Skip to comments.DOMA and the Rock: God is sovereign over Supreme Court decisions and shifting worldviews
Posted on 07/15/2013 6:09:12 AM PDT by Gamecock
In 1996, when Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), I grieved with my people. I was an atheist then, and lived in a monogamous lesbian relationship, working as a tenure-track professor specializing in English literature and Queer Theory.
Now, some 17 years later, in the summer of 2013, the Supreme Court has delivered its historic DOMA decision. I am now a Christian, married to a man who serves God as a pastor, and I homeschool in the Classical Christian tradition the two youngest of my four children. And again, I grieve with my people.
Standing with the Disempowered Perhaps you think that I have a knack call it a spiritual gift if you like of affiliating with the losing team?
One of my enduring life values, which carried me through the Feminist and Gay Rights movements of the 1990s, and continues to motivate me today as one of Christs own, is the desire to stand with the disempowered. So here I am. Standing in a familiar place, bearing a new heart supplied by the Holy Spirit, a renewed mind, transformed by Christs atoning love, a new mission, created from before the foundation of the world by Gods sovereignty, and a new identity as a daughter of the King. But here I stand, still sporting my comfortable shoes.
An Electric Few Weeks for a Former Lesbian This has been an electric few weeks for a former atheist, now Christian disciple. First, Exodus International closes down. Truth be told, this is fine by me. Reparative therapy was never part of Gods method, and Jesus Christ did not die to make any para-church his bride. But Exodus detonated with a colossal bang, and took with it gospel integrity, leaving even more theological turbulence in its wake.
Now the Supreme Court, using strong, cosmological, moral language defending the human dignity of same-sex unions, overturns DOMA and Proposition 8, sending a resounding rebuke to the Christian ideal of creation ordinance, and with it, the normative (albeit not always redeemed) heterosexuality that undergirds it.
Gathering the Children in Close So I did what parents across the country did believing parents and unbelieving parents, gay parents and heterosexual ones. I gathered my children in close, and I talked with them. You probably did this, too. No big surprises in my talk.
No new news. No identity bombs were dropped. My children have always known that their mother used to be an atheist and a lesbian. They cut their teeth on this vocabulary, and could say the words before they knew what they meant. Saved by grace. Closets are for clothes, after all.
Here is what I know: God is bigger than my sin. And God is sovereign over Supreme Court decisions and shifting worldviews. He has had the first and he will have the last word on all matters of sin and grace.
The Church, Christs bride, is a God-made institution and will sustain herself in majesty in times of persecution or revival. Context matters not. Providence will paint the walls of this worldview.
Who Owns Your Heart But Jesus, the Word made flesh, will not be drawn and quartered. He came to fulfill the whole law, every jot and tittle. And he wants your whole life relinquished to him. Any theology that denies Gods moral law, and then domesticates sin by its absence, does not have Christs atoning love, Gods justifying pardon, or the Holy Spirits kind company. The Red Letters of the New Testament, unmoored from the moral law of the whole Bible, offer only half the God-man, mangling the gospel by wrenching salvation from sin and belief from repentance. Even the demons believed in Jesus and it only sent them straight to hell. All dangerous lies pack a dollop of truth. That was true when Jesus walked the earth, and it is true today. That we are saved from our sin simply reveals the obvious: God was right all along. No shame in truth that loves like this.
The Bible is not some pragmatists paradigm. It is the double-edged sword that chiseled truth into my stony heart, rendering it new and with it, recreating me as a new creature in Christ, a daughter of the King. I have no personal sexual orientation to call my own after Christ chisels my heart anew and neither do you. We have Christ orientation, an alien identity to which we claim no rights. Do we struggle with sin? Yes. Is temptation a sin? No. What distinguishes temptation from sin? Temptation clobbers you from the outside and lures you to do its bidding. Sin makes temptation a house pet, gets it a collar and leash, and is deceived to believe that it can be restrained by impositions of civility. What you do with temptation reveals Who owns your heart. How you talk about other peoples sin patterns reveals Who owns your heart.
Lessons in Losing So, here is what I have learned from being on the losing team of both historic, public, and political renderings of homosexuality.
Homosexuality is a sin, but so is homophobia. Homophobia is irrational fear of a whole people group, failing to see in that group Gods image diminished but not extinguished by sin, and that Gods elect people linger there, snared by their own design and awaiting gospel grace. Biding time. Think about that. Waiting like the caterpillar that spawned todays butterfly. God has set apart a people from before the foundation of the world to receive his grace, and they are waiting for you in every nation and people group. It is an act of homophobia to believe that people in the LGBT community are either too sinful to respond to Gods call on their life, or to believe that people in the LGBT community have a fixed nature that will never, by the blustering, unfounded, and uncharitable declarations of secular psychology, change by the power of the gospel.
The only fixed feature of the human constitution or badge of personal identity is the soul; imprint of God to us, it will journey from life to death to life and will last forever, permanently, for eternity in heaven or hell.
