No defense on DOMA an offense to God… and the Constitution

Today the Department of Justice announced that, per President Obama’s order, it would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act (hereafter DOMA), enacted by Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996. DOMA, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman, has been under attack from lawsuits and in liberal state legislatures for years. Today’s announcement is a major victory for proponents of same-sex marriage.

We have seen this kind of thing coming for quite some time, and others will rightly opine on how this is an offense before God. I will briefly state what is beyond dispute when one reads the Bible for what it says and holds that it is authoritative over all faith and practice. Homosexuality is a sin. Marriage is created by God for one man and one woman until one of them dies. God has ordained the governments of this world, and governments are supposed to be agents for good.

Isaiah 5:20 says,

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

What President Obama has done, essentially, is give a big “amen” to all of those who oppose the revealed will of God. It is an arrogant and egregious affront to God, who is good and defines good, to substitute darkness for light and light for darkness. God is not to be mocked, but that is what this pronouncement of inaction is, a mocking of the one true God. This is the most serious ramification of today’s announcement. Continue reading “No defense on DOMA an offense to God… and the Constitution”

Four years ago today I walked out on an Albert Mohler sermon

Dr. Albert Mohler is President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and four years ago I was a student at Boyce College, the undergraduate arm of that institution. In chapel on that chilly, drizzly Thursday morning Mohler was continuing his series on the Ten Commandments. This sermon was titled “The Seventh Commandment,” on “You shall not commit adultery.”

I’d just recently been introduced to the new hymnody of Keith and Kristyn Getty, whose wrote the wonderful hymn “The Power of the Cross.” They were in chapel that morning singing that very song.

Yet, as Mohler preached his sermon, four years ago at about this same time of day, my cell phone kept vibrating. And vibrating. And vibrating. I saw that it was my wife calling and at first, since she knew I was in chapel, I figured she was calling to leave me a voicemail. But as the calls kept coming my heart began to sink because I knew that something must be wrong. And what was worse is that I knew where she was supposed to be at that time? For a routine visit to her OB-GYN. We were very excited about our second child in her womb.

Very abruptly I got up from my seat about the fifth row on the right side of the chapel. I’m pretty sure Dr. Mohler and I locked eyes for a nanosecond. Nevertheless, there were more important things on my mind. The second I got out of the chapel I called my wife and by the time she answered I was always jogging/sprinting to my car, parked on the side of Godfrey Avenue by the Legacy Center. Her words on the phone, “We might’ve lost the baby,” were confirmed when I pulled up to the office and was escorted to the doctor’s office where my wife sat crying. It was official. She had miscarried.

The doctor would later call it a chromosomal abnormality, just one of those things that happens fairly commonly. She had no answers for us. The baby had not grown enough even for us to know if it was a boy or a girl.

If you are a regular reader of my blog or know me at all you have probably heard most of that story before. I’ve written about it before. By God’s grace and mercy I can honestly say that I never consciously blamed Him or, dare I say, even asked the question “Why?” The fact of the matter is that I know I have a better explanation for why 2 (which is what we call the child) died in the womb than any doctor could.

My second child died in the womb because death has entered the world through sin, and all men die, because all sinned (Rom 5:12-19). 2 didn’t ever disobey God, but the child who never made it past twelve weeks gestation was a sinner from conception (Ps 51:5). 2 didn’t die because of sins committed, but because there is sin.

I believe that God gave me a strength and peace when this happened that is otherworldly. Did I mourn? Yes. Did I cry? Absolutely. Did I ever doubt God’s goodness? Thankfully, no. In those days and weeks following the miscarriage I believe that God made me strong for my wife, who understandably took it pretty hard. Together, by the grace of God, we were able to persevere and see God’s goodness through the whole thing.

This is the first anniversary of the miscarriage in which my wife has not been pregnant, so there is a little different feeling this year than others. Until this year, ever since it happened, there has always been a baby on the way. Nevertheless, it’s not difficult to look around my house at my seven-year-old son, and the three girls who have been born to us in the last three years and not know for certain that the fruit of the womb is a reward, that children are a gift of the LORD (Ps 127).

Still, even 2 was a gift from God. While I never got to hold my child in my arms or change the diapers or feed it a bottle or even spank it, God blessed me because never before had I needed to practically rely on God as much as I did then. And God was (and is) faithful and true.

