So Bill O’Reilly angered a lot of evangelicals this week, Thursday to be exact, with his Talking Points Memo in which he said that in the gay marriage debate, the argument that gay marriage is sin is not going to work in convincing people, particularly the courts, to oppose it.
Now I do not go to Bill O’Reilly for my theological advice, he has gotten many things wrong concerning religion. But today, he is actually correct. In a secular society, the argument that gay marriage is sin is not going to convince people that it is wrong.
Why not? Because most people in society do not read the Bible today; and if they do, they do not believe most of what it says anyway or confess it to have any authority at all over their lives. The Bible is the authoritative word of God, but if you do not believe in God, or believe that God only wants you to be happy, then the fact that homosexuality is a sin is not going to bother you at all.
That is what O’Reilly is trying to say. If you go into the Supreme Court and start quoting verses of Scripture, the justices will throw you out, and ignore all your arguments. That is a fact.
But opposition to gay marriage is not a lost cause; and O’Reilly provides evidence in the prior great social issue of our time.
For years, the argument was made that life began when one was born, and that prior to this a baby was nothing but a blob of cells; yet today, the majority of the country and a super-majority of young people believe abortion to be wrong at all stages.
Why? Now, O’Reilly’s example of DNA is weak in my opinion, so I will use a clearer one: the continued development of the sonogram. Today, you can see your baby in 3D very early on thanks to the sonogram; and what you see, is that even at only a few weeks old, there is a human being present. So the argument is no longer that the baby is a blob of cells, but that life begins at conception, and here is the hard evidence for it.
The result? The pro-life movement is dominated by passionate young people, and the pro-choice argument is aging, and their position is crumbling by the day.
Do you see any Bible verses in there? No; natural law came in and pointed to the clear evidence, and won the argument. It certainly agrees with the Bible, and the Bible was certainly used in the presentation to many people; but the winning argument, that convinces even a very secular society, was a sonogram picture.
Which brings us back to gay marriage. Again, Bible verses are not going to win the argument in a society that does not believe the Bible; so what is needed, and what O’Reilly argues, is a clear argument, based in natural law, which cannot be denied.
In the abortion debate, it took a long time for sonograms to develop to the point where the picture is so clear, and the evidence so undeniable; and many millions of children died in the process.
The argument against gay marriage may not be clear today, but it is there. There is the evidence of a perfectly functional society for some 6000 years; there is the evidence that children only result from a male and female combination; and there is the evidence of high divorce rates and abuse rates among homosexual couples.
Now, O’Reilly has admitted that he is not necessarily looking for the argument against gay marriage, he supports civil unions, and so he only offers his advice on the matter.
For the Church, there is definitely a call to action here. The reason that the argument for gay marriage has not come up sooner is because the Church educated people in the Word and called people to repent. Today, many churches ignore sin in favor of the latest prosperity gospel and making people happy. It would not be an overstatement to say that the reason Bill O’Reilly is giving theological advice is because the Church is not.
And so once again, the Church is called into action, out of its long slumber, to call people to repent of their sins, and hear the Gospel.