A Christian's Perspective on the DOMA ruling
So unless you've gone dark and haven't been online or in public this morning - you've probably heard that the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), passed by President Bill Clinton in 1996, preventing married same-sex couples from receiving benefits available to other married couples under federal law. In a follow-up decision, SCOTUS also dismissed Prop 8 - a California law legalizing gay marriage.
In simple terms? Gay marriage is still legal in California and a handful of other states. The federal government now recognizes these gay marriages as any marriage, entitling these couples to federal benefits. Although the court did not legalize gay marriage at the federal level, it did validate and put its seal of approval on the decision. So, we can expect a lot more states to jump on the bandwagon and also legalize gay marriage.
And people are celebrating - my Twitter feed is exploding with hurrahs and the office is buzzing with excitement. But, my heart is breaking, because as a nation we've indirectly embraced something that disgusts our Lord.
I didn't want to publish this post. I didn't want to speak up as my coworkers and friends discussed it. But, so many times the Lord has spoken to me about speaking up when others won't and deep inside, I knew it was for a moment like this. So, I accept that I'll be called a Bible thumper or Jesus freak. Some of you may unfollow my blog or leave angry comments. And you're entitled to your opinion, and I am entitled to mine. So, I ask you to read this post with an open mind and a willing Spirit, especially if you're a Christ follower.
Twice in the book of Leviticus, which gives instruction to humans on moral laws, holy days and ceremonial cleanness, Moses writes on homosexuality:
You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. -NKJ, Leviticus 18:22
If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. -NKJ, Leviticus 20:13
To the Lord, homosexuality is an abomination - abhorred; a vile, or shameful action; intense aversion or loathing; corruption; hatred - these the words the dictionary uses to describe it. He hates it and today, as a nation we approved it and rejoiced. A nation we proclaim stands under God.
This same God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19 because of the way they were living their life in sin and wickedness - including attempted homosexual rape of two messengers from God who came to visit Lot.
I'm not saying the same will happen the to US - this is not a prophecy or a threat, but it is a warning of the consequences if we continue on this path. Because as we know, one small decision leads to a bigger one and that snowballs into something unrecognizable. And sin has an incredible talent for growing exponentially and corrupting everyone and everything in its path.
Some of you will say that the above verses are from the Old Testament and because of Jesus, we are no longer bound by those laws, but I will disagree.
It is still the word of God - if we discredit these verses, then we must also discredit everything else in the Old Testament - Moses parting the Red Sea, the Promised Land, generations of miracles and lessons. You can't pick and choose what you believe from the Bible - you must accept it all - literally and with complete faith, because it is the truth.
But, here are a few more verses from the New Testament that allude to the moral sin of gay marriage:
Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. -Romans 1:24-27
Scattered throughout the New Testament are dozens more verses on the sin of sexual immortality (and yes, I know that today you can find versions of the Bible that omit or downplay homosexuality, but I urge you to reference the original translations for the most clear phrasing on this topic).
For example, in First Timothy, Apostle Paul writes about groups of people who were considered lawbreakers and rebels...ungodly, unholy and irreligious. "People who kill their fathers or mothers, murders, the sexually immoral, those practicing homosexuality, slave traders, liars, and perjurers...and for whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine."
You see, gay people are listed right up there with murders and liars. The thing is, this doesn't mean God hates these people - nor should we. The Bible teaches us to hate sin and admonish those who sin, but to still love everyone, no matter how evil their sin, like we love ourselves.
The truth is, we are all sinners. Sin is sin - there aren't levels of sin - it's all evil in the eyes of our Lord. And each of us struggles with our sins every day. For some, that is homosexuality, for others it's pride, lying, lust, or any of the other dozens things that plague our lives. Each of those things has the power to destroy our souls and keep us away from the Lord.
I've heard homosexuals say, "I can't help it. I was born this way." And I do understand this. We're all born with some kind of bent toward sin. I was born prideful - it's party of my nature. It's something I choose to do or not to do everyday. I fight pride every moment of every single day, wanting everyone to like me and ignoring God's voice over my own.
You might say, well, that's different. But, in Proverbs 8, God says he hates pride. In fact, pride is often listed right up there withs sexual immortality and murder through out the New Testament.
God doesn't want me to say, "Oh well, I'm prideful. I was born this way, and I'm going to stay this way."
Nor does a person who kills say, "I'm a killer...God made me this way, so therefore it's okay if I kill." And the liar isn't supposed to say, "I struggle with lying, so I'm going to stop struggling and go ahead and lie. Plus it makes me happy. God made me this way and He wants me to by happy, so I'm going to keep lying."
Just because we have something within our nature, doesn't mean we give up the fight and accept it. Especially if something the Lord hates.
The thing is, God loves us despite our struggles and weaknesses. He understands this life is hard for us, so He sent us the Holy Spirit to guide us and He's always nearby ready to give us an extra dose of strength or peace to fill the days when demons threaten to trample our hearts.
From a legal point of view, I do understand why the Supreme Court made this decision and I am a strong supporter of equal rights for all races, classes and genders, but I am not a supporter of sin. And the way someone chooses to live their life should not be a decision that needs to be legalized or somehow made by the government. Be it the conservative in me, but lifestyle choices are not what our government should be focusing on.
"There are many plans in a man's heart, nevertheless the Lord's counsel - that will stand." -Proverbs 19:21
Finally, remember that nothing happens on this Earth without God's knowledge and permission. These legal and political developmens happened for a reason, and it greatly defines the strength of your faith in the midst of the turmoil of these last days.
In conclusion, today is not a day for rejoicing - today is a day to weep before the Lord and ask for mercy and forgiveness. And if something stirred in your heart as you read this post, I hope you'll allow the Spirit to do His work within you and you'll stand with your fellow believers to proclaim that homosexuality is wrong.
And if you read this post in anger and disgust and you are rejoicing today, my heart breaks for you. But unless you have something positive to say, please don't be hateful (ironically, being hateful in this conversation is directly opposite of what gay rights supporters promote, like love and tolerance). My reasons for writing this post are not hateful or judging - it's the words of someone with a different opinion than yours, so please accept it as it is and respect it. Our country is built on freedom of speech and religion - this is my voice speaking about what the Bible says on this topic.
If we're truly going to embrace freedom today, then that means that both majority and minority opinions should be respectfully heard. Just because one side's opinion became legal, doesn't automatically invalidate every other opposing thought. It's not hate versus love. Becuase, yes, love did win today...as in I will continue to love you despite your sin - whether it's homosexuality or envy. Won't you do the same?