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Questioning the “equality” of “marriage”

Questioning EqualityA Pop Culture v. The Bible Post

The naming of a thing is important.

What is in a name?

The promise of character and the hope of destiny.

I believe that every living person has the right (a God-given right from creation to the end of time) to choose how they live their life. That is a deep belief that is upheld by my reading of the scriptures and God’s constant entreaty to His people that we CHOOSE Him. His desire that people make life-giving choices during our time here on earth.

By the same token, I also believe deeply that there is an order to creation. That there is a purpose for creation. It is not by chance that any given man and woman can have a good possibility of procreating while no combination of man/man or woman/woman can naturally produce a child.

Now that’s not to say that marriage is only for the purpose of having children, but this example is illustrative proof of the natural order and intent of creation.

Marriage  

“Marriage” is a spiritual concept that is the foundation for family, community and society. “Marriage” is a covenant between God, man and woman. “Marriage” is a relationship in the physical that represents our spiritual relationship with our Creator. It’s an institution God created with the instruction to the man and woman to multiply and fill the earth and subdue it. As with all things, this you have to believe to even begin to understand.

Equality

equality:  the state or quality of being equal; correspondence in quantity, degree, value, rank, or ability; uniform character

 “Equality” is a legal term. This is where the arguments for and against “marriage equality” become convoluted. People are attempting to reconcile a term that embodies legalism in world society with a spiritual term that predates any world order.

Marriage ≠ Equality

Marriage was not created to be an equal institution. Nor was it created for equal individuals. Marriage was created to be a joining of two people into one unit. And that, my friends is something only God can do. There is no equality in the Bible. We have not equally received characteristics that will determine how well we navigate this world. God breathed His Spirit into us, but we each have varying measures of faith, joy, hope, understanding, knowledge, patience and love. The role of the Spirit is to take us through our worldly challenges in a way that will build our character and keep us on track to fulfill our destiny.  The role of government is to level the field of access so people can be active, contributing citizens in society.

Some people say that this is not a “religious” argument. Folks are citing the many different faith-belief systems in America and suggesting that Christians are imposing our will on the rest of America. I, personally, feel as if the rest of America is imposing its will on me, but that’s another post. Regarding other faiths, I have not come across any creation story that involves only two men or two women – please share if you know of any. The sanctity of marriage is a concept many hold. People are arguing that God has nothing to do with our government because of the separation of church and state. To those people, I ask: What principles do you think the American government is based on? You can trace western superpowers back throughout history and you will find that they all have built upon the foundation of Biblical principles.

A society may seek to redefine marriage, but a society cannot recreate marriage in its own image. We are created beings that come to a better understanding of who we are when we look to our Creator rather than focus solely on ourselves and our own desires.

We really need to know what we are talking about and what we are claiming. Most of the arguments for “marriage equality” amount to entitlement claims from citizens of a prosperous democratic nation (i.e. America): I have the right…, I deserve…, I want…, I was born this way…, etc. No one is “entitled” to marriage. The Constitution doesn’t guarantee any citizen “marriage”. If it did, I would be filing a suit against the United States of America for withholding my husband for these many years. Acting as if marriage is an equal human right the government is obligated to make provision for is a disservice to people actually suffering human rights atrocities. It’s a disservice to men and women who enter the bonds of matrimony with the hope and expectation that their commitment to honor and serve one another is an expression of honor and service to God and their faith community.  

By any other name… 

On the flip side, I would probably have little or nothing to say on this topic if it was called something other than “marriage equality” or if “marriage” was not part of the naming. As a citizen of the United States, I think that same sex couples who legalize their relationship (register with a governmental agency for legally recognize status) should have the legal right to identify their life partner and have their relationship legally recognized wherever they choose to live. These legally recognized same sex couples should have access to all the legal benefits and responsibilities that pertain to legal relationships in the United States. Here, I’m talking about family planning, succession, property ownership, inheritance, death benefits, responsibility to provide care and protection to family members, healthcare choices, etc. All this can be obtained without legally calling a long-term same sex relationship “marriage”. Such a relationship is not a marriage. It’s simply a different type of relationship. And I suspect from the perspective of same sex couples, different is better. After all, if same sex couples truly wanted equality in marriage, they would marry people of the opposite sex. (Tongue in cheek moment….)

