Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Their Own Consciences Testify

Over at my Protect Biblical Marriage blog, I had posted a three-part series with links called "In Defense of Marriage." There are several comments to read there. Many of them were arguing in opposition to what was posted.

However, Wayne from Jeremiah Films had a great point in his comment:

I'm not going to debate if marriage is between a man and a woman in the Bible; clearly it is, over and over again.

I will add however that if you go to the ends of the earth where nobody has heard of McDonald's or Cola, or Jesus. They understand the concept of a marriage being between a man and a woman.

Roman 2:15 - They show that what the law requires is written in their hearts, a fact to which their own consciences testify, and their thoughts will either accuse or excuse them.

Wayne is right. The affirmation that marriage is the union between a man and a woman is written in the Bible many times. In fact, it was directly affirmed by Jesus Christ:

Gen 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Mat 19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

Mar 10:7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;

Eph 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

No other type of union is affirmed as marriage.

It is also "written on our hearts." In our heart of hearts, not matter what the homosexual agenda tries to push on us, WE KNOW that same-sex sexual behavior is a sin and an abomination to God. The fact that certain people refuse to recognize that fact does not change the truth. As Roman 2:15 informs us - their thoughts will either accuse or excuse them!

The gay christian movement is in the business of excusing themselves. They have chosen "to exchange the truth for a lie."

And, what's more, they will do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING to attempt to cover their sin and excuse themselves rather than what is truly needed - repentance! Why? Because whether one admits it or not, one's own conscience and God's Word accuses them.

In reply to Wayne's comment I wrote:

Really good points, Wayne. The gay christian movement is all about excusing sinful, same-sex behavior. As was pointed out by Romans 2:15, either one is accused of one's sin - or - one does all that he or she can to excuse one's own sin. That is precisely what is going on in this, as well as many other heretical and worldly elements raging against true Biblical Christianity in our world today.

The "do not judge" mantra being elevated by homosexuals who want to be Christians while willfully continuing in sinful sexual behavior may indicate that they have not truly repented and are still under the judgment of God.

Rom 2:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and [their] thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;

Rom 2:16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. (KJV)

I think that a post done by Gary DeMar called, A Fool's Wager – Does the Bible Condemn Homosexual Marriage? reiterates what Wayne and I wrote. Romans 2:15, 16 directly address this as well. In fact, all of Romans 2 is very instructive on this issue.

Gay Christians often quote only a portion of this chapter that they think "favors" their "do not judge" mantra. However, a closer look (especially concerning correct judgment) tells us that proper judgment is imperative!

Romans 2

Matthew Henry's commentary goes into great detail about this portion of Scripture. Note this section:

(2.) In dispensing his frowns (v. 8, 9). Observe, [1.] The objects of his frowns. In general those that do evil, more particularly described to be such as are contentious and do not obey the truth. Contentious against God. every wilful sin is a quarrel with God, it is striving with our Maker (Isa. 45:9), the most desperate contention. The Spirit of God strives with sinners (Gen. 6:3), and impenitent sinners strive against the Spirit, rebel against the light (Job 24:13), hold fast deceit, strive to retain that sin which the Spirit strives to part them from. Contentious, and do not obey the truth. The truths of religion are not only to be known, but to be obeyed; they are directing, ruling, commanding; truths relating to practice. Disobedience to the truth is interpreted a striving against it. But obey unrighteousness—do what unrighteousness bids them do. Those that refuse to be the servants of truth will soon be the slaves of unrighteousness. [2.] The products or instances of these frowns: Indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish. These are the wages of sin. Indignation and wrath the causes—tribulation and anguish the necessary and unavoidable effects. And this upon the soul; souls are the vessels of that wrath, the subjects of that tribulation and anguish. Sin qualifies the soul for this wrath. The soul is that in or of man which is alone immediately capable of this indignation, and the impressions or effects of anguish therefrom. Hell is eternal tribulation and anguish, the product of wrath and indignation. This comes of contending with God, of setting briers and thorns before a consuming fire, Isa. 27:4. Those that will not bow to his golden sceptre will certainly be broken by his iron rod. Thus will God render to every man according to his deeds.

