Does God Care About Gay Marriage?

This weekend Governor Martin O’Malley declared that he would vocally support a second attempt at the bill that would legalize gay marriage in the state during Maryland’s 2012 General Assembly session.  This comes a mere five months after a similar bill was proposed and subsequently squashed this past March.  The proposed bill would allow for homosexual couples in Maryland to be granted the right to marry and all of the same legal rights afforded heterosexual couples.

The bill gained strong support in the Democrat-controlled Senate but failed to pass the House floor after key Democrats withdrew their support before the vote.  While I don’t want to get partisan right now it must be noted that the main support for the bill came from Democrats and liberal Republicans, while the opposition was generated from the Republican and conservative Democrat camp.  As is the case with all politics, this battle is fought not between Republicans and Democrats, but conservatives and liberals.  Whatever the right side is in this case is, to me, irrelevant.  Conservative vs. Liberal is just a façade masking the truth of the battle.  The real battle goes far deeper and is far more deadly than we could ever imagine.

If there is one thing the Bible ever claimed to be it is that its words contain the truth.  The Bible testifies of itself that it is the inspired, infallible, inerrant, and immutable Word of God.  I won’t get too  much into theology and doctrine in this post but I do briefly want to expound on what the Bible has to say on this topic.

In the books of Exodus through Deuteronomy God gave what we call the Law to the Hebrews in the Sinai wilderness.  The Law was God’s self-revelation of His character and the requirements for living a holy life acceptable to God.  Basically, the Law is all of God’s commandments for being made in His image that He expects us to keep them in order to be accepted by God as His child.  There are three different types of Law given by God: ceremonial law, moral law, and civil law.  Civil law consists of commandments as they relate to how we should treat other people such as keeping enough food for your family and the sojourner and the widow and the orphans.  Ceremonial law gives people the most headaches because it is the set of commandments that require us to abstain from eating the meat from a cloven-hoofed animal and wearing clothing made of blended materials.  Moral law is where the issue of gay marriage falls.  Moral law has to do with how we relate to God in our lives.  The number one moral commandment is “You shall have no other gods before me”.  If we keep this law we won’t break the others, plain and simple.  Leviticus 18:22 is another example of moral law, it says “Do not lie with another man as with a woman, it is an abomination.”  If we have no other gods before the LORD we won’t make a god out of sex and we won’t be led down the dark path of sexual immorality.

The bad news is that there is no one who has ever lived who can keep all the commandments of God, except one.  Nobody can live up to God’s perfect standard of righteousness.  Is then God unjust to require this of us?  Certainly not!  God is perfectly just to require us to be like Him since He is the source of all creation and the author of all life.  He is the perfect judge and there is no higher authority.  Through the Law we become aware of our sinfulness and how much we fall short of God’s righteousness.  Because of our sin, God’s wrath is set for a collision course with our soul when we die and we certainly deserve it.  God must punish sin because sin is a direct contradiction to His very nature and it is the most despicable sight to a holy God.  There is not one man or woman who can say that they don’t deserve God’s wrath for their sins, save one.  The one whom I refer to is Jesus Christ.

Jesus, God’s Son, came to earth as a man to live the life we couldn’t live and to die in our place to take the punishment we deserved then rose from death as our champion over sin and death.  Jesus fulfilled the requirements of the Law we could not keep and received the punishment for our sins, death.  By living without sin in His life Jesus fulfilled the Law so that we are no longer burdened by it’s commandments and no longer condemned by it.  Jesus is our substitute who takes our place and we take His place.  He gets what we deserved, that which He doesn’t deserve and we get what He deserved, that which we don’t deserve: the forgiveness of sins and eternal life in heaven with God.

You all probably know that already if you’re reading my blog so there tricky part is that what does all that have to do with passing gay marriage in Maryland?  It has everything to do with passing gay marriage in Maryland!  Christ has fulfilled the Law for us but He has not abolished it!  As Paul says in Romans 3:31, “Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.”  Elsewhere Peter exhorts new Christians to be holy like their heavenly Father in 1 Peter 1:14-15, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct“.  Our call to live holy is clear so we cannot banish the Law from our lives, on the contrary, we need it now as our guide on how to live holy.

Finally, we are called as children of God to be witnesses for God in a world full of darkness.  We are to take God’s standards to an unbelieving world that is in open rebellion to the God who created them.  God loves mankind and does not wish that anyone should perish, but have eternal life so He sent His Son to forgive sins and He has commissioned us to carry the message of the Gospel to the whole world.  One way we testify for God is to stand for what He stands for, righteousness.  God in His Word is clearly against homosexuality and makes it clear that marriage is reserved for one man and one woman.  There is no room for compromise on this issue, you’re either on God’s side or not.  The Bible says that anything that doesn’t stand up to God’s truth and perfection will burn away like chaff in the wind.

Let us spread the word of God to our state that so desperately needs to hear it and call them to a biblical standard of lawmaking!  I hope this post has spoken to you and your conscience and stirs you to some kind of action!  I will be posting on this topic regularly for the next couple of months as this is going to be a major issue in the coming year.  Pray that God would open the eyes of our lawmakers and instill in them a longing to see righteousness upheld in our state and our country.  Until next time, grace and peace.

 

P.S. here is a link to the most recent article from the Washington Times that I read.  http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jul/24/omalley-sees-hope-for-gay-marriage/

If you feel lead to speak out against this bill I strongly urge you to follow it in the media as closely as possible!

