I have a love hate relationship with politics. Mostly hate. But yes, there are times when I get all hot and bothered and want to run for office. Then I calm down and get refocused on eternal matters. The grab for me has never been on issues like taxation or economic policies, but rather the social issue hot buttons. Today with all the comments in dissent of North Carolina voting to ban Gay Marriage coupled with President Obama’s announcement on his position of Gay Marriage is just another one of those examples. As a follower of Christ I have to remind myself that America is not my first home, the Kingdom of Heaven is. But we do live in the here and now and intersect with the world around us. Even the first Christ followers addressed social ills of their day. During the Roman Empire people would leave unwanted babies at the city dumps. Today, we abort unwanted babies. The Christians in the first century would save those babies from the trash heaps and care for them. Today Christians can work to stop the killing of infants and support women with unwanted pregnancies in ways other than abortion.
Ok, I’ve wrestled with the question of how to surf the wave of social issues on this blog for a long time. On one hand I don’t want to get distracted from our mission. On the other hand I don’t want to pretend that the Bible or Kingdom citizens don’t have anything to say on the social issues. The fact of the matter is that the Bible is very clear on these issues. The problem is that at times Christians can be “jerks for Jesus” and blow the whole discussion apart even before it is started. The real answer for followers of Christ is first to pray, and then speak the truth in love. Are there Christians who are called to run for office and attack these issues in public? Yes, I believe so. But the real answer is one of heart change and not policy development.
So with that I’ll make a few statements to consider on the present social issue of the day.
1. The Bible is very clear about Marriage and gay and lesbian acts: Consider just a few texts:
Genesis 1:27 God created male and female in His image.
Genesis 2:18-25 It was not good for the man to be alone, so God created “suitable” helper.
Matthew 19:4-6 Jesus affirmed God’s plan for one man and one woman for lifetime.
Leviticus 18:22 “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.”
Romans 1:26-27 Homosexual and lesbian acts are unnatural and outside of God’s plan.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Unrepentant homosexual offenders will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
2. The real rub here is in the redefinition of terms. The idea of marriage being of one woman and one man has existed since recorded history. Even during the Roman Empire when homosexual practice was rampant, it was never equated with marriage. As American citizens, gays and lesbians should be allowed to do what they want in their own homes. I believe it is sin, but I will not go into their homes and stop them. I see no legal problem with their creating civil unions for the purpose of insurance or whatever they deem necessary. But the redefining of the term “marriage” will have negative ramifications for every walk of life.
3. The linking “Civil Rights” to this issue is a sad move. This has nothing to do with a person’s skin tone, but a sexual preference.
4. “Gay” and “Lesbian” should not define who a person is, but the practice they are pulled to engage in. If we are merely a product of evolutionary chance, then ok. But if we are purposefully created in the image of God, then we are more. A good article on this subject was actually done by one of my professors in college. I even commented on it when it came out. So enjoy.
5. Even if a person does have an inward pull toward homosexual behavior that does not mean it is a good or normal thing. A man or woman may have a strong pull toward multiple heterosexual partners but that does not mean they should engage in such practices.
6. This issue should not be treated differently than any other sin against God. It should be called what it is. But it can be forgiven just like any other sin. Those who engage in this activity can find forgiveness, healing, and a hopeful future in Christ.
7. I alluded to this above, but in everything, followers of Christ should always act and speak in love. Even on this issue, we should speak the truth in our spheres of influence, but we should do it in a loving and non-judgmental manner. We also need to look into our own lives. Yes, gay and lesbian marriage is sinful. But so is gossip which so many of us seem to forget.
Ok, well sorry if all this came across too “Preachy”. That was not my intent. But I do know that kingdom citizens are called to be Salt and Light in the world around us. So that was my first public stab at the issue. How would you respond?
Very good stuff. Agreed. Over the past week I watched some CNN while out of town. The viewpoint on it was very biased and as you said used the same arguments as civil liberties and even used some really horrible comparisons to prove and make points. A couple of the tv shows specifically went out of their way to target Christians and their views, but was very unwilling to understand the stance upon the topic. One show in particular had a Catholic man come on there who gave a GREAT response and argument. He touched on the Bible, but also was a dr or something in social sciences and gave a strong argument from that viewpoint. After his short appearance they spent the rest of the show bringing on homosexual actors to give opinions and cut this man up for the rest of the hour or so it was on. Mind you the host of this particular show is regularly in trouble with the law.
I sat watching it thinking, the gospel truly is foolishness to those who are perishing. The argument was clear and defined, and had no prejudice against a specific person or persons, but had a strong, but loving stance upon it. If this man were of any other belief system, he would have been listened, but this was a specific outright attack upon the Bible.
I have specifically preached on the subject a couple times, as it came about in the text I was preaching through. One of the things people often forget is that homosexuality wasn’t always viewed the same way as it was now, it wasn’t viewed as an alternate lifestyle, nor as something strange in secular culture. As you might know from the Greek philosophers to Roman Soldiers, having unnatural relationship with other men was a normal way of looking at the world. If it’s not wrong by a higher standard, why cut myself off from half the people on the world I could have sex with. In our culture the gay culture has also come to mean often men who act effeminate and it has taken on a new sub-culture in itself. In the past, just as it is in prison today, having sex with another man was used quite commonly as a sexual release, but wasn’t considered “less manly” as it is today. Roman Soldiers had slaves or servants commonly who were only there for this purpose. Greek Philosopher would often choose their students by which young man looked the most handsome and fathers in the day would bring their sons to these men, knowing this would be done to them as part of the process of learning from these men. I think the Biblical influence upon our culture helped define the current view upon it all and over the past couple hundred years of America the view has affected it such that now we see homosexuality as truly being something less manly, which helps us see the sinfulness of it. So that an honorable man who stands before the Word of God and wants to be a man of honor, sees the fault in it. But sin always continues to entice, so ways of justifying it change also. Just like the argument thousands of years before, people used justification that it was natural and normal, so the argument is today also, but it has just changed a bit because of the different viewpoint over the subject. Some say, “It’s not a choice” and to argue with that is offense today as much as saying to a handicap person with lost legs, “it’s a choice, get up and walk”.
