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  1. #61
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    Re: Should Christians support or oppose gay marriage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    If as a Christian we ought not to apply the exact same standard to all of what God says is an abomination or immoral, then we are guilty of inconsistency and hypocrisy.
    I would think God has been aware of this human weakness throughout the ages. In the NT we do get introduced to this rather simple yet eloquent paradigm changer about sin. Instead of "you inconsistent, guilty, sinful hypocrites," we get: "Go and sin no more." Now that would seem like a no-brainier, right? But it's only a no-brainer, wake-up call, for some people and not everyone -- back then and even today.

    It's determining what is most right and wrong and saying God is incorrect. IMO, it lacks intellectual and moral integrity, it's eisegesis. It should be avoided on every level.
    I would say this is the heart of your argument and I agree in principle. However, as far as the human laws that govern us, I think God leaves that up to us. What do we desire to live in? Since we have the freedom to choose our laws, hopefully based upon sound and moral principles, we get to deal with the consequences -- positive or negative, however they play out.

    So if we examine some of your points about Christian principles, like adultery, lying, stealing, etc., given your argument, shouldn't we first consider how not practicing (no enforcement law) these basic moral principles have affected society and Christianity as a whole?

    1. Has the lack of enforcing these basic moral principles made Christianity stronger and helped society in a positive and/or negative way?
    2. Has Christianity been enriched by not having these basic principles enforced?
    3. Has it helped the faith to not have its members not practice what they believe?
    4. Can a faith or a society effectively enforce morality?

    Your argument "determining what is most right and wrong and saying God is incorrect" -- Apok, people, including Christians, have been saying God is incorrect for ages depending on what the current winds were blowing by in their life and their given frame of mind.

    Maybe it's not so much that some people are saying God is incorrect, but that a few thousand years later, we've evolved a bit and some people simply have a new perspective on old moral issues. Maybe God isn't incorrect.... maybe adultery is still a sin (meaning not within the domain of God's will) and a very unwise choice. But today, since there's no hard legal laws on the issue, we are encouraged to realize that we must live with the consequences (whatever they are) of that choice. We must live with the consequences of lying, stealing, and murder, if one manages to hide from our legal laws.

    So instead of the idea of "us determining what is most right and wrong," perhaps Christians are at the point in human history where their human conscience (with a little help from God's grace) will allow us to make choices that either move us forward to "go and sin no more" -- keep us stagnant, because we'de rather live in denial; or even push us backward, because some will choose to keep making the same unwise choices over and over again.

    As far as the moral issue of gay marriage and should Christians support it? That may not be the right question. The question for me is ... does our society want to redefine marriage and what are the possible consequences (pros/cons) to redefining marriage in a society? We are free to redefine any word we want, and if that's what the majority in a society want, it can be done. But as with all moral and non-moral choices, we are accountable as a society to deal with the consequences (positive and/or negative) of our choices. We can't escape this principle.
    Last edited by eye4magic; December 13th, 2011 at 12:16 AM.
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  2. #62
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    Re: Should Christians support or oppose gay marriage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    It is beneficial because it is effective evangelism. It's all about gaining the trust of people by acting in a consistent manner (being the "light) in accordance with what you believe.
    This is simply amazing! How do I gain the trust of someone when they can see I'm acting according to their morality, whatever it happens to be, and in conflict with the one I say comes straight from God?

    Look, I know Jesus engaged in fellowship with sinners; in fact that is our only hope as sinners. And I'm not suggesting Christians shouldn't love homosexuals. But loving someone means doing for them what it good and right and beneficial to them. If they are headed for eternal condemnation then how is it doing what is good and right and beneficial to them to help them continue in their sin? You say you want to gain their trust, but trust in what?? Certainly not what is good and right and beneficial to them, unless you have it in the back of your mind somewhere that it's YOU who are good and right and beneficial to them. Do you? Do you think you have anything good to offer someone besides Jesus in you, the hope of glory? Did Jesus ever encourage anyone to continue in their sins? Show me where this amazing thing is in the Bible I've now studied for nearly twenty years.

    Where are you getting this biblical nonsense from? You're a wretch in and of yourself, as am I, as are all Christians. Listen, really listen to what the Spirit says through the prophet Isaiah:
    "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away."
    Do you hear? Do you understand that apart from the Spirit of God there is not one iota of goodness or decency in you? How then are you going to get someone to trust in YOUR goodness when you don't have any? And certainly God's goodness toward the sinner includes His condemnation of sin. So if you share God's love with the homosexual, that love includes sharing the truth with him/her, and that truth is they are going to die if they don't stop!
    "When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul." Ezekiel 3:20-21
    You can't keep quite while the sinner dies in his/her sin, without being guilty before God for their destruction. Clearly, voting to legalize gay marriage is not just keeping quite, but is actually approving!!! How much more will you have to account for then?

    Yes, ultimately all people will be judged. We could be judged in a few seconds, a few minutes, a few hours, a few days, a few months, a few years or perhaps not for hundreds of years. What good does it do to effectively put stumbling blocks in their path towards God (see Luke 17:1-2)?
    But look what you're calling a stumbling block? It's the love and goodness of God that is supposed to be leading the sinner to repentance...and you're calling it a stumbling block????

    It is ultimately the Christian's responsibility to reach out to the unbelievers and meet them where they are just as God did for us, instead of requiring that they believe and act the way we do because we "know better".
    You seem to have it stuck in your head somewhere that you can save people if you can just get them to trust you. The truth is you are only a conduit for the Holy Spirit, whose ministry in the world is described by our Lord thusly:
    "Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged." John 16:7-11
    If it is the Holy Spirit's ministry in the world to convict the sinner of sin, and you are only His vessel, how then do you way the Christian should not condemn the sin of the unrepentant sinner by the instigation of the Holy Spirit?

    And when Jesus promised His disciples that when they were brought before the authorities of the world, they should not worry about what they were to say, because He would give them this same Holy Spirit, who would given them the words, we see that it is not just conscience that is in view here, but a consistent warning against unrepentant sin; a "conviction" of sin that should come out of us. Is not the voting booth standing before the authorities to give voice to the conviction of the Spirit of God? If not, then what is it?

    esus didn't do that, so we shouldn't either. He met (and still meets) every sinner where they were/are and offered/offers them a relationship. Repentance can only come after the acceptance that one is a sinner in the first place and by trying to enforce those that don't believe they are sinning to adhere to your moral code you would be (in Jesus' own words) better off having a millstone tied around your neck and being thrown into the sea.
    Oh for pete's sake! IT'S NOT MY MORAL CODE!

    And you're busily painting some namby-pamby picture of Jesus that has little to do with the character we find in the NT (See John 2:13-16;Matthew 11:20-24; Matthew 16:21-24;John 4:7-18; not to mention the considerable number of times He upbraided the Jews leaders in a remarkably harsh manner!)

    To sum up here, then, I don't know where you're getting this image of Jesus you have in your mind, but it's not out of the Bible. Jesus was relentless concerning unrepentant sin, and when He ascended into Heaven, He sent to His Church, His Body on earth that Holy Spirit, who was to convince the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment to come. You are, whether you mean to or not, watering down the Gospel, apparently out of some fear it's not good enough to convince anyone to repent without a little massaging from you. It doesn't seem to cast you in the proper light; as someone you can trust, and should trust, and thus be saved. That's not nearly the Gospel of Jesus Christ my friend, though I can completely understand why you would like it to be.

  3. #63
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    Re: Should Christians support or oppose gay marriage?

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford
    For example, you claim I'm being inconsistent if I would vote against legalizing gay marriage, but would fail to support making illegal co-habitation outside of marriage. Clearly. But would you, having voted to legalize gay marriage, then vote to legalize polygamy? Bestiality? Necrophilia? Pedophilia? I'm guessing not.
    I don't want to answer for Apok, but it seems to me that you either don't understand the argumentation or do understand it but choose to erect straw men instead.

    The argumentation:

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis
    If the Christian holds that from a purely scriptural standpoint, gay marriage should be prohibited (by way of voting for a law that prohibits gay marriage), the Christian must also hold the following positions else be inconsistent and hypocritical (another thing that God disapproves of btw):

    1) Christians should create/support a law that prohibits couples to live together who are not married.
    2) Christians should create/support a law that prohibits the worship of a religion other than Christianity.
    3) Christians should create/support a law that prohibits lying in any capacity whatsoever.
    4) Christians should create/support a law that prohibits adultery.
    in addition to my argument:

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund
    P1: The Christian moral code (established by the Bible and specifically the NT) is applicable to only those who believe it to be true (Christians)

    P2: Holding those that do not believe in the Christian worldview to Christian standards is in violation of Christian teaching

    P3: Not all members of American society are Christian or believe the Christian/Biblical worldview to be true

    Therefore: Christians cannot support legislation that seeks to enforce Christian morality in a society that is not 100% Christian.

    The only way a Christian can support legislation that seeks to enforce Christian morality is if they can form a secular argument to support it. This is essentially forming the only exception for P1.
    Given this argumentation, how can you say that Apok is being inconsistent when there might be legitimate secular arguments against polygamy, bestiality, necrophilia and pedophilia? Assuming that Apok cannot make a secular argument for any of these cases and declaring that he's being inconsistent as a result is setting up a straw man.

    You haven't touched the actual argument, nor have you supported your position Biblically. I am certain you are capable of doing this--I'm frankly surprised you haven't done so yet as this would strengthen your argument considerably if successful. Just do it!

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford
    This is simply amazing! How do I gain the trust of someone when they can see I'm acting according to their morality, whatever it happens to be, and in conflict with the one I say comes straight from God?
    Careful here--this is not consistent with my argumentation, and I'm fairly certain that I have clarified this several times over. The very act of me as a Christian trying to force non-Christians to comply with Christian morality (if and only if a secular argument cannot be made) is in direct violation of Christian teaching. I have supported this with scripture.

    You have repeatedly asserted that this is not true, that it is in fact in accordance with Christian teaching that we (as Christians) are given authority to require non-believers to adhere to our moral code (or even God's moral commands if you would prefer). I Challenge to support a claim. you to provide Biblical support for this assertion.

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford
    Look, I know Jesus engaged in fellowship with sinners; in fact that is our only hope as sinners. And I'm not suggesting Christians shouldn't love homosexuals. But loving someone means doing for them what it good and right and beneficial to them. If they are headed for eternal condemnation then how is it doing what is good and right and beneficial to them to help them continue in their sin?
    I'm assuming this is how you came to Christ? Someone who didn't know you at all came up to you and saw something you were doing and started yelling at you "REPENT! REPENT! DON'T YOU KNOW YOU'RE HEADED FOR ETERNAL CONDEMNATION? STOP SINNING!" at which point you proclaimed "Praise God! I am a sinner! I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior!". If yes, then I think there are other issues that we need to discuss. If no, then you fall into how most people come to know Jesus--via relationships with believers.

    Voting to restrict non-believers' ability to sin is not helpful, despite what you may think. I'm certain you understand this principle. There are probably laws that exist that you don't agree with, but have to comply with regardless. Say a particular speed limit is enforced on a major highway of 20 mph. There is absolutely no good reason (in your mind) for the speed limit to be 20 mph. What is your reaction? Do you automatically think "Gee, I guess I am wrong to think I should be able to go faster on this highway since a majority of voters passed this law!" ? My guess is no. A more likely reaction: "What kind of idiots are voting for stupid laws like this?" Are we really helping non-believers by forcing them to comply by our rules?

    Wouldn't it be reasonable to make a comparison here with the Pharisees?

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford
    How then are you going to get someone to trust in YOUR goodness when you don't have any? And certainly God's goodness toward the sinner includes His condemnation of sin. So if you share God's love with the homosexual, that love includes sharing the truth with him/her, and that truth is they are going to die if they don't stop!
    It's all about the way you go about sharing the gospel. I understand the urgency, I really do. That is why I am so careful when I witness to those that aren't believers. I don't want to make the mistake of tripping people up that God might be trying to reach through me. That means I have to live out what I believe to be the right way to live, and that includes being consistent and avoiding hypocrisy at all costs.

