By now, most of America has heard of Proposition 8—which proclaims, "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California"—and the events in California over the denial of rights for homosexuals to marry. Those not familiar with the entire proposition may simply have heard about the backlash from the gay community towards the "Christian" right and more specifically the Mormon Church. They have filed legal challenges against Proposition 8, despite the ballot measure's lawful passage at the polls.
It seems as if proponent after proponent, supporter after supporter, blogger after blogger, and writer after writer have come forward to plead with Americans to let the gays marry, to let them have what married couples have. "Let them share in the love, the rights, the privileges of what it is and means to be married," they say. This sounds loving and right, plucking on the heartstrings. They appeal to our patriotism and humanity: "Let fellow Americans—our fellow human beings—enjoy ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.'" Yet, to God's people, who know their Bibles, this is clearly wrong and a violation of God's laws.
A well-known weekly news magazine, Newsweek, recently published an article, "Gay Marriage: Our Mutual Joy," by Lisa Miller, a senior editor who is in charge of the magazine's religion reporting. She attempts to interpret the Bible from our modern perspective, explaining to the reader that God may not be as against homosexuality as the average Christian might think. In fact, Miller goes as far as to say in its opening paragraphs:
Biblical literalists will disagree, but the Bible is a living document, powerful for more than 2,000 years because its truths speak to us even as we change through history. In that light, Scripture gives us no good reason why gays and lesbians should not be (civilly and religiously) married—and a number of excellent reasons why they should.
In this context, the word "living" can also be interpreted as "evolving." It implies "a document which may be continually edited and updated by either a limited or unrestricted group." Progressives speak about America's Constitution in this same manner, insisting that it should not be followed according to its authors' original intent but instead interpreted to conform to current thinking.
Yet, by its own testimony, the Bible is in no way an evolving book. The truths contained in its pages have been set down once and are good for all time (see Jude 3). Under no circumstances is it to be edited, added to, or taken away from whether by pen or by the opinions of mere men. Revelation 22:18-19, among the last verses in the Book, warns those who would add to or take away from the Bible:
For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Clearly, the Bible is to be preserved and understood as is. Jesus Christ assures us: ". . . till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass away from the law till all is fulfilled" (Matthew 5:18). He also declares that He does not change; He is "the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8). God's laws are the same as they were 2,000 years ago when the Bible was complete, and they will remain the same until He returns and beyond.
The Bible contains several reasons why the practice of homosexuality in any form is unlawful and wrong. Simply put, it is sin, and sin is the transgression of God's law (I John 3:4). Many scriptures solidify this claim. Homosexuality is labeled as "an abomination" (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13); "perverted" (Deuteronomy 23:17; Judges 19:22); "unclean" (Romans 1:24); "against nature" (Romans 1:26); and "shameful" (Romans 1:27). Paul gives examples of lawbreakers and sinners, among whom are sodomites (I Timothy 1:8-10). He informs us that no one who does not repent and turn from this sin "will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6:9-10).
The Bible is neither short nor ambiguous on its denunciation of homosexuality. Death—eternal death—is listed as the payment for this particular sin if un-repented of. This is so plain to see, and these proofs are so undeniable, that many proponents turn to other arguments to make their case. Yet, none of these arguments stands because they contradict God's timeless laws.
It is ironic that the same sins that vexed righteous Lot are still plaguing us today. Even as civilizations have "evolved," becoming "advanced" in every area of life and pushing the limits of science and technology, the world has not figured out how not to repeat the societal, moral mistakes of its predecessors. The same sin that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah has already eroded our culture and will eventually lead to its destruction.
True Christians, however, are preparing to be the bride of Christ at His return. Revelation 19:7 predicts, ". . . for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready." God has given us the Bible as a marriage guide and instruction manual on how to live life according to His will. Through His Word, God gives His people His law, and in the examples written in its pages, He instructs them in living a righteous life.
The Bible culminates in the return of Christ, His marriage to His church, and the establishment of God's Kingdom here on earth. God will not abide sinners in His Kingdom (Revelation 21:8; 22:15). An invitation to the wedding will be given only to those whom He finds doing His will when He returns (Matthew 24:46).
For now, California's Proposition 8 stands. However, we know that when Christ returns, men will be doing what is right in their own eyes (Judges 21:25) and that those days will be like the days of Noah (Luke 17:26). The fate of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:24-25) should be a sobering reminder to America of what happens when people turn from the God who has blessed them to the sinful desires of their evil hearts.
- Ryan McClure
by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Richard Ritenbaugh marvels at the recent quantum leap in immorality: in a seeming nanosecond, sodomy has been legitimatised, a homosexual Episcopal bishop was installed, and homosexual marriage was being debated. Homosexuality is not a lifestyle, but a sin directly against God, flouting God's creation of male and female, perverting the natural use of the human body, and destroying the natural relationship with God. Historically, God has taken the strongest punitive measures against this hideous abomination. Homosexuality, as stated by the apostle Paul, seems to be a function of eliminating God from one's mind, receiving a debased, reprobate mind as a natural consequence. God established and sanctified the marriage union between a man and a woman for the purpose of producing godly seed.
A Sin Unto Death
I John 5:16 often elicits many questions about sin and its consequences. This article systematically answers these questions, explaining that the apostle's words hold out hope for those who have fallen by the wayside.
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