The New Jersey issue is bigger than the Duck Dynasty issue

The Duck Dynasty / Phil Robertson topic has received tons of attention, and deservedly so.  But the bigger issue is how the pro-LGBTQ groups aren’t satisfied with merely redefining marriage in an anti-biblical way, but how they won’t rest until they have completely stamped out religious freedom and forced churches to affirm their activities.  The A&E issue is a sad commentary on our society, but the New Jersey issue is about the power of Big Government to suppress religious freedom.

Via Duck Dynasty Star Fired Over Remarks on Homosexuality:

Earlier this week state Senate Democrats in New Jersey pulled from consideration a bill that would write gay marriage, already legal in New Jersey by court order, into the law books. The reason: the bill contained religious exemptions.  Loretta Weinberg, the Senate Majority Leader, said she pulled the bill after pressure from an LGBTQ legal group, Lambda Legal.

“They don’t want any kind of religious exemption, so out of respect for that, I will (pull the bill),” Weinberg said.

Re-read that carefully: They don’t want any kind of religious exemption.  None.  It isn’t about their freedom to do what they want.  They’ve had that for years.  No one is preventing their relationships and/or promiscuous sex, or even doing anything to stop 62% of men who know they are HIV-positive who have unprotected sex with men.  This is about silencing Christians and forcing them to violate their religious beliefs.

“There’s a disparate group of people and it’s hard to follow what they want, so I’m following Lambda Legal.”

The decision by New Jersey Democrats and A&E are similar. When pressured by LGBTQ groups, organizations and politicians will choose to silence Christians who oppose the normalization of homosexual behavior.

Many Christians have assumed that they would be allowed reasonable exemptions and accommodations based on religious liberty. But LGBTQ activists have made it clear (and have said so from the beginning) that unconditional acceptance of homosexuality is the only option. Normalization and public support, rather than mere legal recognition, is the end goal.

Religious believers who think they can avoid the issue are deluding themselves. While we may not have a hit reality show that we can get fired from, we will be pressured in numerous ways to make it clear that we will not speak or act publicly in a way that supports the biblical view of homosexuality. The objective of the activists is to marginalize Christian views on sexual norms until they can be outlawed in the public square. Many Christians have already and will continue to gleefully work to ensure this becomes a reality. But for faithful Christians, allowing our biblical witness to be silenced is not an option. Like Phil Robertson we must all say, “My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together.”

Make no mistake: Satan won’t rest until he has silenced Christians.  That will never happen completely, of course, but there is a rocky road coming up.  Many of us have warned of these logical consequences for years, but too many Christians thought they could sit on the fence.  There is no fence.

But be encouraged!  God always wins in the end.  Don’t be afraid to stand up for the truth.

Whom can you marry? An exhaustive list of Biblical rules.

wedding-rings2.jpgA favorite updated for your reading pleasure.

According to the Bible, a Christian should only marry a person who is:

  1. A Christian
  2. Able to be married (i.e., of legal age, not married already, etc.)
  3. Of the opposite sex

Item 3 used to be self-evident (and still is, for most of us), but we had to add it to the list a few years back.

That’s it. Despite the stereotype that the Bible is just a giant rule book, many things are very simple.

The key constraint is usually item 1: The future spouse must be a Christian.  Ignoring God’s clear direction on this is a bad idea.  Just because God might ultimately bless it doesn’t mean He is obligated to.  That’s why it is called grace.  (Full disclosure: It is possible that my wife violated guideline #1 in marrying me.  Fortunately, she lost the receipt so she can’t return me now.)

“Missionary dating” (that is, dating someone in hopes of converting them) is un-Biblical, as it is based on false pretenses.  God might bless your relationship and your spouse might become a Christian, but there are no guarantees of that in scripture.  You just don’t want to start your marriage in clear violation of one of God’s commands.

Marrying someone outside your faith is problematic.  You will have vastly different views on what should be the most important part of your life.  It will send a horrible message to your children, namely that you and your spouse thought it was important to agree on where to live, how many kids to have, where to vacation, what to eat, etc., but it wasn’t important for you to have even a general agreement on who God is and how that should impact your lives.

