DOMA & Gay “Marriage” – a Christian Evaluation
Guest Post by Ben Rossell
In the aftermath of the SCOTUS DOMA ruling, here are 7 points to help us understand why we are where we are and 7 things Christians should do about it.
1. Heterosexual couples destroyed the sanctity of marriage long before the gay rights movement hit the mainstream. “I have two dads, you know.” This is what a young boy I know recently told me. His words struck me. I knew they were true. But I’d never thought of it … like THAT before. His birth parents divorced while he was an infant [for what I believe were sound, Biblical reasons]. His mother went on to remarry a fine Christian man and so, like so many other boys around, he has “two dads”. Why should we think it so odd that this trend continue, though now with the ruthless efficiency of eliminating the mother altogether? A long time ago, our society began to deliberately streamline the process by which a man or woman can dissolve the oath they had previously made before God, church, family, community, and state to stay united until death. And for decades, the process of oath-breaking has been made more and more convenient. At this point in our history, “the sanctity of marriage” is nothing more than a hollow-sounding phrase; a string of words that used to mean something.
2. The Heterosexual promiscuity paved the yellowbrick road on which gay rights activists now march – the What young people really mean when they say “Don’t tell THEM what THEY can’t do in THEIR bedroom” is “Don’t tell ME what I can’t do in MY bedroom”. This is what ‘the pill’ is all about. What we see today is the fruiting of seeds that were planted fifty years ago and have been faithfully watered and fertilized ever since. Pulling levers and pushing buttons isn’t going to change that or stop what has been in motion for so long. But being faithful will… eventually. This is a bitter fruit, but the story is far from over. As a society, we seem to have lost the ability to to make even the most basic moral judgments and distinctions. Just open up your iTunes store and watch the scrolling “what’s hot now” banner at the top. By and large, we are daily consumers of the obscene.
3. The black church is crucial in our culture wars. They have been the sleeping giant that has been roused in the recent cultural reversal of popular-level abortion views. They will be crucial in courageously speaking out to forbid FALSE equivocations between civil rights struggles and the campaign to make sodomy a socially-acceptable sexual practice. One of my best friends in the world was born with very, very dark black skin. His ethnic background is Nigerian. He was black last year as a Ph.D. student in Seattle. He is black today as an entrepreneur in Charleston. He will die black. None of this has the slightest thing to do with extraneous cultural influences or his own behavior and personal choice. He is a black man, pure and simple. To equate his blackness with another man’s decision to engage in sodomy is false and wrong, and there is no amount of voice-raising or finger wagging that will change that fact. But my words here aren’t the ones that matter. Those belong to my brothers of color, [many of whom are speaking out] such as Voddie Baucham, Thabiti Anyabwile, Ken Jones, Jemar Tisby, Philip Holmes, Reddit Andrews, Mike Campbell, Anthony Carter, LaCrae, Shai Linne, Curtis Allen, and others.
4. Gay is cool. Let’s face it. Well, perhaps it would be better to say it this way – the gay cause is the cool side. For the general public actually being gay is not the cool thing [see the horrifying long-term health statistics below], but it is most definitely cool to have gay friends. It is cool to support them vocally and frequently. It is cool to be passionate for their cause. And the gay rights movement has found a way to morally tap into the fashion sense of the American public. Many have wisely noted that in current public opinion, image trumps character. The average Joe arrives at his ethical views in large part the same way he chooses his shoes, skinny jeans, and coffee brand. Designer ethics is part of a designer lifestyle. Pro-gay is chic and fashionable. But as we’ve seen with fanny packs, disco, and eugenics, trends change and fashions – material and ideological - fade away.
5. This is an experiment – a cultural experiment. I’m an optimist, not a henny-penny kind of guy. I wouldn’t run around like my hair was on fire if my hair were actually on fire. And here is one of the reasons. This is an experiment. Will state-sanctioned gay marriage result in a happier, healthier society? The answer is ‘no’. This experiment is doomed to NOT work. Our great, great grandchildren will look back on this sort of thing and either chuckle or scratch their heads. You cannot rebel against a creational pattern as deep as gender and think things will just keep rolling forward. So stay faithful and keep on keepin’ on. Roe was hardly the end of the abortion debate, and we are not even close to the end of this discussion either. There are plenty of people paying attention and taking notes. The numbers are being counted.
6. And this brings us to a separate societal trend which is set on a direct collision course with the Gay Rights Agenda: that of fully-socialized medicine. We’ve already seen lawmakers attempt to ban soft drinks because of this conflict.
What is going to happen after a few decades of watching the numbers when the gay marriage statistics are compiled across several pages of actuary tables? It may take a generation or two but someone will eventually raise his eyebrows and then his voice to point out the facts. Today our best statistics indicate that a male engaged in homosexual activity will die thirty years sooner than his heterosexual counterpart. He is almost 450 times more likely to contract HIV. And we will be using tax dollars to fund his treatments? Will allowing him to marry fix this? That is what we’re being told is the solution. We will see soon enough. Sadly, in the meantime, the cost will be measured in human lives and souls.
