Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Matt 24 watch, 177: It's a Romans 1 world, as the bellwether country the USA, re-elects Mr Barak Obama, a man who advocates homosexualisation of marriage, thus the gradual criminalisation of the Christian faith as a manifestation of "hate" in the teeth of the demand for so-called "Marriage equality"

I just got up and saw on my home page headlines, that Mr Barak Obama has been re-elected as President of the USA.

Many will be rejoicing that a Black man and has now won the US Presidency twice in succession.

I wish I could have joined them, but I cannot. 

For, I must follow Rev Martin Luther King's principle, and judge not by the colour of the skin or the racial identity that that colour denotes, but by the content of character. 

Thence, in the politician, the policy agenda.

For in fact, Mr Obama is a front man, a face for a pivotal policy -- the homosexualisation of marriage --  that is so corrosive to our civilisation that my first response is to cite Rom 1, in warning of what we now face. And BTW, Rom 1 is no "obscure epistle by Paul," pace what Mr Obama stated in reply to a town-hall meeting question in 2008):
 Rom 1: 16 . . . I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith,  as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. 
 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. 
 26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. 
 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
32 Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.  [ESV]
First, as was discussed here a few days ago, I am not ashamed of the gospel, as it manifests and -- by the sign of the resurrection -- warrants to us God's power to save, make whole and transform. 

With millions of cases of people who have been transformed through  meeting and receiving God into their lives in the face of the risen Christ, across the past twenty centuries, and with whole civilisations renewed and reformed for good.

In the face of that pattern of well-grounded evidence, we have no excuse to turn our backs on the God who so loved that he gave his one and only Son, in redemptive sacrifice.

So, there is no excuse for Mr Obama and others who have led his party, his country and our civilisation down the path of deliberately turning backs on God, his Word, the gospel and the path that leads to life.

Long before Paul penned the words just cited, Isaiah watching a nation walking into apostasy warned, just as grimly:
      Isa 5:18 ​​​​​​​​Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of falsehood,
        who draw sin as with cart ropes,
      19 ​​​​​​​​who say: “Let him be quick,
        let him speed his work
        that we may see it;
        let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw near,
        and let it come, that we may know it!” 
      20 ​​​​​​​​Woe to those who call evil good
        and good evil,
        who put darkness for light
        and light for darkness,
        who put bitter for sweet
        and sweet for bitter!
      21 ​​​​​​​​Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
        and shrewd in their own sight! 
      22 ​​​​​​​​Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine,
        and valiant men in mixing strong drink,
      23 ​​​​​​​​who acquit the guilty for a bribe,
        and deprive the innocent of his right! 
      24 ​​​​​​​​Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble,
        and as dry grass sinks down in the flame,
        so their root will be as rottenness,
        and their blossom go up like dust;
        for they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts,
        and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. 
      25 ​​​​​​​​Therefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against his people,
        and he stretched out his hand against them and struck them,
        and the mountains quaked;
        and their corpses were as refuse
        in the midst of the streets.
        For all this his anger has not turned away,
        and his hand is stretched out still. 
      26 ​​​​​​​​He will raise a signal for nations far away,
        and whistle for them from the ends of the earth;
        and behold, quickly, speedily they come!       
27 ​​​​​​​​None is weary, none stumbles,
        none slumbers or sleeps,
        not a waistband is loose,
        not a sandal strap broken;
      28 ​​​​​​​​their arrows are sharp,
        all their bows bent,
        their horses' hoofs seem like flint,
        and their wheels like the whirlwind. 
      29 ​​​​​​​​Their roaring is like a lion,
        like young lions they roar;
        they growl and seize their prey;
        they carry it off, and none can rescue.
      30 ​​​​​​​​They will growl over it on that day,
        like the growling of the sea.
        And if one looks to the land,
        behold, darkness and distress;
        and the light is darkened by its clouds.
The vultures are coming.

Down the bitter road ahead lies a cultural war, in which in the deceitful name of Marriage equality, and a right suppressed by bigotry, there will be an attempt to impose the perversion of marriage, and to embed this into the education system and media culture.

Darkness for light, calling good evil and evil good, and bitter for sweet.