 

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Through the Wormhole

Since we got Verizon FiOS almost a month ago now I’ve since found a new favorite TV show.  Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman is the most mind-blowing show on TV!  Since I was in kindergarten I’ve been fascinated by what lies beyond the rocky planet we live on.  What else exists in the seemingly bleak and empty universe?  How can we as humans explore and discover what’s out there, how it works, and what it all means are all some of the questions that Through the Wormhole attempts to answer.  The show is narrated by Morgan Freeman and hosts a wide variety of scientific questions and the scientists working to solve them.

It has always been my belief that science always points to God and the proof of divine authorship in all of creation.  The common belief since the Enlightenment during the 15th century in Italy was that science debunked the possibility of an all-powerful, all-knowing God who created everything.  People like Galileo Galilei proposed theories so radical about the view of the universe that the Roman Catholic church condemned them as heretics.  Since then, science has been thought of as opposed to God.  Even though Galileo was a believer in God and a Catholic himself, the fact that he thought that the Sun, rather than Earth was the center of the universe was enough to separate science from God as if God and science were separate and opposed like God and Satan.

But we’ve come a long way since Enlightenment Italy.  In the last 40 years scientists have discovered ways to detect the presence of new forces in the universe that are believed to contributed to the creation of the universe.  An invisible form of matter called Dark Matter played an intricate role in the formation of galaxies from the initial point of creation.  Without Dark Matter the gasses that formed galaxies and stars wouldn’t have been bound together and the universe would have just been ripped apart.  The apparent symmetry and balance points to a super-intelligent or divine attribute to it.  It has been said that God fills in the cracks in our knowledge and now those cracks are getting smaller.  However, we are fallen, sinful being who have abandoned the perfect fellowship with God long ago and we are separated from an intimate knowledge of God.  So as finite humans trying to fathom the infinite mind of God, we require faith to fill the gaps until the day when science ultimately proves the existence of God or until we finally meet God and all is revealed to us.  Science is nothing more than a tool given to us by God to learn and explore the fearfully and wonderfully made universe.  Eventually, science will point to God but until that day, if it ever comes, we must rely on what God has revealed to us and take it on faith and not try to puff ourselves up with knowledge claiming to know the truth.  Only God knows the full truth and to claim we know the truth is to call ourselves gods.  We our mere finite beings created in God’s image, designed to reflect His attributes and glorify Him through our intelligence, free will, and our minds.

Whatever science says about God, we should have faith that the two are not opposed, but working together to reveal God to us and to cause us to better marvel at God and to love Him.  As Psalm 19:1 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork”.  God is beautiful and the works of His hands are beautiful.  God is complex and the universe is complex.  We can’t fully understand God just from reading the Bible and neither can we understand our universe fully from using science.  But wherever science takes us, I believe that God will take us on an unimaginably beautiful and wonderful journey into His own mind that causes us to love Him all the more.

What’s Next?

For the last 30 years the Space Shuttle program has represented the glory and the passion we had as a nation for space exploration.  Under Shuttle’s watch we have discovered distant galaxies further away than we ever imagined, launched the Hubble Space Telescope, discovered methane oceans on Saturn’s moon Titan, and many, many more discoveries.  It’s sad now that the final Shuttle mission has been launched, we have come to the end of an era.  It was a wonderful era that spans my entire life.  All I’ve ever known as a child up until now was that astronauts flew to space on the back of 3 gigantic booster rockets in a plane called a shuttle.  I wasn’t alive for the awe-inspiring multiple stage rockets of the 1960’s and ’70’s but I can imagine they were equally as memorable as Shuttle was.

In recent years, especially during the Obama presidency, the government’s interest in NASA has dwindled and the funding has been cut several times.  People often wonder how much more we really need to do in space now that we’ve landed on the moon, sent robots to the other planets and collected comet dust?  Why should our tax dollars continue to fund a program we don’t think is absolutely necessary?  The great NASA astronaut Jim Lovell Jr. once said, “Imagine what would have happened if Christopher Columbus had discovered the New World and nobody followed in his footsteps”.  Lovell’s comparison is astounding.  The story of human history and its charge from God has been, and always should be to have dominion over the world.  We have always been exploring, whether it be distant continents, under the ocean, or in deep space, what we don’t understand has always intrigued us as a civilization.  So why stop here?

NASA scientists have been working hard to develop the next method of space travel to take us to the next level.  There are rumors of Star Wars-like ion propulsion techniques that could enable us to travel to the stars within a human lifetime!  Or solar sails that are super lightweight and catch the energy of photons (light particles) to create motion.

Whatever NASA comes up with, we can be sure that there will be a somewhat long period of time before we set out to conquer space again.  It is my hope that the human spirit of exploration is not quenched by budget-slashing politicians or ignorant citizens.  But that it is supported and further developed by individuals who are hungry for the truth of the universe we live in.  To better understand our world, its past, present, and future we must study where and how our planet came from.  How God in His all-powerful being created our planet and the cosmos around us.  That should be our ultimate goal: to better be amazed at creation in order to love the Creator God.  However we do that I’m sure God will bring us the means.  Until then, Shuttle we will miss you!

Jesus of Nazareth

Jesus of Nazareth, precious Lord, Son of David

The Name above names, God with us is sacred.

Root of Jesse, Holy Redeemer, and sinner’s friend.

From heaven to earth, earth to grave to ascend.

Source of all power, joy, truth and wisdom

How loving of God to give us His Son

Incarnate God through miracle born

His death for our sins, the curtain is torn!

Cry out for mercy, His loving ears perceive

Salvation through faith is our gift to receive

Our plea before God is always His cause

To forgive us for all our sins and faux pas.

His promise to us is life without end

For eternal praise every knee will soon bend

His glory is our passion, His name we will spread

‘Til crowns of glory in heaven encircle our heads.