The secret handshake of spirituality-of-the-church men...

(Tim) Where have good card-carrying confessionally Reformed evangelicals shown more alacrity in signaling their commitment to keep their religion private than the matter of the meaning and purpose of God's Creation Order of sexuality?

Covenant Theological Seminary's professor of theology and ethics called for the repeal of anti-sodomy laws in a round-table with Christianity Today. It's fine for Christians to preach and teach against sodomy in the church, but what's the purpose of condemning it outside the church? We don't need these laws any more. Why make unbelievers live by Christian standards? I mean, think how divisive it is for our laws to say "No" to sodomy. Unbelievers can't live by God's Law anyhow, can they? Let's repeal these laws and let pagans be pagans. Gays shouldn't suffer just because they're gay.

So, today, I'd guess most Christians are two-kingdom, spirituality-of-the-church men when it comes to anti-sodomy laws. Sodom will be Sodom, after all, and our business is the Gospel.

As with sodomy, so with feminism. My years working with the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood drew to an end over the cheerful and carefully-cultivated silence of the Council over...

the meaning and purpose of sexuality outside the church and the home.

With just a few quiet exceptions, the council consistently opposed saying or writing or teaching anything about the meaning and purpose of sexuality outside the church and home. When I'd point out that bit about Adam being created first, then Eve, in the Garden prior to the Fall--that this is God's Creation Order, bearing with it all God's explicitly declared meaning, and not some ceremonial law given to the Children of Israel--invariably their response would be, "The Bible is silent about the meaning of sexuality outside the church and the home."

Thus Westminster Seminary in California's statement on sexuality:

...from creation, men were given authority and ultimate leadership in the family and in the covenant community.

Yes, yes: "in the family and in the covenant community." All very private, you see. The church and the home. Neither witness nor meaning nor purpose outside the privacy of our own Covenant Community ghetto. It's a sort of Christian Yiddish. We think and speak one way at home, and another when we walk out the front door. We live as men and women when we're at home, but we're just human persons after we walk out the front door. The sexes complement each other during the evenings, nights, and weekends, but they're indistinguishable the rest of the week.

This is the meaning of "complementarian," that precise equivocation coined by the first of CBMW's members. It's the linguistic sleight-of-hand communicating that God's Creation Order is one of the Christian mysteria. The word is meaningless to pagans, but easily understood by Christians to indicate we're reasonable on sexuality--neither patriarchal nor hard-core feminist. It's the secret handshake of scholarly-leaning evangelicals.

'Complementarian' is the sign and seal of our covenant of sexual compromise.

Comments

So Tim, just to clarify your love, marriage is more than a political issue. It is a moral issue also. So should Christians insist that the standards for Christian marriage apply in the state? Should we insist that only Christians marry because the Bible says that Christians may not marry unbelievers? Or could it be that the state and the church have different standards on the same matter.

with much confusion,

Dr. Hart,

I am quite disappointed in your caricature of the historic view of how God's Law applies to civil society. At very least, you can accurately represent the position of your opponent.

This is so ludicrous not to admit of response. When has anyone ever argued that marriage is an ordinance for Christians only?

In point of fact, the existence of marriage in the culture is an argument against your position. Why should any culture even have marriage? After all, it was instituted by that narrow-minded tribal Hebrew deity, the Mountain God.

I think we should abolish it! Of course, the churches should have marriage, but it does no good for the culture at large. It is not a force for stability, productivity, or good for children. In fact, it might be positively harmful --look how painful divorce is. No marriages means no divorces. How wonderful that would be.

In fact, I would be in favor of three or four or eight people of various sexes and a goat getting together and enjoying favored status.

Not speaking for Tim, but why not insist on unbelievers becoming believers and also insisting on the state to enforce Christian standards for marriage? I'm pretty sure the concept of marriage is a Judeo-Christian one that comes from way back in the day. Say even perhaps the beginning of time? Isn't the commission since the beginning of time to be fruitful and multiply? Are we not supposed to be primarily focused on Gods commands and seek first what he should have us do? This in turn is going to effect the state and we can gather from history what are good and bad ways to do this, that is wisdom. But why hide behind the state in order to try and maneuver through life. Secondly, when you start giving into sodomy, multiple marriages, abortion and saying its a state issue it subverts God's decree for His earth, He created. With love,

Mr. Hart

Dr. Hart,

As one of the barely reformed and certainly never acknowledged as Reformed by those on that reservation, I have stood on the sidelines of this debate and learned things useful for me to know.

