For North Carolinians, there is a strategic vote on Tuesday, May 8th, about the nature of marriage. This is what the Amendment says: “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.” Simple and clear enough. Should be a slam-dunk vote! Right? Not necessarily. Even though that is how most societies have understood and defined marriage since the beginning of time, that definition is increasingly being challenged morally and legally. The necessity of Marriage Amendment One is the legal response to this battle to redefine traditional marriage.
The key legal issue is whether the traditional definition of marriage, as an exclusive relationship between a man and a woman, will stand. Or whether it will be amended to legally validate and protect other “domestic relationships” – specifically between people of the same sex. In other words, will the definition of marriage be widened to include homosexual relationships rather than just heterosexual relationships? Will two homosexuals or two lesbians be granted all of the social and legal marital status of a man and woman?
Sadly, there has been growing confusion and ambiguity on this issue for several decades. And while we should not be at all surprised about this confusion or acquiescence in society, we should be deeply concerned when that same confusion and blind acceptance is in the church – even in the pulpits!
I agree with Billy Graham who recently said: “At 93, I never thought we would have to debate the definition of marriage. The Bible is clear – God’s definition of marriage is between a man and a woman.” Then Graham said: “I want to urge my fellow North Carolinians to vote for the marriage amendment.” At 70, I totally agree with Dr. Graham and urge my fellow citizens – especially Christians – to vote FOR this crucial amendment!
The cardinal question here is this: “Is the Biblical definition of marriage authoritative or not?” Look again at the Biblically clear and succinct account of the first marriage in Genesis 2:24:
“For this reason (marriage), a man (masculine) will leave his father and mother (his monogamous parents) and be united to his wife (another monogamous relationship with a female), and they will become one flesh” (a sexual union and relationship only possible for a male and female).
There is no ambiguity at all in this description of marriage. It was Adam and Eve…a male and a female…one man and one woman. It wasn’t “Adam & Aaron” or “Eve & Evelyn!” The original traditional marriage was between one man and one woman for one life. Period. No additions, no amendments!
Tragically, sin and rebellion soon brought in new “Marriage Amendments” that originated in the selfish heart of man rather than in the wise heart of God. And fallen man has been voting and re-voting on these amendments ever since he was expelled from the Garden.
Sadly, the battle against Marriage Amendment One is being championed by many as a “Civil Rights” issue. As such, it is being propagated as a parallel issue to Civil Rights for racial minorities – like the Blacks sought and received during the Civil Rights Movement in the last half of the Twentieth Century. “Gay Rights” are being championed as the last area of social injustice in our American society. That “homosexual rights” are the last bastion of prejudice and discrimination that demand legal intervention by the Federal and State Governments.
This sexual stigma has become the cause célèbre of the social and political left. Any who dare speak out against this politically correct position are accused of bigotry and “bedroom politics.” Translated into the vernacular, this simply means: It is right for the Federal or State Government to over-extend their legal arm into the front room, school room and bedroom of Christians and mandate that we fully accept homosexual unions as equally valid in every way with a monogamous marriage. But Christians, Jews and others who are committed to the propagation and defense of traditional heterosexual union are portrayed as “narrow minded bigots” who are guilty of imposing our “bedroom politics” on everyone else in society. There is obviously a moral and legal impasse.
However, no Biblically informed Christian ever tries to impose his or her moral values on secular society. Those are the free moral choices that individuals must make for themselves. But we do want the Federal and State Governments to legally protect the traditional definition of marriage that has existed since the Garden of Eden.
As I have already implied, this is not a new moral or marital battle. Sinful, fallen man has been trying to redefine marriage ever since he was expelled from the Garden of Eden as a result of his rebellion against God. The primary reason Adam and Eve lost the Garden was because they allowed Satan to redefine the guidelines God had clearly put forth. Satan knew if he could successfully redefine the primary roles and responsibilities of men and women in marriage, other social norms would fall like dominos. And they did.
But by virtue of creation and design, God had ordained that our sexuality was for at least three purposes: pleasure, prevention and procreation – each very purposeful and positive. Within marriage, sexual intercourse was first and foremost for the pleasure of the husband and wife. Secondly, it was for the prevention of fornication with other people of the opposite sex. Thirdly, it was for the propagation of the species. So God created us all as sexual creatures so that we could “…be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Gen. 1:26).
It is obvious that same-sex unions cannot produce children – which is why homosexuals are now pushing for equal adoption rights with heterosexuals. While refusing to produce offspring in the traditional way with someone of the opposite sex, gay men and lesbians want to be seen as equally valid “parents” to adoptive children. This is hybrid parenting. The very words “father” and “mother” clearly mean a progenitor who has produced progeny – or parents who have produced children.
But through the serpent, Satan sought to add an amendment to what God said about the nature of marriage. As the Author of creation – including sexuality and marriage, God was to be the final Authority on the nature of our maleness and femaleness. God ordained that our sexuality be expressed most completely within the exclusive bounds of a monogamous relationship between one man and one woman for one life.
