SCOTUS on “same sex marriage”…Morality and Legislation

It was “breaking news”. This morning SCOTUS delivered in a 5:4 decision, a landmark ruling in favor of same-sex marriage for couples. (1).This is a sweeping victory and a seminal event that etched in the annals of history, June 27, 2015, as the day that redefined marriage for the country at large. In a dissenting opinion, Justice Scalia, who renamed Obamacare 6:3 decision as SCOTUScare, described this ruling as a judicial “putsch”. While this ruling is not totally unexpected from a secular-based system, mainstream Christians are understandably concerned this “marriage equality” can be a prelude to society’s general acceptance and condoning of “homosexual acts”, an abomination as defined in the Holy Bible. 

This should remind us of a common quote that “you can not legislate morality”, originally attributed to R.M. MacIver (1882–1970), Scottish sociologist, educator(2). This maybe the crux of the problem: extrapolating common law as moral law, like the Ten Commandments. They are different. While both are “made for man”(Mark 2:27), one was made by humans to define what is legal. Whereas the other came from God to define what is moral. One relates to the government, while the other is relational to God. As laws of the land can only define what is legal and what is not, the Decalogue (Ten Commandments) also can only define sin, as in Romans. 7:7-12; 4:15. Both serves as a guide and a restraint towards behavioral modification as Martin Luther King Jr., added a caveat, “Morality cannot be legislated, but behavior can be regulated. Judicial decrees may not change the heart, but they can restrain the heartless.”(3).

As violation of secular laws has consequences, the Decalogue also has punishment, the”eternal or second death”(Rev. 21:8). Laws that come from humans may change as in Brown vs Board of Education of 1954 overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896 which allowed state-sponsored segregation; the 14th amendment to the Constitution in 1868 overturned the 1857 Dred Scott case on slavery. But the Decalogue from God never changed and in fact affirmed by Jesus himself (Matt. 5:17-20). Compliance cannot be assured for common laws as attested by increasing rates of recidivism. Expectedly so, one can suffer from inconsistency in fulfilling the Ten Commandments.

But why is that? Why is there no consistency and reliability of human actions? Even supposed to be “holy men of God”, appointed like Abraham, Moses and David, still succumbed to temptation. Can it be because of failure to establish “habits”? Aristotle was quoted, “Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.” (4). There’s some truth to this. But, while developing habits helps people to respond in a legal and moral way, can humans really attain “moral excellence” on their own? Will the same well-intentioned and habits-ingrained person vacillate, when faced with overwhelming odds, to protect his own interests? Regrettably, self-interests prevail. 

Truly, “the flesh is weak”. Even Jesus confirmed this in Matt. 26:41. Paul also attested this “weak nature” of humans at creation (Rom. 8:3). Because of this “weakness”, another “energizing component” is needed for the flesh to be strong against evil and “lust of the flesh”(Gal.5:19-21). And the Creator YHVH knew this from the beginning so he incarnated into man-Jesus. This he did so that after death, he would be resurrected and go back to his Father and send this Holy Spirit into us for empowerment (Jn. 16:7). Jesus was restored to life to get this Spirit as promised by the Father (Gal.3:14; Eph. 1:13) and for us to receive it. From the day of Pentecost (Acts 2), the Spirit of God has come into the flesh, starting with the apostles. And this Spirit is indeed “coming into the flesh” as testified by John ( I Jn. 3:24; 4:2). God has planned to redo his “marred clay” into what he wanted “the image” in Genesis creation to finally be (Jer. 18:4).

