Well, it's happened: state-sanctioned Christian ministers/pastors in Idaho are being forced to marry homosexual couples, or face jail-time & a hefty fine! Of late, big news in the Christian Right ( it's been all over FB ), is that 'Christian bakeries ( what IS a 'Christian bakery', anyway? ) are facing persecution for refusing their services to homosexual couples, in essence, refusing to bake wedding cakes for same-sex nuptials.No matter what one believes concerning the Sanctity of Marriage or homosexual love/union in particular, one can't help wondering; 'what the hell is the world coming to?'! When the government, whether state or Federal, can force 'we the people' ( their boss ) to do things against their will, much less decide that 'they' can change the definition of marriage, then we have a problem; we are no longer free, we are living under tyranny!
Although, as Christians, we may not support every plank of the Libertarian Party platform ( it IS, after all, just another 'party' ); it is difficult, as a Christian, not to acknowledge the glaring similarities between many libertarian ideals & Scriptural principles! The problem most Christians have is that without the influence of Scriptural morals, libertarianism looks libertine! Although it is true, as the apostle Paul saw in his day & is manifest in our day as well, freedom can be abused ( usually is without being held in check ), the ideals of what is called libertarianism must be upheld, for without them, we naturally devolve into tyranny!
Not to sound hard-hearted, but any pastor/minister who entreats the permission of the government to perform marriages, even to minister, should expect opposition! He, or she, should expect to be required to follow the laws of that government, right or wrong, or face the consequences. Along the same lines, any business, Christian or not, who seeks license from the government to operate, should expect persecution when they refuse to obey certain rules set down by said government. Is it right for the government, whether it be State or Federal, to force obedience to their rules, or persecute those who don't follow them? It depends on the circumstance, of course, but it certainly is NOT right for any government to persecute a Christian, or anyone for that matter, for not wishing to violate their conscience!
Marriage, especially for the Christian, is defined by our Creator as the union of a man & a woman wherein they become one in order to propagate the race & fill the earth with the fruit of their union! Not all people believe this way, so naturally, we are faced with the question, 'is it right to force someone to honor these guidelines?' Should we force that Scriptural definition upon everyone, whether they like it or not, just because we know what's best for them ( what's best for them being revealed in Scripture )? Wouldn't that be kind of like what Constantine did, in forcing all his subjects ( depending on which story you believe ) to accept Christ or die! It even sounds a bit too much like what radical Islam ( ISIS? ) has been doing!
Marriage is defined by the Creator as the union of one man & one woman, period; it is what it is! Just because some unbelievers who believe they have the authority to change that definition doesn't mean they do! A man cannot marry another man, nor a woman a woman; physically speaking, it just doesn't work & as many homosexuals, if they're honest, will tell you, there are many other ways that it just doesn't work. Though there are doubtless countless homosexual couples out there who have co-habituated & otherwise remained in a relationship for a time, the divorce rate, if you want to call it that, is probably even higher than among heterosexual couples, most likely due to inherent problems in that sort of perverted relationship!
In the day & age in which we live, unfortunately, most people, including many Christians, are 'sheeple'! Thankfully, mostly because of governmental abuse of power, we are seeing a reversal in this trend, but for far too long, 'we the people' in general & Christians in particular, have bowed before the idol that is the Federal or State Government, taking every bitter pill that has been thrust at it, drinking every sour cup of wine handed to them, for whatever reason, just so they can enjoy the limited freedoms that prison allows! If the Federal or State Government will allow us a little leash in one area, even though it may mean tightening the noose in another ( or on another-hey, it's all politics, right? ), then by all means, take it! Wait, who's the boss?!
Though by no means perfect, libertarian ideals, if not libertarianism itself may be the closest thing to it in this imperfect world! Because America has pursued this downward spiral of democracy & republicanism ( nationalism ) for so long, it may be some time before we notice much of a change for the better, but as any Christian that honest with himself or herself & with Scripture must admit, it's hard to tell a huge difference between how Jesus said we are to treat each other & the supporting planks of the libertarian platform! Again, is this to say that if we all became libertarians, that all of a sudden, overnight, the world would become a better place?! By no means; the world has been in this state of disrepair for so long, that just like America, it'll take some time to put it to rights again! However, we could argue, it's never to late to do right!
Marriage, as it was instituted by our Creator, will survive! Good Christian men & women, not to mention countless others, will continue to 'tie the knot', so to speak! Homosexuals will continue to pursue their perverted life-styles & some may even, especially when ired, continue to persecute Christians & those who choose to live rightly! The best Christians can do is not to carelessly cause persecution by disobeying the government to whom they have pledged their allegiance or to raise the hackles of every homosexual who just wants to be loved, by their hateful attitude! The best Christians can do is to present, before a watching world, the best that marriage has to offer, one that glorifies their Creator & fulfills His Divine Purpose for Marriage! If more Christians would do this rather than spending their precious time & energies trying to convince the Federal & State Governments that we need them to enact laws to protect that which already has the Protection of an Almighty Creator, then we might see the decline, slow as it may be, of the perversions of this hallowed institution! Till then, we might as well sit back & enjoy the ride!
Charles Haddon Shank