How Should a Christian Vote On the Virginia Marriage Amendment?

Remember that Nazi Germany was a Christian country, that the KKK was a Christian organization, that the Spanish Inquisition was Christian, that our Christian Congress failed in fifty successive attempts to give women suffrage, that it was Christian preachers in our country that supported segregation and fought against interracial marriage.

Will the Christians of those times be able, before God, at their own judgment, be able to argue that they only did what they were told, what their leaders told them was defensible?

The Nazis used their anti Semitic laws as a political ploy to play on the fears and prejudices of the German people. Today, in America, more subdued, but in a similar vein, politicians are using fear and underlying prejudice to tap into the psyche of the electorate to enact anti homosexual laws that are sweeping across our country.

Just as Jews were held accountable for the failings in prewar Germany, homosexuals are today being blamed for the demise of marriage in America – where now half of all marriages end in divorce. Any rational person would fail to see the connection, but somehow this strategy is working – 20 states have amended their constitutions to forever prevent homosexual families from ever having the civil recognition, rights, and benefits routinely afforded to heterosexual couples.

This comes at a time when 70% of all young people support equal rights for gays and lesbians.

This comes at a time when medicine and science conclude that one’s sexual preference is as innate and as natural as being left handed or right handed – it is a part of the variation in the human species that God apparently imparted in His creation. In fact, science has now observed homosexuality in over 1500 species in nature.

At the age of 63 and being gay, I know that I never chose my sexual orientation – did you choose yours? And I also know that I, like you, want to be treated equally, live a decent and productive life, be law abiding, and make a positive difference in the world through my life. I am no different than you in these things. And I know that I would not wish the discrimination, bias, and prejudice that sexual orientation has brought to my life, to be extended to generations that follow.

I ask you to vote on November 7th, to exercise your civil right and responsibility, and to vote NO on the marriage amendment. I trust that you will make this decision out of your common sense, your God given rational thought, the facts, and out of a realization of accountability for your actions. It may seem unimportant to you – but it is immensely important to the approximately 250,000 gay and lesbians families, their children - and to those gay and lesbian Virginians of future generations. Please be informed before you enter the voting booth – please consider the implication that for the first time in our state’s history, that we in 2006 are about to amend our Bill of Rights – that we are for the first time about to amend our constitution to deliberately discriminate. On November 7th we Virginians can show we are a better people. Please vote NO.

Comments

David said…
Fantastic post, Bill. Thank you.
Greg Bouchillon said…
Dude, Bill, Awesome! This is good stuff.
As a Pastor, I had to respond, as a Christian, to your statements as they relate to Christians:

First, calling yourself a Christian does not make it so. The Bible makes this distinction in 1 Peter 4:11-19. To be Christian is to be "Christ-like."

[Remember that Nazi Germany was a Christian country]
Nazi Germany was in no way Christ-like and the leadership followed the writings of Martin Luther (Lutheran) and Augustine (catholic) which advocated killing of Jews. Hardly Christ-like. Martin Luther's writings clearly depart from Scripture in almost every area.

[the KKK was a Christian organization] Not by Biblical standards. When one uses race and religion as a target of hatred, this contradicts the teaching of Scriptures in Galatians 3:25-28 which teaches that Jew and Gentile(Greek) are one in Christ (children of God).

[the Spanish Inquisition was Christian]
Not according to Romans 10:13-17 says that one must "believe in their heart" and they can not call upon someone they do not believe in. No amount of "forced conversion" will make someone "believe in their heart." Anyone trying to spread Christianity by any means other than preaching God's Word is not Christ-like.

[our Christian Congress failed in fifty successive attempts to give women suffrage] To say that our Congress was Christ-like and deny women respect while elevating men in the same ignore James 2:8-10 which tells us that God is not a respector of persons. The only place there is a seperation of men and women is in 1 Tim 2 and 1 Tim 3 where women were not to teach men and that Pastor's and Deacon's were to be men. This does not mean that women could not vote.

[Christian preachers in our country that supported segregation and fought against interracial marriage]
Again, not Christ-like. Might I add that slavery ended because of Christians (Lincoln admits as much)and the leaders of the civil rights movement were Christians. Also, Darwin's teachings from "Origin of the Species", a book whose sub-title sets out to prove the superiority of the white race, taught that black people were not "fully human." As a scientist in the mid 1800's his "science" was used as a reason that many states had laws against inter-racial marriage. The Bible addresses this in Song of Solomon where the woman is black (Song 1:5-6, 5:11)having a relationship with a non-black king.

When we let the Bible and not man define what a Christian is, then it becomes clear that many who claim to be Christian are not.
Here is the test of a Christian: Matthew 7:15-23.
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Finally, the Bible defines a Saint as such:(Rev 14:12 KJV) Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
If they have the testimony of Christ AND keep the commandments, they are a Christian or "Christ-like". If not, they are wolves in sheeps clothing (2 Cor 11:14-15 KJV) And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. Satan puts plenty of people into this world who call themselves Christian, but in fact are His followers. Unfortunately, you have only seen the same and not the true Christians.

May God Bless you in His wisdom.
Bill Garnett said…
Pastor Michael William,

Thank you for your posting and I have read and considered your thinking on this subject.

I’m sorry you missed my point – I was being facetious in says that Nazi Germany, the KKK, et al, were “Christian” – obviously they weren’t. And neither is America. This country is materialistic, hedonistic, selfish, war mongering, and is barbaric -- and is the only western country that still practices capital punishment. We allow legal prostitution, gambling, alcoholic consumption, and our government is full of corruption.

I do think it is a bit arrogant on your part to imply that you can judge my heart or my faith. It would be inappropriate for me to do that to another.

You say, “calling yourself a Christian does not make it so.” I agree. The same applies to all. Matthew 7:15-16 "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them”. I know I am a Christian and I am willing to stand toe to toe against anyone who will challenge that.

And you are completely wrong when you say, “The only place there is a separation of men and women” are the verses you supplied. The Bible says in Corinthians 14:34-35 “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also sayesh the law.

And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”


As a student at the University of Richmond, I was privy to the Virginia Baptist Historical Society that is located there, and which, among other things, is a repository of many of the historical sermon texts used by Virginia Baptists, including sermons that used this aforementioned text to preach against the advisability of women’s’ suffrage. I could go on to illustrate many sermons in their collection that gave Biblical defense to slavery and sermons that reviled mixed marriages.

Please read the scripture in context with your reason. You can’t see the beauty of God’s message while being so entangled in your nit picking verses that are variously interpreted by different theologians.

I suggest that you read this link. It conveys better than I ever could, my feelings about preachy preachers who in their inerrant reading of scriptures miss the forest for the tress – and see their mission as arrogantly spreading guilt rather than being a Good Shephard.

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