Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Weeding the Garden

It is that time of the summer when the weeds begin to grow in earnest. It isn't that they haven't been growing up till now. They have. It is is just that at this point in the growing season, there are several things that have happened that make the weeds more prevalent.

Early in the growing season, it was easy to hoe the ground to keep the weeds from taking hold. The plants that are part of the garden were small. It was easy to get between the rows. So hoeing was easy and readily done. The ground was also not quite so hard. The heat of the summer hadn't dried out the ground. Nor had the rains come and packed down the earth. So hoeing was not difficult. IT could be accomplished in a short time and with little effort.

But now, the ground is different. There has been heat (not as much as usual but it has still happened) so the top has hardened. The rains have come - boy have they come! June was one of the wettest on record here in the Troy and metro area. And then there was the time away. First the vacation and then the LWML convention - both in the month of June.

So what happened to the garden. After the early June hoeing, it stopped. I didn't have time to hoe while VBS was going. Then I left for the LWML convention in late June. The plants had grown to where there green beans made it hard to find the rows and the zucchini and summer squash had grown large enough that it is difficult to see the ground underneath the leaves. And I just didn't get out and do the work that needed to be done.

So this morning, as I looked at the garden, I thought to myself, "Boy, those weeds have really begun to grow and take over the open ground. The egg plant was surrounded by grass and weeds. The tomatoes were overcome by the Bermuda grass with it's tendrils reaching out from the yard into the garden area. The grass has grown tall under the blackberry bushes. And overall, it looks like I have my work cut out for me if I am going to keep my garden weed free. Perhaps I can talk Penny into...well, maybe she and I can both work in the garden.

This got me thinking (does that surprise you?). This last week the Supreme Court brought the full force of the federal government into the issue of same-sex marriage. It is now legal for same sex couples to get married. This is an attack on the God-given gift of marriage of one man and one woman in marriage. Many people have responded to this decision. There have been cries of anguish from the many Christians as they realize that the Christian Church will be forced to perform same sex marriages. (There will be a whole host of penalties forced upon the Church when it doesn't perform these ceremonies, all of which are intended to either force the Church to leave behind the God-given direction on marriage found in the Word or to close their doors. Satan rejoices!) There were cries of joy from those who support same-sex marriage. People changed their profile pictures on Facebook to be rainbow colored in support of the decision. (I am still not sure how the symbol of God's promise became a symbol of man's sin. Once gain, Satan giggles with glee).

So how did the garden get me thinking about same-sex marriage? This is like the weeds in the garden. This last week was like me this morning looking and realizing the weeds were taking over. I will have a lot of hard work to try to get rid of the weeds. And in reality, the weeds will continue to be a part of the garden until the growing season is finished. Then the weeds will continue after the plants have been pulled up. In the end, After I have removed all the plants in the fall, I will need to spray the garden with weed killer in order to finally get rid of the weeds.

Same-sex marriage didn't just happen last week. Same-sex relationships didn't just start last week. The attack on the God-given plan of marriage didn't begin last week. Like the weeds, this has been going for quite some time. Christians have often turned a blind eye, been too busy and just didn't care what was going on. The attack on marriage began when we said it was all right for heterosexual couples to engage in sex outside of marriage. When the 60's brought the free sex culture into the mainstream, the attack was begun. When Christians sat back and didn't say anything when couples began living together outside of marriage, the attack became more intense. As it became acceptable for divorce to take place, no fault and easy divorces, it was being said that marriage was not sacred (I know there are many reasons that people have been divorced, but remember, that is not what God intended!). All of this was by heterosexual people, not same-sex couples, that this attack on marriage was taking place. We were saying, "Marriage is sacred, just not that sacred. It is only a piece of paper after all. Why do we need to be married to engage in sex, to live together, to separate from each other." And the sacredness of marriage was being taken apart. The weeds were growing and taking over.

Then the Supreme Court said it was legal to have same-sex marriage. And Christians cried "Foul!" But wait, this is just the result of the Christian Church not weeding the garden all along. These weeds were there but we sat back and did nothing. We actually accepted the dismantling of marriage by heterosexual people but then are upset when homosexual people take marriage apart even further.

So where do we go? We return to the Word of God. We begin to work to clean up the understanding of marriage in Church and society. Will it be possible to return to a Biblical understanding of marriage? Honestly? No. (Are you surprised by that?) Why? Because when people taste the forbidden fruit they do not want to return to the way of the Lord. This will only be cleared up when the Lord returns on the Last Day and separates the sheep from the goats. And know this, it will not be based on how you were in marriage but how your heart is in relationship to Jesus Christ.

There will be heterosexuals in heaven and in hell. There will be homosexuals in heaven and in hell. What is the determining factor? It isn't did you hold to the sanctity of marriage? It will be, "Do you believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior." Salvation is still based in Christ and not in our actions.

More thoughts to come.