Gay Marriage in Australia, Socialism, and the hubris of our day

australia gay marriage

One thing about modern man, he (and she) want to be modern and pursuing the latest and greatest fashion.  This is, of course, nothing very modern at all.  Luke recorded the same phenomenon almost 2000 years ago, in his discussion of the Apostle Paul at Mars Hill, where he editorialized:

(Now all the Athenians and the strangers visiting there used to spend their time in nothing other than telling or hearing something new.)

Some of my friends have to have the latest gadget, and the latest and greatest podcast, or book, or you name it.  We want to be on the cutting edge, “with it,” and certainly not left behind.  So it is with ideas and ideologies.  There is a sense in which this is very good, in that we’re dissatisfied with the world as we find it.  We know its not quite right, and we struggle to find meaning and purpose in the midst of it.  As a Christian, I understand the brokenness of this world, and I understand the solution is not to be found on this side of the second coming.  Yet non-Christians likewise seek to find rationale and ways to make this world a better place.  So it is with the modern sexual revolution, with the argument that what precludes individual happiness are cultural restrictions on sexual activity, or more broadly, any restrictions on what we see as our individual identity.  Modern society is pushing at breakneck speed to jettison not only millennia of Judeo-Christian teaching on marriage, but what virtually every society has always held to be the best social structure.

So this week we see a nationwide vote in Australia endorsing same sex marriage, with a healthy majority paving the way for a vote to approve gay marriage in Australia’s parliament.  This is the easy part, as the unintended (?) consequences will only ripple through time. Supporters of gay marriage in Australia were clear in what they think of religious freedom concerns:

say no to religious privilege

So what’s this got to do with socialism?  Gay marriage is analogous to socialism in this respect:  supporters of the new idea in the late 1800s and early 1900s were eager to jettison the cultural wisdom of the ages for the more fair and just society that socialism promised.  As Ludwig Von Mises said in the first lines of his classic work, Socialism:

Socialism is the watchword and the catchword of our day. The socialist idea dominates the modern spirit. The masses approve of it, it expresses the thoughts and feelings of all; it has set its seal upon our time. When history comes to tell our story it will write above the chapter ‘The Epoch of Socialism’.

Could we not replace “socialism” in Mises’ work with “marriage equality” and it not fit the milieu of our day?  Do we not seek to jettison the wisdom of the history of our world in a vain pursuit for temporal happiness?  Is there any reason to suspect that this blind push against the natural order will end any better than the economic reality of socialism?  Oh the collective hubris we have, thinking that we are so much wiser and more moral than our predecessors.

Yet if we can recognize our limitations, then we may be able find a path that will lead to the results we truly need.  The answer to a broken world’s hope for meaning and purpose is not to try to eliminate God from our thinking and our social structures such as marriage and the family, but rather to include God into even more areas of our lives and thinking.  Our problem is not that society does not embrace the identity that we’d like to choose, but rather our problem is our unwillingness to embrace the truth of the identity that God has created for us.   Every aspect of our being has been corrupted by the fall; sin is present in every part of our being.  So it should come as no surprise that our sexuality is bent and broken, from same-sex attraction, to addiction to pornography, to sexual exploitation and violence.  The answer to this is not less God, but more.  We must get to root cause–the depth of depravity that results from our rebellion to God.  The good news, and it’s very good news, is that while the world and our enemy lies about our nature and identity, God reveals a different truth:  that each individual is created in His image, and despite our brokenness, each one of us can have our identity as His adopted children, the child of the King.  We may not be whole in this life, but there is a promise that there will be one day when there will be no more tears.

48 thoughts on “Gay Marriage in Australia, Socialism, and the hubris of our day”

  1. Satan has used man’s sinful heart to distort God’s intended relationship in marriage and causes others to belittle and attack Christians who stand up for God’s truth. It was ordained by God with the first marriage, Adam and Eve, in Genesis 1 and 2. In Matthew 19 Jesus illustrates this. It is also a mirror of Christ’s relationship to the church. Sadly man’s sinfulness has made what was once perfect corrupted.

