Government sanctioned same-sex marriage is here. In November of 2012 Washington voters cast their vote on the issue of homosexual marriage. In March 2013 the issue is making news again as the supreme court is tackling two same sex marriage cases. At this moment it appears as if the legal definition of marriage will be changed to remove gender classification. To me this not shocking, nor surprising, seeing as numerous polls predicted such a victory. Throughout the campaign, much was said from both sides, in some cases even slandering the other side as bigots or abominations. Now while some Americans are celebrating, others are posting “America is ruined” to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
I am sure there are political and sociological ramifications, as there are with everything, but those don’t change our response. This is a very simple article, that cannot address all of the arguments and issues, so I am only speaking to the fear, anger, and hate I have seen from a few Christians.
1. Christians are called to live at peace with everyone, even if we disagree
The Apostle Paul, speaking to a culture that was more sexually promiscuous than America, with laws that allowed the sexual exploitation of slaves, for straight and gay sex, wrote this: “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” (Rom 12:18) Yet, in the last few hours the online world has erupted with confusion, frustration, fear, and worst of all hate. Some, for example my old youth pastor, Russell Korets, have made very wise comments, stating that “For some, they think “marriage” lost. Wrong. If you want marriage to win, husbands go hug your wife and your children, and BAM, “marriage” wins! Every time there is physical, sexual or psychological abuse in any family – marriage suffers. Anytime there is procreation, love, honor and respect towards each other in family – marriage wins.” Yet, others have flooded the internet with vulgar remarks, aimed at spreading strife, anger, and hate. It is not “Biblical” to cause angry fights with the people you ought to be praying for.
2. Everyone has freedom of religion as a constitutional right.
No one is planning, nor can they without a violent revolution that involves the murder of half this country, take away this freedom of religion. In the Soviet Union, they didn’t have this, they simply killed/jailed Christians with no problem. Yet those Christians did not fear it as some fear today’s election results. The case of the inn in Vermont being fined for rejecting a same sex ceremony happened because the inn is a public business. If you have a business, you can’t reject someone for being gay (that has nothing to do with marriage anyhow). Yet churches, according to our constitution retain freedom. The gay marriage bill in WA state also says (redundantly) that it will “reserve the right of clergy or religious organizations to refuse to perform, recognize, or accommodate any marriage ceremony.” And even if it does, and all of our freedom of religion will be taken away, what then? We will only end up living in a world like the one Paul lived in.
3. Moral changes are not created by Government programs
The Bible says that we are all sinners (every person, including Christians) and the only way to change people is by a process called being “born again.” This happens when God supernaturally changes a person from the inside and they become a “new person.” (That’s why we use the term “born again.” It signifies newness and rebirth.) Government can’t make someone a “new person” only the Holy Spirit can do this. The church should not be in the business of making Laws, but in the business of showing Grace.
4. Christian morals have never been popular in society
No unbeliever fully likes Christian morals. Sure people like some of them, the “don’t steal or murder,” because universally people don’t want to be murdered and robbed. Yet no society in the world has ever liked ALL of Christianity’s morals. Even the nations that appeared to support the outlawing of certain sins, allowed others to run rampant. One nation may reject homosexuality (Russia) but embrace greed, and alcohol abuse. Does rejecting homosexuality make Russia a “Christian nation”? Does it give Russian Christians the freedom of religion even closely parallel to the US? Does it help Russian marriages? No, all of those things are far from ideal. At the same time America considers hundreds of sins as legal and protected rights, yet no one protests something like pornography (the biggest killer of marriages).
5. Christianity survived real persecutions, this is not one
My parents came from the Soviet Union, where, as I am told, my grandparents and even my father, endured real persecutions. My mom told me a story about how the local village government came in the middle of the night try to kill her father because they did not like his faith. Even today, the world is filled with Christians who are boycotted, counted as second class citizens, and in some nations like Iran or India, physically abused or even killed. We are outraged because our nation is becoming more secular but where is the outrage for them?!
6. Christians should not prosecute one sexual sin as worse than another
Quite frankly, yes, I do believe the Bible states same sex acts are sinful, but so are all others sexual acts (or even indulging in fantasies) that are outside of a marriage between one man and one woman. I would estimate that close to 90% of our country is currently involved in some sexual sin. From sexting between teens, to pornography, to adultery and most divorces. All of this sexual sin just as bad, just as damaging to marriage, is fully legal and, eagerly promoted by the evangelists of pop culture. (Those who say homosexual behavior is an abomination should not there is a long list of Biblical abominations, some of which they perhaps engage in Proverbs 6:16-19). It is legal to shoot pornographic films, yet why are we not up in arms? Are abusive pornographers really that much more moral?
7. Christians need to love all people in all situations
We love to hate gay people. A few years back I was involved in a rally in which some people acted with love and others with hate. I respect those who stated their political opinions peacefully, but those that showed up with hate I pitied. Jesus said “I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” By yelling about how much you hate the gays, you are doing the same thing you accuse them of, living a lifestyle radically opposed to God’s word. If the government and culture acts a certain way, even though we don’t like it, we are called to love them unconditionally. We may peacefully disagree, but still love and pray for them. Jesus said “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you “(Mat 5:44). Have we invented a whole third category of people? Those who are even worse than our enemies?
Christianity is not about protesting people away from sin, but loving them towards Christ.