Wednesday, October 26, 2005

A Rose By Any Other Name?

You've heard the old adage, "A rose by any other name is still a rose." I think that same principle works in reverse, too. Calling a weed a rose doesn't make the weed a rose.

On November 8th, there are a number of propositions coming up for vote in Texas. One of them, Proposition 2, defines marriage as a union only between one man and one woman. I find it incredible that this is even coming up for a vote. But the moral and political landscape of America has changed so quickly it leaves my head spinning.

Homosexuals (hardly "gay" -- which means happy) have made tremendous strides in being accepted into our culture. What God calls an abomination is now touted as no different than that which God honors (marriage). They can already live together and enjoy employee benefits that were once reserved for married couples. But this does not satisfy their agenda. They will not be content until they have totally redefined society as it has existed since creation. They are not satisfied with compromise. Those who have any sensitivities which run counter to theirs must be vanquished. I would encourage anyone who thinks their behavior is normal to read Steve Farrar's book, Standing Tall -- particularly chapters 6 and 7.

Well, if America decides to change the meaning of marriage, I wonder what God will do. Will He give in to our majority vote? Will He send down an amendment -- changing Genesis 2: 24, Matthew 19: 4-6, and Ephesians 5: 31?

In our PC culture, I realize this might qualify as hate-speech. I really don't hate homosexuals. I do hate their sinful, abominable activity. My love for God and His Word will not allow me to call what is wrong right and what is right wrong. I don't think we are being Christlike if we allow people to live in rebellion to God and we say nothing.

So, on November 8th -- I will vote "YES" on amendment 2.


John Ross said...

The political agenda of the far left is clear. Even if proposition 2 passes, you will see it again next election. Somehow it will be declared unconstitutional and go before the voters again (see California).

There are numerous head scratching subjects in scripture, but God's attitude toward the sin of homosexuality is clear (Rom. 1:24ff).

Fortunately in Florida we don't face these problems. Key West is a wonderful family vacation spot. (Did you see that lightening bolt?)

Jeff said...

It's a sad state of affairs. A business publication I read had a piece yesterday on how passage of Prop 2 would hurt Texas' economy because companies wouldn't move here. Hooray! If those companies are moving here based on "sexual orientation", they don't want my money and I don't need them. Of course, that's a more political view than scriptural one but it's obvious many vocal people don't care much for scriptural views.

Josh Ross said...

Dad, you should know that I would respond to this blog.
I understand the fear in many Christians and conservatives in this country, and I myself DO NOT want to see marriage redefined in this nation. It is truly a scary thought.
It is an issue that is hardly addressed throughout Scripture, I believe half a dozen times. Romans 1 doesn't seem to be a passage where Paul is singling out homosexuals, but rather to keep it in context, Romans 1-3 is saying that all of us are sinners. We are all on the same playing field. Jesus never mentions it, even though same-sex relationships were everywhere then. (Just read Suetonius' "The Twelve Ceasars")
In my opinion. The issue of same-sex relationships in this nation forces the church to ask different questions. The James Dobson approach seems to be to isolate ourselves from "them" and to attack their communities through laws and restrictions. This avenue calms our fears, but it also sets up serious roadblocks for the message of Jesus. What are we doing as churches to minister to these communities? What ministries are being formed in our churches to provide healthy atmospheres for those that struggle with these attractions in order to form places of accountability? (Because these people are in all of our churches!) Are we ready and willing to put on a towel and to pick up a water basin in order to wash their feet?

Rick Ross said...


I agree with your assessment of Dobson-like tactics only building walls. And I also agree that we need to be serving and providing opportunities for healing. But I don't think that in order to do so, we have to ignore God's message or be silent about it. Yes, we are all sinners. But some sins (ie, lifestyles) seem to be more grevious to God than others. The sin of homosexuality may only be mentioned a half dozen times, but how many mentions is enough? Paul seems to be demonstrating in Romans 1 how degraded a society can become when sins such as homosexuality are not only practiced -- but condoned by those who ought to know better (Romans 1: 32). Further, Jesus never mentioned beastiality or incest either. I don't think His silence can be taken as condoning.

I love your missional heart. Keep reminding us! Someday we will get it.

John Whiteside said...

You should really go read Prop 2 closely. It's actually not about gay marriage, which is already illegal in Texas, and will be no matter what happens on election day.

What it does do, according to many of the lawyers who have studied it, is prevent people who are not married (same sex or different sex) from doing things like setting up powers of attorney, wills, and so on without threat of all of it being challenged in court.

This will affect not just gay couples in Texas, but also lots of "common law marriages."

It's really much more far reaching that just defining marriage.k

Josh Ross said...

Good thoughts, dad. And please understand that we all look to you to learn from your missional/mission-minded heart and vision as well. We are all closer to Jesus because of you.

Continuing the conversation. My purpose wasn't to suggest that because it was only mentioned a half dozen times that it isn't valid. Rather, my purpose is to say that it isn't at the heart of the gospel, and honestly, some people think it is. I have had conversations with those that think that if same-sex marriages are made legal and that if abortions continue to rise that the world is going to be over. My response is, "Welcome to the world of the first few centuries of Christianity, where Christianity thrived because of its counter-cultural nature." The gospel of Christ isn't going anywhere. Let's stay faithful to it.
As for Jesus, (lets not forget him), there are a lot of things He didn't mention. However, when it came to sinners, He "always" leaned towards the side of compassion and mercy.

A couple fears of mine:
1) That to be Christian is to be pro-Republican. I have been in dialogue with people that seem to be Republican first, and Christian second. This is scary.
2) That because of the decline of morality in this country, Christians are becoming selective moralits. By this I mean, that we focus so much attention on abortions and same-sex marriages, yet we never attempt to feed or take care of the poor; an issue that the Bible gives over 3,000 verses to. (The Gospel of Luke: 1 of every 6 verses)

Trust me, I am with you all that our fears are valid. I don't want my children being surrounded in their schools by friends with parents of the same sex. I, like many of you, are just trying to think through these issues.

Beverly Ross said...

Josh, amen and amen!

Rick Ross said...


You are so right! We can get sidetracked from the gospel so easily. And our world does resemble the 1st century in many ways. I just pray that the church might impact our world the way our ancestors of the 1st-century did theirs.