggestion that the postmodernist or homosexist viewpoints are equally opinionated against Christianity.  Contrary to his line of argument, disagreeing with homosexuals about their rights and disapproving of their behavior does not automatically make someone a bigot.  The Gospel forbids Christians from “hating” other people.  We, who are saved by the grace of God, are hypocrites when we look done on others, as the self-righteous do.  Holding up a sign stating, “God hates fagots” is bigotry because of the hatred displayed.  Authentic Christian opposition to the homosexual life style and gay marriage, on the other hand, is not bigotry – not a violent hatred or exaggerated fear, rooted in unfair and irrational attitudes based on blanket preconditions.  Opposition to homosexuality need not be motivated by a prejudiced and insulting attitude.  A fair and dispassionate examination of the evidence relevant to an ethical evaluation of homosexual acts and affections can very well support a negative moral conclusion held with principled conviction.  Viewing something as immoral is not the same thing as being bigoted; for example, it is not customary to look upon a pro-life advocate as a bigot towards abortions. Secularists and humanists hold opinions in common with scripture on the matter of homosexuality.  Is everyone, who firmly stands for what he or she believes, deserving of the label bigot? 

Another frequent attack on Christian fundamentalism argues that those who criticize homosexuality are guilty of having a judgmental attitude.  It has been said, “surely it is neither the Christian’s responsibility nor prerogative to judge other people’s lifestyles.”  To be loving of others and true to God and His Word, Christians cannot be uncritical of or neutral toward those things Scripture prohibits.  People must be warned against attitudes and behaviors that are displeasing to a holy God.  We, who have been redeemed by the mercy of God, are called to conscious separation from sin and emulation of God’s character.  This would be impossible without identifying some things as sinful and ungodly – which is patently judgmental.  The fact is Scripture does not forbid judging in itself, but judging which is ill-motivated, hasty, unfair or according to unbiblical standards.  Indeed, God in His Word requires us to judge actions[47] and to reprove the unfruitful works of darkness[48] without partiality,[49] hypocrisy[50] or attempting to determine inward matters pertaining to the individual’s heart.[51]  It is the “spirit of this age” that demands the general suppression of discernment, encourages unprincipled tolerance, and criticizes anyone who would dare to criticize.  The Holy Spirit exhorts us to “prove all things; hold fast that which is good; and abstain from every form of evil.[52]  It is misleading to make a case that Christ is a “liberal” from the example of the “adulterous woman” or the “Samaritan woman at the well,” especially when the term “liberal” is loaded with many language nuances including equating liberalism with pro-gay theology.  The two examples that Pastor Price cites must be placed in the context of scripture that is not open to opinion.  In his Second Letter to the Thessalonians, Apostle Paul describes Christ’s return as a blazing fire with his powerful angels:

He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus.  They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the lord and from the majesty of His power on the day He comes to be glorified…[53]

When carefully examined, the call for homosexual marriage “equality rights” is fundamentally a challenge to the integrity, sufficiency, and authority of Scripture, which for the church is an attack upon the relevancy of our God, and thus, a huge assault on the influence of Canadian Christendom.

Pastor Price concludes there is a quandary; however, liberal pro-gay churches see no dilemma in the positions they assert.  John Shelby Spong, Episcopal Bishop and Humanist of the Year for 1999, sees no dilemma when he throws his support to sexual liberation and same-sex marriage.  In his book, A New Christianity for a New World, he asks himself a rhetorical question and then answers:

So why does it matter that we reformulate the tenets of traditional Christianity or attempt to redefine God in non-theistic terms?  What is the answer to the ‘So what?’ question from my critical listener?

We reimage God to keep the world from enduring the pain of a continuing reliance on a theistic deity….That same theistic God is quoted by people who want to impose their definitions of homosexuality or their values in the right-to-life movement on everyone else.  So it matters how one thinks of God.[54]

Canada’s most liberal denomination sees no dilemma in same-sex marriage.  The United Church declared its position as early as May 2004, in a FACTUM before the Supreme Court.  Key text reads:

Theologically and liturgically, the United Church understands both opposite-sex and same-sex couples as sharing the same human dignity of being made in the image of God.  There is therefore no theological impediment that would prevent same-sex couples from participating in this union…[55]

And in January 2005, United Church Moderator, The Right Rev. Dr. Peter Short, wrote to Members of Parliament lobbying them to vote for marriage redefinition and inviting them to a prayer breakfast to be hosted by the United Church.  He said in the letter:

Some will protest that we must have faith in the Bible, and that the Bible takes an unfavourable view of intimate same-sex relationship. But I would answer that Christian faith is not an uncritical repetition of a received text. It is a mindful commitment to the power  of love, to which the text seeks to give witness. Every generation of the Christian faith must decide how they will honour that demand of love in the living of their days. Changing circumstances and changing ideas are not the enemy of faith.  In fact, change is the only medium in which faithfulness can truly become faithfulness. Uncritical repetition is more like being on autopilot.[56]

 A few weeks later, Rev. Dr. Jim Sinclair, General Secretary of the UCC General Council, wrote:

Marriage will be enhanced, not diminished, religious freedom will be protected, not threatened, and Canadian society will be strengthened, not weakened, as a result of this [same-sex marriage] legislation.[57]

Right Rev. Dr. Short, Rev. Dr. Sinclair, Rev. Dr. Spong, Bishop Henry, and Cardinal Ambrozic share one thing in common, they each hold specific views and see no dilemma in voicing their opinions.  The first three clergy hold no countenance towards the authority of scripture and wish to rewrite the Gospel to a homosexist worldview.  The latter two clergy are comfortable representing the traditional (two millenniums old) Christian worldview.  A “dilemma” only exists if one desires to be both hot and cold at the same time; if one searches for a position somehow supporting conflicting views: Christianity and homosexism, righteous sex and sexual liberation, orthodoxy and liberalism.  Attempts at bridging opposing moral values are likely to fail in political, social and spiritual environments.  Morality is a zero sum dynamic – a gain for one side is a loss for the other; a move in one direction is a move away from another.  Social morality has no middle ground.  The flip-flop of the Chrétien Liberals on the issue of same-sex marriage validates this point.  For the Liberals, who seek the centrist political position, there was no middle-of-the-way position on redefining marriage.  Canadians are ardently for it or strongly against it; only some 17 percent were undecided or indifferent.[58]  A lukewarm position, neither for or against alienates all but the undecided and indifferent.  Hence, when the Liberals were against gay marriage, Justice Minister Anne McClellan gave absolute assurance that marriage redefinition was out of the question for self-evident reasons.  And when the liberals were for redefining marriage, the Party came out with “It’s the Charter Stupid!”  Leaving credibility aside, the Liberals’ position was never lukewarm.  Sameness and differentiation, equality and discrimination are trade-off dynamics; it has become impossible to defend the rights of alternative lifestyles while still championing the virtues of traditional ones.

Apostle Paul speaks of either being a slave to sin or to obedience.[59]  Compromised, half-hearted application of scripture is not a Christ-like attribute.   The Apostle John records how Christ reacted to compromise and self-delusion within the Church in Laodicea.  Jesus said of the Church:

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot.  I wish you were either one or the other!  So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth. [60]

Even though the Church of Laodicea was wealthy and did not want for temporal things, the membership was blind and their spirituality made Christ spit (the NIV footnote states “vomit”).  There is a true quandary for the person who identifies with the homosexual lifestyle and also wants to live a godly lifestyle.  There is a dilemma for one who maintains gay sexual relations and also wants to have a righteous relationship with Christ.  The conflicting identities and relationships are zero sum dynamics; we are not to continue in sin, that grace may abound.[61]

[See Part 2 for the second half of the analysis of Pastor Price’s sermon]


Copyright © 2008 StandForGod.Org


[1] Charles Price, “The ‘Same Sex’ Marriage Dilemma,” a CD by The Peoples Church, 1 May 2005.

[3] Psalm 119:113, James 1:8, 4:8.[

[4] Statistics Canada, Population by Religion, by Province and Territory, 2001 Census. Note the population by religion question is asked only every ten years, therefore, the matter was not addressed in the 2006 census.  Note that the Statistics Canada Protestant total includes 155,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses and 105,000 Mormons.

[5] “Same-sex Marriage: Canadian Public Opinion Polls,” Religious Tolerance Org,, 14 Nov 2007.

[7] F.L. Morton and Rainer Knopff, The Charter Revolution & The Court Party (Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press, 2000), p.142.

[8] Tom Arnold, “B.C. court says no to gay marriage,” National Post, Thursday 4 October 2001, p.A1.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Iain T. Benson, “The Idolatry of Law: When Law is Seen as “like Religion,” Centre Points 12, Winter 2004/2005,, 10/16/05.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

[13] LESBIAN/GAY LAW NOTES, Editor: Prof. Arthur S. Leonard, New York Law School, September 2004, p.27,

[14] Canadian Press, “Tories blast 'sham' review of judges Nominees should appear in person, Tory justice critic argues,”  25/08/2004, 21 Nov 2007.

[15] “Charron, Abella to fill Supreme Court vacancies,” CBC News Online, 24 Aug 2004,

[16] REAL Women of Canada, “Homosexual Lobby Group EGALE Hits Turbulance,” REALity, _7.html, 4/23/02.

[17] Jonathan Ned Katz, The Invention of Heterosexuality (New York: Dutton, 1995), p.149 and 150.

[18] GBLTQ legal support agency.

[19] Frank Browning, The Culture of Desire (New York: Crown Publishers, 1993), p.153.

[20] REAL Women of Canada, “Homosexual Lobby Group EGALE Hits Turbulance,” REALity, _7.html, 4/23/02.

[21] Eric Marcus, The Male Couple’s Guide, (New York: Harper Perennial, 1999) p.22.

[22] Joe Dallas, A Strong Delusion: Confronting the “Gay Christian” Movement (Eugene Oregon: Harvest House, 1996), p.31.