Today, as I look back on that day four years ago, I look out the window and am struck by the similar weather. I’m struck by the irony that David lost his child as punishment for adultery with Bathsheba, and I found out about losing my child while listening to a sermon about not committing adultery. But I look to the word of God and am reminded of what I believe to be true; namely, that 2 has it better than I do right now. 2 is without sin, apart from even the presence of sin, and thus is more alive than I can imagine. 2 is with Jesus, as I will be in due time. I can’t bring 2 back again, and ultimately I wouldn’t want to. I will go to 2, but 2 will not return to me. One day we will be together, though, but we won’t talk about the miscarriage. We’ll praise the name of Jesus, the One who, by God’s grace and for His glory, has saved us both.

Thank You, Father, for 2.

RELATED LINK: What happens to babies that die?

The Canon of Glory: Leviticus

In Mark Dever’s sermon on Leviticus from the book The Message of the Old Testament: Promises Made, he draws an illustration from Romeo & Juliet. There might not be a more famous play written in all of history than William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. It’s a story that captures so many real human feelings, emotions. There is love. There is hate. There is tragedy.

In the last act of the play Romeo is going to buy poison so he can reunite with Juliet, who he thinks is dead. It’s illegal for the man to sell Romeo the poison, but the man is pretty downtrodden. Romeo offers forty gold coins and says, “The world is not thy friend or the world’s law, The world afford no law to make thee rich; Then be not poor, but break it, and take this.”

The world is not thy friend nor the world’s law. It strikes me as we come to the book of Leviticus that, as Dever writes, “this world and its laws will give you no answer to life’s great questions.” So to find the answers to those questions we have to turn somewhere, or rather, to Someone otherworldly… Someone not subject to the world’s laws, but has His own.

Enter YHWH and enter Leviticus. Continue reading “The Canon of Glory: Leviticus”

Why Wisconsin matters (a lot)

I am of the opinion that what is happening now in Wisconsin, and whatever resolution comes about, is the most important political event of my lifetime, and the most important political event since January 22, 1973, when the Supreme Court decriminalized abortion. I do not make this statement lightly.

In case you have been asleep at the wheel, for the last few days thousands of protesters, many of them teachers in Wisconsin public schools, have practically taken over the state capitol. This as the state senate was prepared to vote (and presumably pass) a bill that would not crush unions or collective bargaining, but rein in their power and their ability to continually overburden the taxpayer. This is seriously needed in a state with a massive budget crisis.

In November Wisconsinites elected Scott Walker, a Republican, as Governor, and elected a Republican legislature. Perhaps more than in any other state, this was a sign of the level of voter outrage at President Obama and the Democratic Party’s policies, because for Wisconsin to go so Republican is a very big deal. After all, as Alice Cooper so eloquently informed us in the movie “Wayne’s World,” Milwaukee is the only major U.S. city to elect three socialist mayors. Continue reading “Why Wisconsin matters (a lot)”

The Canon of Glory: Exodus – Part 2

Our first time looking in Exodus we saw that it shares what we saw in Genesis, in that God is all about manifesting and showing off His own glory, and the very best way that is shown is in how He saves and He judges. He displays His grace and mercy on the one hand and His holiness and justice and wrath on the other, and this is seen in different ways again and again and again.

As we begin to look at the second half of the book, God is going to be merciful to the sons of Israel. He’s going to give them the Law, to both reflect His holy character and show them who they should be, and to reveal to them their need for a Savior when they realize they cannot perfectly meet the holy standard.

In Exodus 19 YHWH reveals Himself to Israel. He has freed them from bondage but it is time to set the terms of their relationship. Israel is to obey Him and they will be His own possession among all the peoples. They will be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. The people say they will do all that YHWH commands them to do, so He tells them to wash and consecrate themselves and He’s going to appear to them on the third day, and so He does. God puts His glory on display. Continue reading “The Canon of Glory: Exodus – Part 2”

The Canon of Glory: Exodus – Part 1

When we think about the book of Exodus we have to keep in mind the book of Genesis. God’s glory was revealed in salvation through judgment in the first book of the Bible, and as we will see, it is the same way in the second book, too.

There is a four century break between the end of Genesis 50 and the beginning of Exodus 1, so there’s a distinction and good reason to separate the books, but still, the first six verses of the book tell us that it’s really the same story.

They are a recollection of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob, which were the focal point of the end of Genesis. But it’s clear that era is over, because in verse six Joseph has died, and all his brothers and all that generation had died. Continue reading “The Canon of Glory: Exodus – Part 1”