Can anything good come out of California? Well, if I didn’t have a beloved aunt and uncle and other extended family living there I’d have to say no. Even so, a Lot-like escape for them (with all remaining salt-free) would be welcome by this niece (Genesis 19). We have surely crossed the Rubicon and there seems no stopping the whirlwind to come – that is, the natural end to secular hedonism (vs. Christian hedonism) and the world is following suit.
California Governor Jerry Brown has signed the nation’s first law catering to students who believe they are transgender. There is no limit to their every whim… boys who wish to use the girls bathrooms, girls locker rooms… you’ve got it! Girls who want to sing in the men’s choir… not a problem. The western world is falling over itself to promote the homosexual lifestyle, being careful to avoid any Emperorer’s New Clothes-like declarations. Even the United States Air Force in Los Angeles hired the drag queen group “Jewels and the Brunchettes” to perform at their Diversity Day event, supposedly in solidarity with the gay rights movement.
There have been many to sound the alarm as to the slippery path we were trodding. First the language needed to be managed. Instead of homosexual… now it’s same-sex or gay. Instead of partners… now they’re couples. Instead of civil unions… now it’s marriage. In the face of obvious contradictions, why work so hard to change the language? As Doug Wilson has questioned, why would we call “marriage” that which looks completely different (not two people of differing sexes), is consummated in a totally different manner (obviously), and is unable to bring about the same result (children)?
What’s in a name? Despite Juliet’s love-sick pining, is an object’s name irrelevant to our experience of it? Anne of Green Gables did not think so and neither do the social engineers of our day. The current social battle is for a thing so obviously not marriage, both in the senses that Doug Wilson mentions (above) or in any dictionary written before 2000. Why wouldn’t proponents just give it its own name and fight for it as a civil right? No, co-opting the language is of great importance. By attaching their objective to the language of a legitimately-recognized mainstream activity, they gain respectability and produce a sense of a common bond with those in traditional marriages. Even though it’s a completely different activity with no apparent societal interest (i.e. child-bearing), once it is called marriage and viewed in a traditional light, those who wish to preserve the traditional meaning of the word are deemed cold and unfeeling. The transformation of the meaning of this word seems virtually complete. Even those in the church speak now of homosexual marriage or same-sex marriage, even while denying its possibility.
George Orwell was apparently correct when he warned, “Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. ” Pedophiles are now calling themselves “minor-attracted persons” and claiming theirs is a sexual orientation, not a deviance. They are seeking equal rights, hoping to ride the shirttails of the homosexual movement. Again, the language must be overcome, so Dr. Gregory Herek, a fellow of the APA and the Association for Psychological Science and past recipient of the APA Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology, makes a tactical maneuver in writing, “’Pedophilia’ and ‘child molestation’ are used in different ways, even by professionals.”
The term is a bit harsh, but the definition applies here – Wikipedia defines the term useful idiots as “people perceived as propagandists for a cause whose goals they do not understand, and who are used cynically by the leaders of the cause.” There are those who display their bumper stickers, sign petitions, share posts on Facebook, write letters to the editors, and blog – all believing themselves to be agents of change for the cause. Little do they know they are cynically being used as tools in the hands of the true leader of the cause.
So again, why is this issue so important? I suggest the enemy of our souls to be the true leader of this cause, using whatever mouthpieces will serve his agenda. But to what end? Beyond the destruction of body and soul of those made in the image of God (see July 23 post, Who Am I? Part I), Doug Wilson believes it is to ultimately force a choice between sexual libertinism and religious liberty. “Depend upon it — you can’t have both.”
Now, I do not write to rally the troops for battle, to “take our country back.” Nor do I speak in any way of hatred or abuse of homosexuals. Indeed, they demand our pity as any other person held hostage by their sin. They are collateral damage in the enemy’s war against his Maker. I speak, here, only to those who claim to be of the Church. I wonder if the church itself, within its walls and from its pulpits, will continue to hold fast to Scripture in light of a society that demands not only tolerance any more, but acceptance of its every desire? We’ve already seen several branches turn and give allegiance to society’s pressures and embrace sexual libertinism. No wonder Christ asked, “When the Son of Man returns, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8)
Pastor Dave Monreal sees another reason this issue is so important to the enemy of our God:
“Why does the enemy care that much about destroying the institution of marriage? Well it’s his nature (“the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy,” John 10:10). But beyond this, we need to understand, that God uses marriage, both in the Old Testament and the New Testament, as an illustration of his relationship with his people. Ultimately, marriage was designed by God to be a living illustration of Christ’s relationship to his people, the Church. The full expression is found in the culminating celebration of the marriage supper of the lamb in Revelation 19, but as we see…in Ephesians 5, the Apostle Paul tells us that marriage is an illustration of a greater reality – of Christ’s love for his Church. It’s an illustration of the gospel; it’s an illustration of God’s covenant relation with his people. And so the destruction of the institution of marriage and the concept in people’s minds goes beyond just the reality of marriage, but it goes to distort the very Word of God, itself. And so we see that marriage is under [spiritual] attack.” (Sermon, 06.23.13)
Both Wilson and Monreal would warn us that we are in a cosmic spiritual battle and, of course, we have been since our federal head, Adam, first listened to the father of lies (Genesis 3). Pastor Monreal:
“The enemy would love nothing more than to attack the good thing which God has created… John Owen wrote on sin [which applies equally to the tempter]: ‘Every time [he] rises up to tempt or entice, might [he] have [his] own course, it would go to the utmost sin of that kind. Unclean thought or glance would go to adultery if it could, every covetous desire would be oppression, every thought of unbelief would be atheism, might it grow to its head.’
“As sin is in this life, so is Satan in this world, wanting to take to the farthest degree possible, not to re-write the definition of marriage, to broaden it, to represent any two people in a so-called committed relationship, but ultimately to distort and destroy the concept of marriage in peoples’ minds so that it is no longer recognized and it is discarded and disregarded.
Today it is homosexual marriage, but the promotion of polygamy is in its seed form. “Lest we think that’s such a far-fetched reality, keep in mind the television shows on cable television that are beginning to normalize polygamy.” Pastor Monreal warns of the progression of sin in a society:
“First we joke about it.
Then we tolerate it.
Then we accept it.
Then we embrace it.
Then we promote it.
Then we stop opposition.”
It’s been asked in this space before: “If the foundations are destroyed, what will the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3) “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other” (Matthew 6:24). Depend upon it – you can’t have both.