A Pivotal Day: Gay Marriage Before the Supreme Court

supreme_courtToday is a big day in our Country.  The United States Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments regarding California’s “Prop 8” ban on same-sex marriage.  The suit that will be heard by the Court is being brought by one lesbian and one gay couple, challenging the voter-approved ban.

As I’ve listened to the rhetoric on both sides, there is one statement that I believe frames the crux of the argument.  It had to do with what is “right.”

What is right?

The statement was made by a cousin of Chief Justice John Roberts who reportedly “came out” as gay this past week.  Referring to Justice Roberts, he said, “I love my cousin. I hope he does the right thing.”

The “right” thing.  I thought about for a long while, contemplating how often that is used, not as an objective perspective, but as a personal preference, or judgment.  Certainly, those on both sides of the debate look at their position as the right one. So, is it simply as the postmodernists have argued that right is relative?  Is it really a matter of perspective so that right is determined by the winners of a debate?

I will concede that this is very clearly the way our world runs.  Certainly the United States and other western countries operate this way.  Of course, no one is consistent with this position.  If we were, then everything should be on the table for debate, and I suppose it is if someone wants to bring the argument.

To some, murder is right.  Stealing is right.  Gang attacks are right.  So far, though, there haven’t been large enough groups to bring serious challenges, but according to our standards, nothing is out of bounds.  Nothing can be called “right” and nothing can be called “wrong.”  It is simply based upon the decision of the masses.

Again, we’re not being consistent because most people who take this position believe that their positions are objectively right and moral.  For instance, those who take the stand that homosexuality is good, believe that it is good and right for everyone and to stand against it or at the very least, against redefining marriage, is universally WRONG.

In Need of a Standard

At some point, we have to decide that absolutely nothing is objective and, therefore, no one truly has “rights” (in that there is nothing objective to state universal rights. You only have rights so long as you can win the fight).  If we do this, the argument needs to change, since the Pro-gay camp is claiming it is their human right to marry.  Who determined this?  Is it claimed that this comes from the United States Constitution?  That document certainly doesn’t hold up to “universal” scrutiny as it only guides the people of a single country.  I understand that it’s their desire to marry, but a right?  That’s not possible from a position of moral relativity.

Who Needs the Bible?

I get the arguments on the other side.  If one does not believe in a Supreme Law-giver, they are certainly not going to willingly submit their lives and practices to the directives of some “religious book.”  They are not going to buy into the argument that in order for there to be objective truths and laws and rights, there must be an objective standard that declares what is objectively right and wrong.

As a result, I believe it is only a matter of time before the laws do, indeed, change.  That may not be this particular case, but it will come because the collective “we” are guided by what the masses determine is good and right.  Since public opinion is quickly shifting towards gay marriage, that will soon become the law of the land.  Do I agree with it?  No.  Does that mean I hate gay people?  Absolutely not!

Very few people have said that gay people do not have a right in this country to live together and act like married people.  Though I believe that it is objectively wrong, according to the One who makes those determinations, I think they have this right, just as heterosexuals have a right to co-habitat (which is also objectively wrong and destructive) according to the same standard.  I simply believe that changing the very definition of the only Institution that can actually produce natural families (i.e. a man and woman, through the natural act of sex, producing other human beings and raising them with both a father and a mother), we are rendering the very term meaningless.

There is no need for me to rehash the same arguments over again.  They have been made time and again and rejected time and again.  Personally, I will continue to stand on the Truth of Scripture, regardless of where that leads me in the future. I will continue loving and caring for all people, straight or gay, but out of love, I am compelled to declare the warning of Scripture (which I didn’t write, by the way!):

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.

If this is true (which is the basic issue that must be determined by the individual), then the reason why so many are buying into the arguments of the gay community must be attributed to God giving them over to sin.  I understand how harsh that sounds (and that’s not my intent), but is that not the straight-forward, logical conclusion to this?  That cannot be seen as God being OK with it, but the very wrath of God as He gives them over to be drawn into their own sinful desires.  That is not good news!  The only good news is that Christ can forgive.

Many in the Christian community will disagree with my position here, but I am not calling for gay people to simply “choose” not to be gay.  Personally, I doubt that is possible.  Due to the fall of man found in Genesis 3, I believe that we are born with all sorts of “bents” towards sinful desires (which are often wrongly judged to be “natural”).  So, I don’t necessarily believe homosexuality is a choice any more than I chose to be heterosexual.  What I do believe is a choice is what is done with it.  I have heterosexual friends who have never found “the one” whom they can marry.  Moral relativism says that’s no big deal, just find somebody to have sex with; play house together regardless of a love and a lifetime commitment.  However, they have taken Scripture seriously and remained celibate.

Biblically, my homosexual friends have no more right to give themselves over to their desires than my unmarried heterosexual friends.  That’s not good enough for them, though.  That means denying pleasure for righteousness.  Therefore, that type of righteousness cannot be right. It is redefined, then, as wrong.  After all, God would never call me to sacrifice my pleasure for His righteousness.  That whole thing about Jesus saying His followers must deny themselves, take up their crosses and follow Him was, well, just a joke. He was just teasing. He’d had a bad day when He said that.  Who knows, maybe He didn’t even say it at all.

