The Attack on Marriage is Diabolical

By Deacon Keith Fournier Published on April 10, 2015

In his introduction to The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis wrote: “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.”

As a constitutional lawyer and Christian activist, I am well aware that the attack on marriage — between one man and one woman, open to life, intended for life and formative of family — is being waged in the courts, the Congress and the culture. But that’s not the full story.

Our cultural battles over marriage and the family are presenting symptoms of something deeper and more sinister. The struggle we face is, at root, a spiritual one. We fight for the souls of men and women in this hour and the loving plan of God for the whole human race. We face fierce opposition from the devil. Yes, I said it, the devil.

 The Devil Hates Marriage

A lot of people consider talk about the devil unseemly. Pope Francis doesn’t agree. He reminds the faithful that the devil is our enemy. Here are two examples from 2013:

The presence of the devil is on the first page of the Bible, and the Bible ends as well with the presence of the devil, with the victory of God over the devil.

The Prince of this world, Satan, doesn’t want our holiness, he doesn’t want us to follow Jesus Christ. Maybe some of you might say: ‘But Father, how old fashioned you are to speak about the devil in the 21st century!’ But look out because the devil is present!

In a sermon last June, he preached that Satan has his sights set on marriage and the family: “[The Devil] attacks the family. … That demon does not love it — and seeks to destroy it. May the Lord bless the family. … May He make it strong in this crisis in which the devil wishes to destroy it.”

The devil hates marriage and the family because the devil hates God and is in rebellion against His loving plan for the human race. From the first chapter of the first book of the Bible, we discover a loving plan. In the context of his first gift of creation, God fashioned us in His image. In the second chapter of Genesis we read, “It is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). The two, male and female, coming together in marriage, reveal the image of God. The conjugal embrace unites the spouses and opens to new life, broadening the circle of love with children. The loving plan of God is unveiled in the family.

Marriage is not unique to Christianity, of course, but is revealed by the Natural Moral Law for all humanity. No culture that denies this can hope to flourish.

Our Sexual Differentiation is a Gift

Our sexual difference as male and female is a given. We do not choose to be male or female. We receive it. The notion that we can choose our sex, or abandon the distinction altogether, is one more manifestation of the rebellion that started with Adam and Eve.

When our first parents succumbed to the lie that they could determine good and evil, the separation began. That sin affected our relationship with God, with one another and with creation itself. Only a Savior could bridge that separation.

And in His defense of marriage, Jesus referred back to that Genesis account: “From the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and … the two shall become one flesh. What therefore God has joined together let not man put asunder” (Mk 10:5-9; cf. Mt 19:4-9; Lk 16:18). To strike at marriage is to strike at God’s design built into creation from the very beginning.

The Mystery of Marriage

Though marriage is known to all cultures, in Scripture, it takes on greater meaning. We learn that God is self-giving love and that informs our understanding of marriage. We learn to give as integrated human persons, body, soul and spirit, through marriage. It is no accident that the imagery of marriage is used throughout the entire Old Testament as a metaphor for God’s love for Israel (Hosea 2: 19,20).

In Jesus Christ, marriage is elevated to a mystery that reveals Christ’s love for His Bride, the Church (Eph 5:32). And this mystery casts light back on “ordinary” marriage between man and woman. From antiquity the Christian family has been called the domestic church.  The Christian family is the smallest cell of the Body of Christ. It is in the domestic church of the family where progress in Christian maturity takes place. It is a seedbed of holiness for the spouses, teaching them the path of selfless love.

So of course, the one who hates Christ and His Church, hates marriage and family. It is for this reason that Paul, after instructions about the relationships of marriage and family (Ephesians 5), gives his admonition about spiritual warfare (Eph. 6).

Principalities and Powers

The Apostle Paul instructed the Christians in Ephesus to “put on the whole armor of God” (Eph. 6:12, 13). He told the Christians in Corinth, “For though we live in the world we are not carrying on a worldly war, for the weapons of our warfare are not worldly but have divine power to destroy strongholds” (2 Cor. 10:4,5). And in his letter to the Christians in Rome he describes in gory detail what happens when people reject God’s plan for family and sexuality (Romans 1).

There is nothing new or fresh about this hour’s assault on marriage. It is simply old school paganism dressed up in sophistry. But it never has the last word. The truth about marriage transformed the cultures into which the early Church was sent, and it can do so again.

Jesus promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against the Church (Matt. 16:18). The demons have tried for over two millennia, but they have failed. The evil one has set his scopes on the first cell of the Church, the Christian family. Is it any wonder that the enemy of the Lord’s loving plan for the whole human race, the Church, would seek to destroy the Church by attacking its smallest cell?

The greatest weapon we have is not our argumentation and apologetics, as vital as they both are. Rather, it is to recognize that the attack is from the gates of hell and to wield the spiritual weapons the Lord has given us.

While we contend in the public square, we must remember that we do not struggle merely against flesh and blood. The assault on marriage is diabolical. But, as Jesus promised, the gates of hell will not prevail.