With the Spirit in us, Paul said in Gal.5:16 “Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh”. This Spirit will develop moral habits in us. The in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit of God in us, will “seal, sanctify, guide, teach, and give us power” to have the “mind of Christ”(Rom 12:2; Phil 2:5-11; 2 Tim 1:7) and be “conformed in the likeness of his Son Jesus”(Rom 8:29). We need to follow the Spirit of God to bear “fruits” which are enumerated in Gal. 5:23-23. The Spirit of God is an “empowerment tool” more powerful than mechanical, electrical, nuclear , or any powers. The “spirit of man” has to utilize this “tool” to be conformed with and have the ” mind of Christ” (Rom. 12:2; Phil. 2:1-5; I Cor. 2;13-16; 2 Tim. 1;7). At death, the flesh decays but the “spirit of man”(breath of life, Gen. 2:7) goes back to the Father(Eccl.12:7. This “spirit of man” that developed “habits” by using the power of the Holy Spirit and “bear fruits” will then be given an “immortal body” at resurrection and be “one” with Jesus and the Father( I Cor. 15:51-57; please read the whole Chapter 15).

This is the “strategic plan” worthy of consideration by people of faith. Humans were created “matter-composed”(from dust, earthy), not “spirit-composed”. As matter, man is mortal and can die, unlike “spirit-body” that is immortal. We were created as an “image” (Gen. 1:27) of the immortal God, although “matter-composed” we will be “like him” (I John 3:2), in the future, spirit-body and immortal. The “image” is “earthy”, meaning from dust or earth and unlike man-Jesus “from above” (I Cor. 15:46-48), who came from heaven and not formed on earth nor of ” dust of the ground”. But, at resurrection Paul states that we will change into immortality (I Cor. 15:51-57), “spirit-composed body”, like Jesus’ body post resurrection. 

The end of it all is that, with a “spirit of man” that developed “habits” as taught and guided by the Holy Spirit of power, transformed into “oneness” with the “mind of Christ”, it will then receive a new body, an immortal body. And with all of these coming to reality, the person will be “reliable and consistently” following the Ten Commandments. Moral values will then be instilled in the person and will stay with him/her forever. This is the destiny of humanity, those who are transformed to be “one” with God. 

1.Retrieved from: 

2.MacIver, The Modern State, ch. 5, Oxford University Press, 1926; Retrieved from; 

3. Retrieved from,

4.Retrieved from:

Do Christians have to follow the Decalogue?

The short answer is a resounding Yes! But why we have to, for what and how?
It was established by Paul that even those who are not Jews follow the Law (Rom 2:14). Even now, there are non-Christians who believe and love their own God and their neighbors. Their “righteousness” however, is not the “righteousness of God” which are reflected through the Holy Spirit as “fruits of the Spirit”. These are the same people who will be rejected by Christ for their “own good works” (Matt 7:21-23) because they were not “works of the Holy Spirit” that God acknowledges. It is God who chooses what he likes and requires, what is acceptable to him, in spite of how good the works are. 

