where religion and politics meet

Everybody has a worldview. A worldview is what you believe about life: what is true, what is false, what is right, what is wrong, what are the rules, are there any rules, what is the meaning of life, what is important, what is not.

If a worldview includes a god/God, it is called a religion. If a bunch of people have the same religion, they give it a name.

Nations have worldviews too, a prevailing way of looking at life that directs government policies and laws and that contributes significantly to the culture. Politics is the outworking of that worldview in public life.

Our country’s worldview used to be Christianity. Now we are told it is and has always been secularism, which is practical atheism. This issue divides our country, but those who disagree are divided as well on how to respond.

Our country could not have been founded as a secular nation, because a secular country could not guarantee freedom of religion. Secular values would be higher than religious ones, and they would supersede them when there was a conflict. Secularism sees religion only as your personal preferences, like your taste in food, music, or movies. It does not see religion, any religion, as being true.

But God, prayer, the Bible, and the Ten Commandments were always important parts of our public life, including our public schools, until 1963, when the court called supreme ruled them unconstitutional, almost 200 years after our nation’s founding.

Our country also did not envision a multitude of different religions co-existing in one place, because the people, and the government, would then be divided on the basic questions of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Our Constitution, which we fought a war to be able to enact, states, among other things, that our government exists for us to form a more perfect union, ensure domestic tranquility, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. It could not do this unless it had a clear vision of what it considers to be true, a vision shared with the vast majority of the people in this country.

I want to engage the government, the culture, and the people who live here to see life again from a Christian perspective and to show how secularism is both inadequate and just plain wrong.

Because religion deals with things like God, much of its contents is not subject to the scientific method, though the reasons why one chooses to believe in God or a particular religion certainly demand serious investigation, critical thinking, and a hunger for what is true.

Science and education used to be valuable tools in the search for truth, but science has chosen to answer the foundational questions of life without accepting the possibility of any supernatural causes, and education no longer considers the search to be necessary, possible, or worthwhile.

poligion: 1) the proper synthesis of religion and politics 2) the realization, belief, or position that politics and religion cannot be separated or compartmentalized, that a person’s religion invariably affects one’s political decisions and that political decisions invariably stem from one’s worldview, which is what a religion is.

If you are new to this site, I would encourage you to browse through the older articles. They deal with a lot of the more basic issues. Many of the newer articles are shorter responses to partiular problems.

Visit my other websites theimportanceofhealing blogspot.com where I talk about healing and my book of the same name and LarrysBibleStudies.blogspot.com where I am posting all my other Bible studies. Follow this link to my videos on youtube:


If you want to contact me, email is best: lacraig1@sbcglobal.net

Thank you.

Larry Craig

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Sex, Marriage, and Living Together

There are two basic ways to approach life as in how to live it:  On the one hand, Christians believe that God created the world and everything in it, and then He gave to humans the instruction manual on how it works.  The other view believes that there is no instruction manual, because either there was no God in the first place, or God is not the kind of thing that has a relationship with people.  That’s just vain human thinking.  But either way, the result is the same.  We are on our own. 

So essentially, we make up the rules as we go along.  Society may gradually develop some rules, but it has no real authority to impose it on you unless it wants to punish people who don’t comply.

Because I find human life, and life in general, too incredible to account for by chance and accident, I have to believe there had to be a creator.  Does this Creator love his creation and did he provide for us an instruction manual to tell us how this works? 

The only thing in life that we have that could pass as such an instruction manual is the Bible, and for reasons well beyond the scope of this article, I believe it to be God’s Word to us telling us how life works.

When God first created human beings, the Bible says that “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”  [Genesis 1:27] It took two distinct sexes to fulfill the image of God. 

Why would that be?  From what I have read in human psychology, human traits seem to come in pairs.  Now this is my thinking about the matter.  The Bible doesn’t go into detail here.  

It seems that for every strength, there is a corresponding weakness.  Think of justice and mercy.  If a person is strong on justice, he is probably weak on mercy, and a person strong in mercy is usually weaker on justice.  If you were to make a list of your strengths and weaknesses, you could probably link each one to its opposite. 

Psychologists used to think of the different sexes as having different basic temperaments, but current psychological thinking often dismisses this as stereotypical thinking, social constructs, and sexism.  To them, differences imply a hierarchy of values, and to the politically correct, equality is one of the foundations for modern morality.  This doesn’t mean that the modern view is correct or more accurate.  I believe modern science is influenced more today by the presuppositions brought to the investigation of things than by the facts uncovered by the investigations.

I see the joining of a man and a woman forming something that could not exist on its own.  The marriage is intended to form and complete the personality of each person in order for each of them to become more like God.
Genesis 1:28   And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

God tells the first people to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth.  A lot of people challenge this thinking, saying that the earth is already full, and its resources are limited.  Actually, no.  It looks full in certain places, because people tend to live in one place, because they have learned to be dependent on others for jobs and their needs for food and shelter.  If there is a lack of food today, it is only in parts of the world, and this is generally due more to political issues than that of resources.  But that is an issue for another article.

The Bible assumes that marriage will have children, and teaches that children are a blessing from God [Psalm 127 3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. 4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. 5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.]

I would contend that raising children contributes to the forming of our characters in ways that can’t be duplicated by other means, even the raising of other people’s children, like orphans. 
God is always in the business of trying to reveal Himself to us.  Having children is one of the best ways to do this, and He gives us two chances to get it right.

Hopefully a person learns what unconditional love is from one’s parents.  A love that is both tender and firm, that does what is best for us even though it may hurt for a time.  A love that seeks our benefit above all else.

But then that doesn’t always work, so we get a second chance when we have our own children.  Hopefully and generally we find ourselves loving these beings with a love we hadn’t thought possible.  We would easily give up everything for the sake of our children. 

Now the trick is to extrapolate this love onto God, recognizing that His love for us is at least as much as ours for our children or our parents for us.  Sometimes our parents fail us, and we fail our children, but we call that broken families, because we know what the family is supposed to look like. 

Families are also the place where we learn what love is in other ways.  It is more than this intense love for another human being, but it pushes us to develop this love in loving sacrificial service to someone else.  Feelings of love just aren’t enough when speaking of love.

The Bible says later: “For this cause a man shall leave his mother and his father and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”  [Genesis 2:24]

In another place in the Bible [I Corinthians 6], this theme is explained a bit for those who may have missed its significance the first time.  A man who has sex with a prostitute becomes one flesh, or one body, with her.  So sex is how the two become one.

In thinking about this, I am inclined to think that this union is the result of the emission of a life-generating fluid into the body of another person, that this is when and how this mystical connection and union is formed. 

But then I think about all the modern forms of contraception that either block or kill the living parts of this fluid, and I wonder how this affects that.

And then I think about a phenomenon I have seen over and over again in my life.  A girl will have her first full sexual experience, and she is changed.  This man could be and often is a complete jerk, but she is in love.  But more than just being in love, she is hooked.   Everybody else sees and knows that this guy is a jerk, but she will have none of this.  Unless or until this person completely rejects or hurts her, she will hold on to this person as long as she can, and I wonder if she can ever really let him go.

After this first encounter, if this person is no longer a part of her life, sex can almost lose any really special meaning for this woman.  First date, second date, it’s more than a hug, it’s not given away cheaply, at least a dinner or two first, but then often it can be there for the asking.  Just ask nicely or maybe wait until she has had a few drinks.

But something else happens here.  Our whole culture has separated sex from marriage.  Without the instruction manual, without a God in our lives who has the plan for how this is all supposed to work and who expects us to live according to that plan, we are left with a human experience, clearly the most pleasurable one we can have apart perhaps from certain drugs, we are left with what we want to make of it, what we want to do with it.

Apart from a God who we can’t see, can’t touch physically, don’t hear audibly, we find these impulses and desires, and we look for answers on what to do with them.  But who can tell us what is right or wrong, good or bad, wise or foolish here?  It’s our life, we want to do it, and who’s to say what we should or shouldn’t do?

But what is marriage all about anyway?  Is it just the vehicle for having children? 

This shouldn’t require a lot of Bible verses to help us here.  The fact is that people get married and divorced all the time.  We used to make it a lot harder to get divorced in the past, because we valued marriage more in the past.  We knew the value of the family in raising children, even when marriages were struggling. 

Marriage is clearly about a lot more than having sex.  In talking with some single friends about marriage, I identified about six subjects that I suggested two people need to talk about and resolve before they should think about getting married: religion, sex, children, money, values (what is important to you), and how you spend your free time.  You can add other things as well. 

I suggest not getting involved with someone too early in your life.  Say, for example, after you and your partner have been long involved sexually and emotionally, you decide that you want to be a rock star.  So now you want to travel for months at a time, and your wife wants you home every night with her and the kids.  There’s going to be a problem here.  You usually don’t know what you are going to do with your life when you’re young.  Even if you do, you don’t know if you actually will end up doing that either. 

But what does this all have to do with sex?

Sex is meant to unite people on a spiritual and emotional level.  I contend that we don’t understand all that that entails.  We can’t see the spirit world.  Something happens when people have sex.  Oh, it can be stifled.  It can be dulled.  I heard a pornstar talking about how she felt when she saw her boyfriend holding hands with somebody else.  Sex had become recreation and casual, and something else had become the sign of bonding and commitment.

