By John Hendryx
posted on monergism.com
Before I start I want to make it clear that Scripture does not conceive of the church’s primary role in the world as one of opposing public immorality through political means. This is because in doing so we promote the law without the lawgiver. This message gives the world the impression that if they just changed their behavior patterns then all would be okay but we all know this simply is not the case. The problem is with our nature, not the mere symptoms of that nature. So our first essential as Christians is to witness to the historic fact of the resurrection, to pray for our friends, to worship, and, by grace, to live pious & holy lives. This witness, is ultimately the only one that matters in influencing society at a root level. If there is to be a vast change of public ideas of morals, it would have to come through the grace of God by the power of the Holy Spirit, not by an imperial edict or judicial ruling. The hostility of unrgenerate hearts must be disarmed so they love the law so if we are to make a global impact, our proclimation of the law must be accompanied by the gospel. Culture wars generally tends to have the opposite effect on people. Laws do very little to change people’s thinking or heart’s disposition. And there is no evidence that Jesus went out of his way to take on any political causes, probably because, in themselves, they do have any power to change hearts.
Of course, many wanted Jesus to be a political organizer but that wasn’t His interest (except in an eschatological sense). So because of this I have always viewed moralizing crusades with great suspicion. Jesus’ did not mistake any symptomatic aspect of our lost condition–sexual depravity, greed, poverty, war, ignorance–from the root cause (depravity) and remedy of that alienation: the gospel. So as Christians we should not distinguish ourselves by obsessing on the various homosexual and other political agendas. Of course when we vote, we must vote our conscience according to Biblical standards. But, considering the recent events in California, it is clear that homosexuality has by no means outpaced heterosexuality in the committing acts of evil.
I say all this as a preface to some of the strange arguments coming from the pro-homosexual “marriage” rights people in California. I saw in front of some megachurches the holding up of protest signs with slogans such as this: “Marriage is Defined by Love not Dogma?” Look at this statement very closely. The slogan is severely problematic. It is a atrocious argument for the reason that it is essentially a dishonest statement. How? you ask. It is dishonest because it is distraction from itself. This is because the slogan that decries dogma is itself is inherently dogmatic. It is not neutral as it would have one believe. When someone says “Marriage is defined by love not dogma”, is this not itself dogma? Is this concept not someones’ arbitrary preference based on someones’ self-declared authority? If the placard was honest it would say what they really mean which is: “marriage is defined by my dogma, not yours.” But instead they have chosen a sleight of hand type argument. Unfortunately this is how most debates (on a variety of issues) are conducted these days and if you watch out closely for each persons presuppositions you can expose such hypocricy from the start. The honest thing to do from the start is to acknowledge that there is no neutrality and we all have core beliefs or dogmas. The question isn’t love versus dogma but rather, which dogma will be imposed on our society.