Romans 11:33-36

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Who Gets to Decide?

Who gets to decide the definition of marriage? This is an especially pertinent question these days—especially in West Virginia. Thirty-one states have amended their constitutions to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. West Virginia isn’t one of them. West Virginia is one of the states who is relying on legislative Defense of Marriage Acts. That is a problem because the eight states that now legally recognize homosexual marriage, used to have Defense of Marriage Acts. In each of their cases, DOMA was overturned by their state courts. Despite that fact, the West Virginia legislature has consistently affirmed the sufficiency of state law as it stands. Recent opinion polls have revealed that 94% of West Virginians think that voters, not judges or politicians, should settle our definition of marriage. The only means that West Virginia has to bring forth ballot initiatives is through the state legislature. As long as they continue to stonewall the issue, our state is in danger of being the next domino to fall.

The political aspect of this debate is certainly frustrating. But more than that, the fact that this is even an issue is most disturbing. In each of those cases, the question has been, who gets to define what marriage is? Is it the government that gets to define or redefine marriage? The answer to that question is an unqualified, no. Government does not get to define marriage. Society does not get to define marriage. Petitions and polls and public opinion do not get to define marriage. Why? Because marriage has already been defined. It was defined by the One who designed and created it in the first place.

As our state and nation continue to speed down the spiral of sin, homosexuality is simply one of the inevitable road signs along the way. I hope that our state legislators will allow the citizens of West Virginia to vote on the issue. And if they do, I trust that our voters will amend our constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman. But even if that happens, I am under no illusion that things will be markedly better. We will still have a 50+% divorce rate. 60% of our citizens will cohabitate before marriage. Illicit heterosexual relations will still be rampant.

Legislation can produce a legally binding definition of marriage. But a legally binding definition of marriage will do little to fix the wretched condition of marriage in our state. Only a change of heart, brought on by a reviving movement of God, will truly restore our marriages to the point where they fit the definition of the One whose definition really counts.

Genesis 2:18-24


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