Peeking Through Hubble
David L. DeBruyn reports that images from the Hubble Space Telescope show galaxies that man has never seen before.1 The discoveries are “unlikely to explain burning scientific questions about the origins of dark matter or why the universe appears to be accelerating.” But the discoveries do demonstrate how enormous the universe is. DeBruyn writes,
A widely used analogy is that there are more stars within the Milky Way than there are grains of sand on all the beaches of Earth. That is a mind-boggling concept to be sure, but now consider this: The announcement earlier this month that there once might have been 2 trillion galaxies in the universe means there once were far more galaxies than there are stars in a typical galaxy!
The universe is so vast that researchers know there is much that they are incapable of seeing through Hubble. They hope that the James Webb Space Telescope, set to launch in 2018, will help them see even more galaxies, “increasing the census of known galaxies even more.”
Because the light of the far-distant galaxies observed by Hubble takes so long to reach the earth, researchers who study the incoming images speak of looking into the past. DeBruyn speaks of the light taking “almost 13 billion years to reach us.” The implication is that the universe must be at least that old. But the age of the universe is another of those burning unanswered questions. The reason why there are burning unanswered questions is that Hubble and other telescopes, though they enable researchers to see distant galaxies, will never be able to see the creation of the world by God in the beginning. All that man can do is observe the result of God’s wonderful creative work. God made and still sees all the stars! For Him there is no “increasing…census of known galaxies.”
Peeking through Hubble shows those who have faith the greatness of God. We sing of this, “Our Lord is great, He calls by name and counts the stars of night.” We can never sing enough of His greatness, “O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder, consider all the worlds Thy hands have made, I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout, the universe displayed; then sings my soul, my God, to Thee: How great thou art!” At the same time we humbly confess, “When thy wondrous heav’ns I scan, Then I know how weak is man. What is man that he should be Loved and visited by Thee, Raised to an exalted height, Crowned with honor in Thy sight?”
Dr. N. Wolterstorff: “Homosexual orientation is no more culpable or disordered than a heterosexual orientation.”2
Dr. Nicholas Wolterstorff spoke approvingly of homosexual marriage in a speech delivered at the Neland Avenue CRC in Grand Rapids, MI on October 13, 2016. Homosexuality is a “creational variance” according to Wolterstorff. Homosexuality is not “a disorder, a mark of the fallenness of creation.” Homosexuality was part of God’s good creation in the beginning and is as normal, orderly, and pleasing to God as heterosexuality.
Wolterstorff does not lack for boldness. Rather than simply pretend that the Scriptures are silent on homosexuality, he actually addresses passages that explicitly condemn homosexuality. The record of Genesis 19, which condemns the attempt of the men of Sodom to rape the two angels who visited Lot, and of Judges 19, which condemns the attempt of the Benjamites of Gibeah to rape a Levite, are dismissed by Wolterstorff because they only condemn gang rape not sodomy.(“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”) and (“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”) are dismissed because it would be “unfair to universalize that condemnation while ignoring everything else that’s forbidden.” On the surface this seems to be a plausible argument. If not all of the commands in Leviticus continue to have binding force (such as the prohibition on gleaning the corners of fields, , or the prohibition on mixing seed or kinds of cloth, ), then it is wrong to claim that the prohibition on homosexuality is still of binding force. and have “translational disagreements” that make them “too ambiguous for an authoritative claim about same-sex relationships.” And has to do with an “appallingly wicked group” of people who are different from the committed and monogamous homosexuals that Wolterstorff knows personally. To apply this passage in Romans to the homosexuals in the church today is wrong.
Despite these attempts to dismiss the biblical condemnation of homosexuality, even Wolterstorff has to admit that Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 record clear condemnations of the sin. And his argument that that these passages only temporarily condemn homosexuality is invalid. Wolterstorff ’s argument is too general and leads to a dismissal of all the laws in Leviticus. No longer applicable, if we follow his logic, are the laws that prohibit the uncovering the nakedness of one’s relatives (ff.), offering sacrifices to Molech ( ), and committing acts of beastiality ( ). It is not sufficient to compare one law to another in Leviticus to determine which laws continue to be of binding force. Other criteria need to be used. One way we know that certain Old Testament laws are meant for all time is if they are carried over into the New Testament. Since, as Wolterstorff admits, the New Testament also includes prohibitions against homosexuality, the conclusion must be that the prohibitions against this sin in Leviticus are still in force today. Also, by admitting that God prohibited homosexuality even temporarily is fatal to Wolterstorff’s argument that homosexuality is a creational norm. Creational norms are not temporary. If homosexuality is part of God’s good creation, God would not ever, not even briefly, condemn it as a sin.
Wolterstorff ’s attempt to justify homosexuality in the face of the clear condemnation of Scripture makes him guilty of the willing ignorance that the apostle Peter speaks of in. The false teachers of Peter’s day intentionally blinded themselves from the teaching of Scripture regarding the second coming of Christ. Wolterstorff has intentionally blinded himself from the biblical condemnation of homosexuality. He knows that homosexuality was not part of God’s good creation. He knows that in the beginning God created Adam and Eve, and that He joined them together as a male and female. He knows that is an expression of God’s will for marriage for all time that a man shall cleave unto his wife (a woman). He knows that this passage along with many other passages prohibits the marriage of a man to a man or a woman to a woman. He knows that Scripture does not support his acceptance of homosexual orientation and behavior as normal.
Why does Wolterstorff accept homosexuality, if it is so clearly condemned in Scripture? It seems that the weightiest reason stems from the relationships he has with homosexuals. The Chimes report quotes him as saying,
It was through relatives, students and former students who were gay, as well as people in committed, same-sex relationships, that Wolterstorff was drawn to more closely consider the traditional views he’d grown up believing. He said, “I’ve listened to these people. To their agony. To their feelings of exclusion and oppression. To their longings. To their expressions of love. To their commitments. To their faith. So listening has changed me.”
This is an admission on Wolterstorff ’s part that he has determined to accept homosexuality on the basis of his life experience. This explains his approach to Scripture. He is not willing to listen to Scripture and submit to what God says about homosexuality. Rather, he is trying to twist Scripture to fit what he experiences. Therefore, he epitomizes a false teacher in the church!
It is one thing that the world wants to “normalize” homosexuality. It is far more serious a threat to us and our children that false teachers in the church have joined in this cause. We need to hear the warning ofa concerning such false teachers, “Ye therefore, beloved,… beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
1 “Research shows universe had more galaxies in the past,” Grand Rapids Press, October 30, 2016.
2 This quotation along with all that follow is from this article: http://www.calvin.edu/chimes/2016/10/22/wolterstorff-says-yesto-same-sex-marriage.