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02/12/2014

Al Mohler could've saved us a lot of time if he'd issued this directive ten years ago

by Jeremy Hooper

In an article decrying today's decision on marriage in his home state of Kentucky, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president Albert Mohler writes the following about what he sees as the Christian calling:

Mohler-1Christians who affirm the biblical understanding of marriage as the union of a man and woman must now recognize that we can no longer count upon the government and its laws to reflect that understanding. Even the proponents of same-sex marriage must surely recognize the radical legal and moral shift in Western civilization and human history this change implies. Christians understand that marriage is one of God’s greatest gifts to humanity and that marriage, as defined by the Creator, is fundamental to human flourishing.

We now know that the government cannot be counted on to affirm this message. As a matter of fact, we have to face the reality that the government — even in the Commonwealth of Kentucky — may teach a radically different message through its laws. But the real question for Christians is not whether the government gets the question of marriage right, but if we do. In the grand scheme of things, that is the Church’s real challenge.
FULL: The Other Shoe Drops in Kentucky: Federal Court Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage in the Commonwealth [Al Mohler]

Yes! THIS! A thousand times this!!!!

Evangelicals who reject same-sex marriage as a matter of faith shouldn't have ever been looking to the government to "get the question marriage right." Those who believe that marriage is essentially a God-ordained institution and that government is only involved as a formality should've accepted our good faith commitment to letting them control—then, now, and always—the decisions about whether or not their churches will perform same-sex wedding ceremonies. If the church wedding is where they place their importance, then they should've spent the past decade gearing all of their advocacy to strengthening that notion. They should have been focusing on tidying up their own houses and bringing new recruits into it.

We on the marriage equality side have focused 100% on the government license because that is where our fight is geared. The problem has always been the faith-driven team's overreaching desire to impose their view of the church "getting the question of marriage right" onto the government. Had millions of evangelicals stood up when Massachusetts legalized marriage equality and said, "Fine, but you're never going to get it into our churches!" those of us who fight for *CIVIL* marriage equality would've mumbled a quick "Who's asking?" before moving on to enjoying newfound rights like being with our spouses in the hospital without hassle. But that's not what they did—at all. So it's not what we were able to do—at all.

I truly hope now, so many years and so much squandered good will (not to mention cash) later, Mr. Mohler and the rest of the "protect marriage" movement plan to expand on his idea and redirect their focus. This time, they can place it on where they've always claimed they wanted it to be. You won't hear any complaints from those of us who are quite happy with the government reality of our marriages.

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