Dear friends in Christ,
In about five weeks history is going to be made in Minnesota. In the November elections the definition of marriage will be decided. Even though this is the main issue, it’s not the only issue – neither is it a simple issue. For many it’s simply about “giving permission” for two people who love each other to join in marriage. There’s much more at stake.
First and foremost, God has defined marriage as a life-long union between a man and a woman. The Bible makes this clear in Genesis 2:24 where he says, For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. In their teaching on marriage Jesus and the Apostle Paul both make reference to this text. Marriage is a divine mystery instituted by God for mutual companionship, the procreation of children, and raising those same children to trust in God. Same-sex marriage cannot satisfy these three purposes because a homosexual relationship is sinful and forbidden by God, and because procreation is impossible.
The second issue has to do with the separation of Church and State. By this I’m not referring to a simple political distinction. We recognize that the church and government have different functions. History is full of examples of the terrible things that happen when either the government runs the church, or the church runs the government. It results in oppression. This is exactly why the Puritans came to America to establish freedom of religion. A dear friend of mine who pastors a congregation in Washington State told me, now that gay marriage is the law, that he can be fined or sued for refusing to perform a same-sex wedding. The core issue here is not political. The heart of the matter is that government is dictating the practice of the church. As Christians we believe that the only guide for faith and life within the church is the Bible.
The third issue has to do with redefining the family. God created the family to be the basic building block of society. Families are designed not only to lead their children to Christ, but also to teach them how to function as responsible members of their communities. In order for this to happen we require a moral compass – the bible calls it the conscience [Romans 2.15]. If we cannot stand on a truthful definition for the family as a God-given institution, this present generation and future generations will be cast adrift in a sea of conflicted moral standards. This is what happens when we trade the truth for a lie:
For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools…because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie Romans 1:21–25
Futile thinking is to believe that society can be built on a foundation where absolute truth is up for grabs.
As Christians we need to respond to this issue. For us it’s not about a particular candidate or a particular political party. Neither is it a desire to somehow “Christianize” the government. The issue regarding the definition of marriage places pressure on the church to abandon the Bible. We simply can’t go there.
God’s word reveals a Savior who came into this world to pay for our sins, defeat death, and give us the hope of eternal life. The church must continue to have freedom to speak the truth.
With my love to you in Christ,
Pastor Greg DeMuth