A good Christian friend realized the error of his ways and broke off a relationship with a non-Christian.  It was pretty painful, but certain things validated why he needed to make the break: She specifically tempted him to deny his God, “Just this once” – proof enough as to why such relationships are a bad idea.

Sadly, I know countless church-going parents who don’t teach their kids to only date Christians, and who think little or nothing of their kids marrying non-Christians.  And countless pastors officiate at these ceremonies without ever counseling people about what God says.

Of course, just because it is moral to marry someone doesn’t mean it it wise.  There is a lot of wisdom and advice about how and whether to marry in the book of Proverbs and in 1 Corinthians 7, among other places.  These passages were directed to Solomon’s son but they apply to both sexes.

Proverbs 12:4 A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.

Proverbs 21:9 Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

Proverbs 21:19 Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.

Proverbs 27:15 A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day;

Proverbs 31:10 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.

Uh, thanks but no thanks

In an obvious sp*m email to random bloggers, a man named Joseph invited me to link to a list of the top 100 “marriage equality” blogs on his gay dating site.  Here is my response.  It also goes out to the people on Facebook with the red equal sign pictures and anyone else who abuses words like equality.  Remember, the warnings in Romans 1 aren’t just for those who commit the sins listed there, but for those that give approval to those who practice them.

And remember to point out that even if their lobby wasn’t wrong on both “marriage equality” and adoption by homosexuals, they can’t put forth both arguments.  If gender is absolutely paramount for sexual relationships, how can it be completely irrelevant for parenting?

And here’s a list of things to mention to people who insist that “same-sex marriage” won’t hurt you.

—–

Joseph,

I’ll be glad to link to your site if you’ll make my blog (www.4simpsons.wordpress.com) one of your top 100 blogs. But I don’t think you’ll want to do that, because I respectfully disagree with your premise.

I know many gays and lesbians and am friendly and kind to them all. I would never condone harm to LGBTQ people. I am against bullying of all kinds. And if you have issues such as hospital visitation or estate planning I would support separate solutions for those (i.e., you should be able to have anyone you like visit you in the hospital, and estate taxes are ghoulish — the government should never profit from your death).

Having said all that, “same-sex marriage” is an oxymoron (“the same-sex union of a man and a woman”).

That isn’t unkind or hateful to say, it is the truth. Words mean things. The notion of “marriage equality” it is false because it implies that any union of two people is equal to real marriage. Or that the number of people in the marriage isn’t important.

But there are two very important things that same-sex unions can’t do.

1. By nature and design, 100% of children are produced by one man and one woman.

2. Only male/female relationships can provide a mother and father to a child — the intuitive ideal supported by countless studies.

Those are the reasons the government has traditionally been involved in marriages.

I realize the underlying desire of LGBTQ to feel affirmed and to silence any criticism of their lifestyles, but that is not a mature reaction.

Again, you are welcome to your relationships. You can get “married” in all sorts of false-teaching, anti-biblical “churches.” You can set up house together. I will never bother to get in the way of your lives.

But there is simply no reason for the government to get involved in your relationships. And government recognition of same-sex unions inevitably — and by design — leads to a loss of free speech and religious freedom and results in young children being taught things that are wrong.

You probably noted that the response above was free of religious views, which was by design. We don’t need religious arguments to explain why the government need not sanction same-sex unions. But out of kindness I should point out that there is a God who clearly and thoroughly revealed himself in the Bible. He is sovereign over all. He designed marriage and the ideal is one man and one woman, for life. Yes, heterosexuals break those rules too, but that doesn’t mean we should abandon all the rules. Everyone has rebelled against God and his created order but they can be forgiven if they repent and trust in Jesus. I highly encourage you to consider that. You don’t want to spend an eternity in Hell regretting that you spent this life in active rebellion against your creator. There is a better way.

Prohibit, permit or promote?

J. Warner Wallace of Stand to Reason made some excellent points about the role of government in same-sex relationships.  These are very useful to help frame the argument against the government recognition of “same-sex marriage.”

Government has three options with respect to a given behavior:

1. Prohibit – Disallow it and punish offenders.

2. Permit – Allow it, but don’t offer incentives for it.

3. Promote – Actively encourage it via recognition and/or incentives.

Even though same-sex activity causes various societal problems (e.g., according to the CDC, gay men have HIV and Syphilis rates greater than 40 times the average), it isn’t practical or desirable to think that government could completely or closely monitor or prevent those relationships.

