Eric Schumacher is the pastor of Northbrook Baptist Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and good friend of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Today we post the first part of his excellent two-part series responding to the recent judicial actions in Iowa attempting to redefine marriage.
Last June, a "500-year flood" ushered millions of gallons of water through eastern Iowa. In Cedar Rapids alone, over 25,000 individuals were displaced in one day. Over $736 million in property damage was done.
The Flood of 2008 is arguably the most destructive disaster that the state of Iowa has seen-at least, that is, until last Friday.
On April 3, 2009, the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a state law limiting marriage to a man and a woman violates the constitutional rights of equal protection. Licenses will be issued to homosexual couples as early as April 24. The state of Iowa follows Massachusetts and Connecticut in legalizing homosexual "marriage."
It is not hyperbole to say that this ruling has the potential to be the worst disaster to strike the state of Iowa.
Flood waters destroy houses, ruin offices buildings, and displace families. Yet, recovery happens. Houses are rebuilt. Businesses relocate. Families eventually find housing.
Legalized homosexual "marriage," on the other hand, does far more pervasive and irrecoverable damage. Civilization itself is eroded as marriage, the central building block of culture and society, is redefined. Our sons and daughters are confused about what it means to be male and female, as homosexual "marriage" gains both legal status and visibility in neighborhoods and the classroom.
Far worse, the Gospel message is confused. Marriage is established by God to be a living picture of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the husband representing Christ and the wife representing his church. Homosexual "marriage" presents a distorted picture, a false Gospel, promoting a blasphemous message.
Flood waters erode the soil. Gay "marriage" erodes the soul. A flood impacts for a decade. Same-sex "marriage" destroys generations. A flood draws a community together. Homosexual alliances tear the family apart. Communities recover from floods. The promotion of un-natural unions has an eternal consequence.
As a native Iowan and as a pastor, I cannot remain silent.
To my fellow Iowans, I say that if you approve of homosexual "marriage," then three things are true.
First, the wrath of God is now being revealed against you for suppressing the truth. In Romans 1, the Apostle Paul states that God's righteous anger is revealed against those who clearly perceive in creation what can be known about God and exchange his glory for the worship of creation.
Homosexual practice and "marriage" is a perfect example of such an exchange. Few things are as obvious in the created order as the fact that homosexual behavior is unnatural. From the beginning, God has intended for a man to be one flesh with his wife. That union is a picture of God's glory in the Gospel.
The legalization of homosexual "marriage" is a bold and blatant exchange of God's glory for something skewed. Worse than skewed, its message is blasphemy.
It is against such blasphemy that God's wrath is now revealed, even in last Friday's ruling.
Second, God is giving you over to act on dishonorable passions and a debased mind as due punishment for exchanging of his glory for something less and approving of those who do the same.
Paul further asserts that when men so dishonor God, God responds by handing them over to dishonor themselves. His primary example of this punishment is men and women consumed with and acting out homosexual desire. Worse still, they not only do these things but give approval to those who practice them.
With the legalization of homosexual "marriage," the state of Iowa not only allows the practice of these shameless acts, it approves of them through the granting of license and legal status.
This is what happens to those who exchange the glory of the immortal God for something less.
Third, you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day when God's righteous judgment will be revealed.
Some will scoff at this. If the land between two rivers is not destroyed by fire and brimstone on April 24, then such talk of God's wrath must be akin to Chicken Little's assertion that "the sky is falling."
In Romans 2, the Apostle speaks of God's kindness, forbearance and mercy. For a season, God's hand of mercy patiently blocks the stream of his wrath. This forbearance is meant to lead us to repentance.
As hard and impenitent hearts refuse to repent, behind that hand of mercy a great reservoir of wrath is stored up against a coming day. On that day, when God removes his hand, there will be a flood of wrath and fury released on those who are self-seeking and do not obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
That flood will make the Flood of 2008 look like a gurgling brook. The Flood of 2008 destroyed city blocks. The Great Flood of God's Wrath will destroy souls in hell forever.
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