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Posts Tagged ‘same sex marriage’

Cheap Grace & Same-Sex Marriage

April 10th, 2013 8 comments

cheap grace 1

As I watched and read the social media banter surrounding the recent Supreme Court hearing on same-sex marriage, I was appalled by the theological shallowness and simplistic moralizing coming from the hearts and mouths of those in my relational circle who profess to follow Christ. Much of the sermonizing was simplistic in that it failed to make the important distinction between personal ethics and public policy. On a relational level we are called to love everyone, including our enemies (Luke 6:27).

While this is often easier said than done, I think all Christians would agree with the principle. Are we called to love those who are trapped in a homosexual lifestyle? Yes. Is their sin any different from the person committing adultery, fornication or any other sexual sin? No. God opposes all forms of sexual anarchy. But let’s be certain about one thing – it’s all sin. And sin dishonors God and destroys people.

The good news is Jesus died for sin and sinners (Romans 5:8). If we confess our sin, He has agreed to forgive us, cleanse us, and free us (I John 1:9). That is the good news of the gospel. Unfortunately, I wasn’t seeing much life-giving, gospel advice on Facebook; just a lot of what Bonhoffer called “cheap grace.”

Best selling author and pastor, Tim Keller, explains this phrase with great cultural clarity:

“By the time of Hitler’s ascension, much of the German church understood grace only as abstract acceptance – ‘God forgives; that’s his job.’ But we know that true grace comes to us by costly sacrifice…Many Christians want to talk only about God’s love and acceptance. They don’t like talking about Jesus’ death on the cross to satisfy divine wrath and justice…Yet if they are not careful, they run the risk of falling into the belief in “cheap grace” – a non-costly love from a non-holy God who just loves and accepts us as we are. That will never change anyone’s life.”

In the words of German pastor and Nazi martyr, Dietrich Bonhoffer,

“cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline. Communion without confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ.”

So what does all this have to do with the current public policy debate on same-sex marriage? I tried to connect the dots in my recent Facebook post:

When you claim to “love Jesus” but you promote a lifestyle which He condemned and you seek to re-define something which He already defined you are deceived. In doing so, you make a mockery out of the faith you profess.

What America needs is not a “cheap grace” that comfortably fits within the politically correct parameters of moral relativism and religious pluralism. As Tim Keller wisely noted, “This will never change anyone’s life.” On a relational level, we need Christians to return to the message of “amazing grace,” pointing the sexually confused and addicted to the powerful, life-changing message of the cross. On a public policy level, agree with Jesus’ definition of marriage and hold your elected representatives accountable to honor God’s transcendent laws over and above the evolving opinions of those who have no moral compass.

Don’t Believe the Polling Data on Same-Sex Marriage

March 21st, 2013 No comments

marriage-mattersThe following is an excerpt from Tony Perkin’s Washington Update concerning the inevitability of same-sex marriage according to polling data. Don’t believe it!

Are Voters Getting Cold Feet on Same-sex ‘Marriage’?

The Washington Post thought it knew where the American people stood on marriage. Just two days ago, news outlets were plastering its poll results of “record” backing for same-sex “marriage” on their websites–only to see the support vanish as quickly as it appeared.

Today, the Reuters Corporation released the results of an even bigger poll than the Post’s and found that only 41% of America supports the case being made by Ted Olson and David Boies at the Supreme Court. In an astonishingly large survey sample, 24,455 people (23,000 more than the Washington Post’s survey!), barely four out of 10 Americans thought homosexuals should be allowed to “marry.” Those numbers are far and away more consistent with the findings of trustworthy survey houses in the last few months on marriage. It also shows the unreliability of the media’s polling. In 48 hours, we’ve seen a 17-point swing in public opinion on marriage. Of course, as we mentioned yesterday, the Post’s questions were specifically structured to generate a more favorable response. When you frame the debate as the Post did–in criminal terms–Americans are far more wary of opposing same-sex “marriage.”

In the meantime, Reuters’ numbers are even more significant when you consider that they come from a news agency with a public interest in redefining marriage. Last month, the Reuters Corp. threw objectivity out the window by signing on to an amicus brief urging the court to embrace same-sex “marriage.” If 41% was all the support Reuters could scrounge up for same-sex “marriage,” then you know they exhausted every avenue trying to push that number higher–and couldn’t. Let me be very clear: we don’t arrive at our policy positions because of polls. The point of sharing this is to once again draw attention to the media’s efforts to make you feel that same-sex “marriage” is inevitable–and that everyone but YOU thinks it’s okay. Trust me, as this latest poll shows, you’re far from alone in your support for natural marriage. Encourage your family and friends by sharing this truth with them!

God’s Law & Our American Life

May 15th, 2012 5 comments

Our president recently made a proclamation that “same-sex marriage” is really a good thing, something that should be enthusiastically embraced by all Americans. Unfortunately, his unprecedented edict flies in the face of the views of One who, to use the president’s own example, does have a “higher pay grade.” With His public endorsement of behavior which God has called abominable (Leviticus 18:22), our president has basically called God a “liar” and invoked his own personal views and political agenda as the foundation of American civil life. Is this a cause for alarm or shall we just give a collective yawn and get back to whatever it was we were doing?

The Scriptures boldly declare, “Let God be true but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4). When God speaks, He speaks the truth. And because truth, by definition, does not “evolve,” God’s views on reality never change. And since He is the Author of Reality, we must never think our own ideas, whether personal opinions or public policy proposals, are more noble or humane than His.

This is where our secular friends begin to sweat. Words like “theocracy” begin to pop into their brains. They accuse Christians of imposing their views upon everyone else. Of course, this is not true. Our system of government is built upon two biblical principles, the rule of law and a representative form of government, which work to ensure an orderly process filled with healthy public debate. So while coercion is not part of the process, let’s not forget that someone’s morality is behind every law that is passed. What we really need to be asking is whose morality leads to the best life.

Once again, God is not silent. Look at what He tells us Deuteronomy 5:33:

You shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess.

As a nation, if we will obey God’s law, He promises two outcomes. He says we will…

1] Live Well

2] Live Long

God’s law is a precious gift to any nation that will embrace and follow His principles. His view of reality, because it is true and timeless, will always lead to both ppersonal blessing and national prosperity.