Monday, May 21, 2012

Same-Sex Marriage: Like Hiding Behind a Fig Leaf

Dr. Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, was the guest on a May 11 Issues, Etc. talk radio show segment discussing President Obama’s recent announcement of his personal support for same-sex marriage. Dr. Mohler pointed out that the gay rights movement wants not just the legalization of same-sex marriage, but the normalization of same-sex marriage, and that marriage is a huge instrumentality to get to that normalization. I agree with Dr. Mohler, and suggest that there is a further motivation of the gay rights movement beyond the normalization of same-sex marriage. I suggest that what the gay rights movement ultimately seeks is a free pass for their sinful behavior. By normalizing same-sex marriage, homosexuals will gain the appearance of legitimacy, which will be a way for at least some of them to assuage their conscience, while others, their rage.

Homosexuality is clearly condemned as sin in Romans 1: “…And the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error“ (v. 27 ESV). Of course, Scripture doesn’t stop there – it condemns all unrighteousness – that includes every sin, whether it’s that little white lie on your taxes or failing to help your neighbor when you should have done so. This is the function of the Law – to point out how we have fallen short of God’s demand of perfect obedience. The Gospel, on the other hand, tells of God’s grace. Through trust in Christ’s atoning work on the cross, our sins are forgiven, even though that grace is unmerited. In today’s climate, a lot of people view this sort of talk as bigoted. They may not recognize that for many Christians, their concern is for the spiritual well-being of another person, and not motivated by a mean-spirited quest against anyone not “just-like-me.” Christians should not be afraid to engage homosexuals and share with them Law and Gospel as appropriate. We should not shy away because our actions might be perceived as politically incorrect, but instead, always speak the truth in love  The Law must be proclaimed where needed, otherwise people will see no need for the Gospel, and continue in a life of idolatry. (I should point out that while arguing in the public square, one should use arguments which point out the harmful effects homosexuality has on society rather than using arguments based on Scripture, since not all people recognize Scripture as an authority. I wouldn’t be making this argument if I were appearing on Good Morning America.)

And though Romans 1:18-32 specifically discusses the condemnation of those who reject Christ, believers still need to take notice, because all sin is condemned by God, and Christians too are sinners. While Christians are covered with Christ’s righteousness and thus forgiven, that doesn’t mean that a Christian who is a homosexual can continue to act out on their homosexual desires, any more than an adulterer could do the same: “For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries” (Heb. 10:26-27). Where willful sin continues, the Holy Spirit is driven out.

Even if same-sex marriage becomes the law of the land, that doesn’t make it right. It will still be a sin, just as visiting a brothel in Las Vegas is a sin, even though it’s legal. Legitimizing same-sex marriage is a lot like Adam and Eve hiding behind the trees in the Garden of Eden after they sinned. The only person you’re fooling is yourself if you think you can hide your sin against God behind a tree or a fig leaf. The good news is that Christ has come to set all of us sinners free from sin. God-given faith breaks Satan’s hold on our sin-filled lives as we are turned in repentance to a new life in Christ. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, 'The righteous shall live by faith.'" Romans 1:16-17 ESV

photo credit: See-ming Lee

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