Jul 14, 2015

Obergefell: The Real Rainbow Sign

Marc Chagall
The Real Rainbow Sign: Grateful Awe Before the Deferred Judgment of Man
Ge 9:13 I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. 14 "And it shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud, 15 and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh.

Eze 1:28 Like the appearance of a bow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.
Promoters of sin, including those potentates who pervert marriage, have better cause than they realize to wave rainbows flags or paint public buildings in rainbow colors. Those destroyers who desire men in the name of dignity to degrade their own bodies do more than they know when they point to rainbows. It was God who designated the meaning of the rainbow after the Flood. God had destroyed by water all mankind except for the world's only righteous man (and, in a great figure of Christ and the Church, the family that followed Noah in faith, obeyed him and partook of the blessing of his righteousness). God had judged mankind then because: "God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways." Ge 6:12

After this judgment, God wanted to signify his merciful deferral of another such universal judgment of man until the end of history. As a sign of his covenant, God hung His bow in the sky (the word translated "rainbow" from the Hebrew is simply the word for a bow-and-arrow weapon). We might say that, in a rainbow amidst the clouds, we see a representation that God has hung up his implement of comprehensive punishment and pointed it away from man as a sign of mercy. It may be another part of the Christ typology that the bow aimed once at man is now directed to heaven. In any case, the rainbow is a sign of God's willingness to defer, not forego, comprehensive judgment until the final judgment. It is a sign of our chance to turn away from our corruption and toward God. For those who rebel against God, it also provides man with a chance to dance one more dance of sin before the end, to celebrate with impunity the immunity from immediate punishment that God's mercy gives.

The rainbow, therefore, is a complex sign related to our sin. First, it is a sign of God's mercy in His waiting to judge our sin. God symbolizes by it the undeserved time that we enjoy to repent and seek Him. But God's mercy and deferral is not a denial of our sin. To the contrary, we need a sign of mercy because we are aware to this day of what we deserve: judgment and judgment now. We all are aware that we deserve judgment and shelter today only under God's mercy.

For all mankind, the rainbow is, thus, a worthy sign of our shelter in God's mercy from the rightful consequences of our own sin. It is a sign that God's dignity is not diminished before the open rebellion of man because this rebellion is an abuse of God's mercy, not an encroachment on His power. Just as sinful Christians will stand forever under the blood of Christ, so sinful mankind shelters for a time under the covenant of mercy symbolized by the rainbow.

Those who wave the rainbow to celebrate their ability to sin under God's mercy do so consistently with their rights under God's covenant, but not with wisdom. Judgment is coming in God's time, and everyone, especially Christians who understand what that means, uses this time gratefully to turn to God and gratefully learn the real lessons of His mercy. This does not mean that God does not punish any longer in history:
In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. Jude 1:7  
But the punishments in history are aimed not at a full response to man's injustice (another flood), but to remind man of the coming judgment.

Accordingly, Christians should be encouraged that, by God's providence, those who organize their identity around sexual sin have chosen the rainbow as their sign. Seen in its revealed significance, their rainbows are confessions of our human sin and blessing at God's sufferance. We may be thankful and not surprised that in these times where immorality is celebrated by men and decreed as normal by oligarchic courts the ancient symbol of God's mercy and power is being elevated by God's providence. 

Jun 28, 2015

Obergefell: U.S. Commands Your Symbolic and Material Support for Homosexuality

You Must Provide "Symbolic Recognition" and "Material Benefits" to Homosexual Unions
Under Obergefell v. Hodges, you and every other member of American society must support homosexual unions. Justice Kennedy explains what the U.S. government now requires of its subjects, what no popular referendum or democratic legislation can now change:
For that reason [because of the importance of marriage], just as a couple vows to support each other, so does society pledge to support the couple, offering symbolic recognition and material benefits to protect and nourish the union. Id. at 16.
To be part of American society, you need not pledge allegiance to the flag. But you must now "pledge to support the [homosexual] couple." You can publicly blaspheme God and Christ. But you must give homosexual unions "symbolic recognition." Christian localities cannot teach about God or prayer in the public schools they pay for. But you shall provide homosexual union with "material benefits." Being American binds you to "protect and nourish" homosexual unions. To the extent you want to refuse, you must also withdraw from American society. 

