PENN FREE METHODIST CHURCH

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Homosexual Marriage


THE GOVERNMENT’S ASSAULT UPON TRUE MARRIAGE
AND THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND'S DEFICIENT RESPONSE


1. Marriage redefinition is flagrant breach of the law of God
The Government’s proposals to redefine marriage represent a flagrant breach of the law of God, and in particular of the seventh commandment, under the umbrella of which the sin of homosexuality falls. The Ten Commandments are of necessity a summary statement of God’s just requirements, and we go to the rest of Scripture for the detail. The seventh commandment deals with all deviations from God’s appointed order concerning sexual relationships, and it therefore includes the sin of homosexuality. This is our response  to those who often argue that homosexuality is not a serious moral issue, because it is not referred to in the Ten Commandments. The condemnation of this sin is an integral part of God’s unchanging moral law.

In progressive liberal, secularised Britain politicians are openly promoting this sin, and not a few within the churches are also condoning it, completely ignoring the various references of Christ Himself to God's judgements upon the city of Sodom. The task of Bible-believing Christians is to confront the sin, to make calls to repentance and not to make any concessions to the spirit of the age.

The Conservative Party has been very concerned in recent years about rebranding itself and acquiring a more caring image. It speaks volumes about the appalling spiritual condition of contemporary Britain that, in order to achieve this rebranding, the Tories have felt it necessary to align themselves with the gay rights movement, and to ride roughshod over the teachings of Scripture.

Question : How does a political party create a good image for itself in modern Britain?
Answer : It rubbishes the word of God.

That is how low we have sunk as a nation.

In the cabinet reshuffle in September 2012 Maria Miller was appointed as Minister for Women and Equalities. Soon after her appointment she came out in support of homosexual marriage, stating that marriage needs to be redefined to make sure that it “remains as a relevant and vibrant institution” (1) .

Now let us note what is happening here. Secularist society is claiming that its ideas about equality are going to rescue marriage from losing its significance! The most vigorous attack on the nature of marriage ever waged in British history is actually being presented to the public as a move to strengthen marriage! A blatant assault on the Judaeo-Christian definition of marriage is actually heralded as a means of making marriage stronger! The words of Isaiah 5:20 come to mind : “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness”.

2. Modern Britain : belief in equality is more important than belief in God
The enemies of Christian truth often then use subtle arguments to undermine God’s word. It is our duty as Bible-believers to confront this worldly subtlety and to expose it for what it is. Marriage since the beginning of time only ever was between one man and one woman; therefore adding something to it which is at total variance from it, is to alter it into what it never was; it is not to strengthen it.

The very fact that we have a Government post called ‘Minister for Equalities’ reveals the extent to which political correctness has now gripped the way in which the majority of people think. We must realise that pc orthodoxy is a God-rejecting creed. The word ‘equality’ has assumed an idolatrous status in contemporary thinking. Believing in equality is now far important than believing in God; therefore equality is most definitely an idol.

But what is most worrying is the way in which many churches have felt intimidated by the continuous use by the establishment of this word ‘equality’. It is a word employed by the enemies of Biblical morality to justify sin. The truth is that we never find Scripture constantly referring to the need for equal rights. ‘Equality’, and establishing it in society, are not what the Christian message is about.

The equality which the Bible emphasises is this : mankind’s equality of sinfulness in the sight of the holy God. Before Him we have no rights whatsoever, and can only cry out to Him for mercy. So Christians must not be mesmerised by the tedious overworking of this word ‘equality’, especially when it is employed to promote the moral wickedness of same sex marriage.

3. Spirit of the age forces people to change
On 21st August of this year the Mayor of London published a video lending his support to the pro-homosexual Out4Marriage campaign. To a backdrop of Tower Bridge and the Olympic logo he asserted that there was “absolutely no reason” why homosexual couples should not get married. Furthermore, in July, the Greater London Authority donated £100,000 to support the annual ‘Pride’ parade in the capital.

What we must remember is that the pro-homosexual stance of Mr. Johnson represents a complete turnaround from the position which he formerly held, having once described gay marriage as “a ludicrous parody of the real thing”.

On 24th May Theresa May, the Home Secretary, also recorded a video for the same Out4Marriage campaign. She used the terminology of commitment and fidelity, skilfully applying to homosexual relationships the language normally associated with a Christian view of heterosexual marriage. Mrs May is a practising Anglican and regular churchgoer, and yet she sees no contradiction between her Christian profession and her support for what the Bible plainly condemns as wicked in both Old and New Testaments. We can only assume that her local church sets no store by the authority of the Bible.  

Back in 2000 Mrs May had supported the retention of Section 28, which prevented the promotion of homosexuality in schools. Also, in 2002 she voted against allowing homosexual couples to adopt children. So her present position of supporting ‘gay’ marriage again represents a complete turnaround of thinking.

