Thousands of believers across the state of California were encouraged and empowered to take a stand against same-sex "marriage" Wednesday through an event that was broadcast live to more than 160 churches in California and countless others across the World Wide Web.
"When He (God) said in Genesis, 'Man should leave his mother and father and be cleaved to a woman,' He didn't say 'be cleaved to the same sex,'" Miles McPherson, senior pastor of the Rock Church in San Diego, told thousands of youth gathered for "The Fine Line" rally.
"We need to stand up for righteousness. We need to stand up for what the Bible says. We need to be a voice for America," he cried out. "I believe we can change America if we do that."
On Wednesday, McPherson hosted "The Fine Line" at his San Diego megachurch – the city's largest Christian congregation and one of the fastest growing in the United States – as part of an effort to equip and empower young people and their parents to engage on the issue of same-sex "marriage," and mobilize them into action.
With only one month remaining before Californians head for the polls, pro-marriage advocates have been mobilizing believers to cast their vote for Proposition 8, the Protect Marriage Amendment, which would ban homosexual "marriages" in the state.
In front of an energetic crowd of Christian youth, McPherson reminded potential voters of their commitment to love God and to love their brothers and sisters – the greatest commandment – and also what it truly means to love.
"If I want to be blessed, I obey God. If I want you to be blessed, I help you obey God. And if I love you – if I really sincerely love you – I will help you obey God. If I cause you or influence you to disobey God, that is not love; that is hate," he said, explaining the connection between true love and obedience.
"Love is not just you feel something and you have an emotion. Love is not based on your emotion. It's not based on your hormones. Love is based on truth," he exhorted.
"All you who have ever had a relationship, you know that sometimes you don't feel it (your love in the relationship). You get into an argument; you have a difference," added McPherson, who once played professional football for the San Diego Chargers.
"You do that (love) by obeying God. You do that by obeying according to His Word and not your emotion, not political correctness, not your feelings," he said.
In addition to McPherson, rally participants heard from a panel of experts who offered answers to some of the most common and hard-to-answer questions regarding the marriage issue.
When asked how same-sex "marriage" directly affects each person in the state and even in the country, Christian apologist Sean McDowell quickly shared how "this social reengineering of marriage will have profound implications for every single one of our lives."
To explain, McDowell took the example of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks seven years ago.
Though most Americans may not have known someone who was on board one of the hijacked planes or in a building that was hit, almost the entire country – and even the world – was affected.
"After 9/11, the world was a fundamentally different place, and that has affected me," said McDowell, whose father is popular speaker Josh McDowell.
"The change in the redefinition of marriage is the same type of thing. It will trickle down and affect our lives," the panelist added.
When asked why homosexuals shouldn't be allowed to marry according to their "orientation" while heterosexuals are, panelist Yvette Schneider of Exodus International said allowing them to marry according to their "orientation," or more accurately sexual preference, would open the floodgates for those who would want incestuous, pedophilic, or bestial relationships to be socially recognized.
"If sexual orientation or sexual attractions were the basis upon which we were allowed to marry then pedophiles would have to be allowed to marry six-, seven-, eight-year-olds. The man from Massachusetts who petitioned to marry his horse after [same-sex] 'marriage' was instituted in Massachusetts - he'd have to be allowed to do so," responded the former lesbian of 19 years.
"Mothers and sons, sisters and brothers, any combination would have to be allowed," she continued. "We have to understand the big picture."
Adding to Schneider's response, McPherson said, "If you're talkin' about just 'love' then anything goes and then you throw out all rules."
"Then dominoes start happening," he continued, noting how Satan understands how to break down the family and break down the culture.
"It's way bigger than just these two people 'loving' each other. If 'love' is only the criteria, then anything goes," he said.
Another question placed before the panel was regarding the difference between having two mothers or two fathers versus having one mother and one father.
"What's the difference? They've got loving parents. Isn't that okay?" the question stated.
While panelist Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason recalled panelist Schneider's earlier note of studies on parenting that say children do best psychologically, emotionally, socially, and even physically when they're raised by the parents that conceived them in the context of marriage, he pointed to a need that most people know to exist through simple observation.
"I'm not a sociologist. I'm not a psychologist. I'm just a human being. But you don't need to be wearing a white coat to know that kids need a mom and a dad," he said.
And while he praised single parents for their efforts, Koukl said children who grow up without a mother or without a father often know in their heart that something is missing.
"I know what it's like when single parents have to raise kids," said the apologist, whose wife was the single parent of a 16-year-old when they married.
"And many people in this audience and those listening have been raised in circumstances – where they haven't had a mother or father maybe through death, maybe through a divorce. And they know the loss that they feel," he continued.
"Now people in that circumstance often do a sensational job, like my wife did, to make the best of a difficult circumstance. And my hat is off to all single parents," Koukl stated. "But why would we want to engineer that on purpose and make it the law of the land that we can deprive a child of a mother or a father?
"This doesn't make any sense. They deserve better," he concluded.
Wednesday's event was one of three planned simulcast events in support of Proposition 8. Others include a broadcast presentation for pastors and Christian leaders that took place last Thursday, Sept. 25, and a future broadcast presentation to churches Sunday, Oct. 19.
Churches that participated in the simulcast Wednesday had signed up with the Mountain View, Calif.-based Church Communication Network, which broadcast the event via satellite and provides programming in an array of ministry areas.
Other live and video guests Wednesday included Ron Luce of Teen Mania; skate pros Brian Sumner and Christian Hosoi; and Kyle Loza, pro freestyle motocross rider and X Games gold medalist. The youth-oriented evening also featured music by rock groups the Katinas and Stellar Kart.
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