Also, for that marital relationship to work best, there were clear God-ordained roles and responsibilities for the man and woman. They were absolutely equal because they both equally bore the “…image and likeness of God” (tzelem elohim in Hebrew; Imago Dei in Latin). So while the man and woman were equal spiritually, they were different sexually and functionally. Their physiology clearly reflected those differences as male and female. On the sexual level, there could be no interchange of roles. A man could not be a woman and a woman could not be a man when it came to sexuality and reproduction. He was to be the head and she was to be the heart of the home. He was the protector and provider and she was the life-giver and nurturer. As such, each had clear roles and responsibilities that were not to be abdicated or confused.
But Satan offered an amendment. He suggested an alternative plan for their respective God-ordained roles and responsibilities. He questioned the wisdom and exclusivity of God’s design for their relationship. So the serpent posed a subtle question that was the satanic reasoning behind his amendment:
“Has God said? Is that REALLY what He meant?! You don’t need divine ‘bedroom politics’ in your relationship! You don’t need God dictating how you relate to each other as male and female! In fact, you do not really need a God at all in your life and relationship. You know what is best for you. You can be your own god! You don’t need to always eat from the ‘Tree of Life.’ You need to enjoy the fruit of the ‘Tree of knowledge’ because there is other truth apart from what God has been telling you. And when you know that ‘truth’ by experience, you will be like God!”
Sound familiar? The arguments have not changed. Neither have the amendments to God’s revelation. And once you try to amend God’s ordained guidelines for marriage, other changes soon follow. It happened outside the Garden and continues to this day.
After Adam and Eve chose/voted for amendment #1 – to accept another authority on the true nature of sexuality and marriage other than God’s – more amendments soon followed…
It wasn’t long in the social devolution of man until amendment #2 was put on the ballot by Lamech, a son of Cain and grandson of Adam. He lobbied and voted for polygamy over monogamy. He is the first man recorded in the Bible who “…married two women” (Gen. 4:19). Soon polygamous marriages became the norm rather than the exception. This alien sociology even became so widely accepted that many of God’s people embraced it. Polygamy became the norm – even among most of the Biblical patriarchs like Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, etc. Harems and concubines became the norm for the kings – even Jewish kings. And marriage amendment #2 became legalized and normalized. And many societies still practice polygamy today.
Amendment #3 was soon put on the ballot allowing divorce. The original marriage contract was for life – or “…until death us do part” (Ex. 20:14; Lev. 18:20; Rom. 7:1-3; I Cor. 7:39). But why be bound to a difficult mate? Why live in the misery of “unhappiness” and “incompatibility”? Divorce your difficult or barren spouse for one younger and more desirable! And if you are not going to divorce him or her, at least enjoy the “sexual freedom” of fornication and adultery through an “open marriage!”
Thus, the “Divorce Amendment” – or “Adultery Amendment,” passed with an overwhelming majority vote. Democracy won out again. The sinful majority ruled. Soon, serial divorce and adultery became the norm rather than the exception! But since adultery and divorce were in direct rebellion against God’s order for marriage, He judged it with the death penalty (Lev. 20:10). Apparently He is dead serious about His truth!
Once adultery was codified as normal and acceptable, it soon didn’t matter whether the fornication was heterosexual or homosexual. As a result, amendment #4 was soon put on the ballot condoning homosexuality. If adultery is permissible for a man and a woman, then fornication between a man and another man or between a woman and another woman should be equally accepted. But again, there was a “Divine Veto” of this sexual amendment that was codified with absolute clarity to the degree that it carried the death penalty – to say nothing of the “living death” that people live with emotionally who chose this so-called “gay life-style” (Lev. 18:22; 20:13; Deut. 23:18; Rom. 1:27; I Cor. 6:9, etc). Statistics show that life-style to be anything but “gay!”
Another amendment to God’s original plan for marriage was incest – so amendment #5 was put on the ballot for vote. Fallen man wanted the freedom to marry and have incestuous sexual relationships between siblings, close relatives and various marital partners. So in spite of the fact that God vetoed that amendment (Lev. 18:6-18), it is still widely practiced in some societies and religious groups. Paul even had to decisively deal with it in the early Gentile church and labeled it a sin and perversion that is not even tolerated among pagans! He wisely knew that this kind of sexual perversion was a deadly leaven that would soon cause rottenness in the physical family and spiritual family (I Cor. 5:1-6).
As a result of all of this sexual and social rebellion, the children of these perverted and confused relationships suffered irreparable pain, confusion and identity crisis.
So it wasn’t long until there was the resulting societal problem of “unwanted children” who were the product of these many illicit sexual relationships. How was society to deal with them? When marital fidelity is minimized and individual rights exalted, children always suffer. They lose their rights as the parents and adults exert theirs. After all, it is not what is best for the children – but what is most convenient for the parent. Expediency takes over.
So amendment #6 was quickly voted on and widely practiced – known in the Bible as child sacrifice. In the Old Testament period, this was nothing but the spiritual and social version of our modern “population control” and “abortion.” Soon it became accepted – even expected – to sacrifice your children to the gods to appease them. Innocent babies and children were murdered in untold numbers – and sanctioned by both society and religion! Amendment #6 allowed for the murder of children to go on year after year…decade after decade…generation after generation – just like Roe v. Wade!
