I’ve been asked about my stand on gay marriage, and … its complicated, so rather than give a Facebook status answer, I’ll attempt to unravel it here. This will not be the most well-written piece you’ll read on the topic, but it is what it is.
The Biblical Stance
If I’m going to follow Jesus Christ, and try to acknowledge Him in all my ways (I fail miserably at that sometimes), then I have to look at what His Word says about the issue of homosexuality. Fact is, my faith really should influence every part of my life and all my thinking on whatever issue is currently the hot topic for it to be a faith that matters much. Fortunately, It is clear where the Bible stands on homosexuality. I won’t make this post longer than necessary by getting into all of the scriptures – Old Testament and New, that deal with the subject. Short answer, according to scripture, homosexuality is a sin. So, if I follow Jesus and I know He knows what is best for His creation, and that He loves us unconditionally and gave his life to pay the price for our sin, then I have to believe that homosexuality is not good for us.
That Leads us to the Sin Issue
So, if I oppose gay marriage based on my religious belief that it is a sin and not good for us, then what about all the ways in which straight people abuse marriage? How is being gay and married any different or worse than the horrific ways straight people sometimes behave in marriage? Well … its not any worse. One sin is not worse than another in God’s eyes. Child abuse ranks worse in my mind, but that’s another topic. Does it serve us well to say “well, straight marriage is often badly abused at times so gay marriage should be ok” ? Some of the things that go on in straight marriages are horribly sinful. There is brutality, cheating, self-serving and often children are caught in the middle. That’s some pretty bad stuff. But how is it logical to say that because one form of marriage is sometimes bad, that other forms of marriage should be ok? Does some wrong make everything else acceptable? Of course not.
What about Love?
Aren’t Christians supposed to love everybody? Of course they are! Who says we don’t? Where are you hearing that from?? I think where it gets misunderstood is that there are people who think that love means you have to agree. It is absolutely possible to love someone unconditionally while not condoning or agreeing with everything they do. Don’t believe that? Ask a parent. There are some bad parents out there, but many if not most parents love their children unconditionally but all of us have kids who sometimes do things we do not like or agree with. That in no way causes us to love or value them any less. That’s what the UNCONDITIONAL part is about. Love that is conditional only loves those it agrees with.
I have gay friends who I love very much. They are amazing people – every one of them. I do not dislike them or avoid them in any way – and I most certainly do not “hate” them. I’m not sure how we got to the place where disagreement equals hate, but that is a messed up way of thinking.
Yes, there are some extreme hate groups out there who go by the name of Christian. Thankfully they are few. Unfortunately they get a lot more press than they ever should. Those do not represent Jesus or His followers in any way. And yes, there are some mean-spirited church-going folks who are , well ,mean. Shame on them. Really. Shame of them for being such a poor, poor, poor representation of Jesus.
So Why Shouldn’t it be Legal?
I go back to my main argument that according to scripture, homosexuality is not good for us. I don’t think it is good for us as individuals and I don’t think its good for us as a society. Men and women are different. I do think we’re more alike than we are different, but we are different. Males and females both bring something unique to the table. Both have value, and having both present in a marriage gives children the best possible environment in which to grow and flourish. Granted, it often doesn’t work out that way, but it is still the ideal and shouldn’t we shoot for the ideal? What is the purpose of shooting for the less than ideal? If we have stronger, healthier families, we will have a stronger, healthier society.
I also oppose making gay marriage legal because, at some point, as a Christian, there is simply a time to take a stand for what is right. Frankly, I need no other reason that this one. Its really just that simple. I’ve got to wonder at my “Christian” friends who do not stand against gay marriage, and sadly, there are many. When did we become so comfortable with sin? My sin, your sin, the sin of others – when did it become palatable? There is always a price for sin. Always. Sometimes it comes in the form of natural consequences. But the ultimate price was paid a long time ago when God himself laid down on a wooden cross and endured one of the most humiliating and excruciating deaths imaginable to pay for our sin. With that picture in our minds, how can we possibly be remotely comfortable with sin?
Another reason I oppose gay marriage is that I am not convinced that gay marriage and religious freedom can co-exist. There was a time in America when someone could choose to abstain from any activity because it was against their religion. Whether we agreed with them or not, we respected their choice. That time is fast slipping away. It is possible, maybe even likely, that if gay marriage becomes the law of the land, that pastors and churches who oppose homosexuality based on their religious beliefs and refuse to perform gay marriages, may be sued for discrimination. Will that happen? I don’t know. Could it, yes. Are we really willing to take that risk?
So, there is it, at least in part. Some things to think about. I hope we are thinking about it because once passed, there will be no going back and are we really prepared for the ramifications?