Over the last few days, my emotions have raged over the discussions of Same Sex Marriage in the hearing before the Supreme Court. This may already be old hat to some, but my heart has deeply wrestled with how to speak, if I should speak, why I should speak and what I would say. At first, if I could publish a guttural scream, that would have been the title of this post. I’m an emotional person. Everything in me feels very deeply, and sometimes… it takes a while to get a little balance back in the mix.
I’m still searching for that balance regarding this issue. I’m praying and thinking and asking myself a lot of questions and…I’m writing it out.
I wrote my Pastor on Tuesday asking how we as Christians should respond to this issue (on Facebook) because I was so frustrated and passionate. But I was very aware of the heat and intensity of this discussion. (And honestly, I was afraid of the backlash I knew I would receive!) I was struggling because I hate it when good sits in silent shame while evil is at work. To be clear, I felt as if my Christian friends were being shamed into silence. I was angry! Shouldn’t we stand up for good? Or does the fear that was pressing on my own heart just get to overrule?
His advice to me was to log off Facebook. He reminded me that this is the “fad of the week” and that it too shall pass. (Remember Chick-Fil-A?) Good advice. And it was. I needed to cool off a bit and think through this. I needed to ask myself why I was so mad.
I did log off by the way. I logged off my phone, my Kindle and my home pc. (Thank you Pinterest for satisfying my ADD in the mean time.)
The issue that I was struggling with wasn’t really all the hype over the constitutionality of same-sex marriage. Frankly, I’m not mad, surprised or even roused by the fact that this case is before the Supreme Court. I view this as an issue of the world-one which I view as fallen, full of sin and in need of Jesus. What makes me passionately full of anger and surprised is watching my Christian friends support it and change their Facebook profile picture to the logo in support for this issue! I am shocked by the people I am seeing do this.
Here is where my beef lies;
Since when did Christians decide that it was right to support gay rights? As this excellent article asks “When did it become acceptable for Christians to embrace and endorse homosexual behavior?”
Since when did we as Christians decide that it was necessary for us to ignore what God has clearly written in His word so as to be considered “progressive”, “relevant” or “palatable” to an unbelieving world? Do we really and truly think that if we just leave out the truth of God’s Word, even one part, that this will draw people to God?
Why would anyone be drawn to a God who can’t make up His mind? A God who is not just? A God who is not holy?
Is nothing pure? Does nothing stand apart from this world? Are we again questioning absolute truth? Unfortunately, in the conversations I’ve had with friends (as I’ve wrestled with this I have to talk it out too) they make some great points. No, nothing is pure! And no, we don’t stand apart in this world. This very issue is reminding my heterosexual friends that who are we to tout marriage as oh-s0-great? When you look at the divorce rate both in and outside the church, there isn’t any difference there. And clearly the media is quick to remind us of all the scandals that constantly wreck havoc within the church. Maybe we should be silent? Maybe we don’t “deserve” the chance to speak about such things when we are no different from the world around us?
And yet, Jesus calls to us that He came to heal us. His Word says that He came for the sick and wounded and sinful people that we are. My sin is no different from any other sin that anyone else commits. Sin is sin and it reveals within us all a need. A need for healing and redemption and forgiveness and restoration. These are only found in Jesus. So do I have a right to speak out? Am I any better? No. I don’t have a right to speak. No. I am no better. The only difference is the one that Jesus makes! Both in me and everyone else in this world.
This article I previously posted from the Gospel Coalition said that many Christians feel that supporting this same-sex marriage initiative (and those like it) is a compromise. It’s a way to “love your neighbor as yourself” and to extend mercy with the hopes that Jesus will…what? Change his mind?
The Gospel Coalition article points out: “In endorsing laws based solely on the secular liberal-libertarian conception of freedom (at least those that produce no obvious self-harm), they are doing the very opposite of what Jesus called them to do: (i.e. love your neighbor as you love yourself) They are hating their neighbors, including their gay and lesbian neighbors. You do not love your neighbor by encouraging them to engage in actions that invoke God’s wrath (Psalm 5:4-5; Romans 1:18). As Christians we may be required to tolerate ungodly behavior, but the moment we begin to endorse the same then we too have become suppressors of the truth. You cannot love your neighbor and want to see them excluded from the kingdom of Christ (Eph. 5:5).”
