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Reaction To The Supreme Court Decision on Same-Sex Marriage

It’s never been more important as it is now for Christians to be able to articulate biblical manhood & womanhood and God’s design for gender and sexuality. We must embody these truths in our lives and a part of that includes embracing the symbols that God has given us to show men and woman in their right position before God (1 Cor 11:2-16). As pastor Mark Minnick recently said “this is so timely.”

Comments

Tribonien
Reply

Good observations from Russel Moore here. However, I believe this ethicist’s political doctrine lacks a few constitutionnal bricks.

— Marriage is not a federal competence in the United States. Thus it is a State’s competence (dixit the 10th Amendment).

— If a federal branch (here, the Supreme Court) tries to impose federal marriage laws or jurisprudence on the people, then the States must interpose themselves to protect the people and nullify these laws or jurisprudence.

— This is exactly what the Chief judge of the Alabama Supreme Court, Roy Moore, advocates. Yet Russel Moore is against it. See here :

http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=22515144710
http://theonomyresources.blogspot.ca/2015/02/roy-moore-defends-marriage-against.html

If we abandon the States, the business’, the culture and basically every institution to the homosexual militants and hide ourselves in our churches, they will simply — sooner or later — get us there. The attack against First OPC in San Francisco serves as a warning :

http://www.alliancenet.org/mos/1517/when-the-wicked-seize-the-city

Their ultimate goal is to drive us Christians off the land, nothing less.

Jamie Carter
Reply

Many of the men and women are just happy to get tax benefits and general legal recognition for their status. I’ve read stories about how people were denied various things like visitation when it mattered most. So on that note, I’m glad to see that they’ve re-written the rules to be more fair on the legal side of things so far as marriage and government meet in a secular context. Christians ought not be surprised when the worldly world does worldly things in all of their worldliness. They should also not be surprised when any attempt to impose Christianity upon the world tends to do more harm than good. Has it not been proven that one cannot legislate the morality of others? Individually, we should all live quiet lives that earn the respect of those around us – that is what is asked of us.

Tribonien
Reply

Jamie, I agree that it is a little bit funny when Christians get outraged because pagans behave like pagans. However, legislation always has a moral dimension. That is unascapable. So should we “impose Christianity” ? It depends what we are talking about. We can’t impose faith, because faith come from God. That being said, legislation must encourage godly conduct and discourage socially destructive behavior. For example, Reformation Geneva had the lowest out-of-wedlock birth rate in Europe. And sociology teaches that children born and raised in traditional nuclear families are happier and do better in life. That seems pretty positive to me.

Jamie Carter
Reply

I’m pretty sure that the pagan world never consented to live by Christian moral commandments. According to the ‘social contract’ teaching, a rational man (or woman) would consent to giving up some of his (or her) freedoms so long as other men (and women) in their communities likewise consented to do the same in order to have security, peace, and order. There are about a dozen moral characteristics that are consistent the world over, even isolated tribes on islands have come up with their own social contract, laws, commandments, and codes to help them live together. What exactly was moral about denying rights to another group of people? Sociology also has statistics that show that children raised in homosexual households fare just as well as children raised in heterosexual households. It’s not the structure (heterosexual or homosexual) that decides how well they do, it’s the relationship of their parents to each other that makes them happy or miserable – and it’s the same for both types of households. A kid raised in a heterosexual household whose parents aren’t getting along isn’t going to feel as happy as one whose parents are getting along famously.

Tribonien
Reply

Jamie, I’d like to see the Scriptures that backs the idea that homosexuals have the right to “marry” (and incidently to benefit from the legal and fiscal advantages of marriage — if there are still any). You probably know I can cite a ton of verses that establish the contrary position. With all due respect, I’m afraid you have assimilated the radical egalitarianism of postmodernity.

As for the studies on children raised in homosexual households, the best is obviously to do a meta-study. Here :
http://www.familystructurestudies.com/

Jamie Carter

Assuming you know the scriptures as well as you say, then you would know that what you seek isn’t there. There isn’t a command for the church to forbid the state from using the word marriage or taxing married families or giving married families benefits. I can tell you something else that isn’t in scriptures – the command for Christians to enter every Pagan temple and smash their idols or the command to rise to positions of power to make the laws that the Roman Empire will enforce. What is in there is the teaching to obey the authorities over us, to walk two miles when forced to go one, to generously give beyond what is asked when being sued, to live quiet lives, to earn the respect of those around us – much of it is meant to tell believers to get along; ‘live peaceably with everyone as much as it depends upon you’ sort of message.
There have been studies done for decades by the professionals: http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/parenting.aspx I know it’s a long read, but if you’re looking for a smoking gun that kids with heterosexual parents end up better than those with homosexual parents, you won’t find it either.
If I’m to live the next fifty or so years, pretending like the last sixty years never happened isn’t going to bode well for me. The world is going to keep on spinning and there’s nothing I can do to make time stop, slow down, or go backwards. What I can do is to do what Jesus asks; feed the hungry, visit the ill or the prisoners, provide clothing and shelter, do what I can for ‘the least of these’. If I’m to do all of that, then spending a moment being hateful, arrogant, superior, judgmental, or unkind is a moment that is wasted that could have been put to better use. If I’m to live in peace and in obedience to the authorities over me, then I can’t be stirring up dissension, questioning them, or sabotaging their efforts. Unless there’s a Bible verse that says that I can do all of that and I don’t know about it.