    “There is a sense in which this is very good, in that we’re dissatisfied with the world as we find it.”

    As followers of Christ we find our ultimate fulfillment in Him. The more culture pushes Christ to the side this state of mind seems to occur, since without him there cannot be true fulfillment in our lives.

    Good post

  2. Well said.

    The more secular media that is consumed, the easier it is to become desensitized to the immorality that is being preached through it. If we allow ourselves to soak up the lies of worldly sexuality, it will eventually become thoughts and actions. It is so vital that, as Christians, we recognize the fallen state of the world; that we protect our hearts and minds and stand up for Biblical Truth.

  3. The assumption in this blog entry is Augustine’s–that there are Christians, and then there is the world.

    The world of Augustine is NOT the world we see today. Christians are part and parcel IN and OF this world. The immorality, the unbridled greed for possessions and power, the abuse of the poor and disadvantaged, the molestation of children, the blatant hypocrisy–Christians are NO different than the rest of the world.

    Indeed, in many ways, they are worse. Sometimes, much worse.

    Christians sometimes wonder why young people are turning away from the faith, why so many Christian colleges and seminaries are closing, why churches are increasingly empty. Look in the mirror.

    If you are smiling, you don’t get it.

    1. Jeff,

      Christians are called to be in the world but NOT OF this world. In other words, we’re stuck on the planet, but we should not follow the world down paths that lead away from God. Does that mean we always follow this instruction? NO. We are not perfect and we don’t claim to be. Christians are people and are subject to the same temptations and sinful nature as those who do not follow Christ. I agree with you that many Christians do horrible things, but non-Christians do those things too. I think the reason people seem to get more up in arms when a Christian commits a sin such as molestation (to use your example from your comment) is because people expect Christians to NOT do those things because we are commanded not to. A lot of people have this idea that Christians think they are perfect and are always of the “holier than thou” mindset. However, I have yet to meet a Christians who claimed perfection.

      So you’re right, Christians are no different that the rest of the world. We suck too. But you’re also wrong. Christians, although sinful creatures, have a 100% objective morality that they follow (found in the Bible) and although they do not follow it perfectly, the majority certainly try their hardest to.

      1. 100% objective morality? No, that does not exist.

        The Bible is completely silent on many social issues that we are faced to address. On other issues, such as marriage (the subject of this blog), there are many forms of marriage that the Bible supports (or at least does not condemn).

        That means we are on our own when we deal with many compelling issues that demand an answer. We can pray, as well we should; but the Bible won’t always be able to provide the help we wish it could.

        Besides, “objective morality” means nothing if it isn’t followed. And that was my point. Take, for instance, this so-called Christian politician from Cleveland who openly decried homosexuality and now is the news for doing what he condemned. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/disgraced-ohio-lawmaker-messaged-30-men-explicit-material-article-1.3646643

      2. Jeff, the Bible supports marriage between a man and a woman ONLY. It is most definitely not silent on the issue.

      3. Jeff,

        Just because it is impossible for man to follow an objective morality, it does not mean it doesn’t exist.

        In addition, please show me in the Bible where it endorses (or does not condemn) a form of marriage other than marriage between a man and a woman.

  4. “Do we not seek to jettison the wisdom of the history of our world in a vain pursuit for temporal happiness?”

    I think its funny how people focus on the material and expect happiness to follow the obtaining of wealth, power, things, etc. This happiness is fleeting. Stuff cannot make us happy for the long haul. Maybe for a while, but not forever. I hear many stories of the rich and famous being unhappy despite have millions and dollars and thousands upon thousands of fans. And yet you can have someone with next to nothing and he may be the happiest man you meet. This is not to say that stuff cannot bring temporary joy or happiness. The search for happiness should not be in the material, but the spiritual

  5. In Romans 12:2 we are told, ” Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”. This verse is helpful to look at in light of this topic. The society of this world continues to fall into brokenness caused by sin. As Christians, we are called to not follow along with their ways. We must stand for what we believe in and know is Biblical.

