Times of services:
"And take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17)
In this issue:
[This letter was written and sent to The Salt Lake Tribune on December 15, 1992. To my knowledge it never ran in the newspaper. I’m sharing it with you to give some chronological context to the current struggle against same-sex marriage in this country. The homosexual agenda is obvious and must not be ignored. Joe]
New York City’s education chief wants his school board to adopt the “Children of the Rainbow” curriculum which is designed to teach children respect for homosexual parents. Chancellor Joseph Fernandez has a fight on his hands (The Salt Lake Tribune, Dec. 11). Particular anger has been directed at the suggested reading list that includes the children’s books Heather Has Two Mommies and Daddy’s Roommate.
We may think ourselves far removed from such an issue here in Utah, the bastion of conservativism – but think again! Featured in the local section of The Salt Lake Tribune on Sunday, Dec. 13 was The Utah Stonewall Center – a ‘safe house’ for homosexuals. A photograph of the center’s treasurer and board member Scott Carpenter caught my eye. He was holding the children’s book that is causing such a stir in New York – Daddy’s Roommate.
Make no mistake; the homosexual community’s agenda of “equal rights” includes indoctrinating the youngest members of society – our children – to believe that homosexual conduct is pure, innocent and acceptable. And, public school officials throughout this country are becoming effective advocates for their cause (not to mention the incoming White House, which has considered New York City’s education chief Joseph Hernandez as a potential education secretary in the Clinton administration).
There is no honor in homosexuality. Neither children nor adults should be led to believe that homosexual conduct presents positive images of its participants. It is evident from nature that such behavior is not natural. With this the Bible agrees (Rom. 1:26-27). The spread of homosexuality is but one of the signs of a degenerating society which has rejected God and elevated man (Rom. 1:18-32). We have the “right” to oppose its spread.
One may wonder what “Bonanza,” “Polygamy” and “Same Sex Marriage” have in common. I have to admit, it seems absurd to suggest that Bonanza has anything in common with these.
Please do not misunderstand the intent of this article. Watching Bonanza is some of my favorite form of entertainment. Film in that era was so much more wholesome than the foolishness that is offered today as “entertainment.” Bonanza episodes generally promote the triumph of good over evil and the courageous human will over and through various adversities. Ben Cartwright’s (Lorne Green) person represents one who is successful yet honest and hospitable. His fatherly wisdom excels in the art of diplomacy, not only with his sons, but with his neighbors and even his enemies. Despite the drinking, saloon fights and gun slinging, life is presented as extremely precious, and most would deem that the three sons, Adam (Pernell Roberts), Hoss (Dan Blocker) and Little Joe (Michael Landon) are portrayed as good natured men who share in their father’s values. Of westerns, Bonanza is as close to five stars as I have seen.
There are however, two particular episodes (239, 240) where Ben Cartwright’s wisdom fails miserably and blatantly contradicts revealed truth. The episode was called “The Pursued” originally shown October 2, 1966 where Ben and his two sons, Hoss and Joe, seek to do business with a rancher named Heber Clauson (Eric Fleming). Surprisingly, when they go to meet Clauson to purchase some cutting horses, he introduces his two wives. Heber was a Mormon who practiced polygamy since his first wife was unable to have children. Later when the three Cartwrights were alone Hoss had expressed some perplexity about Mr. Clauson’s plural marriages. Ben quickly jumps in and asserts that before Hoss thinks Polygamy is so strange that “all ancient religions practiced polygamy.” Well, perhaps many ancient religions practiced polygamy but it was not practiced in the beginning of creation and was first invented by Cain’s great, great, great grandson Lamech (Gen. 4:19). God made Adam and Eve, not Adam, Eve & Evelyn. When Jesus teaches on marriage, He goes back to this original pattern as something to be modeled today (Matt. 19:1-9). Jesus remarked,
"and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?” (Matt. 19:5)
He doesn’t say, the “three” become one flesh, but the “two.”
