This is a page that focuses on religious and theological issues, as well as providing comprehensive teaching from a classic Catholic perspective. As you read the articles, it is my hope they will educate and bless you.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Sanctity Of Marriage - An Informal Discourse

I was going to concentrate this week on doing the second part of my Ethiopia in Bible Prophecy series, but a couple of things have gotten my attention and need to be addressed.   This is a highly-loaded subject, and therefore it may stir some emotions if read, but what must be said, must be said, and therefore it is worth the risk.

At the large lawfirm I work at in Tampa, there are a number of paralegals and legal assistants who, during my lunch hour, often sit at an adjacent table and engage in a lot of meaningless conversation - one woman thinks Charlie Sheen is the most perfect man since sliced bread was invented, and the same woman and a couple of others obsess over the recent Casey Anthony trial so much that you can easily tire of hearing about it.   There are a lot of crazy things that get said in that meaningless banter, in other words, and for the most part it isn't worth the time to take seriously.   However, a couple of weeks back something really disturbed my spirit in regard to three of these people, and it regarded the recent hullabaloo over "gay" marriage.  It is that conversation that really inspired me to write this.

The people in question who were espousing some of the stuff I am about to share were two women, one a supposedly professing Catholic and the other a member of a Southern Baptist church of some nature, who more or less by their opinions defied the teachings of their own churches on traditional marriage, and it was distressing as it was yet another sign of what II Timothy talks about as a "great falling away."  Basically, they more or less unilaterally condemned conservative Christians as 'lunatics" while espousing the "do not judge" mentality, and both said that they think gays are "created by God as gay" and therefore they also supported openly the ideas of so-called "gay marriage" and other absurdities.  Now, both the Roman Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Convention have come out as officially condemning "gay marriage" as unbiblical and against human nature as God created it, and both denominations affirm the traditional Christian (and Biblical) view of marriage as a monogamous union between one man and one woman.  Yet, these supposedly active, professing church members defy the teachings of their own churches on this issue!!  The Catholic lady in particular was very offensive in her attitude, and ironically she makes a big deal over eating meat on Friday during Lent yet she defies every other teaching of the Church - my advice to this woman is to just go out and indulge in a T-bone steak during Lent, because church and fasting are vague exercises in futility for such people.  Unfortunately, this woman represents something I have talked about before and was foretold by many great visionaries, saints, and Fathers of the Church, both East and West, over many centuries - the apostasy of the Gentiles.  Many people, whom my spiritual mentor Fr. Eusebius Stephanou rightly calls "baptized pagans", are in this mentality these days, and it is scary to see the true Remnant of Christ dwindling in the Western world so fast, yet it should not be surprising.   However, despite these people attending church, going through the motions, etc., they are still tares in the wheatfield, and are not truly born again in Christ.   It takes a discerning eye these days to tell the difference, and even many good Christian folk are being deceived by this stuff, and many more are being seduced into accepting what the world and man's reasoning see as "good" over what God's Word says.   Tragic.  And, that leads to the "meat" of our discussion.

Marriage, as recognized by the Church and the Bible, is a sacrament.  and a Catholic priest by the name of Fr. John Hardon states there are four elements common to natural marriage:

1.  It is a union of opposite sexes.

2.  It is a lifelong union, ending only with the death of one spouse.

3.  It excludes a union with any other person so long as the marriage contract exists.

4.  Its lifelong nature and exclusiveness are guaranteed by contract (covenant is the more appropriate word here)

In other words, Biblical, traditional, natural marriage is a spiritual as well as a conjugal union, and is for the purpose of procreation and mutual love.   And, it is an icon of the divine union of Christ and His Church, and thus a picture of the Second Coming of Christ in a prophetic sense too.   That being said, any deviation from the above, including so-called "gay marriage," polygamy, adulterous relationships, whoredom, or so-called "group marriages," is a sin against God and defies His divine order of things.   That is why no Christian should be advocating for homosexual marriages, because a Christian who does is compromising with the world and its standards.  

Likewise, the state has no right to dictate or define marriage, being that marriage is a sacramental union and thus is under the jurisdiction of the Church, and not the state.   When homosexuals and others try to impose their flawed views of marriage and family on the society, they are acting in defiance of the Church and its teachings.   And, when the state tries to define what marriage is, it oversteps its bounds as well - I find it curious that atheists and others have such a big issue with crosses displayed in public, but they have no issue with asserting their agenda in the Church's realm of influence as many of these godless people advocate "gay marriage."   Marriage is not something an atheist needs to assert authority on, because it is a sacramental concept and beyond their worldview and beliefs and thus they need to stay out of it.  The same needs to be made clear to our government - the Church over the centuries has said that "gay marriage" is against God's laws, and God's laws are beyond the scope of man-made authority and they supersede it.  It is one thing, for instance, for the state to recognize marriage with a license, etc., but quite another when government thinks it can define what the institution of marriage is.   Our government today then, by advancing these agendas, is contrary to the Founding Fathers of this nation, God's natural order, the Bible, and the Holy Tradition of the Church on this issue.  Politicians are not paid to be priests, pastors, rabbis, or bishops - that being said, they need to butt out of the arena when it comes to the definition of marriage, because they have no authority to speak on the subject; only God, through His Church, does.   Enough said!

That being said, this does not give us license to persecute gays - gays are sinners in need of deliverance, just like the drunkards, drug addicts, and others bound by the nature of sin and death.  Jesus died for gays too, and He loves them and will always receive them with open arms if they choose to deny themselves and profess Jesus as their Lord and Savior.   However, compassion does not mean acceptance of their sin or what they do, and when their activists do something in defiance of the Church and God's laws, it is our duty as a Church to make a stand for the truth.   A lot of what gays are doing they do in a misguided attempt to reach out for acceptance and love, as their unnatural desires and lusts are not fulfilling them.  Only one thing can fulfill that need for them and anyone else, and that is the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross for our sins.   Only through the Cross can  we receive true love, acceptance, and fulfillment, and only in the sacramental union of Holy Matrimony - monogamous, enduring, and Christian marriage between one man and one woman - can true conjugal love be found.  All other attempts are foolish and lead to destruction, because they are not the will of the Lord.   That being said, our prayer for renewal and reform in this nation must be first started with prayer for the renewal and restoration of the traditional family unit, for its restoration will lead to the healing of our society.  Amen.