Friday, January 20, 2012

Freedom Does Not Trump GOD

I have recently been involved in a discussion about “freedom” and what it includes. It didn’t start out that way, it just went that way due to the main sticking point my “opponent” was trying to create against my stance. My opponent was defending his support of homosexual marriage. In his efforts to do so, he tried to assert that, “maybe allowing people to practice homosexuality [i.e. homosexual “marriage”] even though some believe it is sin is a more conservative use of government.”

He went on to say, quote: “Therefore, as I look at the upcoming election and evaluate how I want to vote there is one thing in particular that I hold as an irrefutable value: Freedom may not be free, but it is always worth the price. Even if that price means other people are allowed to do things I think are stupid (like smoke cigarettes). Even if that means other countries are allowed to do things we think are stupid (like have nuclear weapons [even if we only think it’s stupid when they want them]). While granting sovereign rights will always be fraught with potential calamity, taking those rights away will always result in the greater calamity of dictatorship.” Unquote.

His stance in support of homosexual marriage is unique if nothing else. Standing against laws that allow homosexual marriage is less government and therefore something Conservatives should support. Never thought of it that way before. Putting the number of laws on the books ahead of right and wrong is novel to say the least. But more about this later.

I argued against his idea and was astonished at the persistence in my opponent’s defense of such a stance. Smaller government = more freedom = homosexual marriage should be allowed purely on the basis of smaller government, therefore Conservatives should support it! Well, there’s a problem with that line of thinking.

A few for instances: I live on a corner lot. When we first moved into our house the yard was unfenced. Our boys were small and we put the boundary on them that they could not go into the street. The street was not safe for them. We loved them so we set that boundary. Sometimes they pushed the boundary and went into the street, for which they got reprimanded (sometimes a swat on their bottoms), and that helped teach them to stay out of the street.

If we love someone we put boundaries up to protect them. Some of those boundaries are physical, some we set up are spiritual, some emotional. If love includes boundaries then not all boundaries are bad. A boundary that keeps people from walking on the “third rail” of an electric train is going to keep a person alive is a good boundary. The same thing is true with emotional boundaries: don’t give your heart to a married man because it’s going to cause someone to get hurt (the wife, the mistress, the children of the married man, etc.). Don’t get involved in drugs, voodoo, etc., are examples of things that a majority of people think of as “good boundaries” parents set for their children.

Freedom comes from GOD (the Declaration of Independence confirms this) and, even though we are free, with freedom comes certain responsibilities. As Rick Santorum so astutely pointed out at a Lexington, SC, restaurant (the “Flight Deck”)recently,“[W]e were founded as a country that had God-given rights that the government had to respect. And with those rights come responsibilities, right? God did not just give us rights. He gave us a moral code by which to exercise them.” Mr. Santorum’s excellent reminder for folks is that just because you have freedom declared in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, that doesn’t mean that there is a “free for all” and we can run, helter-skelter, to do whatever we wish, whenever we wish, with/to whomever we wish, however we wish.

With freedom – which the Declaration itself states comes from GOD – comes the boundaries GOD believes in and tried to teach us via His relationship with His people (Israel), via His Son, Jesus Christ and via His Word, the Holy Bible. Does that mean that America should be a Baptist country (Baptist is a for instance, it could be Greek Orthodox, Catholic, or Lutheran)? No. It means that if we are going to tout our freedoms that come from GOD as our Founding Fathers reiterated in their writings, the Congressional record (read the earliest Congressional records and you’ll be amazed at how often GOD and His providential guidance are referenced), and elsewhere, then we also must act as though our freedoms come from a moral, loving, wise, Creator who knows us better than we know ourselves.

Freedom means we have the personal rights that come from being intelligent enough to act as though we know right from wrong, good from bad and moral from immoral. We have the right to feel whatever we feel (even feeling homosexual), but we do not have the right to engage in “marriage” (per se) because marriage is a conscript from GOD. He established it and it was He who decided – via establishing Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve (cliché but true) – what a marriage was going to be. It is in Genesis Chapter 2:24, that marriage is established as, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” One flesh: one person: one child or children (one flesh) from two people. That is not possible with homosexuality.

When GOD created marriage He created what He wanted us to live. He gave us the rules regarding homosexuality:
Leviticus 18:22: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”
Leviticus 20:13: “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”
I Timothy 1:10 (read the first portion of that in 1:9: “Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient,”): “the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,”
I Corinthians 6:9: “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,”

Remember that GOD gave us freedom, but that also means that we must include within that freedom what GOD says is freedom: living by the rules He set down. Otherwise, the law is made for those who are “lawless and disobedient”.