Remember Abel and Cain? God chose Abel’s offering because it was “by faith”(Gen 4:3-5; Heb 11:4) not Cain’s. The rest of the Bible shows examples of the precept that God alone chooses what is to his liking, no matter what we think.
To start with, everything about our salvation, i.e. becoming a “new creation” members/body of the “kingdom of God”, was done not by you or me but by Jesus, the Messiah, the Logos of John 1 and the Creator Elohim in Genesis 1 & 2. It was all a gift by grace and out of love of the Father as in John 3:16. He is the “righteousness of the Law fulfilled in us” (Rom.8:4).
The death of man-Jesus (the Creator God) was substitutionary to pay the penalty of human’s sin, for mankind to be reconciled to the Father. The goal of his death is reconciliation, nothing more. Had he not been resurrected by the Father, Jesus could have died eternally and we are still “dead in sin” (I Cor 15:17). But, because of the Father’s promise of resurrection and the “faith of Jesus” in him, he was made alive. Having been resurrected to life, we “shall be saved by his life”(Rom 5:10).
Notice, the phrase “shall be saved”, meaning future, not yet, or in the process of salvation. But, how are we going to “be saved by his life”, his resurrected life? Remember Jn 16:7; 15:26; 14:16? He was resurrected for this very purpose, i.e., for the promised Holy Spirit to be sent and dwell in us, for us to “be endowed”, starting at Pentecost (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4; Gal 3:14). We received this HS not by (our) works of the law but by “faith of Jesus” (Gal 3:2).
Why do we need the Holy Spirit? As circumcision is a “sign”, the HS serves as a “seal” to identify us being in the “body of Christ” (Jn 6:7; 2Cor.1:21-22; 5:5; EpEph 1:13-14; 4:30 Aside from that, we need “spirit-power” as the “flesh is weak”, (Matt 26:41). We need the Holy Spirit of power to be used by us to express the “fruits of the Spirit” (Gal.5:22-23). The HS gives us “cognition” as to which way to go or do, “conviction” to follow Jesus'(YHVH ELOHIM’s) Law, and “affection” for him and whatever is “good”, giving us the “mind of Christ” (I Cor 2:16).
That said, according to Paul, “the Law is holy” (Rom 7:12, v-14,v-23); nothing wrong with the Law and the Covenant. What was wrong was us, the flesh-nature that we have, that is “weak”. Remember that in Genesis, YHVH made “man (from dust) after his image”, and in the future to be “like him’. But that “clay” was flesh and “weak” so Adam could not be “like him” by his “own works”. It has to be by the “faith of Jesus”.
Adam, not knowing his “weakness”, did not “listen and follow” God, so he sinned and was banished from the “garden of Eden”. Adam was separated from God and needs to be “reconciled”. Having been reconciled by Christ’s death, we are now “being saved by his life through the function and power of the Holy Spirit” given to us as promised, to (bring many sons to glory” (Heb 2:10).
Therefore, with the power of the Holy Spirit, follow the Ten Commandments as part of our process of “sanctification” (I Cor 6:11; Rom 8:9-11; 15:15-16; 2 Cor 1:21-22; Eph 1:13-14; 2 Thes 2:13; itus 3:4-7; I Pet 1:1-2; 2:9-12; John 17:17; Rom 6:19-22; 8:5-14; Gal 5:16-24; I Pet 2:11; Rom 2:6-7). 
With “eyes to see, let him see; ears to hear, let him hear” the truth.

In Search of an Ideal Government…a Perspective

Throughout history, this search is on-going.  

From the narrative in Genesis, Adam & Eve did not subject themselves to a theocratic government by disobeying God and were subsequently driven out of the “government in the garden of Eden“. Nimrod (the rebel), in a way, wanted to substitute his autocratic reach to the heavens (Gen. 11:1-9) through the Tower of Babel to make a “name for themselves“. Saul, David, Solomon, etc. also had a government that appeared to be aligned with God’s government. Yet, even these biblical patriarchs, supposed to be chosen by God, had a fleeting loyalty to him and “their kingdoms” succumbed. And throughout history, men of high esteem had leadership and moral compass yet were not durable nor lasting.

The Egyptian and Assyrian empires did not last. From the successive Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greco-Macedonian and Roman Empires, the common denominator they all share is disintegration and short life span. The 15th through the 20th century saw the demise of Spain, France, Germany and England as a world power. In WW II, Germany attempted to dominate Europe and even Russia. While in the Asian continent, Japan tried to sell a propaganda of Greater Asia Co-prosperity Sphere. All over-extended themselves and failed. Coming out of the ashes of WW II, the League of Nations did not see the “light of day” and was replaced with the United Nations. Will the latter succeed? In Europe, the European Economic Community (EEC/Common Market) was originally established as an economic integration by the Treaty of Rome in 1957, became European Community(EC) in 1993 by Maastricht Treaty, and eventually transformed into more than economic alliance, the European Union (EC) by the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009. In the Middle East, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria/Levant (ISIS/ISIL), came into being and is a threat to global peace. Will these human geopolitical collaboration for dominance succeed or end much like the Tower of Babel and the “image of Nebuchadnezzar” that will “break in pieces” as prophesied in Daniel 2?

