Posts Tagged ‘Marriage’


Sometimes, I wonder if Halloween is supplanting the Fourth of July as our national holiday.

Come summer, the flags will fly and the fireworks will pop, and bands will ring out “Stars And Stripes Forever.” But these don’t seem to resonate in the broader culture anymore, the way vampires and zombies do. Year-round, TV and the movies are awash in the blood of horror flicks. Horror fiction seems to outsell everything else, for teens and adults. And in many neighborhoods, people seem much more excited about spooking up their homes for Halloween than they do about sprucing them up for Christmas.

Walking down the main thoroughfare of a major American city a few nights ago, I was taken aback by the level of sexual depravity and death depicted in one window display after another, block after block – a saturation of satanic commercialism.

Now, full disclosure: I’ve never liked Halloween anyway. But even with that, I can’t help wondering if our growing national obsession with this holiday is a dark reflection of things happening at deeper levels of our collective conscience. Looking past the masks we wear in most of our conversations about elections, government, and the society we share, any honest observer would have to admit that, in many ways, America is only a ghost of its former self.

Understand, in saying that, I’m not just pining for “a simpler time.”  I’m not looking to drag us all back to delusions of Mayberry or some Norman Rockwell idealized yesteryear. I’m talking about the things that have always made America a nation apart from the rest – our extraordinary, even unprecedented, commitment to life, to family, to faith, to freedom.

Those things have mummified a bit in America today – we still see them, hear of them, talk of them, but like Halloween, they’re wrapped more and more in the things not of life but of death. We have a million extraordinary medical means at our disposal to physically save or prolong fragile lives – even those of babies, born months too soon. And yet life is cheaper now, in some ways, than it’s ever been, and babies are more vulnerable than ever to the caprices of reluctant mothers and the financial interests of profiteers like Planned Parenthood.

Through the marvels of communications technology – phones, webcams, texts, and e-mails – and a plethora of responsible dating sites, single men and women have more safe, convenient opportunities to meet, learn, court, and marry each other than at any time in history. And yet more and more young people are rejecting holy matrimony for the passing pleasures of “hooking up” and the half-hearted commitment of living together. Divorce rates soar and families dissolve while those driving popular culture and entertainment are obsessed with promoting same-sex relationships that promise only physical destruction, emotional havoc, and moral degeneration.

Since all of this – the contempt for life, the redefinition of marriage, the dissipation of families – goes hard against the grain of souls made in the image of God, the elimination of God has quickly become something of a new national pastime.

Aborting babies, legitimizing homosexual behavior, warping and erasing gender…all of these require us to defy nature and deny God. How do mere mortals justify doing that? By telling ourselves that we’re more tolerant than He is. By convincing ourselves that our own ideas of compassion surpass the truth of His eternal love.

God says homosexual acts, adultery, and all sex outside of marriage between one man and one woman is wrong. We say “true love is more important than society’s rules or old-fashioned morality.” God says we’re responsible for controlling our sexual desires, regardless of what the law may allow, and that a child, no matter what the circumstances of its conception, has a right to live. We say, “A woman’s right to her own body is more important than a baby’s right to draw breath.” Amazing…how much smarter we are about things like love and freedom than is the God who created both.

We have taught ourselves to separate the judgments of God from the wisdom of God. Several thousand years of human experience to the contrary, it’s not wisdom if I disagree with it.  It’s not right if it makes me uncomfortable. It’s not fair if it doesn’t give me what I want.

The inevitable end of such childish arrogance is…emptiness. Selfishness must lead to nihilism.  In redefining righteousness, we trade faith in God for faith in ourselves. And our selves are fallible. We know this. We can’t deny this. We prove it to ourselves every day.

When the thing in which we have the most faith is fallible, hope goes to pieces. We’ve reinvented ourselves as God – and we’ve created a monster.

Shutting down churches and shutting up Christians won’t change that. We know ourselves too well. We’re our own Achilles heel. We’re vampires, draining the life from our own veins.

Behind the trick-or-treating and the costume parties, Halloween has become a symbol of these deeper, darker things. It is a celebration, for many, of some small battles they think they are winning against God and the truth He has planted within us. But the celebrations are premature, and the victories are sad, empty things…hollow as the jack-o-lanterns with their ghastly smiles.