Now I’ll return to the previous paragraph that talked about the number of laws on the books being a reason to not outlaw homosexual marriage: the “too many laws” thing.

Until 1993 it was not even considered a possibility for homosexuals to marry. Not that there were any laws on the books against it, just because the homosexuals who had tried and been refused had decided not to make a fuss about it. There were no laws preventing homosexual marriage in effect in any of our fifty states (fifty-seven in obamination’s America) until 1995. When they started pushing for the “right to marry”, that’s when man’s traditional views on marriage were tested and new laws created. Thus, the biblical reminder that “the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient…”. We cannot fight GOD. If we do, we lose. The laws that are now being created against homosexual marriage are just the laws of GOD coming into effect. So the number of laws on the books is inconsequential in regards to this. (If we can write laws mandating punishment for feelings -- “Hate Crimes” -- then we can have laws based on actions.)

America, as a Christian nation (founded by Christians, GOD mentioned throughout our founding documents, in our earliest Congressional records, prayer being established at our first Congressional meeting and practiced within our Congressional meetings as the starting point of every meeting and effort of Congress’s guiding America, etc., etc., etc. [and like it or not]), is based upon GOD’s Word. We looked for His guidance. We looked for His Providential protection. We looked for – and a majority of us still look for – His truth.

Now, are we as a nation so far from GOD that we will turn our backs on Him for the convenience, the emotions of, the “freedoms” of a very few people who have started down the road toward perdition? Should we not, instead of allowing this and stepping aside to let the slide continue, love homosexuals enough to stand up and say, “No. This far and no further!”? If we, as Christians and a Christian nation, should love our neighbor enough to try to bring them to Christ (GOD’s command in the “Great Commission” in Matthew 28), should we at the same time hate them enough to support them wallowing in and spreading their sin, adopting and raising children in the belief that it is acceptable? What GOD calls an “abomination” we should support in order to prevent there being another law on the books?

Is that what my opponent thinks GOD would condone? Is His Love going to be considered so all-encompassing that He will be seen as accepting every sin instead of just every sinner? GOD judges our actions as well as our hearts. If we are to emulate Jesus Christ, we must stand up for what GOD says is right. In Matthew 21:12 we see Jesus Christ take action against what was considered wrong by GOD. In 15:6) we see the Pharisees using the same idea as my opponent is espousing, “Jesus replied, ‘And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God?’” Jesus then went on to call the Pharisees and scribes “hypocrites” and “blind guides” for doing so! Read Matthew 23 and you’ll see what happens when Jesus sees people who are giving lip service to right, while all the while doing wrong.

Is that what my opponent wants? Should we give lip service to “freedom” so that we can leave man enslaved to sin while touting "fewer laws"? Should we give lip service to GOD’s LOVE while all the while condemning homosexuals to damnation because of their sin? If we are to do nothing contrary to the desires of those in sin because we want to demonstrate our love of the sinner, then are we not enabling the sin? Is that what GOD wants? Is that what Jesus demonstrated with His own actions? If Christ were to do so, the money changers’ tables would never have been overturned and the practice would have continued. If Christ were to do so the “teachers of the law and Pharisees” would never have been called out in Matthew 23. Instead Jesus would have simply loved them into the Kingdom of GOD, and not have called them a “brood of vipers” (vs. 33).

If you see a junkie on the street who says, “Give me ten dollars so I can go get some more meth, man. I’m dying here, man, I need more meth.” Do you give the junkie the money? If you do not, will he like you? If not, will he think you love him? If not, will he be angry at you? If you do not give the junkie money to get more meth, you are demonstrating love. If you do not condone sin, you are demonstrating love.

The bottom line for me is that GOD set boundaries for us when He gave us freedom. Look at the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. There was one rule: “Don’t eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil” (Genesis 2:17). Only one rule to live by: now that’s freedom! When Eve and Adam (in that order) broke that one rule there was a price to pay. Adam worked for a living, Eve bore children in pain, the serpent crawled on his belly and there was enmity between the serpent and man, and Adam and Eve were removed from the Garden. A preventive measure was also taken in that GOD set a guard at the Tree of Life, just in case (Genesis 3:24).

If we are to be Christ-like and try to “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48), then should we not also emulate Christ and His Father and their love of the sinner as much as we can? Remember, loving the sinner is not loving their sin. If it were, there would be no condemnation at all, nor would there have been reason to punish Adam and Eve and no reason for a Redeemer.

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