Why We’ve All But Lost the Gay Marriage Debate

by Mike Leake on March 22, 2013 · 65 comments

Back in 2011, Focus on the Family conceded that “we’ve probably lost” the gay marriage debate. Two years later “probably” would be an understatement. We have all but lost this debate. I am making the argument in this piece that this happened years ago when we swallowed certain cultural virtues instead of confronting them.

In their book, The Narcissism Epidemic, authors Jean Twenge and Keith Campbell make the argument that narcissism is on a relentless rise in our culture. Starting in the 1960s, “Americans core cultural ideas slowly became more focused on self-admiration and self-expression”. We raise our children to believe that they are special simply because they were born. Somewhere along the way our “specialness” was tied to our imago Homo (image of man) instead of the imago Dei (image of God). The pervasive belief in our culture is that we are special simply because we are human and not because humanity was created in the image of God.

If I am special “just for being me” it is only logical to conclude that the most important virtue is for me to be “true to myself”. It would be supremely unloving and even harmful for someone to try to change me. It would be a suicidal step away from greatness. The most loving thing that I can do for myself is express me—whatever me is.

Twenge and Campbell note that in generations past, religion kept a check on such narcissism. Not anymore. In fact, for many Americans, God exists to make them happy. Not happy in Him, mind you—but happy in our own flesh. Rather than being a deterrent to such self-centeredness the god of many Americans actually gives us a “thumbs-up” in our quest to be positively awesome.

In sum, our culture believes that every person is amazing simply by existing, the most important virtue is to be true to yourself, and God is passionate about the same thing that we are; namely, me.

How the Church Swallowed This

This is a humorous video but it captures our narcissism:

In some instances these cultural “virtues” have not been swallowed whole. But instead efforts have been made to redeem them. Rather than confronting the unbelieving assumption that I am positively awesome, much of our evangelism material starts with affirming that. We then encourage people to become truly awesome by accepting Jesus.

By and large we have not confronted these “virtues” we have just tried to Christianize them. And it is killing us.

Why this is causing us to lose this debate

How does all of this relate to the current debate over gay marriage? Honestly, you could substitute the phrase “gay marriage” with “culture of divorce” and a host of other issues the church is facing. My argument is that accepting our cultural narcissism has provided a breeding ground for normalizing many things the Lord defines as sin.

Think with me for a moment.

When I assume that I am awesome simply because I exist, will I be prone to be governed by anything external? If I am the standard of awesome why would I listen to what a 2,000 year old book has to say? Why would I care about God’s law? It does not define me.

One of the most common arguments in favor of gay marriage is that “it is who I am” therefore it would be supremely unloving to deprive people of simply expressing themselves. It is denying a freedom that is given by our constitution.

This argument can even be Christianized. God wants me to be happy. Happiness comes through me being true to my desires. Therefore, God would not call people to do something that was making them miserable?

What is the church’s response to these claims?

For years we thought that screaming “stop it” loud enough and long enough would do the trick. We thought that if we simply reminded people of what the Bible says and what the Lord thinks about homosexuality then people would be convinced. Yet we never confronted the core problem—that people have rejected the external message of God as definitive. (See this by Dan Phillips)

Then we tried saying, “You can change”. We confronted the idea that “it is who I am” arguments with a message that said, “You can change”. While that is true, it was ineffective because again we never confronted the underlying belief. When we said “you can change” we were met with an angry response of “why would I want to”. No wonder. If being “true to myself” is the highest virtue wouldn’t it be wrong to try to change?

Furthermore, such a change might cause suffering. It’s who I am. Would God really want me to have to suffer through something like this? Does God really want me to stifle desires? Does a loving God really not want me to express love? Wouldn’t it be supremely unloving for God to make me be somebody that I am not.

What does a church that believes God is primarily focused on our happiness say to such a thing? “You know what you might just have a point!” And so it slowly becomes more and more acceptable within the church. Because by and large we’ve swallowed the same virtues that the culture has.

Our Only Hope is the Gospel

Saying that our only hope is the gospel is quite common. And I agree with the statement. But I want to extend it a bit. When many say, “our only hope is the gospel” what they are really saying is, “Jesus can take a homosexual and change his desires and make him no longer gay”. While, I do believe in the power of redemption and change, and I do not want to minimize that, I believe it is aiming too low.

It’s not just homosexuality that needs to be confronted. It’s an entire mindset. The gospel directly confronts these “virtues” and defines them as the vices they really are. What we need in our day is a robust gospel. One that has God at the center instead of man. One that is willing to suffer for the sake of Christ. One that has it’s identity grounded in Christ and His work and not our own innate awesomeness. One that believes our greatest virtue is conformity to Christ and not some “being true to myself” hogwash.

This is what is needed. And the gospel really does have the power to rock mindsets and transform entire cultures. Yes, I believe that we’ve all but lost this debate on gay marriage. But I don’t believe it’s over. Nor do I believe that it is thecentral issue. It’s just a symptom—as divorces, abortion, etc.—is a symptom of our larger cultural problem of having abandoned the gospel.

I believe if the church focuses on what we really ought to focus on—making disciples—then eventually our culture will change. And maybe my children’s children will one day look at institutions like gay marriage and say, “Wait, a minute this isn’t what is best for us because this is an attempt to find happiness outside of God.” And maybe the gospel will have so penetrated our culture that righteousness becomes the new normal.

Or maybe it won’t. And maybe we and our children’s children will have to suffer; not because of our stance on gay marriage but because we aren’t drinking the Kool-aid that has man at the center of everything. And maybe we’ll be so passionate about Jesus that we’ll be willing to kiss the Cross if it means glorifying him and winning a few people to the unchangeable truth of Christ.

1 Clark Dunlap March 22, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Well, we don’t stop bringing the truth to bear on the culture. But you’re right, ignoring underlying causes does not help. But increasingly, Believers are refusing to state the truth – in love or otherwise – and that doesn’t help either. Just because some state the truth belligerently etc. doesn’t mean we get a pass. We just have to do better.

2 Dave Miller March 22, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Clark, you bring up a good point. I believe we are, as Mike said, losing this debate in the public. There might be a few things we can tweak in the way we present our message, in our strategies and demeanor, etc.

But truth is not dependent on the assent of public opinion. Sin is sin even if 98% of American’s say its okay.

So, we need to keep preaching truth.

I think Mike hit the nail on the head here too. We lost this one not because of arguments specifically about this issue, but because we adopted an ethic of self-indulgence.

Well said, Mike.

3 Mike Leake March 22, 2013 at 2:08 pm

I apologize that this article is so lengthy. Normally I keep them around 1200-1500 words. But this was one that I felt would not be as effective broken up into a couple of different parts. I hope you agree.

