September 18, 2014

Dear Liberty,

     There is an incredible push in America demanding everyone accept same sex marriage whether they agree with it or not.  An overwhelming number of states, including the ultra-liberal California, have voted to honor the traditional definition of marriage.  However, agenda driven judges are overturning these laws created by the people on a regular basis, which completely ignores the rights of the people to govern themselves.

     The majority of Americans, like myself, are not trying to deprive same sex couples of anything. We are merely following the laws of God.  We are told in the beginning, God created Adam, and then Eve from him, "That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh."  (Genesis 2:24)  

     God went further in the 4th Commandment instructing us to "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you."  It is obvious God expected a child to have a mother and father, because the strength of the family unit supports itself.  If that unit is broken down, it increases the chances that the individuals will not  turn their reliance on each other, but on the government.

     The true biblical reason for marriage is to reveal to us that Christ is the groom and his church is his bride.  In Jesus’ time, the marriage promise began when a man and woman were engaged.  The groom would leave the bride with her family and go to prepare a house for the couple.  The bride waited for him, remaining faithful and pure.  Upon the groom’s return he would officially marry his bride and take her to their new home.   This is what Christ meant when he told his disciples that he was going away "to prepare a place for them," and would soon return for them.  

     Heaven is that place, our eternal home, and Jesus will come again to collect believers to take back to Paradise.  Our pastor reiterated this comparison the night of our wedding rehearsal, emphasizing that your daddy was representing Christ on our wedding day.  I, while wearing white to show my innocence and purity, represented the church.  This analogy made our wedding vows and ceremony so much more meaningful, important, and eloquent.  This is why Christians cannot, in good conscience, celebrate the overt defiance of this significant institution by saying gay marriage is fine with God.

     Many people do not believe in all of this mumbo jumbo.  To them the Bible is nothing more than silly stories.  They argue that we should be more accepting and tolerant towards others.  Yet they refuse to accept or tolerate my faith, my beliefs and my traditions?  I understand the desire of a homosexual person to want to bond and share their life with the person they love.  They want the right to visit their loved one in the hospital, have legal parental rights, or have the same health and death benefits as a married couple.  I'm fine with that.  Those are legal issues.  That’s why I support civil unions that give gays and lesbians these important benefits.  What I object to is this relentless attack on the sanctity of marriage, which was instituted by God, not by government.

     But the truth is, the gay marriage movement isn’t about gay rights at all, but rather the destruction of traditional marriage.  Masha Gessen, a leader in the gay marriage movement, gave a speech in 2012 admitting this was not about gay marriage, but about breaking up the traditional family and eradicating marriage altogether.  (see Marriage It What Brings Us Together Today)

     That being said, I cannot ignore God's statements regarding homosexuality.  God loves all His children.  He wants every one of them to live in eternity with Him.  But to do that one must first accept Christ as their Lord and Savior and repent from sinful desires.  If you continue in purposeful sinning, you are rejecting the Word of the LORD.  Repentance is your response to your natural sins.   Many excuse homosexual behavior by stating, “I’m born this way.”  Would that be an acceptable excuse for a murderer, a thief, a rapist, a child molester?  If you do not repent, you can not be forgiven.  If you are not forgiven, you can not receive the benefits of Christ covering those sins for you.  He died for everyone's sins, but if you do not repent then you are rejecting the blessing of that forgiveness.

     As a Christian we are faced today with the pressure from media, Hollywood, politicians, and peers to keep our mouths shut and not only accept sinful living but to celebrate it.  We are told if we don't we are not loving people.  But how is it loving to allow someone to condemn themselves to Hell just so they don't have to feel uncomfortable here on Earth?  (see What Is Love?)  Many churches are accepting practicing homosexuals in their folds, and even in their pulpits, telling their congregation that God is ok with it.  If they are truly following the words of God then these verses should be burning in their hearts:

Leviticus 18:22 - "Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin."

Leviticus 20:13 - "If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense."

Romans 1:24-27 - “So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other's bodies. They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.  That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.”

     For those that argue that the Bible was written for a different time, perhaps you should read the Romans’ passage again. It sounds as if Paul was writing an editorial in the newspaper today.

     But it’s important to realize that it’s not just homosexuality that God condemns, it is all sexual sin. He puts these sins on the same level as lying, cheating, stealing, murder, abuse, coveting, idol worship, and the like.  God judges a heterosexual couple living together outside of marriage the same way he judges a homosexual couple.  Both acts are jeopardizing the possibility of obtaining eternal life.  A man who preys on women is just as detested as the man who preys on other men.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 - “Don't you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don't fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people-none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

Matthew 15:18-20 - “But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man unclean.  For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.  These are what make a man unclean; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him unclean.”

Galatians 5:19-23 - "When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!"

     These are only just a few of the verses discussing the issue.  Some try to argue that Jesus would love and accept homosexuals anyway.  I agree.  He definitely loves them, but because He loves them He would not overlook their behavior.  When he saved the adulteress from stoning he did not tell her to continue her sinful life.  He told her, “Go and sin no more.”  

     But Christ also spoke on marriage, making it clear that as God He defined marriage as:

Mark 10:6-9 - (Jesus said) “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female’.  For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.  So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

     He specifically noted God made male and female. They should be united and no one should separate them.  This does not mean that we hate those who choose not to follow this command, but Christians deserve the right to hold this belief, live by this belief, and not be forced to defy this belief.

     There used to be a sign in many businesses saying, "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone."  Today, however, we are hearing more and more reports of homosexuals suing businesses because the Christian owners refused to go against their religious freedoms and recognize a gay wedding.  If someone didn't want to provide a service for my wedding, why would I sue them for it?  Why would I want to force someone whose heart is not in it to participate in one of the most important days of my life?  Should I go to a Mosque and ask a Mullah to perform a wedding in the name of Christ?  Should I sue him if he fails to provide the service?  It’s obvious that doing so is inherently wrong, and yet liberal/progressive judges are ignoring business' rights and siding with the complainants.  The truth is that one’s rights end where someone else’s begins.  Why should someone’s sexual orientation trump another’s faith and beliefs?  Religious freedom does not evaporate just because an individual runs a business.  

     As examples, recently a bakery was sued for refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding as well as a Bed & Breakfast for not allowing a gay wedding in their home.  In both cases the owners were Christians and believed supporting a gay wedding went against their faith.  The media ripped the businesses apart, failing to report that the bakery made cakes and other treats for homosexuals for other events. They simply would not make a wedding cake for a gay marriage.  The B&B had no problem hosting wedding receptions and housing gay couples, they just did not want the wedding to take place in their house.  Both businesses were ruled against and forced to pay fines to the plaintiffs. In both cases the owners have chosen to discontinue their disputed services rather than go against their beliefs.  They may have lost income, but not their morals and certainly not their souls.  

     If we are suppose to be more tolerant, why do we see so little tolerance from those that shout it the loudest?  Tolerance means to accept me as I am.  I am a Christian.  My faith, like that of Jews and Muslims, is that marriage is between a man and a woman.  We believe that God instituted marriage, not governments.  So why do you attack me for my beliefs?  I simply ask that you be more tolerant and accepting of those different from you.

     Of course, that’s just my 2 cents.