CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Christian Reflections on the Homosexual Marriage Vote

Nov 15, 2017

I have already written an article on the ‘yes’ vote win on homosexual marriage in Australia. Another article will soon appear looking in more detail at the political, social, legal and cultural implications. But here I wish to simply speak to some issues as a biblical Christian.

The obvious thing to say is that none of this should surprise us. The warnings found in Scripture concerning what happens when we reject God are perfectly clear, and we are simply seeing all this being played out before our very eyes. Australia and the West has long ago declared war on God, and God in a sense is returning the favour.

And Romans 1:18-32 tells us exactly what all this looks like in practice. God gives people over to their sin and unrighteousness, and those who cling to immorality also suppress the truth. The two always go together. Suppress the truth about God and the floodgates of unrighteousness are flung wide open.

And of course Paul here focuses on one sin above all to illustrate this: the sin of homosexuality. So we were warned 2000 years ago about this very thing. And had we bothered to read the Old Testament we would have seen much more of the same.

The prophets made it crystal clear that a just and holy God must respond when his creatures turn their back on him and reject his ways. But as both the Bible and church history makes clear, the normal reaction of God’s people is to reject God’s prophets.

They choose to reject God and his word as spoken through his prophets. They prefer to believe a lie, keep wallowing in their sin and evil, and act as if God does not exist. That is always the case. Even God’s own people will reject the sure word of God and choose to run with falsehood and deception.

Death in the Wicked City

Let me remind you of two such recent prophetic voices that went unheeded by the majority of Christians. Both wrote books about the secular city, and its demise as we reject God and embrace evil. The first is the 1969 book Death in the City by Francis Schaeffer.

It is based on a series of lectures he gave at Wheaton College in Chicago in 1968. Pulling the book off my shelves and rereading it is a sobering experience. Here he was warning us all a full half century ago about all these matters, yet most folks refused to take heed.

He uses the same Romans 1 passage that I mentioned, along with the prophet Jeremiah, to back up his urgent warnings. His very opening words were these: “We live in a post-Christian world.” And that accounts for everything we see happening around us today. But the prophet Schaeffer could see it happening 50 years ago.

Would that we paid attention back then. He examines Romans 1 and then says, “there is no exhibition of this anywhere in history so clearly in such a short expanse of years as in our own generation.” He continues, “Having turned away from the knowledge given by God, man has now lost the whole Christian culture.”

And again: “Ours is a post-Christian world in which Christianity, not only in the number of Christians, but in cultural emphasis and cultural result, is now in the absolute minority. To ask young people to maintain the status quo is folly. The status quo is no longer ours. In the last four decades the change has come in every portion and in every part of life.”

He was offering these words of warning so long ago. How much more is this the case today? Instead of 40 years of this happening we now have nearly a century of this happening. No wonder the West can now declare all-out war on marriage and family and actually celebrate it.

So, what is the way forward? Schaeffer says we need at least two responses. First, we must weep: “Do not take this lightly! It is a horrible thing for a man like myself to look back and see my country and my culture go down the drain in my own lifetime.”

The truth is, “Our country is under the wrath of God. Our country is under the wrath of God!” So the second thing we must do is get on our faces before Almighty God and repent. And then we must rededicate ourselves to rebuilding. God has transformed fundamentally pagan cultures before and he can do it again.

But that is not the stuff of days or week, but years and decades. Our job begins again. Just as the early believers eventually triumphed over paganism – although it took centuries – so too God may yet be gracious to us again. In the meantime we have to endure the public celebrations as men and women shake their fists at God and his institutions of marriage and family.

Speaking of people celebrating immorality on the streets – which we now seeing being played out on all the news channels – I am reminded of another book which I also just pulled off my shelves – this one by Chuck and Donna McIlhenny: When the Wicked Seize a City.

In this 1993 volume the authors warned about what their church was going through as the radical homosexual activists targeted it. It makes for shocking reading, but again, we did not pay attention. We did not listen to the warnings they offered. We did not pay attention. Today things are so much worse, and now that homosexual marriage may well be just around the corner, it will only worsen.

The hate and anti-Christian bigotry will certainly increase. Already the hate-filled comments are pouring into my website. Here is just one example: “How sad that backward, evil people populate your website- I’m sure they are loveless, petty, self obsessed scum of the earth ..as are you Bill- a dinosaur who will die out and leave the world a better place in your passing”

But We Do Not Despair

All this is discouraging and demoralising. But God. This is not the end. God is not finished with his purposes for planet earth. In the short-term things may well get much worse. However it is the long-term we must focus on. But now we grieve. And we are right to do so.

