Nature Revolts: Consequences of Gay Marriage

“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.”  (Pr. 14:34)

‘Gay marriage’ is serious business. More than protecting gays from cruel and unusual punishment, it celebrates them. It is the ultimate expression of normalizing homosexuality in any culture. In so doing, ‘gay marriage’ breaks natural boundaries.

That breakdown is costly for any culture that upholds ‘gay marriage’.

I am conservative in ascribing ‘judgment’ to any land due to its poor political decisions. But one thing I know. There is a consequence to sin. It does not go well for any land that shakes its fist at the Creator. Simply put, creation revolts. The moral ozone layer breaks down and affords little protection to the created.

I shuddered at the video clip of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom as he strutted around City Hall after the Supreme Court decision last May. (He was the man who orchestrated ‘gay marriage’ in CA—by marrying gays illegally in Feb. 2003, several of whom in turn went before the liberal CA Supreme Court in May 2008.) Newsom orchestrated the whole thing. That is his boast. He announced with supreme arrogance that his ‘gay marriage’ victory in CA was unstoppable—that it would go throughout the world.

My spirit trembled as I thought of the consequences of this ‘victory’ upon CA. I considered her offering to the world thus far—the exports of Hollywood and the sexual ‘diversity’ of San Francisco. These two great port cities have celebrated and mass-produced images of perversion that have permeated the earth. And seduced it. I recall my friend Greg commented on the profound impact ‘Brokeback Mountain ‘ had on his country, Indonesia; in its western romanticism, the film seduced the nation and broke its natural boundaries.

Surely CA has already foreshadowed in part what John the Apostle describes in Rev. 17 as the Prostitute Queen of Babylon from whom “all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The Kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries…In her heart she boasts, ‘I sit as a queen; I am not a widow, and I will never mourn…” (Rev. 17:3, 7)

Oblivious to her adulteries, the breaking of natural boundaries, California risks the consequences. Isaiah warns in Ch. 30: “Woe to the obstinate children,” declares the Lord, “to those who carry out plans that are not mine, forming an alliance but not by My Spirit, heaping sin upon sin” (v.1)…

“This sin will become for you like a high wall, cracked and bulging, that collapses suddenly, in an instant. It will break in pieces like pottery, shattering so mercilessly that among its pieces not a fragment will be found for taking coals from the hearth or scooping water out of a cistern.” (vs. 13, 14)

I believe that creation is already warning CA. A friend of mine who works for the Department of Public Works in San Francisco described what happened to the city during Newsom’s first round of same-sex weddings in Feb. 2003:

“About one hour or so after the ceremonies started, a storm of major proportions arose unexpectedly. We had an enormous amount of rainfall, so much so that the sewer system failed. Manhole covers were shot into the air by 6-foot water spouts, and there was major flooding. Trees, power-lines, property and infrastructure sustained major damage by the storm that dumped rain at about one-foot an hour.”

More seriously, just a week or so after the Supreme Court decision last May, “the single largest fire event in CA history” (NY Times) was initiated by a flurry of lightning bolts that struck CA wilderness just inland from San Francisco. The fire raged uncontained throughout the summer.

Today all eyes are on CA. Will she restrain herself in this hour? Will the righteous in the land arise and curb her excesses? I tremble as I consider the global impact CA’s ‘gay marriage’ decision will have. I tremble even further as I consider the possible destruction she could incur for her strutting about on the world stage like Gavin Newsom. Like a Prostitute Queen.

Honor marriage for the good of all. Vote YES on Proposition 8.

“O God have mercy on this land You love. Rouse the saints in this hour, O God. Honor the repentance of those who know what is being loosed in the state. Open our eyes to her global influence, to what is being exported throughout the world! May the blood not be on our hands! Honor our turning back to You on behalf of CA. Cancel the blight of ‘gay marriage’ in this land. In wrath, remember mercy.”

God Honors Righteousness in the Land

“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.” (Pr.14:34)

When we uphold marriage, we uphold His image and the boundaries that protect that image. As we have seen, marriage represents Him in the duality of male and female. Boundaries that protect marriage guard the integrity of that whole image, as well as the children produced by it.

