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by Rupert Hanna
Christians usually take two lines of approach in the argument against same sex marriage:
Harsh judgmental attitude bereft of love and concern. Lacking in grace.
Sit on their hands. Ã‚Â With the apathetic attitude, "˜If they don't affect me then it is no big deal.'
Both are equally wrong! Ã‚Â At the end of the article you will be able to read a more correct Biblical response which will glorify God.
First, the discussion must start with God. Ã‚Â It is very clear that nowhere in the Bible does it condone the practice of homosexuality/same sex unions of any description.Ã‚Â It is said, even emphasised, by the minority campaigners of same sex marriages that Jesus never said anything on the subject. Ã‚Â While this is true it not the end of story. Ã‚Â From this they incorrectly conclude that by Jesus' "˜silence' He wasn't against it.Ã‚Â Nothing could be further from the truth.Ã‚Â In Jesus ministry while on earth it would have been clearly understood that homosexuality was taboo.Ã‚Â It was condemned by the Law of God.
But let us understand there is much more at stake than a legalistic approach to this issue. Much more!
Here are a number of undeniable and important fact. Ã‚Â Ã‚Â There is no question that God has designed and created man for relationships. Ã‚Â This is set in concrete.Ã‚Â First, and foremost, a relationship with God his Creator obviously through Jesus Christ, Saviour.Ã‚Â This was personified in the OT of God's relationship with the nation of Israel. Ã‚Â Then relationships with his fellow man, in friends, in families and in a union between husband and wife.Ã‚Â Intimacy is a necessary element in the life of human beings.Ã‚Â Note, the union was established between male and female. Ã‚Â One of the obvious reasons for this was procreation.
Now for what I believe is the most important point in this whole matter. Ã‚Â First was God's establishment of a union, a marriage union, between Adam and Eve. Then there is the use of metaphoric "˜marriage' language by the LORD in dealing with His relationship with His people. This is no accident and emphasises the importance and sanctity of the marriage covenant He ordained within the confines of His creation. That is, male and female. Ã‚Â Even Jesus is called the Groom and the Church is the Bride.Ã‚Â Any desecration of this God given institution of marriage, proposed, introduced or acted upon, such as same sex unions, is definitely an unequivocal violation of God's ordinances and an abomination towards Almighty God.Ã‚Â To attempt to change these principles to please the flesh is an attack on the holiness and righteousness of God.Ã‚Â This is a dangerous move, regardless of who attempts to do it!! Ã‚Â Ã‚Â In due course God will take action against any such move.
There is an ever present danger of exalting one sin over another, as some are in the habit of doing. Ã‚Â Often I see Christians go down this path in regard to sexual sin.Ã‚Â Yet, notwithstanding, it a very dangerous and precarious practice to deliberately attempt to change the principles and truth of God to suit sinful self-indulgences. Ã‚Â By this I mean commending a practice which is not in accordance with the moral righteousness of God.Ã‚Â In other words, turning the truth into a lie.Ã‚Â This is exactly the point the great apostle Paul made in his letter to the believers in Rome, as recorded in Romans 1:25.
Romans 1:18-32 Ã‚Â For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,
23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man "” and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,
25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.
27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers,
30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;
32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.
There is another problem which faces the group which promote same sex unions and therefore promotes same sex activity such as homosexuality and lesbianism.Ã‚Â If through their promotion they influence children to, in the future, Ã‚Â live immorally, they will incur the wrath of God.
Matthew 18:6 "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
While the members of this group criticises anyone who dares oppose their view and cry out that they are being unfairly vilified or discriminated against, they themselves launch vile personal attacks with a repertoire of abuse and vitriol filled with hatred void of any kind of love or compassion. Ã‚Â Among these are the ubiquitous homophobic label, and that accusation that you are "˜filled with hatred.'
Nonetheless this should not come as a surprise because the Master met with similar personal attacks while on earth and He taught that His followers will receive the same, regardless of the time.
John 15:20Ã‚Â Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.
Jesus reminded His listeners how God's prophets came with a divine authenticated message but the people would not listen and in many cases killed the messenger.
He even gave a verse of encouragement"¦
Matthew 5:11 "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
There is also an important statement against those who insult and abuse God's people.
Isaiah 51:7-8 "Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, You people in whose heart is My law: Do not fear the reproach of men, Nor be afraid of their insults.
8 For the moth will eat them up like a garment, And the worm will eat them like wool; But My righteousness will be forever, And My salvation from generation to generation."
God always honours the faithful, regardless of the opposition!
John 5:23Ã‚Â that all should honour the Son just as they honour the Father. He who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent Him.
Now a word for those Christians who belong to the second group I described at the beginning of my article, that is, those who sit on their hands, say and do nothing, they too will also feel the wrath of God's judgment.Ã‚Â Silence is not golden.Ã‚Â God demands that His people are His voice against that which is an offence to Him.
EphesiansÃ‚Â 5:8-11 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light
9 (for the fruit of the Spirit* is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth),
10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.
11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
The Christian, that is every Christian without exception, is a witness to the Lord.Ã‚Â Jesus calls them to be a light and salt to the world (Matthew 5:13-16).Ã‚Â They must uphold, including living, and defend the truth at all points of their lives.Ã‚Â They must stand firm on the truth of God but with love and grace, showing concern for the sinner, the lost.
Isaiah 55:8Ã‚Â "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord.
The proper Christian response should be set on the example of Jesus. Ã‚Â Remember we, as believers, are disciples of Jesus.Ã‚Â That means we don't do it our way but follow Jesus who is our leader.Ã‚Â Jesus came from the position of humility, one filled with love, mercy and grace. Yet, He was not a "˜doormat.'Ã‚Â Meek does not mean being a soft target!!Ã‚Â He was prepared for the abuse and mocking. Ã‚Â Often His strategy was to deliver the message, the truth, and then walk away. There is little use in participating in confrontational behaviour, that is arguing the point. This is just a wasted pastime with the people of darkness.
We can learn so much from the account where the rich man approached Jesus (Luke 18:18-27).Ã‚Â Jesus offered the rich man the Gospel but the man made a choice to turn it down and thus walked away.Ã‚Â This man rejected Jesus the Son of God.Ã‚Â Note, Jesus never did any follow up work.
The light versus the darkness and the darkness cannot cope with the light (John 1:5). In Jesus ministry on earth many rejected Him, a lot of people abused Him, so what chance do you have in attempting to overthrow someone's attitude of darkness. Eventually they crucified Him.
Your commission as a believer is to be Jesus' witnesses, nothing more, nothing less.
The call is for Jesus followers to hang in there, be long suffering, be patient, be steadfast"¦
Acts 2:42Ã‚Â And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
One of the few cases where Jesus really got on the front foot was when He confronted and blasted the Pharisees, the religious leaders of the day.Ã‚Â They claimed to have the light, they claimed to be the righteous religious upper echelon. Ã‚Â But they were in fact a self serving group, a self-exalted group who were more interested in claiming the high position for themselves than to reach out in love and grace to others.Ã‚Â They placed more burdens on the people.Ã‚Â So this is not your everyday opponent of the truth.Ã‚Â They fit into a different category.
To speak up for God is to invite ridicule and abuse.
J.N.Oswalt in his Commentary on Isaiah, made a very interesting and important point. I quote: Ã‚Â It is important to notice that Jesus was not so much abused for what he did as for what He said. Ã‚Â If he had not claimed to be the Son of God, if he had not pronounced judgment on the religious leadership, and if he had not said he alone was the Way, he might not have been put to death. Words and language are at the heart of God's revelation. Ã‚Â Jesus Christ, the Servant, is the ultimate communication of God to humans.Ã‚Â End of quote.
There is no question, the message of Jesus will bring confrontation, abuse and persecution as the light clashes with darkness, where truth challenges the lie.Ã‚Â How you respond to it is a test of your faith. Ã‚Â Always be mindful, your response can either glorify Jesus or detract from Him.
The Bible gives a very strong warning about those who continue in sin, even to have the desire to continue in sin (Galatians 5:19-21). Immoral behaviour is sin.
Sin blocks man's relationship with God (Isaiah 59:2). Only through Jesus, the Redeemer, can this be fixed.Ã‚Â He redeems us from our sin.
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