  6. I feel that it is also important to remember that we as Christians are not called to win in our battle to make the world a better place. Yes, we are called to be a light in the world, but we are also told that ultimately the world is going to reject us and more importantly Jesus. If we only focus on our success, or mostly failure; of making the world turn to Christ and Judeo-Christian ways, we can quickly and easily lose hope and give up on the world. When the world is full of rampant sin, we just have to remember that we are ultimately no better than any of those “sinners”, we just have the covering of Jesus’ blood to redeem us from our sins.

  7. While I agree with most all of what this article says, I feel like the connection to socialism could have been handled differently (or not at all). There is much that could be said about how the contemporary secular mindset (often championed by the left-leaning Democratic party in the United States) has led us to this point in our sexual brokenness. If this had been developed, I think its inclusion would have justified, but as it is I feel that it would have been better left out. I would have liked to see the connection to socialism fleshed out beyond that quote and the nicely replaceable language.

    1. Actually, it is in heavily Republican states that social problems such as teen pregnancy, crime, and divorce tend to be higher.

      The contemporary secular mindset is often best exhibited, it seems, in states that are the most critical about it.

  8. With every good thing given, there is an implicit limitation on its use. This is just common sense. Tools are designed with a specific purpose in mind and are best used within a set boundary of application. Roads are wonderful for moving between places, so long as we stay on the road. Free markets are the greatest source of wealth productivity for the world, so long as we stay within the confines of morality and honest competition. And sex can be properly enjoyed, so long as it is within the confines of marriage. Messing with the orderliness of God’s good gifts only leads to continual problem-solving without satisfactory end. Empirically, we can show that leading a godly life is the best way to be successful, but, of course, we could have just gone to the Bible in the first place.

  9. As Christians in this fallen world, we must be a light to the ones who are taken by the world. I really liked the last paragraph of this post. In particular, I like how the answer is more of God!

  10. While homosexuality is clearly stated as a sin, as Christians, we must remember that we are also fallen and are no better.

  11. “Jeff, the Bible supports marriage between a man and a woman ONLY. It is most definitely not silent on the issue.”

    No, that is not true. You should read your Bible more carefully.

    Anyway, that is the version of marriage I prefer, and the only one I want.

    1. Again Jeff,

      The form of marriage YOU prefer and want. Are you saying that because I don’t agree with you, I am wrong?

      1. Jeff,

        All due respect, but you are not providing any proof. You are not citing the Bible verses you seem to claim exist. What passages are you talking about? You are attacking Daniel, but are not supporting your personal attacks on us with the evidence you claim to have. Honestly, if you are going to attack Daniel in such a personal way, can you at least back it up with some evidence?

    2. Jeff, you are simply wrong about the Bible being silent/supporting more than one form of marriage. I do read the Bible carefully.

      What I said above about marriage being between a man and a woman in the Bible: “It was ordained by God with the first marriage, Adam and Eve, in Genesis 1 and 2. In Matthew 19 Jesus illustrates this. It is also a mirror of Christ’s relationship to the church.”

      Furthermore, homosexuality is specifically stated as a sin in several places (If you insist on proof I will cite specific verses).

      A good passage on this whole discussion to read is Romans 1:18-32 (this includes immoral sexual behavior in verses 26 and 27). The very last phrase of the chapter, “they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them”, is very evident in today’s culture.

      One more thing, Jeff. There is absolutely no doubt that Christians mess up big time on many issues. This does not make the principles less right, it just shows how fallen we are.

      1. No, you DON’T know your Bible.

        If you are still here, following this thread, I will explain why.

        I agree that the Bible condemns homosexuality. But that alone does not make it wrong, since the Bible condemns other practices Christians accept.