4 Dave Miller March 22, 2013 at 2:34 pm

1200 words is a short article for me!

5 Zach March 22, 2013 at 2:24 pm

It’s not a loss, Mike. I am a 22-year old, recent college graduate who is just not starting his career and family– I could be your kid or nephew, but I also happen to be gay. I’ve known this since I was 10. I am looking forward to meeting my future husband and building a life with him. My parents, siblings, family and friends all wish to see me happy, and wish for me to have the same opportunities in life that they had. I love them for that, and look forward to it.

So is it a “loss”, Mike, when my mother (as she tells me) is crying with joy watching me walking down the aisle with my husband, do you consider that a loss or a triumph? Is it a loss when my Dad can finally stop asking if he can meet the person I will spend the rest of my life with?

Is it a “loss” when all of my friends, family, siblings, friends, co-workers and everyone that has touched my life; can walk up to me and smile, because I and my husband are treated just as they are?

Is it a loss if my husband and I ever decided to adopt a needy child, who has lost his parents or has been born into despair? That we take a child into our lives a feed, clothe and shelter him or her. Is that something you declare as a loss?

Or is it a “win,” if we base our values on several ambiguous passages (see the debate over the translation of ‘arsenokoites’ and ‘malakos’), and deny my mother or my family the chance to see happiness? To declare that LGBs must forever suffer alone; that they MUST live lives of loneliness and isolation, forever afraid to fall in love, because if they do, they would have to tear their hearts and souls into pieces?

I would sorely say that it is not a loss at all. It’s human kindness.

6 Mike Leake March 22, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Zach,
Thanks for the comment.

At the end of the day you and I are going to define happiness quite differently. It appears from your comment that you are defining happiness as the ability to do that which you desire to do. I believe true happiness comes from holiness. And while you dismiss the Christian belief about homosexuality as “basing our values on several ambiguous passages”, I do not. I do not believe those passages are ambiguous.

Nor for that matter do I believe the passages are ambiguous concerning pride, gluttony, drunkenness, and a host of other sins. Yet, I wage war on those sins as I believe you ought to wage war on your sin of homosexual behavior.

“To declare that LGBs must forever suffer alone; that they MUST live lives of loneliness and isolation, forever afraid to fall in love, because if they do, they would have to tear their hearts and souls into pieces?”

Call me insensitive, but yes I will say that. If your desire is sinful then it needs to be ripped out no matter how much pain that causes. It’s better to rip out my lustful eyes than it is to cave into them, go through life finding happiness in what I want, and then to find myself cast off from the Lord.

Scripture isn’t asking you–as one whose inclination is homosexuality–to do anything that it’s not asking me to do with my sin.

7 Zach March 22, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Thank you for the response. I guess we have to disagree then on our definition of happiness, which is okay. I only seek to be the best that I can be in my career, in my disposition, in my life, and towards my family, friends and all of those that share this life with me.

Having studied the Scripture in my teen years, I have come to believe that while the Bible may be the inspired Word, it is remarkably fallible due to the nature of humanity and our attempts to record it. Thus I view Paul’s message in Romans and 1 Corinthians to be just as mistintended as his other views in verses such as 1 Timothy 2:12 or 1 Corinthians 11:6-7. I could never treat women in such a manner as he describes; shaming a girl into being silent or shaving her head for worshiping without a hat. It’s wicked to treat another human being as such.

But, if we must diverge on these points, we must do so. All I know is that I must live with myself for eternity and face my choices in life. I will try to choose that path using the reason that God has given me; and in truth, I could never be happier with my life is as it is today. :)

8 Mike Leake March 22, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Zach,

I pray that Joy will find you and that you will drink from the deepest wells of joy for all eternity.

Blessings.

9 Mark March 22, 2013 at 8:53 pm

Hi Zach,

A brief counter-point to think about inspired by your following statement.

Having studied the Scripture in my teen years, I have come to believe that while the Bible may be the inspired Word, it is remarkably fallible due to the nature of humanity and our attempts to record it.

Unless you claim your own ideas and words are inspired by God, then you still an even worse gauge by which to live: you’re own judgements which are horribly (since God’s word is remarkably fallible) fallible. So, how can you trust yourself to make right judgements?

10 Chief Katie March 22, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Zach,

Can you tell me where you got the idea that homosexuality isn’t a sin? The scriptures are not ambiguous, they are clear, crystal clear.

I knew well before age 10 that I was a sinner. Thank God for godly foster parents. Even then I sensed that without God’s direction I would be lost.

I am not one who believes that homosexuals are reprobate. 1st Corinthians 6:9-11 speaks to sinful behavior that can be forgiven. Homosexuality is clearly mentioned:

“9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

How is your sin is a special case, but my greediness is accountable?

You are simply not bigger than God and you don’t get to make up the rules if you don’t like God’s, and that, is what you are doing.

Please do not misunderstand. I am not better than you are. My sins are just as grievous as yours, but the difference is, I believe what God says and you evidently do not. You worship the god (little g) of your own creation, not the God of the universe.

I will pray for you because I know God loves you and that He calls you to holiness.

God Speed,

Chief Katie

11 Zach March 22, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Hi Katie-

There are several passages that are used to try to make the case that being gay is a sin. The several passages in Genesis concerning ‘God made male and female’, the two passages in Leviticus, the story of Sodom & Gomorrah and the three verses in the Pauline Epistles. Christ and the Gospels never made mention of homosexuality.

As you quote 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; I will focus on only on Paul’s letters.

The vagueness of three passages (include Rom 1:26-27, 1 Tim 1:10) sits on the translations of the words arsenokoites, malakos and porneia. This is because, previous to the mid 1850s, those words were never translated to mean ‘homosexuality’. Pull out your King James, and check it out; arsenokoites becomes “abusers of themselues with mankinde.” The switch to using the word ‘homosexuality’ came during the uptight Victorian area.

Go back to earlier translations, and the translation dramatically changes. Arsenokoites becomes “abusers of them selues with mankinde” in the Bishop’s Bible in 1596. Martin Luther in 1526 uses “die Knabenschänder,” which is literally, “young boy violator”. John Wycliffe in 1380 uses “thei that doon letcheri with men,” but the most surprising are the earliest Latin translations; or translations those closest to Jesus’ time. Jerome in 420 uses “masculorum concubitores”, or as you can probably guess, “male concubine (or prostitute)”.

Both malakos and porneia follow the same path. In modern versions they are translated as “homosexual”, but in the earliest Biblical translations they are instead translated to be closer to the words “weaklings” and “fornication”.