We are a people in a particular place and land. To protect marriage where we live is to guard righteousness in the land. When we uphold marriage on behalf of the state or nation we live in, we honor His righteousness. God in turn honors His righteousness by blessing the land. God and His righteousness exalt that state or nation.

Loving what God loves about marriage, honoring His image in the land—this is something that results from reverencing God, from possessing something akin to a holy fear of honoring what He honors.

I spoke with a bright man yesterday about why he supported gay marriage. He spoke eloquently about the rights of gay people and why after all they should not have the same rights as straights, etc. I realized that for all his justice rap, he had absolutely no fear of God. God did not figure in at all. As far as he was concerned, God and His desire for people were wholly immaterial to the debate.

Christians do not have that option. We have a holy awareness of God’s image—how He has chosen to represent Himself–and an equally holy fear of God when that image is tampered with by mere humans. I am grateful for that fear; I take seriously the biblical witness that God hates the violation of His image through homosexual behavior.

On many occasions it was not mercy that prevented me from violating His image—it was holy fear. I respect God’s design and the way that design protects all living. I respect Him; I respect His righteousness and in turn His hatred for the effects of my sin upon others more than I delight in sin’s pleasures.

For me or for any mere created being to cross sacred lines undercuts righteousness in the land. Similarly, to honor those lines that guard His image honors God and His righteousness in the land. I can say joyfully with the Psalmist: “You have given me the heritage of those who fear Your Name”! (Ps 62:5)

God has given that fear and righteousness to His people, that we might honor Him in the land. He in turn blesses the land. Many in the land may not know Him yet. But they benefit (even though they may protest against it) from the decisions of God’s people to preserve what is godly in the land. All citizens benefit from God blessing the land.

“I will listen to what God the Lord will say: He promises peace to His people, but let them not return to folly. Surely His salvation is near those who fear Him, that His glory may dwell in the land…The Lord will indeed give what is good, and the land will yield its harvest.” (Ps 85: 8, 9, 12)

I represent God and His righteousness where I live. I will thus seek to stand for righteousness there. In the land. I shall seek to preserve what is just and true, e.g. marriage, while initiating new advances of His justice and compassion in that land.

It is God’s land. The land is not the church, nor the new earth as it will be under Jesus’ ultimate rule. But the earth must still give an answer to God and His righteousness. Those who know Him must give that answer loud and clear on behalf of marriage.

Honor marriage for the good of all. Vote YES on Proposition 8.

“Whenever life becomes oppressive, we just leap into the air with a bold kick and soar relieved into the ‘eternal fields’. We leap over the present. We disdain the earth; we are better than it…We cannot stand it, because the earth is stronger than we and we want to be better than the evil earth. So we extricate ourselves from it…However Christ does not lead us in a religious flight from the world to other worlds beyond; rather, He gives us back to the earth as its loyal children.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, A Testament to Freedom.

‘Father, renew our vision of Your righteousness and how marriage is one expression of that righteousness. Grant us holy fear for what You love and for what You don’t. Empower us to stand on behalf of You image and the boundaries that protect it.

May You be exalted by Your people as we arise in this hour to honor marriage.

As a result, may You and Your righteousness be exalted in the land.’


Restraint and Refuge

As our culture embraces perversion as normal, we as the church must provide a sure path for those seeking the better way. That involves clear teaching on God’s design and redemption for those with same-sex attraction; more practically, it means opening our arms and hearts. The church must become the refuge for gays plucked from the fire. We must grant them a fighting chance to become reoriented around Jesus

“Build up, build up, prepare the road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people” (Is. 57:14)…”I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth” (Is. 42:16)…And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way.”

(Is. 35:8)

God is using the gay marriage crisis. He wants to wake up the church to what is going on in the culture. He alerts us so that we can be ready to receive those He is calling off the path of destruction and onto His sure ground. We know we must restrain wickedness through the likes of Proposition 8. Will we also be a refuge for those plucked out of that wickedness?

Cindy, a female minister in a large urban center, was ready. She received Living Waters training and was about to start a group in her church. A woman high on drugs named Kate, alongside her lesbian lover, stumbled into a night meeting at the church. As a teen she had been abused for years by a high-ranking public official; the legal battle that ensued destroyed her young faith. She sought refuge in chemicals and same-sex sensuality. But she wanted Jesus.

