Shifting Views: Moral Absolutes or Political Debate?


I don’t normally pull my family into my blog posts, but I’m proud of my dad for how he recently spoke up, in a reasonable and wise manner, in an article for our local paper when many conservative (political and religious) are apparently becoming more and more unwilling to do so.

Dialogue dies when one side quits speaking. Don’t abandon civil discourse on ANY issue. Even if you never win a debate or convert someone to your way of thinking, the art of agreeing to disagree is becoming a lost art, and that’s a shame.

Here’s an excerpt of the article for which my dad was willing to be interviewed:

“Bill Mason, pastor of Morris Hill Baptist Church, said he opposes same-sex marriage, but the issue has become so politically charged it’s difficult to debate rationally.

“It really has become a political issue. It’s not a church issue anymore; it’s been taken out of that realm,” Mason said.

He said opinions are changing because people are approaching same-sex marriage as a civil rights question instead of a religious or moral one.

But, he said, the pendulum of tolerance has swung in the other direction, and reasonable people who are against gay marriage are drowned out by extreme anti-gay views.

“The other problem is, people are afraid to say anything against it. … It’s a complicated issue, and I think the church has been betrayed by these hatemongers. I think it’s still a sin,” Mason said. “The tolerance issue has got to go both ways. And sometimes it doesn’t.

Members of several religious and social groups contacted by the Times Free Press on Friday and Saturday said they were opposed to same-sex marriage but declined to comment for this article.”

For the entire article, go here.

What do you think? Are views on same-sex marriage changing because the debate has shifted realms, from religious to political? How can the issue still be addressed from a moral perspective with both truth AND love?

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Christians, Gay Marriage and a REAL marriage revolution


18 The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”19 Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found.21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh.22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman, ‘ for she was taken out of man.”24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.25 The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. Genesis 2

Evangelicals have gathered in huge numbers today in Washington, DC, to rally and protest, making their opinion known on the issue of whether or not the state should recognize same-sex marriages.

Once upon a time, marriage was about a covenant between a man, a woman, and God. The records were kept in the church, documentation in the family Bible. But during the time that the lines between church and state were blurred (think pre-Reformation, so we’re talking a LONG time ago), the state took over keeping up with marriage, and it’s been a legal contract ever since.

I don’t agree with same-sex relationships because I do believe that they do not fall in line with God’s designed purpose for intimate, sexual relationships.

However, I also disagree with Christians who protest the government’s ruling on marriage (which they claim is ordained by God, not the state) but still enjoy the tax, insurance, retirement and other benefits of a state recognized marriage.

Here’s a revolutionary thought: if believers seriously are against the changes the government is making concerning marriage, stop participating in government recognized marriages.

Return to church recognized, covenantal marriages. When the government goes against God, remove yourself from the government sponsored activity.

It will be a hardship. We will no longer enjoy the benefits the government offers people who join into a legal marriage.

But isn’t sacrifice expected when we stand in our moral beliefs?

So here’s my challenge: Count the cost of protesting or supporting the government’s definition of marriage, which is an understanding that marriage is a legally bound partnership between two consenting people. If we agree with that reductionist view of marriage, then we have NO RIGHT to protest the government withholding those rights from any couple seeking them.

If, however, we believe marriage is a sacred, lifetime covenant between one man, one woman, and God, then why do we allow the government to be involved in the first place?

If you are so strongly against the government redefining marriage, then stop participating in government acknowledged marriages and deal with the sacrifices made because of that stand.

Not a popular stance, and I’m certain I’ll take fire from both sides of the debate, but brothers and sisters, we cannot continue to speak out against an institution (the government) from which we benefit.

My friend Kim just made a beautiful point: our government is not bound to biblical standards, but as Christians, we are. We are not a theocracy, and cannot expect those who do not hold to our religious morals to abide by them.

God ordained governments to protect our right to practice our faith, not to enforce our faith. So if our government today chooses to enforce a law which you believe goes against biblical law, then stop participating in that government sanctioned activity.

File for legal divorce and ask your pastor for a church blessed covenant. Sacrifice the benefits of government sanctioned marriage and embrace community accountability and support.

