Tag Archives: Homosexuality and Gay Marriage

The First Gay Legislator to Vote Against Gay Marriage

13 Nov

http://www.honolulumagazine.com/Honolulu-Magazine/November-2013/Exclusive-Why-Rep-Jo-Jordan-voted-against-Marriage-Equality/

Jo Jordan explains her no vote on gay marriage in Hawaii.

Interestingly, it was important to her that people listen to each other on this issue and one side consistently shut down dialogue with her. They had an attitude that they already knew they were right on every aspect of the legislation so she should just vote yes, with no questioning.

The same side that usually says fundamentalist Christians always believe they are right in every situation and won’t listen to anyone else . . .

Maybe they have learned from us, after all.

Nobody but God is always right!

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Five Reasons Society May Return to Traditional Marriage

12 Nov

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2013/11/12/five-reasons-to-hold-out-hope-for-traditional-marriage/

A compelling post.

It seems that gay marriage will become the law of the land in the U.S. The only question is when it will be federally recognized.

Some of us believe things will go farther and, as foreshadowed on Sesame Street more than twenty years ago, a family will become “a group of people who love each other.” Which sounds great until we contemplate the temporary nature of love in our generation.

However, history is not over yet. This post presents five reasons why society, as a whole, could later make a U-turn back to the “narrow” (but life-giving) definition of marriage that Christ gave.

Living in Rome Without Doing as the Romans Do . . .

6 Nov

Mark 10:5-9, “And Jesus answered and said unto them, ‘For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.  But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh:  so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.  What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.’” 

       

Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage [is] honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”

 

I have been writing about gay marriage a bit, as the 2012 election approaches with the Democratic and Republican parties divided on this issue.  Legalization of gay marriage is a plank in the Democratic party platform this time around.  While many Republicans may be okay with the concept of gay marriage, there are also many people who oppose it.  These people are now all, by default, in the Republican party, if they feel strongly enough against gay marriage to vote their convictions on it . . .

 

I have a word of encouragement for Christians who are traditionalists on marriage.  That would involve believing that God gave marriage to be a lifelong commitment to monogamy and to each other by one woman and one man.

 

It has become fashionable to believe that the Christian church (universal body of believers belonging to Christ) has replaced Old Testament Israel as God’s chosen people on earth.  I may take that concept on theologically one day (it is part of Covenant Theology, which tends to be believed more widely by Presbyterians and Reformed theologians than by Baptists), but the part of it that I want to look at here is the way it has skewed people to think that Christians, particularly American Christians, can set the moral standards for everyone around them. 

 

When that idea worked (in Old Testament Israel), it worked brilliantly.  Anyone who was not Jewish but who joined the Jews in Israel (when it was a free nation) agreed to live by the high moral standards of the Jews which included (yes, say it again . . .) marriage as a lifelong commitment to monogamy and to each other by one woman and one man.

 

I have no problem with Christians holding up Old Testament Israel as their ideal for society.  It was a good time, in many ways.

 

However, not all of the history of the Jewish nation given in the Bible involved Israel as a free nation with the power to set its own moral standards.

 

I have been thinking of the world into which our Saviour was born. 

 

Jesus was born into this world in Bethlehem, but He spent His childhood in Nazareth, a dusty backwater in Galilee.  Galilee, and all of Israel, was under the dominion of the Roman Empire at that time.

 

What were the moral standards of the Romans like?  They were a continuation of the pagan practices of the Greeks.  These mores included:  prostitution (including temple prostitutes attached to the pagan cults), incest (which was regarded as favorable if emperors engaged in it because marrying their sisters strengthened their claim to the throne), polygamy, and pansexuality.

 

I use the term “pansexuality” because there was not a concept then of exclusive homosexuality or lesbianism, but, rather, highborn Roman men would marry a woman but continue to have sex outside of marriage with other women, with lower-born men, and with adolescents of either gender.

 

Yet Jesus and Paul gave the instructions on marriage that are quoted at the beginning of this post. 

 

They seemed serenely unaffected by the paganism around them, didn’t they?  Why was that?

 

I believe it was due to both Jesus and Paul confiding completely in the sovereignty of the Father and His good created order for His world. 

 

They knew that God created marriage as a good thing.  They knew that He created it to be an exclusive relationship between two people of opposite gender.  One that lasted as long as both of those people were alive.

 

And both Jesus and Paul focused on getting this instruction to the people who belonged to God’s family, knowing that the teaching would be nonsense to non-believers.

 

Pagans, hearing God’s moral standards, would perceive God to be a spoilsport.  They would never understand that God’s good created order was meant to protect them and to allow them to thrive. 

 

Only believers, empowered by the Holy Spirit, can fully understand that God places boundaries on our lives in order to enrich them. 

 

Jesus and Paul left non-believers alone morally, but sought to get them to join the family of God.  

