Thursday, January 26, 2012

Contrary to What You Have Heard, God's Definition of Marriage Has Not Changed

In my home state of New Jersey, the topic of homosexual marriage has come up again.  The legislature, despite a morbid economy, has chosen this issue to be the top issue of the new session.  Our governor has already declared that he would veto the bill.  Whenever this subject comes up, the same old arguments are brought up and misinformed Christians call into radio shows and get run over by a more skilled and knowledgeable radio host.  Today, I want to share the normal arguments given and better responses to those arguments than most people can muster.  When all is said and done, though, we will not be able to convince unredeemed sinners that their sinful views on sinful subjects are wrong.  It is ultimately the Holy Spirit that will convict them of their wrong ways and we should not feel discouraged when people will not listen to us.  So make your stand for righteousness, preach redemption through Jesus Christ, and pray.  What we should pray is for God to water that seed you planted so that it may grow to maturity. 
So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.  1 Corinthians 3:7 NKJV
The first argument given is that homosexuals only want the same rights as everyone else.  The fact is that they already do.  They have the same right to form a family as any other person does, only they want more.  They want to be able to redefine what a family is in that they want to marry someone of the same sex.  Their predictable response is that the right is not the same because they do not have the right to marry the person they love as heterosexuals do.  But does everyone have the right to marry whomever they want? Can an adult marry a child?  Can a brother marry a sister?  Can a man marry three wives?  Of course all of those are not allowed no matter how much "love" there may be.  Their response to this is to change the rules once again.  Now it is not just the person they love, but the consenting adult that they love.  Alright, so that rules out adults marrying children, but what about one man marrying several consenting adult women?  Of course then they change the argument again in saying that the contract should be singular.  First of all (and I am not advocating for polygamy), polygamy is a collection of singular contracts.  If a man were to marry two women, there is no contract between the two women.  There are two singular contracts between the man and each woman.  So then maybe they would want to add only one singular contract as a new rule?  Even if they did, they run into the problem that there is no other place where contracts are singular unless that is actually part of the contract.  I have several credit cards, a singular contract with each one.  I also have contracts with my cell phone company, cable company, every email address or web account I have, etc.  Finally, there is the issue of incest.  the next new rule is that the person has to be adequately unrelated.  I hope you see the logical fallacy of their argument.  It is not that they want the same right as everyone else, they just want law altered specifically to suit their needs.  This so called "right" is that a person should be able to enter in a singular marriage contract with only one consenting adult who is adequately unrelated.  That sounds like an awful amount of rules to be a "right."  The fact is that if it were truly rights they were fighting for, just about all of those rules would have to be negated. 

The next argument is that one can not legislate morality.  In fact, that phrase is used in a lot of areas.  The fact is, though, that just about all of our laws legislate morality.  Why is rape a crime?  Because we find it morally wrong.  Why is incest a crime?  Because we find it morally wrong.  Why is prostitution a crime?  Because we find it morally wrong.  Why is theft or murder crimes?  Again, because we find it morally wrong.  You may make the argument that we are only protecting victims.  That is true, but that is only because we have the moral concept of victim-hood.  Think about it, slavery was once legal along with all the abuses performed against slaves.  What was done to them then under protection of the law would now be rightfully considered harshly punishable crimes.  The difference is that we realized slavery was morally wrong.  While we may not legislate what is moral or amoral, our legislated crimes are a reflection as to what society has deemed to be moral or amoral.  Homosexual marriage is not allowed because for the most part (even still), people find it to be morally wrong. 

Then there is the argument of civil rights. They make a connection between their plight and the plight of black people during the civil rights movement.  Not even the black people buy that argument.  The problem is that being black is a state of being, it is not a behavior.  People were not judged by their actions or life choices, but just by virtue of their skin color.  They were not judged for acting black, they were judged for being black.  Homosexuality, on the other hand, is not a state of being but a behavior and a lifestyle choice.  I know they like to claim that they are born that way, but that has never been proven.  They say they can not change, but I know for a fact that they can.  I am not naming any names, but I do know personally people who at one time considered themselves to be homosexual, but they, by the power of Jesus Christ, are now in loving monogamous and healthy heterosexual marriages.  The fact is that is a sinful lifestyle choice, many believing the lie that they were born that way.  I feel bad for those who are deceived into thinking they could never change.  I pray for them that the Lord show them the truth that no matter what kind of sin they are or have been involved with, Jesus Christ can set them free.  Homosexuality is not a race and so using the same argument about race is not applicable.   In fact, it is an insult to equate their plight when they live a chosen lifestyle whereas black people did not choose to be born black.  A black person can not become white, but a homosexual can leave that sinful lifestyle. 

