Tag Archives: evangelical christians

Evangelicals Swing Both Ways on Social Issues

Obama Show Papers

Obama Show PapersA significant proportion of the US population feels marginalized and suffers from perceived widespread disrespect. Their desires are discounted and in some instances actively discouraged by state, federal and local government. Families are either split or prevented from coming together, which results in children who are denied the benefits of a two–parent family. Circumstances beyond the control of these individuals have put them in the shadows, outside the mainstream of American society and at the mercy of an often cruel and heartless public.

And that’s why Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family and the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Public Policy Center have both come out in support of homosexual marriage. As Daly said in an interview with Christianity Today, “What are the solutions to help get these families together, get them in a lawful state, one that can be recognized, and then move forward? I think that is a healthy situation for the country. Let’s get behind this, not play politics with it left or right and not fearmonger with it. These are people that need dignity. Even though in some cases they’ve broken the law, there’s always that heartfelt story out there where you just tear up looking at what they’re facing now. We need to do what’s humane.”

No wait. That’s the quote Daly used in support of amnesty for illegal aliens. As of the time this post was written Focus and the Southern Baptists still oppose homosexual marriage. But can someone point out to me why their reasoning on illegal aliens doesn’t apply to homosexuals, too? Both groups have been in an unlawful relationship for a number of years and they want to either escape worldly consequences in one case and Biblical responsibility in the other.

I know the Bible says welcome the stranger and not welcome the sodomite, but when you base your theology on feelings instead of Truth, there is no difference in the two situations. A plain reading of the Bible shows marriage is one man to one woman and homosexuality is prohibited — occasionally by fire and brimstone. And strangers are to be welcomed as individuals by individuals, but nowhere does it say stealth invasions in violation of the law are to be encouraged. In fact, I would challenge anyone to show me where in the Bible a law breaker or sinner is rewarded for his or her transgression?

Or for that matter, where people are encouraged to emulate a class of law breakers in the future?

The situation is simply not there. Illegals aren’t mentioned by name in either testament, but if we can’t apply observations or analogous situations from the Bible to modern life, then the book is dead and useless.

Look at how similar both situations are. Both population groups feel put upon. Homosexuals and illegals want to come out of the shadows and gain the stamp of approval from government and society at large: A marriage license in one case and documentos de ciudadanía in the other.

If Daly and my own Southern Baptist governing body are to be consistent, then they have to either support both or oppose both.

Prior to the Supreme Court decision that branded people like me who oppose the perversion of God’s institution of marriage as hate–filled bigots, Daly and Focus helped to produce an e–book that contained five questions and answers about same sex marriage that outlined their opposition. The irony is the same questions and answers apply to illegal aliens, but they support legalizing them.

Here are the questions and answers with the marriage–related in regular text and the illegal–related in boldface.

1. Why does marriage matter to the government? Why do borders matter to the government?

Government recognizes marriage because it is an institution that benefits society in a way that no other relationship does. Marriage ensures the well-being of children…Government recognizes, protects, and promotes marriage as the ideal institution for having and raising children. Borders protect citizens from the incursions of lawbreakers great and small and it makes sure the benefits and responsibilities of citizenship go to people who have earned it. Defending the borders is one of the principle responsibilities of government.

2. What are the consequences of redefining marriage? What are the consequences of redefining citizenship?

Redefining marriage would hurt children. Decades of social science-including very recent and robust studies-show that children do better when raised by a married mom and dad.

Redefining marriage would further separate marriage from the needs of children. It would deny as a matter of policy the ideal that a child needs a mom and a dad. Redefining citizenship would hurt the rule of law. Separating citizenship from the responsibility to obey the law only encourages future disrespect for the law and future illegal immigration. Ideally law–abiding individuals make better citizens.

3. Why do you want to interfere with love? Why can’t we just live and let live? Why do you want to interfere with ambition?

Marriage laws don’t ban anything; they define marriage. Immigration law doesn’t ban ambition, it only defines where one is allowed to be ambitious.

4. Isn’t denying same-sex couples the freedom to marry the same as a ban on interracial marriage? Aren’t immigration law supporters just using the law as an excuse for bigotry?

No. Racism kept the races apart, and that is a bad thing. Marriage unites the two sexes, and that is a good thing. Marriage must be color-blind, but it cannot be gender-blind. No. Immigration law is color–blind, but it cannot be geography–blind. The fact that most illegal border crossers come from countries adjacent to the US does not make the enforcement of the law biased, no more than spraying for mosquitoes means you oppose flying.

5. Why doesn’t government just get out of the marriage business altogether? Why doesn’t government get out of the employment verification business altogether?

Marriage is society’s best guarantee of a limited government that stays out of family life…A study by the left-leaning Brookings Institution found that, between 1970 and 1996, $229 billion in welfare expenditures could be attributed to social problems related to the breakdown of marriage. A good job is society’s best guarantee of a limited government that stays out of family life. Illegal immigrants are exploited by employers and compete unfairly with low–income workers. Americans would be happy to do the work now taken by illegals if the pay rates were not distorted and artificially depressed by law–breakers. Employers who circumvent the market and rig the system against the people who need the jobs the most, create unemployment which increases stress on families and marriages.