Teach about the sanctity of marriage, the seriousness of the commitment.

Talk young people out of entering marriage until they understand the commitment they are making.

Talk married couples out of divorcing because they have made that covenant commitment.

(UPDATE: The above statement in NO way means that I condone staying in an unsafe situation in which abuse is taking place in a marriage. In an ideal situation, red flags of possible abuse would be revealed in the pre-marital time and the person would either be discipled to repentance or the marriage would not occur in the first place. If you are currently in an abusive relationship, get out of immediate danger, tell someone. Tell until someone believes you and empowers you to act. God NEVER condones the abuse of His children.)

Do those things, then get back to me about why you desire to withhold government sanctioned financial benefits from same-sex couples, some of whom have been in relationships longer than many heterosexual Christian marriages.

Let’s get marriage right in the Church again before we start critiquing how the world does it.

UPDATE: I’ve had some ask for clarification on my statements above, thinking I’ve meant Christians should isolate themselves from the world or remove ourselves from the political realm altogether.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I’m a history and Poli. Sci. junkie and ENCOURAGE Christians to be involved in the public square.

But on this particular issue, we as believers may need to find a way to signify a distinct difference in our understanding of marriage and the Gov’t’s.

I wrote his on another site yesterday and thought it might be helpful to include here:

The current definition of legal marriage as observed by the gov’t and God’s covenant standard are already so completely different, God wouldn’t recognize our gov’t’s view of marriage.

I say we separate marriage and legal unions. Once, they were assumed the same thing, but they are no longer in our society. Make covenant marriage the business of the church and if people want to add a gov’t sanctioned legal contract, then so be it.

On the other hand, if people wish a legal acknowledgment of their relationship w/o caring for a church commitment, then let them have a legal union alone.

When man’s law deviates from God’s law, as Christians, we stand more accountable to God.

Civil union and covenant marriage should be two separate things; let the state deal with the legal issues and let religious institutions deal with the sacred union before God as necessary. We should no longer assume the two are the same.

Chick-fil-a Gate, Or why the rest of the world no longer takes us seriously


I have spent my life loving and studying world history. The passing of time shows the growth and decline of incredible societies, and it is always amazing to me that humanity is able to overcome and thrive in spite of the horrific actions we take against one another.

My love of all things historical and political has made this political season a particularly interesting and painful one to watch. The issues of free speech and religious liberty are at the forefront of debate, and it is painfully apparent that America has lost its ability to debate and protest well.

To gain a better global and historical perspective of the battles for free speech and religious liberty, please consider the following:

How People Have Historically Demonstrated for Free Speech:


The Federalist Papers, America, 1788.


Tiananmen Square, China, 1989


Arab Spring, North Africa, 2010.

How Americans Demonstrate for Free Speech:


Mike Huckabee’s Facebook Page, 2012.


http://www.someecards.com, 2012.

How Christians Have Historically Responded to Religious Oppression:


William Tyndale, 1536.


Puritans, 17th Century


The Middle East, 2010.

How American Christians Have Responded to Religious Oppression:


Mike Huckabee’s Facebook Page


Pat Dollard’s blog, captioned “Happy Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day: Stand Up To Anti-Christian, Anti-Chicken, Heterophobic Bigots”

Freedom of Speech and Religious Liberty are worth fighting for. People should absolutely do what they can, where they are to show their support for both. It is commendable that people have shown up to encourage a brother in Christ and to support his right as an American to state his religious beliefs without negative political backlash.

But do not be fooled into thinking anything beyond encouragement and support has been accomplished.

Keep in mind that we are “fighting” for free speech and religious liberty.

At a fast food restaurant.

Some people stood in line two hours today to show their support of free speech and religious liberty by eating chicken. According to starvation.net, 3,600 people worldwide died of starvation in those two hours.

Surely we (as in Americans, ALL Americans) can keep this in a right global and historical perspective.

So where do we go from here? Do we mistake the support or boycott of Chick-fil-a for activism and change, or do use this as a launchpad to actually address the concerns raised?