Tribonien

A lot of elements here Jamie.

The Word of God is not only given to the church, it is also for the individual, for the family, and for the state. Reducing the Bible as applicable only to the church is ecclesiocentrism. The Bible is not the church’s private property. And yes, there is plenty of commands given to the state to protect marriage as a sacred covenant between one man and one woman (Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, for example).

On the smashing of idols, I agree with the Swiss reformer Pierre Viret that it is often preferable to smash the idols in the hearts before smashing them for real, but we cannot say that the real smashing is altogether illegitimate. The reformations of the godly kings of Judah (Asa, Hezekiah and Josiah) included the destruction of idols, and God was much pleased with that. See here : http://theonomyresources.blogspot.ca/2011/08/godly-kings-of-judah-are-examples-for.html

On Christians raising to power in the Roman Empire, I see no reason why ALL Christians should confine themselves to positions of subordination (to the contrary !). Constantine was not always a nice guy, but if I have to choose between Diocletian and Constantine, my preferance goes to Constantine any day.

On the homosexual households statistics, I leave it to the reader to check both sides of the issus. However, Holy Writ should be the ultimate authority, even if sociology can be usefull.

Jamie Carter

I’ve never heard of the term ecclesiocentrism before. When I put it into Google search it defined itself as “the belief that only those who believe in Jesus can be saved” it doesn’t match your meaning / use of the word. Granted, it might be able to mean both things, I’d just like to point that one ought not use big churchy words and assume that all other believers were taught them from their youth just like they were.

There is a difference between the Ancient Jewish state and the Modern American one. For one, we weren’t marched through the Red Sea, the wilderness, and ordered to genocide the locals in a holy crusade. Our founding fathers fled Europe’s church and state because they saw the oppression caused when they teamed up. Henry the 8th founded his own church just so he could divorce his wife. Most of the kings and queens favored either Catholics or Protestants and that resulted in laws and punishments that our founding fathers realized ought not be the norm. It was described as: “a Government which to bigotry gives no sanction, to persecution no assistance—but generously affording to All liberty of conscience, and immunities of citizenship: – deeming every one, of whatever nation, tongue or language equal parts of the great Governmental Machine” The Founding fathers might very well have been partial to God, but they knew very well that not everyone coming from far away lands would agree and saw that forcing belief or behavior would not help their new nation be united as religion had always been divisive.

Because of the separation of church and state, we can’t do what ancient kings in an ancient theocracy did because we’re a modern republic / democracy. Different forms of government means they have to play by different rules. There’s a hands-off rule – the government can’t smash any idols of any faith. If it has to smash the idols of one faith, it has to small the idols of all faiths.

When the disciples quarreled among each other who was first, what did Jesus say? “Fight among yourselves for position, power, and wealth so that your voice will carry extra weight and you can control the laws.” Nope. He said the master will be like the servant, the first will be like the last, the best like a child. He told them about how the Gentiles lorded power over one another and said that it was to be not so among you. Jesus never advocated for his disciples to fight for power, rather to lay it down. He never told them to take up arms, rather, to lay them down. He never told Christians to make the rules that non-Christians were supposed to live by. He told Christians to live by the rules that the non-Christians made.

The most up-to-date sections of the Bible are two-thousand years old, the older sections are far older than that. What we have are translations of the long-lost originals. What we can see is how each group of people viewed morality in the context of their own stories. How Tamar was praised for doing the right thing by doing the wrong thing. How King David’s moral failure didn’t disqualify him. How things that were acceptable in the OT were not by the NT, such as having multiple wives. If anything, it’s evidence that morality is not carved in stone, but shaped by the beliefs of what people hold to be right and wrong. I like the teaching that there’s a trajectory to Scripture, from beginning to end, like a ball being thrown from one person to another. Knowing that Christianity doesn’t stop at the end of Revelation, I have to wonder if Christianity is where the trajectory shows us we ought to be or if we’ve tried to stop time and stop all progress. God is going to get us where he wants us, even if he has to raise up our government to make us do what Christians should have done decades ago.