But, your challenging questions to Pr. Tim are so preposterous as to defy believability.

You challenge Pr. Tim with this question: "So should Christians insist that the standards for Christian marriage apply in the state?"

Evidently you think God does not give a damn about the marriage standards or sexual practices of pagans, and that He is pleased for Christians to mimick Him in this indifference!

Purest flummery.

I'm confident that those Canaanites whom God directed Israel to slaughter -- man, woman, and child, along with their livestock -- wish God had had YOUR viewpoint on these matters before He ordered their destruction for violating those marriage standards laid out in Leviticus 18. Those Canaanites had no covenant obligations to the God of Israel. Not a speck of one.

But, they were His creatures, formed and fashioned for marriage. And because their marriage standards and practices were so corrupt, God destroyed them.

You yourself have been challenged more than once about John the Baptist's preaching about Herod's marriage standards and practices. By your lights, the Baptist was a fool and died in vain.

Pshaw!

"Or could it be that the state and the church have different standards on the same matter."

Well, OF COURSE they have different standards! Whoever said they did not??

Again, John the Baptist is our model here -- to press, through preaching publically and toward the civil magistrate against lawlessness (you think that's NOT political???) until the state abandons its lawless deeds or until the civil magistrate imprisons or murders the preacher (as such magistrates are doing all over the world this very minute).

The mind boggles.

Fr. Bill (and others), the one who said, okay, implied, that the church and the state should have the same standards are folks like Tim who want Christians to influence the state. How are Christians to influence the state and not have Christian standards in the state.

The point of my flummary is to suggest that the flummary may be on those who want Christian ideals upheld by the state.

But maybe I misunderstand. Whose standard is the state to have when it comes to abortion? Natural Law? Pshaw, I hear. Buddhism? The mind boggles.

So if the state is supposed to uphold Christian morality for abortion, why is that not the case for marriage?

Or are you acknowledging as 2k spirituality of the church people do, that non-believers have an understanding of morality that will allow them to come to some moral position on abortion and marriage?

It really isn't that crazy, except for what Pastor Tim keeps proposing as the "other side's" view.

I withdraw all my objections to Dr. Hart's analysis and suggestions.

Instead, I undertake to seek whatever it is that he smokes when I'm in the throes of pain from diabetic neuropathy. Sounds like it should be as effective as crack without its illegality.

Dr. Hart,

We see evidence of the failure of the Church to speak prophetically to the State and *influence* the State's view of marriage loud and clear in two ways:

1. The existence of "no-fault" divorce in the the 1970s (previously unknown)

2. The virtual disappearance of adultery as a substantive cause of action in family court. Today, adultery does not affect in the least alimony, child support or custody in most States.

This is a concrete, historical example of your inability to understand the issue at hand.

"I have stood on the sidelines of this debate and learned things useful for me to know."

I pray that many people have done the same thing and learned.

Dr. Hart, would you opposed the state allowing a child to legally consent to "sex" with an adult?

1 Cor 4:20 "For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power."

lol!!!! Fr Bill, if you never post another thing on this blog your contributions to this post will suffice as good tender for a millenia....

Perhaps it would enlighten the crowd how Dr Hart thinks God's law actually applies to unbelievers and indeed rulers of nations and nations in general?

I'm still wondering how he thinks it applies to Christians.

Dr. Hart,

That Christians should not marry unbelievers does not entail that unbelievers should not marry one another; so if our state is going to allow unbelievers at all it should certainly allow them to marry. Of course you know that Tim will agree with this, so you are clearly asking the question because you think it points out some inconsistency in his view. Presumably the inconsistency is that the state and the church are not governed by an identical set of principles. But, from the fact that two sets of principles are not the same does not mean that one set should not make reference to the other. That does not seem like a complicated point.