Hoss interjected about ancient religions practicing polygamy saying, “ya but pa that was Old Testament days.” Ben’s response… “Well they’re [Clauson’s family, sjw] an Old Testament people.” Are Mormons an Old Testament people? Such are not anymore Old Testament people than they are New Testament people! They are an extra-Testament people. They don’t practice animal sacrifices or the many other Old Testament practices, so why call them and Old Testament people? Many denominations like to pick and choose certain aspects of the Old Testament to keep today as well. The Mormons may have chosen polygamy; Catholics light lamps and have a separate priesthood. Many choose instrumental music in worship because it was Old Testament praise. But choosing some Old Testament practices does not make one an “Old Testament people” but a law breaker! Moses wrote:
“Cursed is the one who does not confirm all the words of this law by observing them. And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’” (Deut. 27:26)
If some are going to be an “Old Testament people” they must confirm “all” the words of the law “by observing them.” Picking certain aspects and rejecting another is sin (Jas. 2:10, 11).
Neither are Mormons New Testament people as they reject its definition of marriage which consists of “two becoming one flesh” (Matt. 19:5, 6; Mk. 10:8; Eph. 5:31).
Mormons are an “Extra Testament people” with their “Book of Mormon” which justifies their practices. Their book is not the Bible but a counterfeit book of faith for faithlessness. The Bible proclaims in fact, that God has given to us all that we need in things pertaining to life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3; 2 Tim. 3:16-17). What would be the purpose of God giving a different revelation if we already have all that we need to be equipped with in this life? Neither does the claim that God gave another testament to another sheepfold have any merit. The gospel had been given perfectly through our Lord’s apostles and it was declared to the entire world as stated by Paul in the first century:
“if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister” (Col. 1:23; cf. Rom. 10:18; 16:26).
If every creature under heaven was given access to the gospel, why should there be a different one given for a different fold? A different fold of people would in fact have to live outside the world to not contradict Colossians 1:23.
So, why would Bonanza shoot polygamy in a sympathetic light? The Bonanza series seeks to portray the 1860’s and the Mormon controversy was well established in these years. It was banned civilly in 1862 by the 37th Congress, a time when roughly 15-25% of Mormon families were polygamous (“Polygamy and Politics,” Damon M. Cann, http://www.sinc.sunysb.edu/stu/dcann/polygamy.htm). Why Bonanza chose to express “tolerance” towards this is difficult to ascertain unless some within the Bonanza empire were Mormons.
But how does this relate to “same sex marriage?” It is not directly related to Bonanza in the episodes. However it was shown in these two episodes that those who were “anti-polygamy” were prejudiced hateful obnoxious bigots. These are similar to the charges that are hurled at those of us who denounce the hideous idea of homosexual marriages today!
I suppose someone today could say that many ancient religions used homosexual practices and that we ought not think it strange. But centered in the current debate over what constitutes marriage is not some mere academic pursuit but the fundamental establishment that is necessary for the existence of any civilization—the family.
If men think they can redefine marriage to make it more inclusive to other models, then they are essentially destroying marriage as God designed and gave it to man. As soon as homosexuals replace the “gender” qualifications from “male and female” to “male and male,” or “female to female” then polygamists can, with the same logic replace the numerical value of “two” to “three,” “thirty,” “three hundred,” or whatever man may think is good. These are forces of corruption at work to decay our nation. The fact that these issues are issues also shows symptoms of a sick and dying nation, a nation that is headed for Sodom. We also seek to admonish that if men can change the gender and the number, what will keep them from changing the stage of life for marriage from “adult and adult” to “adult and child?” Why not change the “kind” involved in marriage from “human to human” to “human to beast?” Will a man be able to marry his horse and have the benefits of marriage? Perhaps he can marry a herd of horses and claim them as tax deductions? Wow, what a bonanza of foolishness and immorality that we will be reaping!
“Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband” (1 Cor. 7:2).
“If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them” (Lev. 20:13; cf. Rom. 1:26, 27, 32).
“Whoever lies with an animal shall surely be put to death” (Ex. 22:19).
“A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife. . .” (1 Tim. 3:2; cf. Eph. 5:31).
“But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery” (Matt. 5:32; Rom. 13:9; Gal. 5:19). [Available online: http://www.sunnysidechurchofchrist.com/id52.html]
Created by Chuck Sibbing -
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA