By Katrina A Prentice
The nation of Great Britain is at a tipping point. The proposed same sex marriage bill, like no other bill, serves as a determinant of this nation either for better or for worse.
The institution of marriage, the union of one man and one woman for life, has served as the bedrock of society and is upheld in civilised societies across the globe since the dawn of time. Marriage predates law, nation and church.
Now, however, politicians appear to be considering their own opinions above foundational laws. One must caution those who are wise in their own eyes; those who suppress the truth in unrighteousness are subject to judgment.
Just a few short months ago, on December 16th 2011, David Cameron, spoke at the 400thanniversary of the King James Bible whereby he stated that the UK was a Christian nation "and we should not be afraid to say so". He further called for a revival of traditional Christian values to counter Britain's 'moral collapse'.
He went on to say: "The Bible has helped to give Britain a set of values and morals which make Britain what it is today." In conclusion, he added: "Many of the values of a Christian country are shared by people of all faiths and indeed of people of no faith at all".
If we are now "reviving" Christian values in this nation, let us quote directly from the source. The Holy Bible states the union of one man and one woman in Genesis 2:22-25: "And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, 'This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh, she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore, shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh'."
The word of God is the cornerstone of this nation and judgment befalls a people who defy the Truth. As Christians, we are called to be the salt and light of society, Matthew 5:13a and 14a, read: "Ye are the salt of the earth" and "Ye are the light of the world". It is therefore, the duty of Christians to state God's moral law, which is timeless, and not get entangled in man's interpretation of the word.
Not only has this bill caused great division amongst the Conservative party, it has caused much uproar across this nation from those opposed to any redefinition of marriage. The same sex marriage bill will potentially redefine marriage for everyone, over the heads of millions of people whose opinions appear to bear no weight - yet such a bill will, undoubtedly, have a profound impact and is predicted to change the moral and social fabric of this nation forever. Over the past few weeks and months, newspaper reports have highlighted vigorous opposition from all faiths including Christians, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs to name but a few.
Widely respected legal opinion shows that introducing such a bill would undoubtedly take away the civil liberties of many people, not least in the public sector, including teachers and foster carers. The Com Res marriage survey conducted in February last year states that 7seven out of ten people want to keep marriage as it is. My understanding is that civil partnerships provide the same legal and financial protection for both same sex individuals; they already have equality.
In a TV interview, three days prior to election, David Cameron flatly denied he was planning to redefine marriage. It was not in his party manifesto and was therefore not agreed by the electorate nor was there a royal commission.
I, like many other brethren, have sat and prayed through most of the varying committee meetings and House of Commons debates. It has been particularly disappointing to witness the quick scrutinising of such an important bill within meetings of an overwhelming majority of those in favour of the bill. The tireless campaigning from David Burrowes and Jim Shannon, those spearheading the opposition, have remained steadfast in their faith and commitment to the truth yet have been overwhelmingly out-voiced by those championing the bill.
To my knowledge, the public consultation has not been released despite Baroness O'Loan requesting this on May 14th 2013. The secretary of state for culture, Maria Miller, told the committee: "“Because there were so many responses, more than 200,000..... it has taken a while to pull that together..." The chairman responded: "If I may say so, there is some urgency given the fact that this is coming to us and to the Commons in the next couple of weeks...” So great was the public's response to the Consultation, my friend informs me, that additional staff were drafted in to cope with the additional workload.
I have spoken with many politicians over the past few months gauging their views on this bill. One senior politician, who has voted in favour of same sex marriages told me, as I made reference to the scriptures, that the Bible was "open to interpretation". I responded to the daughter of a vicar that the Bible is the infallible Word of God it cannot be changed nor is it open to interpretation, A it says in Matthew 24:35: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." Or in Deuteronomy 4:2: "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you." Many of our laws today are based on the ten commandments.
She further added that the Church of England was exempt from the bill, somehow inferring that this countered the obligations and responsibilities of Christians in the Church of England to oppose the bill.
The former chief constable for West Midlands Police, Lord Geoffrey Dear, Baron of Willersey, recently spoke in the House of Lords of his opposition to the bill and referred to the process through the Committee stages as "shambolic". He will be leading the House of Lords over the next couple of days to vote against the bill proceeding any further. I pledge my support for him and hope many others will also join him.
My prayer is that this government, and future governments, will see fit to protect the sanctity of marriage with wisdom and righteous decision-making upholding the covenant of marriage as the union of one man to one woman for life for the good of all people.
Katrina A Prentice is a corporate trainer, strategist, professional speaker and executive coach. She is a member of 'Prayer for Parliament'. She preaches the Gospel worldwide.
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