Differing Views on Marriage Versus Importance

In the recent article Here Comes Wedding Season: How Consumers Will Pay for Others’ Big Day in 2016, the amount of money spent by people attending weddings as guests or wedding party members was predicted to increase significantly. The prevalent Christian meme is that secular society is demeaning or devaluing the institution of marriage, yet by spending more on attending and being part of the wedding, it may not be as clear cut as many Christians claim it is.

What most Christians really mean is that others do not value the exact marriage that they value. The Christian marriage is usually defined as between one man and one woman (with kids) until separated by death (as long as it isn’t murdering each other). If that is the litmus test (others do not value the “Christian” ideal of marriage), then, yes, I have to agree with the Christian meme.

The marriage that society values is a marriage in which the two people (and, yes, in some cases more than two) find mutual satisfaction and happiness. Secular society truly does value, treasure, and uphold this understanding. Let us Christians recognize that. The dilemma comes to fruition when, however, the people in a marriage no longer find mutual satisfaction and happiness in their relationship. Thus it is better to “honor” marriage by divorcing, for by remaining together, they dishonor marriage.

The logic is consistent internally. By that same logic, as long as the couple is mutually committed, what does it matter if the couple be male/female, female/female, male/male? It might even be consistent within that marriage to have open partnerships or what have you.

Another interesting article is Americans Are Becoming More Socially Liberal — Except When it Comes to Divorce. According to the author claims (with some data to back it up), that many Millennials view divorce with such distaste, that many require other milestones (establish career, home, college degree, no/low debt, even prior serious relationship and/or cohabitation) to be accomplished prior to that final commitment. The author states:

Marriage has, in other words, gone from being a cornerstone achievement to a capstone one.

The author ends the column with this “capstone”:

So keep this in mind if you ever feel the temptation to urge some broke young couple to hurry up and get hitched already: Chances are they’re dragging their feet not because they don’t take marriage seriously but because they do.

Mind blown. Before we talk about upholding marriage, we Christians had best work with the secular world to discuss what exactly it is we and they mean.

Selfishness and Going It Alone

And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away.” And Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Mark 10:2-9
English Standard Version (ESV)

The Curt Jester wrote a great piece regarding the Roman Catholic Church and divorce (and remarriage). He notes that the RC church is accused of being hard of heart for keeping its “old-fashioned” stance on divorce and remarriage. As noted in the scripture above, Jesus addresses that. It is for our (Yes, Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees, but He was also speaking to us all.) hardness of heart that divorce was allowed at all+.

When he wrote his piece, the Curt Jester was specifically address the selfish nature of people. However, this really isn’t just about selfishness.

+I would also point out that this passage by omission and implication removes the validity of polygamy.»

Men and Marriage

Insurance companies are pushing hard for for peopl to take care of themselves with various wellness initiatives. For men, on of the biggest is marriage:

Marriage Could Save Your Life
hattip to:The Point

Marriage is also good for the environment

However, there are a few downsides.

Mercifully, God has granted me a wonderful marriage to a wonderful wife, so I’m not concerned about the downsides personally. With all the upheaval and lances aimed at (traditional) marriage, society had better start paying attention.

My Anger Problem

Do I get angry? Yes! Is that a good thing? In retrospect, probably not. Should we encourage people to be angry? NO! (that’s not anger, that’s emphasis)

Apparently, some well-meaning (hmm, something about a road…) Christian psychologists are saying it’s okay to be angry. Well, I suppose that in some situations it might be okay.

Dr. Archibald Hart writes a critique of a new book added to the “it’s okay to be angry” list. I suspect the author of the book, Andrew D. Lester, was referring more to anger in a counseling session, but the problem that attitudes carry through into life.

I think I’ll add Anger Management to my netflix queue.

A Familial Truth About Government

I am a professor of human biology at Baruch College, City University of New York. I sometimes get involved in discussions with ‘gay’ students on issues of biology and homosexuality, but such discussions have always been respectful and educational. For example, a young ‘gay’ man told me he was opposed to all the hatred directed against ‘gay marriage’; why couldn’t the government recognize the equality of ‘gay’ unions? I asked him about the lifespan of nations, compared to the lifespan of individuals. He acknowledged that nations span many generations. I added that, in fact, one of the few real responsibilities of the national government is to ensure that there will be future generations of citizens. Therefore, I said, is it not really the responsibility of the federal government to provide special protection to the very institution that guarantees future generations of citizens, i.e., marriage between a man and a woman? His reply: ‘That sounds fair.’ And he walked out of class satisfied. We all know that youth tend to be possessed of idealism, which is these days so often confused with, and perverted into utopianism. But youthful idealism is really the love of truth, and nothing makes it shine like truth!

