Neighbor-Love in the Handbasket

Here are a few quick comments about how R2K theology is rapidly running out of options. A few months ago, Michael Horton explained how concervative Christians could (tentatively) support domestic partnerships for homosexual couples. If the culture wars were something that involved four walls and a paint can, this is what painting yourself into a corner looks like.

This goes back to May, but it was only yesterday that I found out about it. In discussing domestic partnerships, Michael Horton allowed the following:

“The challenge there is that two Christians who hold the same beliefs about marriage as Christians may appeal to neighbor-love to support or to oppose legalization of same-sex marriage.”

Christians should be really concerned about this, but they should not get whizzed up because Horton is going soft on the sinfulness of homosexuality itself. In the course of the article he says, pretty plainly, that “God’s statement on the matter is pretty clear: he hates homosexuality.”

The problem lies elsewhere, but first we must face the problem squarely. God hates divorce too (Mal. 2:16), but the laws (even biblical laws) should allow for it because of “hardness of heart” (Matt. 19:8). Why can we not say something similar for domestic partnerships of homosexuals? Why should we not follow Horton’s lead here?

“Although a contractual relationship denies God’s will for human dignity, I could affirm domestic partnerships as a way of protecting people’s legal and economic security.”

All of this goes back to my previous post, just prior to this one, which I commend to you now, about the importance of reading the story you are in. It is never enough to read the argument; you must also read the story. This problem we are facing is a failure of the imagination, and anybody who believes that this story is going to end anywhere except the front porch of Lot’s house is simply not paying attention.

Take that phrase “as a way of protecting.” How is offending and insulting Heaven a protection of anyone or anything? How is a standardization of hommosexual relationships going to help anyone’s “security”?

We are not given any examples in Scripture of a city that had burgeoning divorce rates, and which was then destroyed by fire from heaven as a result. That doesn’t make divorce okay, or a good thing, of course. But not only does Scripture define sin, Scripture also defines the relative magnitude of various sins. We are given the story of the cities of the plain. We have more than God’s commands on what to do — we also have a record of God’s responses to what we do. We have the narrative.

“Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven” (Gen. 19:24).

Moreover, we told in the New Testament to pay closer attention to that particular story than we are currently doing.

“Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them, in like manner giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 7).

Try reading into that story a Californian Christian “affirming” domestic partnerships in the name of “neighbor-love,” in an attempt to enhance a homosexual neighbor’s “security.” Does anything not fit?

Churchill once defined an appeaser as “one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.” This is why is never enough to look at where we are. We must also (always) look at where we are going. The two questions of the hour are “where are we going? and “why are we in this handbasket?”

 

 

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