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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Is Bill Watson doing God's work?

The men who constitute the hierarchy of the Living Church of God aren't the only ACOG ministers obsessed with the subject of homosexuality. It is obvious that the Church of God International's Bill Watson also has a fascination with the subject. In his most recent offering on their Armor of God program, he discourses on the subject under the title "What is Marriage?" If you have the stomach, you can listen to it here: http://cgi.org/armor-of-god

He opens with: "In today's world, there is an outright attack on the traditional definition of marriage and family." Really? I was under the impression that there was a rather eclectic group of folks who were seeking to promote tolerance and the availability of the blessings of marriage and family for more people. How does that change (or infringe upon) Mr. Watson's definition of marriage and family? He goes on to decry the fact that this has somehow perverted what was previously considered to be "normal and right" (although, he never does quite get around to explaining exactly how that perverts the understanding of those who still adhere to those principles).

Mr. Watson then proceeds to launch into a diatribe against the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision on gay marriage. He says that the justices were acting outside of the constitutionally prescribed limits on their authority by legislating from the bench. "Can marriage be redefined?" he asks. "Yes," Mr. Watson. The marriages recognized by the government of these United States can be defined in any way that government deems appropriate. The Supreme Court ruled on the definition of the secular institution of marriage by applying the constitutional standard that every citizen should have access to the same rights and privileges that every other citizen enjoys. The Court was not interested in the Biblical definition of marriage and did not seek to change/amend it in any way.

Mr. Watson goes on to ask: "Is there a true definition of marriage?" and "Is there a standard we can appeal to?" If he's implying that we appeal to Scripture for our definition/standard, then I have a few questions for him: If the ideal marriage is one man and one woman, why is there so much polygamy tolerated among God's servants? Why are there numerous laws regulating the practice of plural marriage? Does Scripture allow for any man to marry any woman? And, if we are to understand that polygamy should be confined to the Old Testament, then why did Jesus tell a parable about a bridegroom and ten virgins preparing for a marriage (although only five of them were ready)? Why are there different provisions in the Law for divorce and remarriage? Mr. Watson claims his intelligence is being insulted. What is he doing to his audience when he directs them to such a diverse body of commentary on the subject of marriage for their standard?

After a brief digression to lambaste President Clinton and Obama, he decries the failure of the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2006 that sought to define secular marriage as only being between one man and one woman. Then he launches into a bit of self-promotion by offering his audience a one hour presentation on the "Sacred Meaning of Marriage" (hosted by none other than the aforementioned Mr. Watson). He also informs us that he is quite sure that our forefathers would be "rotisserating" in their graves if they could be made aware of this fact (I'm not sure how he knows this). Mr. Watson went on to say that it's "bad enough that we're even talking about it." In other words, no discussion would be preferable to the democratic debate that is currently ongoing. After all, as Mr. Watson puts it, this is a "no brainer" - "It's common sense!"

"What is marriage?" he asks. Mr. Watson defines marriage as: "the seed of the family" (whatever that means). He says that marriage "creates an environment for teaching" and "for sharing activities and time with each other." He goes on to say that marriage provides us with opportunities to educate our children (things like "learning how to shoot a gun"), and share in their successes (as in when they participate in peer sporting events). Finally, he says that marriage can be instrumental in imparting the right characteristics to our children's personalities (things like honesty, caring and sacrifice). The obvious question is: Couldn't two dads or two mothers be just as effective in performing those functions as a "traditional" couple?

Mr. Watson claims that those nasty "liberal progressives" are encroaching on our educational system and indoctrinating our innocent little six year olds with things like tolerance and kindness for people who are different from themselves. Horror of horrors, they are exposed to books about alternative families and descriptions of the real world!

After decrying the fact that our society has drifted away from absolutes, Mr. Watson declares: "I'm not homophobic at all. I'm not narrow-minded at all! I'm just rooted and grounded in what I know to be right because of revealed knowledge from my Bible." Sounds mighty suspicious Mr. Watson. If you don't want to be labeled as homophobic, you may want to reconsider some of the verbiage you employee in your sermons and articles!

He quotes Paul's letter to the saints at Rome to make his case. "For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." (Romans 8:5-7) So, those that are not subject to God's law of love (love for God as expressed in our love for our neighbor) are carnally minded and headed for death? Better watch out Mr. Watson!

He finishes up with a discourse on the meaning of what he considers to be a couple of key verses in the first two chapters of Genesis. He informs us that Genesis 1:27-28 reveals that God intended for one man and one woman to marry and reproduce (it says that both male and females were created in God's image and are a reflection of "Him," and that God blessed them and told them to replenish and subdue the earth). According to Mr. Watson, "If you would read it for what it says, and then read into what you've just read, you would see that it says a lot more than what it actually says." WHAT? So the problem is that we're not reading into The Bible what Mr. Watson is reading into The Bible?

To make matters worse, he then proceeds to discourse on Genesis 2:18-22. Mr. Watson informs us that "males do not reproduce, and nor do females reproduce." Really? He might want to rethink that one - especially in light of the fact that he is talking about a story where God makes a woman out of one of Adam's ribs! He concludes with "God could not find, OUT OF ALL THE ANIMALS , you get my drift?, a help meet, so He creates this woman." Let me get this straight (no pun intended), God couldn't find any animals that would be a suitable "help meet" for Adam so "He" decided to create a woman? The woman was an afterthought? Yeah, I think I'm starting to understand the "traditional" definition of marriage. How about you?

2 comments:

  1. All Hail: The all k nowing, only person with all the answers. Fact of the matter is your repeated attacks on Mr. Watson and the CGI, sounds a bit like sour grapes, not like someone who professes to be a Christian. Fact is that the majority of people in this country believe that homosexuality is wrong. You can attack whomever you want on blogsites, you can rail on against what ever injustice you think is being heaped upon you, but it doesn't change the fact that your opinions are on the side of the minority. But that never matters to the elite, liberal thinkers. Academia doesn't make you right, and everyone else wrong. The majority of people in this country think gay marriage is wrong. Get over yourself, Your not as smart as you think you are. YOU LIBERALS ALWAYS PREACH TOLERANCE, BUT ONLY TOLERANCE FOR WHAT YOU THINK AND SAY.

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  2. Dear Anonymous, Thanks for taking the time to comment. However, I'm quite confident that I don't have all of the answers (but neither does Mr. Watson or you). My post attacked the TEACHINGS of Mr. Watson on the subject of homosexuality, not him personally. As a matter of fact, Mr. Watson has been a good friend to my father for many years. He preached my grandmother's funeral. I know him to be a kind and decent man in most areas of his life. I have not questioned his Christianity, but some of the things that he has been preaching on this subject are contrary to the spirit of Christ.
    As for a majority of people in this country thinking that gay marriage is wrong, different polls say different things (often depending on how the question is asked), so you may be right. However, just because a majority of people think that way doesn't make it right. After all, once upon a time, a majority of folks in this country thought that slavery was acceptable and that restricting the vote to white males was fine. I have no problem loving and accepting people who do not support gay marriage, but I do reserve the right to underscore the fact that I think they are wrong about this. By the way, as a person who still regards Ronald Wilson Reagan as the greatest president of my lifetime, I don't think that I would qualify as a liberal in the minds of most folks.

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