Read a good article the other day about whether or not we should boycott Starbucks for offering same sex benefits (or some other reason that Christians like to boycott about). Here is my favorite quote:
We won’t win this argument by bringing corporations to the ground in surrender. We’ll engage this argument, first of all, by prompting our friends and neighbors to wonder why we don’t divorce each other, and why we don’t split up when a spouse loses his job or loses her health. We’ll engage this argument when we have a more exalted, and more mysterious, view of sexuality than those who see human persons as animals or machines. And, most of all, we’ll engage this argument when we proclaim the meaning behind marriage: the covenant union of Christ and his church.
I was just going to write this as a comment at on the other post, but it got long so I brought it up to a full post.
What I think many Christians forget is that there are real people with real emotions who want to be married. To look at them and say that your marriage is going to be the same as someone marrying goat is a little off putting and best and at worst will probably turn them off from this whole “Christian” thing altogether. When I look at this issue I can’t help but think that if when I decided that Meredith was the person I wanted to spend my life with I would have been outraged if someone had told me that I couldn’t marry her. At that moment it would no longer be a political issue it would be a personal issue.
I just think that homosexuality is an easy target for Christians. It is something to rally against. Why are we stopping there. Here are other things that we should have laws against: premarital sex, gossip, lying, disobeying your parents, not loving your neighbor, etc. A truly “Christian nation” could try to make all of those things laws, but we wouldn’t end up a more moral place; even if people followed all of those laws because morality is a matter of the heart more than a matter of our actions. You can change the actions on the outside and people would still be just as messed up on the inside.
Is it any wonder that the people that Jesus had the biggest problem with were the people who were following the most rules. The religious leaders of his day had all of the outward stuff working, but inside they were messed up. I am not saying that homosexuality is right. I am not saying that it is something that we should embrace and celebrate. I am saying that maybe gay marriage is a fight that actually hurts us more than it helps us. In my opinion there are bigger issues that need to be faced, and better ways to help people to find Jesus.
Why not instead of being against gay marriage we decided that we were going to be against hunger in the US. That was going to be our new rallying cry. Or what if the church instead of pouring millions into a political battle poured millions into helping the homeless or after school programs. Sure some churches are part of these programs, but I know that in my circles I have heard more Christians talk against gays than I have heard them talk about helping the helpless.
If we could do that, if we could rally for something instead of against something then maybe we could start to work along side people who may just happen to be gay, and as we do maybe they could see Jesus in our lives and then (and here is the crazy part) maybe God would convict them of their sin and help them to change their life just like God convicts me of mine.
(BTW: Everyone did see that California voted against gay marriage, but for the rights of chickens in egg farms. I just thought that was strange)
I have been following the whole “gay marriage” thing for a while now and like I have said before I can’t figure out why Christians are so vocal against it. I mean I guess they feel like they need to be against everything that is homosexual, but for the life of me I can’t figure out why this is such a problem for the church. I am guessing there is a slippery slope argument somewhere that has something to do with children and adoption (the best way to win your argument is to bring children into it). But when it just comes to 2 people who are in love and who want to have the government sanctioned relationship that we call marriage I can’t see why we should have a problem with it. It is a civil matter, not a religious one.
Whether or not two people get married in a civil ceremony does not change whether or not your church will choose to marry two people of the same sex. I am guessing that the problem is calling it marriage instead of calling it a civil union, but come on we all know that is just semantics.
Now I wasn’t alive, or at least wasn’t paying attention, when “no fault” divorces became the norm. Did the church have a big problem with that too? I would rather see the church spend its energy trying to keep families together than working so hard to try to keep people apart. Just because I don’t agree with their lifestyle doesn’t mean I have to make laws to make it hard on them. To me that turns more people away from God than it turns them towards Him.
But like I said, I am willing to believe that I am missing something here. I can’t figure out why as a Christian I should be against this, but if you would like to convince me I would be willing to listen to your arguments.
If you are a regular reader of this blog you may know that I have struggled with how to address homosexuality as a youth pastor for a while now. It is something that I believe the Bible calls a sin, and as such is something that we should avoid, but it has become such a hot button issue that there is no good way of approaching the subject. For so many people when you talk about how they should stop acting on their homosexual impulses you aren’t talking about fleeing from sin, you are talking about asking them to rip out a huge part of their heart and leave it behind. So all the talk about discipleship and the cost of following Jesus is more than just talk it is life or death, and it becomes a very heated debate.
Recently Jennifer Knapp (one of the greatest singer-song writers of the modern Christian music movement) came out and was open about her same-sex relationship. Relevant Magazine did a follow up interview with her after she released this information. The article is a decent read, but what is worth your time is the 20 pages of comments that follow. Sure there are a few crazy people on both sides of the issue, but what I found in the past 45 minutes of my life that I spent there was a group of Christians who were hurting and another group of Christians who are trying to hold to the truth of God but to do it in a loving and accepting way. It is a great debate full of insight from both sides of the issue. There are some things there that are true, and others that are not so put your discernment cap on and go take a look.
In case you can’t tell since my return I have been struggling with the issue of how the church handles homosexuality, and how our attitudes and actions do more to drive people away from the church than to help people find God. Sure we aren’t Westboro Baptist Church, but the way that we treat the LGBT community for many doesn’t seem all that much better (at least we avoid funerals).
I came across this article today and I wanted to share it. Here is my pull quote:
The truth is, we’re all born into toxic water—there’s not a person on earth who has escaped the “sin bath.” That means all of us, to use Lady Gaga’s template, are “born this way.” Some of that toxic residue is more culturally acceptable—greediness, selfishness, insecurity, anger, narcissism, and so on. The truth is, we’re all born with a proclivity for something(s), and our environment often triggers what is latent and makes it active. All of us must wrestle-out the consequences and influence of sin in our life.
It goes on to say that natural inclination to sin doesn’t excuse sin, and continues to wrestle with some of these issues not a academic ideals, but as real life happening.