"For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." --Genesis 2:24
Disclaimer: Even those of you who agree with me often, may find this one hard to swallow. You have been warned....
So, here it goes...the big, bad, lose-a-whole-bunch-of-your-friends issue:
I DON'T hate gay people. I DON'T want to require them register, be marooned on a deserted island or forced to under-go shock therapy--these are accusations that have been leveled against me. I DON'T want to make it illegal to be gay--another accusation. I love everyone, regardless of race, religion, gender, or chosen sexual orientation because Jesus, my Savior, commands me do so.
However, I do hate the orchestrated attempt by many to allow homosexuals to redefine marriage. Marriage, as defined and ordained by God, is a sacred union between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24). Yes, I admit, modern heterosexual divorce rates have damaged what I believe to be God's ideal definition of marriage. (That is always the argument used against me when I argue for Biblical marriage.) In fact, last year I was confronted by a very angry lady who had been deeply offended by my postings on protecting Biblical marriage. After she was finished yelling, I was able to determine that what made her more angry than anything was that she felt as though I condemned gay people more harshly than the others committing sexual sins. So, let me be very, very clear: yes, heterosexual cohabitation prior to marriage, incest, sexual promiscuity, rape (even marital rape), polygamous marriage, and sexual relations with animals are all sin--let's just lay it out there so we can all move forward with the discussion.
And if you know me or have read anything I have ever written on sexual sin, you will know that I do not condone any of the above listed behaviors. I recognize that we are sinful people living in a fallen world and therefore each of us has, at one time or another, fallen short of the glory of God. Myself included. I know that when I point my holier-than-thou finger at some else's sin, I have three, dirty, messy, ugly fingers pointing right back at me. Trust me, I am not judging anyone. I am simply speaking truth and trying to explain the societal and eternal differences between a teenager's temporary sexual misconduct verses an adult embracing, embarking upon or accepting a sinful sexual lifestyle that will become part of who they are and what they believe.
WHEW...well, now that I have probably thoroughly offended some of you and not been harsh enough for others, I will move on...
The Bible is clear, crystal clear, on the immorality of same-sex relations. Homosexual behavior is described as wicked (Genesis 19: 7), an abomination (Leviticus 18:22), a detestable act (Leviticus 20:13), and an unnatural and indecent act (Romans 1: 27). Now, let me head off the angry retorts right here: I am addressing the behavior, not the people. I don't believe anyone to be an abomination, nor am I calling anyone wicked, detestable or indecent. I am speaking to behavior. I believe we are all created in the image of a loving Savior. However, sin is sin. And tiptoeing around certain sins because it is convenient, trendy or easy to ignore, doesn't make them less sinful or more likely to go away. We are all human thus making each of us sinful: Pride, lying, stealing, drunkenness, adultery, and envy to name a few of our favorites. But I also believe that the redemption, grace and mercy that are represented by the blood of Jesus, covers ALL sin. "Don't you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don't fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people-none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." --1 Corinthians 6:9-11
I am often asked whether or not I believe homosexuals will go to Heaven. I'm not going the lie...I have no idea. I know Heaven is going to be filled with people who believe that Jesus was born to the virgin Mary, suffered, was crucified for our sins, proclaimed dead, and buried in a tomb. And then on the third day, he arose from the dead and ascended into Heaven and now sits at the right hand of God. If a person believes this and accepts Jesus as his personal LORD and Savior--they will go to Heaven. That is the promise--that is the good news--that is what I believe. But we mustn't forget and we mustn't neglect that Jesus commanded the people in the New Testament that He healed, saved and revealed himself to, to go forth and sin no more. Hebrews 10:26-27 says, "For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and the FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES". And I'm just going to go out on a limb here and say that an encounter with Christ would have fundamentally changed the people involved: if they were greedy, mean, murderous, sexually immoral or prideful when they first met Jesus, I believe they would have been different after the introduction. If they were lost, they had been found.
So, yes, I really do love gay people--I love them and their families. I do, however, hate the deception related to sinful nature of the behavior and am deeply troubled by the current attempts to force me and others into acceptance. But let's just be honest: unfortunately, I am a beginning to represent the minority opinion on this matter. Americans, including many Christians, are tired of the fight. The discussions about whether or not homosexuality is wrong are heated, emotional, and often times inflict more harm than produce good. Preachers are scared to death of the subject. The last sermon I heard on family and marriage was physically painful to watch. The preacher was a nervous wreck and chose his words way too carefully in a valiant attempt to avoid any and all offense. Legislators flip flop on this topic faster than pancakes cook. This debate is a no win situation for politicians. Too many Americans have a son, daughter, brother or sister that have "come out of the closet". When those around us, when those we love, choose to enter into a sinful lifestyle, regardless of the sexual orientation, our affection and our human nature make it nearly impossible to condemn them. So, yes, I see the tide turning and know that because we dwell in a fallen world filled with confusion and deception, gay marriage is probably going to continue to spread and the gay community gain traction.
So, this is my solution: government should get out of the marriage business. Government is involved in marriage because at one time, the marital union represented societal stability. However, now it is mostly relevant in a secular sense because it affects your tax filing status and healthcare, retirement, and death benefits. American divorce rates continue to rise in both heterosexual and homosexual marriages. More and more people are choosing to simply live together or create families as individuals. As hard as it may be to believe, to many individuals the idea of marriage is antiquated. So, let's leave marriage to us religious folks who like to do things the old-fashioned, biblically described, God-ordained way! Let's put marriage back where it belongs: in the spiritual realm--between one man, one woman, and God. Let's all file our taxes as individuals and designate our beneficiaries with good estate planning. For those of you who are aghast at my proposal--stop and think about it for a minute. I am not giving up, I am going back to God. I am not surrendering, I am strategically selecting my battles.
I know I am right on this people! And I don't need our nightmare-of-a-president, our out-of-touch Congress, or the isolated Supreme Court to agree with me. I would rather take defining marriage away from our misguided government and forfeit the secular benefits attached to it, than allow them to redefine or further de-sanctify it. I know this solution might seem crazy to some of you but I think this would actually work. Yes, the gay community would spin my proposal as a victory for them, their mantra would be: 'If we can't marry, then no one can'!! But in reality, traditional marriages would still be taking place all over the country, in small and large churches, in front of large crowds or in the presence of two witnesses. The ceremonies would still involve rings, vows, and a covenant sealed with a kiss. The difference: we wouldn't have to get a marriage license. Why not officially forfeit our recognition by a nation that is already trying desperately to ignore us? Men and women would still be joined in matrimony, in holy matrimony, exemplifying the original and intended design, in the presence of a holy God.
They won't win. I won't win. He will.