What Biblical scholars think Paul was talking about — the Roman practice of adolescent male prostitution. In Roman society, adult males would take on a wife for children, but they would also take young males as concubines. It was considered a tradition of bringing young men into “manhood”. It’s not a hard jump to make if you read non-English and older translations of the Bible.

Of course, don’t take my word for it. Do your own research on it! I would also add that you should consider exactly which types of relationships we are talking about — relationships, for example, like life-long committed, monogamous relationship between two people (same or opposite); or relationships like the Roman practice of taking on same-sex prostitutes.

- Zach

12 svmuschany March 22, 2013 at 10:28 pm

Sorry but whoever you got your “arsenochoites” word study info from, should get their money back for their poor education. You should too.

“Arsenochoites” is a compound of two greek words. “Arsen” = male + “koite” = bed. A simple, look at the BDAG shows you how true Greek scholars should treat this word. As you do so, you will see that “Arsen” and “koite” are used separately in Leviticus 20:13 where it reads “if a man lies with a male as with a woman”. Man and lies there are the two words “arsen” and “koite”. All Paul did was create a compound word (if he even did that…greek writing did not use spaces, thus “arsenos koites” in the LXX could easily become “arsenokoites” in the NT.

As for what words are translated into english how, and when they changed. I simply ask you to look at Shakespeare, and to please tell me if his writings about sexual innuendoes match what we would say today? No? So why should the bible be any different when it is translated into English, when the english language changes over decades, to say nothing of nearly five centuries.

13 Vic March 27, 2013 at 10:35 am

“Christ and the Gospels never made mention of homosexuality.” Um…it’s totally mentioned in the Gospel! Check out Matthew 19. It’s pretty straight forward on homosexuality. Especially Matthew 19:11-12 which says, “Jesus replied, “Not all can accept this word, but only those to whom that is granted. Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.” You can do whatever you want I will still love you, but I will fight for the church until I can no longer. Marriage is a religious bond between a man an a woman through the grace of God our creator. Anything else could not be called marriage. It is like trying to call a cat a flying dinosaur. We don’t need to redefine the word cat we just need to understand that there is a difference between the two. And one can NEVER be the other!

14 Clark Dunlap March 22, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Zach, Yes, it is a loss. Sorry, but it’s unnatural and a perverse lifestyle. Not that you aren’t a nice guy. You may well be. And a good person in most respects, too. But all we like sheep have gone astray and turned everyone to his own way. We all are tempted to follow our “own way.” But God has laid on Jesus Christ you sins and my sins.
I would expect you, If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, to reject your unnatural desires and follow hard after God. Seek His righteousness and let all the other things God has for you fall in to place.

I’m also sorry that so many in your life have accepted and thereby enabled a sinful lifestyle. Its tragic really. I’m sure you don’t want my pity, but thats what I feel.

15 Zach March 22, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Never feel pity! I am happy and have a wonderful, fulfilling life. I am truly a blessed person. :) I would never have it any other way.

16 Byron Polts March 22, 2013 at 4:15 pm

Hi Zach,

Interesting to read your responses here. I’m not religious but I follow this blog closely, and I’m surprised at your position. I think you make a good point that Christians have a bad habit of placing too much weight on certain parts of the Bible while wholly ignoring others, with the kind of arbitrariness that has historically been a very big problem for Baptists. Consider that the Southern Baptist Convention itself (this blog’s namesake) was formed when the North refused to allow slavery-sponsoring churches in the South to send missionaries out into the world. Sure there were certainly political aspects to this that I’m brushing over, but irrespective of politics, you’ve still got this entire branch of Baptist churches that quickly discount the lives of millions of black men and women because they have more pigment in their skin, and because there’s a few verses in the Bible that speak favorably or implicitly appreciate slavery.

So, right, it is not coincidence that you are called a sinner (and I think smeared, to use a strong word) on this SBC blog. It is because Christians as well as all other religious and non-religions alike, are quick to call those out as sinners who are unlike them, who make them uncomfortable, or whom they think might be, in your case, a gateway to the end of marriage as they know it. The end of Christianity’s grasp in America.

As if this is the first Challenge Christianity has seen? No, and it won’t be the last. Not even close. And in due time, you can bet that this very organization, the SBC, will apologize for its disgraceful position on homosexuality, just exactly as it did for slavery.

17 Jim Pemberton March 22, 2013 at 3:19 pm

As I read this, the words of that great theologian and philosopher (or was he just a thesbian) Shakespeare came to mind:

“This above all: to thine own self be true”

I think this has shaped pop philosophy as much as anything, and it’s been around a long time. I’ve been leading a small group Bible study through the prophets and it occurs to me how similar the nature of the spiritual blindness with the Hebrews then is to our own today. It’s the same old poisonous lies coated with new sugar.

18 Job March 22, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Ultimately, getting an unregenerate person to respect God’s law is folly. This is not opinion but rather what the Bible explicitly states. Jesus Christ stated that the world hates Him because He shows them that their ways are evil. The apostle Paul further stated that the law of God convicts the conscience of a sinner. And so on. We want to deny these things because we desperately wish to believe that people are naturally good, even if only because they live in “a Christian nation” or “a nation founded on Christian values” or “a nation build on freedom and western culture” etc. You hear politicians making appeals based on the inherent goodness and virtue of the American people all the time, and the folks who object are not Christians because of original sin, but anti-Americans of various stripes (i.e. Marxists, Muslims, etc.)

A population will only adhere to some portion of God’s law when there is an ulterior motive. For instance, thou shalt not killed is obeyed because A) we don’t want to get murdered, B) we fear reprisal, and C) we fear jail. (Similar causes us to generally obey thou shalt not steal.) But even that is not enough to make abortion illegal.

The reason why people opposed homosexuality in the past was because they believed that it was harmful to society. Now that Hollywood, the government, schools etc. has convinced them that homosexuality is harmless to everyone but the homosexual, there is no basis for opposing it, in the same vein in that there is no basis for opposing a host of other behaviors that are self-destructive. The mindset is so long as you hurt yourself and not me, you are fine. And the reason for this: people want the “freedom” to indulge in their own self-destructive behavior. So basically, heterosexuals are more than happy to consent to “rights” to homosexuals because it secures legal abortions, no-fault divorce, a permissive attitude towards fornication, and an increasingly permissive one towards adultery for heterosexuals. Saying that homosexuality is wrong is judging, so no divorcee with a porn habit is going to want to be judged likewise.

Yes, things were more moral in the past. But the morality was based on the idea that there were rewards given by society – other humans, the world, the government etc. – for being moral. Only a few people were truly attempting to be moral to please God. They may have been trying to be moral because of some works-justification false version of Christianity, or to be in good graces with a population where most people attended church, but not God. The reason is because the only ones truly living to please God are those who have faith from God.