Her lover wasn’t serious about the ‘God-thing’. But Kate was. She was embraced by the church, transformed by what God did through Living Waters (she needed a couple of rounds!), set boundaries with friends who did not support her commitment to holiness, and eventually became a dynamic minister in her own right.

God wants His little ones back! The church as a loving home can be snatched from one temporarily. But Jesus never stops reaching. He does so through wise and merciful saints like Cindy, who have made the church a refuge for those in transition.

Cindy looks for those seeking the better way. The prophet Joel describes them as: “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision. The day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.” (Joel 3:14) We fast and pray, then look out for those in the ‘valley.’

Many have been embraced by the gay community but know that they are not yet home. Home for them lies in Jesus and His design for their lives. No amount of sensual and emotional solidarity with one’s own gender can fill that void. Only a community founded on Jesus can establish those in the ‘valley’ on sure ground.

The day of the Lord is a day of judgment, a dark hour for those who have turned away from Jesus. Joel writes that “the sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars will no longer shine. The Lord will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the sky will tremble.” (v.15, 16a)

A land given over to perversion invites God’s judgment. Unredeemed darkness in the creation provokes the Creator. It provoked Him so much that He (Father and Son) endured agony to win us back. Before the final judgment, He implores those in the valley to return to Himself, to secure refuge under the shadow of His cross.

“But the Lord will be a refuge for His people, a stronghold for His own…” (Joel 3:16b)

Will we, the church, become that refuge, a welcoming community of that cross? The ‘Kates’ of this world have no other hope. In their hearts, they already know that only Jesus can secure them in love. Let us seek to embody that love as the people of Christ. Multitudes depend on us to be that living, welcoming refuge.

So we seek to restrain wickedness while offering refuge for those turning from it.

Honor marriage for the good of all. Vote YES on Proposition 8.

“Father, open our eyes to the multitude in the valley of decision. Help us to hear their cries and see their need, their supreme need for communion with You. And let us become that refuge, a living fortress endued with love more powerful than the seduction of this age. Make us a stronghold of mercy that liberates those captive by ungodly fear, shame, and perversion.”

God’s Fast for His Justice

A couple of weeks ago my good friend Peter Kockelman and I had the privilege of proclaiming the truth of God’s mercy to transform His broken image in humanity—right in the middle of the Castro, arguably San Francisco’s (and the country’s) most notorious gay district.

After the church service, we ate in a restaurant of mostly gay clientele. Among them was a young man, sitting alone, desperately seeking the attention of other men. He looked in earnest, awaiting some masculine source of strength and tenderness to see him and initiate connection with him. No-one did. While he was leaving, I pursued him to bless him and let him know of the Lord’s special attentiveness toward him.

He looked confused at first, then lit up when he realized I meant no harm. He lit up because I saw him and attended to him, as if he mattered. He matters not because of some special allure he possesses, but because he bears the Father’s image and that Father wants him above all else.

We cannot give the gay community all that it wants, e.g. gay marriage. But we can give its seeking members what they need—the Father’s justice to them revealed in Jesus Christ and His mercy. Mercy alone satisfies the cry of the misdirected heart.

In that way, we must not think that voting down gay marriage should be our only goal in these forty days of prayer and fasting. Reclaiming those bound by perversion must be our goal as well. Let us pray that we will be all the more inclined in these days to manifest God’s justice to those driven and deceived by their same-sex attraction. It is not enough to halt the advance of activists; we must serve justice to the oppressed through the power of God’s mercy.

My freedom today as a man and priest is based wholly on that mercy. To this day I am reminded continuously of that mercy. He draws me to himself daily; even and especially in my weakness, He is faithful to free me to love according to His design. He never hides His face from me but rather shines brighter when shadows fall. Truly Jesus ‘works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed’ (Ps 103:6); for this oppressed one most of all!

He did so and continues to do so through faithful believers who upheld the truth of God’s best for me, e.g. His design. At the same time, they extended extravagant mercy that served to reclaim that design in me. May we pour out that mercy in this hour to every wandering soul!