A letter to the editor of the Patriot Post (The Brief, Patriot Post Vol. 07 No. 16 | 16 April 2007)

A Commentary On My Own Blog

Granted, there hasn’t been much traffic to my blog, but in case there ever is, I figure I ought to put this out there, not so much as a disclaimer (although I supposed it is, is some way), but an explanation of perspective.

A number of my posts in the past, and I’m sure many more in the future, will revolve around the church and homosexuality. I’m not deliberately picking on homosexuality, or homosexuals, but on the current political, social, and religious focus of the time, which just so happens to be homosexuality. Homosexuality, for better, or worse, has become a major issue. For better, because I don’t want people to live in fear, for worse, because I still don’t agree with the behavior, and I have grave concerns regarding a greater acceptance, and even encouragement of the behavior.

The last two significant issues that were prominent in all three spheres (politics, society, religion) were divorce and gender equality, which are both topics I will leave for other times. If I were living in those times, and the internet were in existence then, I would be blogging about that.

I know people, whom I do call friends, that are homosexual. Do I love them as I love my fellow man? Of course. Do I agree with that love-challenged church in wherever that “God Hates F***”? Absolutely NOT!

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3:16

What part of “loved the world” do folks like those not understand? Does that mean I seek to give homosexuality a pass? I would much rather just love and accept homosexuals as they are. It certainly would be easier. However, I don’t have that luxury. For, you see, a behavior that is unacceptable does not suddenly become okay if you love and “accept” a person. I love my children very much, but throwing things in the house is not a positive behavior, and as much as I love and accept my children, I will not accept their behavior. I will forgive, however.

That is how I see God looking at us. We are his creation, his children. That is not to say we are perfect. By giving us free will, God freed us to make mistakes. REALLY BIG ONES. I could start with Original Sin, but that is for others to speak more intelligently on. What I can speak on, only somewhat intelligently, is everyday sin–the things we’ve done and left undone (as the Lutheran confession states).

In an article publish in Christian Week (26 August 1997), John H. Redekop (in a piece titled “Revisitng Homosexuality”) states:

…when Christians respond to homosexuals that Jesus modeled such responses for us, we must be extremely careful not to compromise the clear biblical condemnation of such behavior. … The real point is that all of us are born into sin with strong proclivities to sin. Some, it seems, have a strong and innate desire to steal, some to lie, some to cheat, some to indulge in adultery, some to overeat, some to intoxicate themselves, perhaps some to practice homosexuality, and some to practice pedophilia. The fact that these tendencies may appear to be innate does not make them acceptable.

Redekop discusses two other salient points. The first is that Christians, if anyone, should understand people surrendering to innate desires. We ALL sin. The second is that Christians should respond to everyone with love.

What’s funny, or actually not so funny, is that an easy Commandment to understand (“Love your neighbor as yourself”) is very hard for a fallen, sinful humanity, to implement, even for we Christians, who truly understand just how fallen and sinful we are.

The most frustrating part of the whole shoutfest (why bother calling it a dialogue) is the redefining of the vocabulary. In the english language, tolerance is not a synonym for acceptance. For example, when one of my children throws a temper tantrum before bed, the major contributing factor is exhaustian. I will tolerate the tantrum (not letting it get out of hand, but not trying to stop it quickly either). However, if we are at the store, and one of them throws a tantrum, I will not accept that behavior, and put a stop to it quickly.

The truth is “hate the sin, love the sinner” has to be the modus operandi. If I truly love someone, and I believe that their behavior will cause them to be literally hellbound, why would I not try to help them sin no more. What is love? Is it allowing someone to self-destruct (yes, I understand that sometimes that is the only human course), or should I do what I can to guide them (not force them) onto the path where I can spend eternity with them in the loving grace and presence of God?