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Entries in Equality (2)


Same-Sex Marriage: Is It Really About Fairness & Equality?

We continue this week talking about the issue of “same-sex marriage.”  Today we are going to deal with the issue that is often raised concerning fairness and equality.  “You get to marry who you want.  So keeping us from marrying is unfair.”  Or another way this may be approached is to say, “Marriage is a good thing that you are keeping homosexuals from experiencing.  It isn’t fair to keep such a good thing from us.”

Being how marriage is an institution of God and not mankind or government, it is important for believers to not be drawn into emotional arguments that sound good.  Thus we all would agree that it would be wrong to keep people from a good thing.  However, in this case, it is not the good that they seek that is being objected.  Rather, it is the changing of that good thing, marriage, into something different then it was made to be.

Today I am going to take some time to walk through Romans 1 and 2 in order to deal with this charge that Christians (and therefore also God) are not being fair or treating homosexuals as equal.  Clearly, God rejects homosexuality as a good and proper expression of sexuality.  Thus the argument is not about fairness.  It truly is about propriety and the definition of what is “good” sexually.  For Christians this is defined by God, not the passions and desires of an individual or a majority of society.  Let’s go to Romans 1:18.

God Has Judged Homosexual Relations To Be Immoral

Now Romans 1 is going to make some clear statements about the perversion of homosexuality.  However, it doesn’t begin there.  In verse 18 Paul points out that God’s wrath is made clear against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.  So homosexuality is not the only thing that God judges to be sin.  Notice that those who pursue ungodliness (both homosexual and heterosexual) unrighteously suppress the truth.  Obviously if you want to pursue your own passions against God’s Word then you will not like the Truth of God.  Thus there is a clear attempt to restrain and hold truth down.  This happens to both the special revelation we are given in the Bible and in the general revelation that we are given through nature.  This is what Paul points to next.

In verses 19-20 Paul points to the general knowledge we can obtain from nature.  It is obvious, unless you have an ulterior motive, that there is a great intelligence behind the design and system of the universe.  It is also obvious that this intellect is extremely powerful.  Lastly this intellect is divine, that is, beyond creation.  He is God.  God has left his signature all over His creation so that men who do not recognize His existence, power, and divinity, are without excuse.
Now verses 22-23 show that the rejection and suppression of Truth has a negative effect upon the heart and mind of any person.  First of all their thoughts become empty or futile.  This isn’t intended to mean that they can’t accomplish anything and are stupid.  The idea of futile is being used of where their thinking will lead in the end.  So their thinking may build towers greater than Nimrod, but their rebellion and rejection of God will come to nothing in the end.  Thus their thinking is futile.  Also, their hearts will be darkened.  This is a picture of no internal light.  Without truth we are left to operate on lies, phantoms, myths, unrealities, in short, insanity.

This leads to verses 24-25.  When a person or society reaches this point of a darkened heart led by futile thinking as a result of suppressing Truth, God hands them over to the vile passions that are pent up in their flesh and heart.   Notice that they exchange truth for a lie.  Instead of embracing the God who created them, they embrace a lie.  “God’s judgments are wrong and not fair.  Thus he is either evil, or he doesn’t really exist.”  Whichever direction you go you are embracing a lie.  Many religious people have embraced a lie instead of embracing the Truth of God.  Also, many atheists and secular humanists have embraced a lie as well.  It all boils down to rejection of God and embrace of “not god.”

Next they worship the created things instead of the Creator.  Man has been designed with the need and desire to worship.  Thus those who rebel religiously create God in their own image or after things of the material world.  Those who rebel secularly generally worship themselves or at best an image of what they can become without God/Truth. Ultimately, all of this is the same path that Satan took millennia ago.  Whether they are a Satanist or not, those who exalt their own will above that of God’s, walk in his footsteps.  “I will do what I will!!!!”

The word that is used twice “God gave them over” is the picture of a transfer of a person.  They are handed over to vile passions in the way that a prisoner would be handed over in extradition.  A boundary has been crossed.  By stepping away, God hands them over to a tyrant that cannot be satisfied, their own vile passions.  Thus starting in verse 26 we find that the rise of homosexuality in a society is increased to the degree that God has handed it over.  It is a red-flag sin.  It speaks to a level of depravity that ought to shock us into turning back to God.  It is the ultimate rejection of God because it rejects the obvious design and intent of nature.  It screams, “I will not be defined by anything, not even the reality of the material world.  I will be what I want to be!!!”

