Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Who Owns Marriage, Indeed
Today I watched the above sermon beginning to end, and I would like to provide some feedback based upon what I observed. First off, I appreciate this video being posted by a good friend of mine, Mr. Randy Dye. Randy has been instrumental in the movement to restore liberty to this land. He is a fellow patriot. Though I may not fully agree with the end activity promoted by this video, I'm thankful for this man, his family, and the fact that this church is wanting to at least "do something."
During the first three quarters of the sermon, the pastor, referencing scripture all the way, speaks out about what the Bible says marriage should be and it is indeed clear that marriage was ordained by God to strictly be between a man and a woman. He pounds this home and I agree and support the stance and the Biblical perspective 100%. I applaud his taking a stand, and actually wanting to get involved. Like it is said near the end of the clip, the church has been sitting for far too long. However there are some deeper issues which are addressed only briefly by the woman at the end of this video which I believe are VERY important, and should be looked at a little closer. I think a lot of Christians are voting for this amendment out of excitement at the rare opportunity of standing up for what they believe in, and also excitement because they believe it fights something they know is wrong. Yet, I also believe that this excitement is overpowering their ability to "look before they leap" -- to first consider the consequences of allowing the government to continue sticking its nose into business which it ought not be in in the first place. Twice during this video (4:40 & 52:15) it is mentioned that before the government ever got involved, God alone had ordained marriage for his people. The woman at the end says, "...from Adam and Eve, they were married. It was not legislation. It was not a marriage license. It was God." Later again at the 53 and 54 minute marks she brings up several of the government sanctioned "benefits" that didn't even exist prior to the government being involved. Amen! So, we see here, bright and clear, a very important ROOT issue. But when you compare this to the ultimate "action" promoted by this sermon, there appears to be a contradiction. To me it looks like we are saying that it's a God thing, but yet we are participating in a venue which says otherwise. We're saying that it's a marriage because God says it is, and yet we care greatly that the government also promotes one or the other. And we think that there is actual authority placed in the form of a vote to say one way or another, when it's really up to God. Make sense? It's kind of like we're serving two masters here.
Toward the end the pastor here tells the story about Bob Jones losing their tax exempt status and at 48:20 he says that, "if this passes, folks....there's a chance...that this would be a hate crime if I were to preach this sermon today...we would lose our tax exempt status and we'd have to pay $30,000-$40,000 to the government." Firstly, I think this 501c3 status would be a fantastic thing to lose! This is a root issue that ought to be discussed. Would the church be having this problem if it weren't a 501c3 church and its pulpit was no longer under restriction by the government? Stay with me, this gets a little technical. If you read the 501c3 (non-profit) paperwork, you will see that even the IRS admits that churches are tax exempt by their very nature, pursuant to IRS Publication 526, and IRS Code § 170(c)(2)(B). So why is a 501c3 status even required? It's not! Again, let's dig a little deeper. I'm also wondering if by preaching about the marriage amendment in the first place, this in and of itself is a violation of the 501c3 status agreement. See section VIII, part 2a & 2b of IRS form 1023 which requests Form 5768 to be filled out. Then check out Form 5768. Under the general instructions you see the words, "Section 501(c)(3) states that an organization exempt under that section will lose its tax-exempt status and its qualification to receive deductive charitable contributions if a substantial part of its activities are carried on to influence legislation." In other words, you want to affect change? Fine, you are no longer tax exempt. Now, does a single sermon qualify as "substantial?" I'm not so sure. But the point is, the power to influence what is preached behind the pulpit is in the hands of the government. And it ought not be that way. The 501(c)3 status is bad for churches. Check out HushMoney.org. They've got some great information on this topic.
The pastor also says that they would "have to" pay the government thousands of dollars, but if it does become a hate crime to preach against homosexuality, shouldn't churches be the first to resist such payments/tyranny? If we're going to start "fighting" things, we really need to get this "have to" attitude out of our minds. NO, we don't HAVE TO. We should fear God, not the government (our servant). It's not easy, but at some point, we've got to draw the line and say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
I believe many Christians are being deceived by things like this simply because it appears on its surface to support their beliefs. However, we need to ask ourselves whether this amendment coincides with the Constitution's original intent and limited powers that we have delegated to the government. Do we want to further confirm, by our vote, that the government DOES indeed have a place in the institution of marriage?
At minute mark 53:00 the above video states, "it comes down, simply, to money." Homosexual couples want those "privileges" and "benefits" which our government has granted to heterosexual couples. So, if these benefits did not exist, would the 'gay agenda' be clamoring for them? Again, if we would tell the government (our servant) not to get involved in marriage AT ALL, this 'special treatment' would not exist, for anyone! If I were to vote, that's what I would vote for -- to get the government out of marriage altogether. I believe that then, the push for legally attacking the traditional marriage would not be as strong, and the opposition would not have as much need to do so. The attacks would only exist within our society through immorality, which they always will, until God returns. No law can change that.
I don't believe any law will ever stop immorality or homosexual unions. They have existed from the dawn of mankind. The heart of man is desperately wicked and repentance must start in the soul. I don't think any of this should be in the hands of the government. In my 30 years I've seen that group of folks mess up far too many things to be trusted with something like this.
You cannot legislate morality, and there are plenty of other ways to affect change in society without building another fence around it.
Voting is only one method by which we protect our liberties. Asserting our rights is another. This is where the legal system comes into play. I call it resistance with a legal foundation. In August of 2009, after much study, thought and prayer, my future wife and I asserted our right to be married through the vehicle of a covenant marriage. We did this without the permission of the government because we believe this right is inherent and God given, and because we believe God would not be pleased if we participated in asking permission for something He ordained in the first place. A state-licensed marriage does NOT a marriage make. God created this institution and so we believe that it is no right of the government to interfere. We've had to face personal sacrifice as a result of our decisions. In fact, the de facto NC state government does not recognize our marriage, in much the same way as they do not currently recognize a homosexual marriage, with or without the passing of this amendment. Yet, we are married in God's eyes regardless of these supposed "man made" laws. As you can see, the government didn't stop US from getting married, and they certainly won't be able to stop homosexuals from coming together either.
By voting for the marriage amendment, no matter how badly we want to "defeat" the opposition, I believe that with this vote, we would only be sending a message that we DO want the government involved in this institution. From most Christians' standpoints, not supporting this amendment will not be a popular choice. I have no doubt that by opposing this amendment, we may be labelled similarly to those who support homosexuality. But that's okay. I believe that when the government comes up with some "law" that seems beneficial to your own viewpoint, it takes far more guts to recognize the government shouldn't get involved in it at all than to vote out of benefit for your own cause.