But should government promote this behavior via recognizing “same-sex marriage” and conferring benefits upon them?  No.

For the government to get involved in relationships there has to be an important reason. They have been involved in real marriages because by nature and design children are created by those units and they are the only relationships that can provide a mother and a father to children. Countless studies show this as the ideal, so the government has good reasons to encourage their stability. Nearly all the men I’ve met doing prison ministry had absent or poor fathers.

Please note that I didn’t say that they must produce children, only that children are always produced by one man and one woman. It is sad how many times Liberals trot out that straw man.  And again, only those relationships can provide a mother and a father to a child.  Deliberately denying this to a child is cruel.

While it may be logical at this point to permit but not prohibit these relationships, there are no good reasons to promote them. None.  And there are many good reasons not to promote SSM: The erosion of free speech and religious freedom and the damage done to children.  Despite what the fools presenting to the Supreme Court on Prop 8 claim, children do deserve to have a mother and a father.

The two best ways to love your family and save a ton of money

1. Keep yourself fit.

2. Work on your marriage.

Seriously.  There are a lot of great money management ideas out there, but those two will make the most difference.

If you keep yourself fit — and I don’t mean tri-athlete fit, just moderate exercise/eat fairly well/don’t abuse alcohol and drugs type fit — you will save massive amounts of money on health care.  If you haven’t already figured it out, Obamacare will be a disaster for this country, with higher costs and worse care.  You can’t avoid some illnesses, but you’d be surprised how many things you can prevent.  Just do some kind of exercise/activities you enjoy and eat decently (eat a little less, eat a little healthier).

And you won’t just save money, you’ll be loving your family.  And you’ll feel better and work better.  Who would want to unnecessarily burden their spouse and kids with their health problems?

And if you work on your marriage you’ll prevent a divorce, which would cost you dearly. I was teaching a Sunday School class on the Fireproof movie once and asked how many couple have so much extra money that they could afford a second household.  No hands were raised.

And this isn’t just for young couples.  I have seen far too many couples divorce who had been married 20+ years.  If you get complacent things could unravel.  Plan ahead for empty nests and ensure that you still have common interests.  Ballroom dancing has been great for us, but it doesn’t matter if it is motor cycling, bowling, or whatever.  Just do something together regularly that you both enjoy.

So spend some time on your marriage and save big.  More importantly, that is the best thing you can do to show love to your spouse and your kids.

Is opposing “same-sex marriage” like opposing interracial marriage?

Not at all.  It is remarkably simple to refute the argument in the title by accurately noting that skin color is morally neutral while sexual behavior is not.

But there is another interesting argument that goes even further, and it highlights how the pro-same-sex marriage crowd is actually the one similar to the racists who opposed interracial marriage.

Here’s why: The Left is (successfully) lobbying for coercive government force to change the meaning of marriage. The racists changed it to mean “only same-race couples” instead of just a union of one man and one woman, and the Left is now using it to change it to mean, “not just the union of a man and a woman.”

Marriage is what God defined it to be.  It describes a thing — a union of a man and a woman.  The term didn’t pre-date the institution, such that we get to define it any way we like.

If anyone is behaving like those that opposed interracial marriage it is the Left.  They are the ones abusing the original and obvious definition.

Biology, not bigotry, and removing barriers to evangelism

I’ll support unrestricted, taxpayer-funded abortions as soon as you convince me that the unborn aren’t human beings and I’ll support government recognition of “same-sex marriage” as soon as you prove that these couples can provide a mother and a father to a child.

In both cases it is biology, not bigotry, so don’t let people silence you on these crucial topics.

You don’t have to convert people to your point of view on marriage or abortion before sharing the Gospel or pointing them to the Bible.  But for many people these are barriers to even considering Christianity.  Just having a few replies — literally just a minute or so — is often all it takes.  You can simply say, “Yes, the Bible does say it is a sin but even if it didn’t we are still separated from God by our many other sins . . .” and then point them to the cross and to God’s word (same thing for the abortion issue).  Here’s a real-life example of how to do that.

If people are hostile to it, then hold your pearls.  But don’t give up before you try.