We at Desert Stream cry out for justice in the land through fighting for the correct and holy definition of marriage; that is just for all, especially for generations yet to come.

But we believe that our cry has authority only to the degree that we are continuously extending mercy to those oppressed by homosexuality. That is our expressed goal: to equip the church to be God’s arm of justice for them. That grants us authority to fight on the state-wide level. Were we not serving justice in the healing ‘trenches’, our conviction about public-policy would be a ‘resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.’

That was the trouble with Israel. She wondered why God wasn’t blessing her; they were doing all the right religious things—praying and fasting, upholding the letter of the law. But she was acting terribly toward others. Her religious practices failed to include real justice for really oppressed people!

Similarly, those who oppose gays politically may be ‘in the right’ on one hand. But when that opposition is fueled by fear and hatred of them do a disservice to all. We must restrain perversion by loving well those who bear God’s image and who need a better way than self-justifying activism.

Mercy, acts of kindness, loving attentiveness to their needs as persons: that pleases the Lord. And that has power to serve justice as mightily as voting down gay marriage.

Similarly, Isaiah exhorts us “to do way with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and to spend ourselves on behalf of the hungry, and to satisfy the needs of the oppressed.” (Is.58:9, 10)

That is the fast God chooses for us—to serve justice through mercifully attending to the needs of the oppressed. The gay community has needs that they cannot meet for themselves. We alone as Christ’s body have keys ‘to loose chains of injustice, to break every yoke, to share the food we have received, to clothe the wanderer, to turn toward our own flesh and blood with the hope of Jesus” (vs.6,7); that is God’s chosen fast for us in this hour.

We can be right about something (gay marriage) being wrong, and yet so much more in error than the object of out scorn (the community pushing for it!) That community needs restraint politically but unrestrained mercy individually.

Let us serve justice fully and so please the Lord. We cannot give the gay community all that they want, but we can give them what they need.

Honor marriage for the good of all. Vote YES on Prop. 8.

“Father, forgive us for being so politically-minded that we lose the fullness of Your justice. Help us to see the needs of the gay community and seek to meet those needs mercifully, one individual at a time. You have given mercy freely to us; help us to give it away freely. Forgive us for the ‘pointing finger and malicious talk.’ Free us for the fullness of Your justice.”

Rend Our Hearts

United with Christ, turned toward the good and aware that the enemy is no-one but the deceiver himself, we must grasp the urgency of the hour. And be willing to act urgently. Why? If we do not take a stand against ‘gay marriage’ today, then we help loose a flood of perversion tomorrow.

Chesterton writes: “Man has never been able to keep on one level of evil. The road goes down and down.” If its successful ‘homosexualization’ is any indication, then California is going down fast.

“Gay marriage’ declares that perversion is blessed in the land, that the normalizing of homosexuality reflects justice and compassion. And it manifests the truth that those in the land who know better have capitulated to other forces, have fallen asleep at their posts, have failed to represent well their Creator and Redeemer in the land.

God has entrusted us to manifest real justice and compassion in our communities, and to restrain those inclined to pervert both. That is our duty as Christian citizens. When we fail to see this and act as if our only responsibility is to our immediate communities of faith, then we give the land over to corruption and judgment.

Shame on us for giving the land that we love to a host of powerful strategists hell-bent on inserting a perverse agenda into all walks of life! We must rend, or tear, our hearts before God and ask for His mercy before it is too late.

Our first act of urgency must be prayer. The prophet Joel implored his people to pray, a people who were under the threat of enemy invasion as an act of God’s judgment.

“‘Even now,’ declares the Lord, ‘Return to Me with all Your heart, with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Rend your hearts and not your garments…” (Joel 2:12, 13)

The prophet urged them to declare a sacred assembly in which all might “weep between the temple porch and altar” and cry out: “Spare Your people , O God. Do not make Your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’ “(vs. 16,17)

I urge you to gather with friends and to cry out on behalf of California in this urgent hour. Cry out for the righteous in the land that God would vindicate our stand for what is just and right for California. The good news in Joel 2: 12-17 is that God is ‘gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and He relents from sending calamity. Who knows? He may turn and have pity…” (Vs. 13, 14)

Who knows? God may well vindicate the saints in California by empowering and uniting them to push back the advance of perversion there. One thing is sure: if Proposition 8 passes, it declares to all that the righteous in the land refuse to concede what is holy (marriage) to perversion. May He empower us to prayerful action in this hour.

