Click to read Ephesians 6:10-18
| Print |
We recommend "Landscape" print layout.


 “In Obedience, Hosea Married Gomer.” 

(A response to recent feedback from a member of the United Church)


Carman Bradley

Praise God for the words, “In obedience, Hosea married Gomer.”   After some study, it is clear that the Book of Hosea offers a gold mine of thoughts to consider as evangelicals, especially following approval of Bill C-38 - the same-sex marriage law.  The government decree to redefine marriage serves to highlight the importance of evangelicals inside (and outside) the United Church separating from the denomination and witnessing more ardently then ever for the authentic Gospel of Jesus Christ.  This article continues to outline the implications of maintaining the “status quo” witness and the benefits of the alternative action of “breaking away” from the UCC.  The sole reader’s feedback: “In obedience, Hosea married Gomer” contends that Hosea’s relationship to Gomer is Scriptural grounds (the Biblical model) for evangelicals remaining loyal to the UCC in spite of the apostasy.  The parallels are interesting and the insights gained from a look at the Book of Hosea are most valuable.

Hosea lived about 760 years before Jesus Christ, thus the relationship of Israel to God was hugely different then from the one in which Canadians find themselves today. In Hosea’s time God viewed Israel (northern and southern kingdoms) as His chosen nation.  God likened His relationship to Israel to that of a husband to his wife.  Moreover, one was born into this covenant relationship by bloodline from the twelve tribes (descendent sons) of Jacob-Israel, who himself had descended from Isaac and Abraham.  For the Israelite, no real choice was exercised to be in this covenant relationship.  Although, Genesis 17:11 records God said to Abraham, “You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between you and me,” this male rite was often performed involuntarily at birth.  Thus, a gentile, prior to the coming of Jesus Christ, could not enter into this covenant relationship.  God was literally stuck with Israel and they either honoured Him or dishonoured Him.

In this husband-wife context God viewed Israel’s worship of another god as spiritual adultery. The nation’s idolatry in Hosea’s time gave opportunity for material self-indulgences and self-serving (as opposed to God-serving) sexual gratifications.  As a preacher in the northern kingdom, Hosea’s message was one of repentance before God exercised His judgment and chastisement.  He prophesied that God was going to raise up the Assyrians to punish the apostate Israelites.  No one listened.  God said to Hosea, “Go, take yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the Lord.”  In obedience, Hosea joined himself in marriage to a prostitute named Gomer.  Thus Hosea was able to share God’s experience of being joined to Israel - God’s “wife,” who had become a prostitute by joining herself with other gods.  Here Gomer’s unfaithfulness to Hosea symbolized the condition of Israel.  The Israelites continued with their ungodly acts of lying, killing, stealing, perjury, deceit, drunkenness, perversion, adultery, oppression and idolatry.  God did what Hosea said He would do in judgment.

Before setting the United Church into this Hosea-Gomer model, how does Canada’s situation today compare to Israel’s in Hosea’s time?  The greatest resemblance turns out to be idolatry.  Things that draw our focus and priority away from recognizing, worshipping and reverencing God as God are idolatrous.  And today, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms interpreted by a secular (pro-homosexual) Supreme Court has become the national idol, the golden calf of good governance.  The trendy political button says it all - It’s the Charter stupid!  Same-sex marriage legislation symbolizes the full amputation of theist principles from influence in State governance and their replacement with ideas anchored in a secular humanist worldview.  The Charter is held by the Supreme Court to trump long-standing tenets of Christianity, and indeed, Islam, Sikhism, Judaism and other world religions.  In its lifetime, the Charter has been used to completely overturn Canada’s historic theist worldview.  Ironically, while 76 per cent of Canadians still claim a Christian heritage, the State refuses to reverence Jesus Christ any more then the Gnostic deity or some Zodiacal character.  Compare the State’s worldview in the context of the following societal issues:


Secular Humanist Worldview

If God is dead, then everything is justifiable. - Dostoevsky A state that values nothing tolerates everything.

Indifference is not a virtue.




Christian Worldview

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.

Rights and freedoms founded upon principles developed as needed (living tree) that recognize the intellectual wisdom of a secular humanist Charter constituting a secular humanist State.



Rights and freedoms founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the wisdom of a  theistic Charter constituting a God fearing State.

Indifference to the adaptation of  gender, anatomy and sexuality.  There is no differentiating “rightful” purpose behind male and female.



God designed (intended) humans to be male or female, anatomically matched to their opposite sex for heterosexual procreation.

Indifference to varieties of union - gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, polygamist.  Indifference to the duration and fidelity of  a union.  Marriage is fundamentally not about procreation.



Lifelong monogamy.  The union of one man and one woman for the implicit purpose of procreation. 

Indifference to divorce.


Marriage should be a lifelong union.  God hates divorce. 

Indifference to family variation and experimentation.  Asserts that children do not need both a mother and a father, two parents of the same gender are just fine.  



Building block of society.  Biblical model - parenting of children by biological mother and father.

Indifference to method of creation - genetic engineering and anonymous sperm/egg donation.  Single women, lesbian or gay couples have an equal right to reproductive technologies.  Indifference to single motherhood or no motherhood - gay parenting. 



Product of heterosexual union.

Genetic biology (connection) brings parenting responsibilities.  Child is entitled to know his/her biological heritage.

State sponsored daycare with short maternity leave is societal model.

Childhood Development

Nuclear family with extended maternity leave is the societal model.

Indifference to “free sex.” Focus on condom code with abortion as backup.

Teen Pregnancy

Focus on abstinence. Sexual activity should only occur inside heterosexual marriage.

Indifference to the quantity of babies aborted.


Life is a gift from God.  Every embryo has value and purpose in God’s eyes (Psalm 139:13-16). 

Indifference to the ecology of AIDS - focus on State responsibility to find a technological fix to this sexually transmitted disease.

STDs and AIDS Deaths

Focus on ecological consequence of inappropriate sexual behavior and finding cures.  Sexual activity should only occur inside heterosexual marriage.


In 1999, MP Svend Robinson tabled a humanist petition to replace “God” in our Constitution with the words “intellectual knowledge.”  Our Preamble reads: “Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God.”  The bill was defeated.  However, with the enactment of same-sex marriage law, homosexual liberationists have accomplished what MP Svend Robinson and some humanists could not achieve by petition.  The Preamble statement is now meaningless in orthodox Christian eyes.  Thanks to the witness of the United Church before the Supreme Court - “there is no theological impediment that would prevent same-sex couples from participating in this union” - the judiciary can legally claim that the Preamble intent remains intact.  The God of Hosea and modern day Christians knows differently.  All the tenets listed under the secular humanist worldview in the table have notable correlations with free sex and homosexual liberation ideologies.  After forty years of anti Christian liberalizing legislations there is nothing more to concede.  The name of Jesus Christ has been banished from State liturgy and ordered erased from all Armed Forces sermons.

In his letter to the Romans (1:18-32), Paul details the linkage between idolatry and sin, which pro-gay Christians now claim is Biblical text out of touch with modern realities and understandings:

Therefore God gave them over in the sexual desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.  They exchanged the truth for created things, rather than the Creator - who is forever praised.  Amen.  Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts.  Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.  In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another.  Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.  Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not de done(22-28).

Robin Scroggs, author of The New Testament and Homosexuality, raises two points of clarification to this text.  First, the phrase “God gave them up” means that people now living in the false reality do what they choose.  God does not force them into such false actions; His judgment lies in leaving them where they want to be, in actions which, they think to be good and right.  This is the ultimate irony of their fate.  Second, Paul also heaps up anthropological terms - heart, body, passions and mind - apparently to indicate that this false reality permeates a person’s entire existence.  All dimensions of one’s self are distorted by the false reality in which he or she lives.

