God Blessing America and Legislating Morality

Earlier this morning I had my wisdom teeth surgically removed. As I have napped and laid in bed I have though about the Republican debate last night, recent events here in the states, and concerns from christians. Often we hear about if we will pray God will hear our land (I wrote about that here). Is that true though? Sorry of any typos, I am still la little loopy and sluggish, but I would love to hear your thoughts.

Over the summer the Supreme Court ruled according to their interpretation the Constitution did not permit the banning of so-called same-sex marriage. Just like that in all 50 states homosexuals legally had the right to wed in the eyes of the American government. A county clerk in Kentucky, Kim Davis, has gotten a lot of attention for not issuing so-called same-sex marriage licenses. Her argument is that it violates her conscience and seeks an accommodation. I have a lot of thoughts on this situations but will not express them here.

Also over the past several weeks a group has released video after video of planned parent videos. Videos that show the selling or baby parts, and other heinous acts. This coming onto a collision with our elected officials very soon and I think things are going to get very interesting.

I want to make it very clear to you that I oppose so-called same-sex marriage, and I hate and oppose abortion. However, the question must be asked if we made laws against these and all others laws if America then would come back under the blessing that we have allegedly lost. You may disagree with me, I may be wrong, but I would like if you would read the words I will write and offer any rebuttal or thoughts you may have.

I will start with this: you cannot legislate morality. If so-called same-sex marriage was banned this would not end same-sex relationships. Marriage is only part of the issue. Simply making something illegal brings no glory to God. Same with abortion. Abortion could be (and should be) made illegal, but the reality is that abortion would most likely never cease altogether.

God is not into behavioral modification. He doesn’t want people not to get married because the law says they cannot, but still live together as a married couple would. As honorable as it would be to round up and prosecute all who perform abortions, He does not want people seeking illegal ways for it to happen. God is not about simply changing the way we live and going through the motions because of laws; friends that is legalism. God wants to transform our hearts.

Israel was God’s chosen nation of the Old Testament. They knew God, they were HIs people. They failed. Those Ten Commandments we fight to have displayed, they failed all of the, every year. This is why Yom Kippur existed. God sent prophets, curses, and captivity to a nation that He called His own. No man or woman is capable of keeping the law. That’s the point! You see, Israel had the laws and still failed. Their theocracy no longer exist even though the laws were put in place. Why? Because we are sinful and we act as we please. Israel knew and experience God in a much different way that the United States. The law was completely moral and they lost their land, and were taken into captivity more than once.

See, you can make all the laws you want. However, if people do not experience the life changing  power of the Gospel, if that doesn’t change them like on Jesus can then God gets no glory. He gets no glory our of legalism, He gets no glory for us following the law out of fear. No, God receives the Glory when He is our utmost satisfaction. God is glorified when we follow Him not because of laws but because we know that’s where joy is. God is glorified when we forsake who we are to make Him known.

We are not a Christian nation. Laws making us look more Christian do not make us that, and they will not bring blessing. What every individual here, and around the world, is to have their eyes opened to the reality of who Jesus is and what it means to follow him. Legislating morality I believe models that of the pharisees in the Bible. It does not mean we let go of our morals however. It means that we know our work will not bring God’s blessing, but only His work can do that. So what do we do? We go. We tell everyone. We pray. We fight for the voiceless. We serve the needy. We serve those against us. We love everyone. And we speak the Gospel with our words and lives. You want change? Turn to the only Sovereign who can bring the change. Legislating morality is a poor savior and it will not work. Jesus though will change and transform lives, something we all desperately need

“Reverend” Ellin Jimmerson’s Lack of Biblical Understanding

There has been a lot of buzz in Alabama recently with the Federal Courts allowing so called same-sex marriage in the state. Christians have been called bigots, among another names, for simply believing that only God can define marriage and that He did so in the book of Genesis. I am not surprised that those who are not Christians, or profess to be be do not take it serious, feel that we are bigoted in our belief. 1 Corinthians 1:18 tells us that the gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing. There will be opposition for what we believe. I was sent an article this morning by a friend, and have seen others post it on Facebook, about a minister in Alabama who is supporting and participating in ceremonies for so-called same sex marriage.

“Revered” Eillin Jimmerson who is a pastor on staff Weatherly Heights Baptist Church in Huntsville has offered her opinion. She will be one of the pastors who will be advocating and participating in so-called same sex marriage ceremonies. It takes me by no surprise that churches who ordain and hire female pastors are among the churches who accept and celebrate so-called same sex marriage. The Bible speaks clearly to the issue and qualifications of the pastor/elder in the New Testament. This is why I have put the title reverend in quotes before her name. It is my belief, along with the Southern Baptist Convention and other denominations as well, that women are not called to be Elders/Pastors according to 1 Timothy 2:13. That is unpopular and seen as sexist by many in and outside the faith, if you don’t believe in the authority of Scripture I understand that.