We declare together: “We love marriage and the way that it represents You, O God. Forgive us for conceding Your image to alien forces. We ask that You would have mercy on the land and would rouse us to represent You well there! May we not be put to shame by the advance of perversion that is ‘gay marriage.’ May we push back falsehood in the power of what is just and true: reserving marriage for one man pledged to one woman in permanence and fidelity.”

Honor marriage for the good of all. Vote YES on Proposition 8.

“Those who seek the good have a permanent advantage in the inescapable moral design…And they have an advantage in the Designer Himself who hears our prayers, can’t be defeated and acts beyond our little defeats, beyond our sight…”

Budziszewski

Turning toward Jesus Christ

Clearly we have witnessed a momentum to evil. One desecrating act begets another, broken boundaries fan out like myriad wildfires on dry forest.

But the momentum of repentance is more powerful still. As we turn back to Him, the Author and Redeemer of who we actually are, our spirits resound with the music of Heaven. We discover quickly that the enemy’s design for humanity is infinitely less satisfying and secure than God’s original design for His creation.

Budziszewski writes: “We are put together in such a way that although we can be pushed and pulled and drowsied by flickering images, we can’t be satisfied by them; we know too much, even in oblivion. Fallen knowledge troubles our sleep. We lie under a prickling enchantment of the image carved in our hearts, which is stronger than the counterspell and can never be quite scratched out.”

We turn Jesus, who alone has unique authority to summon the true (albeit slumbering) image in us. He invites us to surrender unto Himself—He who is the true image of God in humanity and He who alone possesses the authority to recover that design in us.

Paul in his letter to the Colossians highlights the supremacy of Jesus Christ—“the image of the invisible God.” (Col. 1:15). The Apostle claims that Christ created everything. As the Source of God’s image in humanity, Jesus is also the redeemer of its brokenness.

Paul underlines His work on the cross as Jesus’ authority to reconcile us back to the Father and His design for us. His death cancels out the desecration of His image in us; Hi s life raises us up ‘holy in His sight, without blemish, and free from accusation.’(1:22)

That requires one thing of us: turning to Him in full as the Hope of our recovery. (1:23)

Turning away from the damage done to marriage specifically and God’s image in general requires more than just hating the devastation; it involves cleaving to the Redeemer of the broken image in humanity. He alone holds the keys to our restoration.

We love Him. He is the only One who can rescue us from the dominating power of sin. Our first goal then is not the recovered marriage, the flood of pure feelings, the freedom from addiction—the first goal is setting our hearts on Him as the Author and Finisher of our redemption. He made us; He alone can redeem us.

Honor Jesus by honoring marriage. Vote YES on Proposition 8.

The best way to overcome false desires is to cultivate true ones (C. S. Lewis); in turn, let us not be overcome by evil, but rather overcome evil with good. (Rom. 18:21)

“Jesus, we acknowledge You as that highest good. We want to cultivate desire for You. We place our confidence in Your mercy and design for our lives.”


Repentance for Breaking Natural Boundaries

In the Los Angeles earthquake of 1994, I witnessed power lines under and over ground breaking and igniting into flames. Showers of sparks flew from the broken lines as they lashed out, like huge snakes striking wildly at anything in their path. Broken power lines did more damage in our neighborhood than anything else.

Like those damaged lines, we as a people are guilty of breaking natural boundaries in our relationships. We have scoffed at the 6th Commandment: ‘Thou shall not commit adultery.’ Not only have we refused marriage as the one context for sexual behavior, we have allowed our minds and hearts to be filled with lustful thoughts for those we have no business sexualizing. We have violated the 9th Commandment: ‘Thou shall not covet your neighbor’s wife’, referring to the ways we envy or long to possess another that is not ours to have.

