FOR: BY SETH BRAKE
Please allow me to begin by saying that this piece is not meant to reflect the opinion of Christianity Applied, but to bring diversity to the opinions provided. I stand in defense of Amendment One, I just sent off my absentee ballot and I’d like to encourage my readers to vote in favor of it as well. Nathan posted an eloquent piece affirming the good intentions of the bill and noting valid concerns, but please carefully consider the following as well.
All law begins with the legislation of morality. Morality is a statement about the way things ought to be and presumes to understand what is “good.” We have a law against going 100 miles per hour on the interstate because the government decided that it wanted a world in which people died less often on the interstate. Furthermore, laws ought to recognize what is fundamentally destructive. It hurts almost no one if you download a song illegally, the record label will not miss the 99 cents, but it ought to be illegal because in principle stealing is dangerous to society as a whole, and we want a society in which stealing is both taboo and dangerous
Amendment One, too, makes a statement about the way the world ought to be. Nothing is as central to society and the interests of the government than the family. The institution of the family is arguably the most important building block of society. It has been proven again and again that children brought up in the traditional family are much better oriented for life and a stable society, that is not in question. What is in question is how far the government should go in preserving marriage. When North Carolina was writing its laws regarding marriage, there was no question as to what the definition of marriage was. There is now a controversy. There is no law against homosexual sex, and such a thing would be intrusive and awkward to enforce. However, marriage is not about sex. Marriage is about forming the fundamental building block of society and the introduction of the next generation. To redefine marriage is not only counterproductive, it is dangerous. This is why several other states have enacted similar amendments to their Constitutions, and why it would be wise for North Carolina to do the same.
While it is obvious that the government cannot make moral people, the government will, by necessity, promote some things and not others. Voting in favor of Amendment One would be voting for the government to promote traditional marriage. Voting against Amendment One would do the opposite. Please consider this when going to the polls.
What Amendment One is NOT:
1. Amendment One is not the combination of Church and State. My religion condemns homosexuality. It also condemns murder. No one would call a law against murder to be the establishment of religion in the State. I obviously think that the positions in the Bible line up quite nicely with reality, but simply making a law is not a mixing of the authority of Church and State. The Bible defines marriage as between a man and a woman because that happens to be correct. Christianity is certainly not the only worldview that has come to that conclusion: All truth is God’s truth.
2. Amendment One is not discriminatory. Everyone has equal right to enter into marriage. This will not change with the passage of Amendment One. A marriage is the union of a man and a woman, after which they and their children may be referred to as a family. A gay may marry a woman and the law would still consider them a family. There is no discrimination.
3. Amendment One is not a violation of anyone’s civil rights. The first and foremost point here is that Amendment One changes no law: it will not change any laws in North Carolina. All it will do is clarify for the future something that was intended from the beginning. Every other Southern State has passed a similar amendment and there has been no massive change in the way people are treated.
4. Amendment One is not hateful. As redeemed sinners ourselves, Christians should love all the worlds sinners whether they are homosexuals, materialists, hypocrites, etc. God knows Christians still suffer from the lingering of those sins as well. Amendment One has nothing to do with Christian behavior, nor should it. This is a law we are voting on, not a doctrine. People will always hate one another, and Christians will hopefully always be in the middle bringing God’s love, but this law isn’t about that. This is about good government.
I encourage anyone reading this to prayerfully make the decision whether or not to vote for Amendment One, but please be informed. God’s Will will be done on May 8th, and although I want the amendment to pass, I understand that this kingdom is not the Kingdom of God. My allegiance belongs to something higher. I will still submit to this earthly authority no matter how badly thought out its laws may sometimes be because God put me under it. However, we still should try and make our State the best it can be. Don’t put your faith in politics, but don’t ignore it either.
AGAINST BY NATHAN DOVE
Over the past couple of days people have asked me what I think about Amendment 1, or more simply, the amendment that would affectively define marriage as between a man and a woman. So I have decided to write this post, not only to express my opinions, but also to help some of my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ deal with this issue. I hope that the following five points will help you come to a decision.
1.) Marriage is a bond between a Man and a Woman that represents Christ love for the Church- The Bible expressively states that God created Man and Woman for the purpose of uniting in Marriage. The New Testament goes further by comparing marriage to Christ’s relationship with the Church. Homosexual marriage does not fulfill what God ordained from creation as his sovereign plan for humanity. I’m stating this point because although I am against amendment one I do not support homosexual marriage.
2.) Not Everyone is a Christian- I can not help but think of Christians in other Countries who face persecution and oppression because they do not believe the “right” things. I do not want to subjugate the homosexual community to Christian morals. Even though homosexuality rebels against God (aka sin) passing legislation to determine morality seems wrong. Could you imagine if we passed legislation for every sin, we would find ourselves in a heap of trouble.
3.) Legislation does not change the heart- Piggy backing off of point two, passing legislation to define marriage does nothing in the long run but deny a group of people something they want. ONLY the gospel can transform hearts! Take the time to share the Gospel with a homosexual.
4.) Jesus died for everyone- Passing this legislation will alienate the Christians and homosexuals, and create a huge gap between the two parties. I do not want homosexuals to think of Christians as mortal enemies. After all, Jesus died to open the door of salvation for everyone, not just white evangelical republicans.
5.) There is no Such thing as homosexual marriage in the eye’s of God- (This point is from Pastor John Piper). the Bible defines homosexual behavior as “dishonorable” and “shameless” and “contrary to nature” (Romans 1:26-27), but on the other hand the Bible says that marriage is to be “held in honor” (Hebrews 13:4). Marriage does not produce shame. And marriage is not contrary to nature. There is therefore no such thing as homosexual marriage in the eyes of God. And there should not be in the eyes of his people—no matter what the state says.
There you have it, no matter what the state says, yes or no, homosexual marriage does not exist in the eyes of God! However, I believe this bill to effectively define marriage, through legislation, will do more bad than good. I’ll leave you with the words of Piper again, “The early Christians were profoundly out of step with their culture. The Imperial words of Christ were ringing in their ears: “You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved” (Mark 13:13). Love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44).That was a time, and this is a time, for indomitable and tearful joy and unwavering ministries of mercy. The greatness of Christian pilgrims is not success but service. Whether we win or lose, we witness to the way of truth and beauty and joy. We don’t own culture, and we don’t rule it. We serve it with brokenhearted joy and long suffering mercy, for the good of man and the glory of Jesus Christ.”