Rights and Righteousness
by Dan Juster, Director, Tikkun Ministries International
By Daniel Juster
This summer the United States Supreme Court established a right of homosexual marriage. Amazingly the court discovered a right that could not possibly be in the intent of the Constitution. Justices Roberts and Scalia spoke brilliantly on this, and on the implication of an imperial judicial court making up law.
There are several profoundly troubling things about this judgement:
A. It Goes Against the Historic Consensus on Sexual Morality
I believe that society is at its best when it affirms and fosters foundational Biblical values that have been the cornerstone of the Western World and the Judeo-Christian tradition of morals for 4000 years. Sexual morality was one of the strongest points of consensus for traditional Judaism and all Christians - Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant.
We do not have homosexual marriage in Israel. However, the defense minister Ya'alon said he would like to see it, and Benjamin Netanyahu extolled the fact that Tel Aviv was a gay capital of the world. What arrogance!
B. It Endangers Religious Liberty and Conscience
We will now have law suits that are based on requiring people to support homosexual marriages now defined as a civil right. This will not just be for hotel policies and public accommodations, but for people who have family businesses, and who will be forced to actually participate in and foster what they consider to be sin (for example as the wedding photographer, or the baker asked to prepare a wedding cake for two grooms). This has happened in some states in the USA and will happen more and more. There is a great difference between serving someone in a restaurant and personally having to participate in and contribute to a wedding or other immoral events. The legal onslaught on Christian colleges, high schools etc., and their tax exemption status in regard to issues like admissions policies and student housing will certainly be litigated.
C. It Shows Foundational Misunderstandings of the Love of God and the Law of God
Some Christians have responded by rejoicing and agreeing with homosexual marriage, not just as a civil matter, but as something that can reflect the will of God for people. This shows a profound lack of Biblical understanding. There are two primary foundational matters. One is that the Bible is God's word, written and true in what every passage teaches. The second has to do with the meaning of love.
|USA Supreme Court|
The second great issue is a weak understanding of love. The kind of "love" that is being affirmed by the pro-homosexual Evangelicals is humanistic love. It is emotional sympathy that seeks to indulge people in what they want because, "How can we deny a homosexual the fulfillment of sexual intimacy?!"
Love in the Bible is defined in the context of law. I have defined it as "passionate identification with other persons, that seeks their good, guided by law." The good of other persons is the fulfillment of their destiny. God's good destiny for people is not homosexual physical intimacy. The issue of how our sexual organs are designed and for whom is so very clear. God's good destiny for most people is heterosexual marriage, and for some it is celibacy to help focus on serving God. Sexual fulfillment is thus not the central meaning of life. Indeed, there is nothing wrong with a lasting covenant relationship between men or between women, which does not entail homosexuality or sexual involvement. Because we really love people, we want to help them achieve their destiny in God. It is not a matter of homophobia (a terrible language distortion to intimidate others and cut off discussion), but a matter of love for homosexuals. We do not fear homosexuals, but in love fear for them. Our destiny is secure in God. We love them and want the best for them. Many Christians have no theology of the law and think that the New Testament has done away with law. But the Bible says faith establishes the law (Romans 3:31) and that the "righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled by those who walk in the Spirit" (Romans 8:4). God has not changed His standards. We are called to point people toward the way to life and true fulfillment.
The Bible forbids sexual physical intimacy outside the lifetime commitment of marriage. This precludes pre-marital sex. Of course, marriage has taken a great hit. For many now marry without any intention of lifetime fidelity. Some even enter into marriage with an understanding that they will allow sexual experiences outside the marriage.
So why are people homosexual, bi-sexual, transgender, cross-dressing and more? There are several reasons. First it is a fallen world and we can inherit a tendency to certain kinds of sin (as C. S. Lewis noted). Though not proven to be genetic, some genetic tendency would not be contrary to the idea of an inherited fallen-ness in a fallen world. Secondly, the environment can in very unpredictable ways predispose us from an early age to wrong orientations in sexual attractions. Thirdly, there is a demonic level. Most Christians who are affirming homosexuality have never dealt with a homosexual spirit or cast it out. In the majority world of Christianity outside of Europe and North America, believers know the reality of the supernatural and are quite familiar with this. Many in the West do not have such understanding.
How tragic. This is another nail in society's coffin leading to the decline of lasting marriages and families as the West plummets toward decadence. What kind of judgment from God can be expected when rebellion is at such a fundamental level? This judgment will begin with the house of God.
And so, I do worry about the condition of the civil government and society. However, as a Messianic Jewish leader, my greatest concern is the response given by some who claim to be Evangelicals. Why? Because a compromised church is not a glorious church, and a glorious Church is key to Israel's restoration to faith and the restoration of all things.
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