Let me remind us, from the comment I made on the open endorsement of homosexualisation of marriage made by Mr Obama in May this year:
Watersheds of North America
The concept of a watershed is a classic idea from Geography. 

There is an imaginary line, where if two raindrops fall on two sides of it, no matter how close, they fall into different drainage basins, and so could end up in oceans a continent apart . . . [T]he key thing about a watershed is that it naturally forces drops on either side farther and farther apart. So, (c) time is of the essence if the polarisation that a divide imposes is to be reversed. That is, (d) there is a window of decision, and time is not your friend, when you are on the wrong side of a watershed. And, let us never forget, that those who promoted various divisive heresies, and those who failed to handle them well in good time, between about the fourth and the early seventh centuries created the deep alienation and disaffection of Egypt and Syria, that opened the way for external invasion by the armies of the Islamic Caliphate. A house divided will not in the end be able to stand . . . . 

And, what is at stake today is the destruction or survival of marriage, the foundational institution of stable families and communities alike. {U/D, May 12:} As Girgit, George and Anderson observe in the just linked Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy paper:

 [T]he current debate is precisely over whether it is possible for the kind of union that has marriage’s essential fea‐tures to exist between two people of the same sex. Revisionists do not propose leaving intact the historic definition of marriage and simply expanding the pool of people eligible to marry. Their goal is to abolish the conjugal conception of marriage in our law 10 and replace it with the revisionist [--> i.e. homosexualised] conception . . .

F/N 10: Throughout history, no society’s laws have explicitly forbidden gay mar‐riage. They have not explicitly forbidden it because, until recently, it has not been thought possible . . . [T]raditional marriage laws  were not devised to oppress those with same‐sex attractions. The comparison [to racist anti-miscegenation laws that forbade inter-racial marriages]  is offensive, and puzzling to many—not least to the nearly two‐thirds of black vot‐ers who voted to uphold conjugal marriage under California Proposition Eight. See Cara Mia DiMassa & Jessica Garrison, Why Gays, Blacks are Divided on Prop. 8, L.A. TIMES, Nov. 8, 2008, at A1.
 [Sherif Girgis, Robert P. George, & Ryan T. Anderson, "What is Marriage?" Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, Vol 34, No. 1, p. 250 of 245 - 287.]
Already, the force of the homosexualist civilisational divide is at work, driving people on opposite sides of the issue farther and farther apart, and creating the perception that those who stand up in defence of marriage as it has historically been established are little better than hateful, racist bigots.

Which, is obscenely slanderous, but is increasingly routine.

Indeed, this smear- and- demonise strategy is not calculated to foster dialogue and build a new consensus, but to shut it down, and to intimidate objectors to the homosexualisation of marriage -- thus the destruction of its essential character. Then, eventually it is intended to crack down on those who insist on objecting, under the colours -- but not the true substance -- of law.  Which, in some jurisdictions, has already begun.

The polarising divide has begun.

So, I am of the view that time is short, and we need to step back from the brink of a division being injected into our civilisation on the core nature of family that once it goes far enough cannot be healed and will do great harm.  Harm, that zealous advocates of "fairness" and "rights" and even "progress" as they imagine them may not even fully understand.

For instance, a claim to a right is in the end a moral claim that calls for respecting something inherent to our being made in God's image.

So, rights are not to be equated with political entitlements, and one cannot properly demand a "right" in defiance of the creation order established by God; here, that we are made in two complementary sexes, so that committed marriage is the foundation of family, stable child rearing and a stable community. There is and can be no right to destroy the foundation of a viable society by arbitrarily abusing political power or media and/or academic influence to mislead the public, and backing it up with the organs of state power. That is, there is no such thing as a right to do evil based on falsehoods and then demand approval of evil by force of law.

That, is injustice -- just as was the notion that one man could steal and trade another, selling him or her to a "master" who then had the power backed up by state power to do anything he pleased with his slave.

But, once slavery and the evil trade that fed it were deeply entrenched in the halls of power, it cost our civilisation a terrible fight, with much bloodshed involved, to root it out.