      2. “I agree that the Bible condemns homosexuality. But that alone does not make it wrong, since the Bible condemns other practices Christians accept.”

        Huh? If the Bible condemns it you don’t think that makes it wrong? If the ‘Christians’ you speak of in whatever practices you are referencing disagree with the Bible then they are wrong and not the Bible. Curious as to which practices you are referencing that Christians accept as right that the Bible condemns?

        “No, you DON’T know your Bible.
        If you are still here, following this thread, I will explain why.”

        Jeff I do know my Bible, I’m not interested in your reasoning as to why YOU think I don’t. I have been blessed with many great Bible teachers throughout my life that know their Bible much better than you do.

  12. Not only does culture always want to embrace the next new thing, it is often worse than the last. Apart from God man continually becomes more sinful and depraved (for evidence, please read the book of Judges in one sitting). As the world continues to reject Jesus, it will continue to produce people who come up with ideas that seem right in their eyes, but actually push the world farther from fulfillment. Christians must continue to boldly proclaim the truth, even though the repercussions may not be what they desire most. He is the only way to have true life, and we cannot be quiet about that.

  13. It is so sad to see this “revolution” finally coming to fruition in other parts of the world. These people are so blind to what love is and how lasting happiness can be found. So many people hold that religion leads to boredom and personal dissatisfaction, so they look to other places to provide it. What they will only come to find after some time is that it really only leads to further feelings of guilt, disgust, and unhappiness. God made sexual relations and intimacy as a key piece to be enjoyed in a marital relationship. However, He does not intend for this to be enjoyed and entertained by those of the same sex. As sinners often do, these people are taking a good thing that God has made and trying to manipulate it to fit their sinful lusts of the flesh. This path can really only lead to one place: a place of fire and destruction where the wrath of God reigns over all.

  14. In so many realms, especially this one, it is important to not fool ourselves think that we are more wise than our predecessors, as Dr. Haymond mentioned. We so many times think that we have it all figured out, when in reality we are not any better than those that have come before us. Yes we are a most technologically advanced man today, but we are no more morally advanced than before, and certainly not more advanced in our ability to control our sin nature. Let us look back on what our predecessors have done to try and figure out how to handle these situations. And above all predecessors, let us look to the Bible for our ultimate ruling

  15. Supporting same sex marriage may seem like we are simply riding the coattails of the newest fashionable idea. It is definitely popular, today moreso than ever, but does it really have the same effect on society as socialism? Socialism affects everyone in a nation, whereas letting people get married only directly effects those in their families. Also, why did the government have any sort of statute supporting heterosexual marriage in the first place? As Christians we can all agree that one man and one woman is God’s design for marriage, but why is that religious ideal forced onto a social construct? It is not the government’s job to enforce our ideals or anyone else’s. We must simply live as Christ called us to, reaching out to those around us with His good news, and leave the results up to Him.

    Our society is getting more and more sexually accepting and morally perverse. As Solomon said, there is nothing new under the sun. Why are we surprised at this further acceptance of sin in our world? Compared to the times Paul was living in, we have it very easy in the developed world. We should reach out to the watching world with love and fully aware that we are sinners. The only difference between us and them is that we are saved by grace and they have yet to be exposed to it. Let us go forth and spread His love!

  16. This is such a difficult issue because sometimes it feels like there is nothing that we can do. That would be incorrect, because there is something that we can do. We can tell the world what Jesus has done for them on the cross and that He determines their identity if they turn to Him. Once people realize that God has set up those areas of life in certain ways, then they are going to see that what they are doing is wrong and turn from it.

  17. Well said for a Christian point of view, but unbelievers won’t be convinced that homosexuality is immoral because the Bible says so.

