To Heal or Not to Heal

We have heard again today how the Lord healed a man that was a deaf-mute. Someone, presumably the friends of the deaf-mute, brought the man to Jesus and pleaded with the Lord to lay His hands on the deaf-mute and heal him. One wonders where the faith of the Gentile centurion is who didn’t need Jesus to do anything, but only speak the word to heal his servant. So we see that the faith of these friends isn’t as strong or as faithful as the centurion’s since they thought Jesus needed to touch the deaf-mute in order to heal him. But this is a comfort to know that the Lord hears and answers the prayers of even those that are weak in faith. For it is not the strength of faith that matters but the presence of faith. Like a grain of salt contains all the properties of all the salt in the whole world, so a grain of faith contains all the properties of all the faith in the world.

Also, we don’t even know if the deaf-mute believed that Jesus could heal him. Like the paralytic whose friends brought him to Jesus in their faith, this deaf-mute was brought to Jesus by the faith of others. That’s a powerful word concerning faith. Your unbelieving friends and neighbors are blessed and receive the mercy of God by your faith. Not as though you are a wizard wielding magic spells, but because your faith is that the Lord heals the sick and raises the dead. Why wouldn’t you then pray to the Lord for your friend’s health and well-being? In fact, not praying for the health and well-being of your friends and neighbors is tantamount to unbelief. Not praying is unbelief.

But here we get into some deep water. We want to pray for the healing of others, but we’re afraid that we’ll be disappointed. We’re afraid that the Lord won’t heal them or fix their marriage or get them a job or do whatever it is we’re praying for. We’re afraid our sick or troubled friend or relative will be hardened against the Lord who could have healed them or solved their problems, but chose not to. What if the Lord had said to the friends of this deaf-mute, or to the friends of the paralytic, “No, I’m not going to heal your friend”? Or what if He’d said nothing at all, just walked away as though He hadn’t heard their prayer? How would that help the poor sick man’s faith? How would that bode for the faith of your friends and family, to receive no answer to our prayers? So we often opt out of prayer, or at best we say them silently and in private with more of an air of emotional desire than with the confidence of dear children asking their dear father.

Moreover, we are disillusioned by the fact that these people – the friends of the deaf-mute and of the paralytic – knew where Jesus was and could take their friends to see Him. We seem to have no such benefit. In fact, we are mostly raised with the idea that Jesus is in our hearts and with us wherever we go, which leads to the conclusion that Jesus goes with us. And if He’s with us and our prayers still seem to go unheard and unanswered, then this whole business of prayer and God answering prayers seems rather shaky and ill-suited to win converts and bring glory to the name of Christ.

We seem sort of left with two options: either prayers are really nothing more than Christian wishes and emotional outbursts; or, Jesus no longer heals the sick. Both of these conclusions are less than desirable, and we chaff against them, but we don’t know how to deal with them or answer them.

But if we would stop talking so much and listen to the Lord, we’d hear the answer and we would be profoundly confident in the Lord. This is what I mean. If we would stop talking so much about what Jesus can do or doesn’t do or might do or could do, and actually listen to what He has done, our confidence would not be in seemingly answered or unanswered prayer but our confidence would be in Jesus who is risen from the dead.

The Lord commanded this once-upon-a-time deaf-mute and those who brought him to say nothing of the healing to anyone. Don’t go share the good news, the Lord commands. Why? Because it’s only good news for the deaf-mute. It’s not good news for all deaf-mutes, except that it might get their hopes up. But then, Jesus didn’t heal all the deaf-mutes in the whole world, but only this one and perhaps a few others. And He doesn’t heal many now. So don’t put your confidence in the Jesus that can heal deaf-mutes or can remit cancer or can stave off Alzheimer’s or that can multiply bread and fish, and so forth. Of course He can do these things; He proved that time and again. But He just as often tells the recipients of His miracles to say nothing to anyone but to go home, or to go offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving, which is what you are doing here today. In fact, the only time the Lord tells someone to go and proclaim what He had done was the man from whom He cast out demons. That’s rather profound. The only person the Lord gives permission to go spread the good news was to a man who’d been possessed by and freed of demons. He tells this man to go and share with everyone what the Lord had done because that’s what the Lord comes to do: to cast out demons and unclean spirits and to establish and advance the kingdom of God by the Holy Spirit. The Lord has power over unclean spirits and drives them out and away from us.