But because God hates with a holy hatred anything that defaces his “Imago Dei” in every human being – especially children – He severely judged and condemned any and every form of child sacrifice as an “abomination” (Lev. 18:21). How long before His final judgment falls on America for the same sin?!
Biblical and secular history shows that once man starts down this social and sexual slippery slope, there is no stopping or turning around. Soon any and every form of perversion will be justified as someone’s “rights.” So it was not long until even bestiality was also put on the ballot for consideration. But this one was so non-traditional and “perverted” that it carried the death penalty by stoning (Ex. 22:19; Lev. 18:23). Thus far amendment #7 has been consistently voted down worldwide. But give it time, and it too will be accepted as a valid “alternative life-style” that adults should be allowed to practice – in the bedroom or barnyard! And extreme “animal rights” is another step in the direction of the deification of nature.
While some of what I have written is hyperbole, satirical and tongue-in-cheek – the parallels are unmistakable to anyone but the spiritually blind. Ironically, almost all of these deviations and perversions are propagated through “education” and “enlightenment” through our schools and universities. And this educational brain-washing and social engineering process now begins in kindergarten.
The religion of biological and social evolution is anything but true science. Unlike authentic science, it is a passionate ideology that needs no objective empirical evidence. It is not based upon hard objective facts but upon biased prejudices and presuppositions. And they are championed by people with Masters Degrees and PHD degrees in sociology and sexuality! They are pontificated and propagated by social anthropologists who see all of these morals and mores as equally valid in man’s evolutionary process – all except the Biblical ones, that is. Those are seen with a jaundiced eye and portrayed with a jaded bias as “unenlightened religious relics” that society should cast off in favor of an inclusiveness that embraces everything as egalitarian.
Again, these are not new arguments or amendments to God’s revelation. It’s been going on since the dawn of human history. That’s why the Bible warns: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (Isa. 5:20). Jesus underscored the dangers of this kind of spiritual darkness masquerading as light when He warned: “If the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matt. 6:23). Likewise, Paul wrote to alert young Christians about the fact that “…evil men and imposters will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived” (II Tim. 3:13).
Sadly, this left-handed over-reach by the government from the courtroom to the bedroom does not stop there. It has now become such an accepted part of our national mentality, that it has become an amendment to our Foreign Policy. Our Secretary of State has attached this amendment to our Foreign Aid. Our Government is now telling underdeveloped countries of the world that unless they insure full homosexual rights as civil rights, they will receive no funding from USAID. That has already happened through wide-spread condom distribution as our primary tool for the AIDS pandemic.
The same reasoning won out for abortion and women’s rights. As a result, abortion has become our primary tool to manage global “population control.” Because we legalized abortion as “reproductive rights”, untold millions of babies – not impersonal fetuses – lost all of their “human rights!” So valid “Women’s Suffrage” issues were hijacked and taken to the extreme by new radical “feminist amendments!”
In the same way, the valid Civil Rights issues for Blacks has been co-opted by homosexuals to the degree that “Gay Rights” are equated with racial rights. But one is a moral issue; the other is an immoral issue. Sadly, our society increasingly does not recognize the difference between the two. Through education and “enlightenment,” both issues have been made equal and parallel “Civil Rights.” And we are being told that we cannot embrace one without embracing the other! Many African Americans have been duped into believing that it is a denial of the Civil Rights Movement if they do not fully embrace “Gay Rights.” Fortunately, many are now seeing the folly of this false equation.
So my fellow North Carolinians, “don’t vote your conscience” – unless it has been made alive by the Spirit of God and educated by the Word of God! If you “let your conscience be your guide,” you will buy the “party line” and vote for man’s amendments every time over God’s Revelation!
God made it clear that His severe judgment fell on other ancient societies and people because they rebelled against His natural revelation and written revelation. They voted in their social and sexual convenient amendments to His divine revelation. Listen afresh to His warnings to ancient Israel about all of these social and sexual perversions:
“You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices. You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the Lord your God…for the man who obeys them will live by them…Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants…And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out, as it vomited out the nations that were before you…Keep my requirements and do not follow any of the detestable customs that were practiced before you came and do not defile yourselves with them. I am the Lord your God” (Lev. 18:3-5; 24-30).
We either blow these verses off as old, archaic and irrelevant to our society; or we embrace them as Godly and good. The so-called “political right” tends to vote for them; the “political left” tends to vote against them. Perhaps we need to reflect afresh on the succinct wisdom of Ecclesiastes 10:2: “The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.” If that’s offensive to your politics, sociology or religion, that’s not my problem. God said it – not me!
It’s your vote! But Patt and I are voting FOR Marriage Amendment One. Not because it is perfect in every way. But it at least comes closest to affirming and guarding the traditional Biblical definition of marriage that we have lived by…raised our children by…taught around the world as God’s inerrant final word on marriage that cannot be improved upon!
For Traditional Marriage in all its fullness and joy,
JL & Patt
PS: If most of this makes sense and resonates with your spirit, please forward it to your family, friends, fellow church members and business associates.
Next entry: Bethany Children’s Home update
Previous entry: Haiti Trip & Ministry Update