    If I'm talking to a non-believer that asks me a question regarding this issue, I will absolutely tell them what I believe and why. I am not, however, going to go up to a non-believer and tell them they need to comply with what I believe or else they are going to die. Do you see the difference? One assumes that some trust is built between the believer and non-believer via a previously-established relationship. The other is simply a believer eschewing relationship in favor of telling people off. You know a group that fits into this category? The Westboro Baptist Church. This is an extreme example but what they (WBC) do in public, "Christians" do in private and/or in the voting booth.

    I absolutely believe that you (cstamford) mean well. You care about homosexuals, you care about people that don't know God, and that you want them to be saved. You wouldn't be arguing so vehemently for your position if you didn't care. All I am trying to say is that your method is more harmful than it is helpful, and perhaps you need to broaden your perspective somewhat and get into the mind of the unbeliever on this one. Pretend you are an unbeliever who does not believe in God. Ask yourself the following questions:

    How would I feel about a Sunday ban on alcohol purchases that was implemented by Christians?

    How would I feel about a law that prohibited two individuals from marrying each other because Christians said it was wrong?

    How would I feel if a Christian walked up to me at a bar and told me I should stop getting drunk because God says drunkenness is sinful?

    Do any of these questions lead you to a positive view of Christianity? How different would it be if this were the case instead:

    How would I feel if a guy from work who I know is Christian told me he voted against the Sunday ban on alcohol because it wasn't his duty to police others that didn't believe in what he did?

    How would I feel about Christianity if along the path of the gay pride parade I was participating in was a church that put out tables with cups of water and had members hand out the water to the participants as they walked past?

    How would I feel if a guy from work I knew was Christian saw me at a bar and sat down with me to have a drink?

    Would any of these hypothetical situations have caused you to pause and rethink your presuppositions of Christianity? Would they lead you to trust this individual (or individuals) more because they were able to meet you where you were and not start the relationship by telling you that you were wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford
    You can't keep quite while the sinner dies in his/her sin, without being guilty before God for their destruction. Clearly, voting to legalize gay marriage is not just keeping quite, but is actually approving!!! How much more will you have to account for then?
    As has already been argued, Christians that vote to legalize gay marriage are not approving the behavior, but rather acting in accordance with their beliefs. Support your assertion. If you can't, you need to retract it.

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford
    If it is the Holy Spirit's ministry in the world to convict the sinner of sin, and you are only His vessel, how then do you way the Christian should not condemn the sin of the unrepentant sinner by the instigation of the Holy Spirit?
    It seems to me by your argumentation that you believe the only way the Holy Spirit can convict someone of their sin, whether believer or non-believer, is via a Christian telling them to their face (without establishing relationship) that they are in sin and need to repent. Is this the only way you have been convicted of your sin? Or is it possible that the Holy Spirit has worked in other ways to convict you of your sin?

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford
    Oh for pete's sake! IT'S NOT MY MORAL CODE!
    Are you not Christian? This is just an evasion tactic. If you are Christian, you believe what the Bible has to say about God, and therefore believe that His commands regarding how we ought and ought not act are binding. By extension the moral code you live by (your moral code) follows from that belief. Yes, technically you didn't make up the rules, but that's irrelevant to someone who doesn't believe in God in the first place.

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford
    And you're busily painting some namby-pamby picture of Jesus that has little to do with the character we find in the NT (See John 2:13-16;Matthew 11:20-24; Matthew 16:21-24;John 4:7-18; not to mention the considerable number of times He upbraided the Jews leaders in a remarkably harsh manner!)
    Let's go through these verses carefully:

    John 2:13-16:

    Now the Jewish feast of Passover was near, so Jesus went up to Jerusalem. He found in the temple courts those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers sitting at tables. So he made a whip of cords and drove them all out of the temple courts, with the sheep and the oxen. He scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold the doves he said, “Take these things away from here! Do not make my Father’s house a marketplace!”

    Who allowed these people into the temple?

    Does Jesus give us the authority to do this?

    Matthew 11:20-24:

    Then Jesus began to criticize openly the cities in which he had done many of his miracles, because they did not repent. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles done in you had been done in Tyres and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you! And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be thrown down to Hades! For if the miracles done among you had been done in Sodom, it would have continued to this day.

    But I tell you, it will be more bearable for the region of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you!”

    Did Jesus condemn these cities before performing miracles in them or after?

    Does Jesus give us the authority to do this?

    Matthew 16:21-24:

    From that time on Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests, and experts in the law, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. So Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him: “God forbid, Lord! This must not happen to you!” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me, because you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but on man’s.” Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.

    Who was Jesus going to be persecuted by, Jews or Gentiles?

    Jesus rebuked Peter. Was Peter a believer or an unbeliever?

    John 4:7-18:

    A Samaritan womant came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me some water to drink.” (For his disciples had gone off into the town to buy supplies.)

    So the Samaritan woman said to him, “How can you – a Jew – ask me, a Samaritan woman, for water to drink?” (For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.)
    Jesus answered her, “If you had known the gift of God and who it is who said to you, ‘Give me some water to drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” “Sir,” the woman said to him, “you have no bucket and the well is deep; where then do you get this living water?

    Surely you’re not greater than our ancestor Jacob, are you? For he gave us this well and drank from it himself, along with his sons and his livestock."

    Jesus replied, “Everyone who drinks some of this water will be thirsty again. But whoever drinks some of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again, but the water that I will give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.” He said to her, “Go call your husband and come back here.” The woman replied, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “Right you are when you said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the man you are living with now is not your husband. This you said truthfully!”

    Did Jesus start the conversation by telling the woman she was living in sin?

    Why do you think the woman asked "How can you -- a Jew -- ask me, a Samaritan woman, for water to drink?" ?

    According to the laws established by the Jewish leaders, it was against the law to use anything in common with Samaritans. This is in violation of God's moral code, and Jesus (being fully God) knew this and was incapable of going against His own morality. You could say He was acting in accordance with what He believed to be true.

    So what effect did such a law have on the Samaritan woman? It sent the wrong message about God. She was taken by surprise by a Jew reaching out to her--and it was by Jesus' acting in accordance with His moral code that dispelled the religious fog and caused her to begin asking questions (i.e. she started turning towards God).

    If this is how Jesus operated, why should we operate any differently?

    ---------- Post added at 11:29 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:12 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford
    Show me where this amazing thing is in the Bible I've now studied for nearly twenty years.
    If I told you that I have studied the Bible for forty years, would that indicate to you should probably change your mind? Of course not.

  4. #64
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    Re: Should Christians support or oppose gay marriage?

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I don't know how to effectively make them illegal. I don't think it is possible or reasonable at this point. On the other hand, the definition of marriage is a lot different. It is easy to define legally, easy to apply in real life.
    How is it difficult to have a law against dishonoring one's parents? It would be similar to libel or defamation. If evidence shows that someone has said something bad about one's parents, the person goes through the justice system and if found guilty, they are punished.

    And if you are not for such a thing being the law of the land then you are not for the principle that sin should be prevented by force of law.

    And be clear, I am not saying that is or should be your principle. I'm seeking more clarification with this point than attacking your position.

    So let me just ask straight-up. Do you think that people should, by force of law, be prevented from sinning (as in any action that is a sin should not be allowed)?


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Well, that would be the states job now wouldn't it.
    That's kind of a cop-out. When you vote for a law, you are telling the state what to do - in effect, in your own little way, your are wielding (or attempting to wield) the state's power. So when you vote against gay marriage, you are attempting to prevent gays from marrying. And taking action to deny one the ability to act on their choices is not just being a messenger.

    Can we be clear on this? A messenger ONLY relays a message. If you do something more than that, like take an action to prevent one from doing something, you are doing something other than just relaying a message. Just because a message of sorts may be included in your action does not mean that it's only a message and you are only a messenger.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I can't help that they agree with the fundamental terms of marriage.
    That's dodging (or misunderstanding) my point. If you are using the Christian doctrine of marriage as your reasoning for defining marriage, then you are forcing Christianity on non-Christians.

    And on a side-note. If the Christian definition of marriage is a relationship ordained by God, then isn't civil (religious-free) marriages "destroying the Christian definition of marriage"? And if you are going to respond that allowing non-Christian marriages doesn't harm Christian marriages then the argument that allowing gay marriage will harm non-gay marriages doesn't add up.



    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    In many instances I am for forcing adherence to Christian doctrine.
    Such as.. No murdering, stealing, bearing false witness to name a few.

    I do not have secular justifications for opposing those things. I have Christian, biblical doctrinal reasons for opposing those things.
    But we aren't talking about opposing. We are talking about outlawing. One can say "X is wrong, but it should be allowed anyway." Whatever your reasoning for not wanting to outlaw dishonoring one's parents, the fact is you oppose it but seem generally alright with the laws as they are (such as, I assume, allowing some verbal disparaging of one's parents because of respect for the right to free speech - but don't let me put word in your mouth - tell me if I'm wrong on this).

    So my point is I can see that biblical doctrine is the reasoning for opposing gay marriage but I don't see how such opposition means that you, as a Christian, must be for outlawing gay marriage. As far as I can tell, the bible allows you to not vote against gay marriage just as it allows you to vote to not amend the US Constitution to outlaw dishonoring parents if such a thing ever came up for a vote.



    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    In this case I see that as the same. Because it encourages, the destruction of the real definition and idea of marriage.
    That's not a relevant response so I will repeat my point. Allowing gay marriage does not encourage gay marriage any more than allowing dishonor encourages dishonor.

    And if you are saying that allowing equals encouraging, then it applies to both gay marriage and dishonor (unless you can explain the relevant difference).

    And while I think this would be taking the debate off-topic and therefore do not encourage a response from you on this (and a lack of response will in no way be considered a concession or retraction of the point by me), I disagree with your notion that gay marriage destroys "the real definition and ideal of marriage" - straight marriage will continue to be what it's always been regardless of the status of gay marriage. But since I consider that argument to be rather irrelevant, there is no need to debate this particular point, but it's up to you.
    Last edited by mican333; December 13th, 2011 at 10:25 AM.

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    Re: Should Christians support or oppose gay marriage?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican
    So let me just ask straight-up. Do you think that people should, by force of law, be prevented from sinning (as in any action that is a sin should not be allowed)?
    I think the law should not encourage sin, nor should the law of the land destroy morality (christian). I will never vote in favor of destroying Christian morals.

    I do draw a distinction between the legal redefining of marriage so as to include gays. With the legalization of dishonoring parents.. .or the reverse. Making it illegal to dishonor parents.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    That's kind of a cop-out. When you vote for a law, you are telling the state what to do - in effect, in your own little way, your are wielding (or attempting to wield) the state's power. So when you vote against gay marriage, you are attempting to prevent gays from marrying. And taking action to deny one the ability to act on their choices is not just being a messenger.

    Can we be clear on this? A messenger ONLY relays a message. If you do something more than that, like take an action to prevent one from doing something, you are doing something other than just relaying a message. Just because a message of sorts may be included in your action does not mean that it's only a message and you are only a messenger.
    messenger.. carries a message. I too am carrying a message, it isn't my message, it isn't my idea. This isn't something that I have made up. This is me carrying a message. Thus I, am a messenger. agree?

    O, and this only has to be true from MY POV. Your burden is not to simply disagree based on your view, but to show me that this view is inconsistent with the bible.

    cop out... Nope.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    That's dodging (or misunderstanding) my point. If you are using the Christian doctrine of marriage as your reasoning for defining marriage, then you are forcing Christianity on non-Christians.
    Short answer is, yes I am.
    Long answer is. I am forcing my view of right and wrong on others. I don't have a problem with that. In some cases, I will do so with the point of a gun. Say for example to intruders, attackers... anyone starting their introduction with "I'm from the gov and I'm here to help". *Joking on that last one........ a little*

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    And on a side-note. If the Christian definition of marriage is a relationship ordained by God, then isn't civil (religious-free) marriages "destroying the Christian definition of marriage"? And if you are going to respond that allowing non-Christian marriages doesn't harm Christian marriages then the argument that allowing gay marriage will harm non-gay marriages doesn't add up.
    As we are on a side note.. I'll let you in on some of the effect of our past conversations/debates on marriage. Allowing the Gov, and anyone other than the church to "marry" people is where the church has gone wrong. It has harmed the church, and America in the process. Because of that act, I believe that the meaning of Marriage in our society has competently broken down. On the level that it is this event that I believe is a major turning point in America and that will eventually lead to it's ultimate destruction.


