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Does Genesis 2 Support the Gay Affirming View of Homosexuality and Same-Sex Marriage?
The Creation account recorded in Genesis chapters 1-2 is part of the debate over homosexuality and same-sex marriage. Traditionally, many Christians believe that these chapters demonstrate beyond any doubt that homosexuality was never God’s purpose for mankind, and that the first marriage pattern—Adam and Eve—is the only pattern that bears his approval. However, tradition has a way of making people accept a premise without proper analysis and discussion. Does this narrative, in fact, offer indisputable opposition to homosexuality, or have traditional Christians overlooked the evidence in this very passage that actually lends substantial support to the very thing they oppose—same-sex marriage?
 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him…”  So the Lord God put the man into a deep sleep and he fell asleep; then he took one of his ribs and closed the meat in that place.  The Lord God made the rib that he had taken from the man into a woman and brought it to the man. (Genesis 2:18, 21-22)
You will notice in my citation of this popular narrative that I have omitted verses 19-21. Tragically, this is how the vast majority of traditional Christians perceive this story, as if those intermediate verses do not exist at all. But it is what happens in those verses that casts a dark shadow over the interpretation held by so many. By overlooking these verses, people understand the story to progress as follows: “God makes man. Man is alone. God makes woman to be man’s companion so that he will not be alone.” This flow is very appropriate, as it allows people to conclude that God described Eve to Adam, thus describing woman to man. But when we add verses 19-21 back into the story, a whole story begins to form.
 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”  The Lord God formed from the ground every beast of the field and every bird of the sky and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever man called a living creature, that was its name.  The man gave names to all the cattle, the birds of the air, and every beast of the field, but for Adam no suitable helper was found for him.  So the Lord God put the man into a deep sleep and he fell asleep; then he took one of his ribs and closed the meat in that place.  The Lord God made the rib that he had taken from the man into a woman and brought it to the man.  The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man.” (Genesis 2:18-23)
What people seem to fail to remember is that after God established it it was not well for “the man” (“the” is a definite article denoting a single individual – Adam), He did not immediately create Eve. First, He brought to Adam all the animals He had created. Now, we must ask why a God who is concerned with all things being “good” (remember how he pronounced what he made good after each successive stage of creation) would take this time-consuming step of making Adam name all the animals before he created Eve to solve Adam’snot good” condition of being alone. Why not create Eve immediately, in order to remedy Adam’s loneliness as quickly as possible, as most Christians mistakenly think He did?
The answer is found in the second half of verse 20. Although God brought the animals before Adam to see what he would call them (v. 19), the solution to Adam’s loneliness was on His mind and purpose all along. After Adam named all the animals, there was still “not found a helper fit for him.” This means that even this naming process was part of God’s purpose to correct Adam’s loneliness. Unfortunately, nothing in the entire creation was found suitable.
But here’s an interesting question: What was an omniscient (omniscient) God doing? looking for a suitable companion for Adam? Why was it necessary? Find one, seeing that He already knew that nothing in creation up to that point was suitable? The answer is simple. God wasn’t looking… Adam was! It was he, not God, who named the animals; and it was he, not God, who determined that none of them were fit for him.
Now, if God already knew that no animal was suitable for Adam, why would He go through this time-consuming process of allowing Adam to seek something that he would not find? There’s only one reason: God needed Adam (and, by extension, us) to understand that when it comes to finding a suitable mate, it’s not Him who makes the choice, but us. Of course, He knows who would be best for us long before we do; but there is no purpose in Him appointing a companion for us, when we do not make that choice for ourselves. We are the ones who must covenant with our companion for the rest of our lives, so it makes perfect sense that God would leave the determination of suitability up to us.
It was only after Adam discovered that nothing in creation was suitable that God created Eve. But notice something important at the end of verse 22. As God did with all the animals He had created, so He did with Eve. Instead of assigning it to Adam, saying, “This is your suitable companion,” He brought (presented) it to him, allowing Adam to give in order. And so it happened. In the next verse (23), it was Adamnot God, who gave the approval, saying, in effect, “Now it there’s someone I can become one with!”
Note one last point in the text. In many cases, the text indicated that it was God’s purpose to provide Adam with a companion that was suitable for HIM (for Adam). This arises in verses 18 and 20. The companion was not to be fit for mankind, but for one man—Adam. Traditionalists would like to claim that what was appropriate for Adam was appropriate everything men; but this absolutely violates what Scripture teaches. Not only do we find in this particular passage that Adam determined the fitness for himself; but a necessary consequence of traditionalist logic would be the conclusion that just as it was not good for Adam to be alone, it is not good for any man to be alone. For what is good for the goose (Adam) is good for the gander (all men), celibacy suits no one, as it was not good for Adam! This line of reasoning indicts many heroes of our faith as people who violated God’s supposed purposes, including the prophets Elijah and Elijah, but also the apostles John and Paul, and, dare I say it, even our Lord Jesus! None of these men married; yet according to traditionalist logic, they were supposed to be based solely on the fact that Adam did it.
Traditionalists would no doubt try to escape the consequences of their (bad) logic by claiming that Adam’s pattern applies as spiritual law only to those who decide to marry, and only in connection with which they get married. But this is simply not true. Their logic requires us to conclude that what happened regarding Adam’s sexuality is a requirement regarding all of humanity. If it wouldn’t be good for HIM to be alone should not be good for any of us to be.
Now, even though their logic has already failed at this point, let’s assume they haven’t. Problems still exist with the traditionalist line of reasoning. Adam’s model was a one-woman man, as conservatives talk about incessantly today. However, in Scripture, polygamy (or more specifically, polygyny – one man with many wives) was not only allowed and facilitated, but God even created some polygynous unions (2Samuel 12:7-8), violating this supposed principle. So either God breaks His word, or this law of the Adam-Eve marriage paradigm (one man, one woman) exists only in the minds of people who refuse to study Scripture objectively, allowing it to speak for itself.
So what do we learn from the creation story, a passage of Scripture that supposedly holds a gun against same-sex marriage? We find that:
- Adam determined eligibility, not God.
- What he defined as appropriate was only appropriate for him HIM.
Marriage (and sex) was meant to satisfy the human need for intimate companionship. Now, in order to fulfill this purpose of marriage, those involved in it must necessarily be suitable for individuals; otherwise, it is a marriage of form, without any real divine purpose. This makes same-sex marriage absolutely necessary for homosexuals, otherwise those who have a natural same-sex only inclination are caught in an intractable “not good” situation: needing companionship but unable to have it in one suitable way (suitable as determined by biblical testimony, meaning suitable for the individual).
The best solution traditionalists can find is lifelong celibacy; however, according to 1 Corinthians 7:9, this is not an option either. In fact, verse 7 of the same chapter explicitly states that celibacy is a gift, which means not everyone has it. For homosexuals who are not gifted with celibacy, the biblical remedy spelled out in Genesis 2 as well as 1Co. 7:9 is sex through marriage. But this requires one suitable companions: Eve to Adam in the case of heterosexuals, but Steve to Adam and Jane to Eve in the case of homosexuals. There is no other choice.
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