Friday, May 4, 2018

Acceptance of Gay Marriage Increases in the United States

         The Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) has released the results of a 2017 poll showing increased acceptance of same-sex marriage (SSM) in the United States, including those that identified themselves as religious or members of a religion. The poll shows that a majority of those who identified as a member of a religion now support SSM, including, surprisingly, 51% of American Muslims.

       There are a couple exceptions to this, and that is what caught my attention. From the report:
       Opposition to same-sex marriage is now confined to a few of the most conservative Christian religious traditions. Only about one-third (34%) of white evangelical Protestants support same-sex marriage today, while nearly six in ten (58%) are opposed, including 30% who are strongly opposed. And just 40% of Mormons support same-sex marriage, compared to 53% who are opposed. Jehovah’s Witnesses, a racially mixed religious group, are the exception. Just 13% support the policy, compared to 63% who oppose it. However, nearly one-quarter (24%) of Jehovah’s Witnesses express no opinion on this issue. 
        Nevertheless, even those religious groups most opposed to same-sex marriage have become more accepting of it over the last five years. Since 2013, opposition to same-sex marriage has dropped 13 percentage points among white evangelical Protestants (from 71% in 2013 to 58% today). Over a similar time period, opposition among Mormons has dropped 15 percentage points (from 68% in 2014 to 53% today).
(Footnotes omitted). Worryingly, the report indicates that "[a] majority (52%) of young Mormons also believe same-sex marriage should be legal...."

       Of course, enemies of the Church have latched onto this survey as proof they are winning the cultural war within the Church. (See, e.g., this article from The Salt Lake Tribune). I'm not sure whether all the SSM supporters in their youth will still support it years from now--the survey also looked at political differences, and political beliefs (e.g. Republican versus Independent or Democrat) play an even greater role than religion in predicting opposition to SSM. And it is a truism that people become more conservative as they age....

       Frankly, reading about the increasing support among younger members reminded me of this prophecy by Heber C. Kimball in 1886 wherein he stated that: "After a while the Gentiles will gather by the thousands to this place, and Salt Lake City will be classed among the wicked cities of the world." He also stated:
Persecution comes next and all true Latter-day Saints will be tested to the limit. Many will apostatize and others will be still not knowing what to do. Darkness will cover the earth and gross darkness the minds of the people. The judgments of God will be poured out on the wicked to the extent that our Elders from far and near will be called home, or in other words the gospel will be taken from the Gentiles and later on carried to the Jews.
The acceptance of SSM among the Church is unseemly and, to my mind, a fulfillment of the prophecy that Salt Lake City would become one of the most wicked cities on the face of the Earth. Those of you that have followed my blog for awhile also know that my belief is that the SSM issue will become even more divisive within the Church, and perhaps produce a schism.

       For those who don't read the Dalrock blog, the author is a Christian that takes a hard look at modern feminism and inter-sexual dynamics. One of the more profound points that he has made is that most Westerners hold to the belief that love sanctifies sex. That is, in the modern West, sex outside of marriage is generally held to not be a sin if the participants are in love. Coupled with this idea is also the supposition that marriage is a celebration of that love. Thus, it has come about that the purpose of marriage is to make a public display of the love that has sanctified the sex and force public acceptance of that union, whether holy or not. Anymore there isn't even an attempt in our culture to portray premarital sex as a sin, let alone that the purpose of marriage is for procreation. And this has led us to the present point where the "love" between homosexuals is deemed to deserve to be publicly acknowledged, condoned, and celebrated via marriage.

       Church leaders have tried to placate the "gay-rights" members and critics of the Church, but that has not played out very well. Like the proverbial camel sticking his nose into the tent, the "gay rights" bloc continues to demand more and more until there will not be room enough for those who oppose them--at least, that is the bloc's hope.

       It is particularly ironic that those in the bloc so often use the word "love" to defend their position. Again, in their minds, love sanctifies what would otherwise be a sin. There is no scriptural defense of their position, however. In John 14:15, Christ plainly stated: "If ye love me, keep my commandments." This is not saying that love is the equivalent of keeping the commandments, but, rather, that keeping the commandments is how we can express or show our love for Christ. That shows up even more clearly as your read the whole of John 14:15-31. For instance, in verse 21, He explains: "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." Also, in verse 24, "[h]e that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings."

        And it is clear that homosexual relationships are not condoned in the scriptures, but are condemned as wickedness. Not just the destruction of Sodom, but also many other scriptures prohibiting "lusting after strange flesh." (See Jude 1:7-8). I would note that there is a commonly expressed belief that the destruction of Sodom was solely because of the physical threat (rape) to the angels sent there to retrieve Lot and his family, or a general mistreatment of strangers, but there is no support for this. The sin of Sodom was clearly understood up until the last couple of decades to be the sin of homosexuality, including the verses from Jude that I just cited. That the inhabitants forced their perversions on strangers may have been the reason that the city and environs were blasted with fire (creating a tourist attraction that lasted into the Roman period), but that doesn't mean that the perversion, itself, was not a sin.

      Those that belong to the "gay rights" bloc also seem to believe that, even if they are wrong, they will somehow be spared punishment or consequences due to God's love. Again, there is no support for that in the scriptures. All of the books of the prophets in the Old Testament concern themselves with the destruction of the wicked. The Jews were warned of the physical destruction of Jerusalem and the enslavement of its people by the Babylonian Empire because of the people's wickedness at least as early as the time of Isaiah, and their wickedness was the reason for their destruction as explained by Jeremiah and his contemporaries. Similarly, Israel (speaking of the northern 10 tribes) were destroyed by the Assyrians because of their (Israel's) wickedness, which largely consisted of participating in pagan fertility worship and the sexual practices that that worship entailed. Revelation and other prophecy of the last days is all about the physical destruction of the wicked--i.e., lots of people dying in horrible ways--in the lead up to and concurrent with the Second Coming. And Revelation ends by relating that a bunch more people will be burned up with fire at the end of the Millennium. There is nothing in the scriptures to indicate that God will preserve the unrepentant from physical destruction.

      The broad acceptance of SSM is a tragedy. There is no kindness in not warning the SSM bloc of their wrongness. It merely acts to, in their minds, confirm their beliefs and further lull them into false security. And, to be honest, tolerating them as members of the congregation is increasingly like hugging an asp to your bosom.

2 comments:

  1. The a large portion of our local churches are accepting of same-sex relationships. A few seem to be visibly recruiting new members with that preference. I see it now as an unstoppable phenomenon and, as Christians, we all should be coming to grips with the fact that these are our last days and this is just one more sign of it. It's a conundrum from my point of view.. I've witnessed some incredibly Christian behavior from a few people involved in same-sex relationships and some horribly un-Christian behavior from church members in my past. I no longer support or attend any "organized" churches and this is just a small reason why... It's all becoming too confusing.

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    1. The un-Christian behavior of those that claim to be Christian has always been a problem. I have to remind myself that some are having a bad day, some are wolves in sheep's clothing, and none are perfect. But, in the end, I'm not going to let them dictate my beliefs, my faith, or where I worship.

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