In our neediness and rebellion, we have broken holy boundaries. We have perverted God’s creation. The lines of protection break and lash out; loose wires ignite desires that are exaggerated and inflamed. Our emotions become similarly distorted and incline us to dangerous unions. Misbegotten relationships speak for themselves, a result of our separation from God rather than of our obedience to Him.

J. Budziszewski writes of how breaking natural boundaries perverts desire and behavior: “Although sex consummates the friendship of wife and husband, it perverts the friendship of comrades, just as it perverts the friendship of family members.”

I remember the seismic shift that occurred as a teenager when my male friend became a lover; I see that now with men and women on the journey out of homosexuality who break boundaries with others on the way to freedom. Friends lose friends when they become lovers. There is forgiveness for perverting a friendship, but there is no return to its original innocence.

My original walking partners in the ‘brave new world’ of homosexuality both died of AIDS. Having annihilated natural boundaries in all manner of addiction, we became subject to all manner of infection. Today Annette and I spend much of our time helping others rebuilding boundaries in the aftermath of their breaking them, not to mention the equally slow process of restoring trust with those they love.

Breaking boundaries is costly and devilish. We are slow to come to our senses. We must pray for clarity of truth and sight here; we must ask God for an awareness of the depth of denial and deception at work. I never cease to be amazed at how long and how far violators will go to defend their moral crimes.

“Behind your doors and your doorposts, you have put your pagan symbols. Forsaking me, you uncovered your bed, you climbed into it and opened it wide; you made a pact with those whose beds you love, and you looked on their nakedness…You were wearied by all your ways, but you would not say ‘It is hopeless.’ You found renewal of your strength, and so you did not faint. Whom have you so dreaded and feared that you have been false to me, and have neither remembered me nor pondered this in your hearts?” (Isaiah 57: 8, 10, 11)

“Thank you God that we have come to our senses. The loose wires have lashed out at us; we have been burned by the fires of our lust and fiery emotions. Thank You for waking us up through the bitter consequence of sin.

Forgive us for the ways that we have violated You in our broken boundaries. Forgive us for the ways we have violated Your creation, including our own bodies and souls. Sensitize us to the damage done, that we would not take lightly the ways we have abused sacred trust as Your image-bearers.

Have mercy on us; give us grace, humility and courage to rebuild the boundary lines. Help us to manifest trustworthiness to those who we love and who need our faithfulness. Your faithfulness is our hope that we too can become faithful.”

We pray as Nehemiah prayed: “You see the trouble we are in: we are in ruins, our gates burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” (Neh3:17)

Honor marriage for the good of all. Vote YES on Proposition 8.

Repentance for the Desecration of God’s Image in Humanity

Those who honor God and His image regard other human beings as a kind of sacrament, a living witness of God’s grace on earth. That involves a good kind of shame and a fear of the Lord; we dare not transgress the boundaries of one who bears His image! To do so is to blaspheme God and His creation.

For example, in my journey out of homosexuality, there were several men with whom I would have enjoyed sensual pleasure. But I refused, not because of a lack of desire, but because of a reverence for God and His creation. Proverbs 23:10 says it all: “Do not move an ancient boundary stone, or encroach on the fields of the fatherless, for their Defender is strong; He will take up their case against you.”

The denial of God results in the desecration of His image. If He is not recognized as God, if the creature fails to fear Him, then we begin to treat one another without shame.

Today His image is in shambles. The fact that we even have to fight ‘gay marriage’ is a prime example of how far we have fallen. Truly we have become a people without shame; we now regard one another as objects of our consumption—to be used and discarded according to our lusts. Jeremiah asks: “Are we ashamed of our loathsome conduct? No, we have no shame at all. We do not even know how to blush.” (6:15)

Many would wrongfully point to the gay community as the main source of this desecration. The push for ‘gay marriage’ is rather a symptom of the arrogance and self-concern in our land which places ‘personal happiness’ above the common good. Sexual civil rights follow wherein the state is coerced into protecting the hedonism of its citizens.

This began in the 1960’s with the free love movement: sex no longer cost one a lifetime commitment to another. We declared our bodies our own, and other’s bodies a sensual drug, to be used without the consent and discipline of marriage.