    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    But we aren't talking about opposing. We are talking about outlawing.
    Yes, so was I. I was using "opposing" to communicate my reasoning for outlawing murder, lying, steeling etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    One can say "X is wrong, but it should be allowed anyway." Whatever your reasoning for not wanting to outlaw dishonoring one's parents, the fact is you oppose it but seem generally alright with the laws as they are (such as, I assume, allowing some verbal disparaging of one's parents because of respect for the right to free speech - but don't let me put word in your mouth - tell me if I'm wrong on this).
    The only reason to "allow" some things, is because the Gov simply isn't capable of "fixing" it. The gov can not IMO make a law that would effectively stop people from dishonoring their parents.

    If they could I think we would live in a better world. In regards to marriage, I think the gov CAN tell the difference between a boy and a girl. But then, the gov has reached epic level stupidity in the past.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    So my point is I can see that biblical doctrine is the reasoning for opposing gay marriage but I don't see how such opposition means that you, as a Christian, must be for outlawing gay marriage
    Because I see Gay marriage as an attack on the institution of marriage. Just as I now see the secular "marriage" as an attack (successful) on marriage.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    As far as I can tell, the bible allows you to not vote against gay marriage just as it allows you to vote to not amend the US Constitution to outlaw dishonoring parents if such a thing ever came up for a vote.
    All I'm arguing is that it is biblical to vote in accordance with my conscience.
    Some things I would want to be illegal, but not vote for it as I would think the gov could not address it. Or that in trying to address it the gov would become more evil. That is why I consult my conscience on such matters. The point I'm trying to make by saying this is that just because I want something to be illegal, doesn't mean I think the gov can effectively address my wish.

    You will note that I have long argued that the gov needs to get out of the marriage business all together.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    That's not a relevant response so I will repeat my point. Allowing gay marriage does not encourage gay marriage any more than allowing dishonor encourages dishonor.
    It is relevant to my specific reason for voting against Gay marriage. I'm voting FOR the biblical definition of marriage. Not specifically against Gays.
    the effect is against Gays, but not the cause.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    And if you are saying that allowing equals encouraging, then it applies to both gay marriage and dishonor (unless you can explain the relevant difference).
    I'm more concerned with the destruction of marriage, then the establishment of Gay marriage.


    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    And while I think this would be taking the debate off-topic and therefore do not encourage a response from you on this (and a lack of response will in no way be considered a concession or retraction of the point by me), I disagree with your notion that gay marriage destroys "the real definition and ideal of marriage" - straight marriage will continue to be what it's always been regardless of the status of gay marriage. But since I consider that argument to be rather irrelevant, there is no need to debate this particular point, but it's up to you.
    I completely understand. I don't want to go off topic, but this point deserves at least a little clarification from me, as you and I have a lot of back and forth time invested in this general topic and you have contributed to my current view.
    First, I believe the secular marriage from the likes of the state, is and has been harmful. It has contributed IMO to the current attitude towards marriage in general. That attitude has facilitated the 50%+ divorce rate.
    I believe that "Gay marriage" would be similar or worse.

    I do not intend to debate those points, that is my opinion on the matter at this point.


    ---opposing vs outlawing

    The reason I wouldn't outlaw everything I oppose, is because it would have detrimental effects on things that I agree with. That point however is not valid support of the point that voting in this manner is some how opposed to the bible.


    ---legalizing = approving of
    When we legalize something, we are as a society putting our stamp of approval on it. When we make something illegal, we are making a statement, as a society, that we disapprove of something. The more specific we are with the law, the more specific the approval,disapproval.

    So, in regards to free speech. It is legal because we approve of the free use of speech. There are kinds of speech we disprove of, and in many cases it can be argued that they are still Illegal even though we approve of free speech in general. This shows that the free speech law is very general.

    We are talking about something very specific. The definition of marriage. Therefore the law we set is going to be a specific approval.

    So, on the question of "is legalization = to approval" the answer is YES.
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    Re: Should Christians support or oppose gay marriage?

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Because of that act, I believe that the meaning of Marriage in our society has competently broken down.
    It has indeed, MT, which I think is the fundamental problem to this entire issue. The "gay marriage" issue is simply a symptomatic consequence of a much larger issue: the breakdown of the institution of marriage.

    IMHO, I think Christianity (it's leaders and its practicing members) should engage in an intellectually honest, open debate/discussion on: "What does marriage mean and what is its purpose today?" which could lead to the next question/discussion: "Where did we go wrong (make unwise choices) and what can we do to fix it?" [That's even assuming there's a recognition that the Church has contributed toward the breakdown of the long, established benefits of the marriage.

    Denial is easy, confrontation is harder.

    On the level that it is this event that I believe is a major turning point in America and that will eventually lead to it's ultimate destruction.
    Well, MT, on this point, I will disagree with you because I am an eternal optimist. Plus, I actually strongly support the premise that thoughts become things. America may falter, but it seems to have an amazing resiliency which hopefully will continue.
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    Re: Should Christians support or oppose gay marriage?

    Quote Originally Posted by EYE4
    Well, MT, on this point, I will disagree with you because I am an eternal optimist. Plus, I actually strongly support the premise that thoughts become things. America may falter, but it seems to have an amazing resiliency which hopefully will continue.
    I would gladly concede that point.
    I suppose I would re-word it. IF, America falls, I think the roots of that destruction will be found in the secularization of marriage. Even that supposes a social collapse, and not a military invasion kind of collapse.
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    Re: Should Christians support or oppose gay marriage?

    The second greatest command is "Love your neighbor as yourself." This is true even when our neighbor happens to be gay. So the question really is will supporting or opposing same sex marriage hurt or help our gay neighbors?

    If we see someone doing something that would endanger him physically everyone would agree that we should warn him of the danger rather than encourage him to continue in what he is doing. Christians have a further responsibility not to encourage people to do things that would hurt them spiritually. Since the Bible forbids any kind of homosexual activity, that means we must not support any policy that would encourage such activity or convey the idea that there is nothing wrong with it. But that is what supporting same sex marriage would do.
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    Re: Should Christians support or oppose gay marriage?

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I suppose I would re-word it. IF, America falls, I think the roots of that destruction will be found in the secularization of marriage. Even that supposes a social collapse, and not a military invasion kind of collapse.
    I think you are fooling yourself. I'm secular, I have a fantastic marriage. My wife is my lover, my best friend, and my life partner and it is most definitely the most valuable thing in my life. We are both atheists. I somewhat resent the notion that there is anything fundamentally different in our life commitment than any Christian's wedding or marriage. We've seen plenty of those fall apart due to the foolishness or greed of their participants and have not seen any divine intervention to save them.

    Christian marriages do not have special powers. Humans get married and humans make their marriages work or they ruin them. When push comes to shove, the fact that God has blessed it makes little difference. It is the integrity and wisdom of the couple as well as the support of those in their lives that make or break marriages.

    Now I do think churches do a lot for marriage. They offer counseling and pre-marriage prep programs and lots of community support to couples. That's all great but its also not unique to any given religion or belief system nor is it something you can't have in secular communities.

    ---------- Post added at 11:39 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:37 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by theophilus View Post
    Christians have a further responsibility not to encourage people to do things that would hurt them spiritually. Since the Bible forbids any kind of homosexual activity, that means we must not support any policy that would encourage such activity or convey the idea that there is nothing wrong with it. But that is what supporting same sex marriage would do.
    Why don't you advocate for laws forbidding the worship of other Gods. Isn't that the first and most essential commandment?
    Feed me some debate pellets!

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    Re: Should Christians support or oppose gay marriage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    I don't want to answer for Apok, but it seems to me that you either don't understand the argumentation or do understand it but choose to erect straw men instead.
    Rather, what I don't understand is the refusal to pay any attention at all to the substance within my responses. After a detailed and lengthy explanation of my answer to Apok's argument up to the point where he started flinging the "strawman" label around without, in my view, good reason, I finished with this:
    "I tried to point this out to you by clarifying what my argument for not voting to legalize gay marriage happened to be, in the hope you'd then see it didn't depend on whether or not I'd vote to make illegal immoral acts now legal in the US. Making that which is now legal, illegal, is simply not the same question as the one before us, which is do we make that which is illegal, legal.

    My position here includes, but is not limited to, that I could have a dozen reasons, besides a strict adherence to biblical morality, for not voting to make illegal that which is currently legal. (natural resources, upon which all societies depend, are finite. Thus while I'm mandated not to count the cost to myself in lovingly acting, I must apply a certain amount of triage in the allocation of finite resources; i.e, count the cost to enforce biblical morality within society. And, of course, this example doesn't exhaust the contingencies I must weigh in deciding to add to the body of laws. There are practical enforceability issues, and on and on.) I have no reason at all, besides a lack of strict adherence to biblical morality, for voting to make legal that which is currently illegal and stands in opposition to biblical morality...

    ...There are innumerable evils and ills in the world according to biblical morality, some of them are currently illegal, most are not. There are, as every Christian involved here understands, ways to combat these evils in society without recourse to adding to the body of law (Freund obviously thinks there is only one, setting the example), but here's the rub: there's no way to combat said evils by subtracting from the body of law that is already combating them! Adding to the body of just laws carries with it the potential for thereby creating new and different injustices, via the fallibility and weakness of human nature (your "inconsistency"). Subtracting from the body of just laws can only create new and different injustices.
    "
    I've invited Apok to take on that argument; I now extend the invitation to you. So far, no takers.

    in addition to my argument:
    Freund, if you want something to appear in my reply, such as your argument, you need to quit relying on me to do it for you. Don't put it in a quote box. Instead, indent it and enclose it in quotation marks. If you don't think that sets it off enough, italicize or bold or underline (or any combination thereof) the text as well. Your argumetn:
    "P1: The Christian moral code (established by the Bible and specifically the NT) is applicable to only those who believe it to be true (Christians)

    P2: Holding those that do not believe in the Christian worldview to Christian standards is in violation of Christian teaching

    P3: Not all members of American society are Christian or believe the Christian/Biblical worldview to be true

    Therefore: Christians cannot support legislation that seeks to enforce Christian morality in a society that is not 100% Christian.
    MT has taken you on concerning P1, P3 is manifestly irrelevant in that it is true of all members of American society, not just Christians, and P2, unless you're of the opinion God changes over time, is absurd on its face. Those who disbelieve the Christian basis for righteousness and forgiveness by God will be eternally damned in the final judgment by God. In short, God holds them to Christian standards of morality to a truly frightening degree. It is simply not any sort of unselfish loving of which I have any concept from experience or the Bible, that we hold back at all in warning those headed for destruction.
    "Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me:
    "When I say to the wicked, 'You shall surely die,' and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.
    "Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul." Ezekiel 3:17-19
    It is clear we have an obligation to warn the "wicked man" who will "surely die" otherwise, to repent of his evil, and live. To tell Christians they have this responsibility only to and among each other is to limit evangelism to the already evangelized, manifest a remarkable misconception concerning the "Great Commission", teach contrary to the word of God, and engage a remarkable hypocrisy.

    Given this argumentation, how can you say that Apok is being inconsistent when there might be legitimate secular arguments against polygamy, bestiality, necrophilia and pedophilia?
    This is now truly becoming absurd. There may be pink poka dot flying horses on the dark side of the moon, but I've no obligation to Apok, you, or the fairies that "might" be riding them at this writing to include them in my objection to, and argumentation against the sad notion Christians aren't supposed to stand for their moral convictions when those convictions are questioned, as they are when faced with a ballot you can mark either "for" or "against" legalizing gay marriage.

