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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN



The story is told of an exasperated President Lincoln asking his cabinet in the middle of a quibbling discussion/debate: "How many legs does a cow have if you call a tail a leg?" Someone responded, "Well, five, of course." To which Lincoln thundered, "wrong! Just calling a tail a leg doesn't make it one." I am reminded of that story every time I hear the phrase "same-sex-marriage." That very phrase demonstrates how far some people have drifted from Biblical morals and moorings. The divine plan and pattern for marriage is summed up in Matthew 19:4-6 where Jesus said, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? 5o then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate? Jesus' words remind us that you can call an Eve a Steve but just calling her one does not make it so! The words for "male" and "female" in this text are gender-specific. Marriage according to Jesus and the Bible is not same-sex. On the contrary, marriage requires a "male and female" who become one flesh. The Bible has known of "same-sex" relationships for thousands of years. But instead of referring to them as "same sex," the more accurate Biblical description would be "strange-sex" relationships."

 Jude 7 spells it out in these words: "Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." Homosexuality and "same sex" relationships are not new morality it is old morality, and according to the word of God it is still immorality. The people of ancient Sodom and Gomorrah approved of and practiced same-sex relationships. The account in Genesis 18-19 makes it clear that they wanted and practiced no restraints on their sexual behavior. Their sexual "orientation" was definitely same-sex (see Genesis 19:4-5). This is precisely the behavior Jude 7 describes as "sexual immorality" and "strange flesh? The context of Jude 7 makes clear Jude's readers were under severe pressure to be more open and affirming of sexual immorality including same-sex relationships. But Jude warns and admonishes them not to accept and condone that which God Himself rejects and condemns. Churches, courts, congresses and countries may approve of same-sex marriages. But same-sex according to the Bible is still strange sex, and stands condemned by a holy God.

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