So I hate the title of this blog. But due to my lack of creativity, there it is. I have had many conversations about gay marriage with many on all sides, even those that are torn between supporting and fighting against it. Is there any middle ground? Because I think that’s where I am currently…….
I know, you’re probably surprised and maybe even disappointed or enraged. Before you shout “heretic!”, write me off, discredit the ministry, or do a number of other things that Christians should stop doing, let me explain.
The more I get involved in this ministry, hear the hearts of gay people, hear the hearts of Christians, and critically think about how to give my theology of love some legs to walk it out, I’m convinced that gay marriage isn’t the issue. Sure, it’s important and for gay people even more so. As a gay man, that’s what I was most concerned about. Would I have a spouse, a future, and be treated as equal? So can you blame those that are LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) for making this a big deal? It makes perfect sense.
What I don’t understand is why Christians make gay marriage the pinnacle of their fight against “the world and culture”.
If Americans, Republicans, or Christians (NOT synonymous terms by the way! J ) happen to stop gays and lesbians from getting married legally, have we really “won” anything? I guess if our goal is to make this country superficially moral with Christian values being displayed, and to go back to our comfortable American lives where people don’t challenge what we’ve always held to be true then yes, that would be a “win”. But I don’t think that is the goal and never should be the goal. The goal is for people to meet Jesus – truly, passionately, intimately, and personally – and to become obedient, from the heart, to follow His best for all of our lives.
I’m convinced that if marriage laws weren’t being overturned, gay people would continue to be out of sight, out of mind for many people. I have ZERO desire to stop gay marriage and go back to sweeping gay people under the rug in our culture AND our churches.
However, I have an intense desire to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Stopping gay marriage will NEVER make a true disciple, it can hardly make a convert. So pouring my energy into stopping something that is probably going to happen anyway, and is happening, seems futile and misdirected. At worst, it continues to widen the divide between the LGBT community and Christians. I’m not called to fight a public policy against a pagan (unbelieving) government. I’m only called to pray for my government and live my life reflecting God’s character, love, and image to a world that doesn’t know Him. I’m only called to, “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us” (1 Peter 2:12). I want to make disciples, not go back to “the way things used to be”. The “way things used to be” often means, comfortable, powerless churches who don’t know their God and his heart for the lost. I want more than that. Thank God we’re being offered a chance to rise up and truly show the intense love of God to people who haven’t known it. So thank God for gay marriage. It’s finally waking people up to the fact that these people exist, & they need Jesus.
But won’t gay marriage ruin the moral fabric of our culture?
- I think it’s already ruined and has been for some time. It’s just that this issue has shocked Christian culture back into reality because it’s something that we’re not used to. I don’t want to live in a country that is held together by “moral fabric”. I want to be part of one that is held together by Christ and every word he spoke. The unraveling of culture is not happening because of gay people; it’s happening because fallen people, both gay and straight, have turned away from God and are choosing to live their lives apart from Him.
But won’t gay marriage invite the wrath of God on our nation?
- There’s no way that 2-3% of the population (the estimated percentage of gay people) can single handedly cause God to set His face against an entire nation. If the wrath of God is coming, it’s going to come because of the intense idolatry of most ALL of the American people including its immense greed, overwhelming pride, tremendous drunkenness (both spiritual and natural), its profound laziness, and sickening gluttony that doesn’t just occur in the world but in the churches as well.
- If 2-3% of the population can cause such a huge upheaval in culture, it is not an indictment on the world but on the church. 120 disciples of the early church turned the world upside down and infected a pagan culture with God’s radical love. If our culture goes down the tubes it’s a clear reflection that God’s people have lost site of who He is and who they are themselves. Are we really saying the church is so weak that those that have the very life-giving Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead and promised to give us power and boldness is not enough to counteract a Godless culture and a vocal minority? One light will ALWAYS be greater than all the darkness in the world…..always.
I sincerely believe that the greatest problem in our country and our world is not that evil exists but that the Church doesn’t know their God. I’m not waiting on God to conquer His enemies and defeat evil; He’s already done that. Much would turn around if God’s people would surrender to Him, start to seek Him, and be transformed by Him into the likeness of Christ.
So do I think God approves of gay marriage? I don’t. I just see it honestly as a secondary issue to a bigger root problem. As usual, God is probably not interested in fixing the branch issue, but rather the root issue.
I think gay marriage is a distraction for all sides to be honest. It's a distraction for the church because gay people are messing with our idol of comfort and we think they're the problem. It's a distraction for gay people because they think that if they get a spouse and equal rights, they'll be completely content and that the church is keeping them from that. What they really need is not a spouse, but the Living God and His presence in their lives. I'm interested to see what will happen when the LGBT community no longer needs to fight for their right to marry. My guess is that their lovers will fail to satisfy under the weight of trying to be their savior, and just as I was, they'll be in prime position to see that God is the only Lover who can meet the deep longings of the soul. And He'll receive them with gladness and offer them grace as He loves to do. More prodigals coming home; more sheep finding their Shepherd. I can't wait....
So I’m torn on gay marriage. I think it’s a huge departure from God’s design and an inaccurate reflection of Christ and his Church. But on the other hand, I can foresee God using it wonderfully (as He does all things if we submit them to Him), much to the chagrin of many evangelicals and much to the delight of those that truly want to see the LGBT community reached for Christ.