It is so ordered. The last line of the Supreme Court decision. This order tells us that same-sex marriage is now legal in all 50 states.
I, like you, have my opinions on this. I’m probably an idiot for tackling such a hot button issue of which I am not equipped nor well read enough to speak with authority on. I can simply tell you my humble opinions, my understanding of Jesus, how I think he would want me to react, what concerns I have, and what excites me in this whole situation. Because I think a large number of Christians have put the punctuation mark in the wrong place.
Yes, the Bible says that the practice of homosexuality is a sin. (Here are some perspectives on this that you can read about). Yes, the Bible has a lot to say about marriage between a man and a woman. And that is often where we as believers want to place the period. But if we stop there, I think we are focusing on the wrong thing.
You see, I engage in practices everyday that the Bible calls sin. So many of my own behaviors are wrong by God’s standard, and the Bible is clear about that. But doesn’t God’s Word have much more to say about loving others? Taking care of your neighbor? Being a blessing to the world? Is not the summation of Jesus’ teaching, “Love God, love people”? When we read the scriptures in such a way to seek what God is trying to say to us, rather than looking for ammunition against others, the resounding message we see is LOVE. And that should be where we place the emphasis.
Because every time we put the punctuation mark on the sins of other people, we forfeit our opportunity to share the Gospel with them; If we stop at their sins, we miss the chance to share the love of a God who looks at the brokenness of every human being and says, “I no longer see your sin… My son died on the cross to save you and make you new. No matter what you did in the past or what you do in the future, I accept you now. I love you.”
Yet, all too often we want to turn to the phrase, “love the sinner, hate the sin.” But frankly, that is such a dehumanizing sentiment. It implies that we are somehow morally superior than others and therefore have the authority to judge their actions as worse than our own. When in fact we all deserve the label sinner. And yet, by His grace, God no longer gives us that label. Jesus came once and for all so that we may be called children of God. Yes, God’s Word is clear about His feelings towards sin. From what I read, He hates it. But infinitely more than He hates sin, He loves His children. <<< wanna tweet that?
Now, wether you agree with the Supreme Court decision or not, the fact remains that same-sex marriage is now legal. That’s the deal, and we move forward from there. But we as Christians have a choice as to how we move forward. The LGBTQ community is celebrating right now. And we can do one of two things: we can rain on their parade (yeah I know, bad analogy) and be a voice of judgement, condemnation, dissension, etc… OR we can be a voice of “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23. Truly, no law is against that list of traits and we have an opportunity to exemplify those to the LGBTQ community.
With that in mind, let me tell you what excites me most about this whole situation: We can finally stop arguing about same-sex marriage. It’s done. Decision made. We get to move on to more important things. We get to open up dialogue between the LGBTQ and Christian communities. It’s now time to start figuring out how we get along with one another. It’s time for Christians to start affirming the value of the people we have so hotly opposed for too long. Because in my opinion, the fight over same-sex marriage is in the ranks of far too many moralistic and political battles that the Church shouldn’t be wasting our time fighting. And my concern is that we are going to keep pushing the issue rather than seizing the opportunity to share the Gospel with people who need to hear it.
So, this is my plea to my fellow believers: Let’s stop taking stands for the wrong things and start standing for the Gospel. Let’s stop using our beliefs to condemn and dehumanize people and start affirming God’s love for them. Let’s stop looking outwardly with a judging heart and start looking inwardly at our own brokenness. Let’s stop being concerned about protecting our own rights and beliefs and start fighting for the rights of the oppressed, the widows, the orphans, the taken advantage of and the marginalized. Let’s stop responding in fear and anger when the world does things we don’t agree with. Above all, let’s unceasingly declare the love of Jesus with our words and our actions! No matter what happens. Even if the whole world turns against us and everything we stand for, our response should always be: Love. Love. Love! A thousand times over; LOVE!
I am a Christian. And I believe it is my job to love everyone. Period.
THE “YEAH BUT” CLAUSE
It is easy to read a post like this and immediately begin a rebuttal: “Yeah but, we need to uphold a standard; Yeah but we need to teach our children; Yeah but this threatens our religious freedom; Yeah but… fill in the blank.” In my experience, “yeah but” usually precedes a negative or hostile disagreement. So please, rather than trying to find what you disagree with in this post, please take some time to find the common ground and respond peaceably.