US House of Representatives passes bill protecting same-sex marriage

The United States House of Representatives past a bill this week protecting the right to same-sex marriage. It prohibits anyone from denying the validity of a marriage based on the couple’s race or gender. The fate of the legislation is uncertain in the US Senate.

Those who drafted the bill were politically savvy in linking interracial marriage to same-sex marriage since people like me who oppose the latter on biblical and moral grounds support the former for the same reasons.

I have often written that racism is a sin and that God views us all as members of the same human “race” (cf. Galatians 3:28). Therefore, interracial marriage is absolutely ethically and scripturally acceptable (cf. Numbers 12:1). In contrast, I also wrote that God defines marriage as the lifetime covenant of a man and a woman, making same-sex marriage indefensible on the same grounds.

Should adultery be illegal?

“Culture wars” can be difficult to win largely because they can be very complex. Adultery is immoral (Exodus 20:14), for example, but should it be made illegal? Elective abortions are seriously wrong, but what legal consequences (if any) should women who choose them face? Does letting a terminally ill patient die make us complicit in his death? When do genetic advances to diagnose and treat disease cross the line into eugenics?

The good news is that we have an omniscient Father whose Spirit will guide us into “all truth” (John 16:13) and empower us to make a transforming difference where He calls us and equips us to serve (1 Peter 4:10).

Moreover, our Creator is always active in his creation. He is not a deistic watchmaker observing the world he has caused to be “degraded”. Rather, He “knows all” about what is going on in our lives and in our world (1 John 3:20) and holds us all accountable for what we have done and not done (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:10).

His word is clear: “Make no mistake: no one makes fun of God, for what anyone sows he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7).

Two-step judgment

This week we explored the reasons for trusting God’s will in uncertain times. Let us choose today to live biblically by remembering this urgent truth: “Lᴏʀᴅ is a God of justice” (Isaiah 30:18).

As I have written, God’s judgment occurs in two phases: permissive and proactive. His permissive judgment is a consequence of unrepented sin when he is forced to withdraw his hand of provision lest he bless that which harms his children and violates his word. I believe that is where our culture is today.

Like David French Remarks in a recent article, “culture wars end with consequences”. It reviews a growing number of articles published by elite media and within secular feminism exposing the consequences of pervasive pornography and transactional sex. French wisely concludes, “You can fight reality, but reality always wins.

If we still refuse to repent, then God must proactively respond with judgments such as we see in the Exodus from Egypt and in the book of Revelation. I don’t think we’re there yet. But we clearly face serious challenges, ranging from a pandemic that shows no signs of abating to deep political divisions and rancor, severe economic challenges and growing geopolitical threats.

When we don’t experience the best of God, we should always ask ourselves why.

Five Reasons to Ask God’s Forgiveness

In a day of sin and judgment, God called his people: “Run hither and thither through the streets of Jerusalem, look and notice! Search his places to see if you can find a man who does justice and seeks the truth, that I may forgive him” (Jeremiah 5:1). The people needed God’s “forgiveness” for five reasons:

  1. false religion“Although they say, ‘As the Lord lives,’ they swear falsely” (v. 2).
  2. immoral religion: Jeremiah turned to those who “knew the way of the Lord, the righteousness of their God” (v. 5a), but “they had all broken the yoke alike; they had broken the bonds” (v. 5b).
  3. sexual sin: the Lord “satisfied them”, but “they committed adultery and went into the houses of prostitutes” (v. 7).
  4. Insensitivity towards people in need“They do not judge the cause of the orphans with justice, to make it prosper, nor defend the rights of the needy” (v. 28).
  5. False religious leaders“A dreadful and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule according to their direction; my people like it so” (vv. 30-31).

How relevant are these questions in our time?

Religion is a deceptive substitute for a true relationship with God in any church or culture. When religious and clergy engage in sexual abuse and other acts of personal immorality, they grieve their Lord and defame their faith. Sexual sin and callousness towards the needy are both epidemic in our society. And ministers who sanction same-sex behavior and same-sex marriage, bless abortion clinics, and refuse to stand up for the poor and marginalized are “falsely prophesying.”

A personal question

I believe that God is always looking for “one who does justice and seeks truth” (Jeremiah 5:1). The prophet said, “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout all the earth, to give firm support to those whose heart is blameless toward him” (2 Chronicles 16:9).

God is a loving Father who only wants the best for his children. It is not a heretical prosperity gospel to assume an abundance mentality with our Lord, to know that He loves us and wants to bless us.

It does not guarantee health and wealth – his blessing may not be material but spiritual and may come despite material difficulties (cf. John 16:33; 2 Corinthians 12:10). However, as I noted earlier, if we are not experiencing God’s best, we should always ask ourselves why.

So, I’ll end with a personal question: Do you experience the best of God today?

REMARK: For more on having an “abundance mentality” with God, please see my latest personal blog, “Ice cream flavored donuts.”

About Harold Hartman

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