 

Is it really any different now?  Are we not in post-Christian America, with lots of paganism surrounding us? 

 

Surely we can speak truth into our society and vote our consciences, but . . . if other voices prevail and gay marriage becomes the law of our land or if polygamy returns or if incest becomes something that is regarded as no one’s business among consenting adults (as at least one mainstream publication has recently suggested), will we let that destroy our joy in Christ?

 

I hope not, for our own sakes as believers.

 

God is sovereign and God will be sovereign, with or without us.

 

But woe to us if we let the sins of others around us destroy our joy in Him.  Woe to us if we let a pagan subculture in the U.S. cause us to lose hope in God’s ultimate victory over the forces of darkness.  Woe to us if we ever lose sight of the message that Christ died for sinners, all sinners, and that He wants us to go tell them He loves them.

 

He saved us from the dark stain of our own sins, didn’t He?  Is there anything too hard for Him?  Is there any sinner beyond His grace?

 

Politics matter and it is a good thing to be politically engaged. 

 

But there is a world beyond this world and that one will last forever. 

 

 

Some Thoughts on Romans 1 and Gay Marriage . . .

2 Nov

Some Thoughts on Romans 1 and Gay Marriage . . .

 Romans 1: 21-23 , “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their own imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.”      

 

I, like almost everyone on this planet, like to feel approval from my fellow humans, especially my Christian brothers and sisters.  If I were to go with the flow of what I think would bring that state about, I would start this post by building a dichotomy with gays on one side of it and straight people on the other.  I would show in my writing a huge difference between gays and straights, making it evident that we straight people don’t need to make any changes in ourselves but that gay people need to change everything about themselves.  Only, I don’t believe that is the case.  I don’t think the Scriptures reveal that either. 

 

We often haul out Romans 1 to prove that homosexuality is against God’s design for the human race.  And it is.  If we believe the Scriptures, Romans 1 says just that.  Even those Christians who are for gay marriage admit that they have to change the meaning of Romans 1 to reach their conclusion.  The way they do that may be the subject of a later post, but not this one.

 

However, a whole lot of rebellion against God’s design occurs in Romans 1.  In fact, the three verses quoted above occur in advance of the downward spiral into homosexuality that we point to in Romans 1.  It is as though homosexuality and homosexuals are the canaries in the coalmine of the human race, pointing to the fact that a whole lot of us are missing God’s design for humanity.

 

Can we really say that the earlier verses only apply to people who end up being gay?  Or is there a tendency in the human race as a whole to spiral downward and away from God’s design for us, only one facet of which ends in homosexuality?  

 

The earlier verses describe leaving God for a substitute god, which can only be called an idol.  They describe leaving a lifestyle of thankfulness to God for a lifestyle of selfishness.  God’s design for us is to live in relationship with Him, and to evidence that relationship by our thankfulness to Him for all He has done for us.

 

Instead, what do we do, gay and straight alike?  We spend our lives complaining, feeling entitled to anything other than what God gives us.  We reject His good gifts and His sovereignty in our lives for other things we believe will satisfy us more.  And, in not being satisfied by the God who designed us, we become idol worshippers.

 

Some of us end up desiring gay marriage against God’s design, but some of us end up desiring serial marriages (or relationships without marriage) to members of the opposite sex.  That is against God’s design, too.

 

Use of alcohol to drunkenness is against God’s design.  Use of mind-altering drugs is against God’s design.  Use of too much food so that our bodies grow unhealthy is against God’s design.     

 

Romans 1 goes on to list many sins in the downward spiral of a society, all of them due to our idolatry and refusal to be satisfied by God and what He provides for us.  We exhibit fits of anger, gossip, viciousness in the way we talk to each other, murderous impulses, and on and on it goes. 

 

Yes, sexual sin is particularly harmful to us because it is against our own bodies.  But to God, sin is sin.  We are all guilty of it.  We all stand condemned before Him.  It is only by being saved through God’s Son, the Sinbearer who frees us, that any of us has any hope whatsoever.

 

Then even after we are saved, we still so often are ugly to each other, evidence that we are still lost in idolatry and in trying to tell God that He is not enough for us.  

 

So, I am probably going to disappoint some people who thought I was going to make homosexuality into a special type of sin that accrues more guilt than the other types.  Fact is, there is no honorable sin.  We all stand humbled before God, as He already told us there is no truly righteous man. 

 

The good news is that Christ truly is enough.  He is the hope of the entire human race, gay and straight, churched and unchurched, open sinners and people able to hide their sins beneath a veneer of hypocrisy.  He can free us from ourselves. 

 

And don’t we just all want to be free?  True freedom is found in Him, friend.  Let’s discover that together.

Reaping the Whirlwind–What Idolatry Will Do to Us in the End!

28 Jun

There is a reason that gay marriage will never satisfy the people who enter into it.

