Multiply Justice

Justice isn’t getting what I want

CC Thomas Samson / AFP Getty NC

CC Thomas Samson / AFP Getty NC

Did you notice the massive protest in France over the government’s plan to legalize same-sex marriage? Did it strike you as odd that hundreds of thousands of people in one of the world’s most completely secularized, post-Christian cultures would care enough about the issue to take to the streets? Why do you suppose it happened?

As I stared at a photo of the crowd, I was reminded that Romans 1:19-20 tells us that people instinctively know there is a Creator because they can see the marvels of creation. A person does not have to be a follower of any religion to realize the amazing universe around us is the work of an immensely powerful and intelligent being — and to realize that certain aspects of the creation clearly reflect an intentional design decision by the Creator.

The design of the human body in its male and female aspects clearly reflects the Creator’s intention about human reproduction and sexual relations. In fact, Genesis 1:27-28 tells us that God’s decision to create us male and female was directly related to humanity’s reflecting the fullness of his image, as well as his intention for the species to reproduce. If we have any intention of honoring God for who he is, we must respect his clear intentions for his creation.

Justice demands that no person be diminished, denigrated, or persecuted, but justice is not getting what I want. Justice is bringing circumstances into harmony with the way things ought to be. The way things ought to be is determined by the Creator’s intention in creation, not by our opinion or preference.

The sad fact is that all of God’s creation is broken, fractured by humanity’s willful selfishness and our determination to have what we want, rather than what God wants to give us. The Scripture is clear that all of us are broken, that the only difference is whether we are stubborn in indulging our brokenness or willing to allow God to heal us and begin the process of restoring us to the wholeness he originally intended us to enjoy.

People are broken in many ways, and we all want what we want. The fact is, however, we don’t get to redefine the fundamental realities of creation. One person may feel intimate affection for another person of the same sex — and in our culture we confuse emotional intimacy with sexual intimacy — but we can no more redefine God’s male/female intention than we can change the DNA with which we were born. We can insist on obeying our broken feelings and desires. Society can change its laws about the benefits enjoyed by those who choose to live together in partnership. Technology has even made it possible for us to superficially change the organs of reproduction. But we cannot change the fact that God created us male and female, as a reflection of his image, for the purpose of reproduction.

A country or state may adopt civil union legislation, but it cannot simply decide that one flesh marriage can happen between members of the same sex.

Laws can’t solve the problem of human brokenness and create justice. Sodomy laws were an injustice, but same-sex marriage laws only multiply the injustice. The truth is deeply ingrained, not only in our bodies, but even in the secular, post-Christian conscience. Deceiving ourselves about the nature of human sexuality will not change the facts of creation.

Christian, take this to heart: Condescension and hatred toward those who reject God’s intention in male/female creation cannot accomplish God’s justice. Healing brokenness and multiplying justice can only be done one to one, face to face — knowing and loving another person, understanding them at the deepest level, ministering to their real needs, and showing them how to experience the full, free, and forever life God created them to enjoy.

I am heartened that so many in France are not afraid to publicly declare their conviction about marriage and express their concern for the welfare of children adopted by gay couples. That’s a sign of healthy democracy. I would be more encouraged to know these same people had turned their backs on prejudice, hatred, and discrimination and are instead pursuing peace, healing, and reconciliation with others before God.

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