    Assuming that Apok cannot make a secular argument for any of these cases and declaring that he's being inconsistent as a result is setting up a straw man.
    Thank you for demonstrating beyond dispute who it is here who doesn't understand the strawman fallacy. I take the opposite view of Apok on this issue (as I understand his view). I have specified why I object to his view, and included in that objection that his argument from inconsistency is invalid, along with my reasons why I think so. Part of that objection includes his inconsistency in his choices of examples of inconsistency. Thus he has made the issue of inconsistency part and parcel of his support for his position, not me. I am simply responding to the inconsistencies within his argument from inconsistency, and that is NOT an example of a strawman argument!

    Now, if Apok would like to defend his choices as not being inconsistent in the way I've attempted to show they are, he is, of course, free to do so, just as he is free to attack my examples on whatever grounds he thinks is valid. So are you, but the one thing you're not allowed to do in debate is argue from a mere possibility, which is exactly what you've just done here.

    You haven't touched the actual argument, nor have you supported your position Biblically. I am certain you are capable of doing this--I'm frankly surprised you haven't done so yet as this would strengthen your argument considerably if successful. Just do it!
    I refer you again to my post #60, where that's already been done with regard to Apok:
    "What I have done is challenge one of your premises that I believe to be false, and present my own argument to you, different from yours, as to why the Christian cannot vote to legalize gay marriage consistent with biblical morality. The conflict between our arguments should be obvious, but the fact I've not yet made it an expressed conflict in no way makes it a "strawman argument" when I present you with it. My argument, successful or not, clearly poses a defeater to your conclusion Christians should vote to legalize gay marriage. If you are as well educated in philosophy as you have suggested on numerous occasions, then you'll understand there can be defeaters to arguments that never directly involve those arguments."
    Now, I don't know how many philosophical arguments you've read and studied, or even whether you know what a defeater argument is, so please don't take it as me being condescending in the following explanation. To defeat an argument or belief, it is not necessary that you always prove an important premise in the argument you wish to defeat, false. It is enough to show it unlikely; lacking any cogent reason for believing it true. An example:
    I look out into a pasture, and about two hundred yards away I see a sheep, and form the belief there is a sheep in the pasture. So now I have a good argument (the reliability of my perception) for there being a sheep in the pasture.

    You come along, the owner of the pasture, and you tell me there are no sheep in your pasture, but there is a dog that sort of looks "sheepish" who regularly spends time in your pasture. I have no evidence you don't normally tell the truth, so now I've got a defeater, a rebutting defeater (if I believe you, since you said there are no sheep in your pasture) for my previous argument for there being a sheep in the pasture.

    Later, at church, I mention to several of my Christian friends how I was mistaken about there being a sheep in your pasture, having seen what I believed to be a sheep there, but having been set straight by you that there are no sheep in that pasture, but a sheepish looking dog often visits it. They inform me you've been diagnosed as a pathological liar. Now they've not proven to me you've lied, or that there was indeed a sheep in the pasture when I looked. What they've handed me is an undercutting defeater for my belief there were no sheep in the pasture, and thus support (additional support) for my original justification for believing a sheep was in the pasture.

    The important thing to see here is no one ever even tried to prove to me my perceptual unreliability, or my perceptual reliability for that matter, the very premise critical to my original belief there was a sheep in the field.
    I have done much the same with Apok's argument. There is no need for me to address his premises directly to defeat his argument. I gave the defeater status of quantum mechanics to general relativity as the example in that post, but as you can see the examples are unlimited. When one argument rationally precludes another, it defeats it, even if it is the case nothing in the defeater argument ever actually, directly addresses the argument it defeats. Now I hope that's finally clear.

    Careful here--this is not consistent with my argumentation, and I'm fairly certain that I have clarified this several times over. The very act of me as a Christian trying to force non-Christians to comply with Christian morality (if and only if a secular argument cannot be made) is in direct violation of Christian teaching. I have supported this with scripture.

    You have repeatedly asserted that this is not true, that it is in fact in accordance with Christian teaching that we (as Christians) are given authority to require non-believers to adhere to our moral code (or even God's moral commands if you would prefer). I Challenge to support a claim. you to provide Biblical support for this assertion.
    Now this is a strawman! There is no issue here about forcing anyone to adhere to the Christian moral code. Laws do not force compliance, enforcement does. A vote to keep gay marriage illegal is a vote for the status quo. Is anyone forcing gays to do anything in the status quo? No. They can live together if they like, and no one is going to come to their house and arrest them for co-habitating. This issue and the question are the same: can Christians approve of opening up to gay couples the sacred institution of marriage? When put that way the obvious answer is no. Do not give what is holy to the dogs, I believe is the way Scripture puts it in another context, but the principle needs no context to be self-evidently true.

    This leaves the only recourse for arguing Christians should vote to legalize gay marriage one of two arguments: either marriage is not a sacred institution designed by God (in which case those holding that position must deny large sections of both the Old and New Testaments), or they must pretend there's a whole different question here (which is a strawman approach and fallacy). In furtherance of this strawman argumentation, they could, and you and Apok have made a big issue out of "inconsistency", the due objections to which I've filed previously and will not repeat here.

    I'm assuming this is how you came to Christ? Someone who didn't know you at all came up to you and saw something you were doing and started yelling at you "REPENT! REPENT! DON'T YOU KNOW YOU'RE HEADED FOR ETERNAL CONDEMNATION? STOP SINNING!" at which point you proclaimed "Praise God! I am a sinner! I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior!". If yes, then I think there are other issues that we need to discuss. If no, then you fall into how most people come to know Jesus--via relationships with believers.
    Not that this has any bearing at all on the debate between us, but neither was the case. Further, I praise God every day He is not limited by the narrow-mindedness of his children. Jesus' choice of "sheep" as symbolic of believers was not, I believe, accidental. I do not believe he is impressed by our intellects.

    Voting to restrict non-believers' ability to sin is not helpful, despite what you may think.
    Another attempt at a strawman. A vote to continue to keep gay marriages illegal is not a vote to repress sin in the unbeliever. It is a vote that conveys to the unbeliever the consistent message they are sinning, and that nothing has changed in that message or in the fact they are sinning against it.

    I'm certain you understand this principle.
    There is no "principle" here, as you're about to demonstrate beyond dispute!

    There are probably laws that exist that you don't agree with, but have to comply with regardless. Say a particular speed limit is enforced on a major highway of 20 mph. There is absolutely no good reason (in your mind) for the speed limit to be 20 mph. What is your reaction? Do you automatically think "Gee, I guess I am wrong to think I should be able to go faster on this highway since a majority of voters passed this law!" ? My guess is no. A more likely reaction: "What kind of idiots are voting for stupid laws like this?" Are we really helping non-believers by forcing them to comply by our rules?
    You can't make your argument for Christian morality consistently applied to live based on anecdotal homilies about the natural rebellion selfish human nature displays to authoritarian rules. We could go back and forth here forever, getting no where. My response this time around would be that even though I have a sinful rebellion to authority that deflects, for me, the fact that law exists for my well being, and having been deflected by my sinfulness, frees me to think the authority who put the law there is an "idiot", the fact remains the law stands as a witness to what I'm doing being against my own best interests. The authority is not an idiot, and the authority would be evil to change the 20 mph sign to 55 mph, thereby immensely increasing the danger to me, but simultaneously bringing my thinking about the safety issue more in line with that of the authority.

    Well, guess what? In the above metaphor, the authority can only sensibly be God. Using your own teaching metaphor, then, you're suggesting that God's guidance and "rules" for living instead of dying, should be changed, and a new sign posted, so as to be brought more in line with the wicked man's subjective thoughts on his own safety. Thus it is clear that according to you we, the sign in the metaphor, should be changed to read 55mph, so as to be more in alignment with the unbeliever's estimate of their own speed related safety, and no longer represent the Authority's conclusion on the matter.

    I don't mean to be insulting, but you're making it very difficult to avoid in putting forward what you just have.

    Wouldn't it be reasonable to make a comparison here with the Pharisees?
    Only if you view God as pharisaical; or as being the true prophet, who delivers the entire revelation of God to the wicked, being pharisaical. You really do need to keep your metaphors straight in your mind. There God was the authority that established the law. The Christian is the sign. The unbeliever the one who thinks the sign should be changed and the Authority who made it an "idiot". If you try to apportion these metaphorical characters out any other way in your metaphor, you end up leaving God out of the story...something you've been doing from the very start of your argument in this thread.

    It's all about the way you go about sharing the gospel. I understand the urgency, I really do. That is why I am so careful when I witness to those that aren't believers.
    Urgency is tangential, and best dealt with by consistency of message. Look, if it's urgent someone move, the best way to get them to move is to yell, "Move, move, move!"; not "Move, stop, move!" Does this really need to be explained to you, or are you simply being obtuse?


    I don't want to make the mistake of tripping people up that God might be trying to reach through me. That means I have to live out what I believe to be the right way to live, and that includes being consistent and avoiding hypocrisy at all costs.
    Unfortunately, in your passion to avoid hypocrisy you're embracing it.

    If I'm talking to a non-believer that asks me a question regarding this issue, I will absolutely tell them what I believe and why. I am not, however, going to go up to a non-believer and tell them they need to comply with what I believe or else they are going to die. Do you see the difference?
    Yes, I do. I see you're one of those Christians who thinks half of Jesus' gospel is better than all of it. Freund, Jesus taught about Hell, and those who would end up there if they didn't repent. Keeping marriage illegal for gay couples presents the consistent message that being gay leads to death. Making it legal, at a minimum, dilutes that message.

    One assumes that some trust is built between the believer and non-believer via a previously-established relationship.
    Yeah, it's called "discipleship", and it has to be built on trust at the very moment when you're going to be explaining to this new believer you've just converted to the "truth", that you manipulated this relationship into existence with a falsehood. You're going to be telling them they now need to forget about that message you were putting out about however they were living being okay by God, and start trusting in the message they need to change to be saved.
    "Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder. You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?" James 2:18-20
    All I am trying to say is that your method is more harmful than it is helpful, and perhaps you need to broaden your perspective somewhat and get into the mind of the unbeliever on this one. Pretend you are an unbeliever who does not believe in God.
    I'm going to wrap this up here. As to the immediately above, a couple of things, all of which are beyond the scope of any debate on the actual question before us:

    First, I don't need to pretend to be an unbeliever. I spent many years when I was much younger as an atheist/agnostic; exactly what most of the "atheists" are on ODN. I have a clear memory of that time, so pretense is unnecessary. I recall having a remarkable disdain for Christians; much more than any one sees on display on this site, for here the atheists, as evangelical and caustically aggressive as they sometimes are, give to Christians, even if unwittingly, the respect of a response, even when delivered with a curled lip. I thought so little of them I wouldn't even do that. My standard line to any Christian brave enough to try and present me with the Gospel was, "That's nice for you. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go re-organize my sock drawer."

    The point is, why do so many atheists hold Christians in such low esteem? And one important answer is, because they're so hypocritical; they say one thing, and do another. You want to increase the hypocrisy we show to the world? I mean, as I've said already several times, a certain amount of hypocrisy comes with the territory. Grace is a concept that necessitates a certain amount of hypocrisy in one sense or another, and people are going to pick up on that without anyone having to explain it to them. But my position is we need to minimize this, not expand on it! Apok and you have clearly argued that because there is hypocrisy in Christianity, we should not be adverse to adding more than is absolutely unavoidable, in effect, that it is better we be consistent in our inconsistencies, and that is clearly so wrong on several levels, one of which I've already covered more than once.

    Second, of the two of us I'm the one with the broader perspective on the message of the Gospel, for I do not omit from it it's warnings to the stiff-necked unbeliever, and you do when you advocate voting to legalize gay marriage. Evidently, because you can't imagine how to warn someone in a loving way, you simply drop the warning aspect of the Gospel. I don't even have to demonstrate for you that's not how Jesus preached the Gospel. He invited men to repent of their hostility toward God in demonstrating for them that God is love, by being incarnate love himself, and he warned men of the coming doom should they continually refuse the invitation.

