“The Church is... where the Lord is acknowledged, and where the Word is.” - The New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine §242
Kempton New Church

Spring 2004

Dear Neighbor,

In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, He also created mankind. In Genesis it says, “And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply….’” (1:27-28)

God blessed us by making us male and female, and the first Divine command recorded in the Bible is that we should be fruitful and multiply. When married people have children, they are participating in the purpose of creation, namely, that people may be born and grow up to know the Lord, and in their free choice live with Him in heaven. Bearing children and raising them to know the Lord is the greatest way for us to serve the Lord. It is also the most rewarding, fulfilling project for a husband and wife to do together, when they do it for His sake.

Because marriage has the highest use of all, namely, to provide for children to be born and raised in a healthy environment, God has also provided the highest pleasure in it. All joys and delights from first to last are gathered into a happy marriage, when the husband and wife are each looking to the Lord. The physical closeness of marriage is made by the Lord to correspond to mental and spiritual oneness. “Therefore a man shall leave father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)

In the last forty years there has been a movement to separate the physical pleasures of marriage from bearing and raising children. This selfish attitude has led to a tide of adultery and also divorce, as people put their own immediate happiness ahead of their responsibility to God, to their children and to society. People imagine they will be happier, but this behavior actually leads to misery all around.

Now people are claiming that marriage is merely a human institution that can be redefined in any way we wish. For people who believe in the Lord’s Word, though, it is clear that God designed marriage as His first blessing to mankind. The Bible is also quite clear that homosexual acts are foul. For example, “Thou shalt not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.” (Leviticus 18:23; see also the next verse, and Leviticus 20: 13-16; see the stories in Genesis 19 and Judges 19; see Romans 1:26-27, and other passages). One of the things that is abominable about this behavior is that it serves no use outside of pleasure to the participants. The contrast with a true marriage is sharp.

The fact that the Old Testament, written about 3500 years ago, and the New Testament, written about 2000 years ago, each warn against this behavior show that mankind has reached such low, degraded states before. Each time our Lord has provided a way for true morality and spiritual life to be restored. It would be wonderful if our country could pull back from the cliff we are heading for, and we should work for that purpose. But if not, at least we, for ourselves and in raising our children, still can know what is right and wrong, and try to live by it. In the right time, the Lord will again raise up a new civilization. “Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:7)

Sincerely,

Lawson M. Smith