Archive for the tag “same-sex marriage”

DOMA: Do justice, affirm love

Mark Kelly writes at kainos:

do justice affim love 2Celebrations erupted today as news broke that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act violated the constitution. Supporters of same-sex marriage proclaim “justice” has been done.

Followers of Jesus must remember that the Creator alone defines what is right and good.

Justice is restoring God’s shalom well-being to broken people, setting free children of God held captive by an evil dominion bent on destroying them. Broken people may change the rules by which their society is governed, but the Creator’s intent for human sexuality is hardwired into his creation. A man can dress as a woman, a doctor may even surgically alter his physical attributes, but gender is in his DNA, not his feelings. Justice for broken souls is helping them find healing in Jesus and moving them toward the abundant lives God has in store for them. Love is welcoming other broken souls into the fellowship of the forgiven. I do not become whole simply by declaring my brokenness is now normal. I become whole only as I accept the Creator’s design for my life and allow his power to begin re-creating me from the inside out.

In striking down DOMA, the court today merely reflects a society that has decided to redefine what is right and good — including sexuality and marriage — on its own terms. Our society has concluded that refusing to accept homosexual behavior as normal is no different than racial prejudice, and a majority of the justices agree.

Much is being said and written about the DOMA and Prop 8 decisions. I commend to you articles written by Russell MooreTrevin Wax, Denny Burk and Albert Mohler.

I particularly like what Dr. Moore says, that this ruling “gives Christian churches the opportunity to do what Jesus called us to do with our marriages in the first place: to serve as a light in a dark place,” that “we have the opportunity, by God’s grace, to take marriage as seriously as the gospel does, in a way that prompts the culture around us to ask why,” and that “the increased attention to the question of marriage also gives us the opportunity to love our gay and lesbian neighbors as Jesus does.”

“As we stand with conviction, we don’t look at our gay and lesbian neighbors as our enemies. They are not,” Dr. Moore says. “Same-sex marriage is headed for your community. This is no time for fear or outrage or politicizing. It’s a time for forgiven sinners, like us, to do what the people of Christ have always done.”

Of two things you can be sure:

– Believers and congregations must decide whether they will pay the price of discipleship and follow Jesus, or go with the flow and accommodate a culture that refuses to walk in God’s righteous path. When biblical faith convictions are labeled “hateful,” the full force of government power will be brought to bear on the “hater.”

– In a society where feelings rule, no one has the right to reject even the most perverse feelings. The same irrational logic that normalized homosexuality will do the same for polygamy — and any other sexual proclivity society can be persuaded to accept. You cannot begin to imagine the depths to which this society can sink but, I promise you, not only are those depths being imagined, but some are working today to make their dark fantasies a reality for us all — under the banner of “justice.”

We must do justice. We must affirm love. But when we follow God’s definitions, rather than the world’s, we will find ourselves on a narrow road to a small gate.

Justice isn’t getting what I want

CC Thomas Samson / AFP Getty NC

CC Thomas Samson / AFP Getty NC

Did you notice the massive protest in France over the government’s plan to legalize same-sex marriage? Did it strike you as odd that hundreds of thousands of people in one of the world’s most completely secularized, post-Christian cultures would care enough about the issue to take to the streets? Why do you suppose it happened?

As I stared at a photo of the crowd, I was reminded that Romans 1:19-20 tells us that people instinctively know there is a Creator because they can see the marvels of creation. A person does not have to be a follower of any religion to realize the amazing universe around us is the work of an immensely powerful and intelligent being — and to realize that certain aspects of the creation clearly reflect an intentional design decision by the Creator.

The design of the human body in its male and female aspects clearly reflects the Creator’s intention about human reproduction and sexual relations. In fact, Genesis 1:27-28 tells us that God’s decision to create us male and female was directly related to humanity’s reflecting the fullness of his image, as well as his intention for the species to reproduce. If we have any intention of honoring God for who he is, we must respect his clear intentions for his creation.

Justice demands that no person be diminished, denigrated, or persecuted, but justice is not getting what I want. Justice is bringing circumstances into harmony with the way things ought to be. The way things ought to be is determined by the Creator’s intention in creation, not by our opinion or preference.

The sad fact is that all of God’s creation is broken, fractured by humanity’s willful selfishness and our determination to have what we want, rather than what God wants to give us. The Scripture is clear that all of us are broken, that the only difference is whether we are stubborn in indulging our brokenness or willing to allow God to heal us and begin the process of restoring us to the wholeness he originally intended us to enjoy.

People are broken in many ways, and we all want what we want. The fact is, however, we don’t get to redefine the fundamental realities of creation. One person may feel intimate affection for another person of the same sex — and in our culture we confuse emotional intimacy with sexual intimacy — but we can no more redefine God’s male/female intention than we can change the DNA with which we were born. We can insist on obeying our broken feelings and desires. Society can change its laws about the benefits enjoyed by those who choose to live together in partnership. Technology has even made it possible for us to superficially change the organs of reproduction. But we cannot change the fact that God created us male and female, as a reflection of his image, for the purpose of reproduction.

A country or state may adopt civil union legislation, but it cannot simply decide that one flesh marriage can happen between members of the same sex.

Laws can’t solve the problem of human brokenness and create justice. Sodomy laws were an injustice, but same-sex marriage laws only multiply the injustice. The truth is deeply ingrained, not only in our bodies, but even in the secular, post-Christian conscience. Deceiving ourselves about the nature of human sexuality will not change the facts of creation.

Christian, take this to heart: Condescension and hatred toward those who reject God’s intention in male/female creation cannot accomplish God’s justice. Healing brokenness and multiplying justice can only be done one to one, face to face — knowing and loving another person, understanding them at the deepest level, ministering to their real needs, and showing them how to experience the full, free, and forever life God created them to enjoy.

I am heartened that so many in France are not afraid to publicly declare their conviction about marriage and express their concern for the welfare of children adopted by gay couples. That’s a sign of healthy democracy. I would be more encouraged to know these same people had turned their backs on prejudice, hatred, and discrimination and are instead pursuing peace, healing, and reconciliation with others before God.

Related:
Lessons from the French on Marriage?
Lessons from France on Defending Marriage
Can the President Have a Marriage Agenda Without Talking About What Marriage Is?

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