On March 7, 2000, Californians went to the polls to cast their votes on several key issues in the California 2000 Presidential Primary. One of these was Proposition 22, known as the Knight Initiative. This proposition was unlike any other proposition I have ever read or asked to vote on. Most voters could understand it without the help of a slick lawyer in a three-piece suit, although there was sharp disagreement between the liberal-minded and those who allow God to influence their lives. The proposition read, "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."
Those urging voters to vote in favor of Proposition 22 argued that it would:
Those urging voters to vote against Proposition 22 argued that:
Christians certainly do not condone hate crimes committed against homosexuals or for that matter, anyone else. The apostle Paul wrote, "Recompense to no man evil for evil" (Romans 12:17). The words of Jesus and his apostles teach us to, "Love thy neighbor as thyself," which includes all men--even homosexuals (Matthew 19:19; 22:39; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27; Romans 13:9; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8). But, regardless of the arguments FOR and AGAINST Proposition 22, how should Christians vote on such an issue? What decision--a "YES" vote or a "NO" vote--had to be made by Californians who love God? The correct answer to this question resides in the pages of God's book, not the position papers written by political lobbyists.
First. At the beginning of time, God ordained marriage between a man and a woman. In Matthew 19:3-6, the scribes and Pharisees confronted Jesus and asked the question, "Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?" Jesus replied, "Have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh.’ Wherefore, they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." Here Jesus referred to Genesis 2:24,25, which was God's law from the beginning.
Second. Jesus’ statement is profound. His law condemns same-sex marriages and homosexual relationships! From the beginning, God "made them male and female, and said ‘For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and cleave to his wife.’" God's law also condemns polygamy! The apostle Paul wrote, "Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband." (1Corinthians 7:2) Paul commanded the man to have "his own wife" and the woman to have "her own husband."
Third. God’s law is paramount and in man’s best interest. The Psalmist wrote, “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. Honor the LORD with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine." (Psalm 3:6-10)
Of man's inability to properly guide himself, Jeremiah wrote, "O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps." (Jeremiah 10:23; cf. Isaiah 55:8,9) Solomon wrote, "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25) Hence, God's law is for mankind’s good. Man needs the help, guidance, and direction that his Creator gives through His word.
Fourth. Those in favor of the homosexual lifestyle charge that God-fearing people who vote in favor of Proposition 22 and who oppose homosexuality operate in an atmosphere of fear and hatred. To some degree, this charge is correct.
Fifth. The Bible teaches that only a man and a woman are permitted to marry one another. Those approved by God to marry are:
Additionally, the Bible teaches that God does not join the individuals in EVERY marriage. The Bible identifies ungodly marriages: (1) The Jews and the heathen (Deuteronomy 7:1-3). (2) Herod and Herodias (Mark 6:17,18). (3) The guilty fornicator (Matthew 19:9). (4) The polygamist (Matthew 19:5; 1 Corinthians 7:2); and (5) Homosexuals (Romans 1:22-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9,10; Galatians 5:19-21).
Conclusion: Proposition 22 stated, in part, God's law on marriage. We must respect God's law in its entirety. The Hebrew writer wrote, "Let marriage be held in honor by all, and let the marriage bed be kept undefiled; for God will judge fornicators and adulterers." (Hebrews 13:4) How much better our society would be if all respected and followed God's ways regarding everything in life. After studying and meditating upon Bible truths concerning God's marriage law, voters who have an inkling of respect for God and basic decency should NOT find themselves in a straight betwixt two when faced in future elections with political propositions such as Proposition 22!