Monday, September 1, 2014

Pro/Con: same-sex marriage

EDITORS NOTE: In lieu of the Champion’s weekly “From the Desk” article, we present a debate on the topic of same-sex marriage. Along with the recent Supreme Court deliberation of the Defense of Marriage Act has come credible arguments from both sides. Though both of this article’s contributors are members of the Champion staff, the views presented are solely their own and do not reflect the official viewpoint of the newspaper or Liberty University itself.

Christians are called to love, not to judge

With the recent news that two same-sex marriage cases made it to the Supreme Court, people have been angrily voicing their opinions on both sides of the debate.

As a Bible-believing Christian, I feel much pressure from my conservative friends to begin protesting against the “atrocity” of homosexual marriage.

Cassidy

However, as an independent thinker, my mind leads me elsewhere.

I support same-sex marriage. While this notion might get me shunned in certain circles that would otherwise welcome me with open arms, I stand firm in my opinion.

Before you gather your pitchforks and quote the Bible, let me explain.

Believing that homosexuality is correct and allowing two people to sign a contract claiming that they will not separate are two different matters.

The first deals not only with biblical faith and conviction, but also common sense.

Obviously, humans were not physically created to be homosexual. The secular individuals who claim that they were are refuted by their very own evolutionary belief system. We have all had the birds and the bees talk, and we all know that two members of the same sex cannot procreate to complete the species-sustaining life that evolutionists claim is the only purpose of existence.

For Christians, understanding that homosexuality is unnatural is much easier to accept than not, but that viewpoint also comes with bigotry and a misunderstanding of the biblical truth that we so often quote.

Same-gender coitus is a sin, yes. But just as Jesus showed us with a bit of writing in the sand and the pardoning of an adulterous woman in John 8, only he has the authority to judge.

Everyone has sinned, and all sins are equal in the Lord’s eyes, because they are all perversions of original perfection. Consider yourself — you liars, cheaters, those with impure thoughts — on an equal playing field with homosexuality.

Now that the notion of homosexuality being unnatural is addressed, allow me to describe the differences between this egotistical belief that humans have the authority to deny anyone anything based on faith, and why Christians do indeed have the right to protest against same-sex marriage.

The connotations that come with the term “marriage” have interesting implications.

While I have neither the knowledge nor the space to address the complete history of marriage, I can say this: marriage, as it has been practiced in the industrial, Western world, originated as a religious affair.

It is true that other cultures outside of Christianity and Judaism have had semblances of marriage. However, at its founding, the United States primarily discussed marriage as the joining of two people — one man and one woman — under God.

It is here that those spewing hate toward Christians get lost.

Under God, a man and another man joining together as one is an “abomination.” Christians try to stay as true to the Bible as we possibly can, and as clear as the writing on the wall was, the forbidding of homosexual relationships shines through much of the Old Testament.

However, Christians do not understand that many of these same-sex marriage proposals are purely for equal treatment in society and are not meant to be religious affairs.

Protests against same-sex marriage on the basis of marriage being a biblical tradition might have held some ground in this debate had Christians kept true to the notion that marriage is the union of one man and one woman under God.

Once we allowed marriage to become a secular tradition open to atheists and agnostics alike, we made it available to all people. It became an equal-rights debate determined by the government, and not the joining of two lives in the name of God.

Should same-sex marriage be made a legality, it should not be performed in the church, under God, as God would not approve of such a union.

However, legally being married should be of no concern to anyone other than the two parties at hand.

As Christians, we need to practice what Jesus showed us better than anyone else — love.

Not all Christians are bigots who only wish to seek retribution for something they know little about. Likewise, not all non-believers are Christian-hating atheists who wish only to crucify us.

In democracy, Christians should vote for God’s laws

As a Bible-believing Christian, God’s word defines my view of everything, including same-sex marriage.

I admit that I am not a free thinker. My worldview is narrow-minded. I read my Bible, and I do what it says to the best of my ability. I am a slave to Christ. I understand it is not popular.

Harvey

In Romans 1, the apostle Paul wrote to the Roman church, addressing sin in the culture.

In verse 24, Paul established the root of homosexuality: “… they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator…” (ESV)

In verse 25, Paul concludes that those evil desires are at odds with God’s natural order: “God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another…” (ESV)
Verse 26 escalates the consequences of sin: “Men committed shameless acts with men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” (ESV)

What we are witnessing in American culture today is the same thing that Paul saw in Roman culture.