Now remains the U.S.A. as an undisputed world power with the $US as “reserve currency“, money held to pay international debts, since1944 Bretton Woods agreement setting exchange rate of 1oz. of gold to US$35. Yet, in spite of this currency advantage over other countries, fiscal and monetary policies to address mandatory and discretionary demands took the US to an unprecedented $18T debt and social programs like Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid to an unsustainable trajectory. Is the U.S.A over-extending itself, like others historically, to suffer through this vicious cycle towards oblivion? With additional socio-political unrest, racial division, illegal immigration within an atmosphere of terrorism and wars in multiple fronts, it becomes questionable whether the best form of government, a Constitutional Republic, will also be “transitory”.

These successive events should make one wonder. Did God really plan for us to have the best form of “human government” (aka “human kingdom”) as the ultimate in governance? Are there indications that point otherwise? Are humans, in their present composition,”the pinnacle of creation” or just “an image or likeness of him“, perfect yet temporary? What role are humans destined to play in “world government“? It may take a suspension of disbelief, for one to reconsider traditional teaching of biblical verses written millennia ago.

Consider that governance started off in the Genesis account, as a “theocracy” and not a democracy, not even a Constitutional Republic. One may argue that a supreme and powerful leader, answerable to no one, maybe the answer. Yet, history belies that even a benevolent king, or a charismatic dictator could be the answer. There is still something missing in a human leader. Undoubtedly, God is the best leader. But, why did it not work with Adam & Eve? After all, didn’t God have the power for theocracy to work by force at the garden of Eden? Puzzling indeed !

But is it really an enigma wrapped in mystery? It is clear that God did not use force for compliance and man’s “free will” prevailed at the garden of Eden. But why did Adam’s disobedience occurred ? Could that have been prevented or was that a “given” and expected by the Creator? Could the reason be that man himself, his nature, when and how he was originally and purposely created, was perfect yet temporary? After all, the omnipotent and omniscient God knows the limits of his creation.

Going back to the narrative in Genesis about the creation of man, may help answer this question. Gen. 2:7 states that he was formed from the “dust of the ground“, meaning that his composition was “material“, not spiritual. Continuing the verse, Adam was not alive when created from dust, but became alive only when the “breath of life” was breathed into him by God. Therefore a “living person” is now composed of “dust + breath of life” to become a “living soul“. The “dust” is the material part of man but what about the “breath of life“? Is this like the “air” we breathe? Remember, that without this “breath of life” the dust-body has no life, i.e., dead. In James 2:26, “the body apart from the spirit is dead”, suggesting that this “breath of life” is the “spirit of man“, therefore “spiritual” and given by a spiritual God. This “breath of life” is not the material gasses that we breathe like oxygen,nitrogen, etc. Rather, it could be a God-given “component” of man that “initiates life“, the spiritual component that “energizes” all human functions, like breathing, heart pumping, thinking, moving, feeling, etc. A “spirit-energy” much like the mechanical, electrical or nuclear energy that provides power for things to function. A living man or a “living soul” is thereby made up of “material and spirit components“, the body which is material and the spirit(breath of life) which is spiritual. Zech 12:1 attests that God formed this spirit in man. This spirit in man imprints the memory of everything one experienced through the 5 senses(1 Corinthians 2:11). It can be parallel to the “operating system” in a computer, without which all components are defunctionalized.

Death of man happens when this “breath of life”, this spirit of man, leaves the body. The two can be divided (Heb. 4:12); “the soul that sins, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20). Also, Eccl. 12:7 explains that when man dies, “Then the dust (our body) will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit ( breath of life) will return to God who gave it.” Having thus stated, and that while man was created “perfectly” like God’s image (Gen. 1:27), it was nevertheless created only from “matter” (dust) and therefore “weak”. Notice what Jesus said, ” truly, the spirit (of man) is willing but the flesh is weak…” (Matt. 26:40-43). Not only is man “weak” (the body), but also only “a temporary dwelling“. Remember that the “tabernacle” in the Old Testament is a “temporary dwelling” of God. Read through Exodus chapters 35-40 about the tabernacle of God. See also the temple during Solomon’s time (1 Kings 8:11-12), the Temple rebuilt under Zerubbabel (Ezra 3:12; 6:15, 16). By Jesus’ time, the Temple had become a den of thieves. In A. D. 70, the Roman General Titus destroyed Herod’s Temple.

