Perspective: The nominal view
I have watched with great interest the recent political jockeying that has inflamed the debate over so-called “gay marriage.” I was not surprised when President Obama came out of the closet to support gay marriage. His administration opposed the Defense of Marriage Act, which states that marriage is between a man and a woman and is the historic position of our culture and laws.
I was also not surprised when the President declared his reasoning by an appeal to the tenets of Christianity and the Bible. When he came out in support of civil unions for homosexuals, he declared, “If people find that controversial, then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount, which I think is . . . more central than an obscure passage in Romans.” In the President’s recent announcement for gay marriage, he once again appealed to Christianity by saying, “. . . when we think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing Himself on our behalf, but it’s also the Golden Rule, you know, treat others the way you would want to be treated.”
Obama is not the first, nor will he be the last, to justify actions on the basis of the teachings of the Bible or the Christian faith. His actions are not defined by being a member of the Democratic or Republican party. His position, supposedly informed by Bible truth, goes beyond politicians to many in our culture today who use the Bible as a hammer to nail down their position as truth while turning the truth into a lie.
People of this ilk make fundamental mistakes in utilizing the Bible to substantiate their misguided positions. First, they don’t believe the entire Bible is truth. Like Thomas Jefferson, they cut up their Bibles and make one that is more to their liking by removing or ignoring parts of the Bible that do not fit their perspective. Note the President’s words—he likes the Sermon on the Mount, but because he rejects the truth of Romans, he views it as nothing more than an obscure book and teaching.
This approach is laughable at best. The book of Romans is at the heart of Christianity even to the novice Christian. Indeed, it was the truth of Romans that lighted the fires of the Protestant Reformation and transformed its leader, Martin Luther. But even more telling in the President’s statement is a traditionally liberal view of Scripture. When you reject the infallibility and inerrancy of Scripture, you can make it say whatever you desire.
The Bible can be a guide to politicians just as it was for our forefathers who used it as the basis of our legal system. The Master Architect gave the Bible as a trustworthy plan for earthly living and heavenly direction, BUT one must know and accept the truth of Scripture. Picking and choosing parts to believe without regard to the whole truth of God’s Word leads to wrong thinking and actions. The President’s statements reveal a nominal view of both the Bible and its teaching.
This nominal view is the very reason many of us fought so hard in the Southern Baptist Convention for infallibility and inerrancy. If Southern Baptists had not stood and rejected a liberal view of Scripture, we would have gone the way of all flesh. Culture never slides toward truth! Neither do denominations! In fact, society more often takes a wild ride down the slippery slope of moral decay beginning with a view that rejects all Scripture as “inspired by God.”
By the way, that obscure passage in Romans referenced by the President speaks of the end result of a culture without the truth of Scripture and living without reference to God. The passage states that the result of ignoring God and going one’s own way plays out in abnormal actions, mainly homosexual behavior. The passage is not obscure, but a clearheaded statement by the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul.
The President’s misapplication of Scripture does not negate the truth of the Bible nor change it. Homosexuality is sin. So is heterosexual adultery. And no matter how hard we may try to justify our wrong by scrambling the truth as recorded in the infallible and inerrant Word, it is still wrong action. You may appeal that a loving God wants you to be happy. No, you need to read the Bible again. A loving God wants you to be holy and righteous. So much so He sent His Son to pay the penalty for your sins and set you free from the bondage of sin. He wants you to be more than happy. The Bible says He wants you to be free and filled with eternal joy that will not change with the whims of life or culture—that does not take interpretative gymnastics!
Mr. President, you may justify your position on homosexual marriage based on your view of and interpretation of the Bible. To do so is to join a long list of liberal theologians, politicians and cultural gurus in twisting the truth to support your own view. You can do that, but it does not change the truth of Scripture. Your position is wrong not because I say so, but because the infallible and inerrant Word says so.