Definitions, Doctrine, and Destiny
A Christian minister of influence looked at the reporter, and with gracious spirit, shared that he would not perform marriages for persons of the same sex. For him, he explained, to do so would be a sin against God, and thus, he could not do it. He was aware of the legalizing of such marriages by the United States Supreme Court. His conviction, however, was firm.
The minister based his affirmation on the words of the holy Scriptures. Believing these Scriptures to be the divinely inspired guide to faith and practice, to him, it was inconceivable that words found in the Torah would be disregarded by the substitution of a new conception, a new definition of marriage.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them (Gen. 1:27). And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead . . . And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. . . . Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh (2:21-22, 24).
Significant words; words of Creator design, of profound—and clear—meaning. God’s setting forth the understanding of marriage, of His intent for marriage—crystal clear.
Creator design was also a basis on which the minister based his conviction.
He noted that even the created human anatomical design spoke its own message. Involved in this, of course, is Creator design for procreation, the continuance of the human family. In this design, it still takes a male sperm and a female egg to bring a baby human into this world. 🙂
The Apostle Paul, inspired writer of the book of Romans, wrote of human knowledge of the power and nature of God as understood from what has been made. Knowledge of the Creator is gained by His work in creation.
With the gift of intelligence that He granted to the human family, there is an implication here that both from natural revelation (what the human family understands from nature), as well as the special revelation He granted through the inspired Scriptures, His created human beings “are without excuse” (Rom. 1:20).
The Christian Church through 2,000 years of history has functioned on the basis of God’s definition of marriage.
Western civilization has for hundreds of years affirmed this understanding as stated early in the pages of the Old Testament.
From whence has come the redefinition of “marriage” within the last few years—very few—in Western societies?
Beyond the source(s) of this “new morality” is the larger question of whose is humankind and to whom does it answer? Is the One who created this family, who created the universe, including the earth, who instituted marriage, who created the partner right and appropriate for the man, who placed them together in Eden’s shalom – is He the One who has ownership, “credentials”, authority to establish its definition, its nature, its morals?
Are we to understand that . . .
Leaders of the human family have the prerogative to establish a moral agenda for themselves—one now “enlightened”—one that, according to this “new morality” should have been discovered by the human family in the ages past?
What does this portend as to our understanding of the Creator—of His Person, His character, His design? Per this new social awareness as conveyed by academics, societal leaders, government officials, and a major percentage of the Western media, apparently the Creator needs to be schooled on how things really are on this earth. On several redefinitions now in the dictionaries. And on how gender and sexuality issues are supposed to be. Hmm . . . the Creator of it all!
It is one matter for society to recognize that in a sin-broken, morally fallen world there are abberations, abnormalities that occur (the very designation suggests not the norm). One example in current focus is “intersex people . . . born with ‘sex chromosomes,’ external genitalia, or internal reproductive systems that are not considered “standard” for either male or female.”
It is quite another matter for the “new agenda” to be sure that the “I” is now included in the LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, and Intersex) “normal” line up; and to purport, “The existence of intersexuals shows that there are not just two sexes and that our ways of thinking about sex (trying to force everyone to fit into either the male box or the female box) is socially constructed.”
Well may we ask what is here truly being purported to our Maker and to our world?
What are the full ramifications of this profession for the present and for the future of the human family? How are our young people to understand Creator-designed sexuality and morality as they wrestle through adolescence into adulthood? How might it play—with the Creator and in society—for parents to have sessions with their adolescent children to explain to them that in today’s “enlightened” world they have several options (quite more than two!) for how they wish to identify themselves and how they wish to express their sexuality for their particular lifestyle.
Shifting moral landscape . . .
As from the Creator? Or from . . . ?
The age of “experimentation”, of the “better way”, of “there’s much more to be explored and experienced” has washed, and is washing, over Western societies—moving at an exponential pace before our very eyes. Societies have “progressed” (or is it more like regressed?) their way back to Eden – to the result of the enemy’s question, “Did God really mean what He said?” Hmm. . .
This moving landscape was highlighted in my last post.
It is the case that numerous “leaders” of societies, including many who sit in professoral chairs educating the youth of various Western cultures, have fully embraced the new agenda. Legal, governmental, and media initiatives continue pressing it forward. The agenda includes pressing Judeo-Christian values as understood for millennia, including pressure upon the Church.
There are Church leaders, like the minister noted at the start of this post, who firmly, while graciously, state their position as founded upon the holy Scriptures and the understanding of the Christian Church for 2,000 years. Other leaders, supposedly “Christian”, have embraced the new agenda. Who are our young people—and all in our societies—supposed to believe?
I listened a few years ago as a liberal reporter pressed an Anglican Bishop from the Caribbean regarding the issue of the Church adopting a new agenda that would recognize and affirm same-sex marriage. The bishop clearly stated his position as understood historically by the Christian faith. As a brief way to summarily conclude the statement of his biblical beliefs to the reporter as regards human sexuality and marriage, he simply noted, “God made Adam and Eve—not Adam and Steve.”
Others of that tradition, however, have fully embraced the new agenda. In 2013 another Anglican, Bishop Desmond Tutu, in this case the retired Archbishop of the Anglican Church in South Africa, made public his statement that he does not want to go to a heaven that is homophobic.
“No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place.”
He went on to say,
“I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this.”
Dr. Albert Mohler, referencing this 2013 statement of Archbishop Tutu in “The Briefing” of 19 September, commented, “So what you have there tragically enough is testimony of the fact that this moral revolution when it works its way inevitably to the hardest theological questions means, as Desmond Tutu understood, a total redefinition of the doctrine of God.”
Are we to understand that the major agenda that has “redefined” marriage, including many aspects of human sexuality and morality, is achieving also the goal of scrambling the underpinnings of Judeo-Christian belief—thus also a “theological revolution”?
As I write of these matters, I seek God’s heart of compassion for those persons who have been caught in the web of sin.
As the “new agenda” has been released and pressed upon cultures of our world many have been taken with its “novel” freedoms. Many lives have been and will continue to be affected – some without understanding the full ramifications for their own lives, their families, their communities, and for society at large. Then again, perhaps some understand quite well what this truly means.
But for those who have been swept up in the wave without sufficient understanding of all the ramifications, and who turn to Him, the grace of Christ, the Christus Victor, conqueror over sin, is powerful, is far-reaching. For those who confess their sins, penitently turn from them, and open their lives to Christ’s transforming power, they find forgiveness, a new plane of living, shalom.
Such is the Gospel (John 3:16). Powerful through the ages—still so today!
To the One who died, that we might be made spiritually alive—praises, praises!
He is our shalom! (Ephesians 2:14)
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 Dr. Albert Mohler’s “The Briefing” of 19 September 2017.