- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 4, 2006

This is an excerpt from a sermon preached yesterday by Bishop Harry R. Jackson Jr. at Hope Christian Church in Lanham.

This message comes at a time when the entire nation needs to decide whether it will honor God’s original pattern for families or attempt to go its own way. This week, the Senate will vote on whether the Constitution should be amended to protect marriage.

Matthew 5:14-16 says: “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

Christians have been given the responsibility to live with such excellence that our actions serve as a bright light for others in our society. We should dedicate ourselves to developing excellent marriages and families for two compelling reasons. First, sterling, biblically based home lives will make us happier. We have been designed by God to conduct our relationships in a prescribed pattern.

Secondly, we must model what a healthy marriage looks like to America and the world. During the last 30 years or so the divorce rate has escalated and the percentage of people living in committed heterosexual marriages has declined dramatically. In the black community, the percentage of traditional marriages was about 66 percent. By the year 2000, the number of blacks living in traditional marriages had dropped to about one-third. What has happened is that marriage as an institution is being redefined and devalued.

The black family pandemic has hit me personally recently when my wife and I stared into the radiant face of my oldest daughter as we celebrated her 25th birthday with a special dinner. Nothing could have spoiled this day for me except the lingering question: Where will she find a husband?

A great number of formerly eligible black men are in prison, others have contracted HIV/AIDS, a growing number are down low [quietly homosexual] and others have died prematurely. Adding insult to blessing, many young black men cannot relate to her Ivy League education.

Blacks account for more than one-third of all abortions in the nation, although we represent 12 percent of the population. Seven out of 10 African-American babies born this year will be out of wedlock. Forty percent of African-American adults are single. Studies of Scandinavian countries have shown that where same-sex marriages have been legalized, these rates have risen sharply. Therefore we have every reason to believe same-sex marriage in America would destabilize our families even further.

There is an all-out assault on the black family, and our culture has arranged a “hit” on the black male, an increasingly endangered group. Marriage is becoming an unpopular choice for blacks.

What can we do to make a difference in this battle? In addition to living the truth, we should warn everyone who will listen about the consequences of same-sex unions. Most importantly, we should contact our senators and urge them to support a federal marriage amendment to the Constitution.

Let’s take action so that my daughter, your daughter and all of our grandchildren will be able to find a mate and choose biblical marriage as a way of life.

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