The Heart of the Issue

Yeah, it all boils down to that.  What do you believe?  You either have to believe Scripture as it has been given to us or reject it completely.  I realize that many are redefining it as they are everything else, but that’s just dishonest.  I have much more respect for those who outright reject it than to play twister with it and make it into what it never said.  Just stop playing games with it.

To be honest, I don’t have a personal agenda in this.  If Scripture didn’t say it was wrong, I’d probably just take homosexual practice in stride and get used to it just like everything else. It would certainly be easier.  Heck, nobody wants to be called a bigot or hater or intolerant by all of the wildly tolerant people out there.  I prefer to be liked by everyone and, certainly, I could be liked by a whole lot more people if I compromised truth, too, but I’m bound by it.  I’m compelled by it. I simply can’t.

But I’m not a hater.

I’m not intolerant.

I think by peacefully stating my position and the position of Scripture while not engaging in dirty names or making threats but, instead, declaring that I will continue to live in peace with my homosexual friends, I am demonstrating exactly what “tolerance” truly means.  However, let it be known that I will do it with integrity and standing firm on my principles.  I will make it clear that, because I love people and believe that sin is not just “bad,” it is deadly, I will not redefine it away if the Bible says otherwise…but I will not do it with malice or disrespect or hatred or in a mean-spirited fashion.  As a minister of the God-breathed Word of Truth, I owe people that, regardless.

It is possible to disagree without being disagreeable.

 That is, after all

…tolerance.

 

My Take On the Chick-fil-A Flap

I suppose I should start out with a disclaimer so some of you don’t turn me off before reading any further: I do not support the spirit behind the image posted to the right. I really don’t think it’s helpful (clever as it may be). However, it highlights an important point that deserves serious attention: Those who preach “tolerance” the loudest and most often tend to practice INtolerance the loudest and most often.

I am a pretty tolerant person. In saying that, I mean that I live among those who have different views than mine and I don’t work towards shutting them down. I don’t try to yell louder than them so they cannot be heard. I don’t try to shame them into silence and I certainly don’t try and kill them or otherwise rough them up. That is tolerance. I tolerate them. I don’t agree with their views. I tolerate their views. I will passionately state my own based on Truth from Scripture because I believe the eternal state of someone rests on it. Those are my views. At the end of the day, though, I don’t demonize them or call them names for not accepting them. That would be intolerance. My position is that I don’t expect non-Christians to act or think as though they were Christian. That’s lunacy.

I will also say very clearly and without apology that I do not believe in nor support same-sex marriage. I cannot. It would go against my conscience and my faith as dictated by Scripture to do so. So, does that now make me intolerant?*** Others have a very different view. I respectfully disagree with that view. Can I change it? Probably not, but if I choose, I can engage in respectful discussion and try…just like someone can do the same with me.
My Christian faith dictates that I treat others with respect and love as Christ loved (which includes loving enough to be honest with them about the truth!). It does NOT, however, dictate that I hold all beliefs as equally true or that I accept every view. Spiritual immaturity says that is being judgmental and unChristian. It is not (Christ didn’t accept every view as equally valid and was actually quite intolerant with many of the Pharisees of his day in order to deliver the people from their wrong thinking). I am, in fact, judging whether or not I believe a position is lucid, logically consistent (and, at least in my case, biblical) and, then, whether or not I can agree with it, but every individual under the sun does the same thing (including those who are judging others views as being judgmental…hmmm, what a viciously inconsistent world we live in).

Here’s the thing: To state a personal belief and practice is NOT being intolerant. To viciously attack or demonize a person who states a personal belief and practice absolutely IS. I am growing weary of the double-standard. Watching a news show the other day, a commentator went into a near rage calling Dan Cathy “a fool” for using his business to attack gays. Seriously? What Cathy was accused of simply did not happen. He stated his views.

In a response to whether he was against same-sex marriage, Mr. Cathy’s quote was, “Guilty as charged. We are very much supportive of the family—the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.” How is that anything but a statement on what this particular business is based on; a set of core beliefs that clearly does not include support for changing the definition of marriage (a definition that has never been anything other than it is right now throughout our history as a humans)? He has a right to that view and is supposed to have a right, as do those who are pro-gay, to state those views publicly in an orderly manner.

Further, he should not be coerced into building his business on principles that are not his personally held convictions. This company has not been charged with discriminating against those whom they serve. This is not a civil rights issue. They simply stated what they believe. Now politicians are working to shut them down for their personal beliefs? Are you kidding me?! We’re now living on Fantasy Island where the unbelievable and absurd becomes reality. Critical thinkers rather than thoughtless, emotional and ideological reactors are desperately needed. Apply within. You don’t have to buy their product, but it is wrong to try to use political power to shut them down.

The bottom line: If you want to see tolerance practiced…practice some.

*** It certainly does to at least some. In this culture, if I’m not actively pro-gay, I am expected to keep my “judgmental” mouth shut or be prepared to receive the rebuking scorn of “the tolerant”.

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