by David C. Grabbe
CGG Weekly, May 21, 2004
"The defense of individual rights has reached such extremes as to make society as a whole defenseless against certain individuals. It is time, in the West, to defend not so much human rights as human obligations."
And [God] called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer's inkhorn at his side; and the LORD said to him, "Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it." (Ezekiel 9:3-4)
As of Monday, May 17, 2004, same-sex "marriage" is now legal in the United States of America. The U.S. is the fourth nation to have legalized homosexual marriage, behind the Netherlands, Belgium, and Canada—incidentally, all Israelitish nations. This latest milestone began last November when Massachusetts' Supreme Judicial Court "discovered" in the state constitution a right to homosexual marriage using the same lens the U.S. Supreme Court used to find a "right" to sodomy in the U.S. Constitution. The Massachusetts justices then presumptuously (and illegally) ordered the Massachusetts lawmakers to legalize this forbidden institution within 180 days. And here we are. It seems we are no longer "slouching toward Gomorrah"; after a brief sprint, we have reached it, settled in, and are now rezoning it for further development.
A recent poll by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute showed 63% of Americans are opposed to homosexual marriage—or "hom-age," as WBT radio personality Keith Larson calls it—while 31% are in favor. But the survey also found American voters opposed to amending the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage by 51% to 41%. Thus, even though a majority may intellectually disagree with the practice, it is a minority who even care enough to be in favor of instituting a change in the laws of the land.
What this highlights is the disparity between the opinion of the people, and the will of the people. The majority opinion is that "hom-age" should not be legal, but the will of the public has been amply demonstrated by its underwhelming grumble. Does the public truly care about this death knell—the fact that a civilization cannot survive if the basic building block, the family, is destroyed? Or is it merely opposed? It is only in the liberal mind that good intentions count as much as good results.
Syndicated liberal columnist Ellen Goodman has observed a change in attitudes among Americans and their governmental representatives. In an April 2 editorial, she wrote:
It's stunning to see how quickly civil union has become the moderate position, and the pace of this change isn't slowing down. Every poll shows that young Americans are more accepting of gay marriage [sic] than their elders. We're in the middle of a shift toward acceptance of full rights for gay couples.
Just give the information networks—the "news" and entertainment outlets into which we plug ourselves—a few more years to work on the current generation, and the opinion of the nation will begin to resemble its listless will.
If the angel in Ezekiel's vision were to visit us today, would he find anybody "sighing and crying" because of the abominations? How many would qualify to receive this life-saving mark—like Passover blood on the doorposts—on their foreheads? Would you qualify?
These individuals receive the angel's mark, not because they merely disagree with the abominations—for which homosexuality certainly qualifies (Leviticus 18:22-30; Romans 1:26-32; I Corinthians 6:9)—but because they are in deep mental and emotional anguish. The "sigh" signifies an inward grief, and the "cry" is an outward expression of it. These people do more than just shake their heads in disgust and then go on about their merry way. They receive this mark because they are enough like God in their character and disposition that the abomination affects them in the same way it affects God! They have internalized God's instruction to such a degree that the flipside of Romans 8:7 is also established: These people are spiritually minded, they love God, they are subject to His law, and they have a very real enmity toward the transgression of it. They recognize that—Protestant dogma notwithstanding—the absence of law is not freedom but anarchy. It can only produce death.
The "sighing" also implies recognition of futility—there is almost nothing the individual can do to directly change the course of this downward spiral. The "crying" is not shouting from the rooftops, or public protests, or "civil disobedience." Our King tells us our citizenship is in heaven, and that His followers do not resist the governments of this world—except where their commands contravene the law of God—until He returns. But at the very least, we can cry out to God and take these abominations before His throne.
In addition, we can cry out silently to our neighbors through our personal witness—making sure our own houses are in order, and by being prepared to show by our lives (and marriages, where applicable) that God's way is the only way that leads to happiness. But this takes more than just agreement that one way is better than another. This takes a hardening of the will and a resolve to do the right. We may not be able to directly combat the abominations of this land, but we can certainly give an answer to them by living as lights to this ever-darkening culture.
This nation has appropriated the name of God but is now bearing it in vain for all the world to see—if not blatantly through celebrating this abomination, then through an apathetic response to it. We are busy waxing our new cars—or figuring out how to pay for them. We are busy with the entertainments of this world, and following the entertainers who endorse a deviant lifestyle. We may be irritated at the current price of gasoline, but we are still busy enjoying the good life—much too busy to mourn for the decay of the land.
The rest of Ezekiel's prophecy details the fate of those who may be opposed to the abominations but whose will is really unaffected. Notice that God begins the judgment at "[His] sanctuary"—the place where He is supposed to dwell, His church:
To the others He said in my hearing, "Go after him through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare, nor have any pity. Utterly slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women; but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary." So they began with the elders who were before the temple. Then He said to them, "Defile the temple, and fill the courts with the slain. Go out!" And they went out and killed in the city. . . . Then He said to me, "The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great, and the land is full of bloodshed, and the city full of perversity. . . . My eye will neither spare, nor will I have pity, but I will recompense their deeds on their own head." (Ezekiel 9:5-7,9-10)