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NANCE: A Difficult Righteousness

NANCE: A Difficult Righteousness
By: Penny Young Nance - 8/10/2012

I recently read a Facebook post from a young relative commenting on the Chick-fil-A day of support. She essentially said that Christians should stay out of the so-called “gay marriage” debate because it is divisive. I can’t argue that it wouldn’t be easier to toss up my hands and say, “Okay, let people marry whomever. It’s their lives,” rather than engaging in hostile debate. However, if Christians respond to “gay marriage” apathetically, then we are ignoring the basic tenets of our faith and allowing the wholesale destruction of our society’s moral foundation.

First, all law is based on morality. America’s criminal laws, property laws, and family laws are all regulated according to an overarching set of moral standards necessary to maintain a peaceful society. Thus, the laws governing the institution of marriage are applied according to a moral standard, the outcome of which benefits society.

Marriage signifies a special union crafted as a holy covenant between man, woman, and God.

Marriage is the institution by which our children are conceived. Marriage identifies the recognizable authority of a mother and a father who are ordained with the responsibility of raising the future generation. We could never grant these same responsibilities to two heterosexuals who simply live together, because marriage is more than a living arrangement. When the government broadens the definition of marriage beyond its natural parameters, children, communities, and governments ultimately suffer.

Over 1,000 of America’s juvenile and domestic laws are predicated on the definition of marriage and, therefore, a definitional change would result in broadened tax exclusions, complex custody battles, and higher divorce rates. It becomes an explicit government seal of approval for a choice that, until now, was private. As citizens we will then be forced to subsidize this debauched judicial decision with our tax dollars and business penalties should we choose to speak out against so-called “gay marriage.” We are already seeing religious liberty taking a back seat to “gay” rights in the courtroom; recently, a New Mexico Court of Appeals charged a Christian photographer who refused to service a “gay” wedding with violating state discrimination laws.

Second, when the law rewards something through licensing or benefits, there is always increased activity. Legalization of vices is never a concrete solution. We have seen these effects when marijuana, abortion, sex trafficking, and other immoralities were legalized in our neighboring countries. Specifically, a case study in Germany, which legalized prostitution in 2002, reveals that the amount of sex trafficking victims in the country has risen 70 percent in the last seven years. The Netherlands, believing that the legalization of prostitution as a profitable business would decrease the amount of children sex trafficked, has since seen a 300 percent increase in child prostitution.

Third, as believers, we are called not just to be a light to this world, but also to be the salt of the earth. In other words, we must preserve the culture by discouraging immorality – especially sexual immorality – which breaks down our society. Will immorality always exist? Of course! But how will people know their actions are destructive unless we tell them? I agree that many Christians are unloving. I strive to remain compassionate when confronting these tough issues, but to discuss homosexuality, abortion, and other tough issues, we must be bold in defending God’s law.

I do not believe every Christian is called to take a stand in public policy, but I do think we all need to support those who are called. The same moral underpinnings that call me to work for the passage of good legislation protecting the unborn and sex trafficking victims are the same ones that reinforce my fight to preserve the legal definition of marriage.

I do believe in loving Jesus and loving people. All people. I believe in a Gospel that changes lives and hearts. I believe that God created marriage between a man and a woman, but that choosing differently is no different than the sins that I commit every day. I also believe that the Gospel alone is powerful enough to turn us away from our sin. The way to share the Gospel is through love, kindness, understanding, and the building of relationships. I also believe in freedom of speech, and I support the right to share opinions, which is why I proudly support Chick-fil-A and the Cathy family.

If Christians choose to say nothing or refuse support to those of us who are vocalizing our disapproval, then we ultimately achieve nothing. By allowing the government to grant a seal of approval that redefines a 2,000 years old institution, Christians are only helping to illegitimatize an institution ordained by God; they are ultimately achieving nothing less than the destruction of society’s bedrock.

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