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Posts Tagged ‘same-sex marriage’

This is a succinct yet thoughtful response of Matthew Vines’ “40 questions for Christians who oppose marriage equality.”

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John Lennon’s 1971 mega-hit “Imagine” enjoys international acclaim as people sing the hymn-like call for a perfect world. Believe it and it will be. “Imagine there’s no Heaven / It’s easy if you try / No Hell below us / Above us only sky / Imagine all the people / Livin’ for today.”

Many today live according to Lennon’s dream. Western culture has managed to rid itself of the old restraints that have supposedly kept us from experiencing a utopian society. Let us imagine what we want reality to be, and it will be! And “livin’ for today”? Yep—we’ve got that down.

We have a culture that is trying to reconstruct humanity along the lines of imagination. Imagine a world where there are no consequences for promiscuous sex. We’ve made abortion safe (so we’re told), legal, and not-so-rare. And those unborn babies? They wouldn’t want to be where they’re not wanted, right? They don’t have a say in the matter, but we can imagine, can’t we?

Yes—let’s live as though reality will follow our imagination. Same-sex marriage? Why not? We can imagine that homosexual couples will as able to rear psychologically-healthy children as heterosexual couples, right? We can imagine.

And what’s with this business about our sexual identity being determined by our physiology? If Bruce Jenner imagines he is a woman, then who are we to say otherwise. Mom, what if your little boy thinks he’s a girl? And you’ve always wanted a little girl. . . . A bit of makeup and surgery and drugs and . . . voila!

If we all would only imagine, what a wonderful world this would be! “Imagine no possessions / I wonder if you can / No need for greed or hunger / A brotherhood of man / Imagine all the people / Sharin’ all the world.” The reason for so much suffering, we are told, is that the few have almost everything and the most have almost nothing. What’s the solution? Increase taxes on the wealthy. They must “pay their fair share.” Now everyone will have plenty, right? After all, poor people with more money will now create jobs for others, won’t they? Hey, we can imagine.

The problem with utopian dreamers is that reality simply refuses to follow dreams. God has established certain laws that will not heed the futile dreams of depraved minds. That is really the issue, isn’t it? Who is sovereign?

The Scriptures reveal and history affirms that God made man and woman–two sexes. People may be confused about that, but confusion does not create a new reality. Some people are confused about aspects of math, but that doesn’t change the reality of numbers.

But humans will not have this God reign over them, and that is the bottom line. We would be the director of our movie, the captain of our fate. And nothing has really changed throughout all history.

The serpent tempted Eve with what is the bottom line for all sin: “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5). “You will be like God”—that’s what people want. Humans want to be in charge, to call the shots, to decide what “is” is, to make their own utopias.

The reality is that when humans call the shots, their innate depravity permeates everything. People are naturally greedy, and everyone’s greed mutually conflicts. When people want to be sovereign, others disagree with their view of sovereignty, and fights and wars ensue. When people choose to change their sexual orientation, their confused mentality conflicts with biological and psychological reality. Attempts at human-envisioned utopias give way to hell on earth.

There is only one answer, and that answer is submission to the divine Creator, the One who knows the way to joy and happiness and fulfillment better than we ever will. Moses clearly laid out the alternatives: “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19). And the apostle John points us directly to Jesus Christ: “In him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4).

The reality is that we all need a radical makeover, much more radical that what Bruce Jenner envisions, one that cannot be produced with psychology, surgery, or drugs. We need new hearts; we need Christ: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

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Our strange world seems daily stranger. For decades the call for tolerance has been preached by “progressives.” We must be tolerant of folks who are different from us. Fine—we should. The sexes are to be treated equally. Good, although that used to be simpler back in the ancient history of three decades ago when we were so silly to think there were only two sexes and they were determined biologically, not psychologically. We should be tolerant of other religions. Okay—no problem. And on and on it went.

The call for tolerance, however, did not stop with concerns that people historically have expressed. The call for tolerance took a bold step. We must become tolerant of what has been historically regarded as vice. We must be tolerant and even supportive of women who choose to end the lives of their unborn children. We must be tolerant of people who choose to have promiscuous sex, and now we must be tolerant of and even give tacit approval to those of the same sex who choose to be married.

We have come to the place where those who lead the call for tolerance have themselves been revealed as intolerant, and little reveals the intolerance of the “tolerant” more than what happens to those who take a stand for traditional morality.