I find it very strange that you are using the WCF to justify your view when throughout its pages it clearly assumes a position like Tim’s. The Confession's chapter on Marriage and Divorce, for instance, gives no suggestion that Christian norms should not in many cases determine the civil norms. Likewise in paragraph one in “Of the Civil Magistrate” the confession says, following Romans 13, that God has ordained magistrates and “has armed them with the power of the sword, for the defence and encouragement of them that are good, and for the punishment of evil doers.” Properly understanding good and evil, and defending/encouraging the good while punishing the evil would seem to be impossible to do fully without reference to the Bible. Other sections, including the section on Christian Liberty, suggest there will be quite a bit of state-religion interaction. Of course there are complexities here, but it is clear the WCF does not envision having magistrates who rule by reason alone, or according to purely natural principles. All that is left to argue about are the details of how this principle should work out in a particular context (which is, I think, what Chris Hutchinson is eager for). None of this is to say that the church should be identical to the civil government (a point that apparently needs repeating), or that there is no natural law.

Nobody that I have seen (and admittedly I have not read every comment on every related thread), has brought up Calvin’s threefold use of the law. This may be a simpler way to get at the nub of the issue. Do R2K advocates think there is a legitimate civil function of God’s law in restraining evil? It seems the answer must be no, for if it is yes then the civil ruler will have to use Biblical teaching to help him rule (which is a big no-no for R2K). But if no, then we will lose this great benefit of the law: its restraint of evil. And then we should no longer wonder when wickedness grows in the land -- it will come naturally as a result of bad government.

Sincerely,

Fr. Bill, funny but you didn't answer the question. No one seems to. Is this blog merely an echo chamber?

David, you're right, the WCF doesn't say that the state and the church have two norms for marriage. But the WCF on the civil magistrate says the state's duty is to protect everyone, even those who may get divorced on illegitimate (from a Christian view) grounds.

So there again is a question. Do the state and the church have the same grounds for divorce. Should they? If you say they should, then you have a state that does not tolerate unbelievers' practices. If you say they should not, then welcome to the 2k world.

Darryl Hart: "Is this blog merely an echo chamber?"

Not an illegitimate question.

I don't echo or parrot others. Anyone who's interacted with my postings and arguments would laugh at the idea that I'm anyone's sychophant.

For example, as regards this post, I'm a "2-point" complementarian ala D.A. Carson. As I understand Pastor Tim Bayly's post, he had a falling out with 2-point complementarians.

Eg., I have no problem were Sarah Palin to become President. I'd vote for her any day over Obama.

Eg., I'm an ardently joyful signer and supporter of the Manhattan Declaration. I'm unaware of any other Bayly blog regular who's a signer of the Manhattan Declaration.

So to answer your question, this blog is not an echo chamber.

>Anyone who's interacted with my postings and arguments would laugh at the idea that I'm anyone's sychophant.

Actually that isn't true.

>But the WCF on the civil magistrate says the state's duty is to protect everyone, even those who may get divorced on illegitimate (from a Christian view) grounds.

Does no-fault divorce, a recent development, "protect" children? A wronged spouse? If not the magistrate is not meeting his obligations under the WCF.

>>I'm a "2-point" complementarian ala D.A. Carson.

Dear TUAD,

Don not only rejects God's Creation Order anywhere outside the church and home, but he's an advocate of gender-neutered Bible translations.

I'm sad you apparently reject the teaching of Calvin, Luther, Knox, and everyone else who lived before our progressive era related to this matter, but it certainly does give you non-sycophant status on this blog. I'll grant you that.

Can't believe it's worth the price, though.

Voting for Ms. Palin doesn't do it. Long ago I posted here that I'd vote for a anti-baby slaughter woman over a pro-baby slaughter man thirteen out of thirteen times.

Love,

It would seem that I need to bone up on this 2K thing. From what I have been reading here, it appears to fly in the face of God's lordship over all his creation and not just the elect, like it or not. I giver you Col1. 1:16
Pastor, I love it that you sign off your condemnation of my sin with "Love"

Dear Charlie,

Saw your truck today, but it wasn't you driving it and I thought I wished it was. Changed from Doug Fir to old growth resurrected-from-river pine, today. Logs End is the company, up in Ottawa.

And the "love" bit? Well duh!

Affectionately,

Dr. Hart wrote: >> But the WCF on the civil magistrate says the state's duty is to protect everyone, even those who may get divorced on illegitimate (from a Christian view) grounds. <<

But the primary function of the state is to defend and encourage those who are good and punish those who are evil. People who leave their marriages without just cause are doing evil. Therefore, the magistrate should properly punish them (i.e. make a law against it with penalties attached). David Grey is correct that in those cases the husband or wife who leaves the relationship without just cause is doing great harm, and any magistrate who willingly allows it to go on is failing to properly use his delegated authority.