Any sixty-second sampling of the discourse is sufficient to demonstrate that the public discussion of this issue is over. In fact, the discussion is not a discussion at all. It is a foregone conclusion. Gay marriage is coming to America, at least in part and at least for a time.
7. As Dr Rosaria Butterfield has noted, we ought to pity many of the folks who are caught in the middle of this culture war because they have found themselves squarely under the spotlight. One young man I know very well was one of the ten or so gay couples hand-picked by the main activist group and the state governor to be “married” on 12:01 New Years’ Day in his state – the first minute the new state laws took effect. His father is one of my former pastors. I keep track of him on Facebook. What will happen to him once the momentum runs out? What happens when everything falls apart? When we disobey God, everything always does eventually fall apart. Remember the Prodigal? There he was in the muddy pig sty, staring at a puddle of slop and pods, when it occurred to him that he’d be better off as a slave in his father’s house. And so “he rose up”. But how might he have responded if he had been labelled, re-labelled and completely branded by societal labels and then placed directly under the spotlight in the crux of a cultural struggle between two sides in a highly-politicized ethical “debate”? What if he were tweeting updates every few hours? How would that have facilitated his humble repentance? yeah. Probably not all that helpful. So do pity these souls. Recognize that there is a difference between an activist and a victim. We live in a fallen world and a crumbling culture. There are people really struggling with their sexuality. They need the truth and they need love. They need the example of a people who have been forgiven and who walk in holiness and purity. So I commend to you the written work as well as the many online interviews and presentations done by Dr Rosaria Butterfield.
WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT ALL THIS?
1. Repent. Purge yourself and turn from your own sexual sins whatever they are. Every time you make a second lustful glance or double-click on internet porn or wear clothing in public that – rather than being just attractive – is sexy and provocative, you are actively undermining the sanctity of marriage.
2. Read Dr Rosaria Butterfield’s book and listen to her speak. No one does a better job than she.
3. Love everyone around you and don’t act as if their sin is leprosy. Do not be overcome by evil, but rather, overcome evil with good.
4. Do not lose hope. The Lord is risen indeed! Christ has conquered sin and death! He is King. Really! Your hope is locked in, at the right hand of the Father. He hears your prayers. All hope is not lost. Far from it. Keep your chin up and be faithful.
5. Live a principled life. Resolve to stand for what is right, not what is in vogue. Reject designer values. Refuse to believe things because the happen to be cool to believe. Seek Truth. When you find Him, you will need nothing more.
6. Love Chastity. Please notice, I did not say “be chaste” or “practice chastity”. I said, “love chastity”. Cherish purity. Since the ethics of cool are currently dictating that the most uncool, unfashionable, and undesirable thing to be is a maiden of virtue who lives and dresses like one – celebrating modesty, chastity, and purity, this will take a great deal of backbone. I have seen men persecuted for being the “40 year old virgin”. But that is what our life in Christ is supposed to look like. When this happens REJOICE AND BE EXCEEDINGLY GLAD BECAUSE THIS IS JUST HOW THEY PERSECUTED THE PROPHETS YOUR FATHER SENT THEM IN FORMER TIMES!
Love your wife or husband with all your heart, eyes, and affection until the day one of you drops dead.
Love your children everyday with words, time, and physical affection.
Spank your kids. That’s right. Spank your kids. Much of our societal trouble stems from the confusion about what it means to love someone. As a society, we have forsaken the truth that loving someone means that you don’t just let them do what they want. That is actually a form of hatred. There is a standard of right and wrong. Love points others back to that standard when they stray. Parents do this with the rod.
7. Don’t burn your bridges. Don’t spew angry words and post hateful Facebook rants. In the words of one homosexual on his deathbed to my minister friend – “Why do they call it gay? This life is everything but gay. I am a miserable man.” As Tim Keller says, “in the morning, it’s always Leah and never Rachel”. The day will come when the mountaintop high of all the activism has faded and we will be left with a wounded society and a body count. Because of the trend toward government-funded healthcare, it is not hard to imagine a time when practicing homosexuals will be targeted publicly. In light of this, knowing the potential for collateral in human souls, don’t do things that will hinder you from loving, receiving, and ministering to those FELLOW sinners down the road.Maybe it’ll take a decade. Maybe a generation. Things will change. Sin will fruit. The truth will out. Just as our churches today are privileged to see a steady stream of burnt-out, used up, single mother, former- flower children [middle-aged women whose lives have been wrecked on the altar of the sexual "liberation" and female "empowerment" movement] – and we love and serve them in gospel ministry, so we will continue to see the stream widen as the refugees of cultural rebellion rise and return to the Father’s House. Let’s be good and ready to receive them. And in the meantime, keep being faithful.
Ben Rossell is the senior pastor of Trinity Presbyterian in Valparaiso, Fl.