I think partly when we allow ourselves to view the world as “accidental, and not see our responsibilities we lose perspective. The issue is much larger than just homosexual acts, it infiltrates our entire viewpoint of the world itself. We are looking at this point from symptoms only, instead of the problem itself. Like physically trying to fix the headache with aspirin, or the cancer with radiation, it’s symptom prevention, but the root problem still exists. We have something wrong that needs repaired, we have a something God-made not working right. I know saying that is “politically incorrect” perhaps. Spiritually we know it’s a heart problem, but sin doesn’t want to look upon its own heart, it wants to blame others. Even the secular social sciences have strong arguments against homosexuality and have done extensive research on the topic, from the family structure, to child-raising, to how homosexuality comes about. The Greeks didn’t even have a word to call this thing we call homosexuality, they just described the acts themselves. It’s now more than just acts, it’s almost a gender in itself, a race within itself and with every disagreement on race or gender, there is always a minority that will play the “victim”. If we play the antagonist we will play into their hands even more.
I think the same ways still apply, love, relationship, and sharing the gospel. If we lose our main focus, then we lose it all. It’s not about just fixing an outward sin, or issue, it’s about reconciling a person to their creator so they can be restored. We live in a culture different than ever before, so we have the “right” to speak up and vote, and we should. We should always remember to do it with our best foot forward and in love. When asked we should give a clear answer, with a wise understand of the whole issue. We cannot be unprepared and wishy washy upon the topics of the culture and we cannot take the politically correct stance just to keep out of trouble, but we should also be aware of the times we should keep quiet when speech would only lead to argument/ debate for no end and silence is the best policy sometimes, as Jesus before Pilate. Good references are also John the Baptist, Stephen, Peter, and the multiple of examples throughout Acts when the time is right to speak up even in the face of adversity.
I have spoken one on one to several people through the years on the topic with love, because I had a relationship with them. I have had numerous students who called themselves gay or lesbian, or bi-sexual. When they are ready they talk about it, they do, and they present it without shame on average. The thing I will tell you is every single one of them had a sexual encounter at a young age/ rape. In specific the last guy I was speaking to aboutwas molested by his female cousin, which was years older than he was at the time. He’s now in his mid-twenties and it happened when he was like 11-12. It created a wall between him and God, a hatred toward God, but it was out of his own overwhelming guilt. He spoke to me because he felt he was bisexual, he really liked girls, but also would really like guys and felt a bit confused over it all. This man also did not have a father in the household growing up. He was very needy for male attention. After a couple years he began to see he just really wanted to be loved by a man, Specifically he wanted his father’s love and was seeking it out through over avenues. Young women do this also. He reconciled with his father and went to visit him earlier this year for the first time. He now no longer believes he’s bisexual, but understands the love of His True Father and the imperfection of His earthly Father, but has become reconciled with both.
It’s not about a lifestyle or a culture it’s about sinful pride. The same sinful pride that trips us up in every area of sin. One of the issues we face and that we must deal with is this idea that we are becoming better and greater over time, smarter and more intelligent than people in the past. (that’s so 18th century, or the like) It’s arrogance in disguise. Let’s not fool ourselves into thinking this.
Sam, I’m not sure which emotions I’m feeling more here, frustration or sadness. Like many times I get the feel that you are misunderstanding the fullness of what I’m saying or blow side points out of proportion. Did you read the article by Mark Moore? Did you take into consideration all the points I’ve made? Did you ask yourself if you’re reading with an honest open mind or are you responding out of already made up pre-suppositions? Is this more emotional than attempting to logically and patiently walk through things to find answers? Do you already have your answers made up?
Have I run off on rabbit trails and forgotten to respond to things before? Yes, and I’ve admitted that when you have called me on the carpet for it. But let me ask you to do the same thing. Many of these “social” issue discussions are connected to some questions I ask of you a long time ago of which I have not heard you respond to yet. I’ve not heard you respond to some of the things I’ve pointed out in this discussion. I get the feel that you are blowing parts of my argument way out of proportion and ignoring other points.
So if we’re going to continue this dialog, I’m asking for the “keeping of the head” in all situations as Paul told the young evangelist Timothy and listen to the totality of what I’m saying and respond to the bigger picture of what I’m saying instead of blasting pieces here and there.
1. First in connection with your thinking that I am “choosing this Hill to die on” you missed the big picture. I’ve had this blog in particular for close to 4 years now and this is the FIRST time that I have written here on the subject. One post in 4 years really doesn’t constitute the bulk of my thinking and as my most important issue. Yes, I’ve added links on FB before and have made quick comments, but that is far removed for a formalized teaching like this post.
Honestly I agree with you analogy from Viet Nam. I agree that most of the American mainline Church gets loud about this. But to insinuate that this is what I’m all about is to be in error. Please consider ALL THAT I HAVE written over the past five years or so. Does the weight of my discussion on homosexuality really convey that this is something I’m going to the death mat over?
