In Defense of Marriage

I’ll make myself clear right now, marriage is between one man and one woman.  Period.  That’s how God set it up.  That’s how the Bible has it.  That’s how God describes the relationship that He has with His creation, Christ and His Bride, the Church.  There is no way around it.

I am, however, fascinated by the craziness surrounding the “Defense of Marriage Act”.  Here’s why: If I don’t need legislation for Baptism, Confirmation, First Communion, Funeral Rites, and the like, why do I need legislation on marriage?  Personally, I am starting to think that I would like the government to get out of the marriage business altogether.  Going against the 6th Commandment is for the Church to discipline, not the state.  After all, when was the last time someone was arrested for having an affair?  Living together outside of wedlock?  How about the “hook ups” that are reported to happen on Spring Break?  Let’s be honest here, it’s a little hypocritical to state that marriage is between one man and one woman but then “shack up” with whoever you are with personally.  If we are to follow this as the Bible commands, as so many cry and scream for when something like the Defense of Marriage Act comes up, we are to follow it fully.  “Thou shalt not commit adultery” goes for homosexual acts, living together, “hook ups”, casual sex, and the like.  We need to really legislate against all of it if we are going to do put some force behind using the Scriptures to defend marriage.  Which leads me to my original thought: Should we not allow the Church to take care of marriage and let the rest of the world decide what it wants to do?

Before that statement is misinterpreted to think that I am *advocating* sin, I will point out that any transgression against the 6th Commandment is exactly that.  Sin.  It shouldn’t be done.  For a Christian, it is “illegal”, not against the State, but against God and His Word.  So it not going to church (think 3rd Commandment) and taking an office pen for personal use (7th Commandment).  It is impossible in a free society to legislate entirely from a Christian standpoint.  Laws on the books that require one to go to church would undoubtedly cause unrest and anger towards the government and the Church.  It’s important that the government not govern our personal lives directly, as much as it is to allow us to live our lives as we wish.

This means that if the State wants to allow two men to marry, two women to marry, two men and a woman to marry, etc, it should be allowed, however, it shouldn’t be called marriage.  Marriage is given by God.  It’s a church thing.  I pledged my love, obedience, and faithfulness to my husband on May 20, 2006, in front of God and a gaggle of pastors, my family, and friends.  Those vows have nothing to do with the State.  The State could care less if I cheated.  God, on the other hand, will care.  That is a sin against Him (as well as my husband).  Instead, call it a business contract, call it whatever you wish, really, except marriage.  Marriage is something given by God in a religious context.  When it comes to separation of church and state, this is one place where the liberals will demand that religion enter into the government, but instead of putting God as the creator of marriage, it puts the government in place of God, thereby making an idol.

I believe that when the government entered the marriage business, even when it was just about one man and one woman, we were already headed for the “slippery slope” of today.  It was already problematic because you can’t legislate morals, ethics, or beliefs.  That’s church territory.  The government has taken on a lot of “church territory”, from charity and the care taking of the poor, needy, homeless, and infirm, to legislating how and when one can witness their faith, things that are not for a government to decide if it is built on liberty.

The thing about liberty is, sometimes people will use it in ways we disagree with.  They will use it to get into same sex relationships and even bigamy.  The answer isn’t to turn to the government to decide what is morally right and wrong.  The answer is to understand what liberty means; the freedom to express oneself without trampling on another person’s rights within reason.  The Second Tablet of the Law must be followed.  The answer is to remember that to limit someone elses liberty is to limit our own.  This may mean that we congregate with like minded people.  The Lutherans will rally around the Lutherans; the gay and lesbian groups will rally around themselves.  However, this doesn’t necessarily mean intolerance as this is happening already.  It means we respect each other’s differences, and we are willing to co-exist peacefully though we do not agree.  I would much rather have this set up than to be subjected to the whims of society as it is decided what is right and wrong for that age and then applied to all.  I would rather have the freedom to live as a Christian than the persecution of a martyr because the times changed and I am now being forced to do what someone else thinks is right.

So where am I on the Defense of Marriage Act and the recent Supreme Court rulings?  I don’t know.  The cat’s already out of the bag.  The government is already in the marriage business.  To that end, I agree wholly that marriage is between one man and one woman.  But is there a better way in our society to regain the liberties we had when the country was still being formed?  I still wonder if everything shouldn’t be contractual and leave the marriage business to the church.  For me, this is still open for debate on what is best.

What do you think?

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It’s Alive!

One of the reasons why I push to get healthy is because I do want to get pregnant.  It’s important that body, mind, and soul are healthy to carry a baby successfully.  Getting my weight under control and my eating healthier than it has been is an important step to make sure that my baby’s first home- me- is healthy and a good environment to grow and develop.  Taking good care of me means that I will be taking good care of a life that I am responsible for (hopefully) in the near future.  Just as much as protecting baby from harm after s/he is born, I must protect baby from harm inside of me.  Toxins of unhealthy eating will effect baby, probably more than I realize.  Having a healthy weight, good cholesterol, low blood pressure, and no diabetic tendencies are important precautions just like making sure to use a safety seat in the car is, locking the door after coming in the house, and making sure that the plugs have covers on them to avoid mishaps.  Baby’s environment shapes who s/he becomes both in the moment and later in life.

So if baby isn’t alive until after s/he is born, why bother with prenatal care at all?  Why bother getting healthy if the first environment baby is in is out of the womb?  It really shouldn’t matter what I eat, how much I exercise, or even if I drink or smoke, if the baby isn’t alive until birth.  So why is it that certain products (alcohol, cigarettes, certain medications) and certain activities (roller coasters and other amusement park rides, even hot tubs)  have warnings on them cautioning women who may be pregnant that this could be hazardous to the unborn?  Logically, this makes no sense.  Why should it matter if the baby isn’t alive until birth?

The same scientists who claim that they can prove using evolution and natural processes that God doesn’t exist will argue on whether the lump of cells made of two different individual’s DNA to form a completely new DNA structure is a baby or a tumor.  Isn’t disproving God infinitely more complex than deciding if a lump of cells is cancer or a baby?  I had a tumor removed from my hip about a year ago.  I can tell you now it didn’t have arms, legs, eyes, ears, and a nose.  It truly was a lump of fatty tissue that needed to come out.  How can we scientifically not see the difference between that and a baby?  Logically, this makes no sense.

So, if the baby is only a baby if it is wanted, how does that effect the rest of life?  Are my parents only my parents (and by that I mean the physical DNA that my parents gave to me to make me who I am) if I want them to be.  If I decide I don’t want them, will my DNA change to who I want my parents to be.  If I have a cancerous tumor, and I choose not to have a cancerous tumor, will it change and become something less malignant?  I can hate my eye color, but the only way that I can change it is by covering it up and pretending that it is something it’s not.  I can’t change it to what I want simply by making up my mind that my eye color is something different than what it actually is.  So why is it that a baby is only a baby if we want it?  Logically, this makes no sense.

So if scientifically it’s a baby, and from the physical laws of our reality we can’t change it by wishing for something different, then what does happen when an abortion occurs?  Removing an organism from the environment that it is nourished, grows, and develops will kill the organism.  So, abortion kills the organism, the baby.  Why?  Is it inconvenience?  Fear?  Perhaps a hardened heart?  Whatever the reason, it’s not based on science, logic, or reason.  Neither is murder based on science, logic, or reason.  So if we legalize abortion, why not legalize murder?  Each murderer has an emotional reason why the person they killed needed to die.  So does the woman who has an abortion.

But murder is outlawed, based on the 5th Commandment, the laws of the land, and the natural law written on our hearts.  So why isn’t abortion?

Time to be Responsible…

We live in a world of disposable, well, everything.  If it’s gross, disgusting, unpleasant, bothersome, infringing on our happiness, irritating, or even angering, it can be easily thrown out and replaced instead of working on the issue to mend it.  After all, isn’t easier to start over than it is to repair something broken?  I mean, with the fresh and the new there is a new start, a beginning that has the promise of wonderful things to come, a way to become something that isn’t constricted by the old.  For some things, the new truly is better.  Toilet paper, for example, has had its usefulness spent after a one time use and should be disposed of else the members of the family will be sick.  Most of the time wrapping paper is the same way.  Ruined after one use and beyond repair to use again.  Some things in life should just remain disposable.  However, I think in turning into a disposable society, we have forgotten the value of what is old, tried and true, cherished and loved.

I have held the locket that belonged to my great great grandmother.  Within that locket are pictures dear and treasured.  Once she was gone, I suppose that someone could have thrown it away, gotten rid of it and the memories it symbolized, but I am so glad they didn’t.  It’s my link to her from somewhere in the past.  It’s a clue as to who she is and what was important to her in her life.

But it’s not just the stuff that we seem to think is disposable.  If a relationship doesn’t work, we throw it out.  This is seen in the divorce rate in our society alone.  My thoughts are something completely different.  Call it old fashioned, call it backwater hicksville thinking if you will, but it’s tried and true, and it works.  If it’s broke, fix it.  Spend time working on it until it’s better.  Yes, I do understand that there are sometimes when it is safest for all involved to walk away, but that’s not every time.  In fact, the odds are that the people who are calling it quits are already looking for the new, polished, and shiny relationship because they don’t want to work on what’s broken with the relationship they have.  Well, nothing that is worth keeping happens without work.  A great garden will grow only when it is tended to.  A great relationship will only flourish with the same attention.

I believe that this same attitude is permeating our society.  Nothing is worth keeping any more.  Everything is subject to discard.  I think that this is part of the greater issues that are hurting our American culture.  What do you think?

Working on Me…

I was never the athletic one growing up.  My younger brother could play basketball like no one else.  But me?  Naw, find me in front of the TV, on the computer (like now!) or something else that really didn’t involve an active life where I would make sure my body was in good shape.  My family was heavyset, and in reality, I guess I always thought that there was no beating your genes.  No matter what I did, I would be heavy.

Little did I know my weight is directly related to my mental health.  When I work out, eat right, and take care of myself, I am usually in a great mental state as well.  Letting my weight go did much more than hurt my looks or my cholesterol count.  It would be detrimental to my mental health as well.  My anxiety goes up, my depression increases.  All in all, its a bad situation.  When I joined Nutrisystem, when I joined the gym, I did a lot more than just improve my looks and my physical health, I improved all of me.  Now I can knock down 10 -11 miles at the gym every other day using a stationary bike, a treadmill, and an elliptical, something that I thought my genes would keep me from doing.  I’m not model thin, I still have pounds to shed, but I am darn proud of myself for being able to accomplish what I told myself I could never do from an early age.

Genetics aren’t everything.  If you want to become, you have to work on it.  You have to believe you can do it.  Since my heaviest point at 230lbs, I have lost almost 70 lbs.  That’s not genetics, that’s determination.  Praise be to God that He has given me the motivation to do what needed to be done.

Family Values: What are we teaching?

I love learning about my ancestry.  I love to learn about what makes me who I am.  For example, on my dad’s side of the family, the handwriting I have seen my dad use seems to go in the family.  It is amazing to see writing from the past that could be my dad’s easily.  The facial features of his side of the family must be a dominant gene, as there is a picture of my great great grandmother who looks like my dad with a wig on!  On my mother’s side of the family, there are parts of my family that dates back to the early colonial settlers in the 1600s.  There are men who served in the Revolutionary War, one of whom I think I might have found his burial site.

My great grandma and great grandpa were strong Lutherans.  They instilled this faith in my grandmother, who in turn taught my father, who taught my entire family, including me.  These values haven’t changed with time.  I have held my great great grandfather’s Lutheran hymnal.  Many of the hymns I sing, though it is translated into English from German, that he sang from that hymnal.  What we teach our young, what we do today, effects not just us but many generations of our descendents, perhaps even more than we realize.

So what are we teaching with this immigration bill?  What lasting effects will it have beyond this generation?  I have to wonder.  What is the cost of teaching so many generations that it is okay to violate the laws of a land and then demand amnesty that not only requires freedom from prosecution under the law, but all the rights and privileges of a victimized class of people who need reparations for being treated as second class citizens.  What does this say about the law of the land?  What does this teach about the authority of those who are put over us by God to govern and rule us according to His good purpose?  In effect, what is the bigger picture beyond those who are here illegally, what the bill will grant them now, and what will be the lasting effects of what we teach for generations to come, both the children who are alive now and those who are not even a twinkle in their father’s eye?

Is it okay to break the law, work, live, and thrive in a country that states there are certain rules that must be followed before you may live, work, and make a life here?  And if we teach our youth that breaking the law is okay if it is for the benefit of those who break the law, what happens when this shakes down to other laws such as theft?  Murder?  We all want to be the exception to the rule and not follow the rules ourselves.  But the truth is, rules aren’t made to be broken, they’re made to be followed and there is a reason why they are there.  There are plenty of people who have been doing as they ought, following the rules, immigrating the right way.  What does it say to them when there is an alternate path that mocks the hard work done to come into this country?  What does this say to them, to their children, about following the rules of this land God has granted us?

America, this isn’t just about granting amnesty, this is about being a country of principles, of doing what we say we will do.  Think before you act, here.  Are we a nation who follows the law?  Or are we a nation who thinks that everyone is the exception to the rule and the laws apply to none?

On Being Divisive

divisive [dɪˈvaɪsɪv]

adj

1. causing or tending to cause disagreement or dissension
2. Archaic having the quality of distinguishing

divisively  adv
divisiveness  n
According to the President’s recent remarks, this is the definition of me.  It’s simple, really.  I believe that Jesus Christ is God’s Son, come to earth to die for the sins of all people, for their salvation from sin, death, and the power of the devil.  I believe that Christ, true God and true man, died an actual death and was raised again from death to life, and that through faith in Him, I too, will live forever with Him.  I believe that God the Holy Spirit is sent by the Son to bring faith to the hearts of unbelievers.  I believe that God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one God, three Persons.  I believe that it is my right and privilege to share this faith with others, be it my husband (and any future children), my friends, and other people I come in contact with in my life and work.  I believe that we should have schools that educate children in the faith as an extension of the parental authority given to parents to educate children in the faith so that when they grow up, they grow up in the knowledge of a loving God who wants the best for them and loved them enough to die for them.  It is part of the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  These rights are not granted by man, by governments, or any other authority other than God Himself.  I don’t believe in forcing this faith on anyone, but I do believe it is my right to speak about my religion, same as anyone else, and the ability is also given to me by the freedom that is also granted by God.

I don’t believe that this should be silenced because of the possibility of offense.  If I am forcing others to practice my religion, of course I should be corrected, but I don’t believe that I should hide part of who I am in order to prevent offense from happening.  I am aware that there is a difference between giving offense and taking offense.  I don’t believe that I should be responsible for when someone else takes offense.  My freedoms should not be infringed because it might upset someone else because in theory, that means that I give up my actual freedoms to keep another from possibly having their freedoms infringed.  Our society was based upon actual freedoms.  The freedom to worship without being told how we are to worship by the government.  The freedom to speak without fear of punishment.  The freedom to be who we are by God without being punished, oppressed, or silenced by those who rule over us.  In essence, we rule ourselves, and it is merely the government that gives us the construct to govern ourselves well and to punish those who would break the Second Tablet of the Ten Commandments: adultery, murder, stealing, coveting, lying and other such gross outward sins against our fellow man.

Now, you may not agree with me, but just as you would not like me to dictate what you believe, where you should go to worship, what topics you are allowed to breach in conversation with those you come in contact with but would like the freedom to do as you wish, I also would like that same respect.  In saying what I say, I am not stating that you must believe as I do, that I expect you to, and that you will be punished by law if you do not agree.  However, with recent legislation, it is starting to look as if the feelings, thoughts, and beliefs of others are being imposed on the masses, specifically by our government to force a set of beliefs on the masses, something that our Constitution is supposed to protect us from.  Under the guise of political correctness and cultural sensitivity, in order to be inclusive, we must reject who we are to become something that others believe we should be.  Instead of having the freedom to live as we wish, we instead are forced to conform to a set of beliefs that are not our own by threat of the law, lawsuits, and scare tactics.  Comments such as the recent speech by the President are scary.  The USA was founded on freedom not on government infringements.
Just because the government might agree with your feelings in some points doesn’t mean that it should be dictating what others do no matter if you are in agreement.  This should be the freedom of each individual to decide what they will do according to their conscience and their faith.  If you don’t stand up now, when you finally need someone to protect you, there will be nobody left.