To date no reader has responded to the question, “Do you believe the testimony of ex-gays and ex-lesbians, who claim that Jesus Christ delivered them from homosexuality - Yes or No?”  Moreover, where do we find the modern day homosexuals described in the above passage from Romans?  Are they the promiscuous men and women populating bathhouses and swing clubs or parading on gay-pride days?  Now that same-sex marriage is legal and sanctified in the United Church, what is the moral status of the sexually active but unmarried homosexual?  The unending challenge of a counterfeit theology is finding a rational place to end the chain of heresies.  One unorthodoxy begets a dozen more.  Before returning to Hosea and Gomer, I must ask, what is the moral-ethical sexual code of the United Church?  For two millenniums sex outside of the bounds of marriage has been deemed a sin.  What goes for homosexuals must apply equally for heterosexuals (“It’s the Charter stu…”).

Hosea’s gracious response to His adulterous wife’s sinfulness parallels God’s unconditional love for Israel.  In spite of her chronic unfaithfulness Hosea never abandoned the covenant he had with her.  In the very dregs of shame and disgrace Gomer was redeemed from slavery by Hosea (His name means “delivering” “saving” or “salvation”) for fifteen pieces of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley.  Now that Gomer was saved from slavery, Hosea said to her, “You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will live with you.”  This is grace by any standard - Old or New Testament!  In love God disciplined Israel and they acknowledged Him returning for relationship.  In gracious love He accepted them.  But how does this dynamic apply according to the New Testament - our current covenant relationship with God?  Two new entities not in the Hosea-Gomer model are the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and the infilling presence of the Holy Spirit for those covered by the accepted blood of Jesus Christ.

Scripturally, it is not plausible to claim one without the other.  The very calling to accept Jesus Christ is Holy Spirit led (an act of God’s grace) and an acceptance of Jesus Christ will bring one into greater presence with the Holy Spirit, although perhaps not when or in the measure one would wish.  The point is that all who come to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, regardless of their sin will be saved (John 3:16).  However, like Hosea’s loving redemption of Gomer - after which he demands an end to her unfaithfulness - God declares we must be born again (John 3:7) and that the Holy Spirit (Counselor) will help to keep us from sliding back to our old status in our thoughts and actions.  So what about Hosea and Gomer and the evangelicals in the United Church?

Christianity does not require believers to be in a sacred covenant relationship with their denomination.  This type of association defines cults.  Christian churches, denominations and seminaries etc. are only useful to God’s Kingdom, if they lead adherents to a personal relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit - through the acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.  I say this recognizing that less than five per cent of UCC membership may actually believe this evangelical doctrine, although this is what the New Testament states.  The Bible also says in Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in Heaven.”  What is the highest standard of Christian love if not a truthful witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ?  And here is where liberal theology is not only counterfeit but also unloving.  It looks inclusive and loving upon shallow study, but in deeper analysis the witness is false.  There are many verses in the Old and New Testaments that declare the unrepentant homosexual “will not inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9).”  An important lesson from the Book of Hosea is that Gomer had to be left to crash or hit rock bottom (become a naked slave) before she could see and accept the true loving grace of Hosea.  This is true of many who come to accept Jesus Christ.  It happens at a time of rare brokenness.  The Christian witness of ex-gays and ex-lesbians also tells us Jesus is there for them.   

So what is the best witness for evangelicals within (and outside) the United Church?  Separate and let Gomer crash!  The evangelicals remaining in the UCC have been in a codependent relationship with the unorthodox for decades.  In spite of the public witness of many who left, the remaining evangelicals have chosen to draw purpose from a heretofore-vain non-public witness to the liberal-minded - intervening to delay renaming the Trinity or to prevent reimaging Father Almighty to include Mother Almighty.  And the unorthodox have drawn comfort and affirmation from the fact the evangelicals are still talking with them, still propping-up sagging membership and their liberal witness to the orthodox has not ended.  It is bonus affirmation for the liberal-minded when they have association with evangelicals outside the UCC.  Note that the example of compromised theology in the Church of Laodicea tells us lukewarm (so-called “balanced”) spirituality actually made Christ sick (Rev. 3:16).  Proud, wealthy and vibrant, the congregation had not recognized God as God.  Jesus cried out to them, “Here I am!” Christians cannot recognize spiritual truth apart from the infilling of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus says in John 16:7, “Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.  When He comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin…when He the Holy Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you in all truth.”  Jesus Christ cannot be liberating men and women from homosexuality and also blessing same-sex marriages.  Equally, the Holy Spirit cannot be of two minds - orthodox and liberal.