In fact, as I’ve tried to convey in many occasions, I don’t get into this form of dialog very often and precisely for the reason you mention. This issue has become so politicized and beyond so beyond emotional that I know there are folks who are open to the gospel, but once I mention this discussion their hearts immediately close up. Of course that is true of anything which is convicting. But here, one of the points of Kingdomology is to discuss the fact that authentic Christians are part of God’s kingdom and therefore we live differently. So, what does a Christian do when the topic of Homosexuality comes up? That is the reason why I brought it up this past week. It was HUGE in the media. I brought it up not because I’ve got this one agenda I’m trying to drive to the world, but because it is one agenda that people are talking about and the Bible speaks to. Pt. Being a teacher, I am required to teach and this is the present lesson being asked about in our society. So I’m simply teaching what the Bible says.
2. As American citizens (Christian or non) we have the privilege of lending a hand to making our laws. As a Kingdom citizen living in America we have this right to participate if we want to or feel led of God to do so. The question being, how then do we do that? As noted, the original point of blast off for the discussion was about “making laws” in a land where we get to vote on making those laws. Very cut and dry. So we debate and give the reason for our debate and then vote from our conscience. My point being that we (as kingdom citizens) go and explain reason for how we are going to vote beyond emotions. How would I vote on a policy that involves a social issue, because there is Biblical reasoning behind it even if I don’t understand it all?
3. It has been implied that I or someone else is judging people in an unloving way or that I am mad, mean, or hate someone. That is not the case. Are there “Jerks for Jesus” out there? Yes, and they annoy me as well. But if someone is a jerk; that has more to do with them than the fact or fiction of a position.
4. I still stand by my point of setting “Heart Change” as the goal and have said that for a long time. The answer is not to “force” the law against this or abortion or anything else. But that does not mean that I can’t have a reason for or vote for a law when presented with the opportunity. I believe there ought to be such a law because such a law will bring good actions whether the heart is in the action or not. But, when the heart is changed, no law is required. Why do we have laws? Because people do bad stuff. If people didn’t do bad stuff, laws would not be required. We have laws for the road because people do stupid things behind the wheel.
It is a heart issue. The problem with most of the society is that our hearts say “ME First” I want everything “my” way. This is the big thing on abortion. “I” want to terminate this life in me so “my” life can be better. This is the point here on homosexuality. “I feel these urges” and therefore I want to have them expressed and I want society to endorse and validate the expression of it even to calling it marriage. As noted in a previous discussion, there can be made laws to help people with needs without changing terminology. We don’t have to call it “marriage” to get at needs. Marriage has always been understood as something children will come from. They get married and have kids. The couples in question cannot have kids together. But rather they want the term so that they can feel normal compared to the rest of society. Ultimately it is all selfishness no matter what it is. Part of Authentic Christianity is growing up in Christ where we “deny ourselves” and make “self-sacrifices.”
5. Sam, you are 100% right that these people need Jesus. But what Jesus are you taking them to?
You say that they are “desperate for meaning and acceptance” and I agree. So why don’t you point them to something of absolute truth which does not change. The reason why we have SO many lost young people in our country searching is because our culture rejected the general premise of Divinity and absolute truth 40 to 50 years ago. I don’t remember a time in history where there was such an epidemic of lostness beyond the spiritual sense. But when our culture teaches spiritual beings, which we are, that they are mere products of evolutionary chance then what do you expect to get? If it’s just evolutionary chance, then homosexual marriage makes sense as well as abortion. It’s just survival of the fittest and let’s be honest about it. That’s why Biblical authority is important. Why do we have meaning and purpose? Because God created us with meaning and purpose. Because he created us, he knows how we ought to live. When you take the Bible and absolute truth away, then it all eventually goes up for grabs and we pick and choose which morality works for us.
I’ve tried to unpack this some. But what kind of Jesus are these folks being led to? Yes Grace! But what of Truth? John tells us that Jesus came full of “grace and truth.” The Bible is very clear that truth does matter. Jesus said that true worshiper, the kind that God seeks, are the kind that worship in “Spirit and in Truth.” (John 4) Jesus clearly taught on marriage. As noted, he went back to creation and noted that the reason why Moses permitted divorce in the first place was because their “hearts were hard.” Jesus did not sanction ANY kind of sexual activity outside of that of a man and woman married for life.
So to suggest that gay marriage is ok is to suggest that the Bible and Jesus are wrong. So what do we do with that? You say you want to lead People to Jesus but you also hold a world view that homosexual activity and gay marriage are just as much of God as the rest. How do we reconcile the two premises?
1. We can ignore it as you have done.
2. We can try to explain it away as you have done.
3. We can submit to what Jesus and the text have said and then try to piece the environment around us into that sphere or reference which is what I am attempting to do.
I would submit that if we choose options 1 or 2; then that logically implies that the rest of the Bible is also up for grabs. If we can relativize (if that’s a word) part of the Bible, then we can logically do that to the rest. Then how can we even have an assurance of our salvation which is something you want to give these young people you speak of.
If it is relative, then it all comes down to us trying to be good enough. So how good is good enough? Better than our granddad but maybe not as good as Billy Graham? Where is the line drawn on good enough? Does God grade on a curve; which is what most people think. Then why did Jesus have to die on the cross? Is God even able to see everything? We all miss things in our own lives, how can God catch everything if He is not infinitely wise and there are so many of us.