19 Debbie Kaufman March 22, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Ultimately, getting an unregenerate person to respect God’s law is folly. This is not opinion but rather what the Bible explicitly states. Jesus Christ stated that the world hates Him because He shows them that their ways are evil. The apostle Paul further stated that the law of God convicts the conscience of a sinner. And so on. We want to deny these things because we desperately wish to believe that people are naturally good, even if only because they live in “a Christian nation” or “a nation founded on Christian values” or “a nation build on freedom and western culture” etc. You hear politicians making appeals based on the inherent goodness and virtue of the American people all the time, and the folks who object are not Christians because of original sin, but anti-Americans of various stripes (i.e. Marxists, Muslims, etc.)

This I think is the problem. It matters that they are unregenerate. It matters that they are going to hell unless they believe on Christ. The rest will follow, but Job is absolutely correct as to what the underlying problem is.

20 Jerry Smith March 24, 2013 at 7:15 pm

True.
1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Some seems to want to try & talk them out of it, yet the 1st step is trying to get them saved, until that happens the lost will never understand God, but hate His ways as you stated. And even if they’re able to talk them out of it, someone else will likely come along & talk them back into it. Yet if God saves them, He will change them, they will be totally a new creature in Christ.

21 Jess Alford March 22, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Zach,

My two cents for what they’re worth, do you know the reason I plant cherry trees in my garden? The fact of the matter is I love cherries.
The DNA in the trees I planted say the trees must produce cherries.
As a result I become very happy when the cherries ripen, and those pies come out of the oven. Those trees are doing exactly what God created them to do.

Zach, you also have DNA, you also have the ability to think and make choices. The problem is some of the choices we make is not God’s intention for our life. You will have to admit when you look within, you have a set of standards to live by. Where did these standards come from?
They came from your experiences in life. What you have been taught, also
trial and error. The standards we develope may not go along with God’s
standards for our life. God is the one who created us and gave us a soul.

Zach, if a DNA test says you are a man, be proud of how God created you.
It’s God’s intention when you marry, you are to marry a woman, anything different even goes against nature.

Zach, God loves you, and I love you. This is why I would love to tell you about Jesus, Gods only son who came into this world to die for sin ,
yours and mine. I didn’t know what truth was until the Holy Spirit convicted me of my sins and I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour.
Now I am truly happy and have been for 38 years. I have a wonderful family and I thank God for every member of my family. Zach, do you know the wonderful part? What God done for me, he will do for you.

Zach, God said in his word, all have sinned and came up short, This means you too. Why not let Jesus become your saviour right now?
Go somewhere and pray, God will not turn you away.

22 Byron Polts March 22, 2013 at 4:22 pm

Jess: You might not know this, but there are hundreds of species with observed homosexual habits, some permanent. You can find the full list with a quick Google search, but it includes many common species that you know and many I assume you do not.

So you must either believe that these species are choosing to be gay and Go against God’s will for their lives, or that they were created by God with DNA which has caused their gay behavior. I’d love to here your opinion on this one.

23 Jess Alford March 22, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Byron Polts,

100′S of species yes, but Sir, one human race with the ability to choose.
We humans have a working mind, all animals have instinct.

Bryon, you can choose also, my prayer is that you choose life found only in Christ. I used to be an unbeliever and thought I had it all, but I found out differently when I found Jesus. Sir, a person with an experience is never at the mercy of someone with an argument.

Byron, I raise live stock, sometimes some of them will try to hump
my leg, it’s not homosexual tendencies, it’s instinct, they are trying
to do what they are created to do, reproduce.

Homosexuality is not instinct, it’s the human race trying to go against
nature and God.

24 Job March 22, 2013 at 4:07 pm

@Zach:

Those passages are not ambiguous at all. Go read Romans 1 and tell me that they are ambiguous. Moreover, the Old Testament texts on which the New Testament is based are not ambiguous at all either. Zach, you have to know that when the New Testament was written, it was in a Greco-Roman culture where homosexuality was not only accepted, but celebrated. So there is no way that the original texts of the New Testament, whether in Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek, were misinterpreted due to some cultural homophobic bias. Instead, the Roman converts to Christianity went from celebrating homosexuality to denouncing it as an abomination solely because of what those texts stated. If the Bible had not clearly called homosexuality a sin, had it been ambiguous at any point, there is no way that Christianity would not have immediately developed a universal attitude concerning that behavior.

What gay rights activists do is take where the Bible refers to homosexuality euphemistically and figuratively and claim that it is “ambiguous.” Well, the Bible refers to a lot of things with euphemisms and figures of speech. As a matter of fact, it refers to sexuality (whether heterosexual or homosexual) almost entirely using figures of speech, and regularly does the same regarding bodily functions. So what is being done is claiming that this “ambiguity” exists only for the New Testament texts that deal with homosexuality, but not on any other issue that the Bible uses figures of speech rather than direct, explicit language.

Zach, the Bible clearly declares homosexuality to be a sin in multiple places in both testaments. You can state that you do not consider the Bible to be authoritative on this matter if you choose, but claiming that the Bible doesn’t say what it clearly does is a sleight of hand that only gay rights activists and those who support them believe.

25 Mike Leake March 22, 2013 at 4:18 pm

I’d really prefer that we not turn this into a respond to Zach comment thread. If we aren’t careful brothers and sisters, we’ll take all of our arguments against homosexuality and all of the heat that we feel etc. and launch them at Zach. I’m not saying anyone has done this but let’s be careful not to pile it on.

Zach has made his points. Some of us have responded.

Let’s move on.

26 Zach March 22, 2013 at 4:46 pm

I just now saw this. My apologies Mike. Take care!

27 Mike Leake March 22, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Don’t hear me wrong, Zach. You can keep talking and responding. I’m just encouraging others to be fair and not give 7 responses to your 1 comment.

28 Jess Alford March 22, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Mike Leake,

You have definitely made some interesting points. I have learned in life that there is more than one way to accomoplish a victory. God seems to make a way where there is no way. Great post, keep up the good work.
I know it is a work, and at times a little more than you wish to take on.

29 Alan Cross March 22, 2013 at 6:22 pm

Mike,

Great post. I have thought this for some time. The battle was lost long ago when we made “love” the basis for marriage. The “love” we often refer to is that we love someone because of how they make us feel about ourselves. But, Biblical love is sacrificial. So, divorce became accepted when we no longer “loved” our spouse or when they no longer made us feel good about ourselves or when we thought we could find someone to make us feel better than the one we were with did. The real fall in our society happened when this view of marriage came to be accepted. Gay Marriage is just another phase of that acceptance. We could not stand against the other and we will not be able to stand against this in society either.

