|A Broken Message by Pastor Rick Warren.|
The Gay Protesters recently protested at the Saddleback Church who played a strong part in the success of proposition 8. Their pastor is the nationally acclaimed Pastor Rick Warren, who said that Gays only form 2% of the population and so should not redefine marriage. This is a false witness by a great man of God who should have known better. In all the surveys, the percentage of Gay population is typically from 5 to 10%. Gays are not trying the redefined marriage, they are supporting the institution of marriage by desiring to get married for the sake of commitment to each other. It is the straight population (95% of the population) who has redefined marriage as a casual affair with their high rates of divorce and promiscuity resulting in an intolerable rate of abortion (upto 50% of the births).
(Exo 20:17 NKJV) "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's."
Pastor Rick has said that the bible defines the marriage as between a man and a woman. He has actually redefined marriage, as the bible only reflects marriage in terms of then prevailing culture but never actually defined it. If we wanted to draw a defintion, then it would be terms of ownership, ie the man owns the wives just like he owms a servant or a donkey. We are not to commit adultery because this is like stealing another persons property and soiling it. The term "wives" in the plural form appears in the bible 135 times because a man would have many wives. It was not about procreation, or a commitment between a man and a woman, it was the ownership by a man, of "many" wives. Gays are actually promoting a more equitable definition of marriage, because the relatioship is mutual with no dominant party ie man. If two man marries each other, then who is the man in the house? Gays are committed to marriage as a foundation of their commitment of love. This is contrary to the culture of biblical times as love was never really part of the equation but ownership and maintaining the seed for inheritence.
The Christian Right, and Pastor Rick Warren is obviously worried that they can no longer used Gays as a moral scapegoat, if they get married and are committed to each other in a long term relationship. If Gays are married, then they could not be accused of immorality because they have sex without getting married. If marriage between Gays are passed, there is no way that Christians could claim Gays are immoral by having sex outside marriage.
The New Testament book of Corinthians begin to reflect marriage very differently between a man and a woman, not because Gays were threatening marriage (the Christian Right is very fond of using Corinthians as anti-gay), but because Corinth was a major city which has a very big prostitution problem, and their major stronghold and worship was the goddess Aphrodite usually depicted in seductive female body (and not a naked man). Temple prostitution with naked women seducing the merchants that frequent Corinth was common. In such as a context where we have a straight heterosexual issue of having too much sex for pleasure, too much promiscuity between straight couples, that first Christians begin to put boundaries in marriage. Therefore, the Gentile Christians (which is 95% straight) begin to reflect their faith in terms of commitment to marriage between a man and a woman because of the context of prostitution motivated by religious worship of other gods. To say that the bible defines the marriage between a men an a women when talking about gay marriages is simply distorting the intention of the bible, and the religious and cultural context of New testament Christianity. When we do this so blatantly, we are adding to the bible and this deserves great condemnation.
As the Rev Billy Graham turns 90, in the last decade, He has been keenly trying to draw a circle to preach the Gospel only. The Christian Right should follow suit. We are defenders of the Gospel Message and not the defenders of Marriage per say, or our narrow definition of marriage to exclude others. We are not defending marriage, but rather destroying it, by not allowing people to marry, whilst engaged in adulterous affairs. But more importantly, we are destroying the Message. Goto the streets and preach the Gospel you may, but people would only see you as the Gay basher obsessed with the small sins of others whilst hypocritically committing divorce and abortion in our straight marriages. It was therefore not surprising that the sex before marriage by Sarah Palin’s daughter was big news because their claim to be moral and superior over all others especially the “sinful” gay community who they claimed is trying to destroy their straight marriages by getting married.
As part of the "Purpose Driven Church", over 400,000 pastors and church leaders from around the world have attended a seminar or conference led by Pastor Rick Warren who share best practices as they seek to be more effective in fulfilling the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. His message now would be broken and inconsistent.
Marriage in Christian religious terms ultimtaely reflects a union between the Church and Jesus Christ! but are they both straight?. The Church is here depicted as a woman and Jesus a man, but this only reflects the mutual commitment of love and inter-dependence in a covenant relationship or bond. When we deny Gays marriage, and many of the gays who seek marriage are Christians and did so because of their religious background, we are destroying relationships between two loving couples, and destroying relationships between the couples and God, who they wanted to bless their relationship. When we withold blessing to others, our marriages will be impacted as we see in the high levels of abortion, and in the end because marriage is intertwined with the message of the Gospel, of the marriage between the Bride and the Lamb, the amazing symbolic meaning of the Gospel message in marriage will be lost.