Hopes, Dreams, Redemption The gospel reorders and remakes people, and its metamorphosis manifests in a life that loves God more than itself. God doesnt zap us. He walks with us through the valley of the shadow of death, promising that as we proclaim and initiate an irreconcilable war against our choice sins, as Puritan William Gurnell states, God will be there. The Rock. Never leaving nor forsaking. Never failing the soul who puts trust in Him (Psalm 9:10). No matter what.
God promises that he will make meaning, purpose, and grace out of your redeemed life. God provides the church to be family, from cradle to grave, where single Christians are cherished saints in Christs Kingdom, not people waiting to be fixed. And God provides Christ-redeemed heterosexual marriage so that his creation ordinance is fulfilled and so that his Bride, the church, has imaginative authority over hopes and dreams.
Nice. God bless her.
ping for later use
Ping for later reading. Thanks for posting, Gamecock!
Good post. God’s transcendent sovereignty, the real underpinnings of the Reformation, come through loud and clear. He is doing a work in our time, just as He always has, rescuing whom He will. Thanks, brother.
Who has an irrational fear? Is it rational to want the group stopped? They seem to be getting larger, gathering more power and becoming more hateful to Bible believers. Sounds to me like she is still hanging on to some old defense patterns or thought processes.
The words hate and racism have been giving new meanings that apply only to white people and or Bible believers. I refuse to adopt them.
Her book “Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert” is an interesting read.
I think their is a clear distinction between our (Christian) response to individual sinners and a movement.
It is easy to find Biblical support for the first phrase. I'd like the author to give a couple of Bible citations to support the idea that "homophobia" is a sin. Given the way that homophobia is commonly defined in our society, the author has probably committed the "sin" of homophobia by typing that homosexuality is a sin.
I'm glad that God delivered her from the darkness that is homosexuality but I think that she has brought in some baggage from her former life which confuses her thinking. A Christian must hate what God hates and God hates the sin of homosexuality. Hating the sin doesn't equate to hating the sinner. I loathed the drunkenness of my father and uncle but I didn't hate them for the sin they were committing. Besides hating drunkenness because God hates it, I hated drunkenness because I saw what it was doing to two men who I cared deeply for. It would seem in the author's view I must have been guilty of drunkophobia or some such silly term.
I couldn't disagree more with this article. While homosexuality is a sin, there is no reference in scripture that homophobia is a sin. The dictionary describes homophobia as the:
Now I'm not sure if any Christian has an "intense hatred or fear" of homosexuals. Homosexuality is sin and is condemned in scripture. This isn't intense hatred or fear; it is merely fact. And if you were a Christian coming out of homosexuality, then you would hate that very sin.
According to scripture there are degrees of sin that acts as the barometer of the nation's health. A nation that embraces homosexuality is a signal to believers that the storm is coming. It is the dead canary in the mine. And, since many nations right now seem to be rushing towards this, one would think that Christians would wake up and smell the coffee. Especially since many of the homosexuals want nothing more than to attack the church. Christians can be stupid.
What comes across in this piece is the "we should love the sinner and hate the sin" attitude. However noble this gesture may be, it is not biblical. Homosexuality tells us that God has given them over to their own devices. Granted a few MIGHT be saved but she's living a pipe dream. She needs to read Romans.
Rom 1:25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
Rom 1:26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature;
Rom 1:27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
I find it difficult to classify the Westover Baptist types as Christians regardless of what they might say. And I think many other Christians feel the same way. I'm certainly not going to judge them but they are people that I wouldn't hang around with to study the scriptures.
Homosexuals are fallen image bearers, just like we once were. Our sin was just as detestable to God as that of the unrepentant homosexual.
All sinners are fallen image bearers. And the only distinction between the righteous and the unrighteous is that our Lord has set His glaze upon us for some unknown reason. And we walk in His footsteps because He makes us to do so for His name sake. We have nothing to rejoice over except Christ's finish work because it isn't anything that we have done.
That being said, it is a mistake to think unbelievers are all the same. That is like believing all demons are the same or all angels are the same. Lumping people into two classification is a real danger in Reformed thinking-at least for me. Scripture doesn't teach this. God purposely told the Israelites go into the Promise Land and destroy inhabitants because their wickedness had reach the heavens. And when the Israelites started acting the very same way centuries later, God had the Babylonians and Assyrians go in and destroy them.
Society does not build up. It constantly becomes more and more ungodly. This is the lesson of scripture (and history) over and over again. We are depraved people. Throughout time God sends flashes of His light to illuminate us and set us back on track. It may be war. It may be famine. But it is something that knocks us on the side of our head to bring us back to Him. And this wrath that God brings on us is for our own good so that we might be saved.
