Monday, July 29, 2013

Where Christians Should Stand on Same Sex Marriage Issue

Reference - recent decision of the US Supreme Court concerning same sex marriage.
Struck down Sec.3 of the DOMA - which limited the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman.

NOW, any same sex couple legally married in one of the 12 states that permit same sex marriage can claim spousal benefits from the Federal Government.  In essence, have the federal government's stamp of approval on same sex marriage.

SO, Question #1:   how long before the other 38 states follow suit?? (willingly or by judicial decree)

And, Question #2:  Where should Christians stand concerning this issue of same sex marriage?

Last sermon - series of questions offered to help you answer that question - Biblically.  (as well as many other ethical questions that confront)

Today - review and address the issue directly --- along with the companion issue of homosexual behavior (lifestyle)

First,  Same Sex Marriage - what does the Bible say about it?

Answer - Nothing!!!!
Why??  1)  same sex marriage wasn't an issue in the time when the Bible was taking form.
             2)  the Scripture clearly defines marriage without addressing same sex issues.
             3)  the issue of homosexual behavior is dealt with - thereby excluding possibility of same sex marriage.

#1.  Same Sex Marriage wasn't an issue in Biblical times.
Not saying it was never found but was very rare and not truly recognized as marriage.
Example:  Emperor Nero (reigned about the time Paul was writing the New Testament) - reported to have married 2 men - one of his freedmen - as the bride, and later a young boy/slave - as the groom.
On one hand, no one challenges Nero!  However, even then it lacked legal status and social recognition/acceptance.
The Latin word - "matrimonium" from which we get our word matrimony - required "mater"/mother=children.  Holy matrimony = man taking woman to have children

Today 13 countries recognize same sex marriage (Great Britain - in 2014) and several others are on deck.  BUT, the first nation in history to recog. ssm was the Netherlands in 2001 (12 years)
ie:  Same sex marriage is a brand new social experiment!!

#2.  Marriage is clearly defined in Scripture as between male and female (one each)
Gen. 1:27, 2:18, 22, 24 - through out Scripture! 
Objection!!  Also recognizes Polygamy!   Answer:  Never commended/recommended/prescribed/approved of polygamy - just reporting that it was there.

#3.  Homosexual behavior clearly prohibited in Scripture.
Example:  Sodom and Gomorrah.  Lev. 18:22  Rom. 1:26-27
So..... where does that place same sex marriage from Biblical perspective?

Back to the questions of 2 weeks ago (modified)

#1.  Does God exist?  (Supreme Being/1st. Cause, Creator, Omni_____
If "no" then ssm is not wrong.  (If no God, then no Lawgiver)
If "no" then is no right or wrong - except as man/society dictates.

#2.  Is He Personal?  (is He interested?  involved?  caring?)
If "no" then ........."whatever" - concerning ssm.
If "yes" then .... what is His will? plan?  design?

#3.  Has He revealed Himself?  (His will?  His design?)  Has He made Himself known?
Heb. 1:1-2  John 1:18 - yes, specifically through His Son Jesus Christ
Quote by Wm. Blackstone - Law is to be discovered vs designed.  Eternal laws already exist.  Our job to discover them - not invent new ones.

#4.  Does the Bible contain (record) His Self Revelations?
If "Yes" then.... we have "His Word" on the subject/issues.

#5.  Are His laws .... universal?  (for all people/all time?)
                                 practical?  designed for practice or theory?  - 2 Tim. 3:16-17
                               consequential?  Gal. 6:7 (for individual/society)  His Word will stand.  Cannot embrace same sex marriage and not encounter problems and consequences.

NOTE:  Some Christians will answer "yes" to above questions .... and still conclude same sex marriage = acceptable/good!! 

How do they conclude this??  Short answer = "It's all about LOVE".  = God is loving/ God loves love/ we should be loving/ "all you need is Love"

ANSWER: = on one hand that is true.  On the other hand, love not always tolerant, permissive, nice
Love does not permit/promote what is wrong/harmful

If Bible is God's revelation, love is not always sweet and nice.

Issue of same sex marriage does NOT stand alone.  Is surrounded by/determined by greater issues - for example.

The issue of....
1)  Morality - is Right/Wrong?

2)  Authority - who decides right/wrong?
If answer = God ... then the issue of ...

3)  Discovery - how do we discover what He's established?

4)  Personal Practice - how do I apply these rules/laws to my life...

5)  Relational Practice - how do I relate to others - especially those who disagree with me on these issues?

6)  Obedience/Submission  to a civil government in contradiction to God's law? - how will we respond and act to this.

1.  Only thing new here = issue of same sex marriage and its legality, etc.
ALL REST (big issues) = old as Abraham!!!!

2.  God is NOT surprised/shocked/taken aback/over-ruled --
IF He ever WAS God .. He Still is!!!

3.  The law of the land has changed - our calling has NOT = same as yesterday/last month/ etc. 

So, on one hand, the same sex marriage issue stands before you...
On the other hand, the greater issue = WILL you ... Seek/submit to/serve God
If so... you;ll get past SSM issue - just fine!!!

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