We should also note here that only the Americanized Confession has the passage that you are utilizing -- the original Confession does not. A bit of irony in seeing the staunch confessionalist advocate for the new confession :)

In any case, you cannot be correct that the state should tolerate unbelievers' practices with regard to marriage. They would be having plural marriages, gay marriages, sex outside of marriage, no-fault divorce, marriage to trees and video game characters (both real examples from Asia), marriage to minors, etc., all of which are contrary to the natural purposes of marriage ordained by God at creation and binding on all men. The corrosive effect on society would be severe.

On the principle you are suggesting, a civil magistrate, ruling in a Godly manner, should permit all sorts of evils in order to fulfill his commission to "tolerate unbeliever's practices." This stretches, apparently, to cases of divorce where a man leaves a wife and children without just cause. You believe that man should be permitted to remain in society without penalty (or am I mistaken?). What a corrosive effect such a law has on society--we can look around and see what it has wrought. In fact, if we have any love at all for people, we will desire our magistrates to attach penalties to evil and rewards to good. I am certainly thankful there are civil penalties against doing evil (the few real penalties that attach to real evils, at any rate) -- at some times that is all that restrains me.

Sincerely,

Coming at this from a different angle, Dr. Hart, is there anything you would actively oppose in the public sphere if it were legal? I'm assuming pedophilia doesn't cut it either.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jIaRgJe7C8

It is possible to overthink things. I'm hoping that if you have children, you would not rationalize away their molestation.

Tim Bayly: "... he's [D.A. Carson] an advocate of gender-neutered Bible translations."

Bluntly speaking, I think D.A. Carson crapped on his own legacy with that poor decision. I wish he hadn't done that, and sometimes I wonder if he also thinks that he shouldn't have done that.

Anyways, I've always wondered why your tenure at CBMW didn't last longer. At least now I have an inkling of why and what happened. Tis sad. I wish there was more unity among biblical patriarchalists.

But to nuance my position, I don't (actively) oppose the position you espouse. (I'm rather agnostically neutral). It's just that the biblical support for the divine design of male headship in the home and church is overwhelming.

Anyways, I would never, never, never do what that Covenant Seminary professor did in trying to repeal anti-sodomy laws.

Lastly, the purpose of my comment was to show to Dr. Hart that your blog is not an echo chamber for Bayly sychophants.

"I'm still wondering how he thinks it applies to Christians."

I'm wondering that too, Max. Why do we need Professional Christians such as Dr. Hart?

Mahoney, what have I written that would make you think I do not oppose pedophelia? Thing is, I know lots of non-Christians who also oppose it. So the church doesn't have a monopoly on this.

Yes, I opposed pedophelia, and lots of tax breaks for big corporations. What reason could you give for saying that this is inconsistent for a 2k advocate? The only reason I can think of would be based on a complete misunderstanding.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0830828141?ie=UTF8&tag=huntbake-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0830828141

The above is a link to a forthcoming book in March 2010 titled:

"Politics for Christians: Statecraft As Soulcraft"

Blurb: "Politics is concerned with citizenship and the administration of justice--how communities are formed and governed. The role of Christians in the political process is hotly contested, but as citizens, Francis Beckwith argues, Christians have a rich heritage of sophisticated thought, as well as a genuine responsibility, to contribute to the shaping of public policy.

In particular, Beckwith addresses the contention that Christians, or indeed religious citizens of any faith, should set aside their beliefs before they enter the public square. What role should religious citizens take in a liberal democracy? What is the proper separation of church and state? What place should be made for natural rights and the moral law within a secular state?

This cogent introduction to political thought surveys political science, politics and government while making the case for how statecraft may genuinely contribute to soulcraft."

P.S. I assume that 2k'ers disagree that statecraft may genuinely contribute to soulcraft while 1K'ers agree.

It seems there are the Theonomists and then there is Dr. Hart and the 2K.

I'm with Dr. Hart and the 2K paradigm on this one.

The NT nowhere stipulates that the church seek out the imposition of the law of God through the civil magistrate. What you do find is the admonition to submit to the governing authorities and to live quiet, peaceful lives, while the gospel of Christ advances steadily.

In fact, Paul sternly rebuked the Corinthians for bringing over church disputes to the courts of "outsiders"! Paul was a 2K man.

>The NT nowhere stipulates that the church seek out the imposition of the law of God through the civil magistrate.

