(September 12, 2016) Dr Jim McClure, esteemed theologian, shares on a current issue…
Green Senator, Janet Rice, on an ABC radio programme called me a troglodyte. Not specifically me, of course, but all who hold my conviction that marriage is between a man and a woman.
What is a troglodyte? One dictionary gives this definition:
1. Prehistoric cave dweller
2. Person of degraded, primitive, or brutal character
3. Person living in seclusion
4. Person unacquainted with affairs of the world
5. Animal living underground.
The reason behind such vitriol is not only to challenge any and all disagreement of homosexual relationships and lifestyles, but particularly to silence all opposing views and values.
Take the issue of so-called ‘same-sex marriage’
Those who are pressing for it to be legalised in Australia are opposed to a plebiscite (in which the opportunity to vote on legalising it is put before the Australian people) and in favour of a vote in parliament in which they have more confidence of a successful outcome.
Obviously they fear the possibility that a majority of Australian citizens would not support such a change. One of their tactics is to play the victim and claim that a public vote would unleash many hate speeches against them and this would have serious psychological consequences for ‘gays.’
What is transparent, however, is that the LGBTI lobby itself excels in slurring those who disagree with them and is uninhibited in using scurrilous and denigratory terms to describe them, not only ‘troglodytes’ but bigots, dinosaurs, prejudiced, intolerant … and worse!
Is it right to oppose the views of the ‘gay’ community? Is there validity in the points they repeatedly make, such as, ‘If two people love each other, they should be allowed to show it’, ‘homosexuals are born that way’, ‘psychological harm is done to homosexuals when they are denied the right to marry’, and ‘LGBTI people should have the same civil right to marriage equality as heterosexuals.’
Let’s briefly consider these points:
- ‘If two people love each other, they should be allowed to show it.’
Our initial response is, ‘Of course they should!’ As Christians we should even encourage people to show their love for others.The problem, however, lies in what is meant by ‘love.’ Some loves are off limits, for example, the ‘love’ a person may have for another’s spouse, the ‘love’ a paedophile has for a child, the incestuous ‘love’ of a parent for a child. ‘Love’ is not, per se, always right and good! And homosexual ‘love’ is in this category. (I wrote more fully on this in an earlier article Yes to Love. Link: https://connectingwithyou.net/2015/08/29/yes-to-love/).
- ‘Homosexuals are born that way.’
If that is a scientific fact, why deny them the opportunity to find a sexual relationship with other homosexuals?This argument is an appeal to fairness and it is difficult to dispute it on purely compassionate grounds. However, a recent report, Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences, written by highly respected academics, Professors Lawrence S Mayer, MB, MS, PhD and Paul R McHugh, MD of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, comment that ‘the belief that sexual orientation is an innate, biologically fixed human property is not supported by scientific evidence and that there is little scientific evidence for the therapeutic value of medical interventions that delay puberty or modify the secondary sex characteristics of adolescents.’Dr Mayer writes, ‘This report is about science and medicine, nothing more and nothing less. Cultural and political trends should not influence the reality of the importance of dealing with these difficult and personal issues.’
- ‘Psychological harm is done to homosexuals when they are denied the right to marry.’
Again one must ask, where is the evidence to support this claim?Recent research has actually demonstrated that the opposite is true. In May 2016 a Swedish study published in the European Journal of Epidemiology stated that ‘Married’ same-sex couples have nearly three times the suicide rate of heterosexual couples.A similar Dutch study confirmed those findings. Loving concern for those who are trapped in homosexuality can never be expressed by affirming an action or a lifestyle that damages them.
- LGBTI people should have the same civil right to marriage equality as heterosexuals.
Equal rights for all seems to be a very reasonable position to take and the principal of ‘equality’ is one that Christians should be generally supportive of.However, when the word ‘marriage’ is attached to the word ‘equality’, a conflict is introduced. One must question why homosexuals are so strident in their demand that the meaning of the word ‘marriage’ be radically redefined and attached to their unions.In Australia de facto unions legally are available to same-sex couples and if those couples are actually living together on a domestic basis, they are entitled to same rights and benefits as married heterosexual couples.
The Christian conviction on the marriage union
Historically most cultures have recognised that marriage is the union between men and women. And, despite the fact that some churches and some Christians have ‘caved in’ to the pressure of political correctness, Christian belief has consistently held that marriage can only take place between a man and a woman.
This conviction has been based on unambiguous biblical teaching that marriage between a man and a woman was God’s idea, that it is a covenant between a man and a woman and that homosexual relationships defy God’s purpose for humanity. (In a previous article, Homosexuality, I expanded on the biblical teaching on this subject. Link: https://connectingwithyou.net/2015/06/23/homosexuality-a-biblical-perspective/).
