Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Post I Didn't Want to Write

This is one of those posts that I'm afraid to write.  I know it's going to offend some people.  I don't like offending people.  But truth is often offensive.  So I have the choice to keep quiet and be safe, or I can write a blog--which isn't all that dangerous, but it probably won't allow me to be as safe and comfortable as I'd like to be.  I might lose friends over this.  I might make some people mad to the point that they don't want to associate with me.  The thing is, this is what I believe, and I have reasons why I believe it.  I'd rather stand up for truth and risk offending people than keep my beliefs a comfortable secret.  I'm not writing this out of hate.  I'm writing this as a loving warning--one that, realistically, I don't think will be heeded, but that doesn't excuse me from writing it.

I don't like politics, and while I try to vote during important elections, I really don't have much to do with political stuff.  But there's a lot of buzz right now about homosexuality and marriage, and I do have an opinion on this matter.  I believe God has defined marriage as being between a man and a woman.

I don't hate gay people.  I actually have dear friends who are practicing homosexuals.  I love them, but I don't agree with their lifestyles.  They know this.  They also know that I love them.  I don't consistently remind them that I don't agree with homosexuality, lording my beliefs over them.  I don't go around thinking about them or referring to them as my "gay friends."  They're just my friends.  I don't like being lumped in with the so-called Christians who are hateful towards gay people.  I'm not intolerant.  I think some people need to find a dictionary and realize that tolerance does not mean that I have to agree with everything that everyone does. 

I have reasons for disagreeing with homosexuality.  They are Biblical reasons, but they might not be what one might think.  I really don't like it when people claim to believe the Bible, yet say homosexuality is okay with God.  These are usually the people who say something about how all the commandments against homosexuality are found in the Old Testament, located near passages that are also out-dated and that can no longer be applied to today's society.  I really do get where they're coming from.  Some commandments seem a little silly.  I don't think that everyone who claims to believe in God should be careful to have tassels on their cloaks or whatever.  It's obvious that certain things in Scripture were relative to cultural/social contexts--but the principle behind all these things can be applied to today.  The tassels, the seemingly harsh punishments for disobedience, all of these things were included in the Bible for a reason.  God is holy, and as God's people, Israel needed to show themselves holy--set apart from the other nations.  Sometimes God's commandments didn't make sense, but they were to be obeyed simply because He is God and worthy of obedience.

Aside from that, homosexuality was also addressed in a negative light in the New Testament.  It wasn't just something that was forbidden before the "New Law."  But I don't want to talk about all the things that were forbidden as much as I want to talk about the things that are permitted.

When God created the world, He made creations that reproduced creations of their own kind.  The plants produced seeds that made other plants that were like the plants that first produced the seeds.  Apples produced seeds made apple trees.  An apple never produced a seed for a cucumber.  It wasn't designed to do that.  Lions didn't lay chicken eggs; they mated with other lions and produced lion cubs.  There is an order to that, and there was an order to the creation of man. 

I really do get annoyed by the phrase, "God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve," but there is a lot of truth to it.  When God created man, there was no suitable mate for him until God created woman.  God designed man (physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually) to be complemented by woman (and vise versa).  And one of God's clearest commandments to Adam and Eve was that they multiply, reproducing more creatures like themselves--creatures who were made in God's image.  I'm not saying that the only purpose of sex is reproduction, and I'm not saying that I think every single human being has to reproduce in order to follow God's commands (if so, then I'd be in trouble), but I do believe God had a specific design for families.  This design can be seen from creation, and it runs throughout Scripture.

I might not believe what I believe so strongly if I could find just one example in Scripture where a homosexual relationship glorified God.  I can't find that.  The overwhelming majoirty of the God-honoring marriages in Scripture are between just one man and just one woman (there are many examples of marriages between one man and several women, but most of these situations were less than ideal and often led to problems).  I'm not as interested in all the different Scripture references that forbid homosexuality as I am the passages that feature God-honoring marital relationships.  God's Law does have many "do nots," and these are for our benefit.  The fact that God would show us what He expects from us is evidence of his grace, not His wrath.  But there are also a lot of things that are permitted within God's Law.  Sex is to be enjoyed within the bonds of marriage, and God has defined marriage as being between a man and a woman.  I believe that marriage by His definition is the only marriage that can glorify Him (not all heterosexual marriages glorify God, and many don't--please don't misunderstand what I'm saying.  I just don't believe a homosexual "marriage" can glorify God because it is against God's design.  God did not create men to have that kind of relationship with other men; God did not create women to have that kind of relationship with other women).