There are endless opportunities for women in ministry, and women should minister but not when it comes to being and Elder/Pastor. I highly recommend John Piper’s free pdf “50 Crucial Questions” which you can find by following this link: http://cbmw.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/50Q_contents.pdf

Understanding God’s Design

God’s design for marriage was established form the very beginning. Genesis 1:26-28 tells us that God made man and He made woman, uniquely different, complimentary to one another, and equal. Man is not more valuable than woman, each serve a role and purpose in God’s design. It’s said in the text both were made in the image of God. The Imago Dei teaches us that man and woman are equal in essence. Many will argue that the Bible teaches women are in a role of submission and men have undeserved power over women. I say, these individuals have not read or understand the context of Scripture. Man and woman are under submission to God, and are equal in essence. They have different roles in the family structure and when carried our they do one important thing: glorify God.

God’s design was one man and one woman for life. However, Genesis 3 happened which led to brokenness for all of man kind. This brokenness has led to abuse, adultery, divorce, and every other sin we are slaved to as humans.

Many will say Jesus never spoke on so-called same sex marriage. First, we must understand the role of the Trinity in Christian theology. What the Father spoke in Genesis the Son was in complete agreement with as well. Moreover, Jesus spoke to marriage in Matthew 19:5 reaffirming what was declared by God in Genesis 2:24. Not matter what some may say Jesus was no silent on the issue for Christians. Scripture is God-breathed, and the Bible speaks to marriage. We have drifted from God’s design due to sin which has led to brokenness. Our response when we understand that is to repent and believe and then pursue God’s design.

Troubling Comments

Let’s address some of Jimmerson’s misunderstandings from the Bible in her interview:

“The truth is that people in the 21st century would not be comfortable with the kinds of marriages which are represented in the Bible. For example, we would not be comfortable with the biblical model that is one man, one woman, one concubine.”

First, the Bible was not written to make anyone comfortable. It is the Revelation about God from God. It speaks of His holiness, and makes me uncomfortable honestly at times when I measure my life to the standard I have been called into.

Concubines are in the Bible, no way around it. Solomon had 300 concubines, and King David as well had concubines. The Bible never advocates, promotes, or says the concubines are okay. If you look to these men who had them you will see many problems because of their sin. Concubines are not Biblical model for marriage, but tell of the sin many men lived in during this time. The Bible does not teach this is an acceptable form of marriage, instead it shows what going against God’s design brings you: brokenness.

Importantly, the Son of David (Jesus) had no concubines. He has one bride, the Church. He has loved her perfectly and demonstrated well how a husband is to love his wife. This is God’s design.

“Nor would we be comfortable with the idea of a widow being compelled to marry her brother-in-law.” 

Now her is something that the Bible teaches that we do need to understand. In the case of a woman’s husband dying it was the responsibility of her brother-in-law to take her in as wife. Of course, there is the possibility that he was already married. This law from the Old Testament was known as levirate marriage. This was law for jewish people but not unique to jewish people only in this time.

Matthew Henry writes, “The custom here regulated seems to have been in the Jewish law in order to keep inheritances distinct; now it is unlawful.”

This was about family taking care of family, and preserving the family line. A childless widow at this time essentially had very little chance of surviving. If she had a son this was not needed. This law established a means to protect the widow, this is evident when we read the story of Ruth. This had to to with preserving families and tribes and we see this evidently since Jesus comes from the line of Ruth.

This is not God’s moral law, as marriage is, and so today this is not needed. Instead, it is recorded to show how God preserved the tribes of Israel and indeed the line from which Jesus would come. Jimmerson’s claimed again hold no water.

Scriptural Authority

If you are not a Christians I do not expect you to agree with me. I understand that completely. However, Jimmerson has not stood in authority of Scripture. She clearly believes Scripture is not sufficient and that the our faith changes and its truths change as the world does. The Bible is about God, He does not change. Jimmerson has proven where she stands, and that she lacks basic understanding of what the Bible teaches. One cannot claim to be a minister of the Word, and to live by the Word.

The Episcopalian Church and PCUSA have demonstrated this, as I believe Jimmerson. They not longer believe the Bible is inerrant and infallible. These churches no longer stand on the authority of Scripture and are looking more and more like the world. Not standing for what the Bible says is a slippery slope to not believing anything it says. For example, the PCUSA has denied the deity of Christ.

Where We Go From Here

So-called same sex marriage is here and it is not going anywhere. I have homosexual friends who I care for dearly. I have friends who struggle with same sex attraction. I completely understand why homosexuals want to become married, I truly do. I think the best thing we can do as Christians is listen and talk with our homosexual friends and neighbors. Largely Christians have handled this situation very poorly. I think we should understand where they are coming from, and all I ask is that those who oppose what I believe do the same.

It does not make me a bigot, it does not mean I hate you. On the contrary, it simply means based off what I believe that I live a certain way and I care. My faith is literally the most important thing to me in my life, it has shaped me and my views. Just as it has for the jew, the muslim, and the atheist.

I am not going to protest at the court house, I am not going to yell you are going to Hell. That benefits no one and is not the approach I believe Jesus would have us take. I may differ from you on this issue, but that does not mean that we cannot have genuine dialogue and see how we both come to different view on the matter. I can’t change your mind and it is pointless to try and do so. I believe only one’s belief in the truth of gospel can do that.