On Tuesday, March 26th, 2013 the U.S. Supreme Court began to hear oral arguments for two huge gay marriage cases involving the Clinton-era Defense of Marriage Act and California’s gay marriage ban. The court’s decision even to consider same-sex marriage symbolizes just how much America has evolved on gay rights in an unbelievably short period of time.
Many politicians, athletes, celebrities, and even some recognized “Christian” leaders have come out in support of same-sex marriage. Rob Portman became the first GOP politician to support same-sex marriage, others followed. Other famous people like Hillary Clinton Bill Clinton Laura Bush Dick Chaney, Barack Obama, even the controversial Christian leader Rob Bell have all come out in support of same-sex marriage ahead of the Supreme Court’s decision.
One common theme you hear from same-sex supporters is that you will be on the wrong side of history if you support traditional marriage, one man to one woman. They equate it with the civil rights movement in the 60s and how stupid the people who supported segregation (Jim Crow laws) look today. Almost everyone feels the threat of the stigma that you will look like an idiot if you choose “the wrong side of history.”
On the radar but not receiving much attention
Right in the midst this escalating debate something happened in the state of Colorado that received little notice. I think it shines a light on the greater issue at stake here from God’s perspective. It not only shows a main source of the problem but it clearly takes it it beyond the “being on the wrong side of history” to the bigger issue of “being on the wrong side of eternity!”
In March 2013 the Democratic-controlled Senate of Colorado gave final approval to a bill to remove what supporters say is an outdated 19-century statute. One of the headlines of a Denver newspaper states it as “Colorado may legalize adultery.” It is a bill to repeal the crime of adultery from Colorado’s books. Democratic bill sponsors say it is an outdated 19-century statute. The bill also would repeal the rarely-used law of contributing to “sexual immorality” by providing a place for sexual activity outside of marriage, such as a hotel room etc. Bill sponsors say the bill is about keeping government out of people’s bedrooms.
Wrong Side of History or The Wrong Side of Eternity
I lived through the sexual revolution of the 60s which was a move to do away with what was perceived as the repressive, confining, and archaic sexual morals from the Victorian era. Any boundaries for sexual activity (such as marriage) were attacked and removed. It was a time to explore sexual freedom in order to find fulfillment.
I also remember the 70s when sex education came into our public high school. It was fueled by the sexual revolution of the 60s and I was excited (as an unbeliever) to hear what the sex-ed class was about. My friends and I quickly discerned that it was designed to introduce safe sexual practices that were amoral (outside the scope or boundary of morality). We thought it was cool that they were going to teach us how to have sex without the hassle of marriage being a part of it.
At the same time (the 60s and 70s) states began to adopt no fault divorce laws and the idea of sexual expression being confined to traditional marriage began to lose its hold on our culture. This shows us an important key that should be troublesome for God’s people. Sexual expression in the context of traditional marriage between a man and a woman is no longer to be a confining issue.
As we look over the fruit of the last 50 years we need to ask a question that my friend Dave Limmer often ask “Well how’s that working for you?” Anyone objectively and honestly studying our culture over the past 50 years would conclude that making sex outside of marriage legitimate has not greatly helped anything. It has only contributed to pain, brokenness, betrayal, poverty, and more and more children being raised without the security of their mother and father being present.
Besides all of those types of issues that are easily measurable by researchers and sociologist, we have the greater issues of God’s design. If I have to choose between being on the wrong side of history or the wrong side of eternity I will choose the wrong side of history every time. God is very clear that His design for sex in within the boundaries of marriage between a man and a woman. This is the context that He designed sexual expression to find it’s highest fulfillment. To hold these standards isn’t hate (even though people can seek to impose them in a hateful way). It actually is love that wants people to live “on the right side of eternity.”
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 NASB 9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators (sex between unmarried people) nor idolaters, nor adulterers (sex with someone outside of who you are married to) nor effeminate, nor homosexuals (same-sex sexual activity) , 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.