In many countries marriage (that is, the union of a man and a woman) has long been institutionalised and became enshrined in legal technicalities. One cannot deny that there are certain values in this – for example, it provides a degree of protection and validity to such unions. But there are also inherent dangers when ‘marriage’ requires the authorisation and endorsement of a nation, and in the so-called ‘marriage equality’ debate we see a major danger – redefining the meaning of marriage opens a Pandora’s Box and exposes many complex and unexpected issues.
Redefining ‘marriage’ to include same-sex unions neither makes those relationships a ‘marriage’ in the millennia-old understanding that such a union involved the uniting of males with females, nor does it make it morally ‘right’ even though it may be legally ‘right.’
Legality does not define morality!
Nor does the support of approving well known ‘celebrities’ contribute meaningfully to the argument. ‘Same-sex marriage’ is a contradiction of terms such as ‘happy pessimist’ and ‘warmongering pacifist’, and legalising it does not resolve that contradiction.
By using the term ‘same-sex marriage’ we have entered the world of Humpty Dumpty: ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less. (Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll)
While acknowledging that the English language (like all living languages) is constantly in a state of flux, the ‘Humpty Dumpty principle’ of word definition embraced by the LGBTI community goes beyond this by deliberately giving a word a definition that is intended to confuse. This has so corrupted the English language that words, whose meanings have been established by etymology and consistent historical usage, have been deliberately distorted and debased to further a Godless agenda.
For example, words such as, gay, marriage, love and gender as well as replacement titles like Mx (instead of Miss or Mrs) and gender-neutral pronoun such as ‘ze’ and ‘hir’ in which both words refer to either a male or female, (an example of this silliness being used in a sentence would be, ‘Ze was pleased when I told hir that se liked hirself’).
‘Same-sex’ advocates also frequently use such words as ‘progress’ to describe the goal they want to obtain – I question how the word ‘progressive’ can be used to give a sense of normality and approbation to unnatural sexual behaviour has been for thousands of years been designated as deviant. (By ‘unnatural’ I mean that homosexuality and lesbianism are physiologically and biologically contradictive and conflicting to the purpose of the design of the human body.)
In the absurd world of ‘same-sex marriage’ men will have husbands and women will have wives! I agree with the comment made by Dr Michael Jensen, rector of St Mark’s Anglican Church, Darling Point that if ‘same-sex marriage’ is legalised in Australia (or anywhere else) ‘It will be called marriage, but it won’t be marriage as we know it. It won’t be “marriage equality”: it will be an entirely new thing.’
Despite the protestations of those who try to claim that the Bible does not speak negatively about the practice of homosexuality, Paul, in Romans 1:22-23, plainly writes: ‘Behind a facade of “wisdom” they became just fools, fools who would exchange the glory of the eternal God for an imitation image of a mortal man, or of creatures that run or fly or crawl. They gave up God: and therefore God gave them up – to be the playthings of their own foul desires in dishonouring their own bodies.’
Verses 24-27 tells the bad news result of such foolishness: ‘These men deliberately forfeited the truth of God and accepted a lie, paying homage and giving service to the creature instead of to the Creator, who alone is worthy to be worshipped for ever and ever, amen. God therefore handed them over to disgraceful passions. Their women exchanged the normal practices of sexual intercourse for something which is abnormal and unnatural. Similarly the men, turning from natural intercourse with women, were swept into lustful passions for one another. Men with men performed these shameful horrors, receiving, of course, in their own personalities the consequences of sexual perversity’ (JB Phillips translation).It’s time for unapologetic boldness!
Despite the intimidating venom showered on Christians whose life-views are shaped by the teaching of God’s word rather than the current vogue of political correctness, now is not the time to keep our heads down and to remain silent.
Rather, now is the time for unapologetic boldness that the light of God’s truth may be reflected in us.
Hear again Paul’s challenge: ‘We are up against the unseen power that controls this dark world, and spiritual agents from the very headquarters of evil. Therefore you must wear the whole armour of God that you may be able to resist evil in its day of power, and that even when you have fought to a standstill you may still stand your ground’ (Ephesians 6:12-13 JB Phillips).
PS. The doom of Humpty Dumpty as told in the nursery rhyme reminds us that he was not a good example to follow!
Dr Jim McClure, author of several books and Bible study series, welcomes questions from Christians seeking enlightenment on biblical perspectives. Love, Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage will soon be available in an electronic version in EPUB, Kindle and PDF formats with hyperlinks (as is Dr Jim’s well-researched Grace Revisited) and is offered free.
Link for pre-booked orders: firstname.lastname@example.org.