But, then again, we are not really called to control the whole society. We are to witness and influence where we can, but at the end of the day, we can only live for God ourselves and help others do the same. That option is still available to us and will always be. So, we should not be discouraged.

@Zach, thank you for sharing your views here. Obviously, many here will disagree with you, but I am glad that you chose to engage and express your perspective. We all learn from dialogue and you presented your views in a cordial and respectful way. Thank you and I hope that you will continue to talk with us.

As for what you said, the Bible says that we are all sinners – we all fall short of God’s glory – and in that state, sin is what comes most naturally to us. Our reason is fallen and we cannot know or want the things of God. A miracle, salvation by the Spirit of God, has to take place. When this happens, we see things differently and we have a new heart and a new mind. So, it does not surprise me that what comes naturally to you and seems the very best thing for you is something that the Bible declares to be sinful. I am the same way as is every other person here – it is just that our sins might be different. If the Bible is true and what is says about a “sinful nature” is true, then it makes sense that certain sins will be more manifest in a certain percentage of the population. That does not mean that we should normalize or celebrate the sin, though. It is simply a sign of our humanity and that we need a Savior.

If Jesus is not real and if He is not risen from the dead, then my advice to you is to go on with your lifestyle and enjoy it. Do what you like. But, if Jesus is real and if He did rise from the dead, then you have a Savior available to you who will forgive you, reconcile you back to God, and change you – and me, too. I would encourage you first of all to consider if Jesus is real and if He really did rise from the dead. If he did, what are the implications of that for you and your situation? For me and mine? For all of us? They are vast, I think.

30 William Carpenter March 22, 2013 at 10:05 pm

Alan,
Great comments, and I agree that we lost this debate when we made “love” the basis for marriage. But I’m going to go a step further, we lost the debate when we allowed our culture to define “love” according to feelings and romantic notions.

I have come to the opinion that Christianity’s problem in this debate is that we kept on responding to the marriage issues, but not the basis of marriage issues you describe or the basis of love that the Bible portrays.

When we consider that the scriptures portray love drastically different than we do (even those of us in the church), then we will know why we lost this debate. Scripturally we are told, “Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.” (Eph. 5:25-26).

This concept of love is put into even starker reality when we consider that “God commended his love towards in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.”

No romantic, fuzzy, warm feelings in those passages. Christ did not love us based on feelings that would spawn his happiness and then give up when we just did not seem lovable. We were not lovable, yet he chose to love us.

Until the church puts up Christ’s model of love as the basis for what love really is instead our cultural’s romantic notions of feelings and such, we will continue to lose this debate, the culture of divorce debate, the live-in couples debate, the hook-up culture debate, etc.

31 Jim March 22, 2013 at 7:53 pm

This comment is not going to be easy for me because I see something I do not want to see and I know where it is going to lead.

I believe we have, in fact, lost the debate for so-called “gay marriage” not because we have not held true to God’s Word; we have lost the debate because we have not found a way to show why God’s Word matters so much. We spend an inordinate amount of time trying to explain why the world is the way it is (“narcissistic”, “postmodern”, etc.) and we wonder why no one understands what we are saying. We know what God’s Word says about homosexuality and so we tell the world. But what have we really said? All we have said is that God says homosexuality is a “sin” and, therefore, something with which we ought not to undertake.

However, if you pay attention to what Zach is saying, you learn that he sees himself as “gay”; not that he is engaging in the sin of homosexuality. When he says: “…but I also happen to be gay. I’ve known this since I was 10” he is saying that, as a matter of his essential core reality, he is “gay” as he understands “gay” to be (e.g. being happy, making his parents happy, finding his “husband”, adopting a needy child). It is not about having been told all of his life that he is “special”; it is about his sense of self and being. To tell him that the only road open to him is “sin” is to call him to a life of suffering and emotional deprivation. Or we can tell him he can “change”, a possibility that he does not believe exists at the center of self.

What then should we tell him? Or better yet, what words can we speak to him that allow him to see more than just his being/self and the “sin” of which we so freely speak? I believe the answer lies in what he says about Scripture. While we may disagree with his “interpretation” of scripture, it is significant that he finds it necessary to confront scripture. He has worked very hard in finding an accommodation with scripture that allows his being the space to breathe. He does so, I believe, not because he wants to limit God; he does so because he wants God to understand.
We all want God to understand us and to love us in that understanding. We want God to see the goodness of our motives and the rightness of our state of being because, after all, we want to please God. So does Zach, I believe. That he has done so in a manner that finely parses Scripture shows that God matters to him. And if God matters to him, what can we say to him that will draw him into that space where it is only God who speaks.

I understand I am being confusing at this point and it is the reason for my hesitation in writing. You see, I have the same condition as Zach only I see myself as creationally disrupted by same sex attraction and Zach sees himself as “gay” looking forward to a life of happiness surely blessed by God. I am very circumspect about my feelings because I believe God’s Word is true and that the feelings that stir within me are sin but that my brothers and sisters in Christ will not understand. And yet, after reading Zach’s comments, I finally asked myself a question I have never asked: why am I different from Zach? Why do I push against what arises within me instead of accepting it as true. My feelings are, after all, true. They are not a matter of volition or choice; they simply exist within me. But still I know that my feelings are not truth.

I do not act on my feelings because I know that any overt actions would be sin. I tried that approach, to just label my feelings sin and to push them into a “God-Box”, and it just led to suffering and an emotional anguish that was hard to bear. I cannot tell you how many times I just wanted to quit fighting and accept the peace that my feelings offered. Yet in the midst of the madness I always did the same thing: I asked God for his permission to let go and he always, and I mean always, said “no” – just like his Word says.

Still, if I were left only with Scripture and the damnation of sin, I would have given up a long time ago and made an accommodation with my feelings. Simply reciting that something is wrong does not to mollify the madness that is same sex attraction. Instead, God opened up a door for me to stand to face it and, in a sense, grab hold of his hand while it came for me. I do not believe I can ever tell you truly how it works but it does and it is all the work of God and not me.

What I can now tell you is that I see it is all about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Not the “gospel” that proclaims Jesus offers hope but it is the good news that Jesus is the hope; not that Jesus condemns sin but that he has overcome sin; not that I can do it on my own but that I must find the way to yield to the Holy Spirit. The gospel of which I speak is not about seeing my sin and wanting to purge myself of it through the sacrifice of Jesus in order to avoid damnation; the gospel of which I speak is about encountering God made man. It is about coming to a place where I no longer try to explain myself to God but where I have to listen (and wait) for God to speak to me and lift me up. It is about begging God for peace and surrendering to His holiness. It is about finding a visceral understanding that Sin is intentional and cruel and that if I left go, something awful wins. We speak about the gospel but we no longer often talk about the God Man, Jesus, in a way that draws our listeners into their own encounter. Zach senses it, but we do not let him see how much further he has to go to find the truth, a truth we are given time to find because of the blood that was shed for us. Parsing scripture in order to deflect having scripture thrown at you does not open the door to an encounter with the God man, Jesus.

