Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Gay Marriage: What's An Official to Do?

Right now, I'm sure most of you have heard/read of the big blowup over the county clerk refusing to issue marriage licenses, citing her Christian faith. Knowing I'll eventually get asked my view of the subject, here it is. I see I only had one or two posts last month, so maybe this will help begin catching me up for September.

Being a Bible-believing Christian, I must subscribe to biblical standards on this issue as an individual. The Bible makes it clear that we are to obey the laws of the land unless they demand that we disobey God. We are not, and never have been, a theocracy. An elected official in a secular, statutory position such as a county clerk cannot pick and choose what laws they will or will not obey. I believe the clerk must resign her position until the law is changed, or delegate issuing the licenses to someone else such as a deputy if allowed to do so by statute. 

Now, if the state were to order me as a minister of the church to marry someone in disobedience to biblical standards, that I would refuse to do as the state has no authority over the church. The state also cannot command individuals (or churches) to violate God's Word - and if it tries, we must disobey no matter what the cost. The Bible itself makes clear that, at times, there will be consequences for adhering to our faith, up to and including death.

The America of the 2000s is not the America of the early to mid-20th Century, or of 1776. The culture and demographics have changed, and there is no longer a Christian consensus in the country. Ironically, part of the reason for that is because the church abandoned its prophetic role in the culture, opting for the "social gospel" and watered-down faith for the sake of popularity. The faithful preaching and teaching of God's Word has been largely abandoned except for a remnant. Unless God grants a miraculous spiritual revival, things are only going to get worse from a biblical perspective. We were warned about this in advance by the Lord Jesus Himself. Why are we so surprised? 

As an interesting aside, the late King Baudouin of Belgium temporarily abdicated in 1990 because the Belgian parliament had passed a pro-abortion rights law. He could not grant Royal Assent to the bill in good conscience, but to refuse Royal Assent would have provoked a constitutional crisis. So he abdicated for 24 hours until the law was promulgated by ministers, and then he reassumed the throne. That was probably the most peaceful way of dealing with it, but I would think he could have just refused assent and let the chips fall where they may since refusal of assent is supposed to be a crown right. 

But we're in America, not Belgium.

No comments: