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............."Oh, the gallant fisher's life, It is the best of any 'Tis full of pleasure, void of strife, And 'tis beloved of many." ..........[Piscator's Song, "The Compleat Angler" by Izaak Walton] "The fishers also shall mourn,and all they that cast angle into the brooks shall lament, and they that spread nets upon the waters shall languish." [Isaiah XIX:8]

Friday, July 3, 2015

A More Profound Union

As a minister of the gospel I am constrained to respond to the op-ed  “Triumph For Civil Rights” by Bloomberg  View, which appeared  in  The Beaver CountyTimes  on June 29, 2015.  Describing the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage as “historic” and “moving” and the final paragraph “worth quoting in full,” we read, “No union is more profound than marriage.” I would respond by referring to a yet more profound union, the union of Jesus Christ and His church. In the Bible the apostle Paul describes marriage and the marriage relationship in Ephesians 5. Marriage, from the beginning, was instituted by God for the honor and happiness of mankind, an institution in which one man and one woman enter into a bodily and spiritual union , so long as both shall live.  Marriage is not a sacrament; nor is it peculiar to Christians.  It is lawful for all sorts of people to marry.  Nevertheless, in Scripture, the Holy Spirit sets forth the sacred and exalted nature of marriage when he likens  it to the mystical  union that exists between Christ and his redeemed bride, the church , saying, , “This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.” How can it be that the eternal, infinitely wise, all-knowing, holy and just, God of the Bible, Creator of heaven and earth, would enter into a sacred union with despicable sinners, the likes of you and me? And the answer is, “Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present  to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.” (Ephesians 5:25-27).  In other words, Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, that through His life, death, and resurrection, He might save a people and make them fit to live with Him forever in heaven in the blessed union of Christ with His church.   There is no union more profound than that. It was with the eternal foreknowledge  of the marriage of Christ with His church in view that God ordained marriage in the beginning. It only makes sense then, that He would define marriage and set its terms.  God alone sets human rights; we are not free to do as we please.  After all, it is He who has made us in His image, and we are His.  And by the way, the covenant sign of the celestial rainbow, (not the co-opted gay pride emblem) wherein God promised not to destroy  by flood the earth and “all flesh that is on the earth” (Genesis9:9-17), did not save Sodom and Gomorrah from the brimstone and fire of God’s judgment.  And the Day of reckoning is coming when the Bridegroom shall return to receive His bride to Himself.  Jesus Himself says, “Behold , I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me,  to render to every man according to what he has done” (Revelation 22:12).  To all (Jew or Gentile, male or female, black or white), then, we say, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). God is not mocked; the final triumph belongs to Him.  "Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, , nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6:9-10).  Those who have ears to hear, let them hear.

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