If you feel utterly sick in the stomach over the vote results, that does NOT mean you lack faith, you are not trusting God, or you do not believe God is still on the throne. It DOES mean you care deeply about the things God cares for, and your heart is broken over what breaks the heart of God.

But we do not despair. We do not give up. We do not put up the white flag of surrender. No, we keep on fighting. We keep standing for what is right. We keep speaking truth to a culture that hates truth. And we keep pointing people to a Saviour.

This is not the end of all things. It is simply the beginning of the next phase of being salt and light in a sin-darkened, and perhaps God-forsaken, culture. Just moments ago I went out and brought in the laundry. Life goes on. This is not the end of the world. It is one battle lost, but the war continues.

So stand strong saints. We know how things ultimately finish up. In the meantime we have a job to do. There remains much to be done. We must persevere. As Paul tells us in 2 Thessalonians 3:13, “And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right.”

Let me conclude with a few more quotes:

“The Lord hath promised the crown of life to those who love Him. Only lovers of the Lord will hold out in the hour of trial; the rest will either sink or sulk, or slink back to the world.” Charles Spurgeon

“The waters are rising, but so am I. I am not going under, but over.” Catherine Booth

“Hope is the power of being cheerful in circumstances we know to be desperate.” G. K. Chesterton

“Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.” J. R. R. Tolkien

“If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength!” Proverbs 24:10

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44 Responses to Christian Reflections on the Homosexual Marriage Vote

  • Since when has it been right, under International law (or any other law) to allow a legal disrespect to that which is held sacred to a significant portion of our community.
    Australia is a signatory to the UNESCO convention on the Protection of Cultural Heritage.
    Cultural heritage is the legacy of physical artefacts and intangible attributes of a group or society that are inherited from past generations, maintained in the present and bestowed for the benefit of future generations
    Safeguarding intangible heritage is the protection of cultural identities and therefore the cultural diversity of humankind.  Intangible Heritage includes but not limited to traditional festivals, oral traditions, oral epics, customs, ways of life, traditional crafts, etc.  
    Heterosexual marriage is part of the cultural heritage of the Christian on Australia.
    In Queensland, to give local statewide effect to the principle of protection the cultural heritage of part of our population, we have the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003.
    Principles underlying Act’s main purpose
    “the recognition, protection and conservation of Aboriginal cultural heritage should be based on respect for Aboriginal knowledge, culture and traditional practices”
    Federally there is the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act.1984
    The purposes of this Act are the preservation and protection from injury or desecration of areas and objects in Australia and in Australian waters, being areas and objects that are of particular significance to Aboriginals in accordance with Aboriginal tradition.
    Here the critical word is “desecration”.
    To desecrate is to treat (a sacred place or thing) with violent disrespect.
    To the Christian, same-sex marriage is a desecration of a sacred right and, in some denominations a sacrament.
    To many Christians,sacraments signify God’s grace in a way that is outwardly observable to the participant.
    They are a symbol of any of a number of fundamental tenets of the faith,
    Marriage is a sacrament which is an outward symbol of the fulfilling of God’s purpose for humankind to form the building block of society (the family ) and to reproduce humankind. It is also a symbol of the nature of Christ’s relationship with His church- a sacred union where two become one in the physical consummation of marriage.
    If you think about it, its not hard to understand why homosexual marriage is seen by many of the Christian faith as blasphemous.
    Why then do we pass one law to protect the intangible cultural heritage of one part of our society and then pass laws to disrespect another’s?

  • Thank you Bill for your wisdom and courage to continue to stand for truth and be an Overcomer not overcome. We should not be surprised concerning the vote! Let’s Press On and be all God has called us to be. 👍🏻

  • So sad. My heart palpitated a lot when I heard of the result. I feel that we humans have betrayed God big time. This however is in line with prophecy concerning the last days and thus should strengthen us (believers) to continue steadfastly in Him, for our redemption is nearer than ever before.

  • Hi Bill can I echo Kerry’s thanks? You do a wonderful job.
    I’m reminded of 2 Chronicles 7 v 14
    …. and my people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
    I trust I’m not taking this out of context? Our land sure needs healing both environmentally and spiritually and culturally.
    Thanks for reminding me about Schaeffer I read him back in the 80’s when I began to hear the gospel and believe. I should take up his books again.
    Blessings

  • Dem’s Amazing fighting words, Bill.
    THANK you!

    ‘But we do not despair.
    We do not give up.
    We do not put up the white flag of surrender.
    No, we keep on fighting.
    We keep standing for what is right.
    We keep speaking truth to a culture that hates truth.
    And we keep pointing people to a Saviour.

