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Monday, June 29, 2015

Marriage: Where Do We Go From Here?

With a liberal court, we get the rulings we deserve. Or, in other words, elections have consequences. It's safe to say that without the election of Barack Obama, we would not have had to endure liberal Supreme Court justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor sitting in judgement of marriage. (Both appointed by Obama in his first term, and both voting to legally redefine marriage.) Of course, the election of a republican, especially the likes of John McCain, gives no guarantee of conservative appointments to the Supreme Court. However, justices Roberts and Alito, appointed by George W. Bush, both voted against this sweeping perverse ruling on marriage. All of those who voted for Obama have their fingerprints on the tyrannical judicial travesty that resulted in the legal redefinition of marriage.

As many, including the President of the United States, taunt the truth and celebrate sin, there is still much to be done for those who are determined to stand for marriage as our Creator gave it to us. After the ruling, as Rush Limbaugh discussed on his program on the day of the ruling, many conservative minded Americans were discouraged and upset. Many Americans are now wondering what to do.

First of all, in a time where, as even Rush noted, “there is a spiritual war going on where truth is no longer truth,” we are to be bold and faithful witnesses to the truth on marriage and sexuality. For Christians, as we live our lives as followers of Jesus, and as we examine the world around us and the areas where we have influence, we should always be on the lookout for our opportunities to shine light into darkness. Thus, as a witness for the truth, one thing we should always be asking ourselves is, “What are the sins with which we are most struggling?”

Likewise, pastors, as they prepare their sermons, should always be asking, “Where is the enemy at work in attempting to deceive my congregation?” Or, as another pastor has put it, “What are your people’s idols?” Of course, this should lead us to ask where the enemy is at work in the culture at large. As has been clear for decades now, within the moral realm in our culture, the conflict is almost exclusively about sex.

As I noted on the day of the infamous ruling, we cannot blame this entirely on liberals and liberalism. Sadly, the U.S. Supreme Court giving legal status to same sex “marriage” also reflects a tragic failing of the church. We have ignored the fundamental truths on marriage, sexuality, and the family for too long. Homosexuality has a long way to go before it can inflict the damage done by promiscuity, pornography, adultery, abortion, fornication, and divorce.

And we can’t simply point out the sexual immorality of others. We must also be quick to discuss our own struggles with sin, especially those in the sexual realm, as situations call for it. Additionally, filled with peace, love, joy, and the like, we must live out what is right and true.

As Rick Warren put it late last year, celebrate healthy marriages (especially in churches). Don’t simply be an opponent of what’s wrong, be a proponent of what’s right. Our lives, whether single or married, should be an example of what a walk with Christ looks like so others are drawn to Him whether they hear us say anything about Him or not.

Specifically, on marriage and sexuality, if you are married, commit as husband and wife to remain faithful in all that the Bible reveals on the holy covenant of marriage. Namely, commit to remain faithful to one another and keep the marriage bed pure. Commit to remain married until your earthly union is dissolved by death. Furthermore, as a union of one man and one woman, commit to allow God to use your union as He sees fit to build His Kingdom.

Also, commit to model and to teach others the truth on marriage and sexuality. Namely, that marriage is the union of one man and one woman for life and that the only rightful place for sex is within marriage.

Likewise, if you are single, commit to remain faithful to all that the Bible reveals on the holy covenant of marriage. Namely, while unmarried, commit to keep yourself sexually pure and model and teach this behavior to those in your circle of influence. Furthermore, commit to allow God to use you as a single person as He sees fit to build His Kingdom, and commit to model and to teach others the truth on marriage and sexuality. Namely, that marriage is the union of one man and one woman for life and that the only rightful place for sex is within marriage. (All of this is in the “Marriage Commitment Challenge.”)

Second, those with a higher profile in the culture, those in leadership or who have a wide circle of influence, have a greater responsibility in this matter and all such matters. To whom much is given, much is required. Of course this means pastors, but also politicians, pundits, business leaders, famous athletes, musicians, producers, actors, authors, bloggers, educators, and so on. In other words, we need Christians in the culture at large to tell and model amazing stories on marriage and sexuality. As Rick Warren said, “Whichever side tells the best stories wins.”

There can be little doubt that to a great extent, the deception on homosexuality, marriage, and gender has occurred because of the efforts of liberals in politics, the media, and so on. Not only that, but as most of us well know, the traditional family has been mercilessly attacked in the media. As American Thinker noted recently, this is especially the case with fathers. As Rick Moran put it, “Hollywood has made a deliberate effort to undermine the patriarchy by savaging fatherhood.” This has been the case for decades now.