And (this is where I'm really going to lose some people) while I don't believe there's only one thing a family is supposed to look like, I would venture to say that God's design for families does not involve "two dads" or "two moms."  In the ideal family situation, kids have one mom and one dad.  There might be other family members--like grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, etc.--thrown into the mix, but in my studies in both Christianity and psychology, I have seen a lot of evidence that shows children greatly benefit from having both a dad and a mom--a male and female parent.  I am not speaking out against single parents at all--I'm a big fan of single parents, many of whom are doing the best they can at raising their kids by themselves (or with the help of family/friends)--and doing a phenomenal job of it, too!  The thing is, most of them did not have much of a choice about being a single parent, and most of them would probably love having a spouse around to help them out and to provide love for their kids.  I just cannot agree with two homosexual individuals bringing children into their families through adoption, surrogate, etc.  This is probably going to sound incredibly prejudiced of me, but seriously.  There's a reason that two men can't naturally produce a child.  There's a reason that two women can't naturally produce a child.  God did not design families that way.  He designed children to have both a mom and a dad.  There are situations where this isn't possible due to divorce, death, etc., and I salute those single parents who make it work.  But I cannot agree with the idea of homosexual couples "having" and raising kids together as if this was their God-given right.

I'm not trying to be hateful.   I don't hate gay people.  I disagree with their lifestyle, but acknowledge that it's their choice and not mine.  And I do believe that lifestyle is a choice.  I honestly cannot understand the "born this way" argument because I was not "born that way."  I am not gay.  I can't understand how someone can be attracted to someone of the same gender because I'm not attracted to other women.  But here is what I think about this.  I was born under the curse of sin. I was born with all sorts of "natural" inclinations.  I was born with the desire to claim glory for myself, with the desire to lie, with the desire to cheat, with the desire to want and take what doesn't belong to me, with the desire to tear others down, with the desire to hurt people who hurt me, with the desire to make myself happy no matter who it hurt.  If anyone doesn't think they were born with those inclinations, then he or she should go spend a day in a preschool classroom.  We were all born with the desire to have our own way.  And honestly, I still want my own way.   I still want to get back at people who have wronged me. I still covet things that aren't mine to have. I still sometimes hide behind lies. These are things that are natural to me, and I have to struggle--sometimes daily--and with God's help--to overcome them.  I don't know if homosexuals are all "born that way" or not, but here's my thought. It's not sinful to have homosexual desires. It's sinful to practice homosexuality. And even if homosexual desires are a natural thing, that doesn't make it right when someone chooses to act on them. I'd say the same thing about a man and a woman in a sinful sexual relationship. Just because we have the natural inclination to do something, that doesn't make it right. That doesn't make it okay with God.

So, does that mean I think that homosexual individuals should remain single?  I guess it does.  I don't really see this as an unfair expectation, since I'm a single lady in my 30s.  I'd like to get married and have kids, but I'm perfectly able to live a joyful, wonderful life without sex and without being in a marital relationship.  I'm able to accept that I can't always have what I want (or think I want) because I accept that life is about glorifying God and not myself.  I do struggle with this sometimes, but God gives all the grace I need.  There is great joy in surrendering to His will.  People miss out on that when they live their lives to please themselves.

Now, an important vote is coming up in North Carolina involving the definition of marriage.  As I've previously stated here, and as one of the ministers at my church stated the other day, "God has already defined marriage."  I don't believe the results of a vote are going to change God's definition.  I am, however, going to vote because I agree with God and with His definition of marriage being only between a man and a woman.  I'm not attacking homosexuals or trying to take away their "rights."  I'm standing in agreement with God's Word.  I'm sorry if I offend anyone with that, but I can't just pretend I think something is okay if it's not okay with God.

Maybe it's the realist in me, but part of me really doesn't believe the results of this vote (and similar votes in other states) are going to make me happy.  I have a feeling that God might just give people what they want.  People seem to want to live their lives without regarding any of His regulations, and my fear is that He's just going to give them that.  People are going to do what they want whether or not it's good for them.  Like a child who insists on disobeying a parent, even when the parent has issued a rule to protect the child from a danger the child cannot see, many people think they know better than God does.  And something like homosexuality might not seem to be hurting anyone, but I truly fear for society.  God designed marriage and family the way He did for a reason, and I fear there will be natural consequences for going our way instead of His.  I fear for our children.  I fear for our future.  I fear for the legacy that we're leaving to the generations to come. 

And so my fervent prayer is that God doesn't give America what it wants.  America seems to want God to butt out of our lives and let us live however we want to, whether or not such a life is good for us.  We certainly deserve that.  We certainly deserve to have God remove Himself from our lives so that we can do whatever we want and discover how hopeless such a life really is.  But I pray the Lord will be merciful and save us from ourselves.


1 comment:

  1. Ruth, I love you and I thank you for sharing your heart and convictions. Even if we don't agree on this subject, I greatly value and appreciate your friendship and love. I wish more Evangelical Christians could be so articulate in their defense of their convictions. For the record, I didn't get all mad and stuff by reading this blog post! Woohoo!