Healings point to the resurrection, which is the restoration of all flesh when the elect of God will be free of all effects of sin and death. Our healing will come when we are raised from the dead. If you are healed today of your sickness or disease or deformity, give thanks to God in Christ, but don’t put your hope on it. Don’t pretend to honor Christ by talking about what He’s capable of doing or not doing, honor Him by listening to His Word and holding fast to the promise of eternal life. For our freedom from demons and unclean spirits comes now when the Holy Spirit makes us His dwelling place. Sicknesses come and go, and we may be healed of one today only to suffer another tomorrow. But the casting out of demons and the removal of unclean spirits happens now and continues for those that continue in the faith of Christ and His Church.

So don’t go talking about what Jesus can or might do or could do in regard to sicknesses of the body as if that’s the chief thing. Of course He can remedy them, and in His flesh He has remedied them. Rather, go and tell everyone that the Lord has given you His Holy Spirit, having driven out of you the unclean spirits that would have been your doom and destruction. Now you are filled with the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life who brings you to faith in Jesus who is raised from the dead. By the Holy Spirit you believe that your sins are forgiven for Christ’s sake. By the Holy Spirit you call God “Father”, praying in the Spirit of Jesus who has been given to you by the will of God who gives His Spirit to those that ask and grants them remission of sins and eternal life in Jesus.

For your end, O Christian, is not simply the restoration of the flesh in this life, but the goal to which you press is eternal life and the restoration of the flesh and the adoption as sons in the life to come.

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Meditations on Sacrifice

ImageWe learn much about faith and sacrifice in the account of Cain and Abel, for we know from the Epistle to the Hebrews that “by faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts.” (Heb. 11:4)

But what was Abel’s faith? Did he just believe more strongly than Cain that God would accept his offering? What was it that Abel believed that made his sacrifice acceptable? Wasn’t it that he trust in the sermon of his father, Adam, that the Lord God would provide a savior who would crush the head of the serpent and so undo the curse of death brought into the world through sin? What other sort of faith is there? Lots of folks say they have faith, but what they mean is a pie-in-the-sky hope that things will get better or that God will love them or that God won’t punish them for their sins. For sinful humanity faith is often nothing more than strong desire for something hoped for. Godless faith is the antithesis of Godly faith. For godly faith isn’t a desire for something hoped for, godly faith is the assurance of what is promised, which then becomes that thing we long for. Faith is the conviction of things unseen, not the really strong desire for things unseen, but the conviction.

Faith, then, is not a wistful longing for what might be or what could be, but a firm footing on what is. So that Abel had a firm footing on what was promised: a savior. It was in this faith, believing God’s word preached by Adam, that Abel offered his offering. Which means that Abel had no notion that his offering was in fact his salvation, but offered the first-fruits in thanksgiving for the promises of God in the Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

On the other hand, Cain had no such faith in the promises of God but was faithless. He assumed that because he offered a sacrifice to God, God would be pleased with him and receive him. How like we are to Cain! We so often offer God our time or our money or our thoughts, thinking, “Now God, I’ve given you of my time and wallet when I could have done something else with both. Won’t you now bless me for this?” It is no different than the Pharisee praying in the temple, thinking that because he has not been a sinful as others and has offered prayers and tithes, that he is accepted by God. I tell you that Pharisee did not go home justified but condemned even as Cain was condemned.

For there are two types of sacrifice: the sacrifice of atonement and the sacrifice of thanksgiving. When we offer ourselves and what we have done or not done, what we have given and how much we have cared for and loved, as that which will please the Lord and make us acceptable to Him, then we are offering a sacrifice of atonement, thinking that by our will and actions we have so pleased God that He accepts us. We hear this all the time from people when they say such things as, “Well, I went to church, but life didn’t get any better!” They think to offer God their church going as a sacrifice that will make them acceptable to God so that He would receive and bless them.