    Now, I'll be the first to admit there is an apparent tension here somewhere in this neighborhood, and you obviously have seen it too. To invite someone to become unconcerned about their own well being in favor of concern for the well being of others, and do so in a way that includes unimaginable punishment if the invitation is ultimately refused, smacks loudly of a contradiction; at least on the surface. However, I believe the truth of the Gospel is not limited to its surface; that it runs as deep as the mind of God. It's also been my experience since becoming a Christian that through study several things that I used to see as contradictory within our faith, have simply dissolved over the years. Therefore, I do not think myself adequate to pick which parts of the Gospel I'm going to share, and which I won't, based on my current partial apprehension of something as infinitely wise and true as the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    In short, where my intellect is inadequate, my obedience to the exemplar we have in Christ Jesus will have to suffice me until it becomes adequate, or remain forever inadequate. If Jesus had never warned sinners of hell, and had he not made that so clearly a part of the message he had for mankind, even if not the predominant part, neither would I. And in fact I do not rush to speak of hell to the unbeliever, but if the subject comes up, I do not shirk that responsibility either.

    Well, if gay activists put gay marriage on the ballot in California (again!), it's absurd to act as if the subject hasn't come up between me and those unbelievers who put it there. They are asking me my opinion, and if that opinion is not in subjection to Christ, then even though I am truly a Christian, my opinion in this instance is clearly not.

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    Re: Should Christians support or oppose gay marriage?

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    messenger.. carries a message. I too am carrying a message, it isn't my message, it isn't my idea. This isn't something that I have made up. This is me carrying a message. Thus I, am a messenger. agree?
    Agreed.

    But then that's not my point and it seems that your response does not directly respond to my point. I said that if you take action then you are being more than just a messenger. AGREE?

    And therefore when you vote for or against something, you are taking an action and while delivering a message may be part of it, you are not just being a messenger. AGREE?


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    O, and this only has to be true from MY POV. Your burden is not to simply disagree based on your view, but to show me that this view is inconsistent with the bible.
    I can't prove a negative so I'll just say that while I agree that, as a Christian you should be against sin and likewise being a messenger (as in JUST DELIVERING A MESSAGE), you have no biblical mandate to attempt to force other people, by action, to not sin.

    If I am incorrect about this, then please show me where I'm mistaken.



    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Short answer is, yes I am.
    Long answer is. I am forcing my view of right and wrong on others.
    And I won't argue that you can't or should not do that. But I do not see support for the position (assuming you are offering it - in truth, I cannot be sure for I have yet to get a direct yes-no answer from you on this) that you have any kind of Christian duty to do that.

    In other words, while I'll take your word for it (by not focusing the debate there although I do believe it is debatable) that as a Christian, you should not approve of Gay Marriage, the choice to seek to outlaw does not come from the bible or Christianity. It's just a human choice in how to respond to one particular sin.

    And again, if the bible says that you should seek to force everyone to avoid all sins, then you either have to be for outlawing ALL INSTANCES of dishonoring one's parents or concede that you are not consistent in your application of Christian doctrine.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    As we are on a side note.. I'll let you in on some of the effect of our past conversations/debates on marriage. Allowing the Gov, and anyone other than the church to "marry" people is where the church has gone wrong.
    But since we are not a theocracy the Church does not have to power to deny the government, or anyone else, the right to marry others.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    It has harmed the church, and America in the process. Because of that act, I believe that the meaning of Marriage in our society has competently broken down. On the level that it is this event that I believe is a major turning point in America and that will eventually lead to it's ultimate destruction.
    Since this is just a side-note I will not offer a rebuttal (which would be a support or retract kind of response if I were to offer it) but on a personal note I certainly find that proposition to be ridiculous. The eventual destruction of America? And if you do want to engage in this debate, the other thread is the proper place.




    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    The only reason to "allow" some things, is because the Gov simply isn't capable of "fixing" it. The gov can not IMO make a law that would effectively stop people from dishonoring their parents.
    My very first sentence in my last post rebutted that and was not responded to you in your post. I will assume it was an oversight (as opposed to a dodge) but you cannot repeat arguments that I rebutted as if they weren't rebutted. So I will paste my previous response.

    How is it difficult to have a law against dishonoring one's parents? It would be similar to libel or defamation. If evidence shows that someone has said something bad about one's parents, the person goes through the justice system and if found guilty, they are punished.



    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Because I see Gay marriage as an attack on the institution of marriage. Just as I now see the secular "marriage" as an attack (successful) on marriage.
    I disagree of course but that's not a debate for this thread (but if you want to bring it up in the other Gay marriage thread, I will be glad to debate it with you there)



    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    All I'm arguing is that it is biblical to vote in accordance with my conscience.
    But that does not mean that you must vote against Gay Marriage. If your conscience told you to vote for gay marriage, it would be biblical to vote for it, right?

    My point is that it's just a choice to vote for or against gay marriage and the bible does not mandate that one must do one or the other. You pick one choice but any Christian could choose to do the opposite.



    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    It is relevant to my specific reason for voting against Gay marriage. I'm voting FOR the biblical definition of marriage. Not specifically against Gays.
    the effect is against Gays, but not the cause.
    If you are actually against the government recognition of marriage, then perhaps you shouldn't be voting concerning government recognition of marriage at all. After all, if you are telling the government to recognize certain kinds of marriages but not others, then you are to some extent supporting the government's right to recognize and define marriage.

    Really, you should be voting against the governmental recognition of ALL marriages, not just gay marriage.

    And on a side-note (if it's to be debated, it should be on another thread and I'm willing to do that), that is the current controversy in the US. There is no ban of gay marriage - no gay marriage ceremony has ever been prevented by force of all. The issue whether the government will recognize those marriages. Short of turning the US into a theocracy where police will interfere with marriage ceremonies, it's actually impossible to prevent gay marriage in the US.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    When we legalize something, we are as a society putting our stamp of approval on it. When we make something illegal, we are making a statement, as a society, that we disapprove of something. The more specific we are with the law, the more specific the approval,disapproval.
    I completely disagree. The default of any activity is that it is to be allowed - no infringement on one's actions. But then there seems to be some actions that override that default and it's better than we inhibit freedom a bit than to allow it - murder being the most obvious exception. And there are other bad activities that people generally consider bad but not so bad that we must outlaw them so they are allowed (like dishonoring one's parents).

    So no, our laws do not start at a point where all activities are separated into "good" and "bad" and the good ones are given a "stamp of approval" by being allowed and the "bad" ones are uniformly outlawed.

    We allow dishonoring one's parents, even though it is generally considered bad, because it's not considered so bad or destructive that it needs to be outlawed, and likewise because dishonor is usually a verbal thing and free speech rights protect such activity. But there is no "stamp of approval" for dishonor because it is allowed and there likewise is no "stamp of approval" for gay marriage where it is allowed.



    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    So, in regards to free speech. It is legal because we approve of the free use of speech. There are kinds of speech we disprove of, and in many cases it can be argued that they are still Illegal even though we approve of free speech in general. This shows that the free speech law is very general.

    We are talking about something very specific. The definition of marriage. Therefore the law we set is going to be a specific approval.
    You are just using the word "approval" in place of "allowance" as if the words mean the same thing. They don't.

    Approval means that it is to be viewed in a positive light.
    Allowance means that it is legally allowed (in this context).

    Two different words that mean two different things.

    As another example (specific ones), people are allowed to get pissing-their-pants drunk or smoke cigarettes until they catch lung cancer and die from it or become so obese that they cut their natural life span in half. Surely you don't argue that all of these things are approved of by the government or society, even though they are allowed.

    --------------------------------------

    And ultimately where I'm going with this is:

    If one believes that overall, allowing gay marriage is preferable to not allowing it for the greater good, then there's nothing inherent in Christianity that forbids them from supporting the legalization of gay marriage.

    My primary legal argument for gay marriage is a constitutional one (which I won't get into here - we can debate it on the other thread if it is to be debated) and a Christian who thinks that the Constitution should be the first cause for our laws and likewise agrees with me that banning gay marriage is unconstitutional should be for legalizing gay marriage.

    I'm not saying you should be for legalizing gay marriage for you have not established that you believe the Constitution should the be first cause for our laws nor conceded that banning gay marriage is unconstitutional but it seems quite reasonable that other Christians will agree with those two things I forwarded and therefore be for legalizing gay marriage.

    ------------------------

    And another side-note. I don't disagree with you about the notion that government should just stay out of marriage entirely (not entirely sold on it but do not disagree to the extent that I have formed a counter-argument). But I don't see how that would achieve the kinds of results you seek concerning the "destruction" of marriage. Without any rules forbidding such a thing (no government = no rules), what would stop atheists and gays from having marriages or people from recognizing such unions as marriages? I agree that Christians could choose to not recognize such marriages but they have that choice now and regardless, other people still have the choice to recognize them (as many do now) so we wouldn't have a much different situation than we do now.

    The only way for a uniformly Christian-marriage society is for the rules to say that only that kind of marriage is allowed (which requires direct government involvement in marriage, the opposite of what you propose) or all of the people within a society voluntarily choose to unanimously define marriage that way, which isn't going to happen.
    Last edited by mican333; December 14th, 2011 at 03:12 PM.

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    Re: Should Christians support or oppose gay marriage?

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    Agreed.

    But then that's not my point and it seems that your response does not directly respond to my point. I said that if you take action then you are being more than just a messenger. AGREE?

    And therefore when you vote for or against something, you are taking an action and while delivering a message may be part of it, you are not just being a messenger. AGREE?
    Sure, but voting is not an "action" The "action" or lack there of, is performed by judges, ministers (presiding over marriages).
    I mean, voting is an action, but it is an act of delivering a message because it is through votes that the gov hears, and receives messages from the public.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    I can't prove a negative so I'll just say that while I agree that, as a Christian you should be against sin and likewise being a messenger (as in JUST DELIVERING A MESSAGE), you have no biblical mandate to attempt to force other people, by action, to not sin.

    If I am incorrect about this, then please show me where I'm mistaken.
    I'm making a distinction between myself and the Gov. I get to effect the Gov but all ,legal,actions are taken by the gov. That is why you don't blame me when a man is convicted of murder and gets 10 years or life as a sentence. Because it wasn't I who gave him that sentence. Even the judge wouldn't be blamed personally if he was following the letter of the law.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    And I won't argue that you can't or should not do that. But I do not see support for the position (assuming you are offering it - in truth, I cannot be sure for I have yet to get a direct yes-no answer from you on this) that you have any kind of Christian duty to do that.
    Well, certainly you can agree that there are some instances where I as a Christian am mandated by God to force my views on others.
    Again.. back to the intruder example.
    wouldn't you agree that I have a God given mandate to force my view of right and wrong on a man who invades my home and attempts to rape my children?

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    And again, if the bible says that you should seek to force everyone to avoid all sins, then you either have to be for outlawing ALL INSTANCES of dishonoring one's parents or concede that you are not consistent in your application of Christian doctrine.
    I have said many times that I would.. if I thought the gov capable. I spoke to that balance before.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    But since we are not a theocracy the Church does not have to power to deny the government, or anyone else, the right to marry others.
    As a Christian people we allowed it. 'We the people" allowed it.
    The church has or should have some sway on the people, and thus the Gov.. that is how it is supposed to work.

    The concern of the church(i think) and myself is the meaning of marriage, not what other people do. That is why in regards to this point, it is not about forcing others to do something or not to sin. It is forcing people to not distort biblical principles and morality. It's defense not offensive in nature. We aren't going door to door saying "stop sinning by sticking that where it doesn't belong".

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    Since this is just a side-note I will not offer a rebuttal (which would be a support or retract kind of response if I were to offer it) but on a personal note I certainly find that proposition to be ridiculous. The eventual destruction of America? And if you do want to engage in this debate, the other thread is the proper place.
    I understand but it shouldn't seem so ridiculous. Marriage is a pillar of our society, as that pillar crumbles so does the society that is built upon it.
    Take for example unwed mothers, and single parent homes. The effect is ballooning well-fair class, laziness, lack of responsibility.
    I'm not advocating that if there were no marriage one day that the society would fall immediately. Simply that the side effects of broken marriages, will be the downfall of our nation IMO.

