THE MARRIAGE AMENDMENT AND THE MODERN PHARISEE! (April 2007)



THE BAN ON GAY MARRIAGE - LEGISLATION OR ALIENATION?

    As I write this, the Marriage amendment has already been defeated having failed to gain enough votes to end debate and move forward. I say this simply as a matter of fact. I do not consider a constitutional ban on gay marriage to be either good or bad.

    This doesn’t mean that I do not care about marriage. I have been part of a very bad failed marriage. I am also currently part of a very good, successful marriage. A marriage that I believe to be Christ centered, although my wife and I do not always agree on what that means. I care very much about marriage, I believe in it and I believe in family. I struggle every day to teach my children that being part of a family means looking out for each other and learning to put others first. Not an easy task in a world that teaches them to take care of themselves first and foremost, and if there is anything left… be sure you get a receipt for tax purposes.

    I am also not supporting the idea of gay marriage. If homosexuality is a sin, which it is, then it stands to reason that gay marriage is also a sin. I also agree that it is indeed a threat to the institution of marriage. But, let’s not give it too much credit. Marriage as an institution is already on the ropes. Just as many Christian as non Christian marriages end in divorce. Just as many Christian as non Christian marriages begin shortly after the first pregnancy begins.

    Satan has done a fine job of destroying one of the best tools God provided to help us understand and personalize our relationship to him and Jesus Christ.


Ephesians 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. 22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

 

    It’s no wonder Satan has worked so hard down through the years to destroy marriage. He has used everything from free love and the feminist movement to our need to keep up with the Jones’. I imagine we made it relatively easy, thanks to our tendency to put our own needs ahead of everything else.

    Gay marriage will not bare the full responsibility for the downfall of the institution as our grandparents knew it. It may very well be the final nail in the coffin, but it takes more then one nail to hold the lid shut.

    We should also examine what it is about homosexuality that seems to drive the Christian Right into such frenzy. I understand that it is a sin, but there is lots of sin in the world. Why does this one merit such special attention?

    The homosexual act is a sin because it is a perversion of God’s plan. However so is premarital sex and extramarital sex. Any sexual act that takes place outside the bounds of marriage is in direct opposition to God’s plan, and thus a sin. Let’s remember that all sin is the same in God’s eyes. All sin carries the same penalty, death. The graduated scale of sin that tells us this one is worse than that one. Man invented that as a way of elevating himself over his fellow man.

    I think that most people, Christian or not, can single out homosexuality and confidently and honestly make the claim that they have never been guilty of that. They feel very comfortable picking up a stone (for some it is a hypothetical stone, for others unfortunately the stone is very real) and heading over to the town square. When you put the sin of homosexuality on the same level as premarital and extramarital sex, most know it is time to drop the stone and walk away. Whether they will admit it is another story but in their heart they know. In today’s world I’d be willing to say 90% of the population is guilty of at least one of the three.


Are you still holding that stone?


John 8:1 Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. 2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. 3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. 7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.


Why do we forget the simplest lessons, again and again?


    It is our job to introduce people to Christ; the rest is up to the Holy Spirit. You will gain nothing by passing laws to force people to lead moral lives; not souls for the Kingdom, not approval for yourself.


As Christians we already have a law against homosexuality and it didn’t need a 2/3 vote to pass.


Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.


    Funny thing about God’s laws, they don’t leave a lot of room for doubt or debate. As Christians, I don’t see any need for another law. Ask yourself these questions...

  • Is the passing of a Constitutional ban on gay marriage going to stop people from living together in homosexual relationships?

  • Is the prevention of a gay couple from getting married going to lead them to Christ?


     Be careful of this next one, it’s tricky.

  • Do you think God will look upon you with favor because you support a constitutional ban on gay marriage?


    It’s true that God wants us to live a moral life. It’s also true that the only way to do that is by giving your life over to Christ and living each day in his strength and grace. You won’t lead anyone to Christ by putting up legal barriers to box them into what you consider to be moral.


    The Pharisees tried this. They took the laws given to Moses by God and wrote more laws intended to protect God’s laws from being broken. In essence they built a fence around the Torah. That was a roaring success, wasn’t it? They were so intent on following their laws (not God’s laws anymore, but the ones they wrote to protect them from breaking God’s law) that they didn’t even recognize their own Messiah when he was standing in front of them.


    Why are we making the same mistake? Our commission, our job, is to bring the Gospel to the world, to lead by example. If we were doing that, then all these issues that we want to fix through legislation wouldn’t even be issues. The end times are upon us. Do you see it or are you too busy trying to use Satan’s system to prove that America really is a Christian nation?


    Why are American Christians so willing to let George W. Bush lead them around by the nose? Hasn’t this guy done enough to prove he is not what he claims to be? Are you going to stand for Christ and what he taught or are you going to continue to lend this man your support just because he backed a constitutional amendment that never stood a chance of passing. Are you that easily bought? We must not allow the world to continue identifying the Bush Administration with Christianity.


it might already be too late FOR THAT

    There is a whole block of our population who is angry about the war in Iraq, some of whom supported it in the beginning. They are having trouble reconciling the reasons we were given for going into Iraq with the fact that they turned out to be mistakes at best and blatant lies at worst. They wonder why the Christian leadership in this country is still carrying the water for the Bush Administration. Some of them are beginning to blame the Christian Right for what they see as a disaster.


    Some think Bush is just playing to his base, others think he really believes that it is God’s will for him to spread freedom and democracy in the Middle East. Either way, these people are very angry about what is happening; a lot of them are pointing a finger at the Christian Right. Bush’s support for a Marriage Amendment now in the midst of a lot more pressing concerns did more to fuel their fears than it did for the amendment.


    When I was younger one of the things I could never understand about the end times, how could Christians be blamed for the world’s troubles? Why would Christians be persecuted? Why would Christians be killed?

I think I understand now. Are you ready for the kicker?

It’s our own church leadership setting us up. They are becoming what they used to warn us about.

 

In Christ, E. D. Smith

 

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