But such sacrifices only draw the judgment of God. When we offer ourselves and actions and thoughts to God as that which will please Him to receive us, we are making ourselves and our actions and thoughts the measure of righteousness. But we are not righteous. There is nothing in us that is pleasing to God so that He will bless us or receive us in His kingdom. Offering such things calls Christ unnecessary. For if we have something by which we might please God and be received by Him, then what need is there of Christ?

But as it is, Christ is the only one that can offer Himself and His actions and will to God and be received by Him for such, for Christ is not born in sin and infected with the disease of sin. He alone is obedient to God and His obedience is offered to God as the sacrifice of atonement so that by His obedience the many are made righteous. When we believe this, we have true faith that is not hopeful of what might be but is confident in what is: that by Christ’s obedience even to death on a cross, we sinners are counted as righteous and forgiven our many trespasses and sins.

This faith, then, the faith of Abel, offers to God not sacrifices of atonement but the sacrifice of thanksgiving. We offer ourselves and our actions and thoughts not in order to be received by God but because Christ has been received by Him, and us through Christ. So when we give money or time or when we teach our children the faith or when we are kind to our neighbor, it is not so that God will look upon us and think, “What a good person he is, I will bless him and receive him,” but we do these things in thanksgiving to God in Christ for the salvation we have by His blood.

We, like Abel, still sacrifice. We still offer to God the firstfruits of our time and money. So the week begins not on Monday with secular work, but on the Lord’s Day with the Lord’s blessing and benediction. And our money is first given to God for the good and care of His ministers and for the poor before it is spent on ourselves. Not because by such things we become acceptable to God or are regarded by Him. But because by such things we show our thanksgiving to God for His promise of salvation in Christ. We offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving when we eat of His flesh and drink of His blood, and when we cry out, “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner!”

The Lord is merciful, thanks be to God!

The Bread of Heaven

Concerning the crowds that have been following Him, our Lord says to His disciples, “I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And if I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way. And some of them have come from far away.” His disciples pick up on what He is suggesting and say to Him, “How can one feed these people with bread here in this desolate place?” The crowd was large; 4,000 men plus women and children, Mark tells us. That’s a lot of bread.

You know the story: Jesus feeds them with seven loaves of bread and few small fish. It’s a miracle! They eat and are satisfied. There is even seven baskets full left over. The Lord provides, and He provides in abundance.

But wouldn’t it have been smarter simply to stay in town and teach in the synagogue or in the marketplace? Then the crowds could have gone home and eaten. There’d be no undue stress on the disciples. Then there wouldn’t be the panic that most assuredly arose among many as the children began to cry for bread; as mothers began to look sideways at their husbands who were following this Rabbi into the wilderness. The staples of life weren’t available. Hunger was happening.

And hunger drives men crazy. Hunger causes men kill other men. Hunger makes honest men steal and honorable men rob and lie. Hunger makes men leave families and children steal from parents. Hunger is a powerful force. So the wicked dictators of men suppress the people by controlling the bread. A hungry man will follow almost anyone and do anything to feed himself and his family.

It was hunger that drove this multitude to follow Jesus. Not hunger of the body but of the soul. They were hungry for what He was preaching and doing. He was preaching good news to the poor. With His words of life and mercy He was comforting those whose sin was on their sleeve; the tax-collectors and prostitutes, as well as the unwed mothers and the divorcees and the abandoned children, the alcoholics and wife-beaters; the thieves and liars. He was preaching peace between sinful man and the holy God. He was healing the sick and giving the blind their sight. He was curing leprosy and making the lame to walk. He was casting out demons and even raising the dead. He was establishing the kingdom of heaven. He was doing all things well. And they hungered for it. Like a deer panting for thirst, their souls longed for the goodness of the Master.

