Monday, July 3, 2006
Responding to my critics
The H-T published two letters to the editor on Sunday in response to my guest column from the weekend before. I'm not surprised there was a negative response; I expected there to be a rebuttal.
In response to Laura Wilkerson: one of the realities of the limited space a newspaper article provides is that you cannot always include everything you wish to include. The space constraints of a guest column are much less than a letter to the editor, but there are still limits. In this case, I did not include a statement about Biblical law as it applies to Christians today. There are three kinds of law: civil law, ceremonial law and moral law. Civil and ceremonial laws were fulfilled by the coming of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul's discussion of circumcision in Galatians makes this clear. Moral laws, however, are eternal.
I would urge Christians who proclaim that we are no longer obligated to obey God's commandments to consider a few questions. Was the Holocaust a sin? If the Holocaust was a sin, then does that mean that the prohibition God placed on murder still exists? The Holocaust could not be a sin unless it was a violation of some commandment; sin is by definition a violation of standards and laws that God places before us.
It can be safely assumed that the men who perpetrated the Holocaust were not Christians, so what about Christians? Are we obligated to follow God's commandments? Consider the hypothetical case of a 27 year old youth pastor who, in a moment of weakness, has sexual intercourse with a 16 year old girl who attends his church. The youth pastor has a wife and two children. Did the youth pastor sin?
Of course, the answer is that the hypothetical youth pastor did sin. but once you accept that both Christians and unbelievers can sin, does that not necessarily mean that both are held responsible for disobeying God's commandments and that that both are called to repent of their sins?
God's moral law is still in effect, has always been in effect, and will always be in effect. If someone wants to argue that a specific prohibition (or mandate, for that matter) has been fulfilled by Christ's death on the cross, then we can have a discussion about what parts of the law were moral, and which were civil and ceremonial. Claiming that the law does not apply any more, however, is tantamount to saying that there is no longer any sin in the world and that is an inherently un-Biblical position.
Jeanette Bradley introduced several issues in her letter that are not relevant to the question of homosexual marriage.
- Mixing of the races is not the issue here.
- Bradley claims "(m)any states still do not recognize marriages performed by Hindu or Muslim religious leaders." If this is accurate, it is wrong and those marriages (provided they meet the state's guidelines for who can get married and the proper paperwork has been completed) should be recognized by state governments.
- This country was not "founded on a separation of church and state." This country was founded on religious freedom, which is most certainly not the same thing.
To respond to Bradley's other points, I did not argue that sexually-transmitted diseases as a reason to deny state recognition of homosexual marriage; I argued that STD's are a reson to warn people of the danger of rebelling against God's plan. I favor abolishing the inheritance tax (a.k.a. the "death tax") altogether, so there would be no issue of discrimination there.
Discuss the issue at Multi-Level Political Debate.