Okay, maybe I like confrontation a little too much. Or maybe I am just an equal opportunity type guy, but one thing’s for sure: I am probably going to make both sides of the “gay marriage” debate angry with this post. Oh well, to be honest, I’m pretty fed up with them too. With my facebook feed looking like a math problem gone wrong with all the “=” signs and “+” (crosses) displayed for all to see, it’s time to call a time-out and get our heads on straight.
Calling Out the Christians
I will start with my brothers and sisters in Christ. I love y’all. I can’t wait to get to heaven and spend eternity with you guys and making some joyful noises in serving Christ forever. But can we please stop with the overly divisive rhetoric? So what if the government sides on the side of gay marriage? Do you really think this is going to knock Jesus off His throne or erase what 6,000+ years of history has taught about marriage? Jesus said the world will turn against God. Paul said that God would hand people over to their desires. We need to be able to realize that what we are seeing is the result of a broken world filled with broken people.
And please, for the sake of Jesus, extend grace instead of arguments. I believe marriage is sacred, and I believe that there may be some slippery slopes ahead, but I also believe in grace. Nothing is going to be solved by choosing gay marriage as your mountain to fight and die on, as if it were the biggest threat to Christianity. The biggest threat to Christianity are those in our camp who would confuse the world with politically charged one-liners instead of loving people the way Christ commanded us to love. I’m not saying we need to be soft on sin. I am saying we need to be heavy on Grace.
Finally, for my fellow believers, stop branding everyone who has a dissenting point of view from within our camp a heretic. This is a complicated issue; one that entangles politics, religion and relationships. If there has ever been a more volatile mix, I have yet to see it. The Church has an opportunity in this to display grace under pressure; to show a Holy God who loves sinners of every stripe. Basically what I’m saying to my brothers and sisters is: Don’t waste this opportunity.
Calling Out the Gay-Rights Activists
Before I begin, let me commend you for your zeal and your ability to communicate your cause. Rarely has there been such a movement to show support for such a minority part of the population. Your willingness to stand up and support this shows that you have principles and fortitude, and for that you have my respect. That being said, there are some in your camp who desperately need to hear the following
First and foremost, stop equating this with the Civil Rights movements of the 50s and 60s. This isn’t even relatively close. Homosexuals weren’t denied an equal education. Homosexuals weren’t denied access to restaurants, government buildings or voting booths. Homosexuals weren’t enslaved and forced to work on plantations for 100s of years. Homosexuals didn’t have fire hoses turned on them or attack dogs unleashed on them for having peaceful protests. If you are gay, when you walk out the door, chances are nobody can tell you are gay simply by looking at you. Even if there is veracity to the claim that homosexuality is something one is born with, you can still choose to abstain from that lifestyle. A black person in the south in 1960 had no choice. He walked out the door, everyone knew he was black, and there was nothing he could do to hide it. He could not abstain from blackness any more than I can abstain from being human. To claim that this is somehow even remotely close to the civil rights movement is both ridiculous and insulting to those who fought for civil rights for minorities.*
Second, can the shouting down of anyone who dares to voice an opposing view as “hateful,” “homophobic,” “uneducated,” or “old-fashioned” please stop? If we are ever to have an open dialogue, then when a difference of opinion is voiced the first reaction can’t be an insult, no matter how witty it is (and yes, this applies to both sides). It’s no secret that you’re tired of being labeled. Guess what? So are we! If you want respect, please, give some (again, this applies to both sides).
Also, if you want to twist Bible verses out of context and cite Levitical laws that applied to Jews that no Christian follows today to try to make a case for Biblical support of the homosexual lifestyle, don’t get upset when Christians rise to the challenge and refute your foolishness. Don’t blame us for citing Romans 1, and a host of other verses when you introduced the Bible into the conversation. We are doing what the Bible commands us to do, which is to “correctly handle the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15). Elsewhere the Bible is described as a sword (Hebrews 4:12). When I see someone try to twist Scripture to justify their own worldview the image I get is a child with a sword. He is both clumsy and dangerous. You can’t blame Christians for jumping into the fray when they see their Scriptures being misused, misquoted or flat out abused.
Finally, please realize that our faith is just as precious and personal to us as your worldview is to you. To you this is all about relationships. It’s the same for us, except for us; it’s our relationship with Jesus Christ that motivates us. He loves people and wants all to be saved, and there are times when we Christians get so caught up in our zeal for truth, that we forget that it’s about people too.
Now That I’ve Ticked Off Everybody, One Final Thought
Are there some hateful people who say hateful things in the name of Christ out there? Unfortunately, yes there are, just like there are some hateful people who say hateful things in the name of gay rights on the other side of the fence. So if you’re still reading this, my final plea to you is this, no matter what side of this fight you are on, please, give people the benefit of the doubt, and don’t judge them solely by the symbol in their profile pic.
*don’t take my word for it. Check out this article
“First and foremost, stop equating this with the Civil Rights movements of the 50s and 60s.”
First and foremost, comparisons can be made even when things aren’t exactly the same. The fight for interracial marriage specifically is close enough to compare to the fight for gay marriage. You may disagree, but the comparison can be made rationally.
“If you want respect, please, give some (again, this applies to both sides).”
Do we want respect?
Respect under the law, certainly. Respect from political opponents? I don’t know.
I’m not going to go out of my way, personally, to insult people. But it doesn’t really matter to me if people respect me, particularly those who disagree with my moral positions. That might sound cold, but it’s true.
I count many gay couples amongst my friends. And while I can’t speak for all of them, I’d be willing to bet that as long as they can legally get married they don’t care if they are respected by people who hold to anti-ssm positions.
“When I see someone try to twist Scripture to justify their own worldview the image I get is a child with a sword. ”
I see every Christian ever, yourself included, pulling from the big book of multiple choice and taking what they’re comfortable with.
“Finally, please realize that our faith is just as precious and personal to us as your worldview is to you.”
That’s fine. But your faith shouldn’t impact someone else’s life against their will.
Nicely done Richmond,
I hear what you’re saying about Christians getting too involved in this one specific issue. For my part, I still spend time in my own mind debating before making a post on FB or blog on the issue because I know that it can be taken the wrong way. On the other hand, as a minister / teacher of the Bible, I know that I am required to speak the “whole counsel of God” and rightly divide the word as you noted.
One thing that saddens me is the time factor here that we are days away from Easter which reminds us of the Resurrection of Christ thus showing He was and is all that He said he was; that he did indeed rise from the grave and bring victory over death and sin. That is what should be flooding the air and cyber waves and we are distracted by the politics of man in Washington. Just wonder what’s behind that in the spiritual realm.
Seems like balance in teaching and “all things in love” are two good mantras here.
Anyway . . . agreed.
Dave I am reading a book by John Price, The End Of America. What you have said is covered in this book. Thank you for your wisdom.
Shirley, I may have to check that book out. Thanks for the recommendation! 🙂