By Dr. Tony Beam.
Many Protestant and Evangelical leaders are now trying to prepare the Church for the inevitability of homosexual marriage. Recently, New York joined seven other states and the District of Columbia in codifying some form of same sex unions. On the federal level, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is under attack in court and the Obama Administration is parked on the sidelines refusing to defend “a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.” That quote came from President Obama himself, while he was in the process of threatening the Supreme Court over ObamaCare. For those who skipped math in high school the Affordable Healthcare Act (aka ObamaCare) passed the House 220 to 215, which means it squeaked by five votes. In the Senate the vote was 60 to 39 with the bill just barely crossing the filibuster threshold of sixty votes.
In 1996 the Defense of Marriage Act passed the House 342-67 and the Senate 85-14. So it seems that for the Administration the definition of the term “strong majority” is a moving target. Mandated universal healthcare squeaks by on a vote that is declared to be a strong majority while the Defense of Marriage sails through in what the Obama Administration must have thought was a close vote.
President Obama has described his view on the nature and definition of marriage as “evolving.” In political speak this means he is waiting to see which way wind is blowing as he approaches November. President Obama is nothing if not expedient. If the May 2011 Gallop Poll numbers hold (53% believe Gay marriage should be recognized, 45% do not) you can bet the president will join those who are pushing our culture toward the destruction of marriage.
There can be no question the issue of homosexuality is putting enormous pressure on conservative evangelical churches to compromise and condone what God has clearly condemned. Dr. Albert Mohler, President of Southern Evangelical Seminary recently stressed that the true church, “must stand without compromise on the authority of the Bible and the principles of sexual conduct and morality that God has revealed so clearly in His Word.”
While acknowledging that, “homosexuality has been here since we were all broken in the fall of Man”, Dr. John Piper, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis also acknowledged that, “What’s new is normalization and institutionalization” of homosexuality.
The gaying of the culture has caught many in the church off guard. The new openness of homosexual behavior coupled with an emphasis on transgender and bisexual lifestyles threatens to overwhelm the church with arguments, which on the surface, may seem difficult to refute. Let’s take a look at three of these arguments and see how they hold up to the test of reason.
1. Homosexuals claim they are simply demanding their “equal rights.” It’s a brilliant argument really. In the same way pro-abortion advocates staked out their claim to the term pro-choice, advocates of homosexual marriage have rallied around the rights claim. Who wants to be anti-choice? The problem is in an abortion the party that has the most to lose has no choice. When a mother exercises her right to choose her baby loses his or her right to life. Who can argue with a person’s rights? You can when you realize everyone has the same right when it comes to marriage. You have the right to marry any qualified person you wish from the opposite sex. We are all playing by the same rules. What many homosexuals want are special rights that are tied to their particular sexual preference. Once you open the door to special rights for same sex couples you open the door for special rights for couples who want to marry based on polygamy, bestiity, incest, pedophilia, or any other unhealthy relationship.
2. Homosexuals also claim they are a class of people like African-Americans. Here is a simple question you should consider before you jump on this bandwagon of insanity. Is there a difference between skin color and sexual behavior? Of course there is! Skin color is benign but sexual behavior is not. Having a certain skin color doesn’t hurt anyone but homosexual behavior can and does hurt others.
3. The argument that is supposed to turn back all critics is, “but we were born that way.” Here are two questions you must answer you before you buy this argument. Is there any difference between sexual desires and sexual behavior? Should people act on every desire they have? A desire does not make a behavior acceptable. If that were true, homosexuals would have to argue in favor of pedophilia, incest, and every other perverse desire of humanity. If everyone acted on every desire they had civilization would descend into chaos. All of us have desire that must be restrained by conscience or by law. The fact of a desire does not form the basis of its own morality. Add to this the fact that after years of trying no valid recognized scientific study has established an irrefutable genetic link for homosexual behavior.
Dr. Tony Beam is Vice-President for Student Services and the Director of the Christian Worldview Center at North Greenville University in Tigerville, South Carolina, Dr. Tony Beam received his Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, and his Doctor of Ministry from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.