Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Gay Marriage: Rights, Scripture, and that Whole "Love Your Neighbor" Thing.

After stating that homosexual marriage will not have consquences on those who hold to a traditional view of marriage, a friend of mine made this statement...

"The real issue is that Proposition 8 seeks to eliminate rights presently guaranteed by the California Constitution. That is a hateful thing to do so some of our neighbors. Jesus said "Love your neighbor as yourself".

A response to a friend...

It would seem to me that anyone who denies that there will be legal and social ramification on those of us (and our children) who do not believe that marriage includes homosexual couples is willfully choosing not to look. Also, homosexual marriage is not guaranteed by the California Constitution. Only recently, as you know, four radical judges completely reinterpreted what has always been there to include homosexual marriage. Prop 8 does not seek to eliminate an actual right given by nature and nature’s God, but instead seeks to eliminate an artificial "right" created by these four radical judges within the last few months.

The issue has nothing to do with equality either. Homosexuals always have had, should have, and will continue to have the right to marry. They can find someone of the opposite sex and marry them. There has never been a law or ruling that denies them this right. When we look at this way it really begins to clear up the issue. What they want is not equality, but a radically new definition of marriage. Anyone who argues for equality is simply begging the question that the definition of marriage includes same-sex couples.

The Biblical definition of marriage and the natural understanding of creation and the family have never included same-sex couples. In fact, scripture itself testifies that someone who embraces homosexual lusts and does not fight against them has been handed over to their lusts and are receiving the due penalty for their perversions.

Rom 1:26-27 Because of this, (denying God and degrading their bodies), God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

Now I realize that those who support homosexuality as compatible with Christianity tend to read this as saying they changed their natural desires for unnatural ones. Meaning that if someone was heterosexual, they became homosexual which was unnatural to them, or if they were homosexual they became heterosexual because that was unnatural to them. This however is not found in the text. The text only states that men went with men because it is unnatural to do so, and women with women. There is no indication that the text includes homosexuals becoming straight. Further, it would make the text meaningless because this unnatural lust is actually a penalty, and what penalty would it be if someone who was homosexual actually started to desire being with someone of the opposite sex. This goes to show further that the term "natural" is not speaking of the "desires" but the design of bodies. Men’s bodies are not designed to go together in sexual relations and neither are women’s. A simple lesson in anatomy makes this clear.

This brings us to your assertion that we should love our neighbors as Jesus said, and denying them the right to marry actually fails to do this. Instead, as you say, it would be to hate them. I am sure that you are aware that when Jesus was asked, "what is the greatest commandment," He said to love the Lord your God, and then when He was asked the second greatest, He said, "to love your neighbor as yourself." I also assume that you understand that He was making the most basic summary for the first and second tables of the law. And I also assume you understand the first and second tables of the law are summaries of the entire law, and included in the moral aspects of the law we find laws against homosexuality (Lev. 20:13). Now it is true that all of the ceremonial laws and many of the judicial laws of the Old Testament have been altered by the coming of Christ, but Christ did not alter any of the moral aspects of the law. And the continuation of the immorality of homosexuality is clearly evidenced in the New Testament. It is found in Romans 1, which was just stated, and many of the other passages of scripture that speak of sexual purity. There would be no justification in the New Testament that when it speaks of sexual purity that it would include homosexual acts, which have been so clearly denounced in the Old Testament. If someone does this, it is clear that they are letting the current culture in which they live dictate their interpretation of scripture instead of letting scripture dictate their culture.

All of this is said to make the final point that when Jesus said love your enemies, He no doubt expected us to look to the moral law to figure out how to do this, because this is what He was summarizing. To love someone is to do what is best for him or her. It is not loving to encourage someone to live a sinful lifestyle. On the contrary it would actually be hateful to encourage someone to act in a way that would bring the judgement of God upon him or her. A parent does this all the time. If a child desires to do something they think will make them happy or something they think they need, a loving parent should deny it to them if they know it is harmful to them no matter how much temporary dissatisfaction it would bring them.

"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor. 6:9-10)"

-Doug Eaton-

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Monday, October 27, 2008

God Has Broken the Teeth of the Ungodly.

This is a short look at Psalm 3.

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Gay Marriage: The Self-Refuting Appeal to Secularism

Another of the most common arguments for gay marriage deals with religious grounding on the part of many people who hold to the current definition of marriage being between one man and one woman. It is argued that because of its religious nature, the definition of marriage needs to be revised. It needs to be more secular in order to not force religion on anyone.