Tribonien

Jamie, what is your ultimate standard ? The Bible, or… the majority of the moment ? And if for you the majority is the ultimate standard… wich majority ? The majority in a given neighborhood ? In a county ? In a federated state ? In a federal state ? On the scale of a continent (think of the E.U.) ? World-wide (think of the U.N.) ? What happens when different majorities contradict each other ?

Romans 12:2 says « do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. » It is noteworthy that the French equivalent of this verse goes like this : do not conform to the present century. On morality matters, God does not care about majorities. His moral law is all that counts. He is the one « who does not change like shifting shadows » (James 1:17).

Jamie Carter

The standard depends on the context. Do you go to your pastor and have him put out house-fires? Do you go to the chief of the fire department and have him teach elementary school kids? All things have their place and there’s a place for everything. I know it’s traditional to put God as soverign over all spheres, but even he didn’t step out of place. He didn’t tell Jesus: “Look kid, I can’t put you through this, step aside and let me take your place on the cross.” Is it not written that all things have their source in God? Then that means the separation of church and state as well as this law being passed didn’t happen without his consent. If he remains separate – then is it not a reflection of him that we are separate?

Christian Filbrun

For as little as I usually agree with Jamie’s postmodernism and his rather blatant and persistent attempts to debunk the teaching of the headship veiling as given for all the church to follow in our day, he and I actually agree on this: “Christians ought not be surprised when the worldly world does worldly things in all of their worldliness. They should also not be surprised when any attempt to impose Christianity upon the world tends to do more harm than good.”

Jamie Carter
Reply

I was thinking more along the lines of Prohibition. It was a time when Christian women were fed up with being on the losing end of everything. They would often scramble to come up with enough money to put food on the table for their kids because their husbands would drink away most of what they made. That tension also resulted in no small amount of domestic abuse. So the Women’s Christians Temperance Union was formed to do something about the problem. With some assistance by other parties, they managed to get it passed into law that no alcohol would be sold. What did they get for their troubles? A decade of speakeasys, Al Cappone, Nascar, etc. Eventually it was realized that the law was useless and it was repealed. These women had written a law from a moral Christian position, but it was not enough to fix the issue of sins in the human heart. Given the separation of church and state, that also mean’s a separation of the morality of the church from the morality of the state. Sure, most of they time they agree. But not always on everything totally. This is one of those times. The state is correcting a wrong that they did by denying rights. The church doesn’t have to agree, it doesn’t have to be happy about it, but it does have to acknowledge that it is the law whether it likes it or not.

Tribonien
Reply

Prohibition is not valid in biblical law, so it’s not exactly a good example of Christian moral legislation. I have read the book « The Age of Light, Soap, and Water : Moral Reform in English Canada (1885-1925) » and we can say that moral legislation combined with vigorous Christian engagement on the terrain can do a lot to help people and put a country back on it’s feet.

My report here in French : http://monarchomaque.org/2013/02/04/moral-reform/

As for having a different morality for the church and for the state, I wonder where you take that in the Bible. As if morality was relative. A Reformed Baptist pastor once told me : Romans 13:4 tells us the civil magistrates is « a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil » ; if so, then where must the civil magistrate get his standard for what is good and and what is evil ? If you are a Protestant and believe in Sola Scriptura, you can only answer : from the Bible, and exclusively from the Bible.

Jamie Carter

When Paul wrote that, the state was the Roman Empire. Their morality came by their own code, their own myths and values, and their own military might. The Romans accepted many things that the Jews considered to be sinful. About sixty years before Jesus was born, Pompey the Great besieged Jerusalem for three months, when he broke through their defenses his army killed twelve thousand Jews. Even with ancient Israel’s shorter life-spans, it still would have been a recent memory to the community and a stark reminder not to upset the Romans. By about 70 a.d., the Roman-Jewish war would result in the destruction of the temple and according to Josephus: “the slain outnumbered the number of the slayers”.

Fortunately for us our state is not the Roman Empire. Our government believes in separation of the state from the church. Our morality is based on the popular agreement of what’s acceptable to ensure peace and order in a secular context. One of the main jobs of the government is to define and enforce rights – which they have just done by granting rights to a group of people who did not have those rights previously.

There are many shades and hues of what it is to be Protestant, my religious upbringing is mainly from a traditional Protestant point of view before the ultra-conservative fundamentalists decided to take control and get rid of everyone whose perspective was not a clone of their own so they could re-write church doctrine. This means that the things I learned from church predate the Reformed push in the last several years. Protestant yes, reformed and into things like ‘sola scriptura’; no. I’ve tried reading up on these things online and all I get is a wall of text that doesn’t allow me to ask questions back and forth so it gets me nowhere.

I did use Google Translate to skim through your report, but I’m not sure what conclusion I’m meant to draw from it.

