Tag Archives: law

Marriage – Reclaiming A Forgotten Truth

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As of this week Illinois has lost one of the few thing it held over my beloved home state of Iowa.  On Wednesday Governor Pat Quinn signed into law the legalization of same-sex marriage making Illinois the 16th state to do so.  (Iowa was 3rd, although it was done by the courts who forgot their job was not to legislate but to determine if the laws are consistent with the constitution, but I digress.)

The state of Illinois has officially legalized gay marriage.  My first thought was, “what a sad day.” But the more I thought about it I realized it was inevitable.
Now your probably thinking, “What on earth is he talking about?”  Allow me to attempt to explain.

For many of us, marriage is an institution ordained by God. Genesis 2:24 (NASB) tells us “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”  In short, marriage is a “religious” thing.  A position held not just by Christians, but Jews, Muslims and many others.  In addition to this, it is historically a position held by the people of this nation and many others throughout history.  (Thus the old expression, “married in the eyes of God.”)  That being said, it is a position that was forfeited long ago.

“How so?” you ask.  Let me start by pointing out what this issue was not about.  Contrary to what every media source, pundit and activist would have you believe, the battle was not about equal rights.  You see, the state of Illinois already had legal civil unions guaranteeing that the union of a homosexual couple had the same legal rights as a legally married heterosexual couple.  What they did not have was the word “marriage.”  That’s right, this battle was not about a truth, but about a word.  A word which as I stated earlier was a “religious” thing.

Okay, but how does this make the point that the religious meaning of marriage had been forfeited.    Simply put, we stopped viewing marriage as a religious thing a long time ago.  We removed God from the institution of marriage a long time ago when it became acceptable practice for two people to “marry” before a government official.  (And in turn our pastors began to serve as government officials signing off on a government sanctioned union.)  We removed God when the marriage ceremony itself became more important than the meaning.  (After all, how many little girls have grown up dreaming of a big church wedding.)  We removed God when two people with no belief in God, let alone a commitment, were joined together in a church.  (Some churches rent out their facilities to anyone who will pay.)  We removed God when marriage became something to be embraced only as long as the good feelings lasted. (It is then tossed away when things got difficult.)

Now you may be thinking, “It’s always been that way and it’s that way everywhere.”  Like I said, we forfeited it a long time ago and we probably don’t remember anything different.

No ,”marriage” ceased to be seen as a religious thing by most people a long time ago and slowly over time it has become one of those things most people do simply because society says it is the norm.  So marriage became simply a “legal” thing.  From this point on everything begins to make sense. An institution ordained by God between a man and woman became a legal contract issued by the government. And ‘I fear this is not the end, but only one more step down a road that leads away from God.

Yes, I am sorry the decision was made because I do not agree with it, but the fact is I’m more sad that we gave up marriage so long ago without even knowing it.   So how do we respond to the situation? We need to realize there is a greater issue that needs to be done. The hearts and souls of our nation need to be drawn to God. Only then can we begin to grasp the true meaning of marriage and what we have really given up.

The Rest of the Story


Recently I had the opportunity to attend a Shabbat service at a local synagogue. A friend of my younger sons was going to be taking part in the service and his family had invited us.

It was a memorable experience as we sang with the Cantor, prayed with the Rabbi and worked our way through the service. While the Rabbi did not give a sermon, as this was a special service, we did get to see a faith steeped in rich tradition and history. I could not help but be moved by the reverence and truths relayed about God in the prayer book. (Fortunately there was an English translation as my Hebrew is a bit rusty.)

These are the chosen people of God described throughout the Bible. A people who have worship God in the same basic structure for more than 2000 years.

Just like me, they too worship the only God with praise, and joy. The words of the prayers speak of the gifts of God, the peace of God and that all is to the glory of God. Dare I say, they worshiped with a reverence to often missing in the Christian church.

To worship in this setting, it was clear that God spoke to my heart. But as my spirit was lifted toward God, I had one thing pound over and over. They are missing the rest of the story.

I remember listening to Paul Harvey tell “The Rest of the Story” on the radio. Paul and his team would take a significant person in history and then proceed to research around them to find out what had happened in their life that had helped make them the person we knew. Sometimes he would do the same things with significant events in history. It should be noted that in their research they had to have at least two independent sources confirming the story for it to make it on air.

