In Other Words: We must come to senses on important moral issuesI believe that the two great social issues facing our American culture in our day is the sanctity of marriage and the sanctity of life. Using the term “sanctity” suggests a religious connotation. That’s because these two issues always trace back to one’s religious convictions. The single greatest challenge today to the sacredness of marriage is whether we should redefine marriage to include homosexual relationships.
By: The Rev. Keith Nash, Mitchell Wesleyan Church
I believe that the two great social issues facing our American culture in our day is the sanctity of marriage and the sanctity of life. Using the term “sanctity” suggests a religious connotation. That’s because these two issues always trace back to one’s religious convictions. The single greatest challenge today to the sacredness of marriage is whether we should redefine marriage to include homosexual relationships. It is my view that any straight-forward reading of the Bible will result in understanding that the Bible clearly declares homosexual relations to be sin. (See Leviticus 18:22-23; 20-13; Romans 1:24-28; I Corinthians 6:9; I Timothy 1:9-10). If the Bible is taken as God’s authoritative revelation of truth (the historically standard, Christian position), then God has clearly spoken against the practice of homosexuality. It seems the Bible is suggesting that legitimizing same-sex relationships is a threat to God’s sacred purpose for marriage and family.
However, the purpose for marriage and family (see Ephesians 5:22-6:4) does not derive from the Bible only; it is also self-evident when you look around at nature. Nature itself tells us man was designed for woman and vice versa, and a stable enduring relationship of one man to one woman forms the most fundamental social structure (the family) for societal stability and child-rearing. Marriage is not simply for the purpose of fulfilling one’s personal pleasure or needs — marriage-family is ultimately the God-ordained vehicle for procreation and the nurturing of children. So there is a purpose for marriage far greater than merely my personal gratification.
On the other great moral issue of our day — the sanctity of life —the Bible once again clearly teaches God created life and breathes the very breath of life into every human being. Also, the Bible tells us human beings are made uniquely special since we are made in the image of God (see Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 5:1; James 3:9). This informs us that human life is sacred. But again, the supreme value of human life in this world is also self-evident. Generally speaking, the taking of human life is seen by virtually every culture as the ultimate crime, and the enhancement of the quality of human life has been viewed throughout history as engaging the highest aspirations of humanity.
The question of whether human life begins at conception really no longer is in doubt for three reasons:
1. Historically, human life has been protected by medical science from conception (ex. the Hippocratic Oath).
2. Medically, human life is evident in the womb at ever earlier stages in pregnancy through the miracle of ultra-sound, etc. Just today I had a conversation with a man whose twin grandchildren were born prematurely by a full three months. They each weighed less than 2 pounds at birth but are now healthy, growing children.
3. Biblically, (Psalms 139; 13-16) “For you (God) formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 15. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16. Your eyes say my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them.” ESV.
I pray that we in America come to our senses on both of these very important social/moral issues. May God and His Word be our guide to reorient our collective moral compass once again.
Keith Nash is minister at Mitchell Wesleyan Church.
In Other Words features opinions from local and other contributors who have areas of special interest or expertise. Material shouldn’t exceed 600 words and can be sent to: The Daily Republic, 120 S. Lawler, Mitchell, S.D., 57301. Not all submitted material will be used.