I have a love hate relationship with politics. Mostly hate. But yes, there are times when I get all hot and bothered and want to run for office. Then I calm down and get refocused on eternal matters. The grab for me has never been on issues like taxation or economic policies, but rather the social issue hot buttons. Today with all the comments in dissent of North Carolina voting to ban Gay Marriage coupled with President Obama’s announcement on his position of Gay Marriage is just another one of those examples. As a follower of Christ I have to remind myself that America is not my first home, the Kingdom of Heaven is. But we do live in the here and now and intersect with the world around us. Even the first Christ followers addressed social ills of their day. During the Roman Empire people would leave unwanted babies at the city dumps. Today, we abort unwanted babies. The Christians in the first century would save those babies from the trash heaps and care for them. Today Christians can work to stop the killing of infants and support women with unwanted pregnancies in ways other than abortion.
Ok, I’ve wrestled with the question of how to surf the wave of social issues on this blog for a long time. On one hand I don’t want to get distracted from our mission. On the other hand I don’t want to pretend that the Bible or Kingdom citizens don’t have anything to say on the social issues. The fact of the matter is that the Bible is very clear on these issues. The problem is that at times Christians can be “jerks for Jesus” and blow the whole discussion apart even before it is started. The real answer for followers of Christ is first to pray, and then speak the truth in love. Are there Christians who are called to run for office and attack these issues in public? Yes, I believe so. But the real answer is one of heart change and not policy development.
So with that I’ll make a few statements to consider on the present social issue of the day.
1. The Bible is very clear about Marriage and gay and lesbian acts: Consider just a few texts:
Genesis 1:27 God created male and female in His image.
Genesis 2:18-25 It was not good for the man to be alone, so God created “suitable” helper.
Matthew 19:4-6 Jesus affirmed God’s plan for one man and one woman for lifetime.
Leviticus 18:22 “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.”
Romans 1:26-27 Homosexual and lesbian acts are unnatural and outside of God’s plan.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Unrepentant homosexual offenders will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
2. The real rub here is in the redefinition of terms. The idea of marriage being of one woman and one man has existed since recorded history. Even during the Roman Empire when homosexual practice was rampant, it was never equated with marriage. As American citizens, gays and lesbians should be allowed to do what they want in their own homes. I believe it is sin, but I will not go into their homes and stop them. I see no legal problem with their creating civil unions for the purpose of insurance or whatever they deem necessary. But the redefining of the term “marriage” will have negative ramifications for every walk of life.
3. The linking “Civil Rights” to this issue is a sad move. This has nothing to do with a person’s skin tone, but a sexual preference.
4. “Gay” and “Lesbian” should not define who a person is, but the practice they are pulled to engage in. If we are merely a product of evolutionary chance, then ok. But if we are purposefully created in the image of God, then we are more. A good article on this subject was actually done by one of my professors in college. I even commented on it when it came out. So enjoy.
5. Even if a person does have an inward pull toward homosexual behavior that does not mean it is a good or normal thing. A man or woman may have a strong pull toward multiple heterosexual partners but that does not mean they should engage in such practices.
6. This issue should not be treated differently than any other sin against God. It should be called what it is. But it can be forgiven just like any other sin. Those who engage in this activity can find forgiveness, healing, and a hopeful future in Christ.
7. I alluded to this above, but in everything, followers of Christ should always act and speak in love. Even on this issue, we should speak the truth in our spheres of influence, but we should do it in a loving and non-judgmental manner. We also need to look into our own lives. Yes, gay and lesbian marriage is sinful. But so is gossip which so many of us seem to forget.
Ok, well sorry if all this came across too “Preachy”. That was not my intent. But I do know that kingdom citizens are called to be Salt and Light in the world around us. So that was my first public stab at the issue. How would you respond?