  18. Although I do not think that the federal government (of the US at least) has the right to define marriage under the Constitution, as any opinionated American, I of course wish that it would be defined the way that I myself see fit. It is the government’s job to do what is best for society, and according to some people, the traditional definition of marriage is best for the family, but who is to make this decision? No one will ever agree on what is “best”. That is why we need to have a standard of truth, and as Christians, the Bible is our standard of truth. In it is everything that we need for life and godliness. Unfortunately, our government is not based on the Bible, so we cannot expect lawmakers to adhere to biblical standards. While I do not think that legalizing same-sex marriage is the best thing for society, I can see how, these days, it seems natural for government to do so, as it appears to be the progressive and accepting thing to do. In thinking about what is best for society in regards to this decision, it seems like lawmakers value people’s feelings more than the family.

  19. As the world we live in continues to become more secular, we must continue to be strong in our faith and not be ashamed to follow Christ. It is important to remember that we are only here for a very short amount of time, and that the struggles in this world do not come close to the joy we will have with Christ in eternity.

  20. I agreed with the points about gay marriage, but I am not sure about the connection between that and socialism. I think it could have been developed better and then it might have made sense, but as written I didn’t really understand why the connection was relevant or necessary. I feel like the same sort of observation could be made about a lot of other issues.

  21. It really is not surprising to me at all that Australia voted the way it did. Nowadays it is considered evil and bigoted to even imply that homosexuality is wrong in any way. I doubt that there will be a turn a round at this point and I think that this is just the way this world is going now. Even though I think this is the case I don’t believe we should be accepting of the trend. We still must stand firm in our beliefs even as the world as a whole turns against us more and more.

  22. It really is not surprising to me at all that Australia voted the way it did. Nowadays it is considered evil and bigoted to even imply that homosexuality is wrong in any way. I doubt that there will be a turn a round at this point and I think that this is just the way this world is going now. Even though I think this is the case I don’t believe we should be accepting of the trend. We still must stand firm in our beliefs even as the world as a whole turns against us more and more.

  23. I think it is interesting the way that Australia conducted the voting, but consider it not surprising the outcome of the vote. The Bible teaches one marriage for one man and one woman and that alone, nothing of the sort of two men or two women, or whatever else absurdity the modern world can concoct. Unfortunately though, it comes to no surprise that Australia has voted to allow this to happen because of how lax the world has gotten towards homosexuality and all the other types of sexuality. It appears that whatever or whoever pleases each person is truly acceptable and allowed for each person, rather than one’s rightful spouse within the bounds of marriage. It is truly unfortunate, but should also serve as a reminder for us to not base our values of the world’s values and seek to serve Him with the values and His teachings.

  24. Just because a moral view is regarded as ‘acceptable’ by the majority of society does not necessarily mean it is right or something that we should endorse as well. This is the bandwagon fallacy, and so it goes with Australia. They appear to vote for gay rights simply because ‘the rest of the world is doing and it is seen as normal and good now’.

    To compare gay marriage to socialism, however, is a stretch. Just in June, Vladimir Putin said “It is my duty to stop gay marriage…to uphold traditional values and family values”. No, Russia is not technically ‘socialist’ but many socialist ideas and values are still prevalent in that country today. Putin himself has said that he has always liked communist and socialist ideas.

  25. Homosexuality is becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s society. Christians must learn when to stand for something they believe in, and this is one of those topics. We shouldn’t push God out of the picture, but embrace Him even more. Homosexuality at its root is a sin problem. God has given us hope that one day, we will be sinless and blameless through him.

  26. This was a very well-written article that stated nothing but the facts. A non-Christian society thinks pleasing people (or oneself) is important and it is key that the Christian community keeps pleasing God as a priority. Sin is inevitable but that does not mean we should condone or tolerate it. Loving the sinner and hating the sin is all we can do – standing up for the truth in the Bible is what Christians ought to do. And twisting and forming the Bible to human sin is what some Christians do to make sin seem ok but the Bible is meant to withstand all eras. The further society moves from Christ, the larger the void. It is sad to say our current world is only moving away from Him and his goodness but it probably will only get worse.

