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Giving the trumpet a certain sound

December 2003

Homosexual Marriage in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Supreme Court in a November decision advanced the cause of homosexual marriage:

Massachusetts' highest court today invalidated a state ban on same-sex marriages, ruling that the right to marry is "the right to marry the person of one's choice," regardless of gender.

It stopped short of immediately legalizing same-sex marriages, however, referring the issue to the Massachusetts legislature for action "appropriate" in light of the ruling.

By a 4-3 vote, the state's Supreme Judicial Court said Massachusetts was violating its state constitution by denying the "legal, financial and social benefits of marriage" to people of the same sex who wish to marry.

It rejected the state's chief argument in favor of the ban: that the purpose of marriage is "procreation." That, the court concluded, is largely a cover for "persistent prejudices" against homosexuals.

It then took the extraordinary step of redefining the common law definition of marriage in Massachusetts.

Marriage, under the law, is not merely a union between a man and a woman, the court said.

Rather, it is "the voluntary union of two persons as spouses, to the exclusion of all others."

It is a "civil right," Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall wrote for the court, guaranteed by the state constitution's commitment to "the dignity and equality of all individuals." ("Massachusetts Court: State Wrong to Ban Gay Marriage," The Washington Post, Nov. 18, 2003)

Inspired Commentary

We ought to have a love for homosexual people and a desire for them to make a commitment to Christ and His way of life and be saved from God's wrath to come. At the same time we should clearly state God's expressed abhorrence for their homosexual activities. We should also recognize that society at large is prospered by adherence to God's standards of right and wrong, and that mass rejection of those standards leads to the disintegration of civilized society and ultimately to God's wrath.

In light of the above understandings, how should Christians who live under a government that purports to be "of the people and for the people" use their voices and votes? The Apostle Paul indicated that government should be against evil works. While working for the individual salvation of souls, it seems that citizens should responsibly exert their influence for the good of society.

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. Romans 13:1-5

The final cure for the problems of society is the second coming of Christ. The downward-sliding morality of society is one of the signs that His coming is nearing.

Fire and Ice in California

During November, wild fires ravaged Southern California:

Preliminary costs are estimated at $184 million for cleanup and restoration of what was lost in the worst fires in state history. The fires killed 23 people and scorched more than 738,000 acres across five counties. In San Diego County, three fires burned 376,237 acres and killed 16 people.("Gov. Davis asks Bush for wildfire cleanup reimbursement," SignOnSanDiego.com, Nov. 17, 2003)

The bureaucracy was apparently unable to respond quickly when the weather suddenly became rain and ice:

Four days after a freak storm dumped 5 inches of rain and ice across parts of southern Los Angeles County and left flooding and power outages in its wake, hundreds of residents spent Sunday fretting over ruined homes or waiting in long lines for aid. . . .

The storm moved in Wednesday [Nov. 12] afternoon and settled over South Los Angeles. Flashes of lightning knocked out power to more than 50,000 customers. The rumbling clouds dumped rain and hail, flooding streets and covering some yards with ice.

On Thursday, as people came from all over Southern California to see a winter wonderland of ice castles and snowball fights in Watts, Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn declared a local emergency, a first step toward allowing the area to qualify for state and federal disaster relief. ("Storm Victims Face Long Wait for Aid," latimes.com, Nov. 17, 2003)

Inspired Commentary

Highly unusual weather events mixed with other disasters should give us pause as we consider the nearness of Christ's coming:

In the last scenes of this earth's history war will rage. There will be pestilence, plague and famine. The waters of the deep will overflow their boundaries. Property and life will be destroyed by fire and flood. We should be preparing for the mansions that Christ has gone to prepare for them that love Him. (Mar 174 (1897)) (Last Day Events, p. 24).

Ten Commandment Judge Ousted

The battle to recognize the Ten Commandments as fundamental to American legal foundations was in the news in November:

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who won an overwhelming election three years ago to the state's highest court, was stripped of his office yesterday by a state judicial panel because of his refusal to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state courthouse rotunda.

The ruling, which was unanimous, was the harshest punishment possible for the judge.

"Anything short of removal would only serve to set up another confrontation that would ultimately bring us back to where we are today," said the nine-member panel, which had the option of simply reprimanding the chief justice or continuing his suspension with pay that has been in effect since August. ("Ten Commandments justice ousted," washingtontimes.com, Nov. 14, 2003)

Inspired Commentary

It seems a large factor in the controversy is the fact that so many Americans are not keeping the Ten Commandments. Scripture predicted this in the end times:

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, . . .(2 Tim. 3:1, 2)

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