“Suppressors of the truth”. Those words haunt me.
If I sit in silence as a response to this issue, I’m suppressing the truth.
If I support these initiatives in an effort to be “tolerant”, I’m suppressing the truth.
And if I’m a jerk going around on social media and on my blog or, even in person, telling people they are condemned for their choices, then I am still suppressing the truth.
I am deeply saddened to think on the words a gay friend of mine wrote on Facebook yesterday. He said that basically, all he has to do is wait for the conservatives to die off and eventually stop speaking out. And you know what? At this point, he may be right. If we as Christians do not stand up on this issue and discuss it with other believers, than what is left but sorrow for God’s Church?
I can’t help but think of Israel and how they lusted and longed to be like all the other nations around them. They just HAD to have a King. It was the beginning of their destruction. This is a slippery slope that the Church is on if we start down this road. And honestly we are already down that road.
I ask you reader, where is the line drawn? Are the waters truly so muddy?
And what about the other issues this brings up? Take this same issue from a legal perspective and answer me this; if this is legalized, how much longer before incest, polygamy, bestiality and child-pornography are deemed socially acceptable to us? How long before they are legal?
I’ve written this post over the course of several days as I’ve wrestled with my feelings over the matter. I’ve landed on knowing a few things:
-I believe that God is in control. This too is not out of His view or reach. While I am deeply bothered by it, I am confidant, not that “it’ll all work out” but that Jesus is King and I can rest in knowing He knows way more than I. I have a place with Him and that does bring me great comfort and encouragement.
-I believe that Christians MUST speak up about this. I believe it should be in a loving way. Westborough Baptist -style is evil and that is not at all what Christ’s followers are called to do or be or sound like. But it begins with honest conversations. It begins by saying yes, yes it does matter and not allowing indifference to cover our hearts or harden them.
I am grateful that the depths, heights and widths of my emotions are forgiven and granted grace by my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. While I feel like my emotions are larger than life some days, I know that I am never too much for Him. His word is still active, moving, living and breathing and applicable to my life daily. Even in the intensity of my passions for Him and for His Word, I rest in the knowledge that we are all sinful. I’m in that too. We all choose to do the wrong things (even when we intend otherwise) and we are hopelessly lost in this world and this life without the light of Jesus. He saved me. He lifted me out of the pit of despair and rescued me from a life of darkness and shame and guilt. By the blood and wounds of his body I am reconciled. I have been raised to new life and I rest on the promises of what is to come.
My faith is just that, it is mine. I will not make it “relevant” or “progressive” or “palatable”. I will not be caught up in these idols that require me to be more concerned with what an unbeliever thinks about me than what God thinks of me. I know society is now saying that as Christians we are the “haters” the ones who are evil. But the truth will shine through if we truly walk with Jesus. Each of us stands before God accountable and all by ourselves. It’s just you and Jesus people. Will you say as my four year old says to me, “But so-and-so was doing it!”?
I am called to love all people with all the passion my sinful heart can offer because it is God’s love that should be flowing out of me. Even while I disagree with others. I believe I can disagree with someone and still love them.
To disagree is not synonymous with to hate. If we don’t continue to say that, than the opposite will come to be true very quickly.
If you are interested in reading another perspective on Why the Arguments for Gay Marriage are so persuasive, I recommend you check out this article. This is a blog post that my friend Kelli linked to that is also an excellent read on ways Christians can respond to this and many other issues.
P.S. I believe that we need to speak up about many other things as Christians. This issue is a hot reminder of speaking up for good. We are called to speak out against evil, against sin and against what is wrong. In this life, you are either sitting silently watching evil occur (and therefore supporting it) or you are fighting evil. Not with weapons of this world, but with love, truth and light. It isn’t about violence and blood shed, fear or shame. Those things belong with the evil of this world. It is about what real love looks like.