"A mood can be a dangerous state of mind, because it can crush reason under the weight of feeling. But that is precisely what I believe postmodernism best represents - a mood.”
- Ravi Zacharias (the emphasis are mine.)
We live in a very emotional culture. I once heard it pointed out - unfortunately I can't remember by whom - that when the people of my generation give our opinion, we no longer tell you what we think. We will instead tell you what we feel.
Most of us do this unconsciously, I believe - I know that I catch myself doing it at times - "I feel like that movie ended badly." Or, "I feel like this restaurant has gone downhill." Expressing our emotions is so much less threatening than sharing our thoughts on how we came to that judgment. After all, we can't help how something makes us feel, and if there's anything our postmodern culture has taught us it is that we mustn't judge.
This is why it sometimes seems that our arguments for marriage are the proverbial knife in a gunfight. We tend to fight an emotional battle with intellectual weaponry.
When the same-sex marriage proponent says "these two people love each other; why shouldn't they be allowed to stand in front of their friends and family and make it official?" our response is that marriage has always been defined as between as a man and a woman and the state's interest in marriage is to regulate the individual units of society in the way that's most productive to society.
When they say, "why can't this loving couple adopt a needy child who just wants a family?" we answer that, statistically speaking, the child will be better off waiting to be adopted by a heterosexual family which can give them the benefit of both a mother and father.
And these arguments are solid, but the problem is that if you tell two people who really do love each other, that making the state recognize their love will fray the fabric of society, you will always look like a spiteful villain.
That is not to say that we shouldn't make those arguments. If the only result was that we would be more resolute in our own support of God-defined marriage, that would be valuable enough to focus on those aspects - and that's beside the fact that some people's emotions may still be swayed by an intellectual argument.
The issue, in my opinion is that while we're wielding a knife in the gunfight, we're leaving our gun in the holster.
At the recent Ligonier National Conference, R.C. Sproul Jr. was speaking on the subject, "The War of the Worldviews," from Romans 2 and he made this point powerfully:
“The Bible says our problem is less with what we know and more with what we do with what we know. And the first thing we do with what we know is we tell ourselves we don't know. But God says we do...
“Why are we wrestling and spending all this time and energy trying to build a case to persuade people who already agree with us to get them to agree with us?
“ ...We suppress what we know, we deny what we know, we move through life with our fingers in our ears singing lalalala, I can't hear You."
What Sproul is saying is that, at some level these men and women who deny the authority of God realize that they are created in His image and essentially to dull the pain of the fall and to numb their dissatisfaction with the sin they (and we) can't help but commit, they deny what they know to be Truth.
We are all guilty and we all know it.
If we recognize this, Christ's church can meet their deepest need. We can point them to the Truth that sets us free from the judgment we're all trying to escape. The truth is that what God calls sin is just a poor replacement for what we really need - like drinking saltwater when we're thirsty.
This is the emotional argument we often leave unused - it's not that God doesn't want homosexuals to be happy or satisfied; it's that His way always brings the most joy and satisfaction.
John Piper has famously boiled his argument for joy down to this: "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him." That's the key to moving past any sin in our lives.
Christians should all believe in homosexual marriage - that is, we should all long for homosexuals to join us in repentance and be a part of the bride of Christ - the true Church.
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