Christian conservatives, and our like-minded friends, have not done enough to counter this. For example, recently my wife and I, along with our four kids, attended a Christian concert. Several popular contemporary Christian artists performed. There was a lot of great (but too loud!) music that focused our hearts and minds on God. However, there was nothing said or sung that focused on marriage and family.

Similarly, there is more than one Christian radio station in our area (northeast Georgia) to which we frequently listen. I hear almost nothing from the hosts, guests, artists, and so on, when it comes to marriage and the family. Surely they are not shying away from the truth out of fear of “offending” their sponsors or audience. Similarly, famous athletes and other entertainers who believe what the Bible teaches on marriage and sexuality need to exercise their First Amendment rights (while they remain!) on these matters. (Like the NFL’s Ben Watson.)

Third, if you are a Christian parent, when it comes to your witness to the truth, you have no greater responsibility on this earth than your children. In other words, every parent is in youth ministry. There’s a reason millennials are the group most likely to support a perverse redefinition of marriage. Decades of divorce and out-of-wedlock births have led to tens-of-millions of U.S. children growing up in homes without both parents. Thus we now have millions of young Americans whose notion of marriage and family has been tragically distorted. This trend must be reversed.

Fourth, we need to be ready to minister to those who suffer from the sin of homosexuality. As the decades have passed since the U.S. Supreme Court foolishly attempted to redefine life in Roe v. Wade, science, technology, and human experience have revealed what sound morality has always taught: life in the womb is just that. Just a few weeks after conception, we can now literally witness, through sight and sound, the miracle of life in the womb.

The horrible images (warning: graphic) of post-abortive children have been seared into the consciences of tens-of millions. The testimony of regret of millions of women who were deceived by the abortion industry has helped shine light into a deep and ugly darkness. Yes, abortion remains legal and as brutal as ever, but restrictions abound and are growing. Crisis pregnancy centers have ministered to tens-of-millions and saved the lives of millions.

There is no getting around it: the wages of sin is death. If we linger in sin, we are going to reap suffering. This is certainly true with sexual immorality. Disease and death literally await those enslaved in the homosexual lifestyle. And how can we measure the broken hearts of those who have departed from their Creator’s plan on marriage and sexuality? As has happened in the pro-life movement, the Christian community must equip ourselves like never before to minister to those who are broken by the sin of homosexuality.

Last, conservative politicians need to act. We need a constitutional amendment that properly defines, or allows states to properly define, marriage. Wisconsin governor Scott Walker has been at, or very near, the top of my list of 2016 presidential candidates. After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to redefine marriage, again justifying my high opinion of him, Walker issued a statement declaring, “Five unelected judges have taken it upon themselves to redefine the institution of marriage, an institution that the author of this decision acknowledges ‘has been with us for millennia.’”

He added that, “the only alternative left for the American people is to support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to reaffirm the ability of the states to continue to define marriage.” As Rush noted, whether it’s Obamacare, marriage, spending, and so on, far too often conservative politicians make no efforts “whatsoever to deal with the assaults and the attacks that are relentless and daily from the left.”

If your congressional representatives at the state and federal level can’t stand up for marriage, they do not deserve your vote. However, a constitutional amendment isn’t the “only alternative left” when it comes to marriage. As implied at the beginning of this piece, Americans need to elect a conservative to the office of U.S. President. If liberal justices can be replaced by conservative ones, the Supreme Court can reverse itself.

Again, marriage is the oldest institution in the history of humanity--older than God's covenant with the nation of Israel, older than The Law, older than the church. Marriage is one of the earliest truths revealed by God. If ANYTHING is true, marriage as the union of one man and one woman is true. On this, there can NEVER be compromise.

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

5 comments:

  1. Quote:
    "We must also be quick to discuss our own struggles with sin, especially those in the sexual realm, as situations call for it."



    Go fer it dude. Have at it. Or must we wait for the interview in Cosmopolitan magazine?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh I have, but not in this format (or Cosmopolitan). Nice try though!

    ReplyDelete
  3. The gay supremacists will overreach.
    All Lefties do. They can't help themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, I've thought about that. Did you see the Breitbart piece with all of the images from the homosexual parades that celebrated the ruling? (See here -- graphic! -- http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/06/29/content-warning-images-from-this-weekends-gay-pride-parades/) I'm afraid not enough Americans really understand what the homosexual agenda is really all about. If nothing else, maybe this will be a wake-up call.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh, you wicked little tease! Now I feel betrayed and dirty. I was so ready to hear this gossip that I'd even put a little umbrella in my drink. Alas...

    ReplyDelete