    This is not the end of all things. It is simply the beginning…..’

    May God continue to bless you, keep you safe & allow YOUR words (always referenced by Mighty Scriptural Wisdom) to be spoken, shared, talked about & discussed.

    In Jesus Mighty Name, We pray,
    Amen

  • Now that SSM is passed in Australia, you can expect the next from the list for LGBTQ (or whatever letters its at now) to now try to get people to accept transgenders. But I’ve noticed most people who support SSM think the whole trans thing is insane, despite the lunatic left and MSM push trying so hard. I’ve seen a growing number of people finding it insane. In fact a comment from a youtube video over an insane guy that thinks hes a filipino woman was by a atheist who had to admit that Christians were right about the slippy slope when it came to gay marriage. The reason I’m bringing this up is because I’m seeing the LGBT go crazy over this whole trans thing bill, maybe just maybe since they’re taking the trans thing to far, people will realize just how crazy and hypocritical the LGBT people are.

  • Thank you Bill for your words of wisdom. It is right that we grieve for the lost but the Lord is our hope and strength.

  • Yes I feel sick to my stomach, to see our once Christian country go down the gutter, I am finding it hard to come to grips with the fact that so many of “us” have turned our back’s on The Almighty, that we have rejected His laws and made a mockery of our beliefs.
    Looking on the bright side, it would seem as though we now know the wheat from the tares, it will be left to the Reaper to weed out the tares and cast them into the eternal fire.

    I pray that our prayers will be heard and there will be a seeking of forgiveness and repentance by all those that have chosen to disobey, and that Almighty God will forgive their sin and heal our land.

    Eph 6:10  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 
    Eph 6:11  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 
    Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 

  • Just, thank you.

  • Bill Muehlenberg, We should always focus on our Lord and Saviour Jesus, and never be discouraged or sin through our anger at what is happening. Thank you for reminding us of the love and faithfulness of God.

  • Hi Bill, both my wife & I felt sick to our stomachs when the result was announced. Like Samuel (1Sam. 8), both of us want to grieve before our God. Along with our own church community we had put so much prayer into this issue. Bill, thank you so much for your wise words of encouragement, they are most greatfully accepted and appreciated. Blessings to you & your family, Kel.

  • Very sad and disturbed to read of your results there in Oz. In some ways it’s worse than what happened in the UK….we never got a vote on it, but Australia has endorsed the whole sickly scenario with an actual vote. I read that the vote isn’t binding but of course it will no doubt be acted upon with wild enthusiasm…..and 62 to 38 is a rather large margin, it can’t be fought over like our EU referendum. I do wonder how much of your vote was rigged?

  • Well said Bill and Philip Impey. Man and woman represent the two aspects of God’s character…masculine and feminine…how can two men or two women ever stand before anyone,let alone God and represent the true meaning of and holiness which is marriage !

  • Thank u 4 your wisdom.
    The fear of adonai is the beginning of wisdom.

  • “I tremble for my country when I remember that GOD IS JUST.” Thomas Jefferson

    I was bullied verbally by my wife and son tonight when I said I voted NO because I believed in traditional marriage and as protest against the bullies of the YES campaign. My wife said what about a relative who is gay I had treated him as less than human by voting NO.

  • Great work Bill in defence of moral decency and traditional marriage. Australians voting yes, as simply laid back people who give everyone a go, are yet to realize the freedoms they have given away to Cultural Marxists.

  • Gervase, your relative’s humanity was not the subject of the vote, nor is it in question. The question was whether to grant a particular choice of lifestyle the status of marriage, and in doing so radically reshape the society we live in. By implication it was also a vote on ethics – are Judeo-Christian ethics accepted by the majority. Sadly the majority of those who voted said no, and in doing so have opened the door for those who identify as Christian to be treated “less than human”.

  • I think with almost 5 million people saying no, there is zero reason to capitulate to this result. That doesn’t even include the children. What can they do to all of us? That’s a lot of people to think you can threaten.
    All we need to do is be prepared to stand and support the people they target in the future. The unhinged persecution that is sure to follow will only serve to wake up more people and witness to Christ. Any escalation even more so. I pray they make the mistake of trying to publicly target a Daniel or Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Their ‘fairness’ and ‘equality’ slogans would quickly be revealed as the hollow lies they always were.

  • I too felt very upset by the whole scenario. So I read Psalms 2 and 37. Psalm 2 begins “Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying, ‘Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.’ He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision…Blessed are all who take refuge in Him.”
    Psalm 37 begins “Fret not yourselves because of evildoers.” God is still in control and “We know that for those who love God all things work together for good.” (Romans 8:28.)

