“For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools.”Romans 1:21-22

It’s interesting to observe how easily we finite human beings will impart to ourselves the attributes of the Infinite.

When the situation warrants, we will not hesitate to take it upon ourselves to equate that which has been deemed “legal” by society’s standards as being morally permissible in the eyes of God.

This kind of thinking is what I’ve termed as Selective Moralistic Dualism.

Selective Moralistic Dualism is where we attempt to leverage or manipulate a specific attribute of God, for example, His love, in an effort to justify a volitional behavior on our part which God has clearly forbidden in His Word.

From a historical perspective, the legal sanctioning of slavery in America would be one example of how the misguided logic of selective moralistic dualism could be applied.

However, there is probably no more egregious contemporary example than that of abortion.

There are those today who have convinced themselves that God, because He is a God of mercy, would never want any child to be born into the world who was conceived in rape or incest, or who would be burdened with an irreversible physical disability or incurable disease, or who wasn’t truly “wanted” by their mother or father, or whose economic station in life would not be optimal as to allow the child’s parents to provide for all the comforts of life that he or she could possibly want.

Having completely disallowed for the role God’s sovereignty plays in such circumstances, abortion advocates persuade themselves that the murder of an unborn child is morally preferable because a truly merciful God couldn’t possibly have ordained such unfortunate outcomes for a child.

Consequently, the person who subscribes to selective moralistic dualism says that that which is now legal, in this case abortion, is also right, because a God of mercy would not want any child to suffer physically or mentally or to do without materially.

“The LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?”Exodus 4:11

It is this same specious hypothesis that is being aggressively proffered to and, regrettably, adopted by various ecclesiastical denominations with regard to two people of the same sex being allowed to “marry” simply by virtue of the fact that they “love” each other. Combine that with the fact that one of the more salient attributes of God is that He is a God of love who, of course, wants us all to love one another, and – Voila!

See how that works?

As a result of the recent United States Supreme Court decision (Obergefell v. Hodges) declaring homosexual marriage to be a Constitutionally protected right under the 14th Amendment, not only is such a practice now legal but that it is legal also means there is no longer anything morally wrong with it.

Or, to put it even more plainly, homosexuality is no longer sin.

“Only God can extricate us from the quagmire of our sin. The reality of our depravity should foster a desperate dependence for God to intervene graciously in the midst of our polluted existence. We cannot transform our own hearts, and we cannot do anything to save ourselves. Human effort cannot transform the human heart. Our depravity and sinfulness highlight the supreme necessity of God’s merciful redemption to liberate us from our horrible plight. Our corrupted condition graphically depicts our spiritual standing before God. Although each person retains the image of God, it is defaced and tainted by sin. Because of our sinful state, all sinners stand justly condemned before the bar of God’s righteous judgment. This truth should remind us of our utter need for God and elicit our gratitude, humility and worship.” – R. Stanton Norman on “Human Sinfulness” in ‘A Theology for the Church’, p. 477

Given that the argument of the LGBT lobby has, for decades, been posited as merely a desire to be “treated equally under the law” regarding marriage, one would think that those who advocate their position would be satisfied to sit back and bask in the glow of the unprecedented legal victory handed them by five Supreme Court justices.

But, that isn’t enough for them because being allowed to marry was never the sole or primary objective.

Ultimately, what the LGBT lobby really wants is for their lifestyle to no longer be viewed as sinful.

It’s the classic desire to have one’s cake and eat it, too.

Despite their judicial triumph, there remains a theological dimension to the issue of “marriage equality” that the LGBT lobby continues to deny is rooted in a desire to have their lifestyle choice legitimized by a God who has unambiguously forbidden such habitual behavior.

Hence, the threats of legal action and other attacks by some within the LGBT community against Bible-believing churches and organizations for daring to refuse to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies (as if a Christian church were the only place such a rite could be performed.)

This deep-seeded disdain for the Church by the LGBT lobby is quite palatable and should be evidence enough that the impetus for pursuing so-called “marriage equality” to begin with had everything to do with advancing a socio-political agenda, namely the legalization of sin, and nothing to do with upholding God’s original design for marriage.

As such, churches and the pastors who lead them are increasingly targeted for their refusal to disobey the very God for whom the Church was formed and through whom it continues to subsist (as it has for more than 2,000 years.)

That the LGBT lobby is attempting to force the Church, under the guise of what is “legal”, to help it achieve its warped sociological ends, intrinsically states that there is an inherent disconnect between how the world and God view marriage. This disconnect is both irreparable and eternal because marriage, as God defines it, not only has temporal significance for this present world but also eschatological implications for the world to come:

Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready. It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.'”Revelation 19:7-9

What the LGBT lobby refuses to accept is that selective moralistic dualism will never be the acid test for what God views as acceptable behavior, because the same God who is inherently loving and merciful is the same God who is inherently holy and righteous.

Just because something is legal and permissible in man’s sight doesn’t make it right or acceptable in the eyes of an immutably holy God.

Right is defined by God’s objective standard not the subjective standard of man. This is a truth that is as inherent a reality to supporters of homosexual marriage as the truth that water is wet.

Their problem is that, like spoiled children, they simply refuse to accept no for an answer.

Even when that answer is from God Himself.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.”Romans 1:18-19

Think about it.

Humbly in Christ,


We Will Not Bow (Audio of sermon by John MacArthur)
Churches Fear Lawsuits Over Gay Weddings (Todd Starnes)
Who Decides What Sin Is? (Grace To You)
Why So Many Churches Hear So Little of the Bible (Albert Mohler)
Read the Gospels: JC Is Not PC (John MacArthur)

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Author Selective Moralistic Dualism: How We (Try To) Make God Do What We Want

Darrell B. Harrison

Lead Host Just Thinking Podcast

Darrell is is a native of Atlanta, Georgia but currently resides in Valencia, California where he serves as Dean of Social Media at Grace To You, the Bible-teaching ministry of Dr. John MacArthur. Darrell is a 2013 Fellow of the Black Theology and Leadership Institute (BTLI) of Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey, and is a 2015 graduate of the Theology and Ministry program at Princeton Theological Seminary. Darrell studied at the undergraduate level at Liberty University, where he majored in Psychology with a concentration in Christian Counseling. He was the first black man to be ordained as a Deacon in the 200-year history of First Baptist Church of Covington (Georgia) where he attended from 2009 to 2015. He is an ardent student of theology and apologetics, and enjoys reading theologians such as Thomas Watson, Charles Spurgeon, and John Calvin. Darrell is an advocate of expository teaching and preaching and has a particular passion for seeing expository preaching become the standard within the Black Church.