The fact is that without a standard set by a God “who is above us” it is all relative and subjugated to whoever is making the rules at any set time. Legalists or Lisentousists or whatever is in between.
By offering only part of Jesus one is actually doing them more harm in the long run. Does this mean that we come off and blast people? No . . . no . . . I have tried and tried to convey that I don’t blast people. But like a loving DR. says, “Hey, this is an issue that is going to kill you” sometimes the loving thing is for us to speak the Truth in Love. Maybe my listing of Leviticus 20:13 was not the best move. But the other texts still convey what the Biblical position is on the matter.
Also, I made this comment in a FB conversation a long time ago, but there multiple illustrations of people who thought they were “gay” and then came to Christ and are in heterosexual marriages now. The “gay” men still exhibit what some in our society would consider “effeminate” qualities, but that does not mean that their “being” is gay in the present context. Again note the article by Mark Moore. They had very creative and effeminate DNAs. But when it comes to sexual expression, they found fulfillment in heterosexual marriage.
6. The big drive for your foundation is that homosexuals are “made” like this like a “left handed person” as Eddie suggested. I would suggest the science is still out on that one. Do I know this for certain? No and I admit that. But is your research 100% broad and conclusive or small and directed from those with agenda. It would be interesting to see a non-agendized (if that’s a word to) study of comparison and contrasting of biological and psychological makeup of this discussion. It has only been in the past 30 to 40 years that people have suggested that this was biological instead of psychological
But as noted before, even if this is a “bent” toward a behavior which is much more probable that the “left handed” idea, then that doesn’t mean following up on that bent or pull is good or right. Again from previous discussion, just because a guy has a bent to have sex with every woman he wants does not mean he should or that it is a good thing for him or anyone else.
We are totally “over sexed” as a society. I believe God made sex and he made it good. So many times the Church allows Hollywood to highjack sex. But the truth of the matter is that Sex was God’s idea. Check out the Song of Solomon in the Bible. While part of that is allegorical about Christ and the Church, a big chunk of that was simply Solomon talking about the love life between himself and his wife from Egypt. It’s graphic stuff at times. God sanctioned that. God made sex Good. But that “greatest fulfillment” is reserved for the “greatest commitment” which, according to the Creator, is in heterosexual marriage.
7. On a less big note, as indicated in the original post, much of this in the public arena is about the redefine of terms. If one group can redefine a term used for thousands of years, then why not other groups?
Ok to being to wind things down here as I’m writing too much again, this is not a “Hill that I am going to die on”. I hope by now I have finally made this clear. In the three to four years that Kingdomology has been out this is the first time I have written about it. Yes, I’ve made quick links on FB which have turned into discussions, but I’ve not blogged about it.
No, this is not something I am going to camp out on in the big picture. HOWEVER, part of the blog is describing what real Kingdom life is like. Part of authentic Christianity is our willingly submitting ourselves to the authority of Christ. Christ speaks to Christians through the Holy Spirit in their hearts. How do we know the still small voice of God verses our own voice or the voice of the evil one? Well one was is to ask if there is something going on that contradicts the revealed will of God in the written will of God; the Bible. Homosexual marriage and expression through homosexual acts clearly contradicts the will of God just like ANY sexual act outside the bonds of heterosexual marriage. So in the whole realm of teaching is it not right to touch on this like any other aspect of life?
Sam, you accuse me of “prioritizing” this issue more than loving the lost. That is not accurate. I would wonder if you have prioritized this issue more than what is best for these folks you speak of. Do either of us have all the answers? Well I admit that I don’t. But my take is to try to elevate the Word as the standard and then try to figure out life around that. My understanding is that your take is to force the Word into fitting into the world around you. When things come up which (at present gay marriage) you don’t like, you simply ignore them.
Another illustration of what is really going on here is beyond homosexuality. That is the major modern practice of couples living together. This has gone on for a long time. In every church I’ve been in we have made friends with a man and a woman who are living together without being married. I don’t say I’m better than them. I don’t tell them they can’t come to worship services. I don’t “hate” them. But I don’t say, “Hey this is no problem at all. Just do what you want and what feels good.” When the time is right, or it comes up in teaching, I simply teach what God says about sexuality and marriage. When confronted with this truth, yes, some get mad and leave. But some will always reject the things of God. But others fall under the influence of the Holy Spirit and get right with God. My job is not to “make” someone do what is right, but to speak the truth in love.
Part of the tension here is between all of us as citizens in America trying to agree on public policy and my personal daily role as a Christian relating to people.
Anyway, far too much writing here. But PLEASE take in the whole scope of what I’m saying. I don’t hate anyone. I don’t want to harm anyone. I actually want people to know that Jesus died on the Cross for them and that he loves them and has a purpose for them. But unless I speak the truth about sin, it can never be dealt with and people will live with a placebo all the time making God into their own image.
As Always, peace.
If this position is not about bringing someone to Christ, then what is the point? I am neither missionary nor minister, but it seems to me that if the church is going to expend this amount of energy on an issue it had BETTER be about bringing people to Jesus.
In your rebuttal above, you say that “The original discussion is about making public policy,” but in the original blog post you say that, “the real answer is one of heart change and NOT policy development.” I am trying to tell you, as one in the trenches, as one not insulated in the “I know three gay people” world… You are losing their hearts! You are losing a generation. You are losing them. Whatever policy victories you score are not worth the damage you are wreaking on the spiritual lives of millions of would-be Christians. And I’m not just talking about the gay ones. The rest of this younger generation sees their gay friends and family members being targeted by the church and it turns them away from God.