    Wasn't it Reagan who said that Americas problems are simply family problems multiplied by millions? To me the destruction of marriage is a severe family problem.
    Anyway... I'll leave it at that, I offer the above not as a rebuttal, but only to give you a little more of my thoughts on the topic.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    My very first sentence in my last post rebutted that and was not responded to you in your post. I will assume it was an oversight (as opposed to a dodge) but you cannot repeat arguments that I rebutted as if they weren't rebutted. So I will paste my previous response.

    How is it difficult to have a law against dishonoring one's parents? It would be similar to libel or defamation. If evidence shows that someone has said something bad about one's parents, the person goes through the justice system and if found guilty, they are punished.
    You haven't "rebutted" my position. You have only questioned it. I don't think what you offer as a solution is practical. The point of my comment was to show that I have a "reason" for not doing what you say that isn't contradictory to my other stance. You would have to show that my stance is contradictory.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    But that does not mean that you must vote against Gay Marriage. If your conscience told you to vote for gay marriage, it would be biblical to vote for it, right?

    My point is that it's just a choice to vote for or against gay marriage and the bible does not mandate that one must do one or the other. You pick one choice but any Christian could choose to do the opposite.
    I don't see how they could. If it is good to vote your conciseness then the bible should guide it(for Christians).

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    If you are actually against the government recognition of marriage, then perhaps you shouldn't be voting concerning government recognition of marriage at all. After all, if you are telling the government to recognize certain kinds of marriages but not others, then you are to some extent supporting the government's right to recognize and define marriage.

    Really, you should be voting against the governmental recognition of ALL marriages, not just gay marriage.
    I can only vote on what is presented to me. I would support legislation to get gov out of marriage business.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    Without any rules forbidding such a thing (no government = no rules), what would stop atheists and gays from having marriages or people from recognizing such unions as marriages? I agree that Christians could choose to not recognize such marriages but they have that choice now and regardless, other people still have the choice to recognize them (as many do now) so we wouldn't have a much different situation than we do now.
    You are correct, which is why I think those who argue for same sex marriage should be for my solution. I'm not seeking the effect of stopping all sin through the gov. I don't think that is plausible, I think it hurts more than helps. My goal is to keep the gov from actively encouraging sin, and/or destroying Christian moral principles. For the most part I want the Gov silent, but if it is going to speak I'm going to try and make sure god's words come out as often as possible.


    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    You are just using the word "approval" in place of "allowance" as if the words mean the same thing. They don't.

    Approval means that it is to be viewed in a positive light.
    Allowance means that it is legally allowed (in this context).

    Two different words that mean two different things.

    As another example (specific ones), people are allowed to get pissing-their-pants drunk or smoke cigarettes until they catch lung cancer and die from it or become so obese that they cut their natural life span in half. Surely you don't argue that all of these things are approved of by the government or society, even though they are allowed.
    I don't think you got my response.
    If we make something specifically legal, we are giving our stamp of approval. Because we are specifically allowing for it.

    That's like me telling my kid. You can go outside and play, or you can stay inside. Both are "allowed", but by "allowing" them specifically... I am approving of them.
    Your right the words mean different things, but they are related.

    You are right about things being "allowed" but those things to which you speak have no law targeting them.
    for example, laws against specific drug use is to say we Disapprove of that drug and it's use. If we didn't disapprove of it.. then it wouldn't be specifically made illegal.

    I'm not sure where the breakdown is, or what it is you are hearing from this.
    To serve man.

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    Re: Should Christians support or oppose gay marriage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Why don't you advocate for laws forbidding the worship of other Gods. Isn't that the first and most essential commandment?
    Worship is something that takes place inwardly in a person's mind. The government only has the power to regulate what we do.
    The brutal, soul-shaking truth is that we are so earthly minded we are of no heavenly use.
    Leonard Ravenhill

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    Re: Should Christians support or oppose gay marriage?

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Sure, but voting is not an "action" The "action" or lack there of, is performed by judges, ministers (presiding over marriages).
    I mean, voting is an action, but it is an act of delivering a message because it is through votes that the gov hears, and receives messages from the public.
    But it's also much more than just delivering a message. So you are doing more than just being a messenger when you vote.

    Again, I use the scenario of the difference between telling two men about to marry that they are committing a sin (an message) and physically attempting to prevent the ceremony from happening (an action). Voting to ban gay marriage is akin to the second action - you are taking action (pulling the lever in the voting booth is an action) that you intend to have the effect of forcing them to not marry.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I'm making a distinction between myself and the Gov. I get to effect the Gov but all ,legal,actions are taken by the gov. That is why you don't blame me when a man is convicted of murder and gets 10 years or life as a sentence. Because it wasn't I who gave him that sentence. Even the judge wouldn't be blamed personally if he was following the letter of the law.
    It's not an issue of blame. It's an issue of action. If you attempt to influence the government to do a certain something that will effect people then you are taking action, not just delivering a message. It doesn't mean that a message isn't contained in your action but you are not just delivering a message.

    Your argument kind of sounds like a mobster breaking someone's arm to "give him a message" that he displeased the Don and then saying "I'm just a messenger." Yes, a message of sorts was given but that's not all that was done.

    I mean if there was a vote concerning gay marriage in your state and you voted against it and it so happened that you cast the deciding vote and then no gays could marry in your state, you didn't just give a message - you were instrumental in denying gays the right to marry. The fact that there's a message in there somewhere does not mean it's nothing but a message and you are nothing but a messenger.



    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Well, certainly you can agree that there are some instances where I as a Christian am mandated by God to force my views on others.
    Again.. back to the intruder example.
    wouldn't you agree that I have a God given mandate to force my view of right and wrong on a man who invades my home and attempts to rape my children?
    I personally agree that you have the right to take action to defend your family, but I'm unaware of any biblical mandate that says you must or should do this (in fact, Christ says "turn the other cheek" so the argument can be made that biblically you should not attempt to kill someone even if it's in self-defense). I personally do not advocate not defending you and yours by all means necessary but just because I agree that you should defend yourself does not mean that bible agrees so the case that, biblically, you should defend yourself has not been supported.

    And I find this off-topic when it comes to opposing gay marriage because it's a "sin". Even if you are suppose to force your views on someone when they attempt to kill you, that does not extend to you forcing your views on gay marriage to others. I doubt such a biblical mandate exists (but go ahead and prove me wrong if you can).



    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    As a Christian people we allowed it. 'We the people" allowed it.
    The church has or should have some sway on the people, and thus the Gov.. that is how it is supposed to work.
    But since we are not a theocracy, short of a revolution making the US a theocracy, there is NO WAY that Christians could have done it.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    The concern of the church(i think) and myself is the meaning of marriage, not what other people do. That is why in regards to this point, it is not about forcing others to do something or not to sin. It is forcing people to not distort biblical principles and morality.
    Atheists marrying does not distort biblical principles. The atheist fully admits that his union has nothing to do with the bible so it leaves biblical marriages alone. And likewise a gay couple admit that their union is not a heterosexual union and thus leaves heterosexual unions alone.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    It's defense not offensive in nature. We aren't going door to door saying "stop sinning by sticking that where it doesn't belong".
    Actually, you are (just not literally). If you vote against gay marriage and your vote prevails, then you are forcing everyone to stop "sinning". You are attempting to get everyone to "stop sinning", just by a different method than going door-to-door.



    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I understand but it shouldn't seem so ridiculous. Marriage is a pillar of our society, as that pillar crumbles so does the society that is built upon it.
    Take for example unwed mothers, and single parent homes. The effect is ballooning well-fair class, laziness, lack of responsibility.
    But what's ridiculous is laying all of this at allowing non-Christian marriages. Marriage provides a stable household environment to raise children and will positively effect the children raised in that household and therefore more likely to become well-adjusted successful people who help society endure than whatever one gets from from broken homes. And that goes for gay marriages as well as straight marriages. The increase in gay marriages should correlate to more children raised in a stable two-parent home and therefore more likely to become a productive positive member of society.

    And I can support this if you want (since I did recently in another thread) but evidence points to children being raised in same-sex households are just as well-adjusted as other children.



    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    You haven't "rebutted" my position. You have only questioned it. I don't think what you offer as a solution is practical. The point of my comment was to show that I have a "reason" for not doing what you say that isn't contradictory to my other stance. You would have to show that my stance is contradictory.
    I explained that we already have laws against certain forms of speech (libel, slander) so we can create laws against dishonoring one's parents. And I understand that the "dishonor" law would have a very hard time becoming law due to conflicts with the right to free speech, but if one puts outlawing sin above all else, which one would have to do if the bible mandated it if they were a Christian, then they would seek to create the law regardless.

    Now, the reason you don't have to do that is that there is no mandate that you should seek to outlaw all sin. BTW, is that established for the purpose of this debate - that there is no Christian mandate to seek outlaw all sins within a civil society? If it is established, we can drop a lot of these points (like this one).



    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I don't see how they could. If it is good to vote your conciseness then the bible should guide it(for Christians).
    If one believes that the Constitution is the first cause for civil law and that banning gay marriage is unconstitutional, then they would have reason to vote to allow gay marriage. And likewise if they didn't believe that they needed for force Christian morality on everyone then they wouldn't have a strong reason to vote against it so they would think it's better to allow gay marriage.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I can only vote on what is presented to me. I would support legislation to get gov out of marriage business.
    You can do more than just wait to see what votes are presented to you. You can attempt to create laws (such as by lobbying your legislature to create a law). It's not an easy task nor would likely succeed but I would assume that God would rather you fight for a good cause and lose than to lazily let evil happen with no attempt to intervene.



    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    You are correct, which is why I think those who argue for same sex marriage should be for my solution. I'm not seeking the effect of stopping all sin through the gov. I don't think that is plausible, I think it hurts more than helps. My goal is to keep the gov from actively encouraging sin, and/or destroying Christian moral principles. For the most part I want the Gov silent, but if it is going to speak I'm going to try and make sure god's words come out as often as possible.
    I thought you said your goal was to preserve Christian marriage. If putting other marriages on the same level of Christian marriage by equal governmental recognition destroys Christian marriage, then your solution does not prevent this. No governmental recognition of marriage puts all marriages (Christian, atheist, straight, gay) on equal footing. Government does not force people to view non-Christian marriages as equal to Christian marriages - people do that naturally because many people are not Christian or at least don't view Christian marriage as more of a marriage than other marriages. And removing government from marriage, while I don't disagree could have some benefits, will not solve this.

    Although I'm not sure how governmental recognition of marriage is suppose to be harmful to marriage (it's my libertarian sensibilities that give me sympathy for this viewpoint, not a "protect marriage" viewpoint). Governmental recognition grants all kinds of benefits which would give a couple incentive to marry and therefore should increase the number of couplers who marry as opposed to "live in sin". If you argue that governmental recognition is harming Christian marriage by putting "other" marriages on equal footing, I've established that removing government from marriage would do the same thing (and perhaps do it more effectively). I mean with no governmental involvement in marriage, gay marriage is completely equal (under the law) with a Christian heterosexual marriage. It's only governmental involvement in marriage that gives heterosexual marriage an official advantage over gay marriage.

    So really, "remove government from marriage" should be more palatable from the pro-gay marriage side than the anti-gay marriage side.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I don't think you got my response.
    If we make something specifically legal, we are giving our stamp of approval. Because we are specifically allowing for it.
    We specifically allow EVERYTHING that we don't outlaw. How specific or general something is is strictly a matter of perspective.

    And regardless, your statement that allowing something specific is giving it a stamp of approval is unsupported.



    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    That's like me telling my kid. You can go outside and play, or you can stay inside. Both are "allowed", but by "allowing" them specifically... I am approving of them.
    No you aren't. If you don't care if your kid plays indoors or outdoors (and allowing both options does inherently raise one above the other), you approve of neither option more than the other. And likewise allowing a gay couple to marry means that they have the equal option of getting married or staying unmarried - neither option is encouraged by just allowing it.