So they followed Him even to desolate places where there was no food for the stomach. He was giving bread that was not for the body but for the soul. He was feeding them the Bread of Heaven, the Word of Life. He was giving to them His flesh to eat. For His flesh is true food and His blood is true drink. And they were feasting on Him. The were feasting on Him because He is the good news preached to the poor. He is the healing of all our diseases. He is life in our death. He is peace with our God. He is our God. In Him there is joy forevermore. Whoever eats His flesh and drinks His blood has life in them, for the food He gives for the life of the world is His flesh. The crowds were keeping festival, feeding on the bread that comes down from heaven.

Here you are, a multitude keeping festival. A crowd that is following the Master, Jesus. You have not come from very far away, certainly not three days into the wilderness to hear Him, but you have come. And you are in the wilderness. This world is a wilderness, devoid of true life or of food that gives life. The food of this world satisfies only for a few hours, a day at most, and only the body. But it is soon expelled and gone. But the food that the Lord gives is everlasting and changes the eater into a living being. It is true food and true drink that satisfies the hungry heart. Blessed are those that hunger and thirst, they shall be satisfied.

So you come, fasting from the bread of this world to feed on the Bread of Heaven. I don’t know if you’ve fasted today in preparation for the Lord’s Supper, but I do know that even if you had breakfast, you are fasting now. Here you are not eating the bread that spoils. Here you are not engaged in the things of this world. You are not here grocery shopping or planning your next meal or worrying about what you will eat or or what you will put on. Here you are not concerned with the things of this world, things that unbelievers and pagans chase after. Here you are fasting from the world and feeding on the Bread of Heaven, the Word of Life.

So you have come to feast. And you are satisfied. For Christ’s sake your sins are forgiven. For Christ’s sake the wrath of God is not upon you, but His blessing and benediction. For Christ’s sake your body is redeemed and your grave is only a resting place. For Christ’s sake your diseases will succumb to their own death and you will live.

And the Lord has compassion on you because you need also your daily bread. He provides, and in abundance. Your refrigerators and cupboards may not all be equal, but neither are any of us starving. Our bank accounts may be empty, even overdrawn, but neither are any of us homeless or naked. Yes, there are hungry, homeless people in this world. Maybe even in this small town of ours. But not you. The Lord provides. And He provides for them, too. He sends you to feed and care for them, to have compassion on them, just as He had compassion on the multitude. How will you feed the hungry or house the homeless or clothe the naked? By your prayers, by your alms, and by your fasting.

For when you pray you pray for daily bread, not only your own but for all people. And when you give alms – when you give your tithes and offerings – you are giving it to feed the hungry and care for the forgotten. And when you fast you are preparing to feast on Jesus, to hear His word of life, and to give your bread to those who cannot feed themselves. In this way you become to the world the Body of Christ. And the world feeds on you and hears you preach good news to the poor and sees you bind up the brokenhearted and comfort the comfortless. All with the Bread of Heaven, the Word of Life.

Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and all these things shall be added unto you. Amen.

Thoughts on Rogate

Perhaps it is good that Peter, James, and John fell asleep in the garden. Perhaps it is good that they did not pray or keep watch. Well, of course it’s not good. It a world of possibilities, it would have been better had they prayed with their Lord and kept watch with Him. But then, this isn’t a world of possibilities. The Son of Man went as it was written of Him and once struck, His sheep scattered. So it is good that they fell asleep and didn’t keep watch. For if they had, they would have prayed wrongly, to spend it on their passions, and they their watch would have only been for their own flesh, as proved true when the Shepherd was struck and the sheep scattered.

The disciples didn’t get that Jesus was to be betrayed and killed. Their hearts were hardened, St. Mark tells us, so that they did not understand. Peter tells Jesus that He would never be killed and murdered. For his sentiments he feels the stinging rebuke of the Lord. It stands to reason that if Peter, James, and John, those who seemed influential, had stayed awake, prayed, and kept watch, then they would have seen the mob coming and prayed for Jesus’ escape. And they would have been found to be opposing the will of God.

