Jump Start # 2279
Genesis 1:28 “God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
There is an interesting concept that arises out of the creation account. When all was completed, God gave man the privilege and the right to rule the earth and the animals. Here, the word is “subdue” it. Other translations use the word “dominion.” Man was put in charge of what God had created. Man and animals were not equals. Man was the pinnacle of creation and was in charge and had authority over all of what God had created. There are three exceptions to this principle.
First, is with life. Under limited situations, God allowed a life to be taken if murder had occurred. This principle was established after the flood and is granted to governments in the N.T. Aside from this, God has not put man in charge of life. Man is not in the position to decide who lives and who dies, when life begins and when it ought to end. Those things remain in the hands of God.
Second, marriage remains with God. God established marriage with Adam and Eve, and God never turned marriage over to man. God never told mankind to let it evolve, develop it, change it, let it go as far as you can take it. No. Marriage has always remained in the hands of God. The relationship is considered holy, an attribute of God Himself.
Third, salvation remains with God. It is God who forgives. The redeemed, or forgiven, is the church. That’s the called out, as the word means. The church, the saved, has always remained with God. It is God who defines salvation and sets the limits of fellowship. God has never turned the church over to mankind.
Life, marriage and church—these all belong to God. These are all held by God. Man does not have the right to tinker, change, alter or redefine these. Mankind was never told to rule over these, like he was the animal world. Mankind was never told to subdue or have dominion over these things.
And, before us in our culture, are radicals who are trying to do those very things. They are trying to steal what belongs to God. They are trying to redefine marriage, life and the church. They are taking what rightfully belongs only to God.
So, in the argument of same-sex marriage, it’s not a matter of is homosexuality right or wrong, it’s who has the right to change marriage? Who, other than God, can set the terms of what marriage is? Those who advocate for same-sex marriage have not shown that they have the right to redefine what God established. Mankind, be it an individual, a group of legislatures, judges are not in the position, nor have the authority to “subdue,” have dominion over the principles of marriage. They are taking what rightfully and only belongs to God.
The same thinking belongs to the topic of abortion. Proponents want to use the word “fetus” not baby. They want to say that it’s not really a life, a person. Do they have that right to make that call? Life belongs to God and only God can determine when it begins and when it ends. God has not given mankind the right to define life.
And, the same thinking comes down to salvation and the church. Moderns want to turn the church service into an entertainment venue. Others want to define in their own terms when forgiveness takes place and when one is in fellowship with God. This continues to the extent of determining who will go to Heaven. Only God has the right to make that call. His word defines and describes what He wants in fellowship, worship and what is required to be saved.
Stealing from God—that’s what all of this is about. Taking what belongs to God and then acting like God by changing and reshaping things to our liking. I remember years ago, when I was a young Christian and I was passing the contribution plates, that I saw a guy put in a ten dollar bill and then dug through the plate and take out a five. Immediately, I thought, “He’s robbing God.”
With abortion, same-sex marriage and entertainment based worship, our culture is doing even worse. They are robbing God of what belongs to Him and what He never allowed others to have. “What gives you the right,” is a great starting point in these discussions. Just being Americans isn’t enough. It’s my right to do what I want, really isn’t Biblical. It’s my life and I can do whatever pleases me, isn’t taught in the Gospels. I was in Texas recently. The speed limit on some highways there is 80 MPH. We don’t do 80 in Indiana, not legally. Suppose, I drove 80 and when I got pulled over by the police, I proudly declared, “I changed the speed limit to 80.” Would that fly? No. I do not have that right. I cannot change the speed limit. We get that. It’s the same with life, marriage and salvation. We can declare all kinds of things, but that doesn’t mean it is, and it doesn’t mean that we are in the position to make those changes. Only God can.
We can refer to this as authority. There are some things that belong strictly and solely with God. Anything else is simply robbing God.