    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    You are right about things being "allowed" but those things to which you speak have no law targeting them.
    for example, laws against specific drug use is to say we Disapprove of that drug and it's use. If we didn't disapprove of it.. then it wouldn't be specifically made illegal.
    I agree that outlawing something indicates disapproval but allowing something does not indicate approval. We allow adults to smoke cigarettes and clearly the government position is not "pro-smoking". In fact, the government seems to specifically disapprove of cigarette smoking, as indicated by government warning labels on cigarette packs. And MOST legal actions are entirely neutral from a government point of view. Does the government care either way if you, for example (and to be specific), scratch your armpit? Of course not.

    The government specifically allows you to scratch your armpit and yet that indicates no seal of approval (or disapproval). And that is to be assumed for ALL allowed actions unless one can show governmental actions indicating otherwise (like my cigarette example).
    Last edited by mican333; December 15th, 2011 at 10:32 AM.

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    Re: Should Christians support or oppose gay marriage?

    Quote Originally Posted by theophilus View Post
    Worship is something that takes place inwardly in a person's mind. The government only has the power to regulate what we do.
    Exactly, and exactly why there's no Christian political activism for enacting a generic law against lying or adultery (Matt. 5:28). It would simply be impossible to enforce and prosecute consistent with any actual justice.

    The only thing that can be restricted by laws are behaviors, and since sin exists prior to and apart from any behavior it may or may not cause, sin cannot be outlawed.

    The question in this thread does no so much as touch upon the sin of homosexuality per se; only upon a specific behavioral expression of it that no Christian who takes the Bible seriously can vote to approve.

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    Re: Should Christians support or oppose gay marriage?

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford View Post
    only upon a specific behavioral expression of it that no Christian who takes the Bible seriously can vote to approve.
    But what about "vote to allow"?

    Let's say, for the sake of argument, I have succeeded in making the point that banning gay marriage is unconstitutional to a certain Christian and that Christian happens to believe that our laws should follow the Constitution. Assuming the following, that Christian would have a strong reason to support allowing gays to marry, even though he may personally disapprove of it. After all, one can disagree with something and yet allow it - my personal example would be disapproving of racist speech but not wanting to ban it because I believe that it is protected by the right to free speech.

    So given the above (again, hypothetically), can that Christian vote to allow gay marriage? If not, why not?

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    Re: Should Christians support or oppose gay marriage?

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford
    ...there's no way to combat said evils by subtracting from the body of law that is already combating them!
    In what way does the law combat evil? You contend that laws do not force compliance, so in what way can laws combat evil if they do not force compliance?

    I have contended in this discussion that there is a way to combat evil by "subtracting from the body of law", and this is achieved primarily via the attempt to consistently apply Christian morality. If a law exists as a barrier to evangelism, and I am given the opportunity to remove that barrier, then I should, in accordance with scripture, vote to remove that barrier.

    Can laws that have been passed in an effort to enforce Christian morality (where no other secular argumentation exists) be considered barriers to evangelism? Yes. As the only argument in support of such laws originates in a Christian worldview, those who do not believe this worldview to be true will blame Christianity and Christians for why they aren't allowed to do what they want to do. That leaves Christians who want to share the message of the gospel at an automatic disadvantage before they even start.

    If there were secular argumentation, the blame could not be placed solely on Christianity, and the barrier would be removed.

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford
    Freund, if you want something to appear in my reply, such as your argument, you need to quit relying on me to do it for you.
    I have no clue what you are talking about.

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford
    P2, unless you're of the opinion God changes over time, is absurd on its face. Those who disbelieve the Christian basis for righteousness and forgiveness by God will be eternally damned in the final judgment by God. In short, God holds them to Christian standards of morality to a truly frightening degree. It is simply not any sort of unselfish loving of which I have any concept from experience or the Bible, that we hold back at all in warning those headed for destruction.
    Let me adjust and clarify my argument then:

    Definition of terms and phrases:

    1. Christian: A person who accepts the Biblical worldview as true and as a result, attempts to adhere to its teaching.

    2. Non-believer: A person who does not accept or acknowledge the Biblical worldview to be true.

    3. Sin: Any act in violation of Christian teaching.

    4. Judging: The act of holding others to the standard of Christian behavior.


    P1: It is in violation of Christian teaching for Christians to hold non-believers to the standards of Christian behavior (1 Corinthians 5:9-13)

    P2: It is not in violation of Christian teaching for Christians to hold non-believers to standards of secular behavior

    P3: The act of voting for a law that prohibits a certain behavior can be considered as holding others to a particular standard of behavior

    Therefore: If non-believers stand to be held accountable to a law prohibiting a certain behavior based solely on a Christian standard of behavior, it is a sin for Christians to vote for the passage of such a law.

    From this we can conclude that since the argument for the establishment of a ban on gay marriage is in no way a secular one, Christians cannot vote for its passage without also violating P1.

    By extension, the current law "protecting" marriage, if no secular reason can be argued to support it, is a law that holds non-believers to a standard of Christian behavior, which Christians cannot support without also violating P1.

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford
    To tell Christians they have this responsibility only to and among each other is to limit evangelism to the already evangelized, manifest a remarkable misconception concerning the "Great Commission", teach contrary to the word of God, and engage a remarkable hypocrisy.
    How do you interpret 1 Corinthians 5:9-13?

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford
    There may be pink poka dot flying horses on the dark side of the moon, but I've no obligation to Apok, you, or the fairies that "might" be riding them at this writing to include them in my objection to, and argumentation against the sad notion Christians aren't supposed to stand for their moral convictions when those convictions are questioned, as they are when faced with a ballot you can mark either "for" or "against" legalizing gay marriage.
    That's too simple. A vote for/against enacting a law is critically different than a opinion survey. The purpose of a survey is to find a quantitative measure of opinion (i.e. 56% of a certain population believes gay marriage is wrong). A vote for/against enacting a law is at a fundamental level a survey, but it's purpose is different. It seeks to answer the question "Should this law be implemented within our community/state/country?" which means "Should we hold our community/state/country to this standard of behavior?".

    If as a Christian you know there are non-believers in the community/state/country, and you know there are no secular arguments in support of this law, then you are obligated by Christian teaching to vote against this law.

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford
    My response this time around would be that even though I have a sinful rebellion to authority that deflects, for me, the fact that law exists for my well being, and having been deflected by my sinfulness, frees me to think the authority who put the law there is an "idiot", the fact remains the law stands as a witness to what I'm doing being against my own best interests.
    This assumes that the authority is actually acting in your best interest. As Christians, we know God acts in our best interest, but non-believers obviously don't share this view.

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford
    Well, guess what? In the above metaphor, the authority can only sensibly be God. Using your own teaching metaphor, then, you're suggesting that God's guidance and "rules" for living instead of dying, should be changed, and a new sign posted, so as to be brought more in line with the wicked man's subjective thoughts on his own safety. Thus it is clear that according to you we, the sign in the metaphor, should be changed to read 55mph, so as to be more in alignment with the unbeliever's estimate of their own speed related safety, and no longer represent the Authority's conclusion on the matter.
    It's more like God putting up a sign that says "Christian Speed Limit 55 mph" and a bunch of Christians going up to the sign and scratching off the "Christian" bit. We (Christians) have authority to police ourselves, but absolutely no authority to police non-believers. That is strictly under God's purview.

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford
    Urgency is tangential, and best dealt with by consistency of message. Look, if it's urgent someone move, the best way to get them to move is to yell, "Move, move, move!"; not "Move, stop, move!" Does this really need to be explained to you, or are you simply being obtuse?
    You shouting "Move!" doesn't mean they will actually move out of the way until they are convinced they need to move. Regardless, your position is that you push the person to get them out of the way. When Christians "push" people that are unaware of the immediate danger they are in, they simply get upset at the Christian for pushing them as they remain unconvinced of the need for urgency.

    Quote Originally Posted by cstamford
    Yes, I do. I see you're one of those Christians who thinks half of Jesus' gospel is better than all of it. Freund, Jesus taught about Hell, and those who would end up there if they didn't repent.
    By the way you phrase it, I don't think you really understand what "gospel" means. "Gospel" literally means "good news", and the message of the gospel is not "You will suffer if you do not believe" but rather that

    "...Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles."

    This is from 1 Corinthians 15:3-7. This is the good news. It is the way we respond to this good news (the gospel) that we are saved. Either we believe it is true or deny it. If we believe it to be true, we adhere to the teachings of Jesus out of gratitude for what God has already done on our behalf.

    Yes, Jesus preached on Hell. Yes, Hell is real. Yes, we cannot avoid it. However, as Christians, we must be prudent and wise in our dealings with outsiders (Colossians 4:5-6):

    "Conduct yourselves with wisdom towards outsiders, making the most of the opportunities. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer everyone."

    Seasoned with salt, not smothered in it. Yes, there is a time and place for teaching about Hell, but it's not usually at the front end of teaching about the gospel. We must try and understand the magnitude of grace God has extended us, and by that token extend this grace to others who do not know Him yet.

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    Re: Should Christians support or oppose gay marriage?

    Quote Originally Posted by theophilus View Post
    Worship is something that takes place inwardly in a person's mind. The government only has the power to regulate what we do.
    Love and commitment also are in a person's mind. The law against gay marriage is one where we extend rights to one type of couple and deny them to another. A law against worship would not stop what you think, but it would forbid you from building churches or holding services.

    Would you support a law outlawing any religious service but a certified Christian one in the US?
    Feed me some debate pellets!

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    Re: Should Christians support or oppose gay marriage?

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    But it's also much more than just delivering a message. So you are doing more than just being a messenger when you vote.

    Again, I use the scenario of the difference between telling two men about to marry that they are committing a sin (an message) and physically attempting to prevent the ceremony from happening (an action). Voting to ban gay marriage is akin to the second action - you are taking action (pulling the lever in the voting booth is an action) that you intend to have the effect of forcing them to not marry.
    But that isn't what is happening when I vote.
    it is more akin to me telling a Cop that marriage = man and woman.. Then he goes and stops the "wedding" because it doesn't follow the meaning of the word Marriage.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican
    It's not an issue of blame. It's an issue of action. If you attempt to influence the government to do a certain something that will effect people then you are taking action, not just delivering a message. It doesn't mean that a message isn't contained in your action but you are not just delivering a message.
    See above. Yes, I am. This is something that we are fundementally in disagreement on.
    HOWEVER. It isn't necissary for us to debate this point, because all I must do is be internally consistent.
    You must show that I am being inconsestent in my personal view or with what the bible says.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    Your argument kind of sounds like a mobster breaking someone's arm to "give him a message" that he displeased the Don and then saying "I'm just a messenger." Yes, a message of sorts was given but that's not all that was done.
    If by "breaking someone's arm" you mean speaking my mind to someone who is listening.
    then yes you are exactly right.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    I mean if there was a vote concerning gay marriage in your state and you voted against it and it so happened that you cast the deciding vote and then no gays could marry in your state, you didn't just give a message - you were instrumental in denying gays the right to marry. The fact that there's a message in there somewhere does not mean it's nothing but a message and you are nothing but a messenger.
    Ridiculous application of voting. I am not a monarch, I am not the king(redundant). Every person who voted for it spoke their mind, and our gov listens to the most votes. That is how it works. It is utterly unsupported that participation in this sort of gov (or any gov) is against what God has set in the bible.

    **Point of reflection** It seems to be ridiculous on it's face that one would say that God does not want his people to take part in a Gov which ASKS for the peoples opinions, and gets it's power from the people at large; when in the past God specifically set his people up as KINGS, PRINCESS, JUDGES etc. Would the modern Christian tell moses "God says don't judge, so you shouldn't set up JUDGES!.. O, and don't you dare JUDGE those other nations, because those aren't in the flock. ***

    It is a message which is supposed to influence... which I think is inherent to messages.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    I personally agree that you have the right to take action to defend your family, but I'm unaware of any biblical mandate that says you must or should do this (in fact, Christ says "turn the other cheek" so the argument can be made that biblically you should not attempt to kill someone even if it's in self-defense)
    Honestly, I'm not debating this issue. It assaults my senses of common knowledge regarding God's word and his mandate to the rolls we play.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    And I find this off-topic when it comes to opposing gay marriage because it's a "sin". Even if you are suppose to force your views on someone when they attempt to kill you, that does not extend to you forcing your views on gay marriage to others. I doubt such a biblical mandate exists (but go ahead and prove me wrong if you can).
    good we will go with that. I was using the example to show an obvious example that is accepted where Christians force their views on others.
    Apparently that example wasn't obvious enough. (It should be).