For there’s this – always this – when you declare war on God: you know you won’t win.

Scary stuff, on Halloween—and the rest of the year, too.

Alan Sears

Alan Sears, a former federal prosecutor in the Reagan Administration, is president and CEO of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal alliance employing a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.

http://townhall.com/columnists/alansears/2012/10/31/a_scary_thought/page/full/


For most Americans, the meaning of marriage is simply common sense. Marriage as the union of one man and one woman is at the heart of what most of us believe family should be. Even if we don’t all manage to live out that belief as perfectly as we would like, not everyone who opposes the redefinition of marriage to include homosexual couples has a detailed explanation for their position. Just because someone is divorced, for example, does not mean he or she does not believe in traditional marriage. Everyday folks understand that society needs strong ideals to bring out the best in imperfect people.

When I ask regular people why they are not comfortable with calling homosexual relationships “marriage,” I find it has nothing to do with fear or hatred. Although homosexual marriage advocates constantly slander the rest of us as irrational, hateful bigots, most people’s objections are quite sensible. When average people look at the facts, they are concerned with the “new reality” that legally sanctioned homosexual “marriage” will undermine the moral instruction of their children. They do not want schools teaching their children ideas about homosexuality that will disrespect their religious convictions. They are also concerned that if we “loosen” the definition of marriage once, we may do it again. Almost no one is comfortable with legalized polygamy, for example, but if marriage no longer means one man and one woman, what’s to say it won’t mean three or four people? Would such a trend be modernity or cultural degradation?

Such objections are always dismissed by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) activists as ignorant fear mongering. They scold us for being stupid and reassure us that all they want is the right to love whomever they choose. As homosexual marriage advocate Jonathan Rauch put it to NPR, “We are not asking, [as] gay marriage advocates, for the right to marry everybody or anybody, just to marry somebody.” What could sound more innocent? And so concerns about polygamy or school-led indoctrination are mocked as if we are worried about the Boogie Man or a monster under the bed.

But what about the rest of the world? Other countries who have submitted themselves to the wishes of LGBT advocates; where has it led them? Let’s start with Europe. Most LGBT activists praise many European countries for supposedly being “far ahead” of the United States regarding the legal privileges afforded LGBT individuals.Many Scandinavian countries such as Denmark, for example, which was the first country to recognize civil partnerships for same-sex couples in 1989. Many other countries, like Great Britain, have implemented extensive diversity measures praised by LGBT activists worldwide.

So let’s take a quick look at what’s going on in the public schools in the United Kingdom. After fifteen years of service in sex education and other similar non-profits, Simon Blake has been named the chairman of the anti-bullying non-profit Diversity Role Models. The organization conducts workshops in public schools. How does Mr. Blake believe bullying can be ended? He believes that schools will breed bullying and fear unless “gay sexuality becomes visible in schools. We need openness in the playground, in the classroom and in the behaviour of teachers.” (Pink News, UK)

These words speak of a “bridge too far” for the average American family. The purpose of school is not for any group to express or flaunt their sexuality or to create a “New Normal” as is the name of the new Television show. Are we to conclude that as part of a truly successful anti-bullying initiative, school children need to see two boys kissing at school, or two teachers of the same gender in a romantic relationship?

Mr. Blake is giving voice to a viewpoint to which many sensible people are rightly concerned. LGBT activists want to indoctrinate children as early as possible with the idea that their sexual choices are healthy, normal and natural. This is, of course, what they believe. And now in the United Kingdom, school children will have to agree with them, or face accusations of being bullies.

Now let’s take a look southward at Brazil. Despite polls indicating that the majority of Brazilians do not favor legalizing homosexual marriage, the Brazilian Supreme Court ruled to redefine “family” to include homosexual relationships. But that’s not all.  Earlier this year, three people—a man and two women—registered themselves as a “civil union” in Sao Paolo. Yes, you read that correctly. These people, in the eyes of the Brazilian courts, are in a legal, three-person union.