But unlike Rome we, in a very real sense, ARE the magistrate.

>The NT nowhere stipulates that the church seek out the imposition of the law of God through the civil magistrate.

But unlike Rome we, in a very real sense, ARE the magistrate.

Warren,
that was so deep I think my toe feels damp...wait, no...I was wrong.

If governments are established by God for good, and to punish evil (as Paul says), Who defines what is good and what is evil?

R2K offers no reason for civil disobedience...in fact, it would be unrighteous to disobey evil commands from Caesar. Paul was wrong for preaching after he was told not to (after all, he wasn't just preaching to Christians, he was open-air preaching).

Even more baffling is that Paul would *insist* on his rights to a court appearance before civil authority...which ultimately led to his death.

Are you *sure* Paul was R2K?

Hi Balyblog. I'm concerned about you guys. Mostly because as a conservative evangelical reformed christian, I have followed you for a few weeks and I get no sense of joy whatsoever from your writings. You seem to be hyperactively angry about a narrow set of issues in society instead of really talking about the kingdom, the saving work of Jesus, and the obligations of Christian believers. Please remember to rejoice in the lord always, and preach the gospel- ALL of the gospel, not just the gender bits.

Craig,

"If governments are established by God for good, and to punish evil (as Paul says), Who defines what is good and what is evil?"

The law of God is imprinted in the consciences of every human being (natural law). As such, the recognition of what is good and evil is pretty much a universal human phenomenon. Therefore, ultimately, and a basic point, it is God who determines morality.

"R2K offers no reason for civil disobedience...in fact, it would be unrighteous to disobey evil commands from Caesar. Paul was wrong for preaching after he was told not to (after all, he wasn't just preaching to Christians, he was open-air preaching)."

Of course, taking into consideration the radical depravity of man, not every law propounded by the civil magistrate is in accordance with the law of God. Civil disobedience is therefore warranted in recognition of a dissonance with natural and spiritual law (special revelation).

"Even more baffling is that Paul would *insist* on his rights to a court appearance before civil authority...which ultimately led to his death."

Of course, Paul had civil rights. He appealed to the light of natural law that shone in the governing authorities.

"Are you *sure* Paul was R2K?"

Certainly.

Roger,

It seems to me that 2K'ers are hyperactively angry at 1K'ers. It also seems that 2K'ers want to undermine the resolve of 1K'ers.

Both 1K'ers and 2K'ers love Jesus and His Great Commission.

"Yes, I opposed pedophelia"

This is exactly what my wife said you'd say and urged me that these discussions are pointless - yet my wife is also protected. She said you wouldn't define your standards clearly. I read John 3 often at PP because things must be brought into the light, as Christians we are not afraid - we do not hide.

I guess sandbox Christianity is preferable to the type where we bring it out of the test bay.

"I know lots of non-Christians who also oppose it. So the church doesn't have a monopoly on this."

Shooh! I'm sure glad the world's fighting this so we don't have to! Yup and the world isn't slipping down the slope so we'll never have to oppose it, Woohoo, vacation!

It's lack of faith in both extremes, of fighting too hard and not fighting at all.

Roger, the love we have is evident if you see how much time our pastors and members spend counseling people who've suffering the horrors of abortion, molestation, domestic violence, abdicating husbands, divorce etc. etc.

With love,
Clint

Darryl wrote: >>Mahoney, what have I written that would make you think I do not oppose pedophelia? Thing is, I know lots of non-Christians who also oppose it. So the church doesn't have a monopoly on this.<<

You're missing Clint's point (I think). The real questions is, what would be your concern if you found yourself in a state that didn't oppose pedophelia? Would this bother you in the slightest? If the state refused to bring charges or impose sanctions on a known pedophile, would you have any qualms with this?

I think the category of "natural law" (the law of God in man's conscience) needs to be introduced in the discussion.

By saying that the Kingdom of God should not interfere with the kingdoms of this world it is not meant that a blind eye be turned to moral anarchy. Natural law is the a priori by which secular governments impose their rule.

Warren wrote: >>it is not meant that a blind eye be turned to moral anarchy. Natural law is the a priori by which secular governments impose their rule.<<

But would you agree that they get it wrong from time to time? (I could name examples, but surely you can think of your own.) What then? What should you do in the face of moral anarchy?

Warren,

I love that you introduced Natural Law to the discussion, acknowledging that it is God's Law written on our hearts.