People are desperate for love. They are desperate for meaning and acceptance. They don’t know it, but they need God. They need Jesus and they need the community and support found in his church. Celebrating gay marriage bans and condemning politicians who support gay marriage, these actions drive those people away from the church and thus, drive them away from a relationship with Jesus.
You may be winning a few battles, but you are losing the real war.
I am a big fan of military history (in no small part, due to reading all those books your dad always had around). In Vietnam, the United States Armed Forces never lost a battle, but they lost the hearts and minds of the people, so they lost the war. If you chose this hill to die on, you may win every battle in every state, but the cost will be too high and you will lose the war for a generations’ souls.
I honestly think that were Satan designing a way to keep this younger (under forty) generation from coming to know God, he could not do better than having good passionate Christians writing blog posts quoting the “stone the gays to death” parts of the Bible.
Maybe the hearts that needs to be changed are not in the gay community and Liberal America. Maybe the hearts that need to be changed are in our churches.
Well folks, this is all one reason why I don’t get into these discussions very much. (Especially considering the chat on FB) My heart is for connecting people to Christ. So why do I falter into such discussions then? Probably just my own pride. Righteous indignation? Maybe. But there are also times when people get the picture that Jesus is some kind of sugar daddy who just sits around waiting for us to call and then meets our needs. I guess here’s the deal, Christ took the penalty of sin and death on the cross for us; how can we then respond by ignoring his word and creating our own morality?
Yes it’s a dangerous tight rope. Speaking the Truth in Love is the balance. Do I always express myself in the best light? No, for that I’m sorry. But to never say anything would also be wrong.
Anyway, as always . . . Peace!
1. The position is not about brining someone to Christ. The original discussion is about making public policy in a country where we all get to vote our conscience.
2. Again you and others imply that because I state a position based on Biblical truth that I am somehow coming off more self-righteous or hating others and driving them away from Christ. That is like saying the Dr. must hate us because he has the gall to point out that we have cancer and it is killing us.
3. You are making my job harder. I am all about grace and will be the first person to point out all the sin in my own life. Jesus was all about grace, which is why he went to the cross for us. But Jesus also called us to “repent” of our sin, “deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow him.” If a homosexual came to a church where I was teaching I would not stop them in the hall and say, “look buddy, you need to repent!” I would systematically teach through the text and eventually the subject would come up. At that time I would simply instruct as to what God teaches on this issue like any other issue. As noted before, envy, jealously, adultery, and others are just as much sin as this one.
But I would teach the “whole council” of God as the Bible directs. Authentic Christianity is not about religious legalism to a manmade system. It is also not licentiousness where anything goes as long as we just “love” each other. Part of the New Testament was written by Paul under divine inspiration to correct such issues. Note Romans 6:1-3 and especially 1 Corinthians 5. One of the reasons why the CHURCH in the west is weak is because there is nothing required of them and grace is abused all the time.
For a person to come to Christ, they have to come humbly in repentance of sin. So by our purposefully ignoring sin it actually does them a disservice.
Liked some of your thoughts. Here are mine on this subject.
In the last paragraph of my previous comment, where I said “benefits given to same-sex couples” I meant to say “opposite-sex” or traditional couples. Sorry for the mistake.
Good comments here. Would like to add concerning “rights” because the Constitution has been brought up that we need to recognize where the rights enumerated in the constitution come from. Seems I read in our founding documents that they come from “Nature and Nature’s God and “Divine Providence” both of which are the fancy way 1700’s English referred to the God of the Bible.
The point being made by our Founders is that our rights are conferred by God, not men. That’s one reason we don’t have a king (other than Jesus). Therefore, it seems we should be mindful of what the author of our rights has to say about homosexuality. Steve did an awesome job of summarizing that, so I feel no need to elaborate here.
The legalizing of same-sex marriage is a political sideshow with an ulterior motive: the question is not to “right a wrong” but to normalize homosexuality in America. A homosexual can already leave their estate to anyone they want to in their will, they can designate at the hospital who they want to have visit them and who will make decisions on their behalf if they become incapacitated. There is nothing that prevents same-sex couples from having a relationship.
There are some tax implications and other legal “benefits” given to same-sex couples that they don’t have access to and I would have to say so sorry. There are plenty of government “goodies” that I pay for but don’t have access to. Like most of them. Because I can’t consume every government program is not a good reason to lay on a bad law.
You’re going to have to work a lot harder than this to convince me that your position on this is going to bring one person to God. So far I’m not convinced that denying my friends the “option” (I call it a right) to pledge themselves consensually to a monogamous, life-long relationship is going to inspire them accept Jesus Christ as their savior and then to dedicate their lives to the church. In fact, what I see, on a daily basis is that people expressing opinions like yours are doing the exact opposite. You are driving them away.
I am trying to live my life in such a way that I am showing people who need God in their lives that my church and my religion has a place for them, that I am a sinner and will not cast that first stone, that I am more concerned with the plank in my own eye than the speck in theirs’, that Jesus loves them THROUGH me , and therefore I will not deny them their rights (“options”… whatever) nor dictate their behavior. In living this way, I am attempting to bring them to the safety and assurance of eternal life.
You are making my job much harder.