The main problem with this argument, besides misunderstanding the nature of the separation of church and state, is that if you remove a religious basis for ethics and replace it with a secular one, you end up with a relativistic ethic. In a secular ethic there is no place to ground morality. Whether you ground them in the individual, a community, or some pragmatic end to which the ethic should be a means, individuals and communities tend to disagree. They also disagree with which pragmatic ends should be sought. In the end a secular ethic becomes self-refuting leaving no actual grounds to say that the current definition of marriage is wrong. This type of ethic always boils down to power because there is no real right and wrong. If the group who wants to promote gay marriage has more power they will win, or vise versa. But if this is the case, it would be illogical to say that it is unethical to not allow homosexuals to marry. Instead the argument should be, “there is no real right and wrong, and we desire gay marriage and we are tying to see if we have more power than those who don’t.” All appeals to equality, or separation would be mere smokescreens masking a play for power.

Finally, if someone does want to appeal to a universal transcendent objective ethic, there is no way to escape its religious nature, and in the end this would refute the separation of church and state argument stated at the outset.

Doug Eaton

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Gay Marriage: The Myth of Governmental Neutrality

Often, when the topic of homosexual marriage comes up, there is an argument raised that suggests that even if we think marriage is between one man and one woman, we should not force our morality on others who disagree. The government, it is declared, should be neutral.

Now if we really spell this out, it quickly becomes apparent that governmental neutrality on this issue is impossible. The argument is essentially saying that since the government should be neutral, it should recognize, validate, and honor marriages between same-sex couples. But is a government that recognizes, validates, and honors same-sex marriages really neutral? Of course not, it is saying that same-sex marriages are valid, and if anyone refuses to recognize them the courts will step in to make sure that they do. In reality, the moral acceptance of gay marriage will be forced on people with differing moral views; the very thing that those who make this argument say the government should not do.

The crux of the argument is that the government should be neutral on controversial moral issues, but the absurdity of this becomes clear when we understand that the idea that “the state should be neutral on controversial moral issues,” is itself a controversial moral issue. Not everyone agrees with this. This would mean that the government should be neutral on whether it should be neutral or not, which is an absurd impossibility. Just like the idea that the government should be neutral on homosexual marriage.

Doug Eaton

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Gay Marriage: The Equality Diversion

Proponents of homosexual marriage are quick to argue that marriage is a right, and anything less than gay marriage is inequality under the law, but are they right? Since we agree on the first statement we will not spend time defending it, but instead we will focus our attention on the last statement, which argues that homosexuals are being denied a right to marry and are being treated unequally under the law.

To address this equality issue, we will simply ask and answer two questions; do homosexual people have the right to marry, and are they being denied that right? Homosexuals do have the right and should have the right to marry, and they have not, and are not, being denied that right. There is no law that says they cannot find someone of the opposite sex and marry if them if they desire to do so. They are treated equally under the law.

Marriage is the union of one man and one woman, which is the basic building block of a family. There has never been a time when a homosexual has been denied this right, and pointing this out simply exposes the fact that equality is not the issue. What this is really about is a radically new definition of marriage. So the next time someone argues that homosexuals are looking for “equality for all,” lovingly remind them that they already have it, and that what they really want is something else.

If you are in California, vote yes on proposition 8

Doug Eaton

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Jesus Never Sought to Amuse Them (video)

I recently posted this quote on my blog but thought I would put it in video format for my youtube page.

God bless,


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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Discerning Our Affections in Worship

I had a co-worker once who loved just about everything Disney. He put a sticker on his car, and would proudly wear Disney hats and shirts. He was one of the managers at the store where I was working, and I remember one day when everything was going wrong he said to me, when this day is over I am going home and I’m going to watch an old Disney movie. When I pressed him a bit as to why he chose to watch an old Disney movie as opposed to anything else, he said, “Disney things just bring me back to when I was a kid.” Ultimately there was a sense of nostalgia from all the memories of growing up, and these things moved his affections in a way that made him feel a bit better after a hard day.

On another note (no pun intended), music has a way of doing the same type of things for us. I can remember in high school and college and it even happens now occasionally, when I would be listening to secular radio, and that new song that I had been waiting to hear would come on. Immediately, I would turn up the volume and I would be energized by what I was hearing, singing along with all the passion I could muster.

