Christians CAN support gay marriage. I know it sounds wrong to many of you, Christian & non-Christian alike. It’s not a popular idea, especially among conservative Christians and will probably not win me any friends amongst my home church. It’s a debate that has been going on for centuries & has elicited much anger & hatred on both sides. Today, as the US Supreme Court rules that same-sex marriage is legal in all states we are forced to examine what this means for Christians & their view of our nation & government. And so I say, “Christians CAN support gay marriage”.
You see, the first thing we, as Christians, need to understand is that our second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself and what that means. When you look at Mark 12:31 it states it clear as can be. Matthew 5:43-48 takes it even further and says:
Matthew 5:43-48 (ESV)
Love Your Enemies
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers,[a] what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
What does it mean to love your neighbor or your enemy as yourself?
To allow myself the right to decide who makes my end of life decisions, who is the caretaker of my children should I pass away, and to bestow upon that person certain financial & other governmental benefits yet not allow another to make that decision for themselves goes against that very notion. Doesn’t it? To love my neighbor as myself is to allow each and every one of them the exact same rights I myself receive. It is to see that they, like me, are also sinners that do not deserve grace, but receive it anyway because of Christ’s sacrifice; because Christ loved & died for them. To love my enemy as myself is to realize the same & remember that God created him/her and that my enemy is my equal. Not better or worse than myself. Sin is sin is sin. All of it makes us worthy of death, be it homosexuality, infidelity, lust, lying or anger. Many will argue that the sin of homosexuality is unrepentant therefore unforgivable and I would counter with these two ideas:
1. How can you say what their eternal fate is with such certainty as a mere human?
2. Unrepentant such as your hatred, anger, lies or other things you do in your life? I know there are not-kind things I have said about others in my past that I am unrepentant of yet know are wrong. Are you truly free of unrepentant sin?
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave[a] nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
This does not mean that you need to celebrate this decision or be proud of our nation’s choice (though frankly, I am). What it does mean is that we need to stop making ourselves, as Christians, the judge. There is only one and we know his name to be Yahweh. Instead, we need to move our focus back to ourselves & our own hearts and live according to the Word.
Matthew 7:1-5 (ESV)
1“Judge not, that you be not judged. 2For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
As a Christian, I have many of my own struggles that I face daily. That is where my concentration lies. Should my brother or sister come to me to with questions about homosexuality & their struggles what am I to tell them? Personally, I point them to the very few places it is addressed in the bible and ask them to read these & to pray, pray for all they are worth & let God guide them. It’s a portion of the bible that I have struggled with as it is so hard for me to believe that that kind of love, so special and so rare, can be “wrong” when it occurs between people of the same-sex. The more I read, the more I struggle with what God’s divine plan is and if it is indeed a union between a woman and a man- despite what I might feel about that. However, the more that I read the more that I understand that it isn’t my place as a follower of Christ to pick out a sin-of-the-week and walk around berating people, spreading hate on social media, calling people out on their sin when I am so very full of my own. I don’t believe that this sort of behavior has ever helped, or “saved”, anyone. Do you know what has? Love, kindness, gentleness.
Many Christians get upset that the term ‘marriage’ is being marred in all of this, however, this term has been ‘marred’ from early on when people outside of Christianity starting marrying. Using the term ‘marriage’ in no way defiles it. Marriage is greater than that- it is an institution rooted in God & those that enter it as such will carry on it’s beautiful legacy for Him to see. As humans we are letting ourselves get tangled in the irrelevant and are forgetting that our God is so much greater.
I can support my fellow sinners (see def above); I can lift up & brace ALL people as they make their way in life rather than trying to tear everyone down. I will sojourn peaceable with all. I can help to protect my neighbors & enemies alike from hatred, from violence, from persecution, from feeling “lesser” as they make their way in life despite the fact that I might not agree with there choice. No one is “lesser” because of their sin. Not in God’s eye.