We need to see that Zach, as he confidently and passionately discusses scripture, really needs to see the Jesus who came to make all things new again; the God made flesh who is the truth. It is a gospel of encounter and a lifelong process of self-consuming sanctification. This is the gospel we need preached and spoken of in love. Jesus, God made flesh, who came and lived among us, who died, was buried and was resurrected on the third day, and who ascended to sit at the right hand of God is what we need to proclaim as essential and personal truth. Stand before Jesus and try to explain your feelings. He will listen and then you will see the truth.

What has made this difficult for me is that one day I am going to have to move into the open and speak of what I know. But that is a comment for another time.

32 Mike Leake March 22, 2013 at 8:54 pm

Jim,
I really appreciate your comment and your perspective.

Honestly, I’m a little confused by your swipes at my post…because I find myself nodding with what you say. But I think your comment a great addition. I’ll chalk it up to a lack of clarity on my part.

33 Jim March 22, 2013 at 11:58 pm

Mike,

Please forgive me if it seemed as if I were taking swipes at your post. That was not my intent. I think I was reacting to the juxposition of your post, which is well stated and accurate, with Zach’s comments. It simply struck me that much of our analysis, including mine, falls short of the mark because we want so much to understand what is happening that we lose sight of what we truly have. As I said, for the first time in my life I asked myself the question: why do I do it differently then Zach? While I do agree that culture has come to accept the autonomy of self (a better formulation, I think, than narcicissm), I do not think Zach has reached the conclusions he has about himself because he has been raised to be narcissistic . I think it is because he has been raised to accept his feelings as truth and he then would expect God to understand and love him in his truth. I know that might seem narcissistic and perhaps selfish, but it does not really address the question of how we can speak to Zach in a way that helps him truly encounter Jesus in the right way so he can see the truth of himself as only God can show him. I am still unsettled with what I wrote and I am churning inside. So please chalk it up to my inability to adequately express what God is trying to show me and not because I think what you spoke of is somehow wrong. Again, forgive me, brother.

34 Mike Leake March 23, 2013 at 8:30 am

I think it is because he has been raised to accept his feelings as truth and he then would expect God to understand and love him in his truth. I know that might seem narcissistic and perhaps selfish, but it does not really address the question of how we can speak to Zach in a way that helps him truly encounter Jesus in the right way so he can see the truth of himself as only God can show him.

This is actually my point. We are raised as narcissist (or just plain selfish). The only One powerful enough to rock our worldview is Christ and His powerful gospel. I think in this post what I’m saying is how NOT to speak to those like Zach and then I close by saying how we should…with the robust gospel that you so beautifully spoke of.

Also, all is forgiven if there was even anything to forgive. Have you ever read Wesley Hill’s book, Washed and Waiting? It is phenomenal.

35 Zach March 24, 2013 at 8:27 pm

I decided to follow-up on the blog, and I saw there was more discussion. I thought I should respond to Jim’s post.

Consider, for a moment, the vast history of humanity from the beginning of recorded history to modern times. From iconographic evidence in ancient Mesopotamia of same-sex partners almost 3,000 years before Christ, to Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum’s tomb in Egypt, to the Two-Spirit people in Native American tribes. Notables from Leonardo da Vinci, to Hans Christian Anderson, to Queen Christina, to Alan Turing, to the late astronaut Sally Ride. To where I am sitting, and typing this today.

Consider today’s leading scientists, psychologists and the medical community, who have stumbled upon and are researching both epigenetics and prenatal birth hormones as leading causational factors of sexual orientation. They are doing this on account of the biological correlations we have already discovered (the number of older biologically-maternal brothers, finger digit ratios & brain structures affected by prenatal androgens, etc.) and are making progress.

Or, forget the consideration of science even. You can go to the most dangerous places on the face of this Earth (Iran, Uganda, Jamaica, Saudi Arabia), where violence, exclusion and harassment does not even compare to legal laws that punish homosexuality with death, and STILL find LGBT people who are willing to risk their lives for a chance at a normal and happy life.

Jim, I was raised in a biweekly church-going Christian home as well. I risked a lot when I came out to my family and friends. Granted it was not as much as a death penalty, but it was by far the scariest thing I have every done in my life. Yet my parents eventually accepted the truth of the matter, as I was still the same child that they had known their entire lives. Looking back – I have absolutely no regrets, because I know I could have never lived my life lying to a wife and children, or have spent my life alone and in solitude.

Oddly, because I came out so young, I also have difficulty making acquaintances with gay men who are Baby Boomers or older, because these men usually are emotionally scarred. They have been told their entire lives by their teachers, parents and pastors that homosexuality is sick, wrong and evil which has led them to a life a self-torture and mental anguish.They have tried their entire lives to get rid of “it” or shove “it” away only to have it continue to gnaw away at them until the point of moral failings like Sen. Larry Craig or Ted Haggard. It frightens me, actually, as those tortured souls could have well as been me if I had been born 40 years earlier.

As for your last two paragraphs, I do not examine the Scriptures because I am seeking a truer Jesus, looking for a way out, or am trying to reconcile some fracturing thought within my head. I know the Scriptures because Christianity looks to the Scriptures as our moral guide. Sans Scriptures, there is no discussion about morality, and without that Scriptural discussion we will continue to have some poor kid lying in bed at night contemplating suicide because despite his desperate praying, his sexual orientation reminds him daily that his faith believes him to be disgusting, immoral and broken.

36 Jerry Smith March 24, 2013 at 10:41 pm

If only that poor kid lying in bed at night contemplating suicide you speak of would turn to Christ, his problems could be cured, 2 Corinthians 5:17. But your not helping him find the One that can change him, you will just be helping him further his rebellion against God. But I’m thinking that’s not the answer you want. Be assure, God can change you too.

37 Jess Alford March 25, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Zach,

You will not find a truer Jesus because he is the author of truth.
Let’s just suppose for a minute that everyone on this planet
was gay. In 100 short years only a handful of people would be left.

Do you think that God would want this to happen?

Let’s say that you have thought this through, and some members of the gay community are set aside just to bare children to maintain the population. Doesn’t common sense tell you why God made man and woman? Zach, deep down you know the truth or else you wouldn’t be
on SBC voices.