So here we have two prominent politicians who have deemed it imperative to change their views on a fundamental moral issue. They are now encouraging the gay rights movement in its desire to redefine marriage.

Marriage, however, is God’s institution, and not man’s, and He has ordained that it should be between one man and one woman only. It is a divine institution which goes back to the creation itself. The attempt to redefine it represents nothing less than an attack on one of the most basic building blocks of our Christian civilisation.

The cases of both Mr Johnson and Mrs May reveal to us the enormous power of the spirit of the age, the enormous pressure exerted by intellectual and philosophical fashion, to make people change the way in which they think, and the way in which they see the world.

4. Society-transforming ideas do not have to be true
The writings of Charles Darwin had exactly this revolutionary effect on people’s minds in the 19th century. Darwin promoted an idea that all life, both animal and human, has a common ancestor. This notion thoroughly appealed to men’s God-rejecting instincts and they readily embraced it.

We see right now man-made global warming theories likewise exercising enormous influence on the way in which both politicians and many in society view the future of the world. The general consensus is that it is not God in control of the planet, but man, and so the AGW theory resonates deeply with the secularist, no-God mindset.

For many decades of the 20th century the atheistic philosophies of Marxism had enormous influence across the intellectual world, and they permeated the rest of society as well, with millions being swept up with the ideas of worker solidarity and public ownership of the means of production.

What is significant for us as Bible-believers is that many in the churches also succumbed to Marxism’s strong appeal, and the cause of Christian truth was severely weakened as a result, with many nonconformist churches especially, in the early 20 th  century, abandoning the Biblical Gospel of salvation for a socialist message of earthly equality.  

What is so frightening is that the powerful idea able to change people’s world view does not actually have to be true for it to be effective. The revolutionary concept with its powerful hold on people’s minds does not need to be based in fact and reality for it to achieve its transformation of  people’s thinking.

This is because of what man is like in his fallen condition. With a heart alienated from God, he has a natural leaning towards what most people around him are thinking, those who are also sinners fallen from God’s image. Man by nature gravitates to human philosophies rather than to God’s word. He is also very susceptible to the fear of deviating from the big mainstream idea which has arrived and is having its day. This is why Scripture teaches that men are like sheep, and that they go astray like sheep. They are so afraid of not conforming to the prevailing mood of their time; so they just follow the sheep in front.

The secularist equality movement of our day, with its fervent promotion of the sin of same-sex relationships, is one of these big ideas which has changed the way a whole society thinks. This promotion of gross immorality, however, has no foundation in truth. It is an attack upon God’s law and His created order. It is an attack on what we are as human beings. Christians, therefore, must not even partially accommodate the gay rights movement, with its cleverly marketed  words about equality and wanting to strengthen marriage.

5. Spiritual Babylon has been blinded by the god of this world
We in Britain now have a government which thinks that it knows better than the Lord Jesus Christ, whose Spirit inspired the Scriptural teaching on the sinfulness of homosexuality. The Home Secretary’s position is particularly distressing, because it is clearly connected with compromise within the churches. One would have hoped that a regular churchgoer would have been taught that to deny God’s moral law as enshrined in Scripture is simply not compatible with a Christian profession.

The Bible teaches that we are engaged in a spiritual battle in which there are two opposing kingdoms. Just as in Old Testament times it was the idolatrous empire of Babylon which set itself against God’s people, Israel, so today the true church of Christ is contending with a spiritual Babylon, the mighty kingdom of this world, a great God-rejecting empire which is under Satan’s sway. Paul teaches us in 2 Corinthians 4:4 that “the god of this world (i.e. the Devil) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not”. So it is Satan himself behind all the attacks on Biblical morality being perpetrated by our leaders in the name of equality.

No wonder then that we are warned in Scripture, “Be not conformed to this world” (Romans 12:2); and “the whole world lieth in wickedness” or “in the evil one” (1 John 5:19). We are also warned of the danger of “the doctrines of devils” corrupting pure teaching (1 Timothy 4:1), and so the churches should not be giving an inch to the world’s way of thinking. They should be resisting the world’s fine-sounding, man-pleasing arguments, which attempt to justify the sins of Sodom. Sadly, however, many are being intimidated by the pressures of the unbelieving majority. They are allowing the world to dictate the terms of the marriage redefinition debate.

6. We cannot oppose marriage redefinition whilst ignoring the sin behind it
This succumbing to the world’s intimidation is seen in churches endeavouring to uphold traditional marriage on the one hand, but on the other asserting that they believe in equality, and therefore in equal treatment for homosexual relationships. In this kowtowing to the idol of equality the actual sinfulness of homosexuality is being carefully set aside by those who should be condemning it.

For example, in June the Anglican Bishop of Leicester very rightly opposed the Government’s marriage redefinition proposals, but also re-asserted at the same time the Church’s agreement with the Civil Partnerships Act of 2004. The bishop also commented that the Church of England “continues to be supportive of the gay community” (2). What is this but to assert that the Church continues to support a lifestyle which the Bible calls sinful?