So maybe our concerns aren’t unfounded after all. I believe all human beings bear God’s image, and as such should be treated with respect and dignity. But treating LGBT individuals with respect and dignity does not require us to reorganize society according to their wishes or give them “superior rights” to the rest of us. It does not require us to submit our children for indoctrination about LGBT sexual practices, and it does not require that we make our legal system vulnerable to the slippery slope of eliminating the family altogether.

Harry R. Jackson, Jr.

Bishop Harry Jackson is chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, MD, and co-authored, Personal Faith, Public Policy [FrontLine; March 2008] with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.

http://townhall.com/columnists/harryrjacksonjr/2012/09/15/samesex_marriage_still_a_tough_sell/page/full/


Are evangelicals going to “walk the talk” on  marriage? Or, having seen what can happen to those who voice their belief in  biblical marriage, like Dan  Cathy, president of Chick-fil-A, will they back away from this issue?

Across all denominations, white evangelicals are still the largest percentage  of those who oppose same-sex “marriage.” According to a July poll by the Pew  Research Center, 73 percent oppose it. In the mainline Protestant denominations, the number is only 40 percent  and it’s about the same for Roman Catholics.

The recent announcement by the Democratic Party that its party platform  supports same-sex “marriage,” (which is dubbed “marriage equality”), should put  the issue squarely in the middle of the political debates. But will Christians  be intimidated into silence on this issue?

The Democrats have also pledged to repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act  (DOMA), which defines marriage as between a man and a woman. It yet remains to  be seen whether the Republican platform will take a strong stand for marriage  and the Defense of Marriage Act when it drafts its platform next week.

What difference does it make if the laws of the land give homosexuals and  lesbians the right to marry?

It tells the practicing homosexual that there is no hope for changing his/her  lifestyle. It tells our children and grandchildren that marriage is whatever you  want it to be. And, most importantly, it denies the sanctity of marriage as God  designed and instituted it to be a model of Christ’s love for his bride, the  church.

In spite of the efforts of the political left to make same-sex “marriage” a  political issue, it remains a deeply moral issue-one that we as Christians must  not back away from, even if it means becoming the brunt of personal attacks.

Those who want to make same-sex “marriage” a “civil right” may be seeking  acceptance and love the only way they know how to get it. But those who have  hardened their hearts against God’s law also want to gain the government’s  endorsement so that they “normalize” homosexuality  in American society-and silence any opposition from those who are morally  opposed to it.

As Dr. D. James Kennedy pointed out in his sermon, “The Importance of  Marriage,” homosexuals are not interested primarily in securing the right to  marry so that they can enter into long-lasting, monogamous relationships.  According to Dr. Kennedy, “A number of their leaders have said that they don’t  really want to get married.”

The true goal is to destroy marriage altogether. “They don’t want to become  like us, as so many naïve people think,” said Dr. Kennedy. “What they want to do  is make us like them, and open the door to all kinds of sexual chaos. If two men  can get married, what about three or five? That is called polyamory-and ‘many  loves’ and group marriage, and all such things as this are already in the wings  and are waiting to be filed in our courts.”

This would bring “absolute cultural chaos in this country,” warned Dr.  Kennedy. “Mother and father, husband and wife would be old-fashioned things in a  generation. This nation would be unrecognizable. This is the most dangerous  attack on marriage that the world has ever seen.”

It is self-evident that whatever definition state and federal governments  adopt will have a direct impact on churches and society as a whole. Healthy  marriages beget healthy families, and healthy families are the fountain source  of a healthy society.

As Maggie Gallagher, president of the Institute for Marriage and Public  Policy, has pointed out:

There is scarcely a dollar that state and federal government spends on social  programs that is that is not driven in large part by family fragmentation: crime, poverty,  drug abuse, teen pregnancy, school failure, mental and physical health  problems.

And these are problems that the church can address, bringing the healing  power of the gospel to those whose lives have been broken and shattered by the  effects of sin. But should we not also seek to prevent these problems by  ensuring that our government is adopting laws and policies that are in  accordance with God’s divine law and design for human life?

