For those Christians who believe in biblical authority right from the very first verse, they might be surprised at what a prominent Christian leader said recently:
“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to take part in this telecast to churches across the country about what is to me the most urgent, cultural question in America today: the question of same sex marriage and the federal marriage amendment.
“This is the ‘mother of all culture war battles.’ This is the one that decides what kind of a country we’re going to be … this is a fundamental question. How should we live? How do we organize our society and every society through the millennia?
“Every society in history has recognized heterosexual marriage as the normative arrangement for people for very good prudential reasons.”
This Christian leader continued:
“Let me make one caution to those of you who are going to be carrying this fight forward through our neighborhoods and through our civic associations and through our communities and through our churches—and eventually to the halls of political power in America.
“The Bible is all truth, it is God’s truth, it is revealed propositional truth without error. But you can’t argue from that when you’re arguing the question of marriage in society [emphasis ours].
“I watched a program on cable television this past week where a pastor, an older gentleman, African-American, very eloquent, defended marriage, traditional marriage, by quoting from Scripture, and he was very good. He had the Scripture down absolutely cold.
“And after he gave about a four-minute presentation, the interviewer turned to the other person who was from a gay rights group and said, ‘What do you say to that?’ He had one simple answer. He said, ‘We’re not asking for marriage in the church. We’re asking for civil marriage.’ The pastor had no comeback; we lost that argument.
“You have to argue on grounds of justice and prudence. . . . What is a just society? That’s a question people have asked since the time of the Greeks.
“What is justice? The Greeks decided, and it’s been generally understood all through the years, justice is giving each person his due. In modern times conservatives have meant that means punishment, retributive. If somebody steps out of line you give them their due. That is, you punish them.
“Liberals have always meant you give things to people, you give them benefits and that’s why we have the great welfare state and that’s been the difference between conservatives and liberals.
“Christians look at it entirely differently. We say we want to create ‘shalom’ in society. We want to do what is best for all people. We have some social justice clear in the Old Testament and the New. We have, of course, retributive justice—punish the offenders.
“But the whole concept of justice in the Bible is one of: what is good for society as a whole? And that’s the argument we have to make.
“How do you decide how to give each person his due when in the scales of justice, in the balance, on the one side is the rights of maybe 3% of the American people to take their sexual behavior and make it legally recognized as marriage?
“On the other side are all the children who are going to be deprived of two-parent families, which all the empirical evidence over the earth establishes clearly is best for the children. …
“Which is just? To take care of this very small group that wants their sexual preference (that, by the way, at the time of the founding of our Constitution was criminal, a criminal behavior: sodomy). They wanted that to be equaled with heterosexual marriage, where over here where we’ve got the rights of all the children.
“I would say that anyone looking at what’s just for society says we’ve got to first do what is best due for those kids. So, make the argument with your secular neighbors and with politicians on the basis of what is good and just and right for society as a whole” [emphasis ours].
So, who do you think said this, and what does it all mean?
On Sunday, 23 May 2004, there was a special live radio broadcast, “The Battle for Marriage,” at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Participating in this major event, broadcast nationwide, were James Dobson, Chuck Colson, Wellington Boone and Tony Perkins.
I quoted from a speech at the conference that started this way:
“Hi, I’m Chuck Colson. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to take part in this telecast . . . .”
In essence, what’s being said here is that Christians can’t use the Bible in today’s culture to fight the gay marriage issue (even though it’s understood by the speaker that marriage is based on the Bible), because society does not accept this argument. Thus one has to use arguments about what is supposedly “good” for the culture and what the majority wants or considers best.
Consider this: ever since I began speaking across America (over 20 years ago), I have been saying that fighting the abortion battle on the basis of trying to convince people that a fetus is human, will not ultimately work in a culture that increasingly rejects the authority of God’s Word—and is also permeated by evolutionary ideas.
It is true that a fetus is human, but unless one accepts God’s Word as the foundation for all thinking—and that it is the absolute authority, the Word of One who owns us and thus has a right to set the rules and determine right and wrong (and good and bad)—then people will not necessarily care whether a fetus is human.
Besides, if all humans are just animals in this evolutionary struggle for survival, then what’s the difference between aborting babies and killing cattle or sheep?
You already know that the AiG ministry has been fervently teaching people that the Bible is the infallible Word of God—it is the true history book of the universe. Where the Bible touches on science, we can trust it—and because the Bible’s history is true, its morality (and the gospel based in biblical history) is true.
We live in a culture that has brainwashed many generations to believe that the Bible is just a book of religion, and that its history, starting in Genesis, is not true.
Sadly, much of the church has also rejected the history in Genesis and compromised with millions of years and other evolutionary ideas. Thus, the culture we live in no longer respects the Bible’s authority, particularly since Genesis 1–11 is the foundation to all Christian doctrine.
So today, when a social issue such as gay marriage arises, much of the culture does not respect the biblical argument about the truth concerning marriage (i.e. one man for one woman).
Thus, unfortunately, many church leaders, whether at their teaching conferences or in the media, don’t use the Bible as the basis for their argument.
But now consider this extremely important connection: most of these same leaders accept billions of years, big bang cosmology and other evolutionary ideas. They don’t believe it’s important to take a stand on six literal days. To them, this is just a side issue—and yet it is the issue that has undermined biblical authority and resulted in the situation we’re in today.
The church will not even begin to be on the right road to attempt to win the gay marriage issue, or the abortion issue, or any other of these social battles, unless it publicly stands on the authority of the Word beginning in Genesis.
The real issue is that gay marriage is not the problem as such—it’s a symptom of a far greater problem: that God’s Word is no longer considered the absolute authority.
Christian leaders need to repent of compromising God’s Word in Genesis 1–11 and begin proclaiming the fact that God’s Word can be trusted in its history (including its science) and thus it can be trusted in its morality. Until this happens, the church will continue to lose the culture war.
If the history in Genesis 1–11 is not true, then there is no such thing as marriage—or marriage could be defined in any way one wanted to. In a world where men have “loved darkness rather than light,” arguments about what is “good” or what the majority believe are, at best, just opinions.
The Bible says concerning the Israelites, “
When they had no king to tell them what to do, they all did what was right in accord with their own eyes” (Judges 17:6).
The culture, with the help of the church, has actually “dethroned” the King by putting man in authority over His Word (e.g. adding in millions of years), and now we are reaping the consequences.
The church must use the Bible, but it first needs to re-establish, defend and recommit to the fact that the Bible’s history (and thus authority) is true. This is the only way to begin to turn the tide. And this is the ministry of Answers in Genesis through its many facets, including seminars, books, magazines, the future Creation Museum in Northern Kentucky and this website.