There is no intellectual consistency in Daly’s or the SBC’s position on illegal immigration and homosexual marriage. Daly contends, “When you look at it, the immigration issue is not just a legal issue. We respect what needs to be done there and hopefully we can strengthen laws, enforce laws and do all the things that we need to do in that way, because it’s important for a country to establish its borders and maintain its borders. But when you look at the family impact now and the stories we’ve received over the past year or two, it’s pretty tragic what’s occurring.”

Illegal immigration breaks at least three of the Ten Commandments. Illegals often steal the identity of citizens to get papers. They lie about their status in the country. And the motivation that brought them here in the first place was coveting a lifestyle they didn’t have.

And what’s occurring is all self–induced. Would Daly advocate keeping a drug addict supplied with heroin so he won’t feel compelled to steal and possibly break up his family if he’s sent to jail? How about telling a wife to put up with infidelity if it keeps the family together and the children aren’t upset?

Daly and the SBC are busy undermining their credibility and authority. It’s a shame. I expected better.

Searching for the ‘Moderate’ Christian

Why do Christians think we want to join them in their counter–cultural activities?

Why do Christians think we want to join them in their counter–cultural activities?

I enjoy reading the letters sent to advice columnists. It’s a handy, anecdotal way to chart the decline of modern culture. There’s actually a book in this; comparing the difference in questions during the early 60’s with what we have today. But I fear I’m too lazy to do the research.

On the other hand, I normally avoid reading the answers, because the advice from these moral equivalizers and cultural fad surfers has a tendency to enrage me and the family tries to discourage shouting while reading the newspaper. (Although I make an exception and always read Miss Manners. She remains a beacon of tradition and reason on most matters cultural.)

Sometimes though the temptation is too great, as happened last Thursday. Carolyn Hax, who does cutting edge advice for the Washington Post — for people who are drifting, clueless yet strongly opinionated — answered a letter that touched on religion: “My husband and I are non-Christians living in a small town in the Bible Belt. We have made some friends (it took a while) who are fun people and share most of our values, except religion. I don’t have a problem being friends with people of different religions; I consider it none of my business what other people believe, and just wish they would extend me the same courtesy!

These friends are evangelical Christians and invite us to church almost every time we see them. At first, I thought they were just being friendly. After the thousandth time, I feel like it’s really obnoxious and disrespectful. I’ve always just smiled and politely declined, but they keep bringing it up. Is there a way to salvage the friendship while putting my foot down?

This is how modern education and culture leaves one unprepared. I’m sure the woman in question would have had no problem dealing with a request to swap husbands (don’t nice people get bored, too?), but refusing to attend church when you don’t have one of your own seems standoffish. From the context of the letter, one gets the impression the couple are “nones” rather than Hindus, Moslems or Druids. Agnostic or apathetic rather than atheists, since the actively ungodly are usually in your face about it, much like the homosexual lobby.

So this young couple is thrown by circumstance into this den of divinity and they finally meet a couple whose company they enjoy. In fact, they like the couple even though they are Christians. No invitations to rub the snake, expel the demon or participate in a love offering for the pastor’s Cadillac; just the odd invitation to attend church.

One gets the feeling the couple likes the Bible beaters in spite of the fact they are Christians. What they never appear to consider is the reverse: They like the couple because they are Christians. And the couple likes the letter writer in spite of the fact they are not active Christians?

Living a truly Christian life is a package deal. It’s not just maintaining perfect attendance in the sanctuary so you’ll also make the roll call up yonder. It’s how you act, relate to others, conduct your life, conduct your business and work to make your life glorify God.

And it’s hard. I was talking to a friend Saturday morning about a rough spot he’d encountered in his church and I observed that it’s too bad that in his wisdom God didn’t have angels build and operate the church. Things would run much more smoothly, to say nothing of always providing a role model for a fallen mankind. But He didn’t, so we have to do our best and that often falls short.

An important part of the Christian package is the Great Commission where Jesus instructed us to go and make disciples of the world. Personal evangelism is very hard and rejection is potentially embarrassing. It’s much easier to send a check to Franklin Graham and delegate outreach to him. I rarely do it and I hope Jesus is not as embarrassed to acknowledge me before God on the Day of Judgment, as I am to acknowledge Him here on earth.

So this “none” couple has the good fortune to meet a Christian couple that tries to live a Christian life in all its facets, up to and including the Great Commission. The letter writer entirely overlooks the fact the couple may be so attractive because of being a Christian has done for them. And it could do the same for the letter writer, too, if she would give Jesus a chance.

Possibly the letter writer might be more comfortable with a less committed couple, say two Episcopalians. Or if they simply wanted to find someone who has warm feelings for a bright light they can try a Unitarian. In a pinch even a Methodist might serve.

(Keep in mind none of this advice applies if the letter writer is part of a homosexual couple. Then the Episcopal would be chasing them down the street.)

Heck for that matter, they could meet me: The lazy, vaguely embarrassed Christian.

But I would advise them to stay away from my wife for she is liable to invite you to church at the drop of a hat.