2. There is no respect of persons with God, v. 11. As to the spiritual state, there is a respect of persons; but not as to outward relation or condition. Jews and Gentiles stand upon the same level before God. This was Peter’s remark upon the first taking down of the partition-wall (Acts 10:34), that God is no respecter of persons; and it is explained in the next words, that in every nation he that fears God, and works righteousness, is accepted of him. God does not save men with respect to their external privileges or their barren knowledge and profession of the truth, but according as their state and disposition really are. In dispensing both his frowns and favours it is both to Jew and Gentile. If to the Jews first, who had greater privileges, and made a greater profession, yet also to the Gentiles, whose want of such privileges will neither excuse them from the punishment of their ill-doing nor bar them out from the reward of their well-doing (see Col. 3:11); for shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

V. He proves the equity of his proceedings with all, when he shall actually come to Judge them (v. 12–16), upon this principle, that that which is the rule of man’s obedience is the rule of God’s judgment. Three degrees of light are revealed to the children of men:—

1. The light of nature. This the Gentiles have, and by this they shall be judged: As many as have sinned without law shall perish without law; that is, the unbelieving Gentiles, who had no other guide but natural conscience, no other motive but common mercies, and had not the law of Moses nor any supernatural revelation, shall not be reckoned with for the transgression of the law they never had, nor come under the aggravation of the Jews’ sin against and judgment by the written law; but they shall be judged by, as they sin against, the law of nature, not only as it is in their hearts, corrupted, defaced, and imprisoned in unrighteousness, but as in the uncorrupt original the Judge keeps by him. Further to clear this (v. 14, 15), in a parenthesis, he evinces that the light of nature was to the Gentiles instead of a written law. He had said (v. 12) they had sinned without law, which looks like a contradiction; for where there is no law there is no transgression. But, says he, though they had not the written law (Ps. 147:20), they had that which was equivalent, not to the ceremonial, but to the moral law. They had the work of the law. He does not mean that work which the law commands, as if they could produce a perfect obedience; but that work which the law does. The work of the law is to direct us what to do, and to examine us what we have done. Now, (1.) They had that which directed them what to do by the light of nature: by the force and tendency of their natural notions and dictates they apprehended a clear and vast difference between good and evil. They did by nature the things contained in the law. They had a sense of justice and equity, honour and purity, love and charity; the light of nature taught obedience to parents, pity to the miserable, conservation of public peace and order, forbade murder, stealing, lying, perjury, etc. Thus they were a law unto themselves. (2.) They had that which examined them as to what they had done: Their conscience also bearing witness. They had that within them which approved and commended what was well done and which reproached them for what was done amiss. Conscience is a witness, and first or last will bear witness, though for a time it may be bribed or brow-beaten. It is instead of a thousand witnesses, testifying of that which is most secret; and their thoughts accusing or excusing, passing a judgment upon the testimony of conscience by applying the law to the fact. Conscience is that candle of the Lord which was not quite put out, no, not in the Gentile world. The heathen have witnessed to the comfort of a good conscience.

What the gay christian movement is attempting to do by professing that they are Christians - while at the same time NOT repenting of their sin - yet requiring all (including Biblical Evangelical Christians) to have "tolerance," "acceptance," and even going so far as labeling their aberrant sexual behavior as a "blessing" (with or without "marriage") - is actually an example of trying to get God and His people to be "respecters" of them and their sinful fleshly desires.

Act 10:34 ¶ Then Peter opened [his] mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

Act 10:35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

Of course, what I have just shared is definitely not politically correct in today's world of moral relativism. The point is, many of the most prominent and widely honored and accepted Biblical scholars (like Henry) are not being consulted by groups such as "Soulforce." No. They prefer the "new would-be scholars" of today who condone their sin for political, social, intellectual, and even spiritual expediency. That is the truth - my friends.

If you haven't already read Gary DeMar's article, here is a copy:

A Fool's Wager – Does the Bible Condemn Homosexual Marriage?
By Gary DeMar

State representative Alvin Holmes (D–Montgomery, Ala.) is putting his money where his worldview is. He is offering $5000 to anyone who can prove the Bible actually condemns homosexual marriage. Of course, it’s quite easy to prove the Bible does not support homosexual marriage, so why would a man make such a preposterous wager? No matter what evidence you put before him, he will explain it away, because he wants to support homosexual marriage. We’ve seen this same type of “reasoning” on the abortion issue. No matter how you go about showing that abortion kills a preborn child, there are those who still support abortion. There are some who even recognize that abortion kills a proborn baby, and they still support baby killing for “high social reasons.” The same is true on the homosexual issue. If homosexuality is explained away when it is self-evident in the Bible, then so much else can be explained away, including adultery and other sexual sins. The Bible becomes no more authoritative than Aesop’s Fables.