We know the stories of targeted Christian bakers and florists who declined to participate in same-sex marriage celebrations. In every instance there were other bakers and florists upon whom the same-sex persons could have called. To do so, however, would have solved the problem without a confrontation, and it seems that confrontation is what the same-sex activists desire. They do not want tolerance. They want submission.

Some states have enacted legislation that essentially mirrors the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, but states which have waited till now to do so are being attacked by same-sex and transgender activists, as well as other “progressives” all too eager to heap scorn upon anything that resembles traditional morality. We live in strange times, indeed. As Albert Mohler has pointed out, “Demands for erotic liberty — the unrestrained right to full individual sexual expression, fulfillment, and legitimacy — now routinely trumps religious liberty.”

So how do we live in America today? It is helpful to remember that those who take following Christ seriously, have almost always lived in a strange place in history. Biblical Christianity is almost always out of step with its surrounding culture.

Be that as it may, disciples of Christ throughout history have faced persecution fed by hate and intolerance. From the withering persecution of dominant Islamists to unrelenting attacks by secularist activists, there are few places in this world where biblical Christianity is at peace. Christians have enjoyed a respite from wide-scale persecution in America because the settling of the country and the founding of the United States was grounded in a Judeo-Christian understanding of law and morality. Obviously, that is no longer the case. Indeed, many churches themselves in this country have jettisoned such understandings and mirror contemporary culture.

It is time that Christians in America comprehend the reality of Paul’s warning in 2 Timothy 3:12–13: “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” Christians in America are being targeted for persecution.

Of course, 2 Timothy 3:12 also indicates how to escape persecution in America: simply surrender to the demands of secularists. Don’t allow godliness permeate your life. Many professing Christians go this route. Some claim to follow Christ while voting for politicians who favor abortion “rights” or same-sex marriage. Others simply lie low to avoid notice.

The apostle Peter knew something about persecution. May we heed his counsel: “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. . . . Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name” (1 Peter 4:12, 16).

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The Associated Press welcomed us to January 9 with this bit of news: “The Washington National Cathedral, where the nation gathers to mourn tragedies and celebrate new presidents, will soon begin performing same-sex marriages.”

We aren’t surprised. Its denomination, the Episcopal Church (the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America) has been a leading voice for decades for professing Christians who reject the Scriptures. In 2003, for instance, the Diocese of New Hampshire elected the Rev. Gene Robinson, an openly homosexual priest lauded for his “long-term committed relationship,” as Bishop.

What is particularly disheartening is the scriptural justification put forth for performing same-sex marriage. The Very Reverend Gary Hall, the dean of the cathedral, maintained that “performing same-sex marriages is an opportunity to break down barriers and build a more inclusive community ‘that reflects the diversity of God’s world.'” The article goes on to say: “‘I read the Bible as seriously as fundamentalists do,’ Hall told the AP. ‘And my reading of the Bible leads me to want to do this because I think it’s being faithful to the kind of community that Jesus would have us be.'”

The Rev. Hall lives in a state of self-delusion. He doesn’t read the Bible seriously at all. A serious reading of the Bible reveals homosexuality as the height of human rebellion against God and as a judgment from God:

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. (Romans 1:24-27)

The only sexual relationship which God condones is between a man and a woman within the bond of marriage (Matthew 5:27-28; Matthew 19:4-6; Hebrews 13:4). And the only homosexual whom God receives is akin to the only thief, the only liar, the only adulterer, the only murderer (or whatever sinner one may be) whom God receive: the one who repents of his sin and believes on the Lord Jesus Christ. It is Christ who voluntarily suffered divine justice on behalf of those who would repent and believe upon him (2 Corinthians 5:21). To bless homosexuality is to scoff at the cross of Christ.

The AP story closes with this: “‘For us to be able to say we embrace same-sex marriage as a tool for faithful people to live their lives as Christian people,’ [Hall] said, ‘for us to be able to say that at a moment when so many other barriers toward full equality and full inclusion for gay and lesbian people are falling, I think it is an important symbolic moment.'” Rev. Hall will find himself applauded by millions of Americans for his bold declaration seeking to aid homosexuals “to live their lives as Christian people.” The general public usually applauds those who condone what God condemns. The world loves apostates.

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