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Becoming Compassionate Truth-Tellers
June 28, 2005
Canada is poised to become one of the most progressive countries in the world. Following in the footsteps of such avant-garde nations as Holland and Belgium, the Canadian government will, in all likelihood, legitimize homosexual marriage this evening. It will still take some time for the law to pass through the necessary channels, but Bill C-38, titled Law on Civil Marriage, is expected to clear the House of Parliament tonight. After that it awaits only the mere formality of passing through the Senate and being passed into law.
The Liberal Party seems to excel at wooing people to their cause. Recently the Conservative Party tried to bring down the government with a non-confidence vote, but the Liberals managed to persuade a Conservative Member of Parliament to cross the floor and join their party (in return for a cabinet position) and her vote was the deciding factor in upholding the status quo. Prior to that the Liberals promised huge amounts of cash to a cause the New Democratic Party supported in order to secure their votes. And now to pass the legislation to allow homosexual marriage, the Liberal Party has formed an unholy union with the Bloq Quebecois, a Quebec party that exists only to split the nation. The party exists to focus only on the needs of a single province at the expense of the others. Yet the Liberals saw fit to join with them in this cause.
The truth is, of course, that the term “homosexual marriage” is an oxymoron, and a tragic one at that. In Sex and the Supremacy of Christ, Al Mohler writes, “The fact that homosexual marriage is even an issue for public debate demonstrates that we are a civilization in crisis, because a great many barriers must be breached in order to put this question on the cultural agenda. Firewalls, traditions, habits, and convictional practices must fall before marriage can be redefined and utterly transformed by the inclusion of same-sex relationships” (page 105). Mohler correctly states that at the very heart of this debate is an attitude of moral rebellion that seeks to bring confusion to the God-given order of nature and that seeks to redesign human sexuality.
Tragically, this is no longer a matter of debate in Canada, for the Liberal government has sought to limit debate whenever possible. This is now all but a reality. By this time tomorrow, barring some unforeseen intervention, this legislation will be passed through the House and will await only formatlities before it becomes another sad chapter in Canadian history.
The government has been quick to assure Canadians, the majority of whom are against homosexual marriage, that this legislation will not result in a backlash against Christians (and members of other religions) who teach the homosexuality is wrong. Most Christians are not convinced. In reality we know that it is only a matter of time before speaking out against homosexuality becomes a hate crime. It is only a matter of time before Canadians lose the ability to proclaim a God-given truth - that homosexual marriage is not marriage at all. As the Creator of marriage, God has given us the boundaries of what constitutes marriage. We are not free to tamper with those boundaries and extend them however we want. God clearly states that marriage is to be between one man and one woman. End of story. We, as God’s created beings, have no more right to redefine marriage than you, the reader, has to rename the company I began. I created it and that gave me the right to name it. God created marriage, and thus reserves the right to define and limit it.
So what is a Christian to do as he faces a country that not only allows, but celebrates homosexual marriage? Al Mohler once again provides sound advice. We need to become compassionate truth-tellers. This is a task that is never easy, but carries with it the biblical example of countless men and women. The apostles, for example, were sent out by Jesus to compassionately tell the truth of Jesus Christ. They took this news to all of the known world. They suffered greatly, but witnessed the greatest outpouring of the work of the Holy Spirit the world has ever known. We must take our example from them. We, as Christ’s representatives to the world, as His envoys, need to share our deepest convictions with the world, but to do so in a way that is compassionate and which demonstrates the love of the One whose name we bear.
We must realize that homosexual marriage is not an isolated issue. It is merely a symptom of the wider problem that our society has an unbiblical worldview. We need to frame our response to homosexual marriage within the context of a wider Christian worldview and within the great story of Creation, Fall and Redemption.
Marriage is a Creation ordinance - one that was created by God as a fundamental building-block of His plan for humanity. But the Fall polluted everything, and especially those things which are most pure and most good. When humanity fell, the institution of marriage fell as well. But when Christ paid the price for our Fall and redeemed us to be His people, He graciously allowed marriage to be redeemed in us as well. We see examples of this type of marriage all around us in the church, where a man and woman pledge themselves to each other but also to the Lord. We see glimpses of marriage as it was designed by the Creator. We see that marriage allows no room for same-sex unions.
And so we, as the church, must stand for marriage as God intended it to be. We need not stand with signs and placards and chants, for these address only the result, not the real problem. We must believe that the definition of marriage is not able to be modified, but is firmly set in the very fabric of Creation. We must speak this truth in love and compassion, addressing homosexual marriage not as the greatest evil our nation faces, but as the natural outworking of a larger problem. Without addressing the secular worldview, without addressing the fallenness of our world, we have nothing to offer. But when we lovingly, compassionately offer the world the biblical truth about redemption, we offer hope. We offer an answer. We offer the very compassion of Christ.