Tribonien

Jamie, from what standard do you reason ? What is authoritative for you ? Popular agreement ? If so, how can you agree with some unelected federal U.S. judges that (illegaly) overturn the federated state’s traditional defenitions of marriage — defenitions which were, in many of these federated states, adopted by referendums on constitutional amendments which often passed in the 60, 70 and even 80 % ?

There’s a rather large consensus amongst Protestants that the basic criteria for being a Protestant is : Nicene Creed + 5 Solas + universal priesthood. If you don’t believe in Sola Scriptura then your theology and worldview are a Pandora’s box and perhaps we are too distant to discuss any longer.

Jamie Carter

For me, the authority depends on the context. If I’m in the hospital, the doctor is the authority. If I’m in the court the judge is the authority over the proceedings and the jury is the authority over my fate. If I’m at church, then I know that Christ is in charge. The government installs representatives by popular vote and it is they who create and vote on laws to serve the needs of the people who elected them.

Here’s what I do know, my ancestors didn’t believe in reformed theology and they never taught it to me. It’s gotten big in the last decade or so, but before that it was a much smaller sect compared to the traditional faith. Before reformed theology transformed belief, what was the traditional faith? I’m sorry I don’t know what it’s called in particular, they just taught out of the Bible, not the -ism words. That’s what I know. But as different as the particulars are for a Methodist is from a Lutheran or an Episcopalian to a Presbyterian, we all have faith in Jesus and that’s the main thing, right? If we say that we are too different then a foot might as well say that a hand is too different, or an ear might as well say to an knee that it is too different, but all parts are needed. Were we all alike, then we might as well be all feet or all hands or all ears or all knees and not near enough of difference to make us a body of believers.

Amy Unruh
Reply

Let’s put this in simpler terms. Genesis 2: 23-24. God created marriage. He created marriage for man and woman. Now, if homosexuals want to go and have a civil union and get benefits and all of that, fine. I don’t agree with it, but I won’t stand in their way. But when the government decides to redefine marriage, whether they realize it or not, they are spitting on God. Pedophiles are already jumping on the band wagon to have their practices be legalized. The American Psychiatric Association is already poised to re-term pedophilia as minor-attracted person. You might pull out the argument about consenting adults, but they will argue that, too, saying that if the child allows it, it is consent and who is the government to decide who can consent and who can’t? There are women and men who continued relationships after they were of legal age with their abuser. They will use that as an argument for legalizing Pedophilia. And then what? Polygamy?
This country needs a revival. We talked in church yesterday about how church planting is way behind here. In other countries, where Christianity is growing by the thousands every day (as in the Bible), they are planting churches left and right. But here, we are woefully behind. It’s like we are just content to let our country turn into a cesspool around us.

Jamie Carter
Reply

I’ve just been reading up about Acts 29 and ARC church planting networks. There is no shortage of churches that plant churches. What there is a shortage of is discipleship (Jesus had disciples, and his disciples had their own disciples). My church recognized that and has a program in place where there are spiritual mentors and mentees using their gifts to help build up each other and support each other. My mentor advised me not to give into fear or the endless ‘what if’ talk. Nothing we do surprises God. He could have very easily seen it coming and decided that it was to our benefit to allow the law to be passed or he could have stopped it in it’s tracks but decided not to. Who knows – perhaps when the civil rights act was passed there was just as much ‘fear’ and ‘what if’ talk about what would happen. Perhaps this is a test in how well we understand what Jesus taught and how well we apply it to daily life. I think I’ll start with this: “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Planting more churches isn’t going to fix the problem. For all of the churches in Detroit, none of them could prevent what happened to their city or have known that ultimately they would sit empty and be destroyed by the elements. For all of the churches in the Bible belt, none of them could end racism. More churches won’t fix what’s wrong – our issues are far too complex for that. So instead of of a ‘if you build it, he will come’ approach, let’s make disciples, not buildings.

Amy Unruh
Reply

God gave us free will. To step in and stop that would be undoing that. We have to free will to make our choices. It doesn’t make it his will. Evil will always find a way until after the 1000-year reign of Christ, but more churches means more people reached, and more people reached means more souls won for Christ. We just had six new ordinations in our church district and several local and district licenses issued. We don’t have a shortage or willing servants.

Olivia Stocum
Reply

I agree. Too many lines have been blurred. A young woman I know, who used to think of herself as fully female, is now saying she is both male and female and can access whatever part of her she likes at any time. She is a Christian… Thinks I’m just uneducated and behind the times in my thinking.

Amy Unruh
Reply

I’m curious as to how she supports this idea that she’s both male and female. Does she use any scripture to support it?

Olivia Stocum
Reply

Supposedly, the Jews believe God is both male and female and since we are made in His image… She seems to feel that we have got the bible all turned around and it needs to be reexamined and reinterpreted.

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