The last argument I will address is their argument that they are just like everyone else and so allowing a redesign of the family structure will have no impact on society.  Many believe that they are just like everyone else.  That is a result of good PR and not reality.  The face of the homosexual movement has been defined by friendly portrayals in our entertainment and featured people who give a very good mainstream appearance.  If you want to see the true face of the homosexual movement, then attend a gay pride parade.  I wouldn't bring your children, though.  What you will see is a grand display of every kind of filth imaginable along with some you probably have never imagined.  They do all this in the presence of their own children. As for families, they can not actually form a family.  They can not have children (other than by adoption or other artificial means).  True, some heterosexual couples struggle with infertility, but that is an exception.  Homosexual arrangements preclude fertility from even being a possibility.  And, over time, it will greatly affect family structure in society as a whole.  As children are brought up in homes with a distorted picture of what roles a mother and a father play in their development, children will grow up with a new perception of what a family is.  Biological parenting will become less and less important and the idea of a nuclear family will become obsolete.  Furthermore, schools will begin to promote the new family structure and people who believe differently will be first marginalized and then demonized.  Family and marriage were created and instituted by God.  Mankind has no right to redefine what God has defined. 

Before I close there is one more issue I need to address.  This is not so much an argument as it is a response from the gay movement to Christians who disagree with gay marriage.  They ask how we could question how their acts will destroy marriage when we have our own problems with adultery, divorce, and spousal abuse.  They have a point.  They do not have a point when it comes to their position as pointing out our wrongs does not make their wrongs right.  Yes, adultery, divorce, and abuse are wrong, but that does not mean and gay marriage is right.  The point it does make though, is that our witness is extremely important.  It is hard to stand for the sanctity of marriage when so many Christian do not.  In fact, the 50% divorce rate applies just as much to Christians as it does to the rest of the world.  Christian husbands beat their Christian wives and Christian wives sometimes abuse their Christian husbands.  Adultery, especially adultery in our hearts whenever we look in lust at another, is rampant in our midst.  Shame on us for allowing our witness to be hurt by our sinful and wrong actions.  If we want to take a stand for righteousness, we need the behavior to back it up.  We must pull the plank out of our own eyes before we help the homosexual remove the speck from his.  We must clean our own house before speaking of the filth in the house of another.  We must have the lives to back up what we say to the rest of the world.  Judgement starts at the house of God, and it is high time we cleaned out our house and took marriage seriously in the church.  We need to take church discipline seriously in that we give an abusive or adulterous spouse a chance to repent but then we must follow through in removing them from our fellowships.  That is what the Bible says.  We need to stop accepting divorce for any other reason than adultery or when an unbelieving spouse leaves a believer.  And when someone is divorced for anything other than the aforementioned reasons, we need to stop allowing them to remarry in our churches and if they do remarry we must make sure they know that their adulterous illegitimate marriage is not welcome in our fellowships.  Again, that is what the Bible says.  If we do believe in the sanctity of marriage as an institution created by God, we must act like it. 

In the end, homosexuals are sinners in need of a savior just as we were before we met Jesus.  They deserve Jesus no more or no less than any of us did and the blood of Jesus flows just as freely for their sin as it did for ours.  They must know that.  They must know that Jesus can lead them away from that fallen lifestyle.  They must know they can be free of that bondage and live freely in Christ.  They must know that they do not have to remain how they are.  They must know that God loves them and wants them to come to Him and that He loves them too much to leave them as they are.  Before anything else, they must know the Gospel.  If God begins to change their hearts and lives and they begin to live free of the bondage of homosexuality, they will be a shining light to others looking to be free as well.  We must also understand that without Jesus they are slaves to their behavior and no argument is going to change that.  Share the love of God. Share the Gospel.  Plant those seeds of the Word of God and pray that God gives the increase.  It is fine to oppose gay marriage, but make sure it is done first and foremost with the love of Jesus Christ.  We can maybe change some minds with clever arguments, but only God can change their hearts.
And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment John 16:8 NKJV

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