Gay Marriage and the Hand of God

She saw the commencement of all the governments and of all the ecclesiastical establishments that now exist in the world; and we feel no assurance that she is not destined to see the end of them all. She was great and respected before the Saxon had set foot on Britain, before the Frank had passed the Rhine, when Grecian eloquence still flourished at Antioch, when idols were still worshipped in the temple of Mecca. And she may still exist in undiminished vigour when some traveller from New Zealand shall, in the midst of a vast solitude, take his stand on a broken arch of London Bridge to sketch the ruins of St. Paul’s.

Protestant historian and essayist Thomas Babington Macaulay on the Catholic Church

 

 

 

I am always reluctant to see the hand of God in human affairs.  I think there is much wisdom in this observation about God by Lincoln in his Second Inaugural:  The Almighty has His own purposes.   However, it is striking that Christian churches that embrace the evil Zeitgeist of today on abortion, euthanasia, gay marriage and other issues, swiftly see their numbers diminishing and their churches heading to extinction.  David French at National Review Online looks at this phenomenon:

In previous pieces, I’ve amply documented the decline and fall of the Protestant Mainline, those churches — like the United Churches of Christ and the Presbyterian Church (USA) — that abandoned biblical orthodoxy decades ago, in the name of cultural relevance and “inclusion.” Some are declining so precipitously that they may cease to exist within a generation. Already we’re seeing similar signs of decline in those Evangelical churches that are abandoning biblical truth on questions of sex, family, and marriage.

 

The day before the Supreme Court’s ruling, the Nashville Scene — a local alternative paper — ran a long, gauzy profile of Pastor Stan Mitchell and GracePointe, a Tennessee church that’s done exactly what the culture demands and embraced same-sex marriage. In the midst of the lengthy ode to his courage, this small paragraph of truth stood out: 

Go here to read the rest.  Throughout the history of the Church there have always been calls for the Church to embrace the World instead of the eternal Truth of Jesus Christ.  Here are some examples:
1.  In the infancy of the Church many Christians committed apostacy rather than face death during the periodic persecutions of the Roman Empire.  The temptation to be just like all the other Romans and live life in peace must have been overwhelming.
2.  After the emperors embraced Christianity, many Christians took their lead on matters of the Faith from the emperors, which is how the World woke up and found itself Arian under the son of Constantine, the Arian Constantius.
3.  During the early Middle Ages, how weak Christianity must have seemed facing such formidable foes as Islam, the savage Vikings and the hordes of nomadic races off the steppes who knew not Christ.  The temptation to despair in the face of constant martyrdom and living under non-Christian rulers must have been very strong.
4.  In the High Middle Ages, the Church was ever beset by heresies, and the growing menace of Islam on the march.  No wonder many Christians viewed the coming of the Mongols in the thirteenth century as the advent of the anti-Christ.  The defeat of the Crusades in the East confirmed many in their belief that the end was near, futher underlined by the Black Death in the next century, which in a few years killed a quarter of Europe.
5.  The Renaissance brought new intellectual life to Europe, but often promoted a life of luxury and cynicism far from the Gospel of Christ and paved the way for the shattering of Christendom with the Reformation.  Atheism and a revived paganism caused many to view Christianity with complete contempt.
6.  In the wake of the Reformation, men sought all sorts of new Gods in the divine right of kings, in science, in money and in the 1001 sects to which Christianity in Europe was now divided, all more or less hostile to each other.
7.  The French Revolution opened the era of open war on Christianity, culminating in the wars of extermination in the last century.
8.  In our time we find an open turning away from Christ by many who have called themselves Christian, as they live out in their own lives the admonition that the only reward of sin is death.
Those who want a quiet life in this Vale of Tears will never find it by embracing Christianity.  What they will find, if they hold out to the end, is Truth, love that passes understanding and eternal salvation.  That is worth all the hatred that this World can muster against the followers of Christ.

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8 Comments

  1. As Chesterton said, dead things float with the current. Only living things move against it. The Church has often looked to be overwhelmed by the current of the world, but it always keeps swimming against it.

  2. ” And she may still exist in undiminished vigour when some traveller from New Zealand shall, in the midst of a vast solitude, take his stand on a broken arch of London Bridge to sketch the ruins of St. Paul’s.”

    Maybe I should take a visit to London soon – because the day is not too far away.

  3. wonderful epistle. Don M. : I took encouragement from this on an especially dreary, personally challenging day, thank you. – we are in the ‘ pits’ but not forsaken and it is a long road ahead. run the race and keep the faith ; hold fast to your traditions.

    ad multos annos,

  4. The old saying, “Live and let live.” The Thing is they won’t let us live the way we want.
    .

    The four (you get three) end things are: death, judgment, Heaven or Hell. Recent events are starkly proving that an extremely small number of souls are to be saved at the Last Judgment. And, ancient St. Chrysostom wrote that “The floor of Hell is paved with the skulls of bishops.”

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