So the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled 5 to 4 that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right; thus, making same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. We used to say much ink will be spilled but I suppose now it is more appropriate to say many bytes will be consumed over this. It is a sad day on the one hand and a day to rejoice on the other. I’m sad because marriage has been completely redefined. According to Scripture marriage can only be defined as the union of one man and one woman (Matthew 19:4-5). For the whole of human history, up until this generation, marriage has been defined the same way. So, it is folly for any government to legalize same-sex marriage since same-sex and marriage cannot coexist. By legalizing same-sex marriage the Supreme Court has redefined marriage, and, by extension, become the ultimate authority for the definition of marriage. When my wife and I were married, marriage was defined only as the union of one man and one woman. The definition did not include the union of one man and one man or the union of one woman and one woman. Including same-sex couples is a new definition of marriage not an expanded definition of marriage. The definition of my marriage originated with God. The new definition of marriage originates with the government.
With this post we are fully into the advent season. The day many of us celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is fast approaching. And yet, have you ever wondered why we celebrate Jesus’ birth on December 25th? Do we really know the exact day? Perhaps even in the darker corners of your mind you may be thinking, “If we don’t know, and if the Bible doesn’t say anything about the early church honoring this event, should we even be celebrating Christmas?”
In the last blog post we covered the major difference between Christianity and Islam with regard to God’s nature and character. In this week’s blog post, we pick up the remaining two major differences between Christianity and Islam: the identity and deity of Jesus Christ, and soteriology (the study of salvation).
Have you ever had a double take? Usually it’s a compulsory second look due to something visually startling. I had one not long ago due to a conversation before a luncheon with two evangelical Christian friends who attend two different churches. The conversation led to the comment “The Muslims believe in the same God as we do, they just call him by a different name, Allah.” After my double take, but before I could blurt out, “No!”, our luncheon host called us to our individual tables.
So is a name really that important? Juliet Capulet deeply hoped it wasn’t, as Shakespeare penned “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.” Ironically, name changing wouldn’t have solved their families’ feud because of the nature of the people involved. In my scenario, the name does matter, because the name is mentioned and the Being revealed in authoritative writing. For the God of the Bible, He is YHWH (LORD; I AM). For the God of the Qur’an, he is Allah. The Islamic name doesn’t translate well in English, so one Muslim writer defined it as “the unique god who possesses all the attributes of perfection and beauty in their infinitude” (1). From this alone, you can’t conclude anything–there’s no detail to make a comparison. However, there are important differences in three areas: nature and character, the identity and deity of Jesus Christ, and soteriology. I’ll cover the first in part 1 of this postcard, and the remaining two in part 2. Continue reading