I just stumbled across this article while browsing the Resurgence website a minute ago and thought I’d pass it along to you readers. I was specifically thinking of the attitude Christians take when dealing with political issues, such as gay marriage, school prayer, or whatever moral or ethical issues we generally get upset over. This article by Russell Moore is short but thought-provoking.
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!