So, I’m questioning why the push to call same sex committed relationships “marriage”? If same sex couples are already forging their own way to a lifetime commitment, why not name their relationship in a unique way to express what they hope to achieve with their commitment? Why insist on calling it “marriage” if their relationship is by nature the antithesis of what marriage was created to be?

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OBAMA + MARRIAGE EQUALITY

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Jesus is King, but He supports government

All of you must yield to the government rulers. No one rules unless God has given him the power to rule, and no one rules now without that power from God. So those who are against the government are really against what God has commanded. And they will bring punishment on themselves. Those who do right do not have to fear the rulers; only those who do wrong fear them. Do you want to be unafraid of the rulers? Then do what is right, and they will praise you. The ruler is God’s servant to help you. But if you do wrong, then be afraid. He has the power to punish; he is God’s servant to punish those who do wrong. So you must yield to the government, not only because you might be punished, but because you know it is right.

This is also why you pay taxes. Rulers are working for God and give their time to their work. Pay everyone, then, what you owe. If you owe any kind of tax, pay it. Show respect and honor to them all.  ~ Romans 13:1-6, NCV

[The United States Presidential Election takes place tomorrow, November 6, 2012]

You have heard it said that God is a God of order. The Bible clearly outlines for us that God is our ultimate, sovereign authority. It also outlines additional layers of authority. Followers of Christ are to live by Christ’s example. Husbands are to love their wives sacrificially as Christ exhibited His love for the church, which constitutes His body. Wives are to respect and support their husband’s leadership as it’s modeled after Christ (Ephesians 5:21-32). Children are to honor and obey their parents. This is a spiritual order for the family unit that is manifested in our physical lives.

However, for all of us living in the world – if you’re still breathing, you’re living in the world – our households are subject to various levels of worldly authorities. Municipal, state and federal governments, inclusive of all the laws and policies instituted by these governments, have a very real impact on our lives day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute.

Some people may think the political process in the United States is foolish (I admit there are foolish aspects to the shenanigans that take place throughout any given campaign cycle), but I consider myself lucky to live in a country where I can have an impact on my government at multiple levels. If my children were not being taught well in school, I could engage the teachers, administrators and all the way up to elected officials depending on the nature and scope of the problem. If I were to be falsely arrested and charged with a crime, I would have a legal recourse against the arresting officer, the police department, the city, and even the law used to victimize me. If I don’t like the priorities of my federal government or the way government programs have been administered during any particular administration, I have the right and the option to express my displeasure with my vote in the next election. By the same token, if I appreciate the leadership of the administration, I can express my support with my vote.

It may sound wonderfully “Christian” to say, “Vote for Jesus,” but Jesus isn’t interested in your vote. He ‘s interested in those who obey the call on their life and obey His teachings. (John, 17:6, 1 Peter 1:2). Abdicating your responsibilities as a citizen is not something Jesus supports. He has already told us to get up and walk. Get up and talk. Go out and tell the world about Him and His truth. In regards to government, He told us to do whatever our government requires of us, while continuing to do what God requires of us – knowing that our duties to God trumps all other duties (Matthew 22:21). Jesus has instructed His followers to be ACTIVE participants in the world we inhabit in order to better SHOW the world who HE is.

If you think eschewing your right to vote is an expression of your “pure” beliefs, then your beliefs are not as fully formed as you think they are. Anything you believe deeply should be a part of the way you decide to vote in any election that impacts your life. Your true beliefs should never cause you to silence your voice. Those who keep silent in anything of consequence either have no real opinion, no real strength or no trust in what they profess to believe.

Make them ready for Your service through Your truth; Your teaching is truth. I have sent them into the world, just as You sent me into the world. For their sake, I am making myself ready to serve so that they can be ready for their service of the truth.

“I pray for these followers, but I am also praying for all those who will believe in me because of their teaching. Father, I pray that they can be one. As You are in Me and I am in You, I pray that they can also be one in Us. Then the world will believe that You sent me.  ~ John 17:17-21