Some may read this and say that arguing against homosexuality is sidestepping the issue of marriage rights, but the two are inseparable.

In a democracy, the people decide laws based on what they believe to be true. Why would Christians not use an opportunity to cast votes to support biblical truths? If we are a democracy, what makes anything we — or anyone else — have to say any more or less valid in the public square?

It is a question of how badly Christians desire to see God’s institutions supported by their government. Should we not desire the best laws?

For Christians to endorse or condone the practice of same-sex marriage is an unnecessary departure from the pursuit of holiness. To count homosexuality as a sin and yet affirm same-sex marriage is a contradiction.

Call it freedom of choice, freedom of religion, freedom of speech or civil rights — whatever you like. The fact is, the American people have created a culture where the truth looks wrong, and sin looks normal — in the name of progress.

To accept truth as relative to society’s whims is letting sinners decide — whether in court or at the ballot box — what is moral.

Neither Christians nor non-Christians created morality — God did.

The consequence of an individual’s sin is death, but God judges society too. For evidence, check out the stories of Sodom and Gomorrah, or that of Noah and the rest of the planet.

America already has a shameful record of departing from God-given institutions. Embracing evolution, for instance, has devalued life in America.

A lower view of life has lead to decisions made in the name of “choice” and “reproductive rights” that have allowed for the merciless killing of millions of unborn babies.

Same-sex marriage will have far-reaching implications. Outside of complicated and expensive procedures that circumvent nature, same-sex unions will not produce children. As a result, the nuclear family will decline.

The other column brought up John 8. A liberal Christian will examine the way Jesus handled the situation and deduce that the message is for Christians not to judge others.

This is a correct deduction, but to suggest that to avoid casting judgment requires accepting sin is not correct.

In John 8:10, Jesus says, ‘Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?’ ‘No, Lord,’ she said. And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I. Go and sin no more.’”

How do we fit Jesus’ admonition to “sin no more” into our decision to simply accept others’ sinful choices?
The beauty of what Jesus did in his gentle rebuke was the fact that he offered redemption. That redemption is available to all people — homosexual and straight — when we turn from our sin and place our faith in Jesus.

If we truly believe, as the Bible teaches in Romans 6:23, that the wages of sin is death, then is not calling sin, sin the most compassionate thing we can do for the world? Supporting laws that legitimize homosexuality will not help people recognize their error.

It may be unwelcome now, but I believe it is the far more merciful thing to warn someone who is walking off a cliff than to ignore their plight in the name of freedom of religion and watch them plunge right over it.

6 Comments

  1. The author in support of same-sex marriage doesn’t do a very good job of defining what marriage is. It seems that all she is supporting is some kind of contractual agreement between two parties for a purely legal purpose. Unfortunately that definition is not what is being pursued and it is not what she is supporting by her assent to their cause.
    The same-sex marriage lobbies are certainly looking to have their ceremonies performed in a church under the sign of the cross. They will not settle for anything less. The legal contractual agreement has been established in many states, but without fail the same-sex marriage lobbies pushed for more – namely “marriage.”
    They want to have cultural acceptance, not a civil arrangement. They want to have marriage (that, however, is impossible because same-sex marriage is a contradiction of terms.
    Marriage – everywhere and in all times it has been practiced – is a union of one man and one woman for life. It is unprecedented to try to change that very basic definition. So what the author is really advocating in her piece is oxymoronic.
    It is also a very poor witness. To hold to the claim that same-sex sexual relations are sinful, and yet to legitimize them by inventing a new form of marriage is self-defeating. If you want to reach out to people and love them, then you must speak up and speak out against the things that will condemn them to hell (namely sin). The author listed several other sins which are on par with homosexual intercourse – I would add theft to her list. (Let me think about where these two are mentioned together in the Bible – 1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
    Theft is a sin, and it will separate those who practice it from the Kingdom of Heaven. Should we call theft sin? Yes, we should. Would the author advocate for making theft legal? Of course not. But what about online piracy? Would she legitimize that form of theft? There are many who would, and yet call themselves Christians.
    The problem with legitimizing or legalizing theft in the form of online piracy is that you are calling sin good. The Bible clearly warns against that. It will also give those who are committing the sin a false sense of innocence when they are really guilty.
    So my point is this: If you legitimize homosexual intercourse in the form of marriage you are calling that which is evil good. The Bible clearly warns against this. Furthermore, you will give those who are engaging in homosexual intercourse a false sense of innocence and they will not come to repentance. This is the most hateful thing you can possibly do.
    I do think it is the most hateful thing you can possibly do. These men and women who are living in depraved lifestyles will be condemned to hell forever if they do not repent. Think about how horrific that is. They will burn eternally in a lake of fire. That is horrific. (Re-watch Convocation from 4/22/13 – Tony Nolan)
    We must hold up the word of God and show the way of salvation! That is our duty. Stand firm and hold up the truth. Defend the truth. Show the truth. This is the way of love. It is the only way to bring them to salvation – through truth. To call what they do marriage is to lie. To say it is not that bad and that they will be ok is a lie. To lie to them and condemn their souls to hell is evil.
    Hold up the word of truth. Gently and honestly tell them what they are doing is wrong and that they will be punished. For an example of how to do this, re-watch convocation from 3/29/13 (Kay Arthur).