Embedded in every man is a moral compass. The law is written on everyone's heart. It's this moral compass that keeps us at least reasonably on track for a period of time. The law suppresses our depravity and forestall God's rightful and just wrath. I'm reminded of many cases in scripture where unbelievers respond to the voice of God. That is not to say they become believers but only that they bow to His will because He is God. Some of the more famous of these cases are Balaam, the Pharaoh of Egypt during Abraham's time (Gen 12), and the people of Nineveh with Jonah.
But there are those who abandon this morality and set their will firmly against God's will. They will not give an inch to God. These are people like the Pharaoh of Moses' time, Belshazzar, or Jezebel. These people purposely set their will against God. Unlike unbelievers who at times follow their God given moral compass, these unbelievers willingly exchange a truth for a lie and purposely worship the creature rather than the creator. They aren't deceived. They know what they're doing and are glad to be doing it.
Psa 10:4 In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, "There is no God."
Psa 10:5 His ways prosper at all times; your judgments are on high, out of his sight; as for all his foes, he puffs at them.
Psa 10:6 He says in his heart, "I shall not be moved; throughout all generations I shall not meet adversity."
Psa 10:7 His mouth is filled with cursing and deceit and oppression; under his tongue are mischief and iniquity.
Psa 10:8 He sits in ambush in the villages; in hiding places he murders the innocent. His eyes stealthily watch for the helpless;
Psa 10:9 he lurks in ambush like a lion in his thicket; he lurks that he may seize the poor; he seizes the poor when he draws him into his net.
Psa 10:10 The helpless are crushed, sink down, and fall by his might.
Psa 10:11 He says in his heart, "God has forgotten, he has hidden his face, he will never see it."
Psa 10:12 Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up your hand; forget not the afflicted.
Psa 10:13 Why does the wicked renounce God and say in his heart, "You will not call to account"?
The real problem for Christians is that we no longer hate evil. And I'm including myself in this rebuke. We fool ourselves into accepting people for what they are, afraid to speak out against what is evil. Not so with those who would curse and renounce the Lord. Yet we say Christian attitude is the cause of our problems. The problem isn't homosexuality but homophobes. All the while the world grows darker with sin.
Not suggesting we embrace the sin or sugar coat it. But being obnoxious towards nonbelievers does’t either.
While neither one of us would confuse Westboro with Christianity, the world does. We need to break through that stereotype to reach out to lost souls.
I know either of us don't believe that we should sugar coat the gospel or conversely be obnoxious. But the question in my mind is if we haven't gone too far over to the sugar coating side of the fence.
You have read this lady's book and I have not. So perhaps I'm not understanding where she's coming from based upon this article. I would say, and I'm sure that you would agree, that a Christian who is in true fellowship with Christ is not going to exhibit the characteristics displayed by people like the Westboro Baptists. True Christians, in harmony with God, are not homophobic (or any other of the goofy beliefs of that group). So at best I'm not sure if I understand the point she's trying to make.
What does this lady tell her children about homosexuals and why would she want to burden little children with talk of sex at a young age? What would this lady say to homosexuals to win them over to Christ?
2) Repent, believe in the Lord Jesus and you shall be saved.
We should not judge others but we shouldn't be naïve about the homosexual movement or the harm it would like to cause to Christians. Scripture-not me-tells us these are depraved people who God has given over to the lust of their bodies.
Having read her book, I am quite sure it is repent....
The dictionary describes homophobia as the:
intense hatred or fear of homosexuals or homosexuality Now I'm not sure if any Christian has an "intense hatred or fear" of homosexuals. Homosexuality is sin and is condemned in scripture. This isn't intense hatred or fear; it is merely fact. And if you were a Christian coming out of homosexuality, then you would hate that very sin.
What comes across in this piece is the "we should love the sinner and hate the sin" attitude. However noble this gesture may be, it is not biblical.
Here we go; the in Mat 18:18-20:
And Jesus came and said to them, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.Now, John has this to say about love 1 John 4:7-12:
Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. Gods love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.Which is important because Jesus says this, in Mat 5:43-48, as a command:
You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.And so it is revealed that a Christian refusing to love these sinners [who, as you say,
want nothing more than to attack the church] is itself sin on your part. Indeed, even in James 4:17 we are told
Anyone, then, who knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, commits sin.as well as:
James 2:10-13Thus we see that the sin of refusing to love your enemies, those who desire you harm, is the same as the sin of homosexuality. That is, sin is sin; there are no degrees or relativistic moralities here. Paul confirms this in Romans 3:23-26:
For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. For the one who said, You shall not commit adultery, also said, You shall not murder. Now if you do not commit adultery but if you murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment will be without mercy to anyone who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.
since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus.and again in Eph 4:2-9:
But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.And what are these good works? They are the same works as Jesus did! (1 Pet 2:20-23)
If you endure when you are beaten for doing wrong, what credit is that? But if you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have Gods approval. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps.So then, your job, as a Christian, is to love the sinner, because Jesus loved the sinner.
He committed no sin,
and no deceit was found in his mouth.
When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly.
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