This past week Newsweek magazine came out with a cover story about how the Bible supports gay marriage. I read one blog this week that said if the Bible is causing Christians to argue whether gay marriage is good or bad then we should just throw out the Bible. I said to him and I say to you…I really hope that isn’t the answer.
I truly believe we can reconcile the Scriptures with this issue and do so in a loving way. The key there is a loving way. Christians are known to be anti-gay, so we need to go above and beyond the call to change that perception.
I also read something this week that made some great points for taking the government out of their current role of granting marriages. Surely that would leave many unsatisfied though.
So after reading the article several times I want to look at some of the key points. Overall I thought the author (Lisa Miller) brought up some really great points. She is right that Jesus never (from what we have in the Gospels) addressed homosexuality, and the Bible never talks about “gay marriage” in those words. And she is also right that much of the Bible speaks to loving each other, and to grace being for everyone. One of her key points is this:
“The practice of inclusion, even in defiance of social convention, the reaching out to outcasts, the emphasis on togetherness and community over and against chaos, depravity, indifference—all these biblical values argue for gay marriage.”
As I’ve said before, you can make the Bible say whatever you want it to say. People who are for gay marriage will bend the Scriptures to support their position, just like men have used it to hold power over women.
So my problem is that she is basically saying that the Bible’s silence or non specifics about its view of homosexuality mean that God supports gay marriage. Arguing from a position of silence has always been the weakest argument in the books. It would be like a kid saying that he could have dessert before dinner just because mom never said he couldn’t. It just doesn’t work.
The fact remains that homosexuality is named a sin in both the Old and New Testaments and all throughout the Bible and even in Jesus’ ministry we see that God hates sin. He despises it with everything in himself. A problem though, is that too often we zero in on this sin and overlook others. God hates homosexual sin just as much as he hates the man or woman cheating on their spouse. I don’t think God looks different at one or the other. But just like you wouldn’t hire a pastor who is cheating on his spouse, we shouldn’t ordain pastors who are living a homosexual life. Why? Because God hates sin.
Part of postmodernism is relativism. People today are more accepting of various views. Some people say this is what is producing bad trends in our world. What people consider sin is becoming more widely accepted all the time and many people blame it on postmodernism and its affect on the church. Yet think about the sins of modernism…slavery, ethnic cleansing, and the list could go on for a long time. The hallmark modernism was making decisions based on sound logic and reasoning. Just as much as modernism could convince us of horrible sins, so can relativism lead us towards sin. So we shouldn’t start blaming relativism on rampant sin in our world. Sin exists because we exist. And sin will run more rampant every day that we are here.
I wonder if God isn’t bringing this issue of gay marriage to the forefront of all social issues to see if we will obey His word. I wonder if this isn’t a test of our ability to honor him. I wonder if gay marriage isn’t a litmus test for us. I wonder if many are shifting their views on gay marriage to please the world. Paul advises Timothy about this by saying:
“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”
The crazy thing (to me) about this issue is that many, many Christians are leading the effort for marriage of LGBT couples. When I think about that the only thing that comes to mind is Paul’s words of “they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” This isn’t to say that Christians should be leading the charge against gay marriage, but I certainly believe we shouldn’t be leading a movement for it. We need Christians to present the gospel with love and to encourage the followers of Christ to love God and hate sin.
I believe it is possible to not elevate the sin of homosexuality above other sexual sins and to love homosexuals as sinners like myself, while also following God’s Word.