Wow! A lot of interesting comments. Let me add my two-cents as food for thought:
* It is true that most societies historically have not rooted marriage in religion. Yet still, ALL societies have restricted marriage to men and women. Why is that? Well, it’s because they understood that marriage was the foundational building block for society. It’s where children are created and nurtured. And since it takes a man and a woman to create children, every society in the history of the world recognized marriage as a relationship between men and women, not same-sex couples.
* Some say that Christians should not legislate their morality. But SOMEONE’S morality will get legislated. Those who support same-sex “marriage” believe morality requires allowing same-sex couples to “marry.” Why should they alone have the opportunity to legislate their vision of morality?
* Some say that people ought not to try to take away others’ rights. This presupposes, though, that same-sex couples have a “right” to “marry.” Where is that right found? I suggest it’s not found in the Constitution but only in the minds of those who want to marry. That is, there is no Constitutional right to marry. “Marriage” is something that historically in our Country was rooted in religion, and which the State recognizes. For the full length of the Republic our Country has recognized only marriages between men and women. But I suggest that the State need not recognize ANY marriage. None of our founding documents enumerate a right to marry.
* Some say that people with homosexual urges should have all the same rights as everyone else. And indeed, they do! As I just said, “marriage” is not a right. Rather, it is something that historically in our Country was rooted in religion, and which the State recognizes. But if marriage WERE a right (which it is not), any person with homosexual urges would have the same “right” to marry that I have — for each of us, the State agrees to recognize our marriage to a member of the opposite sex. What those pushing same-sex “marriage” want is SPECIAL rights, beyond the rights all citizens already have.
* Some argue that the definition of marriage has changed. I disagree. I happen to believe that God defined marriage, once and for all, as a relationship between a man and a woman. Saying that the definition has changed does not make it so. Redefining it will be problematic for our society and will hurt children. Our laws already hurt children: we let people divorce for any reason or none at all. Yet studies consistently show that children do best when they are raised in stable homes with a mom AND a dad. Yet, if we redefine marriage as including same-sex couples, we deprive children placed in their homes of what studies indicate they need for their best chance to thrive. Now, I know that many single parents do a great job raising their kids, and also that many people with homosexual desires are wonderful parents. There are exceptions to every rule. But I’m talking about the rule; that is, what studies indicate are generally true. And generally, it’s true that children do best with mom AND dad. Even the President has spoken about the hole that was left in his heart by not having his dad around. Why do we want to do that to kids?
* Finally, some say that those who oppose same-sex marriage “hate” and are full of anger at those with homosexual desires. That argument, though, is just silly. Do those who oppose me marrying my sister, or my dog, hate me? Of course not. They oppose me doing those things because they believe it would be bad for me, and bad for society. The same is true here. Most of us who oppose same-sex “marriage” believe such recognition of same-sex relationships would be bad for the same-sex people themselves and also bad for society at large. And so we don’t want the law changed to recognize same-sex “marriage.” It’s no different, really, than how we don’t want the law changed to, say, legalize crack cocaine. We believe crack cocaine to be bad for those who use it and bad for society at large. We oppose same-sex “marriage” for the same reason. But we don’t hate those with homosexual urges. Indeed, I have friends and even a family member who have homosexual urges. I love people with homosexual urges. But that doesn’t mean that I should support what I believe will be bad for them and for our society.
Blessings and peace to you all.
Dude? I’m tired already. Quick notes.
1. Rights come with responsibility. Again, as noted, a huge thing here is redefining terminology. I may have the right to call anything I want to call it. But that does not mean that the rest of society is obligated to start calling something what I want it called.
2. Then why do you and others keep bringing up skin color and trying to connect homosexual practice with the stupidity of those who denied rights to African Americans, Hispanics, or whomever because of their color?
3. They had to do with the practice of homosexuality. The reason why these groups want to get the title “marriage” is because they want to normalize something which God calls sinful.
4. As with some of those who posted on FB, your argument does not change the assumption that throughout history, no matter what the circumstances or reasoning was, marriage was still considered to be of a woman and a man with the understanding that pro-creation was going to come of it.
5. Well I wouldn’t say lazy, I just didn’t intend to take the time to write a book here. Yes, these people will be affected. We already have countless kids across the land who are suffering because their parents have rejected God’s design for marriage. We will have more children growing up with mixed identities of who they are and are created to be. At present, we have scores of young men and women across the country that have to deal with things because their parents jettisoned Godly principles and broke their marriage vows. I forgot the latest stats and as noted, don’t plan to write a book here, but check out the relationship to the numbers of those in prison and those who grew up without a dad in their lives. Every time you get further and further away from God the denigration gets worse along with the reproductions. A child is told she has a mom and a dad, but they both look male or female as the case may be. There is no distinction between male and female. The child will then wonder about themselves. Just like children today and over the past 30 years have wondered about their identities because one of the parents ran off to seek their own “personal fulfillment.” Pt. Children are already being negatively affected by parents ignoring the design of God.
The problem again here is the “normalizing” of something that God says is not normal.
6. As noted in one point somewhere in FB or above, some businesses already grant share “rights” such as insurance to couples.
7. This guy in question may be married, but we still acknowledge that he’s got an issue that needs to be worked out. Again, a big piece here is the homosexual agenda saying “our practice is normal” and we should therefore be allowed to get “married”.
8. You mention the “spirit” of the law somewhere around here. The point being that God went way out of his way to say, “People, this practice is bad”. As always, check the text again, the one “raped” is not to be put to death. Deut 22:25
9. Thanks for the heads up. Working on another much larger book (not about this) so wish me luck. Maybe I’ll send you the file for editing.
