Ongoing Battle for Biblical Marriage (aka, the longest blog I’ve ever written)

Reported today on FoxNews.com, the California Supreme Court has overturned a ban on gay marriage.  this means that California could soon become the second state to legalize homosexual marriages, recognizing all of the same rights and privileges of the traditional marriage of one man and one woman.  

There are a few quotes that should not be surprising, but are incredible.  The majority decision was written by Chief Justice Ron George where he sates that “domestic partnerships” are not a good enough substitute for marriage.  In a strange way, George tries to exalt marriage as a respectable institution, but trashes that very institution by taking clearly ungodly relationships as a viable arrangement for marriage.  

Next, the court says, “In contrast to earlier times, our state now recognizes that an individual’s capacity to establish a loving and long-term committed relationship with another person and responsibly to care for and raise children does not depend upon the individual’s sexual orientation, and, more generally, that an individual’s sexual orientation — like a person’s race or gender — does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights.”  

What?  So, the decisions one makes in their personal lives does not affect their ability to raise children?  Oh, and this is like race and gender?  On this level of thinking, the court should recognize both a pedophile as a legal arrangement and a new race.  Can that person not claim they were “born” with that desire as well?  I’ll go even further (and possibly more controversial).  I actually believe it’s possible that a person is born with a desire for homosexual relationships.  Our bodies are more “fallen” than we possibly understand, yet that does not mean a person is born gay.  I mean, if the guys reading this blog were honest, they would acknowledge a natural desire to have “relations” with more women than just a single woman (a wife) for the rest of their lives.  HOWEVER, God has forbidden this!  So, just because I have a “natural” desire to sin sexually, I still am responsible for my sinful fulfillment of that action.  This means we are born sinners, but it doesn’t mean that we are born as pervasive fornicators or homosexuals.  

Sure, sin is sin.  But we view sin by degrees, while the atonement of Christ on the cross makes no such distinction.  His atonement satisfies the righteous requirements of a Holy God, and His wrath poured out on his Son for liars and murderers alike.

Some have claimed that the New Testament really doesn’t speak against homosexuality.  

Romans 1:22-32

22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,25 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.

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 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.

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

I Corinthians 6:9-11

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

The only way to take the above verses is to to re-interpret the phrases and then making them cultural stigmas of the time, rather than absolute.  We certainly have some that claim to be pastors in our area that make such a defense.  

First of all, homosexuality is a sin, plain and simple.  The ongoing practice is a clear mark of one who does not believe in Christ (John 3:16-18).  In fact, any ongoing, unbroken pattern of sin shows the reality of being lost.  Just notice the lists above.  We are all there somewhere.  Sin is sin and cannot be tolerated as culturally acceptable.

Secondly, Paul makes clear that the church is full of sinners.  We do not become righteous by our merit, only by being blood-bought by Christ and given His righteousness.  So, you’re not part of the true church (Christ’s bride) if you have not acknowledged sin and been saved by the Savior, Jesus.  So, there can be no boasting and this must color our fight against homosexual marriages.  

Ephesians 5:22-33

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Thirdly, marriage is the oldest, longest standing biblical image of the gospel.  Paul (above) refers to Genesis 2 in the purpose of marriage and proceeds to speak of the mystery referring to Christ’s relationship with the church.  So, any affront to marriage should be considered an affront to the gospel.  The church should be distinct in battling on the grounds of the gospel, not merely the social downsides, or increased insurance premiums.  The bride-groom, Jesus, is coming for His bride, the church, NOT another bride-groom (I don’t even know what that looks like).  

It must be said at this point that while most of us may not deal directly with homosexual marriage in our immediate families or church, it is always very near.  I must say that this… It is no less an affront to the gospel image of marriage to go through an unbiblical / unwarranted divorce than it is to endorse gay marriage.  There are concessions for divorce and I won’t go into those details at this point, but too many christian marriages end for the same selfish reasons as the world’s… just irreconcilable difference, or wanting a change.  

We already face a low view of family and marriage in this society, and the church is hardly immune.  Whether it’s a woman looking disdainfully at a mother of 10 kids or a husband looking lustfully at a co-worker, we frankly treat marriage and the home like its a convenience.  You combine that with the fact that we view sin in degrees and can find those who have had affairs defend others who have had affairs, all the while cursing the gay community, we just need a “re-boot” of the mind.

Romans 12:1-2 says that the only way to renew the mind is through the word of God.  Church, let me charge you to see sin for what it is.  See your Savior for who He really is.  Remember that you too once were a hell-bound sinner and only by His grace are you alive.  With that, love those sinners in your life with the gospel.  Fight these fights against gay marriage on the grounds of the gospel and look again (at the same time) at your spouses and love the spouse of your youth and defend the purity of the marriage bed and enjoy all of your children (no matter how many you’ve got)!

Let’s be a church that sees family as a blessing and the marriage as a beautiful mystery that puts the gospel on display.

I’m tired, now and I’m out.  I’m praying for you all!

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