If we neglect our role as citizens by failing to hold our government leaders  accountable for their actions by voting for those who will protect marriage, the  sanctity of life, and our religious freedoms, can we stand without  shame before the One who will ultimately hold us accountable for our actions  here on earth?

Thankfully, many in the church are now making their voices heard on this  issue, both in the Democratic and the Republican parties.

Rev. William Owens, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) liaison to  the black churches, has been organizing black pastors who oppose same-sex  “marriage.” More than 3,700 black pastors have now joined together to form the  Coalition of African-American Pastors, which is formally opposing the position of  the Democratic Party and President Barack  Obama on this issue.

But the voting record of evangelicals doesn’t give much confidence that they  will make their opposition known at the polls in November. Only half of those  who were registered to vote actually voted in recent national elections, and  it’s estimated that 40 percent are not registered for this election.

The truth is, as Dr. Kennedy stated in “The Importance of Marriage,” “Before  the state, before the church, God created the oldest institution on this planet,  and that is the institution of marriage. It is the oldest and the most universal  of all of God’s institutions. Wherever you would go in this world today-whatever  continent, whatever nation-you would find that men and women are joined together  in the bonds of matrimony and are rearing families.”

The question for Christians is not whether we believe that God has ordained  marriage to be between a man and a woman. The question is whether we are willing  to stand up for that belief among our family and friends, in public forums and  assemblies-and in the voting booth.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/walking-the-talk-on-marriage-80265/#6AvXb8BBLrOckuCv.99


Husbands, love your wives.”                                          Eph 5:25 NKJV

One of the biggest challenges in marriage is communication. Here’s an example: in the past husbands went to work and wives stayed home to raise the children. Now, someone has estimated that the average man speaks about twenty-nine thousand words a day and the average woman speaks about thirty-three thousand words a day. That may not be accurate, but let’s use it as an illustration. He’s been out in the workplace all day and by the time he gets home he’s used up twenty-six thousand of his words, leaving only three thousand he feels no need to say. But she’s been locked up all day with the dishes, the diapers and the drudgery. She has talked to her mother, to friends and neighbors and used up about eight thousand words. So when he gets home she has twenty-five thousand words waiting for him. After a silent supper he spends the evening watching TV, then they go to bed. As he’s about to fall asleep a voice says, “Are you awake?” If you are wise, you will be! If not, tomorrow night there will be fifty thousand words lying beside you. Do the math; in ten years there will be enough words to fill the central library. But maybe not; maybe there will be no words. A frequent reason given in divorce is: “We just got to where we had nothing to say to one another anymore.” The Bible says, “Husbands, love your wives.” Love listens when we have nothing particularly interesting to say. It listens because only when we have been heard and validated, do we feel cherished. So, “How’s your communication?”

http://theencouragingword.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/hows-your-communication/


Much has been said lately regarding the comments made by Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy in regards to gay marriage. In a recent interview, for example, Cathy expressed his personal support for traditional marriage and was suddenly caught in a firestorm of controversy. Chick-Fil-A, a Christian-based company that closes every Sunday so employees and customers alike can attend religious services of their choice, should not surprise many when they take a stand on the side of traditional marriage. Cathy invoked his thoughts regarding marriage with the following: “We are very much supportive of the family—the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that…We know that it might not popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”

Cathy and Chick-Fil-A was instantly targeted by far left liberals on this controversial issue. “How backward and ignorant … how sad,” CNN reader Joe Brown said. “No more Chick-fil-A for me. I am not in the stone-casting business as a Christian.” “There is no place for this type of hate in our great City of Brotherly and Sisterly Affection,” said James Kenney, City Councilman in Philadelphia. Thomas Menino, the Democratic mayor of Boston, expressed his frustration with Chick-Fil-A’s position. “I don’t want an individual who will continue to advocate against people’s rights. That’s who I am and that’s what Boston’s all about,” he said.

For what it’s worth, I am a big fan of Chick-Fil-A. Life just doesn’t quite feel right without a good chicken sandwich, waffle fries dipped in barbeque sauce, and a large sweet tea that never fails to quench my thirst.

Sadly, many liberals are missing a vital point here. Being against gay marriage does not insinuate that one is anti-gay. For the record, I am personally against same-sex marriage. It does not coincide with my belief that God made man for the woman and woman for the man. I view marriage as a holy and sacred union between God, man and woman.  This is my moral conviction and I will always abide by this belief. That being said, I am not against homosexuals. In consistence with my faith in God, I believe in showing love towards everybody without discrimination.

However, in today’s society, standing on principle is being misconstrued as being intolerant. The liberal logic of the left is the belief that your religious convictions are outdated, irrelevant and are an expression of cynicism and hatred. It is the secular and mainstream perception in this socio-cultural paradigm shift in society that is recommending Christians turn a blind eye and deaf ear to their God-given principles in order to accommodate what is deemed socially acceptable.

I strongly salute Chick-Fil-A and many other faith-driven individuals who stand for traditional marriage and also withhold discrimination from those who think differently from them. The last time I checked, I don’t recall Chick-Fil-A expressing their desire for gays not to eat at their locations or to seek employment with them. The assault on their religious belief is beyond asinine and absurd.

The moment we become tolerant for the sake of being culturally relevant and forsake our moral principles, we lose not only our influence, but our God-given identity. I refuse to be a token of tolerance if I must betray my principles for temporary satisfaction or popularity.

Ironically, many of the folks that preach tolerance neglect to practice that very principle. The following is an excerpt from a statement that was posted on my Facebook page from a liberal named Khayree Billingslea who decided to share with me his perception of me:

“You are a sickening presence in my newsfeed. When I reflect on the strange permutations of mankind that manifest themselves in the world and have the audacity to speak, I am confronted with thoughts of you as the most glaring example of that.”

What is my response to Khayree’s insulting and provocative remark? I think I’ll respond with a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: “ I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to care.”

Tolerance is the ability to love and to remain grounded in one’s convictions and beliefs. This has been and will continue to be my stance.

Demetrius Minor

Demetrius Minor is a member of the national advisory council of the Project 21 black leadership network and is co-host of the blogtalkradio show “He Said, She Said” with Project 21 member Stacy Washington.

http://townhall.com/columnists/demetriusminor/2012/08/02/chickfila_gay_marriage__tolerance_in_america/page/full/


The founder and CEO of Amazon.com has pledged a $2.5 million  donation toward a campaign that seeks to uphold Washington state‘s same-sex  marriage law, after he was inspired to do so by a former employee.

The large contribution by Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, is expected to  provide a significant boost to the Washington United for Marriage coalition,  which seeks to make sure marriage continues to include gay and lesbian  couples.

“It’s a game changer for us,” said the organization’s campaign manager Zach  Silk. “It puts us in unique position to win.”

The battle over the definition of manage in the state has intensified.  Although gay couples received the right to marry earlier this year, a referendum  in June gathered close to 250,000 signatures, which means that the  state will once again vote on the issue in November.

According to a story published by The New York Times, an email from a lesbian employee might  have inspired Bezos and his wife to make such a large contribution.

The email was sent on Sunday by Jennifer Cast, identified as one of Amazon’s  earliest employees and a lesbian mother of four children who is raising funds to  battle the Washington referendum.

“I want to have the right to marry the love of my life and to let my children  and grandchildren know their family is honored like a ‘real’ family,'” the  50-year-old mother reportedly wrote. “We need help from straight people. To be  very frank, we need help from wealthy straight people who care about us and who  want to help us win.”

Cast revealed that she had left the company in 2001 and never really talked  to Bezos about such issues, so she could not be certain how or if her former  employer would respond.

“Jeff, I suspect you support marriage equality,” she said at the end her  email, hoping that he would donate between $100,000 and $200,000. “I beg you not  to sit on the sidelines and hope the vote goes our way. Help us make it so.”

She received a reply back on Tuesday, according to the Times, which read:  “This is right for so many reasons. We’re in for $2.5 million. Jeff &  MacKenzie.”

However, Silk is now feeling confident that such a large donation will  attract more public donations and help with outreach efforts for the  campaign.

“They understand what’s at stake for Washington families and what’s at stake  for the country,” he added. “We’re at a tipping point, and they really  understand this is an historic moment, and they want to be on the right side of  history and want to make history.”