Let me point out that in verse 32, Paul points to not just the existence of these evil, self-driven things in society, but also the approval of them as a problem.  Here in Washington State we have moved past the point of the existence of homosexuality.  We have even moved past the point of an overall social acceptance of it.  Now we have reached a point where society at large is being challenged to approve of it.  This will not end until the Church embraces homosexuality, our society repents and turns back, or God judges us.  This is where we are.

Just Who Is Being Unfair?

This leads us to Romans 2.  Here Paul talks about people who judge others breaking those same laws.  This is what is happening in those who actually dare to judge God himself.  Those who accuse God and his people of being unfair are unfair themselves.  They use political ploys to have laws struck down and others passed.  And then they use strong-arm techniques both politically and socially to silence the opposition and enforce acceptance.  Three years ago, in our own state, we had the passing of civil union legislation that was billed as “everything except marriage.”  How many people voted for that law because they wanted to be fair and yet now find themselves trying to defend making a line at calling it “marriage.”  Who is forcing whom?  The current same-sex marriage law was encouraged by a Governor who knew they wouldn’t be up for re-election.  The law itself pretends to protect clergy and churches, however, adds several legal avenues of later prosecution.  You cannot continue to offer marriage as a service to the public without putting yourself in jeopardy.  Also, the definition of discrimination is added to same-sex couples.  Thus they leave the door open for pursuing legal action down the road upon the basis that it is wrong for clergy and churches to discriminate.

At issue here is a warped sense of fairness.  Typically what is meant in this argument is fairness of outcome rather than fairness of judgment.  Thus the social enforcers try to make all have the same outcome.  Everyone can marry any way they want to whomever they want and everyone should accept it as Fair (at least as an outcome).  However, you will notice that many of the judgments that lead up to enforcing such fairness of outcome will be anything but fair or just.  A case in point, is socialism.  In order to achieve a desired goal of fair income/wealth for all they support redistribution schemes that trash fairness at all possible points.  So you will find those who work hard and are rewarded with income and wealth will be penalized and some who refuse to work will benefit from the penalty of the previous.  I know this an oversimplification.  But to say it doesn’t happen is an injustice itself.  In the name of fairness we will FORCE society to accept a perverse sexuality as normal and acceptable.

Final Thoughts

Paul says in 11-12 of chapter 2 that God does not play favorites.  In other words in the true sense of the term he is fair and just.  He is righteous and good in his judgments.  He holds us accountable for what we have known.  Thus some trapped in homosexuality may have a better chance of being saved then some hypocritical Christians opposing it.

Christian brothers and sisters, we can stand for Truth without losing sight of people’s need for the Gospel.  Homosexuals need to understand that it is not just that sin that is under judgment.  It is all sin.  And God’s judgment is coming.  We ALL need to admit our sins and flee to Jesus Christ for salvation.

Lastly, we need to operate out of love for the lost and not fear of what we might lose.  If this law passes, I do not have to fear.  The faith that has been passed down to us by godly people and the relationship we have with the Father has passed the test of many wicked and depraved generations.  Maranatha!

Same Sex Marriage: Fairness audio


All Men Are Created Equal

Today I want to look at the phrase, “all men are created equal.”  You should recognize it as being from our Declaration of Independence.  A fuller quote is: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights;…”  I believe it is important for Christians to be biblical in how they view this statement.

Clearly the equality that is being recognized is not that of strength, wealth, or abilities.  When we compare these things there seems to be great inequality.  So the founders had something more fundamental than our physical nature.  That said, it was commonly expressed that even these physical differences were not so great that they couldn’t be overcome by the mental prowess or collaboration of the weak.  In other words the differences were not enough to elevate the strong, rich, and able to a higher status (gods among men),  Despite the differences we are still all humans and must deal with the realities and limitations of what that entails.

In Acts 17 Paul is waiting in Athens, Greece for Silas and Timothy to join him.  He had fled the northern area of Thessalonica and Berea due to violent opposition to his teaching.  While he was there he began to talk with his fellow Jews in the synagogues and with Gentiles in the marketplace.  At some point he is invited to speak further about his teachings at a special forum in Athens where the philosophers of that day would pit there views against each other.  In verses 22-32 we have an address that Paul gives in this forum.  I believe it will be quite instructive in regard to our topic.