So, yes, I would say that getting married is part of the program.  I believe that God’s plan for human beings is to get married with very few exceptions.  The Apostle Paul thought he was an exception.  I believe it is an essential part of becoming all that God intends for us to become.  God created a man in the Garden of Eden where he had complete access to and fellowship with God in a perfect world, and then God says that it is not good for the man to be alone.  If man in a perfect state in a perfect world needed a wife, how much more today?

But marriage involves a lot more than having sex.  Like I told one friend of mine, after you have sex, you have to talk to each other.  People have sex, and even if sex has lost that emotional bonding felt with first love, there is still a sense of unity and a bond of persons.  But then in real life, there are all those other issues that two people need to be in harmony on if they are to have a marriage: agreeing on religion, sex (how often, how important, how done, etc.), children (how many, how to raise). money (save, spend, mine or ours), values (eating right, exercise, what you live for), would you rather go out with the guys or come home every night.

These are all issues that should be cleared up before getting married.  In the past, these might have been less of an issue, because there were more clearly defined roles in marriage.  People got married younger, and they were more adaptable when they were younger. 

But then I believe sex screws up your mind. 

You feel the bond and the love, but these other issues won’t go away.  The attraction, the feelings, the love, and the desire for sex generally will long precede any discussions about how you divide your money, whether you want a joint checking and savings account or whether your money should remain totally separate.  So using your head, you might think that there are so many potential irreconcilable differences, but you are in love, and you can make it.  If you knew all these things before you got involved with this person, you wouldn’t have gotten involved with them in the first place. 

Think of it like speed dating or finding love on the internet.  You meet all these people or see all these pictures of attractive people.  You could feel chemistry and desire sex with almost all of them given the right circumstances.  But instead, everyone lists their interests and you immediately eliminate 95% of them from consideration.  But if you knew them from work and didn’t know all these things ahead of time, you might long ago already have had sex with them and bonded before you even got so far as knowing all their interests.

Half the marriages today end in divorce, and I doubt any of them thought they would have ended up that way when they started.  And you really don’t want to put your kids through a divorce.  Trust me on that one.

Children are the furthest thing from your mind when you’re thinking about sex, but even with so much precaution and modern technology, people are often surprised to learn that a child is forthcoming.  Oh, you could destroy it, but then you may find yourself wondering in ten, twenty years what that child would have been like.  Some people seem able to live with that, but many aren’t.  And I’m not sure you will know which you would be until long after you are able to do anything about it.

Today more than ever people are living together without being married.  You get some of the benefits of being married without actually being married. 

People usually live together, because they aren’t sure if this is the person they should marry, and they think this will help them make that decision.  Or they just don’t have a reason not to.  The problem is that though it looks a lot like marriage, it lacks two of the most important elements of marriage, so it won’t give you all the information you are looking for.  This is probably why more people who lived together before they get married get divorced than those who don’t. 

People living together don’t have the commitment that is necessary to make a marriage work.  That’s one reason why they didn’t get married in the first place.  They won’t be trying as hard now to make it work.  And because there is no commitment, people generally cannot and will not fully be themselves.  It’s a little like you’re still dating.  You’re still trying to make a good impression.  People living together know that they don’t have to stay in this relationship.  It need only be temporary.  It’s like that test drive on that new car you want.  If you find something you don’t like, you don’t have to keep it.

When people choose to live together, they are forming a half marriage.  They are investing their lives in something that is just as likely to fail as to succeed.  And their experience together won’t really help them to know which it is going to be.  They run the risk of having children which will bind them together though they may not be the person they should be binding themselves to. 

The fact of living together will make it harder for them to know what they should do and to do it.  Their lives will become so enmeshed and tangled that trying to separate them later on may seem to be more trouble than it is worth.  And the time they spend living together will take a huge part of their life that take a huge price. 

Learn the things you need to learn about each other before taking the step.  Talk through these deep issues.  Marriage is more the gritty day to day stuff than intense feelings of passion.  Pretend you’re on a speed date, and see if you would make it past the first round.  Make internet profiles, and see if this person is someone that you would contact. 

The younger generation is far more casual about sex than older generations.  Take a survey.  Ask the young men you know if they would rather marry a virgin or somebody who has already had maybe some of their friends.  It seems most would rather marry a virgin, but they have no problem being somebody’s first in order to satisfy their craving for it.

So, contrary to the casual nature of sex as seen on television and in movies, sex is the tool God uses to join two people together for life to create and form the next generation.  This union is not just for creating and forming the next generation though, but it also forms our own lives and increases our own enjoyment of it.   

The pressure from society can be immense to just do what you feel like and any call for restraint or ‘traditional’ thinking can seem strange.  But any time you try to bring God’s perspective on anything in life, you can expect that it will often stretch our thinking and ask us to trust Him where we might want to have different thoughts.  That’s just the nature of humans and God looking at the same issues.