This is why it is risible when Kennedy elsewhere claims:
it is appropriate to observe these cases involve only the rights of two consenting adults whose marriages would pose no risk of harm to themselves or third parties. Id. at 27.
By his own admission, this case also involves the rights and coercion of all Americans. For example, Christians once were free to choose whether to offer "symbolic recognition and material benefits" to what they regard as sin. Christians Americans are harmed by Obergefell because they are coerced to pledge symbolic and material support to homosexual unions. Homosexuals are harmed by this decision because they are encouraged to engage in behavior that destroys their dignity and bodies:
Romans 1:24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. ... 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. 
So, why has the Supreme Court compelled Americans are to support homosexual unions? Liberty, of course. Why are you Christians forced to be accessories to homosexual relationships?  Because of the right to define your personal identity, naturally. Justice Kennedy only binds in order to make you free. He will shape you to become what you are.
"[t]he Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity." Id. at 1. 
Now, under Obergefell, the Kennedy Constitution protects homosexuals who want to express their identity by availing themselves of the benefits that a once free people ordained for conjugal, male/female marriage alone. But if you want to express your identity as a Christian by socially withholding symbolic and material support for homosexuality, the U.S. Constitution does not protect your right. You are compelled by American liberty. You must relinquish your false Christian identity to fit into your true public identity as a self-defining American individual.

American liberty -- a term now resembling Dutch treat, Greek gift, and French leave -- does not mean that society leaves American individuals free. "American liberty" means symbolically endorsing and materially supporting the moral and spiritual vision of the Justices of the Supreme Court. There are no democratic checks on this liberty; you are perfectly free only to obey.

So hear the Vox Kenne-Dei, you peon. As an American, you are commanded to recognize that "homosexuals have dignity in their own distinct identity." Id. at 7. You will be forced to join the "greater awareness of the humanity and integrity of homosexual persons." Id.  You must agree that homosexuality is "a normal expression of human sexuality." Id. at 8. And, just so you Christians understand, this is not just a decision about man-made law; it is intended to be a fundamental proclamation about human nature in both its ordinary psychological and transcendent spiritual dimensions. Listen to these oracles of the inner nature of marriage and man:
... immutable nature dictates that same-sex marriage is [homosexuals'] only real path to this profound commitment. Id. at 4.
The nature of marriage is that, through its enduring bond, two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality. This is true for all persons, whatever their sexual orientation.  Id. at 13. 
You didn't think that human "spirituality" was within the jurisdiction of the U.S. Supreme Court? You underestimate the power and insight of our spiritual lords and mistresses! Obergefell is not a mere interpretation of a human document. It reflects the Justices' insight even into the transcendent:
Same-sex couples, too, may aspire to the transcendent purposes of marriage and seek fulfillment in its highest meaning. Id. at 17. 
Peon, listen and learn the true path to transcendent higher meaning.

Jun 27, 2015

Obergefell v. Hodges: To the Tune "Death of a Son"

Psalms 9:15-20
The nations are sunk in the pit they prepared; Their foot in the net which they hid is ensnared.
The Lord by His judgment has made Himself known, He by their own works has the wicked o’er-thrown.
The wicked to death’s dark abode shall be brought, And all of the nations who God have forgot.
Forgotten no longer the cause of the weak, Nor perished forever the hope of the meek.
Rise, Lord, that mere man may not make himself strong; Let nations be judged in Your presence for wrong.
Strike terror within them, O Lord; always then; Let nations know truly that they are mere men.

Jun 24, 2015

Kim Colby Discusses RFRA on Cross & Gavel Podcast

On the latest episode of Cross & Gavel Audio, I asked Kim Colby to talk about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, its history, and the basis for all the recent hubbub.