Whatever, anyone and every way

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God – even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1

This is the summary of Paul’s teaching about a believer’s freedoms (rights) and constraints. Although the issues pertain to food sacrificed to idols, idol feasts and food in general, the principles remain the same.

  • Everything that we do, no matter how neutral the action is, needs to glorify God. Food in itself is neutral, it doesn’t bring us closer or further from Him (1 Corinthians 8:8), but if eating it causes a weaker brother/sister to stumble, then it isn’t glorifying to God (1 Corinthians 8:9, 12-13).
  • In Christ, we have freedom. That means we no longer live under the Law, instead we enjoy living in grace. Whatever is neutral (not sin by commission or omission) is open to our enjoyment. Yet, we do not indulge in this right to enjoy our freedom. Instead, we position ourselves as servants of others (1 Corinthians 9:19), giving up even the most basic of our rights so that others might be saved (1 Corinthians 9:12). Who are the “others”? It’s simply every and any one – Jews, Gentiles, weaker brothers/sisters and even the church of Christ (1 Corinthians 9:20-22, 10:32; our witness is strong in unity, John 17:20-23). And we endure this, Paul make no illusions that this is a painful process (1 Corinthians 9:27). This doesn’t mean that we commit sin to reach out of course, but in times when we are placed in difficult positions, God is with us (1 Corinthians 10:8-9, 13-22).
  • How far do we go to seek the good of others? How far do we go to serve them? As far as their freedom will take them (1 Corinthians 10:28-29) if they are involved. No freedom or right of ours stands before the conscience of others (1 Corinthians 10:24). Yet God is gracious, the concession for us is that we are free to indulge where others are not involved (1 Corinthians 10:25-27, 30).

These words cast a wide net on the things we do, the people we consider and the lengths we go in our daily walk with God. It seems like an impossible task, but still Paul says “follow”.

This task is important because brings salvation, the ultimate benefit for any man. It is our witness for Christ. Just as it was Christ’s witness and Apostle Paul’s witness, it is our witness. By doing so, we make ourselves walking and living pieces of evidence that Christ is real.

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Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2010

6 March 2012

Committee Secretary
Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
Australia

 

Dear Committee,

RE: Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2010

I wish to make my views about the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2010 known. I believe that this move toward marriage equality is fundamentally flawed. Same sex couples do not have the right to be married and I argue that this is not because they are discriminated against. To allow same sex marriage is to disadvantage our children.

Marriage is by definition a voluntary union between a man and a woman. This definition was present in multiple ancient civilisations and is still relevant today. The reason for this definition is obvious – it is biological. The union of a man and woman is able to produce children by completely natural means. I am a Christian and I am a Creationist. I believe that God created man and woman and the design of procreation between a man and woman is intentional. God defines a union to be between a man and a woman and He called it Marriage. It is fundamentally a God defined term – something that we should not seek to redefine.

If I was an Evolutionist, this bill would be just as flawed. Procreation is one the most basic functions in any life form. All plants and animals are able to procreate and the ones that cannot or will not become extinct rather quickly. Such a move to redefine marriage is against evolution. It does not inhibit our ability to procreate but it redefines a family unit to be a unit that cannot procreate biologically. Indeed, a family unit is not defined by its ability to procreate, but it certainly is a basic function. Same sex marriage is against progress, in fact, it is evolutionary regression.

Please excuse my crude analogy but I feel that it describes the situation very well. Trying to change the definition of marriage can be likened to changing the definition of a female toilet. Female toilets were designed to be used by females. We are not discriminating against men for not wanting them in female toilets. We are not discriminating against men for not having a urinal in female toilets. It is simply by definition and design a female toilet. It is possible for men to use a female toilet, but should they? Absolutely not. We can very quickly see that it is not a matter of rights or discrimination. In the same way, we are not discriminating against same sex couples; we are simply upholding the definition and design of marriage.

The inherent value of marriage is not only in its commitment, more importantly it is in it’s make up. A marriage is made up of a man and a woman, and there is inherent value in that for children. Children have the right to learn in a biologically diverse environment, from both a father and a mother. Men are often naturally more masculine and women are naturally more feminine. This shows in our bodies, our minds, our actions, our habits – our whole lives. These are distinct differences that have its biological roots in our hormones. This is not traditional thinking; this is natural and normal thinking. Children have the right to grow up with the knowledge of such a distinction and to form their identity from this understanding.

A child that does not have such an environment to grow up in is disadvantaged. This is not to say that they cannot rise above the situation and grow to be people who contribute greatly to society, but they have the best chance of doing so in a correctly defined family unit. To favour same sex marriage is to oppose the rights of children.

I have friends who are gay and I do not treat them any differently. They are friends whom I work with and live with, have drinks with, laugh and cry with. I do not hate gay people or gay couples. I want to see them enjoy life as much as any other couple does, but never at the expense of other’s rights. That is why we should take care of our natural environment. The environment, though not an entity of its own, has the right to be protected for our future generations. Marriage, although not an entity of its own, has the right to protect and maintain its definition.

I hope that you will consider the points I have made regarding the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2010. Marriage by definition excludes same sex couples and this is not discrimination. Keeping the current definition of marriage gives the best possible environment for our future generations and protects their rights. I firmly believe that such a bill should never be passed.

 

Sincerely,

Dennis Tng