Now there really is nothing wrong with a bit of nostalgia and being energized or moved by some piece of music, but when you put these things together with a Christian worship service or program we must be careful to discern our affections. I bring this up because sometimes I think we can be misled to think that we have had a time of worship or that we have heard a really good sermon simply because our affections were moved.

We must pay close attention to what is actually moving our affections in order to discern whether or not it is worship or even spiritual. When those first chords of our favorite praise song are played by the worship leader, are we being energized much like any natural man who hears a secular song that causes him to turn up the radio or are we really worshipping? And when grandma’s favorite Hymn starts to play and causes us to experience a time of peace and contentment while thinking back to when she used to sing it to us as a child, do we sometimes confuse that with worship?

Now I am not saying we should only sing boring songs or songs that don’t remind us of anything, or that it is impossible to really be worshipping during these times. In fact, I think it can be good at times to remember our family worship from when we were growing up, and I also think it is good that we still have people today writing new psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs for us to sing today that get us excited. But what I want to stress is that simply because we have these moments does not mean we are worshipping or that we have been moved by in adoration of God. Charles Spurgeon once said that if he wanted to, he could move congregations to tears by telling them sad stories of mothers with sick children or energize them by telling them stories of men and women who accomplished great things. But he said it would be a waste of time unless they where moved to cry over their sin and take joy in Christ and the cross.

Even the natural man’s affections can be moved in strong ways, but those affections will never be worship unless they are moved by the word of God as it points us to Christ and what He has done for us. Whether we attend a modern or traditional worship service is not the biggest issue, but we must be sure to seek out worship and preaching that convicts us of sin, and shows us the remedy in Christ.

-Doug Eaton-

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Bad Advice for Atheists

Through countless discussions surrounding atheism, it has become apparent that someone must be feeding bad advice to atheists. Since the following errors are made repeatedly, this partial list has been populated to warn atheists of this underground movement in order for them to avoid these pitfalls. If you are an atheist and hear any of the following advice, realize that if used, it will be harmful to your cause.

1. Assume that because you compare theism to believing in pink unicorns or fairy tales that you have made a good argument.

2. Become hostile and use degrading vulgarities while maintaining that Christianity is an immoral religion.

3. When you are having trouble answering an argument posed by a Christian theist, simply say, “well even if this were true, it doesn’t prove the existence of the ‘Christian’ God.”

4. Assume that simply because you explain a phenomena from a naturalistic perspective that it constitutes an argument which must be true.

5. When arguing against the Christian God, simply say that you only believe in “one less god” than most people, as if that does not require you to defend an atheistic understanding of cosmology, anthropology, ethics, philosophy of history, philosophy of politics, philosophy of science, and epistemology.

6. Make metaphysical statements that suggest that metaphysics are a useless waste of time.

7. Argue that we should only believe things proven by empirical evidence without proving it with empirical evidence.

8. Use logic like it is a universal, transcendent, unchanging reality when atheistic naturalism cannot account for universal, transcendent, unchanging realities.

9. Argue that there is no evidence to believe in the existence of God because all the evidence that is produced fails to pass the rules of evidence which have been constructed from the belief that God does not exist.

10. Argue that human beings are robots, puppets, and machines programmed by natural selection in a closed system of cause and effect, and then argue for free thought and moral agency.

11. Place your ultimate trust in human reason while believing that man’s mind evolved from lower animals such as monkeys and will continue to evolve until we become the monkeys from which the minds of the future will have evolved.

Doug Eaton

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

God is Angry Every Day!

Is it true that God is angry every day?

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Friday, October 03, 2008

Modernism, Postmodernism, and the Emergent Church Lecture

Here is a link to a lecture I gave recently on modernism, postmodernism, and the emergent church.

Postmodernism and the Emergent Church - Doug Eaton

God Bless,


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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Socialism Loves Misery

“As love of liberty grows dim under socialistic suffocation, as coercion increases, the more brutal it will become. The basic methods of procedure were stated by Karl Marx, and they have been accepted, in varying degrees, by many who are not conscious of their origin. Marx was deeply interested in progress. For this reason, a clever social planner will provoke violence and bloody conflicts. Happy men are weak, but if they can be made wretched, they can be stirred to action. Class must be played against class, and hatred must be stimulated. The economy of nations must be ruined by huge governmental expenditures that lead to bankruptcy. Demagogues, willing to be looked on as God, will deceive the people with impossible promises of freedom from want and freedom from fear. Then a dictator can liquidate the remaining opposition and take control.

Gordon Clark, A Christian View of Men and Thing P. 56 (1952)

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