  • Thank you Bill, and may God uphold and strengthen all our Australian brothers and sisters.
    As Chris Dark says, in some ways this is worse than what happened with us in the UK.
    When prayer seems the only recourse left to us, though, how good to know that prayer is also our first and best recourse. God’s arm is not shortened, that it cannot save.

  • Thank you Bill.

  • One of the truly sad things is going to be to watch many people, even professing Christians, capitulate to the demands of the LGBT lobby. I personally know a number of photographers and florists who would not feel comfortable serving gay weddings but I am not sure they have enough Christian conviction to lose their livelihoods over it. Sad to read that the LNP has already conceded this point and will not be putting in any amendments to protect this group. Truly sad.
    At least the wheat and the chaff will be sifted.

  • Last year I pulled my children from my local Gov primary school in order to escape the gender bending nonsance of the mandatory ‘Keep safe child protection policy’
    I enrolled them into a beautiful small Christian school that worship daily and give thanks before lunch. We’re all happier for the change. Now I fear that anti discrimination laws could see any person teach at this wonderful school. So despite feeling beaten and empty from this result, we should fight on to ensure religious rights are protected in all bills presented to Parliament. (Even though we’ve seen religious protections removed after Bills have passed abroad)
    Thanks Bill for the inspirational words and as another commenter alluded to We know these things must come to pass and we’re edging closer to Messiahs return.
    Blessings.

  • Bill, when I read your article and saw the books quoted I thought, “Yes. Francis Scheaffer – a man whose words were music to my ears in the 70’s and 80’s.” Then there are the McIlheny’s – I had never heard of them, so obviously am unfamiliar with their writing. But what hit me was the year – 1993. I reflected on the recent comment about a recent entry in Facebook that brought about the retort that I am “obsessed” with homosexuality. But in 1993 my concern was as great. I entered into a debate with a local Episcopalian vicar in Washington State concerning this issue, and it was through the local newspaper. It brought attention from the major papers, and when I would not bend, even a little, they dropped the matter, for some intangible reason.

    Then I thought, “So, has this been an obsession this long?” Well, in a way, yes, but not an obsession in subject, but attention to things of importance without wavering. Exactly the same kind of “obsession” has occurred in the question of abortion, and I have had the same conversation in the newspapers in Texas when I was there.

    It has always seemed like a lonely, uphill battle, but it is not lonely, and it is not uphill. We are together, we brothers and sisters in Christ, and God makes the rough places smooth – eventually.

    Thanks for the reminder and encouragement.

  • Woke yesterday with a sense of uneasy which increased as the day went on. Reading the first five chapters of Isaiah gave the answer, judgment and persecution are coming down the road. And as in Isaiah’ day when judgment arrives only the remnant will survive.

  • When King David’s army was surrounded by enemy troops, the commander Joab said to his fellow general (and brother) Abishai :–

    Be strong and let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. The Lord will do what is good is his sight. (2 Samuel 10:12)

  • A dear Christian friend advised me many years ago not to put my ultimate trust in any person (including her) as humans disappoint but Christ never does. Actually, she never did disappoint me, other than that her earthly life was finite.

    Bill, you continue to point to Christ and to strengthen us to be used for God’s purposes. in this disappointing (but not unanticipated) hour you have not been disappointing. Yet another “trumpet call” article from you to rally around the cross.
    It is shameful that you are the target of vitriol. For myself, I can only state that I am constantly grateful for your continued faithfulness and your ability to turn our thoughts from our present circumstances, and back to God’s word. Thank you so much.

  • Great article. Of course Christians who survived the Soviet era have much to teach us about resistance behind enemy lines if we wish to listen and learn. We need to shift gears, upholding the faithful Christians and standing up to the toxic culture as often as we can.

  • The Apostles Peter and Paul both confirm the will and character of the LORD almighty in heaven.

    1Ti 2:1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,
    1Ti 2:2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
    1Ti 2:3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Saviour,
    1Ti 2:4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

    2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

  • Yeah Bill,
    Its pretty crook.
    Imagine us, this great nation of ours going down the same sewer as the rest of the Christian west.
    Our poor families under a constant bombardment from the Social Marxist.
    was listening to parliament today heard many of then speaking with forked tongues and hurling barbs at the few righteous. How could they be so contemptuous, so smug? Yep couldn’t help thinking that “it will be your turn next mate.”
    Oh for Cicero, for truthful men and for real women to lead us out of this cesspit.
    Parliament seems to be filled with the blind, the deaf and with the dregs of our society.
    Of course we honour those few good men and women that are there and we value their courage against such odds
    have to say congratulations, job well done to those that are fighting this battle in parliament and out like the ACL and the coalition for marriage, many more.
    Regards
    Terry McDonnell WA
    Ps Bill given that the ALP conference said that if SSM comes to a vote all ALP members must vote in favour of SSM. How can these guys vote freely?