    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    But since we are not a theocracy, short of a revolution making the US a theocracy, there is NO WAY that Christians could have done it.
    Yes way. Because Christians make the majority and have for a very, very long time.
    We don't have to be a "theocracy", and not have the majority of citizens (who are Christians) be responsible for the condition of this nation.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    Atheists marrying does not distort biblical principles. The atheist fully admits that his union has nothing to do with the bible so it leaves biblical marriages alone. And likewise a gay couple admit that their union is not a heterosexual union and thus leaves heterosexual unions alone.
    Marriage in America has Christian roots. Somewhere else it may be something else. But here it is Christian institution.
    By allowing a similarly named abomination to be come the "legal" version Christians have contributed to a distorted idea to seep into the American culture.
    THAT is distorting biblical principles. 1) because the average person has a DISTORTED understanding of marriage, and thus a FALSE idea of marriage.
    2) because this mindset has worked it's way into the churches.


    secular marriage isn't just some other true form of marriage. It is a false idea of marriage and is a poison to the nation.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    Actually, you are (just not literally). If you vote against gay marriage and your vote prevails, then you are forcing everyone to stop "sinning". You are attempting to get everyone to "stop sinning", just by a different method than going door-to-door.
    blame the gov

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    But what's ridiculous is laying all of this at allowing non-Christian marriages. Marriage provides a stable household environment to raise children and will positively effect the children raised in that household and therefore more likely to become well-adjusted successful people who help society endure than whatever one gets from from broken homes. And that goes for gay marriages as well as straight marriages. The increase in gay marriages should correlate to more children raised in a stable two-parent home and therefore more likely to become a productive positive member of society.

    And I can support this if you want (since I did recently in another thread) but evidence points to children being raised in same-sex households are just as well-adjusted as other children.
    I'm not concerned with the social term of "well adjusted". I'm concerned with the morality of the nation. Our nation can not survive without a moral populous. The secular marriage has contributed to the moral decline of the nation. This point has nothing to do with same sex marriage, though I think same sex marriage is a step in the wrong direction. Just look at the divorce rate, look at how single homes contribute to being poor, to children who become criminals. It is a path to the death of the nation. IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    I explained that we already have laws against certain forms of speech (libel, slander) so we can create laws against dishonoring one's parents. And I understand that the "dishonor" law would have a very hard time becoming law due to conflicts with the right to free speech, but if one puts outlawing sin above all else, which one would have to do if the bible mandated it if they were a Christian, then they would seek to create the law regardless.
    I gave my further reasoning on the matter. This does not address it.

    Quote Originally Posted by mican
    You can do more than just wait to see what votes are presented to you. You can attempt to create laws (such as by lobbying your legislature to create a law). It's not an easy task nor would likely succeed but I would assume that God would rather you fight for a good cause and lose than to lazily let evil happen with no attempt to intervene.
    So.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    I thought you said your goal was to preserve Christian marriage. If putting other marriages on the same level of Christian marriage by equal governmental recognition destroys Christian marriage, then your solution does not prevent this. No governmental recognition of marriage puts all marriages (Christian, atheist, straight, gay) on equal footing
    yes. SO

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    Government does not force people to view non-Christian marriages as equal to Christian marriages - people do that naturally because many people are not Christian or at least don't view Christian marriage as more of a marriage than other marriages. And removing government from marriage, while I don't disagree could have some benefits, will not solve this.
    I disagree

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    It's only governmental involvement in marriage that gives heterosexual marriage an official advantage over gay marriage.
    This is where we disagree. I think on equal footing the real fruit will be evident.
    For example, if the gov wouldn't subsidies single family homes.. there would be less of them. It is specifically gov involvement that is the most dangerous.

    Regarding same sex marriage. If there were no legal argument, I don't believe gays would even bother with marriage. They would continue to skip from partner to partner and as long as the gov didn't care
    they would have little case to grandstand.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    So really, "remove government from marriage" should be more palatable from the pro-gay marriage side than the anti-gay marriage side.
    the same sex marriage issue is largely a PR event used to ease Americans into accepting sinful lifestyles as normal. Without the gov forcing people to legally recognize the relationship, the same sex marriage people wouldn't have a stick to beat it into peoples brains.

    On the other hands, Christians don't need a stick, other than that of reality training. The reality is that God is the definer of marriage and the false versions will fail in the face of the correct version.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    We specifically allow EVERYTHING that we don't outlaw. How specific or general something is is strictly a matter of perspective.

    And regardless, your statement that allowing something specific is giving it a stamp of approval is unsupported.
    No.. it's supported, you just don't agree with it. There is a difference.
    I supported it by giving my reasoning behind the idea. You have failed to acknowledge it.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    No you aren't. If you don't care if your kid plays indoors or outdoors (and allowing both options does inherently raise one above the other), you approve of neither option more than the other. And likewise allowing a gay couple to marry means that they have the equal option of getting married or staying unmarried - neither option is encouraged by just allowing it.
    You have confused the ideas of "encouraged" and "approved", and misunderstood how they were being applied in what I said.
    If you need further clarification let me know.


    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    I agree that outlawing something indicates disapproval but allowing something does not indicate approval. We allow adults to smoke cigarettes and clearly the government position is not "pro-smoking". In fact, the government seems to specifically disapprove of cigarette smoking, as indicated by government warning labels on cigarette packs.
    This is a terrible application of these ideas.
    I said that specific laws against something are a sign of disapproval, and the opposite is true as well. Laws of specific allowance are a sign of approval (or form of approval)
    Then you point to smoking, where we have SPECIFIC LAWS EXPRESSING DISAPPROVAL (IE warning labels mandated by the state, increased taxation, restrictions on advertisements etc.)

    Smoking doesn't support what you are trying to say. It actually supports my position/reasoning laid out (again) below.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    The government specifically allows you to scratch your armpit and yet that indicates no seal of approval (or disapproval). And that is to be assumed for ALL allowed actions unless one can show governmental actions indicating otherwise (like my cigarette example).
    The gov default is to approve of LIBERTY. That is the specific laws in the const. scratching your armpit, and other similar unmentioned acts, fall under the approved concepts of liberty and self reliance/responsibility.
    Which means, that any law that violates that, or goes further to specify that...is an example of disapproval or approval of the people for that act.

    Please do not say I have not supported my position, because the above is a sample of the support I have offered.
    To serve man.

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    Re: Should Christians support or oppose gay marriage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    In what way does the law combat evil?
    What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made...Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith." (Galatians 3:19-25; emphasis added)

    The law is the tutor that brings those who lack saving faith in Christ Jesus to that faith.

    "What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, "You shall not covet." But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead. I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good." (Romans 7:7-12; emphasis added)

    The law makes sin manifest to the unbeliever, shows the unbeliever he is dead in sin. Without the law, sin is not apparent to the sinner lost in sin ("...apart from the law sin was dead"). Your entire argument is based on the solidly unbiblical notion that we shouldn't expose the unbeliever to the laws of God in such a way it becomes mandatory he have to deal with them in his every day life. Paul has just argued the opposite; that the purpose of the law is twofold: to restrain our evil natures until we become believers, and, making our sin obvious to us, to drive us in helpless desperation to repentance and faith in Christ so that we do become believers.

    That said, I'm a man of little patience (you can ask around!), and when my Christian opponent begins his latest with, "In what way does the law combat evil?", having previously claimed decades engaged in the study of Scripture, it's time for me to go. I apologize for my impatience in not reading past the first line of your last post. If you want to debate me, put the really obtuse questions you'd like to throw my way at the end of your posts, rather than leading off with them, would be my advice.

    ---------- Post added at 01:50 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:14 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    But what about "vote to allow"?
    Mican, if you want to quote me, then quote me, okay. Quit chopping up my sentences. I know they're long sometimes (often, in fact), and you may not want to address all of a sentence, but for crying out loud you can quote an entire clause!

    Let's say, for the sake of argument, I have succeeded in making the point that banning gay marriage is unconstitutional to a certain Christian and that Christian happens to believe that our laws should follow the Constitution.
    Then it would be the case that you had managed to convince him his previous take on the Constitution was in error, and that previously he had believed the illegality of gay marriage was perfectly constitutional. Go on...

    Assuming the following,
    In my thinking here I'm going to assume you mean to say "Assuming the preceding,..." If that's wrong, you can correct me later.

    ...that Christian would have a strong reason to support allowing gays to marry, even though he may personally disapprove of it.
    That doesn't necessarily follow at all. He may have a strong reason for that conclusion, or he may not. He may, instead, have a strong reason to support an amendment to the Constitution, having decided there's a problem with it as is. We've had 27 such decisions made in our 220+ years of constitutional government, as you can see, on average more than one per decade. So this hypothetical Christian would have a very good reason for believing the Constitution is far from perfect as it is now. He would not have an equally strong belief God's laws are far from perfect. Thus, pointing out to him the Constitution now allows what he knows shouldn't be allowed in society, and can easily and justly be enforced as a matter of law, why would any rational person simply jump to the conclusion his beliefs would then require he vote to legalize gay marriage?

    I suggest you take a look at the history of this issue in California, which is (according to Adherents.com) no more than 60% Christian. First the voters voted in a simple proposition banning gay marriage that the State Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional according to the then state constitution. Next the voters voted on the now famous Prop. 8, to amend the state's constitution to restrict marriage to between one man and one woman. The State Supreme Court signed off on Prop. 8. Prop 8 passed by a 52% to 48% margin. If we were to make the simplistic (and probably unwarranted) assumption that every one who voted for Prop 8 was a Christian (and everyone who didn't wasn't), and that the percentage of Christians in California is no less than 60% (again, probably unwarranted), then the margin of victory for Prop 8 means about 87% of Christians voted for Prop 8, and about 13% voted against, in a state with a national reputation for being one of the most liberal states in the US; for historically leading the nation in experimental social engineering. We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto

    My position in this thread has consistently been if the Christian we're talking about filters his interpretation of the facts at hand through the biblical teaching concerning right and wrong, he'll much more likely vote to amend the Constitution to specify that marriage in the US is only between a man and a woman, than to vote to legalize gay marriage (in fact the only reason an amendment just like this is not now in process, is the Defense of Marriage Act, passed by Congress, which was supposed to make such an amendment moot, but as we've seen since it became law, doesn't.)

    Therefore, if you want to argue against my position, you'll have to do so with that understanding of what it is. According to my position, your premise that the Christian, having been shown (as you say, for the sake of argument) the Constitution allows gays to marry, and having the belief all laws should be constitutional, will then vote to allow gays to marry, is false; more precisely, need not be true. Not only might the Christian then vote to amend the Constitution, but certainly it's the case there are many laws that, should they be enacted, would be perfectly constitutional, but are never actually enacted due to simple lack of a common will to enact and abide by them.

    In short, what you're thinking of as a logical requirement for the Christian in your hypothetical is nothing of the sort, and is more likely just another example of your willingness to enlist any passing thought in your desperate search for an argument here.

    After all, one can disagree with something and yet allow it
    Sure they can. They can also disagree with something and not allow it; in fact, sentence to death anyone who does it. Is this supposed to be some telling point in your thinking? Or just an equivocation you've thrown out behind which you hope to hide the fact you don't have one?

    ...my personal example would be disapproving of racist speech but not wanting to ban it because I believe that it is protected by the right to free speech.
    The right to speech is an enumerated constitutional right the government is thus obligated to protect. There isn't any enumerated constitutional right to marry, straight or gay.

    So given the above (again, hypothetically), can that Christian vote to allow gay marriage?
    Not if he's being guided by his belief the Bible is God's word; the revelation of His will for mankind.

    If not, why not?
    Since you've presented no new points here for consideration, I'll simply refer you to my past posts to answer your "why not".

 

 
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