Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Marriage in the US

I've not spoken out on this issue before, but something is compelling me to do so, now. I keep hearing about these laws to prevent certain individuals from marrying, based on Biblical principles. Let's look at the Biblical teaching regarding marriage.

First, Jesus told us that if anyone is divorced and remarries then not only is the person who is divorced committing adultery, they are causing their new spouse, if they've never been married or are widowed/widowered, to commit adultery as well. So, following the logic present above, all marriages where a person is divorced should be outlawed. No one who is divorced should be able to get a marriage license within the United States.

Second, atheists don't believe in God. Following the same logic as above, someone must first profess their belief in the Christian Bible and belief system before they are issued a marriage license.

Of course, that also means no one who is Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim or any other religion would be issued a marriage license in the United States.

Now, let's look at something. Passing laws regulating marriage according to Biblical principles takes us right back to the Law of Moses. It's a very slippery slope. Are the laws of the United States based on the Law of Moses? Some are, yes. But, Jesus came to live and die so that we would no longer be subjected to the law. Why, then, are we trying to re-establish the law to govern the moral character of anyone?

Our focus is not supposed to be on the things of this world; we are told by Christ and the apostles that we are to dwell on heavenly things. The everlasting eternity is where we are to concentrate. We're also told we are not to meddle in the lives of those around us, we are to work specifically on our own relationship with Christ. Now, many will say that we are responsible to spread the Word, and while that is true, forcing anyone to live according to Biblical principles doesn't convert them to Christianity. In fact, forcing your beliefs on someone tends to have the opposite outcome from the one you're desiring.

God doesn't force Himself on us: we have free will to accept Him or not. Why are we, then, trying to force anyone to live according to our interpretation of God's will. Most of us struggle to know God's complete will for us as individuals, so how can we then determine His will for someone else?

We're becoming the Sanhedrin, Pharisees and Sadducees that worked so hard against Jesus, Himself and oppressed the Jewish people in the first century. Is that what God wants of us? I highly doubt it.

Let's stop trying to remove the speck from someone else's eye and start working on removing the plank from our own. Let God deal with those who are not living according to His will; all we are required to do is present the truth and light to them, not force them to live according to that truth or in that light.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Communist and Authoritarian Countries

I was just reading a news story online whose topic was North Korea, and the official name of the country, Democratic Republic of North Korea, was used. It struck me how ironic that name is for a country whose leader is not elected but is appointed by the dictator. It's very rare for communist countries to have a familial hierarchy for the leadership of the country. Normally the leader is chosen by the central political machine, such as the politburo of the former Soviet Union.

But, like other countries whose name includes language that suggests the nation is a democracy and a land of freedoms, North Korea represses it's people and refuses to grant them even the most basic of human rights: free speech. Here in the United States we take that right for granted, and often abuse it, but the freedom to voice your opinion is the most fundamental freedom a human being has, or should have. Being told by the government what you can speak is an attempt by that government to control what you think and believe.

No other nation on Earth controls the things spoken by its peoples as harshly as North Korea and China, which also has a name that can only be characterized as farcical: The People's Republic of China. There is nothing about the government of China that gives the people any input or voice. A rose by any other name is still a rose, and these nations, despite their attempts to use their official names to perpetuate an image of freedom and respectability are nothing more than repressive, authoritarian regimes who crush their people under a weight of oppression almost to the point of slavery.

My prayers go out to each and every person who has to live under these despotic regimes. May God give them strength to fight against their oppressors and gain the freedoms their nation's official names represent.