  • Thank you for your literary efforts. Interesting and supportive reasoning for those of us who believe,

  • Hi Bill, I presume that you’ve received an additional “uninvited and unwarranted load of crap” in your in box since the result was announced. Both myself and my wife will continue to cover you & your family in prayer. As i wrote before, we both were greatly encouraged by your BIBLICAL RESPONSE to the fight that’s been lost, and the fight that is still ahead. We both take great comfort in the fact that Jesus declared; “ALL AUTHORITY IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH HAS BEEN GIVEN TO ME”. The Lord Jesus Christ is still on The Throne! Bill for every tonne of crap you receive, we’ll send you 3 tonnes of love & support.
    Bless you heaps, Kel.

  • A small encoureagement: I heard a lady caller to ABC radio today saying that she didn’t adhere to any religious belief – in fact she was an athiest – who couldn’t stomach a same sex union being called a “marriage” so she voted “No.” This woman seems to have more understanding of the issue than “Christian traitors” on the “yes” side.

  • Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15:58 (KJV) Mick Koster

  • Hi Bill, likewise, thank you for your tireless efforts, both my wife and I were saddened by the result , however we remain evermore resolute to stand firm. God Bless you Bill.

  • Terribly disappointed by the “yes” vote. But at least we are part of a substantial minority. I wish we could all pack up and go somewhere else to live in peace and harmony but I guess that is a forlorn hope?
    I am just finishing off my latest book with some reflections on James Ch. 1 v3 . We must persevere and ultimately we will be rewarded for doing so.

  • Thanks, Bill! I’m greatly encouraged by your reflection & the many responses of your friends. That quote from GK Chesterton about cheerfulness says so much for our time. We must keep ‘pressing on’….I also take some small encouragement from the fact that the way the question was worded involved some verbal and cultural ‘sleight of hand’ to fool many well-meaning people. It looked like a confidence trick out of WC Fields – “Never give a Sucker an Even Break” or “There’s One Born Every Minute”. Seriously though, we’ll keep praying for you.

  • I felt down when I heard the ssm won & thought this is like Sodom & Gomorrah. I wondered what God would think. Disappointed & I know what He says from the Bible. I thought people disobey His other Laws & 10 commandments, too. I wonder if STDS’ will rise now. I’m glad I’m on His side & will remain loyal & pray for the healing of our land. I wonder if He will punish the countries who’ve ok’d ssm; by the weather, mossies, Nth Korea, war, etc. Like in the Old Testament! I’ve written Christian comments in Facebook & got some nasty & good comments back! Keep up the good work Bill.

  • “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” II Chron 7:14

  • …and as in your quote from CH Spurgeon: we mustn’t sink, sulk or slink back into the world.

  • Hi Bill, Just wondering if you could pen something (in laymans terms) for us parents to discuss with our children regarding why SSM is such a negative thing (apart from what we already know) for society so we can prepare them for the obvious ‘in your face’ confrontation of all things homosexual we will now be subjected to. Our children will be challenged at school and other social gatherings to accept this and I would like to equip them to respond appropriately.
    Thank You Bill

  • Keep up the good work, Bill! We greatly value your insight and courage. Apparently they are already proposing to slip the “Safe Schools” Agenda back into our schools through the “Personal Development, Health and Physical Education” under a “Child Protection” syllabus according to the Daily Telegraph, 31st October. One thing is for sure, it is our children they are after and don’t think for one minute they will give up, or water anything down, even if they pretend to for a time. Fred Nile, has already asked a question in Parliament about it. And by the way he has been warning of this for many years and the church has turned a deaf ear. He brought Chuck and Donna McIlhenny out here in the 1990’s to warn us but people thought that would only happen in San Francisco or at least wasn’t relevant to us! Christian Democratic Party is still alive and well and fielding strong Candidates in Elections. Remember they are the only true Christian Party when you vote in 2019 – State and Federal. (or before!)

  • It is reminiscent of Wordsworth’s poem “London 1802″
    Milton, thou should’st be living at this hour,
    England(Australia) hath need of thee:
    She is a fen of stagnant waters………
    We have forfeited our ancient dower…”

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