It is against God’s design.  Therefore it is idolatrous.

It takes a person and puts him into God’s place, in the belief that that person can become not only our entire world, but also our god and our universe.  We fire God and try to replace Him with a human being.  It will never work.  It doesn’t work when heterosexuals try it either.  

Once we depart from God’s ways and God’s design, we are on our own.  And we make some huge mistakes therein.  Our hearts are built for worship.  If we don’t worship the true God, we will manufacture a god and worship it.  Right now, worship is being directed to the institution of gay marriage.  But it will not ultimately satisfy, and great will be the crash when the people who counted on that institution, and their partners in it, to satisfy them deep down inside, in that worship place.

You see, the suicide rate is not only high among gays because they are bullied.  It is also high because, deep down inside, they have a conscience with its alarm system going off.  They know that their desires are not according to God’s design.  They know that they are going their own way, apart from God.  And they sense that they will never, never be satisfied by the results of that sojourn.  

Even if they could force every other person in America to praise them for entering into a gay marriage, their own consciences would still affirm that something is dreadfully wrong.  And they would still face suicidal tendencies, from their own hearts, because their hearts are estranged from the true God. 

It is not a place I would wish for my worst enemy to be trapped.

And, you see, the huge difference between a gay idolator and a heterosexual idolator is that, if two heterosexuals marry each other in an idolatrous relationship, they can later get right with God and make that relationship work.  A gay couple can never, ever do that.

All idolatry is sin.  But homosexual marriages create a legalized sinful state that is going to produce some immense consequences for those who enter therein. 

No one wants to be estranged, not only from God but from their own souls.  And this is what will happen to gay couples who proceed along the road to gay marriage.

You can never, ever make a person god in your life and have your relationship and your life succeed.  You will live in brokenness, by definition.

I say this in utter sorrow, as today a friend since college is marrying his boyfriend.  I purposely did not tag this post to call his attention to it.  If he sees it later, that will be God’s intervention in his life.  

I don’t know what lies ahead for gay people.  It seems that programs to help them have heterosexual desires only work every once in a while, for certain people.  

So it seems as though gay people may need to purpose to be celibate, in order to serve God in integrity.

Not an easy life.  It is not easy for heterosexuals who don’t marry either.  Almost everyone wants to belong to someone in a physical relationship.  

But certainly, as Jesus said, it is far better to sacrifice certain temporal comforts than to sacrifice our immortal souls.  

Heavy things to ponder.  I am here to pray with anyone who needs me.

You Stick Out, But Not Like A Sore Thumb!

28 Jun

I got into a conversation with the woman who was selling me my salad at Quizno’s today.  The proprietor of the place was gone for the day, so she was there from another Quizno’s, which she runs, to substitute for him.

I had had a new ID made on the base today, so I had worn a new red dress for my picture, a batik in a size 10 that is just loose enough on me to make me feel like a million dollars.

She picked right up on my joy at wearing a nice dress–within three sentences she was telling me about an upperscale dress shop that used to be next door to her Quizno’s.  

Funny thing though . . . I hadn’t mentioned clothes.  

How did she know that I would be interested in a top-notch place to buy them?

The clue was in the way I dressed and carried myself.  Without a word, she saw that I have high standards for myself when I go out in public.  

The more the world gravitates to the grunge look, the more people like me stick out.  I kind of like that.  We all get to choose our standards.  But we don’t get to choose how people react to them.  Those of us who believe that we show esteem for others by dressing nicely around them get a reputation for being people who value quality, and not just in our clothes.  When we go to church dressed nicely, we show that we esteem God, too.  Nothing but the best for my Lord and for the people who surround me!

I have heard several people say, within the last forty-eight hours since the Supreme Court decisions on gay marriage were publicized, that people who marry an opposite gender partner and stay married for life, raising several children, will not long be the norm.  But those writers have gone on to say that there is an upside to that!  

They have stated that it is now becoming possible to sit next to a stranger on a plane and, by finding out that they married at age 20, while still in college, and stayed with their same spouse for the next ten years, while having three children, to take an educated guess that those familymembers are Christians!

Not bad–being able to be a  walking, talking testimony for Christ just by having a certain family configuration.  

It won’t be long, folks.  They say it won’t be long.

And, oh the chances you will have to speak of God’s grace in your life then.

For we Christians are no better than other people.  

We just serve an awesome God, the only true God, who is better than the alternatives in every single way!!!

Link

Tim Keller on Why Same-Sex Acts and Other Sins Brought on Execution in the Old Testament but Not Today

15 Jun

Tim Keller on Why Same-Sex Acts and Other Sins Brought on Execution in the Old Testament but Not Today

Here is the answer when Christians are charged with inconsistency because we don’t keep the ceremonial laws of the Old Testament but still uphold the moral laws.

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