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In a recent post, I quoted historian Rodney Stark extensively about how religions are not all the same. The different theologies of god in the world religions produce very different kinds of moral systems – some religions have no moral features at all. Consequently, monotheism, and Christianity in particular, was uniquely capable of theologies of God and humanity that made slavery incompatible with faithfulness.
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Historian Rodney Stark explains why the theology of God in different religions produces very different religions. All religions cannot basically be the same because their gods are not the same; some religions don’t even have a deity. The kind of god one believes in determines whether or not morality is part of the religion (some religions have no moral guidelines) and whether or not we are meant to have relationship with the deity. Some gods, as conceived by various religions, just are not capable of being moral or having a relationship with human beings.
I watched a conversation on one of the morning political talk shows today that was disturbing. The discussion was about religious freedom in the aftermath of the same-sex marriage ruling. Both people, on opposite sides of the marriage issue, agreed with religious freedom to dissent. But how they defined that was significant.
“Freedom is destroyed not only by its retraction; it is also devastated by its abuse.” —Ravi Zacharias Our culture is changing fast. Things that would have seemed absurd to most people’s moral intuitions are now championed. Even some things that still seem odd are accepted because our culture accepted a definition of freedom some time ago that is playing out.
No doubt you’ve heard the ruling. I’ve been praying and thinking about how we as Christians and STR people move forward. We’ve got good arguments, and the issues may change over time that need to be responded to, but the people we are to be as Christians doesn’t change. God isn’t surprised by this ruling, and by His sovereign will He’s allowed this to happen. And He’s put us here in this time for a purpose.
Jonathan Rauch, a defender of same-sex marriage, explains why the comparison to racist laws that banned interracial marriage are not parallels to objections to SSM. From his article "Opposing Same-sex Marriage Doesn't Make You a Crypto-Racist":
The evening of Tuesday, June 6, 1944, President Roosevelt led the nation over the radio in a six-minute-long appeal to God: Almighty God, Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity. Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.
Our worldviews influence the way we live, the values that guide us. Some worldviews support and ground values better than others. Christianity explains human value better than any other worldview, and it was evident in the first centuries of the church.