The message in all of these is God showing that these tabernacle and Temples are “temporary dwelling” of God. But notice that these temples are merely “types” of us and we are the actual temples that God planned to dwell in. Read Acts 17:24,”God who made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of Heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands.” Also, Acts 7:48, “the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands”. But it was prophesied that God, through the Holy Spirit will dwell in us. Read “. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit …” (Matthew 3:11); and “ shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38); [See also Acts 5:32; James 4:5; Rom. 5:5; Eph. 5:18.]

Essentially, man needs another component that was already planned by God from the beginning to imbue in us to assist the “weak flesh“, to be “strong” to overcome evil. “What is man that God is mindful of him?“, so asked David in Psalm 8:4-6 and repeated by Paul in Hebrews 2:6. God, as a Potter, has desired to work on his “clay” again as in Jeremiah 18:4, with the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit. Clearly, God desired to dwell in us, the temple not made by human hands, through his Spirit. This Spirit will again “energize and empower” our “weak flesh” by working with and guiding the “spirit of man” ( breath of life) which was already given before. This is another vital component, a new “operating system” that is given by grace and as a gift that can empower us to overcome evil. The first “operating system” that initiated life to Adam, the spirit of man/breath of life, needs this add-on new O.S. 

The Holy Spirit teaches that one must believe (Hebrew 11:6), repent (Acts 2:38), and be baptized for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16). Also, the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit in us, will “seal, sanctify, guide, teach, and give us power” to have the “mind of Christ“(Rom 12:2; Phil 2:5-11; 2 Tim 1:7) and be “conformed in the likeness of his Son Jesus“(Rom 8:29). Yes, we shall be like “his Son“(I Jn 3:2-3), different from each other and unique, yet “one” with Jesus(I Cor 12:12 ; Rom 12:4), as we will be “one” with the Father.

God has a timetable and a purpose for man. And that purpose is for the “Spirit of God” to dwell in us, the temple (I Cor.3:16). The spirit of man with the Spirit of God. In fact, Jesus died and resurrected, for us to receive this Holy Spirit of God. See John 16:17, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter (Holy Spirit) will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” Also, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26).

In summary, all human governments will fail as they have never been the plan of Almighty God who knows what is best. In taking the Genesis creation of man into consideration, God has initially created an “image and likeness of Lord God (YHVH ELOHIM”). This “image” however was temporary, just a “temple or template” and therefore “weak“. As presently composed, man can not govern “self”, much less govern others with consistency of goodness. The “missing link” is for the Holy Spirit to in-dwell and proven after first in-dwelling in Jesus at the river Jordan. Eventually, God planned for mankind not to stay as “an image” only and not to stay “weak“. Instead, we will be “empowered” like him in our current state. Eventually, in the future, to receive a spirit-body, “put on immortality“, “one with him” as the “future world” will not be subjected again to angels but to us (Heb 2:5). As in I Cor. 2:12 “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God” (the Father). Also, Eph 2:22 “…builded together for an habitation of God(Father) through the Spirit.” After creating the universe, plant and animal kingdoms, however with man, God is not creating a “human kingdom“, but a “God-kingdom” , all with immortal bodies, with Jesus as the Head and us with him as one. At the end of time, the Father will be over all and in all.

This world government will be a “theocracy“, a God-Kingdom. The theocracy in the garden of Eden did not work because of man’s deficient composition. Humans will have a role but only after having been transformed by the Holy Spirit working with the “spirit of man”, and be “one” with Christ, in an “immortal” state (not physical), at resurrection., with immortal bodies as God.  He that has “eyes to see and ears to hear“, may he be blessed to recover from blindness and deafness.