For a lot of (the most vocal) folks, it’s no big deal. It sure sounds fair, and it feels good to extend the privileges of holy matrimony to, well…anyone who feels like they’re in love.
Friday’s vote in New York, in the end, was accomplished through heavy pressure on a few key lawmakers to change their votes. One—who the Huffington Post congratulated for his “awesome defense” of gay marriage—is Senator Roy McDonald. His so-called “awesome defense” of his vote for gay marriage went something like this: Well, f--- it, I don't care what you think. I'm trying to do the right thing. I'm tired of Republican-Democrat politics. They can take the job and shove it. I come from a blue-collar background. I'm trying to do the right thing, and that's where I'm going with this."
That sounds a lot less like a principled decision, and more like an exhausted concession. The price of his frustration? The fundamental alteration (I’m beginning to hate the word change) of the institution that arguably built and sustained this nation! God (Who, by the way, invented marriage) uses the Biblical model of the marriage covenant as a beautiful symbol of His everlasting union with His faithful children. Done as God’s Word prescribes, marriage is the ideal environment for raising children, building community—even achieving Christian discipleship between man and wife.
The New York senate vote is being treated like a major victory by some; it is being ignored by others. My reaction is a sick stomach. I’ve been physically ill for days over this. Now, again…it’s NOT “homophobia!” It’s not about individuals and their private decisions at all! If we Christians are to be a people after God’s own heart, then our hearts need to be broken over that which breaks His mighty heart. God will, most certainly, move to chasten America…and I believe His greatest correction will be for those who confess to be Christians, and “don’t see anything wrong with that” which happened under cover of darkness on June 24th, 2011.
For those who take Christians, their Bible, and God Himself to task for the stories of multiple wives and concubines and other marital aberrations, I ask that you draw a line between man’s moral failures and God’s consistent, holy standard for marriage. The Bible records the true history of Israel—warts and all. But passages like Gen. 2:22-24...Matt. 19:1-11...Eph. 5:21-33 and others reflect God’s mind and heart on the issue of the holy matrimony. Jews and Judaism codified the institution of marriage, and Jesus and His church have followed their lead, using covenant marriage as a means to stabilize and preserve American and European society for millenia. It is this generation, though, that arrogantly believes itself empowered and worthy of forcibly removing a keystone from the foundation of society.
Any civil adaptation of the marriage covenant is merely that--an adaptation of a Biblical principle of the “one man, one woman before a Holy God” precept that is an inextricable part of American society. That's why so many people are (rightly) upset about the summary decision made in the New York senate. Indeed, we are to respect those whom God has put in authority over us (Romans 13)…but before those persons are put in authority…there will be an election. Elections matter, and if you’re going to respect the legislators you choose, please choose legislators you can respect. Christian, we have a difficult, but high calling. Unlike the honorable gentleman from the state of New York, we must not—cannot—be brow-beaten or worn down enough to concede defeat where God’s clearly-stated will is concerned. Pray for strength, and never back down. You might not always win every argument…but indeed, you may be found faithful.
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About Mark Daniels
Mark Daniels is a broadcasting veteran of more than 30 years, and currently serves as the Programming and Marketing Manager of WFIL/WNTP in Philadelphia. His daily talk show and On the Mark commentaries have consistently won top honors from the PA Association of Broadcasters, as well as past awards from the Philadelphia Press Association, Excellence in Media, and others. Daniels serves as host of the nationally-syndicated Christian ministry program, The Bible Study Hour with Dr. James Montgomery Boice. He is a church elder and Bible conference president. Mark Daniels can be heard weekdays at 4pm ET on www.wfil.com, and The Mark Daniels Show can be seen weekly on WBPH-TV 60 (WBPH.org).
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