Earlier that night the Lord said to His disciples that they would ask the Father and He would hear them. “Amen. Amen. Whatever you ask the Father in my name, He will give it to you … Ask and you will receive that your joy may be full.” Surely they would have thought that if Jesus would escape the betrayer and his mob of murderers then their joy would be full. Jesus was their joy as Peter had exclaimed, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life!” And even if he was mistaken, his heart was in the right place when he said to the Lord, “Even if I shall die, I will not deny you.” It is not hard to imagine that Peter, James, and John would have been praying most fervently for Jesus to escape the evil of that night.

Far too often we pray for the wrong thing, to spend it on our passions. We pray for things and for events that will better our lives and make us more secure in the world. We pray to escape hardship and persecution and difficulty. Even our Lord prayed for this when He prayed, “Father, if this cup can be taken from me…” But of course He didn’t end there. He didn’t pray for the legion of angels to protect Him or for His enemies to be burned on the spot, for lightening to fall from the sky and consume them. No, in the end He prayed to His Father, “Thy will be done.”

It is not wrong to pray for things that make life easier or more secure, or to avoid disaster. In fact, it is good to pray for these things because it shows that we find our ease, security, and safety in God alone. But it is better to pray for the will of the Father. Peter, James, and John would not have been praying for the will of the Father, even as they had tried to thwart Jesus’ plans before when He was going up to Jerusalem, “Lord, they were just trying to stone you, and are you going there again?” The disciples would not have Jesus’ crucified. They would not have prayed for strength of faith to endure the death of Jesus, and neither would they have been praying that Jesus be able to bear the unbearable. They would have prayed for escape. And they would have been found to be opposing God.

But our Lord teaches them what they are to pray for. It is recorded for us in the 17th chapter of St. John. There our Lord prayed for His apostles, not that the Father would remove them from the world and from suffering, but that He would keep them in His name; that He would keep them from the evil one. There He prayed that the Father would keep them that they would have the joy of the Lord fulfilled in themselves. And there He also prayed for you. “I do not pray for them only but for those who will believe in me through their word … that they may be one just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (17:20-21).

He did not pray for money or for clothing or for food. He prayed for the kingdom of heaven. The Lord prayed for His people, His flock, that they would be protected from the snares of the evil one and be with Him where He is. This is what the Son asked the Father. This is what we ask the Father in the name of the Son.

It is not wrong to pray for the things of life, for money, jobs, a husband or wife, children, or even for green grass. Your heavenly Father delights in your prayers as a father delights in His children. But these prayers, so often to be spent on our passions, are not the chief prayer of the saints of God. Our chief prayer is that we pray for one another’s faith and strength of faith that when the devil attacks and the demons are barking loudly, we would not loose hope in the face of death and mayhem, but would consider that our Lord Jesus prayed also for us that though sifted like wheat, we would stand fast in Him.

Our joy is not in the things of this world. Our joy is in the kingdom of heaven. Our joy is in one another even as it is in Jesus. We pray to the Father as our Lord prayed, for those who would believe through the words of the apostles.

Homosexuals and their rights

I posted a blog post earlier in which I argued that according to nature homosexuals cannot be married – that there cannot be homosexual marriage – because marriage is the name we give to the natural estate of bearing children. There were several comments made to the post that I would like to address as a sort of on-going debate, as well as bring to bear some additional arguments I did not make before (but have been made by others). You can read the comments on the previous post here, and I will try and be obvious what I am referencing throughout this post.

As in my previous post (although I was accused of giving false pretenses), I will not argue from the Bible or from any religion save the religion of reason and nature. (By the way, anyone who says we can have a society without religion is in fact promoting the religion of humanity. Don’t be fooled or scared by people shouting that religion has no place – humanity cannot help but be religious which is why even those who say they have no religion still watch beautiful sunsets and admire art and enjoy nature, and why they even have and use words such as “beautiful” “art” and “nature”. To argue that we can be free of religion is a stupid and uninformed argument if there ever was one.)

