Today’s message is issue oriented! Just this summer, our country’s Supreme Court made a ruling intended to define marriage on a national level. Was that something to be applauded? Or was it an invalid redefinition of an ancient institution? As we look to the word of God for guidance on every important issue, we find that the scriptures are quite clear about what marriage is and what meaning it has. Join us as we talk about what the Bible says marriage is!
The definition of “marriage” has been discussed and now ruled upon by the Supreme Court of the United States. The definition is being, in some cases now, forced upon anyone or any institution that differs. If you think, “does this matter, really?”, then we have some news for you: this matters immensely! You will be called to stand on one side of a line sooner or later.
Our job is to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. What we’re doing today is equipping you to begin to deal with this issue in your own mind and heart and then to be able to stand on the right side of the line being drawn.
Here’s another point related to this. By saying what we’re going to say today is in no way, shape or form out of fear or hatred. No one should be hated by you or me. If God tells us to love even our enemies and to pray for those who spitefully use us, how could we hate the person who is on the other side of the line? It doesn’t fit with anything Biblical for us to “hate”. But if someone is of the mind that any difference of conviction is a hater or anti-marriage equality, then at least you can assure someone that I love people and I am pro-marriage.
Where we stand today and every day is with the Bible. What side of that line of conviction you stand on will depend upon what you know to be true about the Book. Is it a great religious work, something to get inspiring quotes and stories from? Or is it, as it says of itself, the Word of God? The Bible is the Word of God. As such, it carries an authority to speak what is true and right and our human reasoning and emotions need to kneel in reverence as the Word of God instructs them both.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
It has the authority to speak and its authority is given by God Himself who breathed this book into existence.
John Piper, one of my favorite contemporary Bible teachers, said this, “We must veto our heart’s inclination to outsource our authority from Scripture to our emotions”. Most folks who have a contrary-to-the-Bible opinion about same-sex “marriage”, know someone, or are related to someone who is homosexual and a nice person. That’s great; you should love that person and those people, but not let it redefine what you believe.
“And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”
Note a few obvious facts:
Any other definition, by any human court, government, group or individual, is not God’s definition and not valid.
We either place ourselves below the scriptures or above them. If we put ourselves below it, we are submitted to God’s word and we let ourselves be changed by submitting to it. If we place ourselves over His Word, then we can make the scriptures say anything we want them to say. We either believe the Bible is God’s word or we don’t.
Scripture is clear on the issue:
I Corinthians 6:9-11
I Timothy 1:8-11
The idea that this is Old Testament and not addressed in the New–not true
Matthew 5:17–came to fulfill the law
Jesus was not hesitant to address wrong interpretations of the OT, especially regarding ideas about the Messiah and the legalistic interpretations of the Sabbath. What Jesus did was either to broaden an interpretation of something in the Old Testament to put it in the context of mercy, forgiveness and grace, or He cut through the man-made understandings that had arisen over the years and brought the concept back to its original God-ordained meaning..
Here Jesus had his chance to broaden the definition of marriage and even bring in the issue of same-sex relationships if He’d wanted to. Instead, He narrowed the focus of marriage and brought marriage relationships back to God’s original intention, which does not include same-sex relationships, which were well-known in ancient times.
Marriage is to be an audio-visual to the world, angels and demons of the relationship between Christ and His church. He created us male and female and that is the image that projects God and His love to us.
Born this way? We were all born with sinful desires of the flesh, of many different kinds. Lust, gluttony, addictions of every kind. Anger issues. A tendency toward one thing or another.
Historically, marriage laws always “discriminate”. We discriminate based on age, marital status, number and other categories.
In one legal brief, what we used to call pedophiles are now called “minor-attracted people”. Folks supporting polygamy now have legal standing to press their issues.
The question is whether or not homosexual activity is a sin. Scripture is clear that it is, as are many other sexual activities.
This is, behind the scenes, a great spiritual battle. The goal of the extreme activists is to crush all opposition to homosexuality, and ultimately, to silence Christians and even, according to some, to force them to change their minds.
Frank Bruni [a New York Times columnist], Creech [a former United Methodist pastor] and Mitchell Gold [a prominent furniture maker and gay philanthropist] founded an advocacy group, Faith in America, which aims to mitigate the damage done to L.G.B.T. people by what it calls “religion-based bigotry.”
Gold told me that church leaders must be made “to take homosexuality off the sin list.”
His commandment is worthy — and warranted. All of us, no matter our religious traditions, should know better than to tell gay people that they’re an offense.
We need to stand in the truth of what we believe, and be loving.
At the end of the day, we are to pray, love and call folks everywhere to repent and bow the knee to Jesus.
Because… We are all broken and we all need Jesus.