How are outsiders to discriminate safe evangelical congregations from the unorthodox if the churches do not somehow publicly separate themselves?  Is discrete selectivity feasible in a denomination that is 95 per cent liberal?  For example, when the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada affiliated and rallied with Dominion-Chalmers United Church for Prayer Launch 2005, did they purposely differentiate this congregation from other mainline (liberal) UCC churches?  And if they did, what were the criteria?  Dominion-Chalmers is not a member of the NACC (reform evangelical congregations within the UCC).  Only weeks before the Prayer Launch, their minister would not declare the congregation in disagreement with UCC pro-gay theology.  But even if a minister’s personal theological conviction is orthodox or a congregation’s democratically derived theological stance is mostly evangelical, is this sufficient to overlook denominational ties?  Two recent feedback e-mails help to formulate an answer.  One feedback stated there was an evangelical spirit at Dominion-Chalmers.  The other feedback said (in part):

…I attended and actually took part in the 80th anniversary celebrations of the United Church at Dominion Chalmers on June 5.  What a wonderful evening of praise, worship and singing to our Lord.  All churches of the area coming together.  I have attached the sermon from Rev. Oliphant that you might like to read, seeing you send out pages and pages of your opinions.  You might like to read the uplifting message that was delivered to us on this special occasion, but then again you may be so "hell bent"  in causing discord and upsetting people that you are not interested in anybody else’s opinion, if they don't share yours.

I read the sermon and also did an Internet search under “Reverend Robert Oliphant.”  At this URL ( you will find Rev. Oliphant is the third name listed on an EGALE web site listing ministers who have signed EGALE's Equal [same-sex] Marriage Clergy Endorsement Statement.  Now Rev. Oliphant is more than entitled to hold his liberal views and Dominion-Chalmers is equally entitled to have him as their Anniversary guest speaker.  My point is this.  One spirit tells evangelicals same-sex marriage is wrong and another spirit tells Rev. Oliphant and other liberals that marriage redefinition is right.  Logic dictates on such a pivotal theological matter that one spirit must be false.  I deeply regret evangelicals risking compromise of a Prayer Launch in such an important year by associating with a denomination aligned on the other side.  When the Moderator of the United Church states before parliamentarians, "My hope is that the contribution the [UCC] has offered in this debate is a window for politicians to see the possibility of balancing human rights, tradition, faithfulness, and religious freedoms by voting in favour of civil same-sex marriage,” he is offering a compromise between two diametrically opposed worldviews, which in spiritual truth cannot exist.  Look again at the table of secular humanist and Christian worldviews.  Who are the winners after approval of Bill C-38?  Who have suffered setback?

The Canadian landscape for the long-standing moral, social and spiritual battle over the basis for deciding right and wrong just got incredibly tougher for Christians as a result of the passage of Bill C-38. Will same-sex marriage prompt God’s judgment and a particular chastisement as in Hosea’s time or, as Paul details in Romans, will God give Canada up to live in the false reality that the state has so willfully crafted?  Will God do both or something else entirely?  The answers to such questions are not entirely out of our hands.  Paul states in Romans 8:28, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Moreover, Paul proclaims in Romans 8:31,“If God is for us, who can be against us?”  What motivates me in these letters is a burden to point out to evangelicals inside (and outside) the UCC that the status quo witness has not worked in decades, and in particular in stopping marriage redefinition.  Look at the worldview of indifference, which is now the foundation to our governance.  Make a difference and put an end to the indifference!  “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.  For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?  Or what fellowship can light have with darkness…Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. (1 Cor. 6:14-17)” Secularism and humanism are greatly advanced by this same-sex marriage decision, but not the cause of Christian liberalism.  Passage of Bill C-38 must result in greater clarity of orthodox belief, better unity, stronger conviction and bolder witness amongst evangelicals.  If Christians do not strengthen their witness against liberalism our reality will only worsen. Give your best witness for Christ and against this Nation’s idolatrous reality.  Come out from the UCC and be separate and see how Christ responds to this sacrificial act of obedience, love and loyalty.


Copyright © 2008 StandForGod.Org