Though not all of America’s Founding Fathers were Bible-believing Christians, the United States was nevertheless founded on biblical principles. These Fathers declared that our rights come from God, the Sovereign Creator. The U.S. Founding Fathers recognized that our rights come from God and that government should exist to protect our rights. However, if there is no God basis, then our rights can only come from the generosity of the state and its leaders. If the state gives us our rights, then the state can take them away.
Some arguments just have to be made, and made well. In the case of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the moment for such an argument arrived last week when that court had to rule on appeals over the question of same-sex marriage coming from the four states in its federal jurisdiction, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. In each case, Federal District Courts had struck down measures banning same-sex marriage. Now, the question loomed before the three judge panel of the Sixth Circuit. Until last week, no federal appeals court had ruled against same-sex marriage in the aftermath of the U. S. Supreme Court’s 2013 Windsor decision striking down the federal government’s Defense of Marriage Act [DOMA]. That changed when the panel of the Sixth Circuit, in a 2-1 decision, affirmed the measure limiting marriage to one man and one woman in the four covered states. The decision sent shock waves throughout the nation.
One of the most amazing statements by the Apostle Paul is his indictment of the Galatian Christians for abandoning the Gospel. “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel,” Paul declared. As he stated so emphatically, the Galatians had failed in the crucial test of discerning the authentic Gospel from its counterfeits. In our own context, one of the most seductive false gospels is moralism. This false gospel can take many forms and can emerge from any number of political and cultural impulses. Nevertheless, the basic structure of moralism comes down to this — the belief that the Gospel can be reduced to improvements in behavior.