Hanging ourselves with chords of vanity

| April 12, 2013 | 1 Comments

As expected, the current case before the United States Supreme Court is sparking considerable debate and discussion. When you chisel away at all of the emotional chaff, what you really discover is an elderly woman, Edie Windsor, angry over having to pay estate taxes. I am forced to inquire as to why, if Thea Spyer loved Edie so much, she failed to get her estate properly organized to avoid those taxes. I suppose that the going rate for civilization these days is a petty $326,000.  Quite a bargain, but that ship has sailed. By the Supreme Court’s own admission that ship has now entered into uncharted waters. Well, I suppose so from a mortal point of view, it has. However, from an eternal perspective, there is nothing new about this issue. It is only man’s own lack of historical knowledge and his arrogance that we think we are on the edge of yet another brave new world. There is nothing brave, nor noble, nor new about this issue. It is as old as man, and the same wrong decision has been made repeatedly before.

I stand amazed at how individuals I have grown up with, who in some instances, sat beside me on the church pew, reading the same words and hearing the same messages as I did, appear to have jettisoned everything they know to be true, with such ease and abandon. The most tragic and saddening statement made to me, was by a once close friend, whose father I admired and looked up to, and who was raised to know better, who looked me in the eyes and stated “You of all people should know this.  If the Constitution is not for everyone, then it cannot be for anyone!” Needless to say, our paths have taken a diverse course, and I am forced to chalk up yet another casualty to the culture war, as the ranks of the faithful remnant stand resolute.  However, I was struck by the zeal with which he so easily purported a stupefying statement. Again, ignorance and disregard of history, makes such positions possible.

John Adams once stated, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” I realize that this is often quoted as of late, but it is worthy or repetition. To my friend I would wholeheartedly agree, that indeed tis true that the Constitution was meant for everyone. The only stipulation being that everyone be of a moral and religious lot. What we are seeing here today is not the case whatsoever. What we see in America today is an open rebellion towards the basic Judeo-Christian principles upon which this nation was founded. With the deliberate and systematic abolition of those principles, then Adams is most correct in his stating that the Constitution as they designed is indeed wholly inadequate. When I see all of these proud boisterous demonstrations televised and locally, I am constantly reminded of a Scripture verse:

“Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope: That say, Let him make speed, and hasten his work, that we may see it: and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know it!  Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! 2 Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink:  Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!  Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumed the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

—Isaiah 5: 18-24

Homosexuality as it is described in the Bible is not the ultimate sin. However, it is considered as the ultimate distortion of God’s creative genius. When the human family indulges in sexual behavior antithetical to that for which they were biologically, psychologically, and emotionally designed, the “futile” imagination has so “darkened” the foolish heart that it is virtually impossible to view anything as God intended. To these awesome sins of homosexuality and sodomy, there are generally  six terms of evaluation: (1) “uncleanness”, (2) “lusts” , (3) “dishonor”, (4) “vile passions” , (5) “against nature” , and (6) “shameful.” Likewise there is the promise of the certainty of God’s judgment against all such sin. Sexual immorality has a peculiar effect upon the body. The sole purpose of this sin is the gratification of lust; and, therefore, it is probably the most selfish of all sins. The internal spiritual sensitivities are wrecked by this sin. This is applicable of all sexual sin, not just homosexuality. The theme of holiness or sanctification includes family life and sexual habits both before and in marriage.  Paul gives three motivations for holy living: (1) fulfilling the will of God, (2) honoring the gift of one’s mate, and (3) avoiding sin against one’s brother. Thessalonica was well known for its variety in sexual appetites. Believers who came from this background could experience problems. “Sexual immorality” translates a Greek word which speaks about a broad spectrum of sexual indulgence, both illicit and unnatural. The term would include practices such as premarital sex, extramarital sex, homosexuality, lesbianism, sodomy, incest, and bestiality. God’s plan of one man and one woman united for a lifetime in marriage has never changed. Any deviation from this pattern (excluding the gift of celibacy) constitutes sin. Today’s “modern morality,” in order to be effective, glosses over of evil and re-dresses wickedness to give it the appearance of righteousness. This insensitivity to moral decay is the sign of deepest corruption. “Light” and “darkness” are symbols for “good” and “evil.” “Bitter” is sometimes used of wickedness and “sweet” of good.  According to the “modern morality,” which is based on the principle of self-gratification, cheating is a way to prosperity, adultery only a casual pleasure, lying merely a means to an end, and homosexuality simply the result of a difference in body chemistry. There can appear no “modern morality,” however, until God’s law, as it is found in the Scriptures, is pushed aside and discarded, and that is what we are seeing transpire in the chambers of the Supreme Court today.  Undeniably, sexuality occupies an important place in human life. It is to be expected, as God Himself created HIS creation to be so.  In a unique manner it reflects the image of God in man. God as perfect being possesses all the sublime qualities of maleness and femaleness in His one person. While God is not sexual, He has created the unique qualities of maleness and femaleness. Thus, neither man nor woman is fully complete without the other. Disturbing human sexuality disturbs the whole person. When persons are crippled sexually, their entire being is damaged. More harm can be done to humanity by debasing sexuality than by almost any other single factor except for spirituality. Thus the most destructive form of child abuse is not physical abuse but sexual physical abuse. The fact that the physical sexual abuse of children has statistically increased in exponential numbers with the growing homosexual rights movement, is not merely coincidental.  Sex is one of the most powerful drives in life. Men and women face some of their fiercest struggles at this point. Sex out of control leads to some of the greatest personal and social problems faced by humanity. AIDS and abortion result primarily from the abuse of sexuality, as do prostitution, rape, incest, homosexuality, and the unimaginable range of sexual perversions humanity practices.

The laws of the Bible form a unique moral system. While other laws of the Near East tried to show what a king thought was good and right, the Bible shows how to honor God; this theme runs through all of its laws and is the root of all its morality. The Bible outlaws adultery, unnatural sex acts (such as homosexuality), prostitution, and other forms of perverted sex. God knew that these things could destroy Israel, just as they had destroyed other nations. They were crimes against morality—in other words, crimes challenging the God-given order for human society. God’s Law ruled out greed, lying, strange marriages, and anything else that would upset society. God expected His people to live morally upright lives. This is exactly what Adams, and most all of our founding fathers meant, when they stated that our Constitution was meant for a moral and religious people. They understood history, and what actions had brought down the great nations of the past, and they incorporated it into the documents upon which we base our nation on today. Why is murder wrong? Why do we punish those who do so? Why is stealing wrong? Why do we punish those who do so? Is it because the Constitution says it is wrong, or because our founding fathers wrote an edict to say that such actions were wrong? No. Those laws and rules of behavior are known inside the recesses of one’s heart and mind. Don’t believe it? Watch the children new to the world of kindergarten. When Johnny takes Jimmy’s snack, either by force or by stealth, no one need tell Jimmy to be righteously indignant. Jimmy just knows it is wrong. So the question is how does Jimmy know that?  Because God gave each and every one of us that innate sense of right and wrong at conception. So what do we as a society do after we’ve redefined marriage?  Do we save money by redefining other known and accepted societal laws which were given to us through our Judeo-Christian background, and thereby release those in prison for rape, murder, theft, etc.? In Virginia alone, with 33,000 in prison at a cost of $26,000 per prisoner, that would be a substantial savings. Surely, it would help the sales of firearms, ammunitions and security systems.  Biblical law is unique and sacred. You cannot cut it into bite size appealing portions, without destroying the body from which those portions are attached.

The three pillars of America’s greatness had been the spirituality,  morality and patriotism of her citizenry. Our enemies realized that, and after WWII, America was invaded with an unseen alien presence that attached itself to the core of those institutions responsible for those three pillars. They became more intimately attached than any face hugging creature a science fiction writer could have imagined. In 1963, America was seduced into severing the ties to the God that made her great, and now here we are. We murder our innocent unborn in the mother’s womb as we feed and house the murderer for life. We allow on our governing boards, members who commit sexual misconduct on their constituents and produce fools who defend them. We hold high as role models, those who lie, cheat, steal, bully and in a barbaric state, get what they think they deserve, while we patronize and make fun of and attempt to destroy, any organization that may attempt to create a citizen that our founding fathers expected. We are seeing exactly what God wrote: Romans Chapter 1: 18-32

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;  Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even†his eternal power and Godhead; that they are without excuse:  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.  Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves:  Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.  For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, spiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:  Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

—Romans  1: 18-32

The old maxim about giving one enough rope, and they will hang themselves is pretty prescient to our current state. As a society, we have indeed wrapped those foolish chords of vanity, political correctness and expediency about our necks, and are proceeding up the steps of the executioner’s platform. I’m sure we’ll be more than accommodating enough to place our collective fingers on the chord, as the knot is tied.

About the Author:

HANK MARTIN is a Charlottesville native, a graduate of Albemarle High School and Piedmont Virginia Community College. Growing up, he spent more than a decade in the Cub and Boy Scout Programs and was a member of the Monticello Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol. As an adult, he has served as a leader in Scouting and church youth character building programs. An avid history lover, he participated in the adoption of the school anti-bullying legislation sponsored by delegate Rob Bell. Hank most recently founded and chaired Forever Albemarle, a personal property rights group. He lives with his wife and children in Charlottesville.
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1 Comment on "Hanging ourselves with chords of vanity"

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  1. Rob Schilling says:

    Hank Martin discusses, marriage, morality and the Supreme Court's looming decision.

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