f The Wittenberg Door: Do Same-Sex Couples Deserve a Chance to Get Married? - Part 3 (Conclusion)

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Commenting on Christendom, culture, history, and other oddities of life from an historic Protestant perspective.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Do Same-Sex Couples Deserve a Chance to Get Married? - Part 3 (Conclusion)

Continued from part 2 . . .

I wrestled with how to reconcile my Christian faith with my desire for Will to have the same opportunities to pursue happiness and fulfillment as his brother and sister. Ultimately, it came down to the Bible’s overarching themes of love and compassion and my belief that we are all children of God.

Senator Portman asserts that love and compassion are the overarching themes of Scripture. I would take umbrage with the good Senator’s negligence of some of the other major themes within Scripture: judgment, sin, God’s sovereignty, wrath, holiness, and sanctification, just to name a few. These cannot be excluded when considering the topic at hand. I often hear people overemphasize the qualities of God which they deem beneficial (or more palatable) in negligence of those which they would rather not talk about.

God’s Love

While God’s love is an overarching theme in the Bible, it is only properly understood when coupled with His hatred for sin. God’s love is most poignantly demonstrated in the outpouring of His eternal wrath - or anger, hatred, and punishment - against sin. God’s love is manifested most clearly as He forsook His eternally beloved Son for the purpose of expunging the guilt and debt incurred by man. That guilt and debt required, indeed demanded, punishment!

What you do not see in Scripture is Jesus coming into the world proclaiming, “All is well. My Father loves you and is willing to let bygones be bygones.” Jesus did not come into the world to give the world a hall pass, a get out of jail free card, a mulligan. Jesus came into the world “Because the justice of God requires that the same human nature which has sinned should make satisfaction for sin” (Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 16). No other human could “bear in His manhood the burden of God’s eternal wrath” against sin; but Jesus was able to do so “by the power of His Godhead” (Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 17, emphasis added).

God’s Justice

God’s justice is another overarching theme of Scripture. His justice demands that good be rewarded and evil be punished (Ezekiel 18:4-9). For either to go unrequited is an aberration of His justice. Often we would like to think that God will let our sin slide because, after all, as the popular saying goes, “nobody’s perfect.” Scripture puts it this way, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). But that’s not the end of the matter. Elsewhere the Bible reads, “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

God has set His standard before us - His moral law, summarized on two tablets, and expounded upon in the whole of Scripture. This standard is an expression of His moral character. We are to follow this law because as our Creator, He has the right to demand of us what He wills. He has laid before us, clearly, the consequences of breaking His law. He has provided a means of reconciliation for law-breakers, via the incarnation, righteous life, and atoning death of His Son. He has given His Spirit to indwell within the hearts of those whom He has predestined, called, justified, and glorified (Romans 8:30a). We are not at liberty to set this law aside for our own enrichment, vengeance upon our enemies, or even the happiness of our children. Our public representatives would do well to consider the standard from which they reason, especially when they claim the standard of Holy Writ. Senator Portman should take heed.

--The Deacon

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