Saturday, August 26, 2017

CP 282 Why I'll vote 'No'.

CrossPurposes 282 Why I’ll be voting ‘No’…
Australians are being asked to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ in a voluntary postal plebiscite about Same-sex Marriage or what has been termed Marriage Equality. Personally, I am glad the legislators have given each of us an opportunity express our view / belief. I may not agree with the final outcome but it is important that Parliament hears all our voices. It’s good that our system of Government allows this. Every Australian will have their own standpoint, whether strongly held or indifferent. Here’s my own thinking.
I wish I could vote ‘Yes’ in this survey. The cry of the marginalised and demonised is not lost on me. Humans rejoice in loving and being loved, and long to be affirmed in that love. I especially hate bullying and discrimination. Everything within me wants to oppose oppression, to see people relieved of impossible burdens. Of course people want to be treated equally. However I can’t vote ‘Yes’…
Cultures and societies move, and like anybody else in Australia I want to be part, freely, of the ebbs and flows of what makes this nation tick. If you know me, you will know that I’m not the least interested in tradition if the tradition is meaningless. Often things must change, and refusal to change can lead, at best, to irrelevance, and at worst, to a dying culture. So why not vote ‘Yes’? For me, it’s about conscience.
In 1971, at age 21, a light shone in my heart which has never dimmed. In fact, it gets brighter year by year. I discovered that Jesus the Christ was not simply an historical figure whose history has been embroidered by clever and imaginative disciples. He is alive. He is my alive Lord. He lives in my heart. In who he is, and what he did, is my forgiveness, my life and hope and joy. He is my Lord and I answer to him. I know about him through the Word, both Old Testament pointing to him and New Testament revealing the Father’s heart in him. His Cross and Resurrection together is pure grace. This is my belief.
With that belief comes the conviction that the Word is true, and it is truth. I am bound by it.  My conscience is bound by it. There are matters about which I am not free to disagree with my Lord. This issue of Marriage Equality is one of them. How so? In what the Lord revealed to Moses about ‘same-sex relationships’, he left no doubt about what he thought. Recorded in the book called Leviticus, the Lord God Almighty said ‘No’. Under no circumstances! That ‘No’ is powerfully restated in Romans Chapter 1. There is not the slightest evidence, not even the merest hint, that the Lord God Almighty had, or has, changed his mind. Jesus himself insisted that he had not come to abolish an iota of the Law or the Prophets. He too was delivering a crystal clear ‘No’. (Matthew 5) Same sex relationships are sinful. They remain sin. In conscience I’m not free to say otherwise.
I know Jesus the Christ - the Holy One - is all about love and forgiveness. It is precisely because he is all about holy love and forgiveness that we know, and need to know, he does not condone sin. His mercy and love can never translate to approval. This is how my conscience is formed and this determines that in October I will be voting ‘No’.
I will conclude this with a quote from Martin Luther, whose great ‘conscience’ declaration was made almost 500 years ago:

Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason… my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe…


Blogger nickydroo said...

Thank you Fred - You have explained so well what I have been trying to articulate.

2:17 PM  

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