The nature of unbelieving thought is to interpret evidences in terms of a pre-constructed worldview. The resurrection of Jesus is denied because skeptics begin with the premise that resurrections can’t happen. When evidence is shown to the contrary, the evidence is explained away. The rich man appealed to Abraham to send Lazarus to his brothers to warn them of the consequences of their lifestyle choices. They would certainly listen to a man risen from the dead. Abraham’s response is not what the rich man wanted to hear: “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them. . . . If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead” (Luke 16:19-31). The Bible is plain enough on these issues. Rep. Holmes doesn’t want to listen.

The creation account sets the standard for proper sexual relationships, including marriage. Adam was incomplete until God created someone “suitable” (KJV: “meet” not “mate”) for him. God did not create a man and a woman, thereby giving Adam a choice. God created a woman, setting a standard. Even if the Bible never condemned homosexual behavior, the creation account alone would be enough to establish what God wants in marital and sexual relationships. Even the physical makeup of men and women is a rational defense of heterosexual relationships. The command to be “fruitful and multiply” can only apply to heterosexual relationships. The NT supports the one man, one woman standard: “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh” (Mark 10:6–8). The Bible couldn’t be any more clear. In any normal world, Rep. Holmes would be $5000 poorer.

Then there are the direct prohibitions of homosexual behavior found in the OT and NT. If homosexual behavior is prohibited, then it follows that a marriage that is built on homosexual marriage has to be wrong as well. The story of Sodom should be enough to convince anyone that homosexuality is prohibited by the Bible (Gen. 18-19). But if this detailed and irrefutable story isn’t enough, there are the stated prohibitions in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13.

Leviticus 18:22 “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”

Leviticus 20:13 “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act.”

Pro-homosexual advocates argue that these laws are found among “purity laws,” therefore, they no longer apply. The same purity laws found in Leviticus that prohibit homosexuality also prohibit rape, theft, putting obstacles in front of blind people, sex with animals, and murder. Why haven’t these laws been abrogated under the new covenant?

Paul describes homosexual behavior as “degrading,” “unnatural,” and “indecent” (Rom. 1:26–27). If homosexual behavior is described using these terms, it’s hard to see how marriage makes the behavior Paul condemns legitimate. If two murderers marry, does this mean that now they are married, murder somehow becomes legitimate? Rep. Holmes is living in a world of his own making. The Bible condemns him because he “gives hearty approval to those who practice” homosexuality (Rom. 1:32). The leadership of Hutchinson Missionary Baptist Church should discipline him for his rejection of God’s Word, and the people of Montgomery, Alabama, should vote him out of office.

HT: The American Vision

Center for Christ and Culture


Christinewjc said...

Wanting the kind of respect that many today are looking for from God is sort of like the pot telling the potter how it should be made.

Isa 64:8 But now, O LORD, thou [art] our father; we [are] the clay, and thou our potter; and we all [are] the work of thy hand.

Jeremiah's verse shows us that sometimes the "pot" needs refashioning.

Jer 18:4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make [it].

I have heard the skeptics argue, "since the pot was marred in the hand of the potter, it's his fault."

But notice. The pot was not marred at the hand of the potter, it states that it was marred in; the symbolism meaning that the pot (nation of Israel) was marred because of the freewill choice they made to sin and disobey God's Word. But despite that, they were still in God's hands of protection to fulfill the promises, if, and when, they would turn back to Him.

The same could be said of each individual who turns to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Discipline has a role in the love and justice of God. In the following verses, we get a glimpse of the purpose of discipline and why it is often necessary.

Rom 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

Rom 9:22 [What] if God, willing to shew [his] wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

Rom 9:23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

Rom 9:24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

Elsewhere, we read that God is not a respecter of persons.

Rom 2:11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

Proverbs tells us why.

Pro 24:23 These [things] also [belong] to the wise. [It is] not good to have respect of persons in judgment.

Pro 28:21 To have respect of persons [is] not good: for for a piece of bread [that] man will transgress.

Justice requires that those who do wrong receive "for the wrong which they had done."

Col 3:25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

1Pe 1:17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning [here] in fear:

It is important to remember the purpose for discipline:

2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Once born again, believers cannot be snatched out of his hands!

THIS is why genuine, Spirit-led born-again believers in Jesus Christ try to evangelize not only the lost - but also those who may think they are Christians - but are more accurately known to be CINOs (Christian in name only). Though it may appear to be a put-down, ITS NOT! It is SERIOUS CONCERN for those who may still be under condemnation - but don't realize it (or want to face that fact.)

Our thoughts are not His (God's) thoughts. This is because we are separated spiritually from Him because of the Fall. It is only when we are each individually born again in Christ that our thoughts begin to match up, so to speak, with His.

