Reeder: Australian same-sex marriage survey a ‘profile in cowardice’ not courage
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Listen to the 10 min. audio
Read the transcript:
TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, today, let’s go Down Under. Australia World Magazine is reporting Australians have voted in favor of same-sex marriage in a postal survey that could lead to legal reforms before the end of the year.
Australia’s Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday of last week announced 61.6 percent of voters supported same-sex marriage while 38.4 percent voted against it. Nearly 80 percent of the more than 16 million registered voters cast ballots on the mail-in referendum.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called on lawmakers to heed the overwhelming result and commit to passing a same-sex marriage bill by the end of next month.
Liberal senator, Dean Smith, on Wednesday introduced a bill, but conservative lawmakers are pushing to amend the bill to allow businesses the right to refuse services such as photography, wedding cakes, etc.
DR. REEDER: It’s interesting, the two contrastive points of leadership. One is the present prime minister, Turnbull, who was an advocate of same-sex marriage but, instead of introducing the policy, having it debated and then voted on, he decided to go the route of opening up this for a referendum.
It was billed as a, quote, “survey,” but he said, “Let’s do it in such a way that we can get a sense of what the people want.” The leadership of today’s progressives is pretty much, “Let’s influence the culture, get the drumbeat of the culture, put our finger in the wind to get the direction of the culture and then get on the trajectory in order to profit from the direction of the culture.”
Of course, great leaders do not ride the trajectory of the culture to where it’s going – great leaders will get engaged in the culture to lead it where it ought to go.
At least Prime Minister Turnbull should have come out and said, “I believe that thousands of years of Western civilization was dead wrong when it said, A.), sex belongs in marriage and, B.), marriage is one man and one woman for one life. That actually, all of those years, we were closet bigots so now we have come to this enlightened position in life where we can call something a marriage when, in reality, by definition, that’s a myth.”
By definition, a marriage is a covenantal, monogamous, heterosexual, conjugal relationship designed to encourage the procreation and nurture of the next generation providing both a father and a mother.
You can’t have good families without a solid definition and practice of marriage. By the way, we have a lot of broken families where people are heroically attempting to do the best that they can and churches and individuals and extended families surround them to assist them.
However, still, the ideal is to pursue that which God has created: to function in a family foundationally secured by a marriage between a man and a woman that then sets up a father and mother relationship that every child needs to develop physically, socially, mentally and spiritually in a healthy way.
At least Prime Minister Turnbull should say, “All of that was bigotry. We are now enlightened so that we now have a marriage where conjugal cannot take place and procreation cannot take place without medical and cosmetic machinations. So now that we have redefined everything, we are the enlightened ones.”
At least he should have come out and tried to make the irrational rational in his leadership. On the contrary, he went to a survey.
Now, why did he do that? He knew that all the resources from outside of Australia and it’s documented, the unbelievable resources that were poured into Australia with one basic message, “Don’t be on the wrong side of history.
Look at the European nations, look at the United States, look at all of these countries that have now approved the irrational act of declaring same-sex relationships can be fulfilled in a marriage and that marriage can be defined as a same-sex relationship.”
They did all of that, they knew the resources would come, they came in, and, sure enough, they focused in the right areas demographically. In the rural areas and in the religious areas, they didn’t do much because they knew they were going to lose that vote and they did, about 30 to 40 percent of Australia has some profession of a sober commitment to a religious world and life view and that showed up in the vote.
Now, you have the movement legislatively covered by the, quote/unquote, “survey,” and this is a profile in cowardice, not a profile in courage.
And, in contrast to that is a previous prime minister, whose name was Tony Abbott, who came out and said, “If you vote for this, be assured you have just destroyed two things in our country. One will be freedom of speech and the other will be freedom of religion.”
Not only will churches be coerced to engage in this – and they will use government pressure to make churches instruments of conspiracy to make the unthinkable thinkable and then doable – and that is same-sex marriage. But they will also then bring it to bear upon people attempting to live out their faith in their lives such as photographers and bakers, as we have seen here in America.
They will now have to participate in what they believe is evil and sinful, and that is the blasphemy of reconstructing marriage into a mythical definition of same-sex marriage. Now, the power of the state will be brought to bear.
Finally, let me say this, Tom: this is exactly what the trajectory of the Western civilization is. It’s on a trajectory of God’s judgment as blasphemy continues and the sanctity of life being destroyed in the culture of death, the sanctity of marriage, the sanctity of sexuality within marriage.
God is very clear about this. In the Book of Leviticus, Chapters 18 and 19, God says this to his people: “Do not become like the nations that surround you.” The pressure on Australia was, “The other nations have done it. Now you need to do it.” God said to his people, “Don’t become like the other nations and don’t engage in their sexual immorality and perversion.”
And He says this, “If you become like the other nations and men lie with men and women lie with women,” – and this is His language – “I will, like a feather tickles the throat, I will tickle the land to vomit you out.” And that is God’s promised judgment upon those who say, “We will be like the other nations and abandon the underpinnings of Christian ethics throughout the culture.”
If you look globally, you can see where this is happening: Europe, North America and now in Australia. Those are nations that, at one time, had been rescued from sexual barbarity and had been blessed with a Biblical ethic of family, marriage and sexuality and God had blessed those nations with stability and continued growth.
Now, these nations have returned to barbarity and why? Because of an impotent, illiterate, and apathetic church that no longer is salt and light. The very areas where you see the cultural demise of marriage and sexuality and family are the areas that it is documented the lack of impact of the church.
In opposition, take a look in Africa and take a look in South America. In those areas where the church is growing, and burgeoning, and staying on-mission and on-message and on-ministry, these movements have no foothold.
On the contrary, they refuse to embrace same-sex marriage. They refuse to undergird abortion in their cultures. It is no accident that Australia is going the way of the other nations and it is no accident that, in the church and the nations that are perverting marriage, sexuality, family and life, the church is impotent and illiterate.
Oh, dear Lord, please grant us a movement of the Gospel. Reclaim your people to vitality and send a message of life into the culture as we go and make disciples of all the nations.
Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.
This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin. Jessica is editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News. Jessica has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and her work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.