Recently Dr. Mike Horton, in May wrote a piece that can be found here
Elsewhere Horton has written here,
In that piece you can find these quotes,
“Although a contractual relationship denies God’s will for human dignity, I could affirm domestic partnerships as a way of protecting people’s legal and economic security.”
“The challenge there is that two Christians who hold the same beliefs about marriage as Christians may appeal to neighbor-love to support or to oppose legalization of same-sex marriage.”
Dr. Mike Horton
Dr. Horton, having been queried about this statement he made in May, has recently spoken. I intend to respond here to his recent statements.
Recently Horton wrote,
(1) “I wrote several posts on same-sex marriage, arguing that because monogamous-heterosexual marriage is rooted in creation (not redemption), Christians should not treat it as merely imposing our distinctively Christian beliefs and values on society. (2) We may lose, but the church can’t surrender its witness to God’s unchanging law. (3)Thus, neighbor-love entails support for traditional marriages and family structures. (4) At the same time, I argued that there are complicated legal and policy questions over which Christians (who hold this same view) may legitimately differ. (5) One example is domestic partnerships, which I neither affirmed nor rejected. (6) My only goal there was to say that there is nothing that the gay movement can win by same-sex marriage that it doesn’t already have with domestic partnerships. (7) If they can have the latter, why do they need the former? (8) It seems to me that the only real purpose in pressing for marriage is moral: namely, to place homosexual relationships on a par with heterosexual marriage: this we cannot allow, even if it involves the coercive power of the state (via our participation in the democratic process).
(9) Also, Christianity Today asked me to provide a response to an interview in The Atlantic with the head of Exodus International, who seemed to suggest that one could be an active homosexual and a member in good standing of a church. (10) Of course, I disagreed. (11) In response to this and those other posts, I’ve received criticism from evangelicals (and others) who thought I was too hard-line on the issue. (12) So this one is a first. (13) Until this one, I haven’t seen any responses that see any of the dangers that Mr. Maurina raised here.”
Before getting into the entrails of these comments by Dr. Horton we should note here that as Dr. Horton does not believe that such a thing as Christian culture even exists or can exist, Dr. Horton does not believe that we can do anything to make a culture more Christian. Dr. Horton believes Christians do exist but he does not believe Christian culture exists. That observation is key in unraveling what Dr. Horton is saying here.
(1) — A.) If “monogamous-heterosexual marriage is rooted in creation (not redemption)” then why should marriages be conducted by Clergy? The R2K crowd, of whom Dr. Horton is a member, have said in the past that the Clergy has no business giving a invocation at a City Council meeting, or in being an official participant as a Clergy member at political events precisely because these kinds of events are rooted in creation and not redemption. So, if Clergy are not to be involved in events that are rooted in creation then for centuries Clergy have been violating Scripture because they have been officiating at and praying at Wedding ceremonies which are rooted in creation.
(1) — B.) If marriage is rooted in creation and not redemption and if culture can not be Christian then how is it possible to impose our distinctively Christian beliefs and values on society? Society is a reality that is rooted in Creation and so all it can ever be, regardless of what religion’s beliefs and values are imposed upon it is common. According to R2K it is possible to have Christians living in society, however it is not possible for Christians to impose their Christianity on something (society) that by definition can not be Christian no matter what.
(2) — But Dr. Horton does not believe that God’s unchanging law applies to the public square. It applies to individuals but it most certainly does not apply to the public square.
Now, it is possible when Dr. Horton talks about God’s unchanging law he is not talking about God revealed law in Scripture but rather he is speaking of God’s natural law. However, as he invokes the “Church” in (2) one is tempted to think he is referring to the Scriptures. With R2K it is hard to know what law is being referred to when statements are made about “God’s unchanging law.”
(3) — “Thus, neighbor-love entails support for traditional marriages and family structures.”
Except when we don’t. Read on.
(4) – (5) “Neither affirmed or rejected.”
Mike has said he neither affirms nor rejects domestic partnerships but he does affirm that Christians could affirm domestic partnerships and be within the orbit of Christian orthodoxy. Mike does not affirm them but he does affirm the affirmers. This is the real sticky wicket in Mike’s pronouncements. Mike, is suggesting that Christians could very well support domestic partnerships of one variety or another. If Christians were to do this, and as Mike is saying, they well could do this and remain orthodox, then that calls Mike’s (3) statement into serious question.
(6) – (8) — We agree with Mike except I do not think that the goal of the sodomite lobby is not to put sodomite marriage on part with Heterosexual marriage but the LGBT goal is to normalize sodomite marriage while abnormalizing heterosexual marriage.
(9) – (13) — We pass on.
Another missive from Dr. Horton was later forthcoming,
(1) “Being open to affirming a civil arrangement that allows partners inheritance, insurance, and other economic benefits, is NOT being open to same-sex relationships!!! (2) My point was to say that the gay lobby is not really interested in equal rights, but in equal affirmation of gay and heterosexual marriage. (3) So Christians should NOT treat the marriage debate as if it were equivalent to civil rights. (4) Some Christians do argue that we should allow a pagan state to honor “life commitments” regardless of marriage, but to argue that this should be called MARRIAGE is ultimately not a question of civil rights but of the meaning of marriage itself.
(5) I cannot help the fact that some have apparently overlooked the distinction I’ve made—and the fact that it’s part of an argument AGAINST gay marriage. (6) I can only hope that people would not spread false impressions based on where they think it will lead rather than what I actually argued.
(1) — This sentence is a study in contradiction.
I think the famous R2K dualism is playing in here.
Mike has no problem with the legal infrastructure being set up by the Government. Mike has no problem with the objective legislation being put into place. However, Mike does have a problem if two people actually start engaging in the sodomite behavior that the legal infrastructure supports and honors.
So, his dualism allows the public structures but not the private behaviors. This is classic R2K speak. Having divided the world into the common and grace realm and having said that the Church may not make pronouncements on what the State does in the common realm, though retaining the right to speak with God’s voice regarding individual personal sin, the R2K thinker can posit a position where the public infrastructure for Sodomite behavior is legalized while insisting at the same time that they are not being open to same-sex relationships. Such a position only makes sense in a R2K Alice in Wonderland World. It’s like saying that while one is open to setting up the infrastructure for abortion in terms of abortion doctors, fetus removal systems, abortuaries, legal protection, etc. one is not, by doing so, communicating an openness to the act of abortion.
In fairness to the Doctor from Westminster Seminary Ca. it is possible that he is saying that while the act of sodomy is sinful the Church has no business to suggest that it is criminal and therefore Christians could very well support domestic unions as sanctioned by the Civil Magistrate. So, in such a scenario Christians could be Christian and support the non-Criminality of domestic partnership in theory while opposing the sin of sodomy itself. The problem here is that God has criminalized sodomy but Dr. Horton doesn’t believe that God’s unchanging law is unchanging on this point and so we are where we are.
(4) — We must keep in mind the distinction between Defacto realities and Dejure realities. Legalized domestic partnerships are defacto Marriage even if not Dejure marriage. Which is to say that they are marriage in all but title. Christians who support domestic unions are supporting defacto sodomite marriage even if opposing dejure sodomite marriage. At this point, it is all about semantics.
(5) – (6) — Dr. Horton has no one but himself to blame for people misunderstanding him. If other Christians do not think in a dualistic R2K worldview you can not fault them for interpreting R2K words through a non dualistic grid.