The Bezos’ donation comes only a month after Microsoft founder Bill Gates,  along with current CEO Stebe Ballmar each made $100,000 donations toward  supporting the same law in Washington.

Despite the high-profile support of big-name company executives, people  seeking to reinstate the traditional definition of marriage in Washington are  hoping to raise enough public support for their cause.

“We had more than 1,500 churches and more than 5,000 individuals involved in  the signature collection effort,” said Joseph Backholm, chairman of Preserve  Marriage Washington.

“We know those trying to redefine marriage are highly motivated, well  organized, and well-funded. We expect to have to work very hard and will need  the involvement of every common sense conservative in Washington State.”

http://www.christianpost.com/news/amazon-ceo-donates-2-5m-for-same-sex-marriage-after-gay-employees-email-78998/#s3iXqey753Jerxu5.99


Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:25

No doubt about it, wedding season is in full swing. It’s the time when the words “I do” are heard in churches all over the country and the weight of the promise resonates in the hearts of happy couples devoting themselves to a lifetime of love and happiness.

Most people go into marriage believing it will make them happy. Or, more specifically, that the one with whom they have fallen madly in love will guarantee happiness forever.

I don’t want to throw cold water on the moment of bliss, but I can’t help but notice the sad reality that many couples are not happy. And when that happens, their minds begin to wander: “Since I’m not as happy as I thought I would be, maybe I’ll spend more time at work; maybe I’ll buy something new; maybe moving to a better place would help; maybe kids will brighten things up” or, worst of all, “maybe I’ll look for an affair.”

The illusive expectation of happiness often puts us on the road to disappointment that sours our hearts, replacing the fondness that was supposed to have made us happy. The problem is that for most of us the meaning of love is wrapped up in the question, “Am I being loved? Does this person’s love make me feel happy?” But the Bible actually describes a completely different concept of love. Any thriving relationship requires agape—the Greek word for the kind of love that transcends feelings, emotions, and environment. This kind of love focuses not on how my spouse is treating me but on how I am treating my spouse. Or, to put it in a different way, not on whether I am happy but whether my spouse is happy.

This is why Ephesians 5:25 tells husbands to love their wives. Nothing said about feelings here—just do it! And it is why Titus 2:4 tells older women to “train the younger women to love their husbands and children”—implying that it probably won’t come naturally. Agape love involves a willingness to give every resource of our existence to meet the needs of the one we love regardless of what our spouse may be like or of how circumstantially happy we may or may not feel.

Sounds like a tall order, doesn’t it? How do we pull it off? The key is to invite a third person into the marriage—Jesus! It is about living in relationship with your spouse as a response to Jesus and not as a response to your spouse. When you feel that the person you married is not worthy of your love, remember that Jesus is worthy of your love and that loving your spouse is what He has asked you to do. And notice that we are to love each other like He loves us!

We can’t miss the point. Jesus calls us to think about marriage in terms of our covenant relationship with Him. So, just as He will keep all of His promises to us, He teaches us to honor our commitment to our spouse for His sake. And, just as we are not worthy in ourselves to receive blessings from Him, so our spouse is not always worthy of our love—and, for that matter, we’re not always worthy either!

So let’s abolish the myth that the primary purpose of marriage is our personal happiness, and celebrate the reality that the words “I do” are empowered by a commitment first and foremost to the lover of our souls, Jesus. When you “do” your marriage like this, you may just become more holy, which, when you think of it, is better than becoming more happy!

YOUR JOURNEY…

  • How does pursuing happiness based on your own desires damage a relationship?
  • Do you know a couple preparing to marry? If the couple does not have a relationship with Jesus, pray for an opportunity to introduce them to the only One who can bring happiness and fulfillment to their marriage.
  • If you are married, have you ever considered Jesus as the third Person in your marriage? What difference does He make in your relationship with your spouse? Think of some specific ways you can express love to your spouse in a biblical way today.
  • If you are not married, how can you apply this principle to other important relationships in your life? Remember, a relationship with Jesus is the key to any thriving relationship!

http://getmorestrength.org/daily/saying-i-do/