My argument that homosexuals cannot marry because they cannot naturally have children still stands. Only one commentator tried to refute it, but I will show why her counter argument doesn’t hold water. No one else challenged it. But they gave other reasons why homosexuals ought to be allowed to be married and enter marriage, especially challenging what I said, or didn’t say, rather, concerning taxes and being protected under the laws we currently have.

First to the challenge of my argument that homosexuals cannot marry because they cannot naturally have children. The challenge was put several ways, but it is basically this:

You fail to see infertility in females or males as a natural by-product, as well, meaning that Nature in and of itself does not define marriage by the ability to produce children.

The argument fails because infertility in males and females doesn’t preclude other, fertile men and women from conceiving. If it did, then no one could have children. But in a homosexual couple it doesn’t matter if they are infertile or are as fertile as rabbits, homosexual couples cannot reproduce. The very nature of the relationship prohibits procreation and conception. This is not so with infertile men and women. The nature of the relationship doesn’t prevent conception, the nature of the person does. Of course, this begs the question of whether infertility should disqualify someone from getting married. Of course not. Who knows that they are plagued with infertility until they try to conceive? To prove infertility a person would have to be subject to government tests with or without their consent. Suddenly, simply to lay the argument of fertility as the basis of marriage, all our personal freedoms and rights – heterosexual or homosexual – are at stake. After all, if a person is proved to be fertile, they should be forced to conceive, no? Even if they don’t want to. Sorry, infertility in men and women does not debunk the truth that nature shows us that homosexuals cannot – are not allowed to by nature – be fruitful and multiply (not a religious statement but a agrarian one).

Secondly, my argument was countered with the proposal that homosexuals are being discrimated against in the tax codes because,

In terms of taxes, the tax benefits are hardly just to benefit children. Take shared insurance for example. The way things are, if the partner in a homosexual relationship needs medical care, they are not covered under their partners plan simply because they are homosexual. There are many cases of homosexuals dying of illnesses which could have been treated if they could have been covered under their partners insurance. This is a right that is given 6 months after marriage to heterosexual couples, but even if the homosexual couple has been in a committed union for 10 or more years, they are still not capable of these rights. There are a number of other examples as well such as visitation rights and will’s.

The weak link here is in the third sentence. The homosexual partner is not denied coverage simply because he or she is homosexual but simply because he or she is not married. This is the play-ground “it’s not fair!” plea. Yes, it is fair. It is fair that my partner with whom I have children and who helps me raise those children is covered under my insurance (et. al.) for the sake of our children. The only way to refute this is to argue pure self-absorption and say that I deserve to be covered under my partner’s insurance (et. al.) because, well, they have it and I want it. It amounts to a person telling the law, “But they were my best friend and we did everything together. Why can’t I have their insurance?”

The argument is purely subjective. It’s strength lies in, “They have it, why can’t I?” And the reason you can’t is because you’re not them and you can never be and are not meant to be them. You’re not the same. It basis marriage on some fairy-tale that marriage is about loving another person and sharing with them. That’s not marriage, that’s kindergarten. Marriage is about having a specific role in society, the role of procreation. For those who cannot procreate because of illness or such, re-read the first part of this post. (By the way, to use the argument involving infertile heterosexual men and women as proof as to why homosexuals can marry really only stands to treat homosexuality as an illness, disease, abberation, abnormality, and the like.)

Then comes the argument of rights. Homosexuals, it is argued, have the same rights as heterosexuals. This is true. But much of what we take as rights aren’t rights at all. Our only real rights are those common to all humans by virtue of being human. One of those rights is the right to marry. But none of those rights are the rights to life insurance or health plans, even based on marriage. It is not a right to be treated the same as others. We treat people differently all the time. What if I argued that the LA Lakers have to hire me because they hire other people and I’m a person like them? I can’t jump, shoot, or really play at all, but since I like the jersey, the pay, and the life-style, then I have right to be hired by the team. Rights only cover what is natural to the estate of being human. Procreation among homosexual couples is not natural to the estate of being human, and so is not a right. Ergo, marriage is not a right.

