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)"