Prior to this, much of God's Word can seem very foreign in the eyes of the non-believer. Without the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who reveals the truth of the Scriptures to us, it's almost like we are reading another language without the training for full understanding of what we are reading.

I have found that many agnostics, atheists, and skeptics often claim to have "read the whole Bible."

But what have they gleaned from the Word?

Instead of comprehending the love of God from the poetic sections, and the salvation promises of the gospel through Jesus Christ, they point out perceived "errors" ad nauseum that don't affect the truth of the gospel at all.

Most of the so-called "errors" are easily solved with continued research and study.

There are Bible difficulties, but no errors. The error is often in our own fallible judgments and/or understandings of what we are reading. This is why the Holy Spirit's leading is crucial! It is also why we need God's Word as the ultimate source for absolute truth. Scripture interprets Scripture. Sola Scriptura takes away any denominational traditions that could skew what the Bible is telling us.

We have archeological finds that support what the Bible has revealed; even hundreds of years later when skeptics would scoff at such things until the real proof of certain peoples or places that existed back then emerges from excavations in the Holy Land.

I do realize that people with different worldviews may come to read at this blog. Many will not ever agree with what I write. Perhaps my sharing of God's Word may not convince others of Biblical Christian beliefs, but it's good to share them anyway. Who knows where it may lead and who might be affected by our conversations here at Talk Wisdom for all eternity?!

Christinewjc said...

I finally got around to adding Bill Muehlenberg's blog Culture Watch to my Christian blogroll. [Thanks to Duane for recommending Bill's writings.]

While reading there, I found this excellent article - It's Time to Start Judging. I think it adds a lot to the current culture dilemma that we find ourselves in today. Here's a segment:

One thing both Christian and non-Christian critics have in common is to cite the most abused passage in all of Scripture: “Do not judge, lest you also be judged” (Matthew 7:1). Turek picks up on this passage, after relating a story about a self-proclaimed “Christian lesbian” who chewed him out for being judgmental. Says Turek:

“As with most slogans shouted by the left, the truth is exactly opposite to what they claim. Liberals take the judgment statements of Jesus out of context because they want to avoid any moral condemnation for their own actions, and they don’t want you to notice that they are making judgments too.”

He reminds us to read this passage in context. So here it is, Matthew 7:1-5: “Do not judge lest you be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. And why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

Says Turek, “Notice Jesus isn’t telling us not to judge - Jesus is telling us how to judge. He actually commands us to take the speck out of our brother’s eye - that involves making a judgment. But he also commands us to stop committing the bigger sins ourselves so we can better help our brother. In other words, when you judge, do so rightly not hypocritically.”

He continues, “Jesus expressed this same idea when he said ‘stop judging by mere appearances and make a right judgment’ (John 7:24). Jesus would never tell us to stop judging - that would be suicide! Just think about how impossible life would be if you didn’t make judgments. You make hundreds, if not thousands, of judgments every day between good and evil, right and wrong, dangerous choices from safe ones. You’d be dead already if you didn’t make judgments.”

“What does this have to do with politics? Every law is a judgment about what’s best for society. Homosexual activists are making a judgment that same-sex marriage would be the best law for society. It’s a wrong judgment as I’ve argued in this column before, but it’s a judgment nonetheless. So in addition to being self-defeating, the belief that we ‘ought not judge’ is completely impractical and even dangerous. Making judgments is unavoidable both personally and politically. If you want to meet a sudden and premature demise, just stop making judgments.”

He concludes, “Unfortunately, liberals are propelling our society toward a premature demise by making the disastrous judgment that we ought not make judgments about their behavior. They, of course, can judge our behavior as immoral when we oppose same-sex marriage or the killing of the unborn. But we are not to judge their behavior. This is exactly the kind of hypocrisy that Jesus warned against. The passage they quote actually convicts them! For folks so concerned about the ‘separation of church and state,’ it’s amazing how fast liberals quote the Bible when they think it helps their case. Don’t let them get away with that. If they believe the Bible when they think it condemns judging (which it doesn’t), then ask them why they don’t believe the Bible when it certainly condemns homosexuality. If they want to use the Bible as their standard, then they will be judged by that same standard.”

Quite so. I began this piece by quoting from the English church leader who “married” the homosexual couple. He said he believed he was doing what was right. He could only say such foolishness because he has stopped judging. He has stopped making moral evaluations. Indeed, he has totally capitulated to the spirit of the age. The Bible tells us to “test all things” Obviously this rector has stopped testing things a long time ago.