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  • Jeff Ludwig

    I appreciate the boldness and truth of this article. I give God the glory for the likes of Deacon Fournier’s inspiring comments.

  • Max

    You’re clearly loving this persecution complex so popular with today’s conservative christians. It’s pathetic how you suggest that hatred is only coming for one side. You’re either a total fool in denial or an unabashed liar.

    “end up killing and/or harming millions in the name of “building a more just world, without the god concept.”” Oh please, elaborate as to how atheists are responsible for the deaths of millions. Has an atrocity ever been committed in the name of atheism? Can the same be said for christianity?

    “His advice was not to insult them, and not to hurt them, but to leave them alone as they are hardened against Christ” – so why don’t you all leave them alone? This christian anti-gay crowd are incapable of shutting up about the issue. Practice what you preach or don’t say anything.

  • Jeff Ludwig

    Amen Dean.

  • Bonnie Parvino

    I believe–
    That man was created for woman & woman was created for man.>
    God caused the man to sleep & took from his side a rib & made woman. He did not take something from the head of man to prove that man was more intelligent. He did not take from the foot of man in order that man could walk all over woman & use her for a door mat. God took woman from man’s side in order that woman could walk by her man & man could place his arms around the woman. >
    There is a spiritual line of authority in the home. There is Christ—Man-(husband-father)—Woman (wife-mother) & children on down the line.
    I do not believe in homosexuality.
    I believe it is my right to believe the Word of God & it is that Word that will cause us to overcome & win in this world until Jesus returns.
    I do not believe in abortion.
    Just today I was discussing the fact that some doctors are saying it is all right to do away with the mentally retarded & handicapped at birth, with my sister who is a special education teacher. We are completely dumb-founded. These children are God breathed—(nose to nose). This special education teacher & her sister (me) agreed that the happy smiles of children & many other factors tell me that these little ones add to our lives much more than some who are not retarded or handicapped.. We need to re-examine the Jesus that was in the Holy Mother’s Womb. The Sanctity of life is so precious to our Father.
    I believe that the heart of the Father must return to the child. The young Father is the answer to abortion. as well as the young mother.
    God is in charge.
    Bonnie Parvino

    • Andrew R

      If some people are born handicapped, why is it impossible that some are born gay? Perhaps it’s a human variant in the same way that Downs Syndrome is? Why are the latter deserving of your empathy but the former are not?

      It seems ironic to me that you plead for sympathy for the handicapped, but deny that homosexuality even exists. If someone spoke of the mentally retarded the way you speak of gays, you’d rightly be apalled. For example if someone spoke of how God made Adam and Eve, and said that the retarded don’t fit that template and so are against God’s plan. Don’t you see that that is the argument you’re making about homosexuals?

  • Bonnie Parvino

    You are right —I will not call you a liar. However, I still say that humanity was created perfect. There was no disease, no death, nor any imperfections in Adam & Eve. Then Adam & Eve sinned and sin then came into the DNA of man…(Passed on generation after generation). Humanity is born in sin & we needed a redeemer. God, the creator, provided a way that our sins could be redeemed. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ & thou shalt be saved, & thy House.>>> My complaints are more against the sins of people against me that use the Holy & Pure Word of God as a whipping across the back instead of the sword of the Word of God that is designed by God to cut away the impurities of sin.>>>BUT satan told Jesus to jump off the temple & God would give his angels charge of him. BUT JESUS replied IT IS WRITTEN—thou shalt not tempt the LORD THY GOD.>>>We have the right & OBLIGATION to speak up for life>>>Had Peter said, with God’s help, I will never deny you, then Peter would not have denied our Lord. With God’s help, I will not deny my Lord. And with God’s help I will continue to stand against forced abortions on military/military dependents overseas.& cruel blackmail regarding the safety of my children. It has been sadistic, demonic an totally anti-Christ & it came from the Church. The Church must repent because Jesus is coming after a pure & Holy Bride—not a renegade & rogue one.
    Bonnie Parvino
    Bonnie Parvino

    • Jeff Ludwig

      Thanks for your comment Bonnie. Also, I did not know until I read your comment that there were forced abortions on military personnel. I don’t want to impose on your time, but if you could post a link to an article about this matter, I would be interested to read it. Blessings to you and your family.

    • Max

      Or you could focus on science rather than fairytale when it comes to the formation of the earth, which was 4.5 billion years ago, not 6,000.

  • Jeff Ludwig

    Well said Wesley.

  • Max

    I said “in the name of atheism”, not “by atheists”. Key distinction.

    “You, like the person who originally replied, also have a temper problem.” Based on…? Keep on making up your own truths, it’s what you guys enjoy best.

  • Max

    Funny how the most evil men currently in America are conservative christians then, given your belief that Satan is lurking everywhere with a progressive outlook (laughably ridiculous). Trump, Murdoch, Cheney, Dubya…

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