To argue that homosexual relationships should be treated under the law as equal with heterosexual ones is to argue that society should recognise, accept and condone what God’s word condemns, but this is exactly what churches are saying. If equality is the primary issue, then the churches might just as well argue that adulterous and incestuous relationships should have equal treatment under the law.

Particularly sad is the stance of Lord Carey, who in some respects has made a good defence of marriage as a lifelong union between one man and one woman. He has, however, undermined that defence by publicly stating on Sky News on February 20th that homosexuality is not morally wrong and that he wants homosexual relationships to be stable and committed. So the former archbishop’s position is that a committed homosexual relationship is acceptable in God’s sight. This represents a blatant rejection of Scriptural teaching.

So some Christians seem to be falling into the trap of thinking that if one adds ‘commitment’ to a sinful relationship, it somehow ceases to be sinful. Strangely, the Coalition for Marriage, which is defending traditional marriage and which is supported by many Christians, has endorsed Lord Carey’s position by posting the Sky News interview on its own website, even though in that interview Biblical truth is flatly denied.

7. The Church of England’s consultation submission on the Government’s proposals
In June of this year there ended the period in which the Government carried out a consultation process on their proposal to introduce same-sex civil marriage. The Church of England submitted a response to the consultation which extended to 13 pages of A4 print. This document helpfully speaks of marriage as being a gift of God in creation and of its being a picture of Christ’s relationship to the church. However, nowhere in the 13 pages is there a single Biblical reference to the sinfulness of homosexuality.

Indeed, the document actually states, “We welcome the fact that previous legal and material inequities between heterosexual and same-sex partnerships have now been satisfactorily addressed”. That is another way of saying that they welcome civil partnerships, even though they are same-sex marriage in all but name. So in their support of civil partnerships the Church of England is condoning moral wickedness which the Bible condemns.

The Anglican consultation document also advises us : “There is a continuing debate within the Church of England about its declared view of sexually active homosexual relationships”. We must carefully note the wording here. The debate, says the C of E, is only about “sexually active homosexual relationships”. This implies that the debate is not about homosexual orientation. In other words, in the view of the C of E, such orientation is not sinful at all.

We further know that this is the Anglican position, because in February 2007 the General Synod resolved that “homosexual orientation in itself is no bar to a faithful Christian life ... and (we) acknowledge the importance of lesbian and gay members of the Church of England participating in the listening process as full members of the Church” (3).  

Sadly, this represents a complete repudiation of Biblical teaching, because the Lord Jesus Christ asserts in the Sermon on the Mount that orientation to sin (a deliberate nurturing of sinful thoughts), as well as the practice of sin, renders one guilty in God’s sight (Matthew 5:22, 28).  

There is something else extremely worrying in the statement from the Church’s equal marriage consultation document just quoted. Let us repeat it  : “There is a continuing debate within the Church of England about its declared view of sexually active homosexual relationships”. By these words we observe that the national church is avoiding commitment to any distinct moral position concerning homosexuality, using as their reason for this avoidance the fact that the debate is still ongoing.

What they are really saying is that the Bible is an insufficient guide, and therefore the ongoing debate must compensate for the Bible’s deficiencies. That is the Church of England’s position.

Indeed, the consultation document even goes on to state that it does not want the Church’s opposition to redefining marriage to be perceived as prejudging the outcome of the ongoing debate about homosexuality! In other words, Do not think, says the C of E, that because we are opposed to marriage redefinition, we are teaching that homosexuality is sinful. We do not wish to make any such clear-cut denunciation. So the national church is publicly unwilling to uphold the plain Biblical teaching on this vital moral issue.

8. The issue is not equality, but sin
Bible-believing churches, however, must have nothing to do with any kind of compromise with politically correct orthodoxy. The way for God’s people to confront the secularist attack on marriage is to confront the sin which is driving that attack. There would be no movement at all to redefine marriage, if the homosexual lifestyle was not being vigorously promoted. We show our love for our homosexual neighbour by making calls to repentance.

The debate, then, is not about equality; it is about sin. It is  not about equality; it is about man thinking that he knows better than God. It is not about equality; it is about Britain’s shameful rejection of the one true faith of Jesus Christ.

We must fight this assault upon marriage on God’s terms, not man’s. We must stand on Scripture alone, and we must not allow the world to intimidate us by its trendy flavour-of-the-moment philosophies. We must take the Bible in our hands and declare without fear, Here we stand; we can do no other.

1  http://www.christian.org.uk/news/gay-marriage-new-equalities-minister-backs-redefinition/
2 http://www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk/Bishop-Leicester-voices-concern-gay-marriage/story-16346862-detail/story.html
3  http://www.churchofengland.org/media/38794/gsfeb07summshort.rtf.




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