This post is long, but I believe it will be of value to you, as a Christian, as you process the course of our nation and seek to understand things through a Biblical perspective. I believe it will help you clarify the true issue at work. —Erick
As the nation awaits the Supreme Court's decision on gay marriage we can not make the mistake of assuming that this is simply about marriage, or even the rights of homosexuals. It is a decision that will affect most Christian institutions, colleges, businesses, etc. It will be a decision that forever alters the fabric of our nation, and Christians in it who stand on Biblical principles and world view.
And, we can't make the mistake of seeing this as anything other than what it truly is—it is our nation's decision on what the very essence of its (our nation's) being will be. This is a decision that defines this nation at the core of what it is, and as such it carries a weight that is larger than we can fathom . . . and, unfortunately, is a battle it seems we've already lost.
As soon as this issue became defined as a civil rights issue it was lost to Christians who actually believe the Bible is God's inspired, written word to us, revealing Himself and His nature and heart. As a civil rights issue, as a fairness issue, I don't see people having a right to deny marriage to homosexuals—just as they wouldn't have a right to deny polygamy, or any other thing or type of marriage or lifestyle in the future that society may not embrace now but will embrace later as it gets more "tolerant" and more "progressive."
The thing is, this is not a civil rights issue, and as Christians we must understand this, as our resolve will fade eventually under the withering bombardment of being called small, hateful, intolerant, old-fashioned, fundamentalist, etc. This is not a civil rights issue, it is an issue at the very core of how we define right and wrong: Is there a God, above all, Who defines right and wrong, Who gives rights, and Whom we choose to submit to . . . or are right and wrong and rights something a majority or a legislative body or a court can decide and confer?
This question defines our nation. Our Declaration of Independence says, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,
that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." This sentence, taken in part, could be used to argue for the right of homosexuals to be happy and marry. But it is not written in part, but in whole. These rights come from a Creator, therefore the Creator must be considered in them . . . and the Creator, the God of the Bible, has very specific things to say about what is right and what is wrong, and homosexuality is absolutely wrong in His eyes, therefore giving it legal blessing in marriage is only further going against our Creator. (Note: He also calls adultery, lying, fornication—sex outside marriage, etc., wrong, and the church is, sadly, inconsistent and much less vocal about these things, even in our own ranks.)
How we stand on this issue—and other values issues the Bible has something to say about—will define us individually and as a nation. The moment we leave the argument that God is God, and God is real, and the Bible is His written revelation, and He says something about the issue, we have entered the moral quicksand of morality being defined by the masses or a despot or a court. We have given morality over to legal briefs and influential people, and we have walked away from God.
Over and over in the Bible it talks about something being evil or good in the sight of the Lord. No matter what man thinks, what matters is how God sees something. That is all that matters. And whether our nation embraces that as the foundational truth of itself, or whether it rejects it, we as Christians can not leave that moral high ground and try and argue morality on "practical" levels or we have left the only rock of truth we have to stand on. And if our nation does go that way (and it seems it already has), we, as Christians, must be firm in why we believe what we believe. And that is why, I believe, God calls the church which is the body of Christ and His bride, a holy nation, His own special people, citizens of Heaven. We live in America, but our citizenship is the Kingdom of God. We are His, and that identity transcends lines on a map. We were His when America embraced Him as their foundation, and we are His when it turns from Him. We are His, and that is eternal, and He knows who are His and who are not, and He holds eternity in His hands.
This issue will write into law the future of our nation. It, like Roe vs. Wade, will absolutely solidify and codify that we, as a nation, have no regard for what God says is right or wrong. It will say, "We, as a nation, have risen above God, knowing right and wrong, and conferring rights on people." Whatever the court decides, we as God's children must know, He loves the lost and desires to draw all men to Him . . . and He will never leave or forsake His children, whether America a few decades from now loves Him, or whether we are living a persecuted minority.
A Side Note—But Important Note—On Genesis and All of This
If you've known me, or read this blog, any length of time you know that defending the first ten chapters or so of Genesis as a literal record of Creation and a global flood is a passion of mine. In these decisions our nation is wrestling with we are seeing one of the strongest evidences for that importance play out before our eyes.
If we discount those chapters as allegory—submitting them to "science" instead of submitting science to the Bible, we have begun down a slippery slope we can't recover from. The church in the early 1800s found this out. They collapsed on the age of the earth (inventing Day Age Theory, or Gap Theory, to try and reconcile "science" and the Bible) and then along comes Darwin and they've already, as the church, climbed into bed with the major requirement of Darwinian evolution—vast periods of time. Suddenly the church is left holding a bag with a hole in it. They've already embraced the unBiblical vast periods of time. They've already said a key component of Genesis is allegory . . . and so they had no leg to stand on arguing the creation of man in God's image from the start was literal.
When we embrace those things, putting "science" (I say that loosely since many brilliant scientists whose voices aren't heard embrace a literal reading of Genesis) above the Bible, we are then hypocrites to defend a virgin birth, a resurrection, angels and demons, a parting of a sea, a feeding of thousands from a few loaves and fish, the turning of water to wine, etc. Each of these are areas "science" has no room for, and we are inconsistent and hypocritical to fight for them as true when we've already let "science" define the Bible for us.
And so, down the slippery slope, the Bible becomes untrustworthy, and subject to man's interpretation and molding to fit man's "wisdom." Does anyone else see a correlation between a nation professing to be Christian but embracing values that the Bible clearly speaks out against? When we start to see the Bible as a childish book, not able to stand against the progressive wisdom and mind of man, then we really shouldn't be surprised when we give it no authority on moral issues as well. It is truly the next logical stage of descent off the high mountain of the Bible (hence God's) authority. Why, oh why, church, are we so surprised. We who've watered down the very book God gave us?
And . . . should it be any surprise to us, and could it underline the argument I am making any better, then to see the very side defending traditional marriage argue before the Supreme Court use evolutionary terms, ". . . the marriage institution did not develop to deny dignity or to give second class status to anyone. It developed to serve purposes that, by their nature, arise from biology. Now, imagine a world today where we had
no marriage at all. Men and women would still be getting together and
creating children, but they wouldn’t be attached to each other in any
social institution." (In fairness, he has made it clear the issue he was arguing is not about the definition of marriage, but if the people or the courts will decide it. Again . . . already lost . . . God is not even in that. He may be the reason the people—the states in court who are standing against homosexual marriage—voted against it, but whether or not their will stands is not about God, but about legality.)
Genesis does matter. Marriage hasn't "evolved," it is a God-ordained institution present in the first chapters of Genesis. It doesn't need to be defended on "practical" basis, it is what God has ordained and for us that is enough. And God has said certain lifestyles are wrong, and that should be enough for us as well. He is the only basis for the argument . . . and He is enough. For those who don't recognize that . . . those who may define much of our lives left here on earth . . . they will recognize it—on one side of the grave or the other.