My Response to SCOTUS and the Same Sex Marriage Ruling
I have been practicing James 1:19 “Everyone should be quick to listen and slow to
speak” ever since the Supreme Court ruling to redefine marriage. I have spent
much time in scripture, prayer, reading and listening to your varied thoughts
and feelings on this sensitive and volatile issue.
Here is my response.
Some of the best, smart, talented, fun, interesting, generous, energetic,
loving people I know are gay. Several are a part of Pathway. Some of the most
obnoxious, challenging, mean, judgmental, selfish, lazy people I know are
straight. Some are a part of Pathway. But as I read the scriptures as a whole
especially through the eyes and words of Jesus, I sincerely believe, even with
deep anguish for those I like and love, same sex marriage is not a part of God’s
plan for humanity. God’s plan for marriage is one male and one female, equally
yoked in Christ for life. (Genesis 1:27-28; Genesis 2:23-24; Matthew 19:4-6;
Ephesians 5:24-32; Hebrews 13:4)
I believe it is an oversimplification to say that Christians, or evangelicals, are simply
against same sex marriage. We are not to be an advocate for any behavior or
lifestyle that is against God’s plan and restrains people from everlasting joy
in God. Same sex marriage, is just getting all the press because, at this cultural
moment, it’s the main non God approved life practice that is being endorsed in
our society by the powers that be.
Some would like to see this whole issue of homosexuality and same sex marriage divided into two camps: those who celebrate it and those who hate it. Both of these groups exist in our society. There are growing numbers, under great societal pressure, who praise same sex marriage. For conversation purposes, we call them the left. And there are people who hate homosexuality and same sex marriage, with the most bigoted rationale and apart from any Christian concern. We call them the right.
The current debate is plagued by this binary lens, the left and the right. Those on the left try to lump everyone who disagrees with them into that right side. “If you don’t support, you hate.” Meanwhile, those on the right see compromise and spinelessness in anyone who doesn’t get red-faced and militant. “If you don’t hate, you support.”
But Jesus Followers, true disciples, will walk neither path. We have something to say that no one else is saying, or can say.
Distancing ourselves from both the left and the right, we don’t celebrate same sex marriage. We acknowledge according to both the written and Living Word that God’s plan for humanity is one man and one woman equally yoked in Christ for life. But neither do we hate those who embrace homosexuality or same sex marriage. We love them enough to not just collapse under the societal pressure. We speak the truth in love into this confusion, saying, simultaneously, “Same sex marriage is not God’s plan” and “I love you.” We’re not the left and we’re not the right. We speak good news, with those sweetest, deepest, most glorious words of the cross, the same words that God spoke to ALL of us … “I do not condone your lifestyle behaviors and I love you.”
God tells us we are all sinners, heterosexual and homosexual, and that the wages of sin is death. (Romans 3:23; Galatians 3:13) God
also tells us we’re loved, that even while we were sinners, Jesus died for us. That while we were unrighteous, Jesus died on the cross for our sins. (Romans 5:8; I Peter 3:18; Ephesians 2:1-7)
That’s the unique voice of the Christian. I saw this quote on someone’s face book page and thought it nailed our current condition. “We (not just they) are far worse than we ever imagined, and far more loved than we could ever dream.”
That’s our message in this cultural shift. When the left says we are haters and the right
says we are spineless, when the “spiritually elite” look down on us and when
the “spiritual existentialists” vilify us, when no one else has the resources
to say anything outside of those two extremes, we have this incomparable
opportunity to let the gospel shine, to reach out in grace. “Same sex marriage
is not a part of God’s plan, but I love you.” Or “We (not just you) are far
worse than we ever imagined, and far more loved than we could ever dream.”
I am praying for you. Please pray for me as together we lovingly navigate through this ever
changing cultural landscape while striving to stay true to Jesus and the Gospel.
Jesus is Lord!