Instead of judging everything by the word of God, he has simply stopped making biblical judgments. Interestingly, Peter tells us that “judgment must first begin with the household of God”. We need to start judging whether some of our church leaders have lost the plot, and need to find a new day job.

Those church leaders who abandon biblical discernment in the name of tolerance and acceptance are helping no one. Indeed, all they are doing is relegating themselves and others to the moral cesspit that is contemporary culture. I judge that this is not a very good thing.


Why You OUGHT to Judge

Susan Smith said...

Dear Christine--

I would have enjoyed seeing this as a post on Talk Wisdom, instead of two comments...

David Guzik writes when we judge another, we point to a standard outside of our self. That standard condemns everyone, not only the obvious sinner.

It is not that we do the identical same actions, but our conduct is the same i.e. we sin against the light. I enjoy reading David Guzik's commentary.

Have a great day with Jesus! (ss)

Wayne from Jeremiah Films said...

Thanks for the kind words ... I posted an article today which includes a statement from McPherson, "Right now they're driven by the wrong info and a lot of emotion," ... "'I don't want to be a bigot. I don't want to discriminate. We should be fair.' But they don't understand the facts, the dangers of homosexuality--but also, what loving somebody means," he continued. "You love somebody by helping them obey God."

The post Christian marriage movement • Ground Zero

I believe those who support same sex "marriage" want this to be about name calling. It should be about what is best for our country; And the idea that their rights are being taken away should be exposed for what it is ... A lie. I've listed here the civil union rights they have under the California domestic partnership ... which goes beyond God given rights that the rest of us are limited to.

I am not attempting to judge anyone, I am attempting to say what I believe -- If I am wrong I would like to be corrected.

Christinewjc said...

Hi Susan,

Perhaps I should have made it a separate post. But I thought that the theme of each was so closely related to my original post here. So, I decided to connect them all.

Ironically, my first comment post was written back in 2006 while answering a person's questions about "God is not a respecter of persons." Found it in draft mode at my blog, too. That post was very long, so I cut it down a bit.

I have read a few posts at Culture Watch and find that Bill M. is a gifted Christian writer. I have lots more reading to so over there! I love it when I find great Christian bloggers!!

Hi Wayne -

No. You are not wrong. You are absolutely correct in your findings.

When our "opinions," "emotions," and especially our "fleshly desires," dictate what the truth of a matter is, it is then that absolute truth suffers.

The Plumbline of Scripture instructs us and guides us towards the absolute truth contained in God's Word. It unequivocally enables us to avoid error, heresy, idolatry, sinful skewing, and ultimately - the apostasy that results due to our current postmodern era's tendency of drifting from God's Word. The result? Those who participate in such things are willingly (or, in some cases, unknowingly) falling away from Truth.

Wayne from Jeremiah Films said...

Thanks again;

When our "opinions," "emotions," and especially our "fleshly desires," dictate what the truth of a matter is, it is then that absolute truth suffers.

I've learned this the hard way, which is why today I am always willing to be corrected. It is amazing what can happen when you ask God to know and do his will.

Kevin said...

At your site you say: "The name change Eliminates right of same-sex couples to marry. suggests same-sex couple will no longer be able to have civil partnerships, which is not true. No initiative exists on the ballot to remove gay partnership rights, no such initiative was created or qualified for the ballot." But that is not true. The name change does not suggest at all that the civil partnership law will be taken away. I haven't seen anyone suggest this before. The initiative will take away the right of gays and lesbians to legally marry. That is what the wording states, and that is exactly what it means.
I find it interesting that a group of people believe they own a word that can only be used for a specific group (like marriage).

Wayne said...

I find it interesting that a group of people would like to change the meaning of a word after it has been written into other laws.

If you are confused by my post, I am using words as they have existed in the American English dictionary.

1. There is no amendment that will take away civil partnership rights.

2. If the wording. of the title for amendment 8, suggests losing rights to you then the wording is misleading.

I do believe words need to have the same meaning over time as they did when they were created.

Wayne said...

The post Kevin is referring to: Prop 8 does not affect rights

Wayne said...

"I do believe words need to have the same meaning over time as they did when they were created."

I think Orwell newspeak illustrates the importance of maintaining the integrity of words.

Right of Same Sex Marriage = Newspeak • Yes on 8 protects rights

Christinewjc said...

Thank you for posting that link to your article, Wayne! IT IS EXCELLENT!

May I have your permission to feature it (with some excerpts, a link, and credit to you) in a new blogpost at Talk Wisdom? I would also like to cross-post it at my Protect Marriage blogspot.

Your article deserves as much exposure as possible! GREAT job on separating the TRUTH of the matter from the hype!