Same Sex Marriage Law
A Bit to Read
Same-Sex Marriage Law
Last year the federal government under Prime Minister Paul Martin passed legislation that permitted a man to marry a man and a woman to marry a woman. With this law the government gave its total stamp of approval to homosexual relations. In response to this decision, Mr Stephen Harper, then leader of the Opposition, promised Canadians that he would –should he ever become Prime Minister– introduce a motion in the House of Commons seeking parliamentary consent to re-open the topic of same-sex marriages. In keeping with that promise, Prime Minister Harper introduced such a motion this past week – and it was severely trounced. The Prime Minister has acquiesced to the existing status quo, and declared that same-sex marriage is here to stay.
Those in the nation who fear God cannot but cringe at this development. Yes, we’ve seen it coming for some time already, but the vote in Parliament this past week puts the issue into focus: our land is apostate. We deplore this development greatly, aware that God’s curse must press itself upon our country, and we continue to pray that the Lord God will work repentance in the nation – and in the nations within the nation.
Is this development cause for despair? I don’t believe it is. My reason for saying this is not (as the media reported) that the land didn’t grind to a halt after same-sex marriage was legalized a year ago, despite all predictions to the contrary. As legalizing abortion 30-odd years ago didn’t bring the nation to its knees, and neither did easy divorce legislation (damaging though both were to the institutions of family and marriage), same-sex marriage has not and will not break the nation apart. In that sense, there’s no room for gloom.
But my optimism comes from a different source. To me, this week’s affirmation of same-sex marriage –offensive though I find it– gives evidence of the faithfulness of our God. And that’s encouraging! How so, you wonder?
Book of Nature
The migrants who settled in Canada over the centuries came to a land of great beauty and majesty. Its mountains and plains, its lakes and forests, its fertile soils and abundant waters gave loud testimony to the “eternal power and divine nature” of the Creator, as Romans 1:20 has it. Migrants of the 17th, 18th, 19th and even 20th century saw with their own eyes something of God’s heavenly identity when they set eyes upon the grandeur of Canada – and (Christians as they largely were) they recognized it as such.
Since the middle of the last century, however, the prevalence of the Christian faith has steadily evaporated from sea to shining sea. The French Revolution, the evolution theory, the effects of two world wars, materialism: these factors and so many more combined to turn countless Canadians away from the Christian faith. That’s to say: instead of worshiping the God whose majesty was clearly written in the grandeur of Canada, thousands upon thousands of Canadians “neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him” (Romans 1:21). In their foolishness, they “exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles” (vs 23). No, most Canadians did not exchange faith in God for a conventional idol as Dagon or Baal in the Old Testament; many Canadians instead idolized Sport and inducted the gods of Sport into the Hall of Fame. They idolized Music and immortalized its lead singers, even though the singers and their music denied and defied the Maker of the land. They knew all about Hollywood and who was winning the Grammies, they knew all about cars and which was the best one to have, and they built castles for themselves with all the amenities the modern heart could desire – as if this world was where things were at…. In a word, the eye was taken from the God whose eternal power and divine nature were so unmistakably written in Canada’s bush, mountains, lakes and skies, and that eye was turned to glory in the creature instead…. Canada’s almighty Creator was snubbed.
God’s response? Many years ago the Holy Spirit summed up through the apostle Paul how the Lord God reacted to peoples of earlier days who refused to tune in to what the Book of Nature obviously said. Wrote Paul concerning those who snubbed the Creator in favor of doting on created things: “Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another” (Romans 1:24). Note the word ‘therefore’; God placed a direct link between pulling one’s eye off the God whose glory nature reveals in favor of fixing it upon the creature and punishment from holy God. The punishment? God let them get caught up in created things, specifically the human body.
What we saw in Canada? Beginning in the 1960’s with the sexual revolution, the human body was idolized. Clothing, advertising, billboards, fitness clubs: the focus became the human body. With that focus came also the prevalence of the legalization of abortion (remember Henry Morgenthaler?) and condoms and sex education in schools. That focus on the body was not a surprise; it was rather in accordance with the pattern the Holy Spirit outlined in Romans 1.
Again, in time past, when people gave themselves to infatuation with the human body, God let them lie in the bed they made for themselves. Says the Holy Spirit in Romans 1:26,27: “Because of this [ie, their emphasis on the body], God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another.” That is: lesbian and homosexual activity was God’s penalty on a people’s previous sin of worshiping the body. According to God’s pattern in the past, so it happened in Canada in the last couple of decades. The decisions of Parliament last year and this past week simply reflect where the nation is at; a just and holy God has given the nation over to embracing indecent acts – just as He did in the past with previous cultures.
What, then, does the future hold? In time past the Lord God responded to people’s embracing of homosexual conduct with a further penalty. “Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them” (Romans 1:28-32). By God’s ordinance, then, society regresses from bad to worse, and the stamp of approval is given to sin. In the light of God’s word, it’s no surprise that parliament would approve same-sex marriage, and decline to reconsider the topic a year later. Then again, corruption in high places, disregard for authority, moral baseness, individualism and so many other evils plaguing our land are no surprise either. This is how the Lord responded in the past to being ignored, and this is how He continues to respond.
Why, then, can I speak of optimism in the face of this development? I speak of optimism because I see in Parliament’s decisions –abominable as they are evidence of God’s faithfulness. God does not change despite the passage of time or the ebb and flow of civilizations. The God whose eternal power and divine nature are clearly manifested in Canada’s natural beauty remains powerful and sovereign, Lord of Canada – even as Canada rejects Him. His way with our apostate land is through a deep valley of perversion, and since this is His way with our land, all is OK for those whose sins are covered through Jesus’ blood. The Lord’s church-gathering work in Canada continues, even as the nation-as-a-whole turns its back on Him.
Here, then, is also the challenge of the times. In a culture of Godlessness, our privileged responsibility is to continue to take Him seriously. The Lord God continues to give us mountains and rivers, trees and birds to enjoy – all so much evidence of His abiding sovereignty over our land. Let’s enjoy the country, receive encouragement about our God from its beauty, and make a point of living in humble submission to the God whose laws are always good for His creatures. Taking God seriously in this land can no longer be a matter of national custom or superstition; Canadians will notice those who a different.
And let us continue to pray that God have mercy on a land that shows His eternal power and divine nature so splendidly.
December 8, 2006