38 Ken Hamrick March 22, 2013 at 7:59 pm

As the Church, we should do a better job of distinguishing between desire and behavior. If we reject homosexuals based on their desires alone, then there is no way to reach them with the gospel. The gospel addresses their condemnation before a holy God, and that condemnation is for sin alone, and sin is always behavior and never merely desire. Desire is temptation, but there is always a way of escape. It is wrong to condemn people for desire alone, or make them feel like they cannot approach Christ until they change their desires, or they cannot be genuinely saved if those desires remain unchanged. It is just as wrong for the world to assume that desire justifies behavior, as if merely having homosexual desires justifies the sexual acts. Heterosexuals who have not been blessed with a spouse must remain celibate even with a strong attraction toward the opposite sex. To come to Christ, homosexuals need only to reject homosexual behavior as sin and repent from it, as with every other sin, and believe on Christ. It is irrelevant whether or not their homosexual desires ever abate. God may indeed remove those desires and replace them with normal desires, but even if He does not, that believer can still be a part of the Body of Christ as a believer in good standing.

Excellent article, Mike!

39 Bart Barber March 22, 2013 at 10:54 pm

I’m surprised that so little mention has been made of Zach’s explanation of his personal beliefs about the nature of the Bible. It seems to me that this both the necessary prerequisite and the inexorable consequence of accepting homosexuality as non-sinful: One cannot at the same time both cease to view homosexuality as sinful and continue to view the Bible as God’s inerrant word.

40 volfan007 March 22, 2013 at 11:08 pm

A man may lust after a woman, who is not his wife. He has this desire. He commits adultery with this woman. He cant help himself. It’s the way he FEELS. After all, God wants him to be happy….right? God made him this way….correct? So, why should he deny those feelings? Why should he continue to fight against what he is? He just cant help it. It’s the way he’s made, and he should embrace that he is an adulterer; rather than fight against his desires.

You know, we can put any sin into the scenario and the reasoning of those people, who try to excuse the sin of homosexuality. We can put lying in the above scenario….we can put fornication….murder….pride…. drunkeness…. and whatever else sin you want to talk about.

Why, because we’re sinners….affected by the fall of man in a very bad way….and our sins just ooze out of us in different ways. So, for someone to say that they’re a homosexual, and they just cant help it, is no excuse for living that sinful lifestyle….no more than an adulterer, or a liar, or a child molester could use that excuse for doing what they do.

The answer is to turn to Jesus in surrendering faith….looking to His death on the cross to take care of our sins….and follow the Living Christ…..we can overcome our sinful desires by following Jesus, and trusting Him for the power we need to not live in the filth of sin.

David

41 Lee Saunders March 23, 2013 at 12:45 am

“…but because we aren’t drinking the Kool-aid that has man at the center of everything.”

The public education system drums this idea into kids heads every day, in a hundred different ways integrated into every aspect of the core curriculum. The church approaches ministry to children and youth as a means of religious entertainment, “balloons and banana splits,” as I call it, and puts that up against the educational system as the “alternative.” Getting churches to recognize the importance of working together in a system of Christian schools and Christian education is like pulling teeth, and so most of those remain outside the financial realities of the typical Christian family. And we’ve failed in supporting parents in their role as parents, and not as their children’s best playmate. We will continue to lose these battles.

42 Greg Harvey March 23, 2013 at 8:35 am

Perhaps our narcissism as a culture is endemic and finds its roots in these words:

‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”‘

43 rick March 23, 2013 at 9:00 am

We have lost this war for a couple reasons. The primary one is that we do not have a good argument for why homosexuality is wrong for people who do not believe the Bible is normative. As a result, our arguments look like they are based on bigotry and prejudice (which, sad to admit, in many cases they are).

The other one is that too many people in too many venues know too many gay people, either at school, the workplace, or the community. People who know real gay people as individuals know that there is no such thing as a blanket condemnation that covers all gay people and that “gay culture” (whatever that means) exists on a spectrum from flamingly flamboyant to absolutely indistinguishable from straights. Without acknowledging this reality, we cast ourselves as possessing bigoted opinions.

CASE IN POINT EDITED OUT

I will say this again, at the risk of redundancy, that until we start
promoting virtue and goodness, we will never win this battle. Simply being
opposed to badness is insufficient to move men to Jesus Christ. It looks
and sounds like we are a bunch of condemning Pharisees. Instead we should show the world a “more excellent way.” And you will note that this appears in I Cor. 13. Sure would be nice if we would apply love to the equation and use that to overcome the homosexual agenda. Not sure many know how to do that, though. And I certainly don’t hear strategies from Evangelicals on how to accomplish it.

The only place I’ve seen it that has garnered any publicity is Dan Cathy:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shane-l-windmeyer/dan-cathy-chick-fil-a_b_2564379.\
html

44 Mike Leake March 23, 2013 at 11:08 am

Rick,
I deleted your comment because it appears you were responding to a different blog post. If you want to comment on John Piper’s response to Portman’s announcement I’d suggest doing it there.

45 rick March 23, 2013 at 11:53 am

It was part of a theme.

The title and content of this excellent blog post was that we’ve lost the war against gay marriage. I agree. And for the reasons I cited.

46 Mike Leake March 23, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Rick,
I’ve edited out your case in point…simply because I believe it could distract from the theme of this post. We will start talking about the case in point instead of the actual issues.

Thanks.

47 Jesse Jury March 23, 2013 at 1:24 pm

This one line where you stated, “By and large we have not confronted these “virtues” we have just tried to Christianize them. And it is killing us.” is- in my estimation- the major downfall of the Christian church, and Christian culture as a whole. This method of Christianizing things God told us to have no part in is something that the church has done for the last 1700 years; first, by abandoning God’s Law (which was not just given to “the Jews,” but all Israelites, and the gentiles that sojourned with them), and then by adopting pagan customs such as Easter and Christmas.

Psalm 11:3, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (KJV)

God’s Law is this foundation. It is the basis of morality that all the original apostles of the Christian faith adhered to. But by the third century, this Law was abandoned for one of “grace,” as if “law” and “grace” were ever opposed to one another (they were not). Unfortunately, as soon as we abandon Leviticus 11:12 (Don’t eat shrimp), abandoning Leviticus 18:22 (Don’t engage in homosexuality) is the only logical next step; and the foundation is destroyed.

48 Joshua T March 25, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Jesse,

I agree that there is confusion over the Law. And I do believe it must serve as the “foundation” for NT Christian ethics. But there are viable scripture-interpreting-scripture hermeneutics that allow us to carry forward the spiritual principles of both Lev 11:12 and Lev 18:22. However, I think we agree that that church recently was not clear and taught our children to think we had “abandoned” or abrogated Lev 11:12, it didn’t take long for the world to convince them to abrogate Lev 18:22.

For those who might be concerned, in the case of Lev 18:22, the spiritual principle happens to be nearly identical to the letter of the law since it is a part of the “holiness code”.

49 Jess Alford March 23, 2013 at 5:19 pm

Jesse Jury,

Do you serve God because you have to, or do you serve him because you want to?

Have to = Law
Want to = Grace

50 Jesse Jury May 29, 2013 at 11:11 pm

I serve God because it’s the right thing to do, regardless of whether I have to OR want to.

God said if we love Him, we keep His commandments. This is both law AND grace, not law OR grace.

51 Greg Harvey May 30, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Thread necromancy…time for comments to close on this blog, Dave.

52 Jerry Corbaley May 30, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Thread necromancy? Now there is a phrase that deserves to catch on!

53 Dave Miller May 30, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Actually, my theory is that after about 50 comments on any post, more evil than good tends to take place. But this thread hasn’t gone so awry that I am moved to shut it down yet.

Mostly, I just shut off Calvinism discussions because I get so SICK and TIRED of the hamster-on-the-wheel cycle of discussion, which produces no value.

54 Jerry Corbaley May 30, 2013 at 1:55 pm

So Dave, dare me to come up with a post that addresses the topic from a fresh perspective?

55 Dave Miller May 30, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Which topic? The one of this post, or Calvinism?

If you can find a fresh perspective on Calvinism, I’d throw you a parade!

56 cb scott May 30, 2013 at 3:19 pm

“If you can find a fresh perspective on Calvinism, I’d throw you a parade!”

Then bring on the clowns, Baby!!

Here is a “fresh perspective.”

Servetus did not die in the fire.

He is on a remote island with Elvis, JFK, James Dean, and Marilyn Monroe. Howard Hughes pays the rent on the island and John Wayne provides the security service.

57 Jerry Corbaley May 30, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Well okay, then. Since I was going to do it anyway, I accept the “dare”.

It might be a few days, and you may not think it is different enough or “peace-likely” enough to post, and that would be okay.

But you can cancel the parade, please.

58 Jerry Corbaley May 30, 2013 at 6:31 pm

Then again, it might already be up at my site.

59 John Lawless March 25, 2013 at 6:00 am

First a big thank you to Mike Leake for his comments. It is not very often that the author involves himself in the comments. Second, I see a concept of cognitive dissonance taking place here. When I attended seminary one of the professors chastised us for spending too much time doing research to defend rather than allowing the research to speak to us. The gay contributor it seems a long time ago determined he was gay and has since searched and manipulated his research not to speak to him but merely to support the position he has already taken. Cognitive dissonance is when our views and our actions conflict. Sad to say most people change their thoughts rather than changing their actions.

60 Lee Saunders March 26, 2013 at 11:53 am

Watching various news outlets today, and comparing them with what is being said on conservative talk radio, we are losing this issue because the voice of conservative, Evangelical, Biblical Christianity is being drowned in minutia, and follows along every rabbit trail, rather than discerning fact from fiction and putting the focus on things that are important. We are made to look like superstitious crazies because we are still fussing about the President’s birth certificate, and whether or not he’s a Muslim, and a whole bunch of other stuff that is fantasy and imaginary. And the leadership seems to be more interested in pushing their own celebrity status and getting their name in the hat for the 2016 presidential race than they are in advancing an issue. This is a change resulting from a serious paradigm shift that conservative Christians seem unable to influence because we’ve nullified our position by allowing the things that are of primary importance to us take a back seat because we’ve chosen to support politicians instead of motivate them and push them to do the right thing.

61 Jeff March 26, 2013 at 12:15 pm
62 Trey D March 27, 2013 at 2:29 pm

I believe we are losing sight of the bigger issue. Should the government step in tomorrow and define the only legal marriage is between a man and his cousin, I will still consider myself married to my bride. My marriage was under God and will continue to be under God. No amount of legislation shall change that. Similarly, I expect a recognition from the State to afford me certain privileges that are civil in nature. For example, I expect the State to recognize that should I pass away, all of my earthly belongings should pass to my wife. Also, I expect the State to recognize without undue legal proceedings that should I be incapacitated, she shall have the sole responsibility to make decisions on my behalf.

In order for the State to recognize those privileges, it is incumbent upon me to retrieve a certain licensure from the state. In this case, I argue that it be called Civil, but could care less. If I wanted to stop there, and never pursue a marriage from the church then I should be considered married. I, however, chose to be recognized by my church and therefore was married by a pastor.

I ask you this: Does a polygamist who marries two other adult women consider themselves not married? (do not mistake my argument for a blessing of plurality)

I would argue, instead they consider themselves very married as they were married under their god (however wrong it be). Instead, the State does not recognize said marriage and instead the privileges are only afforded to the first wife.

If you disagree with me, and feel that we should not allow this to continue for God condems this sin (btw I agree), I have to ask do you hold the same contempt for theivery? Do you stand with the same contempt when you lie? Do you stand for such sin when you speed down the highway? Or are you arguing that one sin is greater than the other? I make choices every day, some sin, some I chose not to sin. Either way, I have made those choices and must live with the consequences. A homosexual couple have made a choice, and they could pursue similar privileges under a long drawn out legal set up (through trusts, living wills, etc…). I argue that an opposition to a legal union between two individuals does nothing to help our message be heard. Instead, I choose to lay down my arms and show that life within the light burns off the sin. I choose to lay down this battle for recognition that I don’t want the State to define what constitutes my marriage. My marriage was under God, and shall remain that way. My State granted privileges are done under the state and as a result I suggest we recognize it between two consenting adults.

63 Joshua T March 27, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Trey,

I couldn’t agree more. No court can overturn God’s order. No battle of importance has been lost. God’s truth still stands. His word does not pass away.

We should fight for the hearts of people. And when we have converted the nations we may see a change in our government.

64 Jess Alford March 27, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Leaving important legislation up to politicians scares me. Someone said, any who thinks crime doesn’t pay probably doesn’t realize how well politicians are paid. The American public must love political jokes. We keep electing them.

I hope the Supreme Court does the right thing.

65 Jon March 27, 2013 at 9:18 pm

We have lost the debate because we don’t have an argument in the sense that people today understand one. What we have is that it is against God’s plan for humanity. How many people consciously and seriously place faith in God today? Or in a plan of God? We can only uphold what we know regardless of the reactions we get.

The truth is that we don’t even know entirely why God is against it. We just know he is. This is also why we do not have a real argument. It is a matter of God says so, and while that’s sufficient for us, it isn’t for them.

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