10. Couple of things here.
a. The original founders did look at the Bible as a “rule book” of law. Not all, but most.
b. I agree with the whole “Spirit of the Law” deal which is something that the religious legalist got wrong. Actually, much of what we are dealing with today is a back lash, or pendulum swing from the legalism to license. People took the general rules of God and added to those creating their own religious system above the law. The “Spirit” of all this is that God created marriage as a great thing for one man and one woman for life. Man has created a mess out of it and even Jesus pointed out that the reason why Moses allowed the Jews to divorce was because “their hearts were hard.”
c. As noted in the response to Lori above, Jesus extended a hand of mercy to the woman caught in Adultery, but he also commanded her to “leave her life of sin.” Jesus extends grace to all. But he also clearly calls us to repentance. Note Lk 13:3 and 5. Legalism is not authentic Christianity, neither is licentiousness. Christ calls us to a higher life.
11. Again man, you’re missing the main point, the redefinition of marriage and creation of something new. But . . . if I were performing a marriage and the guy was like the one you mentioned above (the Swinger) I wouldn’t do the marriage until he got counseling, repented, and got things straight.
BTW to your last commet 🙂 As always, I try to keep the emotion out and simply make the arguments which is what I hope everyone will like wise do.
In my above (and lengthy) comment, point #8 appears as a ‘cool guy’ wearing sunglasses. This was not my intent. I merely wrote the number 8 followed by a parentheses. I would appreciate it if we could all just disregard the aberrant emoticon. Thank you.
I drive a mini-van. I wish I had a Corvette. The maker of the vehicle determined what it was. If the gov’t passes a law saying all mini-vans are legally Corvettes, that doesn’t really ch…ange anything. God invented marriage and holds the patent on it. Gov’t can make a law redefining what it never had a hand in creating and it doesn’t really change a thing. You can call a homosexual relationship “marriage” and give it legal sanction, but it isn’t really marriage. Those of us who have the genuine article should not feel threatened by a counterfeit claim. We know we’ve got the real thing and I suspect deep down inside, the homosexual community knows it too. If they don’t then they are self-deceived. Do not misinterpret what I said about God inventing marriage to mean that I am just talking from a Christian perspective. God invented the institution of marriage between a man and a woman for the benefit of all mankind
The gov’t did not invent marriage and cannot legitmately re-define it. They can try, but it is an exercise in futility. My mini-van will still be a minivan.
1) To amend any nation’s Constitution in order to limit the rights of it’s citizens is to grossly misunderstand the concept of a Constitution. Constitutions are intended solely to limit the Powers of government, NEVER to limit the Rights of citizens. This point alone should negate N.C.’s (and all other states’) Constitutional amendment(s) to ban homosexuals couples from being recognized as married.
2) “Civil Rights” has nothing to do with skin color.
Seriously… Look it up.
Here… I did it for you.
“Personal liberties that belong to an individual, owing to his or her status as a citizen or resident of a particular country or community.”
Americans have a Right to marry who they wish. If that right is not afforded to them it is an infringement of their Civil Rights, regardless of their skin color.
3) None of your biblical references has anything to do with allowing gay people to get married. What was the point? If gay sex is wrong, how do you make the leap that marrying someone of the same sex wrong? Marriage is not about sex. Marriage is about commitment and partnership. The Bible seems pretty keen on both of those things.
4) Your point that marriage has for a long time been defined as only being between a man and a woman has very little value. The concept of marriage has changed throughout America’s history. It once was a contract between two men, to agree that their two offspring should be joined, whether or not those children agreed to it. After that, it was defined as a property contract, where posession of the woman and all of her goods legally changed hands (usually without her consent). For almost 100 years, slaves (mostly African) weren’t allowed to get married at all. And for another hundred years after that, couples of mixed races weren’t allowed to suly the sanctity of the institution with the assumption that love was reason enough for them to be allowed to be viewed in the eyes of the Law as “married”. So who cares if we are deciding as a people to change the definition of marriage once again? We’ve changed the definition several times before. Why is changing it again such a terrible thing?
5) You state that redifining marriage will have “negative ramifications for every walk of life”, but you give no examples whatsoever. That’s just plain lazy, dude. Name some of those horrific examples please. Will janitors be negatively affected by it? Will CEOs? Will waiters or University staff members have their lives altered in some detrimental fashion? Will school children? I can’t imagine any of this is true. Least of all the last example. Children, I have found, are the MOST accepting of this concept, that two humans who fall in love can pledge to support one another and raise a family together. Explaining gay marriage to a child is far less awkward than explaining sex of ANY kind or even explaining the differences between boys and girls.
6) Your fourth point is my favorite because it proves mine. ‘Gay’ and ‘Lesbian’ SHOULD NOT define who a person is. I agree. Neither should those labels determine their rights as citizens.
7) Whether or not someone is “pulled towards” a certain type of behavior should not determine their rights. Your example of heterosexuals with multiple partners is exactly what I am talking about. SWINGERS CAN GET MARRIED! The State does not tell them that they must remain faithful in order to be considered married. No discrimination is allowed against them. Voters are not allowed to shut down swingers’ ‘immoral activity’ because it redefines the traditional concept of the “Institution of Marriage” and therefore threatens all heterosexuals in America. Check… Mate!
