In the past couple of weeks, our congregation has been involved in bearing witness to our public servants in two areas: one, a local city ordinance that was passed this last week by our Bloomington City Council raising "gender identity" into a protected status equal to race, age, religion, and so forth. They'd already raised "sexual orientation" into protected status, but deemed that insufficient protection for various souls, particularly the "transgendered." Despite our witness at all three meetings where the ordinance was read and debated, it passed unanimously. Pastor Dave Curell engaged the city fathers in an E-mail correspondence that I'm hopeful can be put up here on the blog soon, but will first need some formatting.
Then the other shoe dropped. This same week the Indianapolis Star had a very large headline across the front page announcing that the Indiana Court of Appeals had ruled in favor of what the Indy Star called "gay adoption." The ruling was two to one, with an excellent dissent written by Judge Ted Najam. I've read the majority opinion and it's pure legal casuistry--all kinds of closely reasoned arguments making it appear that their ruling is only an absolutely necessary deduction from the plain meaning of adoption legislation passed by the Indiana legislature. But anyone who knows the Indiana legislative climate will recognize that as a joke.
Before reading anything about the decision and knowing who the judges were, I submitted the following letter to the editor of the Indy Star. Here's the letter, which today was responded to by three letters to the editor you can find here, here, and here.
Are you serving faithfully as salt and light in your community, steadfastly proclaiming both God's 'yes' and His 'no'? Or have you lost your savor, having convinced yourself that doctrine and truth don't really matter--only friendship evangelism and random acts of human kindness.
To the Editor:
The big news today? The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in favor of "gay adoption," two judges in the majority and one dissenting. And although I don't yet know the names of any of the three judges, one thing is clear: two judges have defied nature and nature's God, while the third fears God and loves the citizens of the state of Indiana--particularly her children...
The battle lines in our culture today have formed around the sin formerly known as "sodomy." But Sodom is the place where nature's God spoke definitively concerning His condemnation of same-sex intimacy, sending a fire that consumed the city and her inhabitants. So our language must change. Across past centuries the association between same-sex intimacy and God's judgment was clear, but now men are "gay" or "homosexual"--never "sodomites."
Those whose religion never rises higher than a mutual conspiracy to deny the existence and consequences of sin preen themselves at their victory over one more "religious prejudice." But this judicial decree is an enforcement of the judges' own quite-obvious religious creed which, simply stated, is "Can't we all just get along?" Under their leadership, then, our laws are no longer the product of precedent or our constitution, but the vacuous and cloying religious faith where mutual tolerance is the highest aspiration.
But in our heartless culture, there remain men who truly love others--men who, by faith, cross the dangerous boundary of tolerance with the compassionate warning, "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life" (Galatians 6:7,8). Sadly, others condemn a little child to live his life without the single natural right of every child--the right to grow up with a father and mother who are married and love one another.
Tim Bayly, Pastor
Church of the Good Shepherd