    Comment by Sean — April 22, 2013 @ 4:55 pm

  2. Dear Ms. Tabitha Cassidy,

    I agree that as Christians we need to make a better effort of reflecting God’s love toward homosexuals, and that dialogue is often missing in Christian circles. After all, we are all sinners in need of God’s grace (1 Timothy 1:15). However, we are not called to just be one-dimensional Christians who only love, but we are also called to share God’s grace and truth in its full context.

    Now, I am not going to pick up a stone or run for my pitchfork (I don’t have one since I’m from Jersey :), but I will certainly run to God’s Word for guidance, which is wise (Proverbs 4; Ps 119-127-28). When we rely on our own words or thoughts they are often flawed (Isaiah 55:6-9) and result in problems. What we need is for God’s words of love and truth to permeate more than our own words (Ephesians 4:14-15).

    As a matter of fact, the central issue here doesn’t revolve around Christians, as much as it does around homosexuals. What matters here is the impact this position has on homosexuals, what is in their best interests, and what is beneficial to our society as a whole. There is one problem with the premise of your argument here, it assumes that by condoning homosexuality and supporting same-sex marriage that we are loving homosexuals, but in fact that’s not the truth. When we recognize that a sinful behavior exists and don’t seek to set the captives free (Isaiah 42:6-8), we are allowing homosexuals to remain under the bondage of the devil. When we do this we are actually harming homosexuals rather than loving them (1 Corinthians 13:6). The same can be said for polygamy, alcoholism, pedophilia, lust, etc. To love homosexuals and any other sinner is to actually speak truth in love and warn them that the sinful lifestyle that they are living in is actually destructive and deceitfully not in their best interests. Not only for this life, but eternally!

    During my last three years here at Liberty, both through FB and my interactions with friends on campus, I have really come to notice this problem that we have as Christians of failing to share the fullness of God’s truth in its proper context. If this is the measure of the Church in the future, then we are really in trouble and will fall short of fulfilling the mission that God has called us to of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
    May God speak to each of us through His Word and the power of His Holy Spirit so that we can sincerely reflect His truth in love!

    Sincerely,

    David A.
    3L Student

    Comment by David — April 24, 2013 @ 12:57 am

  3. Very well thought out and explained. Great job!

    Comment by DL Dotson — April 30, 2013 @ 11:18 pm

  4. Thanks to the separation of church an state, the government will never be able to force churches to perform Gay marriages, and churches will never be able to force the government not to recognize Gay marriage. Problem solved.

    Comment by Chuck Anziulewicz — August 10, 2013 @ 11:04 am

  5. It is happening, as I knew it would. My Alma Mater is turning the corner toward liberalism. Love is not shown by ignoring sin. What happened to that idea of being the salt of the earth which was espoused by some great savior named Jesus Christ? I truly have neither the time or energy tonight to go deeper in this commentary. Suffice it to say that if Dr. Falwell were still in his grave, he would be rolling over.

    Comment by Curt Costello — August 21, 2013 @ 11:00 pm

  6. […] by Kyle Harvey, Tabitha Cassidy. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website […]

    Pingback by Pro/Con: Same-Sex Marriage | The Law Office of JW Brooks — September 16, 2013 @ 11:05 am

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