All People Are Equal In Origin

In verse 24 Paul points out that there is a God who created all peoples and all things.  This Creator is being referenced in the phrase, “all men are created equal.” Thus the Creator is the God of every nation, peoples, or individuals, whether they understand that or not.  The Greeks worshipped a multitude of gods, but Paul points out that they do not know their Creator.  This God is in no need of anything from us.  However, He does receive worship from those who will worship Him from the heart and in Spirit.

Now, the foundation of evolution rejects the idea of a creator.  But putting that aside, evolution has always contended that some species are more advanced than others.  Historically this has included what we call “races” today.  Thus it promoted the idea that some races are more superior then others.  The Bible rejects this idea.  All men come from the same Creator and through the same creation.  Let’s take this a bit deeper.

All People Are Equal In Their Humanity

Paul goes on to say at the end of verse 25, that God is the source of everyone’s life, breath, and all things.  Thus humans are all dependent on God for everything.  In verse 26 he points out that we are all from one blood.  The Bible traces all mankind back to a single couple, Adam and Eve.  Though time, environment and procreation have developed variations within the human species, we are still of one blood. In our modern scientific age we have been able to determine that most differences between “races” are cultural and not biological.  Only .2% of the DNA code differs among peoples of the world and only .012% has impact upon those things we label as race.  On top of this a person needing an organ donor may be a better match with a person of another race than another of his own.

We are all part of the same human family.  It is difficult to hold a family together once it goes past 3 generations.  There is a part of us that laments this and tries to work against it.  But the sheer size and geographical spread work against us.  In a sense all of us, no matter how different in looks and customs, come from the same Great, Great, …..Grand father/mother.  The sheer size makes it impossible to be close.  But it doesn’t mean we have to see the others as somehow less human, or inferior to us.

Paul points out that it was God who appointed the nations and set their limits.  Now the term nation here is not associated with skin color.  It is a term that points to those who have common culture and customs.  Even the term “race” in the English language was not associated with skin color until recent years.  It was used to describe the differences between the Brits, Normans, Irish, Scots etc…  These were all different races thought they had the same skin color.  Why?  Because their culture, history, and customs were different.  Biblically speaking it is language that makes the biggest difference among mankind not skin color.  All people regardless of where they come are equally human and have an equal right to exist upon this planet.

All People Are Equal In Their Need

In Acts 17:27-31, Paul points out several needs that all mankind have.  First, we all have the need to find God.  As much as we may disagree with God’s decision to confuse the languages, its intent is that those differences might cause us to search for him.  The term “grope” conjures the image of a blind man feeling for something.

Secondly, God is not far from any of us.  Yes, he is far in light of our limitations.  But he is not far from us in the sense that everything we have comes from him.  He is our source of everything.

Thus in verse 30 he points out that we have all been ignorant of God’s way.  Even Israel, who had been given much light, as a whole was ignorant to God’s way.  Thus God, knowing our blindness and limitations, comes near to us in Jesus Christ.  He makes himself known to not just one race, but to all.  Thus the Gospel through men like Paul goes out to the groping nations.  All nations need to repent of their ignorant ways and customs and turn to God in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

In fact, all nations will be judged by Christ at an appointed future time.  God has assured us of this by raising Jesus from the dead.

Let me close with these thoughts.  Modern technology has not only made the world smaller but it has made culture go global.  Kids from all over the world are beginning to have the same music interests, movie interests, and fashion styles.  How ought we as biblical believers live out this statement that “all men are equal?”

First, we should drop any sense of racial or cultural superiority.  All of our cultures have ungodly things within them.  Let us learn the lesson from Israel that pride and superiority always leads to a fall.  This does not mean that we should blindly accept all aspects of other cultures as worthy of respect.  But neither should we be blind to the aspects of our own culture that are not honorable.

Second, we should recognize the need of all people to know God.  God is not the white man’s god.  Nor is there a black god, red god, etc…  There is one God over all nations, no matter how far their culture may have gone away from him.

Third, refuse to be baited into ethnic rivalries through bigotry or politics.

Lastly, do not focus on non-moral differences between cultures.  They are irrelevant.  Grace and Peace in the name of Jesus Christ.



All Men Created Equal Audio