Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Authority of Scripture

Last night I read some breaking news:  "Federal judge strikes down Alabama's gay marriage ban."  You've got my attention, Cliff.  (Cliff Sims, Yellowhammer News)  The article explains that two Mobile women traveled to California in 2008 to get legally married.  They had been living as a couple since 2000.  One of them gave birth to a son through a sperm donor in 2005.  They went to court so that the other one could legally adopt the child since the two women shared parenting responsibilities for him.  Seems reasonable enough from a logical standpoint.

The federal court judge ruled that the laws preventing the couple from doing exactly as they wished were "irrational."  I guess so if you're basing your ruling on emotion or even reason.  I found myself understanding completely how U.S. District Judge Ginny Granade could come to such a conclusion if she were ruled by no higher authority than her own opinion.

America's founding fathers set up our government by the people and for the people.  They didn't want to be enslaved by an earthly king any longer.  They believed that too much power in the hands of one human being is never a good thing.  Humans are generally ruled by lust and greed unless they are ruled by something greater than themselves.  Knowing this, they developed a system of checks and balances so that one branch of government wouldn't end up with too much power.

Federal court judges were never meant to base their rulings on emotion, reason, or opinion.  They were to base their rulings on law and precedent.  Even though the State of Alabama overwhelmingly agrees with what is written in God's Word, the Bible, about marriage and family, Granade's decision seems to be based on something else, certainly not the law because she overturned the law that our elected state legislators had made.

Where did her decision come from?  Her heart?  The Bible tells us that the heart is deceitful above all things. (Jeremiah 17:9)  We could justify all manner of evil if we allowed our hearts and minds to rule us.  So where does truth come from?  Jesus said, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:31)  He further explained that it's sin that enslaves us.  He came so that sin would no longer have dominion over us.  It wouldn't have to rule us in the way that it had before.  God had already taught us through the Bible what sin is, but we couldn't seem to let go of it, and so sacrifices had to be made.  Jesus gave His life for this reason. 

A human being is more than flesh and blood.  There's a lot more to us than than that.  Yes, there's reason and logic, memory and emotion, talents and skills, but there's even more.  It's the soul that makes us alive, and it's our spirit within that can have fellowship with our Maker, God.  The Bible tells us that people were created in the image of God, meaning that we are like Him in some ways.  The Bible also tells us how human beings came to be separated from God and how we can be reunited with Him once again.  The Bible is filled with explanations.  It explains what is good, right, and just, and it explains what is not.

Most people believe in God.  He made us that way.  He made us to have fellowship with Himself, to know Him, to believe in Him.  But God is holy.  He's pure.  There is no darkness in Him at all.  But man chose to live in darkness instead of the light of truth.  This is also explained in the Bible.  Scripture has been highly valued and treasured as truth throughout all of humanity.  Men and women of old gave their lives to preserve it, handing it down to future generations, translating it into the native tongues of the world, reading it, memorizing it, meditating on it day and night because it was treasured above all earthly knowledge or possession. 

Do we understand what a treasure we have in the Bible?  It is God's revealed truth to humanity.  Do we cherish this in the way that we should?  I hesitate to think what our world would look like without it.  I daresay we would have destroyed ourselves long ago.  God's Word brings law and order where chaos and destruction would otherwise reign.  Do we dare discard it in our day?  Do we dare give ourselves over to the lusts of the flesh, the indignities of our depraved minds?  Where would our hope be?  Would every enjoyment come from what we can see and hear and touch with our hands and our bodies?

True joy comes from deep within.  It is a fruit of the Holy Spirit of God within a person.  If circumstances determined my joy, I'm afraid I wouldn't find much of it.  It's the peace I have in knowing that there's more than what I can see and touch and hear and taste and experience here in this life.  I know there's more.  God's Word tells me that, and I believe it.  I don't make this stuff up, and you can't either.  No one can.  Truth is truth.  There is no other. 

The Bible says, "Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine." (1 Timothy 1:8-10)  It also says that "the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by unrighteousness suppress the truth... For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions.  For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature..." (Romans 1:18-26)

Scripture makes it clear that homosexuality isn't lawful.  It is a sin based on the lust of the flesh.  According to these passages, it is "contrary to sound doctrine" and is a "dishonorable passion."  It is lumped in there with several others sins such as murder and lying.  If we begin to make laws according to the desires of the flesh instead of what is truly lawful in God's eyes according to His Word, then He will give us over to our sin to be destroyed by it.  (Romans 1:18-32)

Many people see this as a human rights issue and liken it to the Civil Rights Movement or even to slavery.  The problem with that is that God says, in these very passages, that "enslavers" are also contrary to God's law.  The Civil Rights Movement wasn't in any way sinful.  It sought dignity and honor for a race of people, created by and for God just as any other.  This is not the same thing at all.  This is about a society that has become dishonorable, reckless, does not acknowledge God as Supreme, nor gives any authority to His Word.  The bottom line is that we don't, we won't, acknowledge sin as sin.  For this reason, the wrath of God is coming. God help us.  

1 comment:

  1. No one wants their sin pointed out to them. Why? It makes you uncomfortable. But how can we repent if we don't know we are sinning, hence the law was given by God to convict us of our sin.There is a catch here, you must want to repent because you know that you are separated from God. So, as we try to point out sin to wicked man, we are called judges, which is far from the truth, because we are also being judged by God. Each and everyone of us who are covered by the grace and mercy of Christ salvation giving blood will give an account of why we did not point out to man his sin.
    Lord, we are under Your mercy and we just want to share the hope that is found in Christ. Soften hearts to receive Your precious gift of eternal life through Christ. Amen
    Romans 7
    7 What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. 9 I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. 10 The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. 11 For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. 12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

    13 Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

    21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.