This is my final post on the subject of the marriage amendment. Whatever the outcome of the vote on the amendment, the saddest thing about the issue for me is how Christians are divided on major moral issues such as this. The meaning of marriage as designed by God is quite clear in His Word and in the Created order (nature), and yet so many churches and Christians debate against the obvious plan and word of God. One of the major reasons is that church-goers and pastors increasingly: (1) do not affirm the Bible as God’s authoritative word; (2) do not study the word or apply it correctly; (3) have based their authority increasingly on individual preferences in opposition to God’s revealed word, the unmistakable designs of nature, and the voice of conscience; and (4) perhaps most of all have falsely assumed that a person can say they believe in Jesus and at the same time disobey the commandments of God. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). People professing to be Christians have increasingly separated believing in God from obeying God. If we do not obey God, we are not following Jesus. And if we are not following Jesus, we are not Christians.
I would add also that sometimes as Christians we could bring a little more grace in our discussions about the light of truth. And yet, if we stand for truth, we must conclude that at times, that no matter what we say, we are going to be considered mean. Let us not be mean-spirited, and yet, let us be bold and spirit-filled about the truth ... while also remembering to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). At times, the world is going to hate us just because we are followers of Jesus, and even when we are demonstrating love by standing firm on God-revealed truth.
17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” 19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. 1 Peter 4:17-19
I saw this quote yesterday from Billy Graham, and I conclude with this:
Billy Graham commented today on the proposed North Carolina marriage amendment from his home in Montreat. Mr. Graham said, “Watching the moral decline of our country causes me great concern. I believe the home and marriage is the foundation of our society and must be protected.” "At 93, I never thought we would have to debate the definition of marriage,” says Mr. Graham in a full-page ad scheduled to run in 14 North Carolina newspapers. “The Bible is clear—God’s definition of marriage is between a man and a woman. I want to urge my fellow North Carolinians to vote for the marriage amendment on Tuesday, May 8. God bless you as you vote.” http://www.billygraham.org/articlepage.asp?articleid=8660
Pastor Mark Tankersley