Monday, May 21, 2012

The Christian Response to Homosexual Marriage Part I*

President Obama weighed into the current controversy surrounding gay marriage by announcing publicly that his belief system has 'evolved' and he now supports the rights of homosexuals to marry. I am not going to analyze the politics if what he did was a way to bolster his re-election prospects; what I want to discuss is what I think should be the Christian response to homosexual marriage and the act of homosexuality.

Let's begin by saying right from the start so there is no misunderstanding that as a Christian (and one of those dreaded fundamentalists who actually reads and believes his Bible) what I am not talking about is all those horrid scary stories the media and antagonists of Christianity tell that lead people to believe Christians want to take all the homosexuals they can find, arrest them and string them up on poles or evict them to some Scandinavian country where they might be cold but at least they will be accepted. I attend a Church where we uphold the Biblical view that homosexuality is a sin (more on that on Part II) but homosexuals are openly welcome. I personally know several who have attended our Church for years so they must feel some level of love and acceptance.

What I want to discuss is the first nagging question that needs to be answered that comes up frequently in my discussions with relatives, friends, and brothers and sisters in Christ. Should there even be a response to the question of homosexual marriage? 

I believe there should be and what I am going to say is probably not just going anger the homosexuality community but a lot of Christians as well. I don't say this superfluously. I am already getting flack about it on Facebook posts and in private and public conversations.  But before I jump off that ledge lets start with the first question.

It appears to me that the moral dilemma facing Christians is, cannot we just live and let live? In other words, if homosexuals want to get married then why not, for crying out loud, can we not just let them do so and lets just all get on with our lives? Who are we to instruct these people on how to live so long as they are not harming anyone else?

It is a seductive argument and I have heard this philosophy used for everything from recreational drug use to sexual immorality to doctor assisted suicide and of course homosexual marriage. It sounds like a wonderful argument except for the one small problem that no one lives their life this way. And I mean no one.

What people are really saying when they spout this ill conceived philosophy is all morality is relative and what is good for me doesn't concern you. There is no absolute right or wrong, right or wrong is dependent on what each individual decides for themselves. This would be wonderful except for the fact that people who are spouting this shallow nonsense will be the first to call the police if their car is stolen. What they really mean by saying this is they want to be able to do whatever they want to do and if anyone else thinks otherwise they can go to hell. In my nearly twenty five years of observing peoples behavior the ones clinging to this philosophy are usually the ones committing adultery, lying, cheating, stealing and doing all other forms of behavior that is hurting other people.

But let's say we do find that one truly altruistic individual here on this Earth (and if you do find them, please introduce me immediately; I keep trying to claim this position but my wonderful wife keeps shooting me down off that pedestal) who can do whatever they want and not harm anyone there is still somebody that they are offending. God.

And that is really what this is all about. Homosexuals in their activity and their desire to be married are not offending just society (all the polls and state votes on marriage amendments are pretty clear that a good majority of the American people are still against homosexual marriage) but they are offending the laws of God. He created marriage, not man, and this is not about defining the rights of homosexuals but is much more about man telling God that he can define marriage anyway he pleases thank you very much. If marriage is not about the Holy covenant between God, man and a woman then why can't it be between a mother and son? A father and daughter? Three men? Multiple men and women? A man and a boy? If marriage can be defined by society then it can be defined as anything man wants it to be and then it is an institution initiated and designed by men and not by God.

This isn't a new conflict; it is as old as the dilemma in the Garden of Eden. We chose the knowledge of good and evil over life because we 'wanted to be like God'. And everyone can see how wonderful that has worked out.

Yes, we need to response to the homosexual agenda to redefine marriage. But how can we do so in a loving manner and to what degree? Good questions, but before we explore that territory let's talk about the shocking and disturbing trend of homosexuals claiming to be Christians and the Church's refusal to speak out against sexual immorality. We will do so in Part II.

*The views expressed in this article do not necessarily express the views of the Church I attend nor my Pastoral leadership.