[23] Norman Podhoretz, “How the gay-rights movement won,” Commentary, New York, November 1996.

[24] Joe Woodward, “Religions unite over sex and the family,” Calgary Herald, 20 February, 2001, pp.A! and A2.

[25] Department of Justice, “Marriage and Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Unions: A Discussion Paper, Message From the Minister, November 2002, p.15.

[26] Ibid., p.22.

[27] “Bruce Clemenger Comments on Same-Sex Marriage,” Peoples Progress, The Peoples Church, 13 February 2005.

[28] Maggie Gallagher, The Abolution of Marriage: How We Destroy Lasting Love (Washington D.C.: Regenery, 1996), p.31.

[30] 1 Corinthians 6:9.

[31] EGALE – Equality for Gays and Lesbians Everywhere.

[32] Jody Freeman, “Defining Family In Mossop v. DSS: The Challenge of Anti-Essentialism and Interactive Discrimination for Human Rights Legislation.”  University of Toronto Law Journal 44, 1994, p95, as cited in David Raymond Greener, “Deconstructing Family: A Case Study of Legal Advocacy Scholarship.”  M.A. thesis, University of Calgary, 1997, p.59. 

[33] Didi Herman, “Are We Family?  Lesbian Rights and Women’s Liberation,”  Osgoode Hall Law Journal 28.4, Winter 1990, p.803, as cited by Greener, p.54.

[34] Didi Herman, “The Good, the Bad and the Smugly: Sexual Orientation and Perspectives on the Charter,” Charting the Consequences: The Impact of the Charter of Rights on Canadian Law and Politics, Ed. David Schneiderman and Kate Sutherland (Toronto ON: Toronto Press, 1997), 200-17, cited in Morton and Knopff, p.142. 

[35] David Raymond Greener, “Deconstructing Family: A Case Study of Legal Advocacy Scholarship.”  M.A. thesis, University of Calgary, 1997, p.142.

[36] Morton and Knopff, p.142.  Interior quote from Greener, p.7.

[37] Freeman as cited in Greener, p.73.

[38] William N. Eskridge, Jr., The Case for SAME-SEX MARRIAGE (New York: The Free Press, 1996), pp.80 and 81.

[39] Siv Westerberg, “The Folly of Sweden’s State Controlled Families,” lecture to The Family Education Trust, London, 19 June 1999.

[40] Peter Klevius, “ANGELS OF ANTICHRIST – Social State vs. Kinship,” first published in Issues of Child Abuse Accusations, Spring 1996, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp.94-101.  Title taken from 1897 novel “The Miracles of Antichrist,” written by Selma Lagerlof of Sweden, the first female Nobel prize winner in literature.  She asserts socialism is the disguise of Antichrist.

[41] George Gilder, Men and Marriage (Gretna, Louisiana: Pelican Publishing Company, 1987), p.185.

[42] Bishop Henry, Open letter to Diocese on same-sex marriage, released May 1 2005,, 12 Nov 2007.  

[43] Bishop Henry, Open letter to Diocese on same-sex marriage, released Jan 15-16 2005,, 12 Nov 2007.

[44] Life Site, “Cardinal Ambrozic letter to Canadian Prime Minister Martin Re: Same-Sex Marriage Bill,” dated 18 Jan 2005,, 13 Nov 2007.

[45] Kevin Bourassa and Joe Varnell, “Purging toxic religion in Canada: Gay marriage exposes faith-based bigotry,” Equal Marriage, 18 January 2005,, 18/11/2005.

[46] Karla Mantilla, “Abortion, power, and the morality wars,” Off Our Backs,Washington, February 1999.  An interview with co-author Diana Alstad, “Abortion and the Morality Wars: Taking the Moral Offensive.”

[47] Matthew 7:15-23, John 7:24.

[48] Ephesians 5:11, Timothy 5:20, 4:2, Titus 1:13; 2:15.

[49] 1 Timothy 5:21.

[50] Matthew 7:1-5.

[51] 1 Samuel 16:7. 

[52] Ezekiel 11:19-20, Romans 3:31, 6:1-7:6, 8:1-4, 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, Titus 2:11-14.

[53] 2 Thessalonians 1:8-10.

[54] John Shelby Spong, A New Christianity For a New World (San Franciso: Harher, 2001), p. 230.

[55] FACTUM OF THE INTERVENER, The United Church of Canada, Supreme Court File No. 29866, May 11, 2004, p.2.

[56] Moderator’s Letter to Members of Parliament on Equal Marriage, January 17, 2005,, 20/08/2005

[57] United Church News Release, “Same-Sex Marriage Legislation Offers a Win-Win Solution, Says The United Church of Canada,” 1 February 2005,, 10/30/05.

[58] “Same-sex Marriage: Canadian Public Opinion Polls,” Religious Tolerance Org,, 14 Nov 2007.

[59] Romans 6:16.

[60] Revelation 3:15-16.

[61] Romans 6:1.