A Clear and Present Danger…

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., the president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary recently spoke at Brigham Young University.  His address was entitled, “A Clear and Present Danger: Religious Liberty, Marriage, and the Family in the Late Modern Age.”  So why in the world would a Baptist be invited to speak at a Mormon university?  Though many of their theological stands are universes apart, when it comes to  marriage and family values, both share many of the same standards and face many of the same threats in today’s society.

There is so much we could talk about in this address, which you can read in full-length here.  Below I have highlighted some passages that whet your appetite to read the whole thing.

Dr. Mohler may have gone in to the belly of the Mormon beast, as it were, but he did not go in with any inkling of theological compromise or wavering.  Note his “polite frankness” in the following paragraphs:

I am not here because I believe we are going to heaven together. I do not believe that. I believe that salvation comes only to those who believe and trust only in Christ and in his substitutionary atonement for salvation. I believe in justification by faith alone, in Christ alone. I love and respect you as friends, and as friends we would speak only what we believe to be true, especially on matters of eternal significance. We inhabit separate and irreconcilable theological worlds, made clear with respect to the doctrine of the Trinity. And yet here I am, and gladly so. We will speak to one another of what we most sincerely believe to be true, precisely because we love and respect one another.

I do not believe that we are going to heaven together, but I do believe we may go to jail together. I do not mean to exaggerate, but we are living in the shadow of a great moral revolution that we commonly believe will have grave and devastating human consequences. Your faith has held high the importance of marriage and family. Your theology requires such an affirmation, and it is lovingly lived out by millions of Mormon families. That is why I and my evangelical brothers and sisters are so glad to have Mormon neighbors. We stand together for the natural family, for natural marriage, for the integrity of sexuality within marriage alone, and for the hope of human flourishing.

He then goes on to make his point that the redefinition of marriage in our country is not of contemporary ilk, but has been in a continuous state of redefinition over the past few decades.

We must note with honesty and candor that this moral revolution and the disestablishment of marriage did not begin with the demand of same-sex couples to marry. The subversion of marriage began within the context of the great intellectual shift of modernity. Marriage was redefined in terms of personal fulfillment rather than covenant obligation. Duty disappeared in the fog of demands for authenticity and the romanticized ideal of personal fulfillment. Marriage became merely a choice and then a personal expression. Companionate marriage was secularized and redefined solely in terms of erotic and romantic appeal—for so long as these might last…

The divorce revolution has not only made marriage a tentative, if not temporary, condition, it has redefined marriage as nothing more than a public celebration of an essentially and non-negotiably individual act of self-expression…

Heterosexuals did a very good job of undermining marriage before same-sex couples arrived with their demands. The marriage crisis is a moral crisis and it did not start with same-sex marriage, nor will it end there. The logic of same-sex marriage will not end with same-sex marriage. Once marriage can mean anything other than a heterosexual union, it can and must mean everything. It is just a matter of time.

As of yesterday, homosexual marriage is currently legal in 15 states plus Washington D.C.  Ten years ago it was zero.  (Massachusetts made it legal in November, 2003.)  We did not begin losing the marriage battle in the last ten years with same-sex marriage.  We lost it when we abandoned the biblical model of marriage of one man and one woman until one died.

The battle for marriage will not be won by the influence of a political party, the actions of a legislature or court, or by a groundswell of grass-roots movements.  It can only happen by way of a God-sent revival that results in changed hearts and changed lives.  So while we continue to fight for the one true definition of marriage, let us battle even harder for the salvation of souls and the surrender of hearts and minds to the truth of God’s Word.

Soli Deo Gloria

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