And yes, the evil that is now upon us, homosexualisation of marriage and family -- thus, of community, education and law -- in defiance of the patent creation order, is the full moral equivalent of slavery. For, if successful, it will impose an iron tyranny on the conscience; never mind cheap promises to protect sensibilities for the moment. After all, we are already seeing just how clearly ruthless radical factions will forever be demanding more, more and more until they get their way regardless of who else they must trample upon to get what they want.

Rights, to such, are simply the rewards of power.

In short, we are back to the problem of nihilism: might (and manipulation) make "right" and "rights."
We have long since been warned, but have turned our backs, collectively, on the Word of our God.

Therefore, let me recall my specific remarks on President Obama's announcements, of the grim agenda and pivotal issues that now lie ahead; in a dark time for our civilisation:
According to an ABC News report:
[T]he president described his thought process as an "evolution" that led him to this decision, based on conversations with his staff members, openly gay and lesbian service members, and his wife and daughters."I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors, when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together; when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that 'don't ask, don't tell' is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married . . . " [ABC News Blogs, "President Obama Affirms His Support for Same Sex Marriage," acc. May 10, 2012.]
As is usual with politicians like this, we are hearing here half or less of the story and we have to parse rather carefully. For instance, notice, he does not speak about now concluding that marriage should be homosexualised, but affirming, i.e. saying publicly. 

Similarly -- contrary to the spin that US VP Biden got "a little bit over his skis" but "all's well that ends well . . . " -- it is probably no accident that Biden reportedly spoke along similar lines recently, and it is patently no accident that the announcement comes on the eve of a proposed fund raising trip to notoriously post-Christian and largely anti-Christian "liberal" Hollywood.

Likewise, we should note the implication of "members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together."  It should be quite clear from reading between the lines that Mr Obama has long immersed himself in the ideology of the homosexualist activist sub-culture.

(He of course does not mention the statistics that show that homosexual unions are notoriously unstable and -- even when presented as "monogamous" and "committed" -- are not generally "faithful," to the point that the phenomenon is clearly disparate from the sorts of commitments that Marriage has historically called for and relied on to provide stability to society. But then, marriage itself has long been under erosion, with easy and all too prevalent divorce, a flood tide of porn, a culture that denigrates or dismisses chastity, and so forth.)

When, therefore, we see Mr Obama wrapping a decision that implies the improper criminalisation of Biblical Christianity (if you doubt me, just keep reading . . . ) in the flag of patriotism and fairness to members of the US Military etc., this is obviously little more than polarising talking points meant to paint those who dare to differ in ugly, stereotypical colours, the better to scapegoat.

The polarising divide at work.

So, should the law now be perverted to pretend that marriage -- a key aspect of creation order for humanity (as the very complementarity of the sexes testifies) --  can be extended by human fiat to same sex unions, that will be what is taught in school, and what will be enforced by the police, by force of law. If you disagree, you will be deemed the moral equivalent of a racist bigot, and subjected to criminal prosecution. Indeed, eventually, you will be seen as a scapegoat for social ills.

The polarising divide at work, a little farther on.

For relevant instance, a news report on the US House of Representatives Armed Services Committee notes that it has just issued some votes on the subject of homosexuals in the military and comments on the US President's action:
Republicans still angry with the end to the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the military [which was itself opposed when it was first pushed through some 20 years ago, and now looks to have been the thin edge of a wedge] pressed two measures.

"The president has repealed 'don't ask, don't tell' and is using the military as props to promote his gay agenda," said Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., who is running for Senate.
The committee, on a vote of 37-24, backed an amendment that barred same-sex marriages or "marriage-like" ceremonies on military installations. The panel also endorsed an Akin amendment that said the services should accommodate the rights of conscience of members of the services and chaplains who are morally or religiously opposed to expressions of human sexuality.
But in retort, Rep. Adam Smith of Washington state, the top Democrat on the committee, said: 
"Members of this committee are looking to turn back the clock and find new ways to discriminate against gay and lesbian service members . . . These men and women serve with honor and distinction and this amendment sends a message that their service is not valued."
Now, in fact, to say that marriage, the foundational social institution should not be trifled with is not at all the same as to say that people who have served in the military are not valued.

But, the plain demand is that such behaviour be given the seal of approval, or else.

That is what is at stake.