In the seventies we declared marital commitment an option. With ‘no-fault’ divorce, we could marry then quickly exit our covenants when ‘love’ became inconvenient.

In the eighties, with the advent of VCRs and then Internet porn, we made our homes idolatrous temples where we and our children compulsively bowed down to sensual images. The Justice Department declared: Never in history has so much obscenity been so accessible in so many homes by so many minors with so few legal restrictions.

On the desecrated ground of sexual promiscuity, divorce and porn addiction, President Bill Clinton ushered in the ‘gay nineties’ by declaring gay rights the next great American civil rights drive.

We started the 21st century with ‘gay marriage’ wars. To be sure, gay marriage and its advocates further abuse the image of God. But they are not the source of that abuse. That involves all of us, beginning with heterosexual idolatry. All of us have a hand in refusing God and His design when we grasp after the creature as if we have a right to him/her.

We all bear the shame of desecrating God’s image in humanity. We do well to seek Him for a holy fear of who He is, and what He desires for His image in humanity.

One thing is sure. Marriage honors Him.

Honor marriage for the good of all. Vote YES on Proposition 8.

“Father, thank You for holy fear. Thank you for the grace that frees us to feel shame when we violate, or are tempted to violate, the holiness of Your creation. Forgive us for the myriad ways we have violated You. We confess the greed of promiscuity, porn, marital breakups, and homosexual behavior. Forgive us for the delusion that our misdirected desires are a ‘right.’ You alone are right, O God.

Do not block our view of the battered image in our land. Help us to see the desecration of humanity as it is. Let us not cry ‘peace’ when there is none. Teach us to blush. Teach us to fear. Teach us to cry once more over the beauty of humanity, now bound in sin and shame. Have mercy on us. Have mercy on Your image in humanity.”

Repentance for the Arrogance that is Idolatry

The Apostle Paul claims that all of humanity knows something of the truth of God through His design in creation. Our hearts bear witness of His grandeur through the works of His hand. That applies to the duality of male and female in humanity and throughout all of creation.

Humanity that rejects the witness of God in creation comes under judgment. That is because God holds us accountable to the witness of who He is through His design. Paul writes in Romans that “men suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what is known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.” Men and women are without excuse when they reject God and His image in humanity, because God’s qualities are evident in what He made, including His heterosexual design for creation. (Rom. 1:18-20)

In denying God and His creation, rebellious humanity cannot worship the true God. So we make idols to worship. That idolatry ultimately results in sexual immorality, including the futile and compulsive quest to become one with a member of one’s own gender. “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator.” (Rom. 1:25)

Last June, I witnessed the celebration of this idolatry when CA began to issue gay marriage licenses. All the major papers and TV news shows featured glowing accounts of same-gender unions. Every editorial gushed at CA’s noble and courageous effort to serve justice to gays.

I thought: “No-one covering this tragedy has any fear of the Lord and His creation.” I thought of those verses in 1Samuel 15:23 where the prophet likens “rebellion to the sin of witchcraft, and arrogance to the evil of idolatry.” Those who promote gay marriage place their own foolish ideas of justice over reverencing God and His creation. They are without excuse; God has made Himself plain to them through creation and they have rejected that witness. Such arrogance is the evil of idolatry.

Idolatry perverts justice. I recently spoke with a man who lost his wife to a lesbian who was training for the pastorate in the Presbyterian Church USA. The two women began to have an affair. The diocese in charge of the lesbian supported her new relationship, even though it meant breaking up a marriage with kids! While advocating for the ‘poor’ lesbians, the church abused the betrayed husband, and presided over the destruction of a marriage.

Thinking themselves just, the world and the worldly church become foolish and abusive. Isaiah writes: “So justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the street, honesty cannot enter. Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey. The Lord looked and was displeased that there was no justice.”(Is. 59: 14, 15)

Such idolatry and perversion of justice offends God. “Who is it you have insulted and blasphemed? Against whom have you raised your voice and lifted your eyes in pride? Against the Holy One of Israel!” (Is. 37:23)

“Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the Lord, who do their work in darkness and think, ‘Who sees us? Who will know?’ You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to Him who formed it, ‘He did not make me’? Can the pot say of the potter, ‘He knows nothing’?” (Is. 29:15, 16)

God knows all. He knows what He place in our hearts that attest to His grandeur in creation. And He knows our tendency to turn away from Him and thus subject ourselves and others to all manner of perversion. In that delusional state, we become dull, arrogant, and proponents of false justice. We grieve God’s heart.