Finally, the best for last:

Lastly, this same “logic” has been used for centuries for countless battles over basic human rights when a discriminatory group has power. It was always “better” for blacks to be “taken care of” by their slave masters (after all, they had inferior intelligence and everyone knew it). It was always “better” for the woman to leave the worlds’ dealings to the men and remain silent in the vote – I mean, surely she had enough on her plate what with tending the children and cooking all the food. It was “better” for the Native Americans to be rounded up and quarantined onto reservations. Do you see the pattern?

This is a straw man and a nasty one at that. Those who make these claims are cowards and ignorant and are of the highest form of bigotry. To suggest that I think that marriage is outside the preview of homosexuality is the same as giving small pocks to children and whole peoples is beyond ridiculous  The laws should – and for that matter, neighbors should – protect the citizens of the nation from abuse and physical hatred.

But for the sake of decency and good argumentation the world over, let’s still look at this argument. First of all, it doesn’t refute mine at all, it merely spreads fear (great tactic by those who are wrong but want others not to point that out). As an argument itself, that we should fight for homosexual rights, it is a perfect argument if we are fighting for the right of homosexuals to live, not be murdered, have jobs, and live otherwise safe and secure lives. Oh, wait, that’s already on the books. Criminals don’t respect the books. So a homosexual can be a murderer, too. Does that mean that all homosexuals will murder? What a stupid argument.

Okay, so I’m sure I have not covered all the bases. I would like feedback – positive or otherwise. I am not arguing to protect my religion (a counter argument I didn’t take up because it’s nearly as dumb as the one about oppression). I’m saying that homosexuals do not have the right to marriage. Not because there is something wrong with them, but because they have nothing that requires marriage or the benefits therein.

For those who might want to read a bit more on the arguments as they are presented by homosexuals, you might begin here.

Homosexual Marriage is an Insult to Homosexuals

Before I begin, I will lay out some parameters for my position. I will not be arguing against homosexuality. I will not be arguing in favor of heterosexual relationships. I will not be arguing using the Bible or talking about God’s love or God’s purpose. In short, I will not here be making a religious argument as so many think of religious arguments. I will argue from reason, pure and simple. However, as optimistic as I am that reason will convince the reasonable, I am also sure that it will harden the unreasonable. Not because they do not agree or can’t see the reason, but because they will think they are being discriminated against.

To the matter at hand:

It seems to me that the general and oft repeated argument in favor of gay marriage is for our society to recognize and treat homosexual couples as equal to heterosexual couples. The way to do this, as the argument goes, is to make the two different relationships the same in the eyes of the law. So the pro-homosexual marriage camp says that homosexual couples ought to be able, as their heterosexual counterparts are, to receive tax benefits and have children. To deny homosexual couples these two rights is, in the homosexual argument, treating them as unequal or even worse, as illegitimate.

But let’s look at what’s going on in this argument. It seems to me that the homosexual camp ought to repel the idea that being taxed the same and having children should legitimize their relationship. After all, especially to the latter point of having children, this is something only a man and woman can do. A homosexual couple will never have children because they are homosexual. Their relationship will never produce a child. Their relationship to others might. They might gain a child by surrogacy or adoption or other ways, but it will not ever, ever, ever be because they are in a committed, monogamous relationship with one another.

On this point alone – an argument from nature – we see that homosexual couples and heterosexual couples are not equal. Nature says they’re not equal. To try and force the law to see them as equal is to insult the very thing that makes them different. Why not make laws that says men have the right to be pregnant or women have the right to impregnate? It’s insulting to both man and womanhood. Such an argument for the right to have children is illegitimate and makes homosexual relationships  illegitimate. After all, a woman isn’t legitimately a woman because she can do what a man can do. She is legit because she’s a woman. Homosexual relationships are legitimately homosexual because they involve two of the same gender. The law can only operate within the parameters of nature. To try to do otherwise is simply idiotic.