8) Your seventh point might be the most confounding. You say that we Christians should act out of love and not condemn anyone on this issue, but 20 lines before that, you were quoting God when he was commanding us to murder homosexuals. If you are asking us to use the Bible as a guideline to determine our behavior, you might want to avoid quoting the “stone them to death” passages. On a technical note, I would like to point out that the two passages before and after Leviticus 20:13 also deal with killing folks who have questionable sexual practices, both of which are currently perfectly fine to engage in in the good old USA and still be considered legally married. And, furthermore, throughout Leviticus there is a lot of refernce to ‘sexual relations’ which can also refers to ‘rape’. Yet, in those references, BOTH people are condemned to death; the rapist and the raped. Please don’t quote that crap and pretend it’s acceptable is our society today as some sort of moral compass, okay? …Please!
9) When referring to North Carolina’s amendment you spelled ‘dissent’ as ‘descent’. Normally I wouldn’t point that out, but you wrote a book. Please fix it.
10) The Bible is not a rule book. It is not a script. Almost every time someone asked Jesus to narrow down his answers and get more specific, he started speaking in metaphors. Metaphors are intended to be interpreted. I believe that the Holy Spirit helps us interpret scripture (and I’m pretty sure that you do too) and I believe we are to defer to Mercy over Judgement; every time. I believe we are supposed to consider the Spirit of the law over the Letter of the Law. When I get to heaven, I don’t think I will hear “You should have judged more people in my name,” or “You should have shunned more of those folks who weren’t like you. That’s what I was going for.” Maybe you’re thinking that preventing gays and lesbians from getting married will bring them to Christ, but I find the opposite to be true. My gay friends are far more likely to engage in an honest conversation about their spiritual lives with me when they know that I support them and love them for who they are. Some of them have even gone to church a few times in the past year. They didn’t do that because they felt condemned. They did it because they felt like there were Christians out there who celebrated their lives and understood their struggles and who wanted to help them.
11) Are there any other sins that you can think of that preclude people from being allowed to get married?
Hey Peggy, thanks for stopping by. I agree with your point on how “Christians” don’t always respond to people with love. That is an indictment. I also agree that the “gay” marriage is merely a symptom of the bigger decline in America.
Good to hear from you again Lori. Agreed. I would also add though that Jesus told the woman to “leave her life of sin.” So while speaking in love and non-condemnation, he still spoke truth. That is the tension or challenge for Christ followers.
That’s funny Sam. Ok, three people come to mind that have been friends and call themselves “gay”. Why do I not have more? Don’t know, but I have not avoided them nor searched them out. I’ve just done life with the people who have come along my path.
Again I would send you to the article by Moore to help explain the thinking. I think he is spot on in discussing the error of defining a “person’s being” by an action or feeling. Even when this type of thing is found in the Bible it is always seen in the negative. Someone who lies constantly is called a “liar.”
Am I saying that no one honestly experiences same sex attractions or other confusing feelings? No, I acknowledge that. The problem is in how we interpret these feelings.
1. Relative Truth and sole Evolutionary make up. Then ok, we are merely the product of chance and just higher evolved animals than the ape. But even with that, how did that person get that way? People try to connect this to racial civil rights. A person is Caucasian, African American, or Asian. They got that DNA from their parents. But what about when a person is “gay” and their parents are not? Do we put that into the category of birth defects?
2. We are created female and male in God’s image for a purpose and not mere chance. Then when these emotions and confusing thoughts arise we work through them. A person may be “gay” in the original sense of the word. But that does not mean they are “gay” in their being in the modern terminology.
3. As noted on FB, we can liken this to a man who feels a pull in his being to have sex with as many women as he can. That is a bent in side of him. We don’t say, “Well that’s normal and we ought to understand it. BTW, here’s my daughter, go ahead and have sex with her to because that is the way you are.” Rather we would expect that this guy needs to grow up, make a commitment, and deal with the internal issues he is struggling with. It is interesting that even in Hollywood people who act this way are referred to as being a “sex addict” or having a “sex addiction.”
I mean this with all sincerity and love, coz. You need more gay friends…
I agree with your comments, and we should “tackle” the sin of homosexuality in the same way we tackle any other sin. As Christians we should share truth with love, and without condemnation.
In John 8:7, When they kept on questioning him (Jesus), he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
None of us are without sin, but through faith, we can be filled with God’s grace.
As Christians, I pray we can live our lives as examples and encourage others with love.
Good job on your first stab! I totally agree that we often can be “jerks” as Christians and in fact I think we are a lot of the time. We think we know all the answers and want to shove our thinking toward others. I do believe that the Bible has something to say about this subject! I do believe we need to teach the Word but it involves so much more than being gay or lesbian! It involves the heart and a heart filled with Christ. When that happens, everything falls into place, no matter where, who, color, race, ethnicity, gender, etc, etc. It reminds me of the those who chose one aspect they want to change and hound the devil out of it until people stop lisetening all together (for instance those who oppose the military and picket funerals). We have to have balance.
I have seen “Christians” totally shun and have nothing to do with a member of their family who has chosen a gay lifestyle. I keep wondering, how does that help the situation? How can I be an influence for good, if I have no influence at all? How can I show Christ’s love and Christ’s change in my heart, if I am not willing to interact with them? Makes no sense to me, yet those “Christians” feel quite justified in their turning away from the sinner!
I believe we are on the downhill as a nation, not because of the gay issue but including the gay issue. We, as a nation, need to be seeking Christ and making changes in our lives, including how we spend our money, how we treat each other and I could go on and on. I will be watching to see where this goes!
So I do think you have made a good “start.” I’m just not sure myself the “how” to make differences. I just know I want to be loving in all I do and let God be the judge, not the government!