Iowa for Freedom (founded by former governor candidate, Bob Vander Plaats) wants Iowans to vote no on the retention of three Supreme Court Justices who voted in Varnum v Brien to strike down Iowa’s version of the Defensive of Marriage Act. They are Marsha Ternus, Michael Streit, and David A Baker. Governor Chet Culver then ordered marriage licenses issued to same sex couples, just like Mitt Romney of Massachusetts did after a similar ruling in his state. Neither had the courage to stand against the overreaching actions of courts. This will likely end up at the United States Supreme Court and may result in some national move for a Constitutional Amendment or even cause a US Constitutional crisis. Every state that has had voter initiatives on this issue has come down on the side against “gay marriage”. As the battle rages, I believe there are four fundamental arguments we dare not abandon.
First, I believe some have waived the religious argument for marriage altogether. Argument from tradition is not a winner. Traditions can be changed. God is the author of marriage. He defines its boundaries. Marriage exists because God made it so at the beginning of creation: “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife.” What is shocking about that passage is that not only did God himself invent and institute marriage between a man and wife, but he also mentions fathers and mothers from the very beginning, before they existed. This is the natural order. It’s not that a man and man should not be married – it is that they cannot be married. We can perform all kinds of ceremonies over the two of them and issue them a license and even uphold the act with a Supreme Court decision. It will not make it a marriage. It will simply make all of us more to blind to reality. Calling a dog’s tail a leg does not give the dog five legs.
We who oppose the efforts to institutionalize the perverse notion of two men or two women getting married are often asked how such a thing could possibly hurt our own marriages. It is true that a strong Christian marriage can withstand any outside interference. Any culture, however, suffers when counterfeit currency is accepted. “Gay Marriage” is a counterfeit. How can fake $20 bills affect me if I only use the real? Because in such a scenario, true money is debased or devalued. Likewise for marriage.
We will lose the argument if we don’t go back to first things. Utilitarian arguments are bound to fail us, as they have most assuredly done so for the unborn child. All the gory pictures, ultrasounds and offers of adoptive parents have failed to stem the tide of bloodshed because we have been afraid to mention God’s Name in debate. We have been afraid to call sin, sin.
Second, I believe it is grave error to accept the argument that marriage is only a religious institution. The family existed before the church and even before the state, but the welfare of children, the protection of property rights for couples, and other issues pertaining to the family require that the state recognize the God-given definitions of the family. Marriage is not just a private institution, it is a public one. Therefore, the duty to defend marriage lies upon the state. We must not waiver on this issue, either.
Third, we have failed to see that we have been hypocrites and that we ourselves have created this monstrous situation. Every act of adultery, fornication, pornography and unbiblical divorce shows contempt for God’s Law. Living together outside marriage is to ignore God’s law. The strange Westboro Baptist Church bunch are sometimes quick to say that God hates homosexuals, but we, too, conveniently forget that God hates divorce. God does in his grace sometimes deliver homosexuals, but the devastating results of divorce and remarriage cannot be undone even when forgiveness is given. Every time a Christian politician or public figures is caught up in a sexual scandal our credibility is weakened. Until we admit our own sins, we won’t get far arguing against the sins of others.
Nevertheless, there is still a difference between disobedience of an eternal law and whole-hearted denial that such a law exists. Unlawful behavior destroys lives; lawlessness destroys whole nations. Anarchy shall surely follow if we do not turn back to God. Even our own sins must not tempt to us to give in to those who would destroy the very notion of sin. Let God be true, and every man a liar.
Fourth, our arguments should be presuppositional. That is, because marriage is defined by God, we should not grant one inch of ground as to who has the authority to “change the definition of marriage”. No one does. Period. End of story. At most, fighting the battle in certain arenas should be seen as a tactic and nothing else. It is not the final say. For example, it is foolhardy to think that the people have some inherent right to vote on this issue. They do not. Do the people have the right to vote on whether certain people live or die? Do they have the right to vote on which of the Ten Commandments we get to keep? Vote on who is God? Nobody has these rights, not the people, not the courts, not the governor, not President Obama. It is settled law. Settled in heaven.