Time for the church to don its ‘armour of light’
December 3, 2003
It was on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941 , that American military forces stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii received their wake-up call. It came at 7:55 a.m., not from the oft-familiar tones of the bugler, but rather from excruciatingly loud sounds of Japanese Zeros dropping bombs, spraying machine gun fire and crashing themselves into ships.
For those present that morning, there is no way to adequately express the sheer dismay and utter horror faced as they ran from their beds to their posts in hopes of fighting off the fierce and relentless onslaught by the enemy. Within just a few moments, the once bliss and beautiful island naval base was nothing but smoke, flames, bodies and debris. And those remaining were left with the awful job of trying to sort through the wreckage in hopes of finding survivors.
It was much the same type of reaction felt by the church as Christians awoke on Tuesday morning, Nov. 18, 2003 , to read the headlines that the Supreme Judicial Court of the state of Massachusetts had ruled 4-3 that the state’s constitution provides for the “marrying” of members of the same-sex. Alaska , Hawaii and Vermont have all said that banning gay “marriage” was unconstitutional, but none of them had condescended to legalizing same-sex “marriage.” This was, to say the least, a monumental decision favoring the homosexual activists who have dominated our judicial decisions in recent months.
In his dissenting opinion in the 1993 Hawaii Supreme Court ruling that marked the official beginning of the same-sex “marriage” battle in the U.S., Intermediate Court of Appeals Judge Heen said, “This court should not manufacture a civil right which is unsupported by any precedent, and whose legal incidents—the entitlement to those statutory benefits—will reach beyond the right to enter into a legal marriage and overturn long standing public policy encompassing other areas of public concern. This decision will have far-reaching and grave repercussions on the finances and policies of the governments and industry of this state and all the other states in the country.”
How right he was. Here we stand just 10 years later on the verge of a constitutional crisis as to whether all states will be forced to embrace that which society has always held — and even nature itself attests — is abnormal.
How is it possible that the people of a given state can speak against same-sex “marriage,” the legislature of that state can speak out against it and yet a single court ruling can overturn the will of all of the above? Yet we have seen a growing trend in this direction. Missouri Speaker Pro-Tem Rod Jetton said in reference to a partial birth abortion bill, “Less than one hour after our President signed the bill into law, a judge in Nebraska ruled that it could not go into affect because it was unconstitutional. That’s right — one judge was able to undo the will of 535 elected members of the U.S. Congress and the President of the United States .”
In June of this year, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled that a lesbian couple could adopt two children without the termination of parental rights as is required by law in most states. Justice Denise Johnson stated that this procedure was both “unreasonable and unnecessary.” It would seem that gay-rights activists have found their perpetual loophole in the unaccountable judiciary. And yet, the church sleeps on.
Homosexual activists would have us believe that a growing majority in religious circles embraces same-sex “marriage.” News of the installment of a homosexual bishop in the Episcopal Church has many questioning whether we were ever right to speak out against “homosexual rights.” However, a study of the five major world religions — Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism — revealed that 98.1 percent in the U.S. and 99.9 percent worldwide are in religious bodies that affirm the classical definition of marriage; while only 1.9 percent in the U.S. and 0.1 percent worldwide support same-sex “marriage.” These figures speak of five world religions that have historically had very little if anything in common. How is it that these five diverse groups have this one area in common? Because common sense dictates that it is in the foundational interest of any civilization to have at its core the marriage unit defined as male and female for the purpose of continuing that civilization.
Just prior to the start of the American Revolution, public opinion about whether to break away from the English monarchy was varied. In fact, it looked as though there was little hope of ever doing anything about the tyranny of taxation without representation. It was at that time that a man by the name of Thomas Paine wrote a work entitled Common Sense. This became the single greatest uniting factor among the colonies and helped to spark the freedom of this great nation. According to a September ABC News poll, while 55 percent of Americans say they are opposed to same-sex “marriage,” 60 percent say they will not support a constitutional amendment.
Perhaps many are still slumbering peacefully beneath their sheets of tolerance without truth, peace without principle and compromise without conviction. Church, consider the words of the Apostle Paul in Rom. 13:11-12: “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”
What we need is some common sense. (Tom Willoughby is pastor of First Baptist Church, El Dorado Springs.)