It’s Been a While

Six months to be exact since I have posted here.  I need to do it more often.  I do.  Life tends to get in the way.  However, it seems, that I am not without deep thoughts, just not always thoughts that I share.  However, the more I watch The Blaze, the more I realize that maybe I am not alone in my thoughts, that maybe I am not the only person who feels the way I do, and maybe, just maybe, there are fellow Americans out there who believe, as I do, that we are on the wrong path in our government, that the focus of the American people is being fundamentally shifted to something that is dangerous to individual liberties and to the freedoms Christians enjoy in this country.  The time is coming soon that active persecution will happen in America that will look more like what the Christians went through under Caesar in Rome.  It sounds so foreign, but it’s not.  Giving up our freedoms for free stuff gives others reign over our lives, which includes what we will eat (think New York’s soda pop ban), how we will live (ObamaCare), and what we will believe (the Boy Scouts recently were the latest to cave over bending to the will of the collective beliefs of our government about homosexuality despite stating that it went against core beliefs in previous statements).  My parents used to tell me that they paid the bills and therefore they got to tell me how I will live.  I thank them for that now, as my parents didn’t see me as a collective with my brothers, but attended to my needs personally and individually.  However, if the government is paying my bills, they could use the same argument and tell me what I have permission to do and what I don’t.  To be honest, one of the things that every child looks forward to when they grow up is the ability to get out from under their parent’s “rule”, so to speak, and right the perceived wrongs.  This allows people to live their own lives, doing as they wish.  Living under the government rule, there is no rite of passage, there is no “moving out”.  The government would be able to dictate from cradle to grave, the sole provider of all the needs of the people.

The government has some competition, however.  As a God-fearing, Bible believing Christian, who will tell you that I have nothing apart from what my Heavenly Father has given me through Jesus Christ, His Son, I have an issue with the government stating that it will take the place of God in my life, providing for my every need.  Sure, God could work through the means of the government, and has for many people, but that’s not what the government pushes to believe when the topic comes up.  Instead of seeing itself as an agent of the God who created heaven and earth, they see themselves as a means to an end all on their own.  Taking their authority not from God, but from themselves, they will decide that God is no longer in the picture and the only god who provides for meat and drink, house and home, clothes and shoes, fields and cattle, and all of the needs to support this daily life is the government itself.  That’s what God promises us in the Fourth Petition of the Lord’s Prayer.  I would much rather work hard on my own, earn my keep, and work to support myself and my family under God than I would give up my God and get all of this “stuff” supposedly for free.

Perhaps the biggest “war on religion” in the US today is not the one we suppose on the surface.  The government is fighting to take the place of God.  The government wants to be the one supplying our every need, ensuring that we are never uncomfortable.  In order to accomplish this task, they must remove God from the public arena, thus telling Christians that religion is private and should happen in the home, as if it was a shameful and embarrassing act, forcing the religious symbols out of the public view and even demonizing the religious as dangerous zealots who are radical and a threat to civilized society.  Popularizing secular accomplishments that glory in the actions of men rather than God working through men, the government cannot accomplish this quickly, as the backlash would be phenomenal.  Instead, attacking one freedom at a time, the government slowly turns up the heat so that people are unawares until it is too late.  It seems that it is at its peak now, with the IRS spying on the TEA Party and it’s members, the press and it’s workers, ObamaCare forcing people to turn over their healthcare to the government, and the gun control debate that relates directly to the freedom of the 2nd Amendment with the bulk of Americans seeming not to care because of either the “stuff” they can gain from it in terms of personal acquisition or opponents being suppressed for more seeming popular beliefs, but even a look to WWII Germany will state that it can get worse.  There is a fundamental problem when the government believes it is God.  Whether it is is Pharaoh in Ancient Egypt, Caesar in Rome, or Hitler in Germany, once the government believes that they are a god, trouble follows.  Rome fed Christians to the lions.  Hitler massacred more than just Jews.   The path the US is on is going to be just as destructive.

I am a part of a church who prays weekly for the government, that it be good and just.  This isn’t an anti-government tirade.  This is a cautionary tale.  Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.  I don’t want a repeat of the martyrdom of Christians because they will not accept the American Civil Religion of which the government is one of the religious leaders, and other religious leaders must follow suit or face serious consequences.  I want the freedom given me in the Bill of Rights to live a peaceable life as I wish without the government giving me all I need to support my daily life (and all the interference that comes with it).  I have my God who promises to provide for me who will see me through in this life and the next through Jesus Christ, who won my salvation and made me a princess in His kingdom.  I want the government to do what it is supposed to do: to allow me to live in freedom and peace so that I may go about my work uninhibited.