When he told the story he did not begin by revealing who or what he was talking about, but rather he would tell the unknown story they had found in their research. Only after peaking your interest and fascination with the story would he reveal who or what he was talking about to the amusement, surprise and sometimes shock of the audience. He would then conclude with his trademark “and now you know, the rest of the story.”

In much the same way I felt like I was listening to a Paul Harvey story but before the person being spoken about was revealed, the radio was shut off. I wanted to stand up and shout, that “all of these prophecies, scriptures and laws point to the man known to the world as Jesus of Nazareth.”

That is the most exciting and liberating part of the story. No longer are we justified through the law, no longer do we need sacrifices for our sins, no longer must we enter into the presence of the Lord through rituals. For God has sent the promised messiah, the living tabernacle of God, Emmanuel – God with us. (Isaiah 7:14) He has sent the one who paid the price in full for our sins as prophesied in Isaiah 53:5 “by his wounds we are healed.” Through the Messiah we are forgiven and only through the Messiah may we enter into the presence of God. “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father, but through me.” John 14:6 It is simply through faith in the Messiah that we receive salvation. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourself, it is the gift of God – not by works, so no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9. This means we are free to not depend on our obedience to the law for salvation but to obey God for the right reasons. For the greatest commandment is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind … And the second is like it: love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40 [Deuteronomy 6:5, Leviticus 19:18]) And while He has commanded it, we do not love simply because of the command, but “we love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 In addition, we obey God that He might be glorified by our actions. “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16.

The good news is here. All the waiting, all the hoping and all the praying have come to fruition. The Law and the Prophets have been fulfilled. (Matthew 5:17) The messiah has come and his gift of salvation is available to all who believe. (Acts 10:43)

This is Jesus of Nazareth, “the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16)

“And now you know, the rest of the story.”

The Evolution of the Law of Evolution

A Federal Court has spoken, but does this settle the matter? One hundred years ago, the questions was hardly considered. The answer was simple; God, an intelligent designer, created life. But then something changed. One young teacher dared to challenge the status quo and a court case ensued. A court case immortalized in the play “Inherit the wind” and commonly referred to as the “Scopes Monkey Trials.” So the courts declared that chance evolution was a theory which deserved to be presented along with any other theory. And so it was settled, intelligent design and chance evolution would be taught as equal theories. But something went amiss.

Those who had stood in opposition to the Christian faith, the most notable supporters of intelligent design for the time, had found a way to explain the world with out having to fall back on a designer. The opportunity was seized and slowly, very slowly at first, chance evolution was given more time and weight in presentations. Academics in higher education were even more bold, as they began to prepare the next generation of teachers to the young. Presenting to them the “intelligence” in human reason that had determined the process of evolution in opposition to the simple-minded tradition of a designer, which had been blindly followed for centuries.
And so things changed. Slowly, bit by bit, the theory of chance evolution came to be presented as fact and replaced the myth of intelligent design. But something happened that the evolutionist had not planned on. Scientist who bucked the status quo. Scientist who put as much research into proving the need for an intelligent designer to explain the origins of life. Scientist who were willing to point out the fallacies and holes in chance evolution.
And so, almost one hundred years later, the two sides return to court. Again, a group of educators were willing to challenge the status quo and present chance evolution as a theory, not fact, and equally present intelligent design as a theory.
But the Federal court has spoken. Declaring that intelligent design has no place in the classroom. Declaring that intelligent design is nothing but a subversive attempt by Christians to force their teaching into the classroom along side evolution. Even with a hope of replacing fact with an ancient myth.
I am willing to give this Judge the benefit of the doubt. I am willing to believe he simply missed the point. That those supporting intelligent design, were not asking that chance evolution be removed from the classroom, but that it be taught, as the courts had originally intended, as a theory along side other theories. For that is what they are, theories. While we may be able to prove the supporting legs of various theories, none of the theories themselves can be proven. None of us was there. In fact, no matter which theory you support, no one was present to document the events. If no one was present, then to follow any theory is an equal matter of faith. Therefore, teaching both is not an attempt to usurp fact with myth, but to lay all the cards out for review.
No, I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. For to do otherwise, is to see a much darker picture. A world where a man sits in judgment of faith and not of law. A world where open discussion and free thought are squelched and children are indoctrinated with views in opposition of the tradition of their families. A world where God has no place among the intelligent. I will give him the benefit of the doubt, and pray that the Supreme Court will choose to review the case and see the truth.