So what about taxes? The tax code that affects married couples was set up to help them with children. It may have evolved from that, but that was and is still the basis. Children are the future of our (and any) society, so the government helps and protects both them and those who produce them. Since homosexual couples cannot – remember nature – produce children, why would they need the same tax codes as those who can produce children? Taxes were not set up to benefit married couples EXCEPT THAT they might have children. So those married couples who cannot have children are still taxed like married couples because the estate of marriage is what legitimately produces children. So singles and non-married couples are not equal in the eyes of the law to married couples. Equality is a red herring.

So what benefit is there for a homosexual couple to be declared as married? They can already legally enjoy a committed, monogamous relationship until death do them part. The law already protects their persons because they are persons. Under the law they are already protected from discrimination in terms of employment, public facilities, and so forth. And under the law, companies are within their rights to cater their services and goods to whomever they choose. So a lodge for married couples is withing their rights to not serve a couple that is not married – hetero or homosexual. To force the lodge to do otherwise is not making homosexuals equal, it is promoting them as superior to others.

When it comes down to it, it seems that the real reason homosexual marriage is being pushed is to legitimize their relationship. But this only makes it seem as if they don’t believe they’re legitimate to begin with. Why not then make laws benefiting and recognizing best friends or boy and girl friends? Why not make laws benefiting or recognizing school and work relationships? Is it the law that legitimizes these relationships? What’s the fundamental difference between this and homosexual marriage? There isn’t one. Besides which, the law already allows people to benefit from their non-married relationships. A person can have life insurance and leave to whomever he or she wishes. A person can open a trust fund for whomever he or she wishes. This has nothing to do with marriage. Marriage is a recognized estate because of the possibility (and hope for) children. Period.

In the end, any reasonable person will see that heterosexual relationships and homosexual relationships are not the same. They are not equal. They do not deserve to be treated the same because they are not the same.

I want to conclude by drawing attention to the fact that I have not belittled homosexuality. I have not argued against homosexuality. I have not used the Bible. I have not argued from religion. I have simply argued based on what many see as the homosexual’s biggest ally: nature. After all, if they’re born that way, who’s to keep them from behaving that way? But their behavior, no matter how legit, cannot produce children of its own, and so will never be and cannot be equal to or the same as or even remotely related to heterosexual marriage. To argue otherwise is truly insult the homosexuals among us.

On Humility

Our Lord rode into the holy city in humility. But it wasn’t the donkey that made Him humble.

Most of us try to be humble. Most of try not to draw attention to our work or efforts. We try to be satisfied with a “well done” or “atta-boy” or “good job”. But this is really feigned humility. It’s not really humility at all. It’s false humility.

But it’s not false humility because inside we are really glorying in and desirous of the praise we get, even lusting after more praise and honor for our work and efforts. Our Lord wasn’t humble because He was satisfied with the praise He received and because He wanted no more praise, or because He was hoping to go rather unnoticed. Our Lord was humble because He was obedient.

True humility is in obedience. And true obedience is in submission.

Above all, the Lord rode into the holy city on a donkey, on a colt of a donkey, a beast of burden, because that’s the sort of King He is, not to show how humble He is, not taking power to Himself. It is what was written of Him, so He submitted to the Scriptures, to the will of the Father. Our Lord is humble because He always does what is given to Him to do. He always does the will of the Father. His humility is His obedience.

We are not humble. We do not do our duty. Consider your place in life according to the Ten Commandments. Are you a father, mother, son, daughter, husband, wife, or worker? Have you been disobedient, unfaithful, or lazy? Have you been hot tempered, rude, or quarrelsome? Have you hurt someone by your words or deeds? Have you stolen, been negligent, wasted anything, or done any harm? You have been and done all these things. And you have considered yourself humble because you have convinced yourself and others that you do not seek the praise of men.

But what father ought not be praised by his sons as a good father? What wife ought not be praised by her husband and a good wife? What worker ought not be recognized for being a good worker? To receive praise and honor is not to lack humility. After all, our Lord received much and great praise on honor when He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. He received praise and honor because of who He is and what He does. He is the King of Israel, and He comes with salvation.

He submitted to the Father’s will, not considering equality with God a thing to be stolen. He humbled Himself even unto death on a cross. He submitted. And He is glorified.