“Father, we confess our idolatry. We have worshipped our own perspectives on sex and justice. In our deception and pride, we have blasphemed Your very essence. We confess , O God, how gay marriage blackens Your eye, spits on Your creation, and reveal our rebellion. We really think we know better than You. We confess we have little if any fear of who You are, and how You have revealed Yourself to us in creation. Forgive us, O God. Please give us a holy fear of You before it is too late. May we fall on You the Rock and be broken of our arrogance before the Rock falls on us. (Lk 20:18)

“For our offenses are many in Your sight, and our sins testify against us. Our offenses are ever with us, and we acknowledge our iniquities; rebellion and treachery against the Lord, turning our backs on our God, fomenting oppression and revolt, uttering lies our hearts have conceived.” (Is. 59:12, 13)

Honor marriage for the good of all. Vote YES on Proposition 8.

Fighting in Peace

As we are now only two weeks before the election, I want to shift into a more prayerful, less teaching-like mode. I want to turn unto the Lord in a spirit of repentance. Some of the sins we will be naming and turning from may or may not be ours. At least we are capable of them. Like Daniel, we can as priests represent these sins before God and repent of them on behalf of our fellow humanity.

I want to address and repent this day on behalf of the foolish striving we as Christians conceive when we undertake a battle such as this. We can begin in the Spirit and end up in the flesh! (“Trying to attain the goal by human effort”, Gal. 3:3) We do this when we take our eyes off the Lord, the Creator of marriage, and the One who will be true to His image in humanity.

Having assumed God’s burden in our own strength, we become nasty toward people, like the gay community and its allies. As if our disgust at misdirected movements will fulfill God’s purposes! We must stay mindful at all times that the enemy is the enemy. Satan’s deceptive, destructive power to blind fellow image-bearers should alone be the object of our wrath.

Our anger at people does not ‘bring about the righteous life that God desires’ (James 1:20). We look to God and ask that He would vanquish His enemy. He loves His human image far more than we; we look to Him to open blind eyes and to release His people to stand in this hour on behalf of love: His love for both marriage and those who rail against it.

The Psalmist declares: “Give us aid against the enemy, for the help of man is worthless.

With God, we will gain the victory, and He will trample down our enemies.”(Ps 108:12,3)

In these days, I am caught between high hopes for marriage and the future of CA, and a fear of the relentless advance of an immoralist agenda there if God’s people don’t act. That fear, perhaps a fusion of holy dread and neurotic anxiety, causes me to cast myself on Him. And He meets me beautifully through His Word.

He has given me an awesome peace in this battle—the overarching assurance that He is in control and that His will for marriage will prevail. He spoke to me through Psalm 37: “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desire of your hearts. Commit your way to the Lord, and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” (vs. 4-7)

So I wait, deepening trust in Him amid the battle that will culminate at the polls. My hope is in Him, the author and finisher of marriage. I can rest in the One who has already won the war on behalf of His image in humanity. He invites me into the peaceful assurance of that victory.

A few weeks ago, my friend Dean gave me these verses. They are a seal over my soul that guards me from unholy fear. God spoke through his prophet to a small army defending Jerusalem that awaited the advance of opposing forces, much greater in size. He said: “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s…Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance that the Lord will give you.” (2Chron. 20: 15, 17)

Honor marriage peacefully for the good of all. Vote YES on Proposition 8.

“O God forgive us for the ways we fight battles in our own broken humanity. Forgive us for representing You poorly in our vain striving, a strife in which we target mere men as the enemy. And forgive us for ungodly fear. We look to You for strength and peace and clarity—You who alone authored Your image and You who will be faithful to defend and vindicate it. Help us merely to do our part; help us to be still and listen, that we might act according to Your will, O God. Having won the war, O God, we await Your victory in this particular battle for marriage in CA.”

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