by Bobby L. Graham
Why Do So Many in Alabama Oppose Same-Sex Marriage?
When I read the above question heading in an article on AL.com on January 12, I decided to read the article. I learned that more Alabamians oppose this practice than the residents of any other state. I also learned that the leading advocates and opponents of the practice agree concerning the reason for such widespread opposition.
It's because there is more biblical literacy in Alabama than most other places," said Dr. Joe Godfrey, Executive Director of the Alabama Citizens Action Program, a religious lobbying group based in Birmingham. "The Bible clearly teaches us that marriage is between one man and woman for life. Everyone teaches that. People grow up believing that. No one is willing to change the Bible around here. Society and culture need to adjust to fit in with what the Bible teaches, not vice versa."
LGBTQ organizer Mario Burton agrees. "The issue of same-sex marriage is absolutely rooted in religion," said the Huntsville based activist, who is part of the Rocket City pride group.
Imagine such an anachronism in the 21st Century! This old-fashioned idea that marrying a person of your own sex should be a matter of religious belief is so archaic that you better believe that Burton and his tribe will be gunning for it. They aim to shoot it down, but they better be well equipped for the shooting match! Biblical literacy is on their enemies' list.
It is true that the Scriptures unanimously speak against same-sex relationships, whether in so-called marriages or not. Not one word of approval can be found for them. It also must be understood that this resounding opposition is found in both the Old and New Testaments and extends to every dispensation (i.e., plan, arrangement) which God ever enacted with humans (Patriarchal, Mosaic, and Christian).
While I am thankful for people who have been well taught from the Bible about this fundamental issue, I fear that we have also failed to educate them on other important issues. After all, they generally believe that denominationalism is an acceptable practice; and on that issue, they are finding increasing agreement among some of our people, who say that the church of the Lord is just another big, sick denomination. The issue of woman preachers is another where there has not been enough teaching, because many in our state agree with the practice of women preaching or serving as elders. Though many give lip service to the idea that the Gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation, most of them do not truly believe it, because they employ other means and lures to "gain people for Christ." They resort to carnal offers like food, fun, and frolic, hoping to learn the latest successful gimmick which they can press into service. Many also accept the idea of faith-alone salvation, while the Bible so clearly discards the notion (James 2:24).
Why do so many oppose one practice which fails to receive God's approval but embrace these other practices equally lacking in divine approval? The same Bible, given by the same Lord, is our source in both areas. Why are some willing to "change the Bible around here"? Perhaps Hebrews 4:2 provides an answer: "For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it." Notice that a lack of faith in hearing the gospel hinders it from profiting hearers.
Is it possible that people accept Biblical teaching on one point but reject it on others? Yes, it is—when personal preference takes the place of faith. If such happens, then personal preference becomes one's standard, not the Bible. Faith is then swallowed up and becomes useless. Without faith, it is impossible to please God, even when we personally prefer what the Bible teaches (Heb. 11:6). What a sad situation!
Author Bio: Bobby L. Graham preaches and is an elder for the Old Moulton Rd. church of Christ. He and his wife, Karen, have three children: Richard, Mary Katherine Winland (Darren), and Laura Paschall (Jeremy). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.