Our era of individual moral menus

The Supreme Court on Monday turned away appeals from five states looking to prohibit gay marriage, effectively legalizing same-sex marriage in those states and likely others, but basically leaving the issue unresolved nationally. The decision to not strike down gay marriages may dramatically expand across the nation a decades-long movement to legalize such unions.

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council explained, “By refusing to get involved in a mess (they) helped create, the justices are leaving our laws vulnerable to rogue judges on the lower courts … who insist on substituting their radical ideology for history, legal precedent, and the consensus of voters (41,020,548 Americans voted to pass marriage referendums) and the law.”

The Bible is clear in its position on homosexuality, in both the Old Testament and the New Testament (see Leviticus 18:22-23 and 20:13, I Corinthians 6:9, I Timothy 1:9-10 and Romans 1:26-27). Therefore, since the Bible is absolute truth and our standard for living, the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman is obviously God’s plan for our society.

However, we live in a day of religious relativism, tolerance and philosophical pluralism, a day of “individualized moral menus.” Thus, when we have a “whatever-I’m-feeling” morality, the individual becomes the authority over the government, the laws of the land, the church, the Bible and even God. It is like the day in the Book of Judges when “there was no king in Israel; every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Without some common moral compass, the tendency is toward anarchy.

H. Richard Niebuhr, who taught at Yale for over 30 years, ultimately exposed the fatal weakness of liberalism by saying, “a God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross” (“The Kingdom of God in America,” 1937). We now are seeing the weakness of that liberal message come to fruition.

Another great concern I have is that the Left’s advocacy of same-sex marriage is beginning to have a considerable impact on our freedoms in general. Ask college football analyst Craig James. He made only one appearance on Fox Sports Southwest before Fox Sports cut ties with him, because of his controversial comments on gays during a failed 2012 Senate race in Texas. He had stated that being gay was “a choice,” and gays would have to answer to the Lord for their actions.

Ask Aaron and Melissa Klein, who owned a small Oregon bakery in Gresham. The couple, who have five children, declined because of their faith to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. The Kleins have been forced to shut down their storefront because of boycotts and harassment and are facing up to $150,000 in penalties in a discrimination case against them.

It would appear that in many cases, people of faith are not expected to just tolerate same-sex marriages, but to celebrate them. Perkins has also suggested that a wedge is being driven between parents and children as school curriculum is changed to contradict the morals Mom and Dad are teaching at home, and that the true goal is not about the marriage altar, but fundamentally altering society.

How are we as Christians suppose to treat those who are engaged in a homosexual lifestyle, those who are in an adulterous relationship, or those who are trapped in some kind of addiction?

The Bible clearly tells us that we are to demonstrate an unconditional love for them — a love that prays for them, tells them the truth, warns them of the consequences of sin, points them to Christ, and doesn’t waver even if it is rejected or fails to produce a change; a love like the father had for the prodigal son, that continues even if the prodigal chooses not to come home.

We are all sinners, and there is no little sin, because there is no little God to sin against. The good news, however, is that “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (II Corinthians 5:17).

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