  27. It is no surprise that there are things going on in the world that go against what we, as Christians, believe to be right. One such issue is the sinful expression of human sexuality such as, homosexuality and pornography. It a shame that places are pushes for acts of sexual impurity all over the world. I noticed from the linked article that many homosexuals in Australia didn’t really even care if same sex marriage was legalized there, but their government found it necessary to do so, regardless. This world is pushing more and more into sin even without people asking for it.

  28. The trickling in off secular views dominating our media continues to hold a grip in our lives. It’s hard to combat these agendas when the popular viewpoint is to simply accept anything and everything someone thinks. There’s not much more to say on this topic as the points brought forth in this article are solid for sure.

  29. This article is solid in the stance that it is sad how society is looking to please people when the Bible strictly tells us that not everyone will love you for following God. By following God’s commandments we are going against the social normal so we should expect to be criticized. It is amazing to me how the homosexual community is pushing for marriage as divorce rates and the age in which people are getting married are both raising.

  30. By reducing the same-attraction to a simple buzz phrase, we are missing the devastating affects that this new morality can bring. While socialism and same-sex attraction may have many of the same characteristics right now, it is a short sighted view. With socialism there are fewer moral implications than attractions. While I understand that it is hot topic to discuss right now, it is also potentially and irreversibly damaging to people on a personal, social, and communal level.

  31. All throughout the bible, we are called to live contrary to the world. We are to be living in the world but not of it. This holds true to homosexuality, something that is an extremely sensitive subject in recent years. Although we as Christians may get lots of backlash for standing up for what we know is true, it is critical that we hold true to what the Bible writes. Although we can’t convince anyone of anything, we should never back down when asked what we believe. Praise God that we have the guide to life in our fingertips (The Bible), and the ability to proclaim it to the world.

  32. Homosexuality is definitely the hot topic of all the debates between Christians and non-Christians. It is a sin and is explicitly stated as so in the bible, but so many other sins are in the bible that Christians continually commit but don’t seem to matter as much as homosexuality.

  33. Homosexuality is a hard topic as a Christian, but it is what it is, with clear instructions in the Bible to not perform or endorse it, with clear indications of a man and a woman being meant for marriage. What is hard for me is not disagreeing with homosexuality (which I believe is wrong), but it’s explaining my position to a non-christian and having them judge me for being a hateful person, which I am not. This position is becoming the minority, with homosexual rights spreading like wildfire, and I do believe some Christians take the position just because it is popular.

  34. Homosexuality is growing more and more prevalent in today’s society, and as a Christian, I am increasingly feeling a pressure to be educated and well informed on this issue. However, if I am totally honest I am not even sure I have a well-shaped opinion on the matter. My gut feeling tells me that this situation is ultimately unretrievable, which disheartens me from even making an effort. Yet I know that as Christians we are called to be a light to the world, so I know that this is something I need to bring up in prayer and study over the next while. One thing I need to remember whilst tackling this issue is that I myself am a sinner and fall well short of deserving anything from God, and ultimately love trumps all.

  35. I like how in this article Dr. Haymond does not go after the non-saved who made this vote possible, but rather us Christians. It is very hard to be a Christian in this day and age due to all these ideas and trends that oppose us. It is a great thought to show us that this new sort of society does not need less God, but more. It is so true, that in this broken culture we need to focus on God more than ever.

  36. This is a good reminder for Christians that the issue of homosexuality and specifically same sex marriage, is a social issue but also a moral issue. We need to remember that it is not a matter of opinion, HOWEVER, that also doesn’t give us the right to slander or smear the other side but still react toward them with love and understanding. Acting in this way also does not mean we have to accept or condone the actions of those who practice homosexuality or are in those types of relationships. There is a difference between acting with love and understanding, and condoning their actions.
    This article brings this point to light by showing how when we try to become accepting and ‘fit in with the thoughts of the time’ we often unintentionally eliminate God from our thought process.

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