by Father Eusebios, Abbot Pantanassa Monastery in honour of His Eminence Stylianos, Archbishop of Australia Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia.
In marriage a man and a woman become one.
“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth …” (Gen. 1: 27-28).
Today, the influence of sin abounds and is much more provocative than it has ever been. God’s law allows us to gain knowledge of sin and recognise our own sinful state. Over time society has lost its ability to discern. Our society today is like a vineyard without a hedge to protect it where anything can enter and destroy the vines. Without an ethical fence, without the law of God to protect, we are open to all sorts of influences. We fall prey to the devil and can’t protect ourselves.
This is exactly what is happening today when we are being told that marriage is not just between a man and a woman, as God defined it, but can be between people of the same gender.
For followers of Jesus this vote is about saying NO to sin and upholding marriage as God ordained in the beginning. In this matter we can imitate the Apostle Paul and be dead to the world and alive to God.
Marriage, gender and procreation are amongst the first and greatest gifts that God granted to the human person. They are unique in that they were granted to the human person at the time of creation in paradise, prior to the ancestral fall.
What does this mean? Marriage, gender and procreation are not consequences of the fall, the ancestral sin. Gender is not merely a social construct, but something inherent to the primordial nature of human beings, an essential and enduring element in our human constitution.
In the New Testament our Lord affirms this, “Haven’t you read, … that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said … ‘the two will become one flesh’? (Matthew 19:4-6).
In the sacrament of marriage there is a real change affected in both husband and wife, since the two complementary persons are united in one being, as a single substance. This is important because each person, the male and the female, in this union, is not abolished, but the diversity of both persons is preserved in a way that reflects the image of the Holy Trinity. The union of the Three persons in the Holy Trinity in one nature forms a single subject: Just as God is one, and at the same time three, similarly, marital union of two persons forms a dyad-monad, where husband and wife are simultaneously two and one – but both united in a third person – God.
This can only involve a relationship based on gender complementarity – man, woman. So for Christians, marriage is necessarily monogamous and heterosexual, and this is not because of customs in society that have been constructed by humans only, but through the revelation of God Himself.
O Lord our God, who in Your saving dispensation declared marriage honourable by Your presence at the wedding in Cana of Galilee, keep in peace and concord Your servants, whom You have joined together as one. Make their marriage honourable. Preserve their union undefiled; grant that they may live together blamelessly; and make them worthy to attain to a ripe old age, fulfilling Your commandments with a pure heart. We pray for Your hedge of protection around the sacred institution of marriage in Australia. In Your mercy may it remain as between and man and a woman, to the exclusion of all others, voluntary entered into for life. For You are our God, the God of mercy and salvation, and to You we send up glory, together with Your Father Who is without beginning, and Your all-holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, always, now and forever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Watch Complementarity – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0R-QVU0lAQ
Canberra Declaration Daily Prayer Points for October
- A Miracle for Marriage
- Truth to be Exposed
- A Spirit of Repentance in the Church
- Revival and Transformation in our Nation
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Daily Zoom video one hour prayer calls at 7AM, 1PM & 8PM to pray for marriage and family. To register and get log in details for the Zoom conference call go to www.prayercall.com.au