This is a “living post” and will be refreshed. New content and updates will be added.This is a leading issue in our time and I think you’ll agree we need to be as engaged as possible. See links to other sources at the bottom of this post.
This is not about bias, bigotry, hatred … or being ugly.
Personal judgment or a voice to the culture?
I want to say we need more love and honor for each other in our nation. As a Christian believer, I understand that love is a very high value with the Creator (along with righteousness and the glory of God’s person). Jesus said that all of the law and everything the prophets said could be summed up in just two big-picture meta commandments: love God with everything and love each other as you love yourself.
I’m grateful that American society values civic rights and personal freedom. No one is to be discriminated against for any reason – ethnicity, religion, male or female, sexuality and so on. We are all American citizens. We are a society.
And though I have my own convictions and beliefs, I am not to maliciously judge another on a personal basis. For the Christ-follower, the New Testament teaches that we are to make evaluations within the church as situations may arise, but we are not to personally judge those outside the church.
Yet it is clear the Church is to be a light and prophetic voice to the culture … being present in the marketplace of ideas. There’s a distinction between personal judgment or bigotry and being a clear witness to the society-at-large.
Jesus is restoring everything to THE DESIGN
Once some religious leaders came to Jesus and asked him about divorce …
His response? … Jesus took them back to the original creation design. Divorce is not in the mind or heart of the Creator. It was never designed into the nature of things at the beginning – “It was not what God had originally intended” (Matthew 19:7-8 NLT). Jesus said that Moses began to allow divorce because of hardness of heart. With our casual “no-fault” divorce laws in the past half century or so, a torrent of broken marriages has been unleashed.
Jesus highlights the fidelity and lifelong covenant of marriage as the Creator designed it. He takes us back to the beginning.
In this same dialogue with the religious leaders, Jesus spoke of marriage between one man and one woman:
“Haven’t you read the Scriptures?” Jesus replied. “They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.’” And he said, “This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together” (Matthew 19:4-6 NLT).
My belief is that Jesus brings us back to the design of God in all things.
Jesus brings us back to the beginning in terms of marriage. He refreshes and restores us to the creation design by reconciling us to God and to each other. He restores our well-being … mentally, emotionally and physically. He brings us back to the Source for provision and abundance.
Of course Jesus bringing us back to the original design includes the complementary nature of marriage: one man and one woman. In all of these things and more … Jesus restores and lifts the human condition to the success of good design.
Those who have a Darwinistic evolutionary worldview may claim we have evolved to a level which can include same-sex pairing and marriage. But if this were true, then certainly we would see same-sex couplings among insects, aquatic life, reptiles, and mammals.
What about the two Supreme Court decisions on marriage announced this week?
The California Prop 8 case was dismissed. Prop 8 is an amendment to the California state constitution which defines marriage as between one man and one woman. It is similar to amendments in 37 other states. The California governor did not defend Prop 8 and the Court said the plaintiffs had no legal standing. A lower court ruling stands which annuls the state constitutional amendment. The lower court ruling was by one judge who is a homosexual. For the time being at least, same-sex marriages will resume in California.
A provision in the Defense of Marriage Act (passed by an overwhelming bipartisan majority in Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996) was struck down. The outcome is that same-sex marriages in states which have legalized same-sex marriage (there are 12) are now recognized as legal by the federal government.
What the Supreme Court did not do was manufacture a national constitutional right to same-sex marriage as it did with abortion in Roe v. Wade. This is Ryan Anderson from the Heritage Foundation.
WHAT IS MARRIAGE?
- Marriage brings a man and a woman together as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children their union produces.
- Marriage is based on the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and the reality that children need a mother and a father.
- Marriage is the building block of all human civilization. Marriage has public, not just private, purposes.
Taken from What You Need to Know About Marriage. Download a free copy of this short and effective eBook.
The design: one flesh
Marriage is the design of the Creator. God reached into Adam’s side and fashioned a woman. He then brought her to the man. One woman, one man – this is the “one flesh” experience. And there is nothing like it.
I value the study of history and scholarship in societal issues and public policy. The State (human government) does not create marriage. It does not define it. The State only recognizes it. And virtually all civilizations in virtually all of history have recognized the reality of marriage as between a man and a woman and have supported it for the civic good.
During oral arguments in March, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito argued that same-sex marriage is so new to the country (and to human history), that we do not know what the broader implications can be:
“At present, no one—including social scientists, philosophers, and historians—can predict with any certainty what the long-term ramifications of widespread acceptance of same-sex marriage will be. And judges are certainly not equipped to make such an assessment.”
This is not about a specific place on the political spectrum in our society. The Heritage Foundation offers a free report showing that marriage between a man and a woman is necessary for the good of children, families, and our community and societal life. You can read the entire report here. You can also download the report or print it as a PDF.
When you have some time, read the report. Our nation is in need of high-information citizens. It’s beneficial to sharpen our thinking and to engage the conversation in a competent and reasonable way.
Here’s the cover story in next week’s The New Yorker – “Bert and Ernie’s “Moment of Joy.” It seems one of the tactics of the far Left is to sexualize our children, breaking down traditional family moores.
photo credit: Creative Commons / Simon Daniel Photography