The ruling authorities are subject to God's revelation...we agree. Being fallen, they twist what God has shown them...since they are fallen, you don't appeal to their "lights", you must appeal to God's revelation. Natural Law, in essence, is Supernatural Law. It is the sense of the Divine, it is the Law written on our hearts. God speaks in His Word and He speaks in the world and in Providence.

Natural Law (as you've laid out) is simply a different way of saying theonomy :) Of course, Natural Law tends to become a law unto itself in discussion, but your preliminary statement about it seems pretty agreeable...just not agreeable to R2K.

Craig,

Don't equivocate on "God's revelation." There is natural revelation (God known in nature) and special revelation (God known in Scripture through the Spirit).

Special revelation is the domain of the church (KOG), of which the kingdoms of this world know nothing of.

Also, radical depravity does not posit that concordance with natural law is excluded, hence secular authorities may still be trusted and submitted to in light of this.

What if 1K'ers left 2K'ers alone?

And what if 2K'ers left 1K'ers alone?

Would that be an improvement over the debating, arguing, quarreling, or squabbling between 1K'ers and 2K'ers?

If 2K'ers don't want to be involved in the Public Square, that's fine. At least don't meddle and interfere with 1K Christians and seek to undermine the courageous resolve it takes to protect the sanctity of life (and other issues).

And I don't think 1K'ers would say anything to 2K'ers until the 2K'er provoked a confrontation. A 1K'er might be privately displeased with the apparent passivity and cowardice and sophistry by a 2K'er, but would probably just let the whole matter go in shoulder-shrugging silence. But then the 2K'er wants to provoke matters, and away we go....

2K'ers, leave 1K'ers alone. Do your thing.

1K'ers, leave 2K'ers alone. If provoked, well, you can only take it so far....

Warren:

Because of original sin, unredeemed man can no longer properly see God's law in nature. And, insofar as they do see it, they suppress it and rebel against it. Because of that suppression and rebellion, how can it be a useful starting place in forming laws? In most cases, they will deny it, and even if they see it they will refuse to act on it. Of course, some unbelievers are worse than others, and some governments are worse than others. And, it would be very nice to live in a country where murder was not permitted instead of this country where it is. But, none of that explains why a Christian politician should not use the Bible to help him properly understand good and evil, justice and injustice.

You are right that man can never fully suppress God's revelation in nature. Hence, some men still know that it is wrong to murder, etc. But none of that is going to give us "a priori" common ground with unbelievers. All it will give us is a temporary, pragmatic agreement on certain points. Hence, we have a pragmatic agreement not to kill, but no a priori, principled agreement that murder is wrong. If we had that we would have laws against abortion, in vitro fertilization, stem cell research, and other things. So it is fine to bring up natural law. Natural law can be an important part of our evangelism, just as it was for St. Paul. But, in the same breath we should bring up the sinfulness and rebellion of man. The former without the latter will not be helpful to us.

And, of course, natural law is quite inferior to the Bible. Verbal revelation is much clearer, and allows us to properly interpret and understand nature. Man was not designed to live without divine revelation. In the garden God gave man both natural and special revelation, both together, with the special revelation to help us interpret the world around us. Immediately after being created God spoke to man, gave him work to do, and instructions to follow. Reason alone would never tell us not to eat the fruit. Human society was never intended to exist without God's law.

As a final point you need to revise your taxonomy of possible views. "Theonomy" as it is used by Protestants today refers to the view that the Old Testament civil laws were intended by God to be perpetual. This is the sense in which Greg Bahnsen, RJ Rushdoony, and others used the term. Hence, to think that governors should use Biblical truth in forming their laws and judgments does not automatically make someone a Theonomist.

Sincerely,

Of course Sodom will be Sodom. But is that really the point? God's standards are not just standards for the Christians any less than His standards were just for His people in the Old Testament. God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah exactly because of that standard.

Just because gays will be gays does not mean we should just let them be gays any less than we should just let murderers be murderers!

Warren,

I'm not equivocating...are you positing a different God for special revelation than "natural" revelation?

Matt, of course I'd be bothered by a state that legalized pedophilia. But I'm also bothered by a state that raises revenues through gambling. In fact, I'm not at all happy with America. Do I wear it on my sleeve and denounce everyone who doesn't follow my own peculiar anti-federalist, small government, Front Porch Republican ideals? No (except for my wife). Here she's unprotected.