And, yes, Bible-believing Christians are going to stand up on this one and say: "we must obey God rather than men" [Ac 5:29], regardless of consequences before whatever august Council that may decide to usurp the power to judge consciences. (And of course, that ugly issue will be twisted about to blame the victims of the persecution: fanatical bigots, wanting to turn the clock back, hating those who are different from themselves, etc etc. Sadly, we have been down this sad and dangerous road to persecution before, and Stephen has had many who have followed in his shoes.  Worse, even this will be twisted in hostile minds to say that there is a stubbornly hostile and probably insane persecution complex here; why can't you just go along with what some shiny new Antiochus Epiphanes wants . . . )

Yes, that is what is at stake.

That is why evangelist Franklyn Graham stated, in response to Mr Obama:
“President Obama has, in my view, shaken his fist at the same God who created and defined marriage. It grieves me that our president would now affirm same-sex marriage, though I believe it grieves God even more,” Graham said in a statement.

“This is a sad day for America. May God help us . . . ”  [NB: in related news, North Carolina became the 31st US State to pass a law, here, a state constitutional amendment, "that defines marriage between a man and woman as the only legal union," it seems by a 3:2 margin. Another report shows that blacks voted for the Amendment, 2:1; but a national poll shows a shift from 67% to 49% of American blacks opposed to homosexualisation of marriage in the four years since 2008.]
That is what is at stake, and now is a day where we must stand and be counted. Our failure to stand when it was easier, has now led to a time when we must stand when it will be hard, and when our civilisation all around us will progressively be going mad, descending into moral and social chaos, decay and decadence on the lines of Rom 1. And, a time when the vultures will be circling and striking, striking hard.

For one, I expect war in the Middle East, nuclear threshold war or outright nuclear war.

Let us not deceive ourselves as to what the Mullahs of Iran have in mind, not only for Israel but for our civilisation and the world.

Let us not fool ourselves as to what the so-called Arab Spring so celebrated by Mr Obama and co that has now by and large turned into a grimly Islamist winter already in Egypt, portends.

And, for our region, such war and/or instability portends a surge in the price of oil that would make the present crippling level look good by contrast.

And at home, increasingly Bible-believing Christians in our civilisation will be scape-goated, targetted, denigrated, belittled, cruelly caricatured and mocked, made into the demonic bogeymen to be blamed for the ills of our civilisation.

And, frankly, our want of taking a clear, well grounded and carefully, repeatedly argued and publicised stance when we could have done so relatively easily, will be partly to blame for what is so plainly coming.

 I can only close with the words of Amos as he speaks with the voice of the Great Jehovah in warning to an apostate nation in his own day:
Amos 5:12 ​​​​​​​​. . .  I know how many are your transgressions
        and how great are your sins-
        you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe,
        and turn aside the needy in the gate.
      13 ​​​​​​​​Therefore he who is prudent will keep silent in such a time,
        for it is an evil time. 
      14 ​​​​​​​​Seek good, and not evil,
        that you may live;
        and so the LORD, the God of hosts, will be with you,
        as you have said. 
      15 ​​​​​​​​Hate evil, and love good,
        and establish justice in the gate;
        it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts,
        will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph. 
 16 Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of hosts, the Lord:     
                    “In all the squares there shall be wailing,
        and in all the streets they shall say, ‘Alas! Alas!’
        They shall call the farmers to mourning
        and to wailing those who are skilled in lamentation,
      17 ​​​​​​​​and in all vineyards there shall be wailing,
        for I will pass through your midst,”
        says the LORD.
      18 ​​​​​​​​Woe to you who desire the day of the LORD!
        Why would you have the day of the LORD?
        It is darkness, and not light,
      19 ​​​​​​​​as if a man fled from a lion,
        and a bear met him,
        or went into the house and leaned his hand against the wall,
        and a serpent bit him . . . " [ESV]
And, again:
        Amos 3: 7 ​​​​​​​​“For the Lord GOD does nothing
        without revealing his secret
        to his servants the prophets.
       8 ​​​​​​​​The lion has roared;
        who will not fear?
        The Lord GOD has spoken;
        who can but prophesy?”  

We have been warned. 

Now, we must stand with grim resolve in an evil day. END