|Paul and Thecla, 6th century fresco,|
in the Cave of St. Paul near Ephesus
“The hilt of a sword is smooth and handy, and polished and glittering outside; it seems to grow to the outline of the hand; but the other part is steel and the instrument of death, formidable to look at, more formidable still to come across. Such a thing is marriage.”
The above quote is not from some godless, 21st century culture warrior trying to “undermine the institution of marriage.” No, it’s by Gregory of Nyssa, a fourth century bishop and saint.
Indeed, for anyone familiar with the early history of Christianity, there is perhaps nothing more dissonant than hearing modern Christian leaders talk about marriage as the central, lofty institution they believe it to be, most especially when they view it as under attack merely by its extension to same-sex couples.