I am totally on board with those who, out of pure, gospel-loving and people-loving motives, press back against the judicial imposition of same-sex “marriage.” The family dynamic is a dynamic thoughtfully and carefully designed by God Himself, and the preservation of that design is ultimately what is best for the welfare and flourishing of a society – whether it’s citizens are Christian or not. Children need a mom and a dad, not two dads or two moms. And marriages need a husband and a wife, so that God’s covenantal, gospel love for the world can be effectively depicted through it. I understand that even among heterosexual relationships and families, these ideals are often not met. But this is no reason to not stand for and pursue the ideal.
I am for traditional marriage. I am against the idea of same sex “marriage.” But, I think it’s time that the church begins to think beyond the political battle. Not to be a pessimist, but I think it’s pretty clear that sooner, rather than later, same-sex “marriage” is going to be a judicially imposed reality in all 50 states. I truly believe, because of the shape that things are currently taking, that this is actually going to happen whether we like it or not. I’m not saying that the church needs to raise its white flag and to faithlessly bow down to evil, satanic propaganda. But what I am saying is that we need to immediately begin to envision how we are going to continue to engage a post Christendom, same-sex “marriage” culture with the gospel when our current democratic and legislative options are no longer options.
I believe that there are two vital, culture-engaging ways of life that the American Body of Christ needs to begin to pray itself toward.
- 1) We need to pray toward being people who fully embrace the loving-people-where-they-are way of life that our Lord so perfectly demonstrated for us over 2,000 years ago. Our gay, “married” neighbors are in sin and alienated from God, but they are still His image bearers and because of that they possess a dignity that is worthy of our love and respect. They are fatally sick, dead in their sins, hostile to God and willfully serving a master (Satan) that hates and violently opposes us (the church), but we are called to love and embrace them – not as believers, but as fellow image bearers – in the very state they’re in. We aren’t called by God to curl our lips at them, teach our children to hate them, or relentlessly blame them for the disintegration of our society. We are called by God to invite them into our lives, into our social circles, and even into our living rooms. Christians, while possessing the greatest love of all within them, have so often been superseded by other non-Christian communities in attitudes of kindness and hospitality, and that’s a horrible shame. I pray that gay, married couples in all 50 states would be able to say of at least one believer in their life, “They’re absolutely nuts and I think their beliefs are barbaric, but they are the nicest, most caring and friendliest person that I know.”
- We need to pray toward being people who embrace the unashamed-of-the-gospel way of life that our Lord, and his apostles, so perfectly demonstrated for us over 2,000 years ago. We live in a country and a culture that emphatically states that if we are to love gay people, we must affirm their embrace of same-sex behavior and same-sex “marriage.” I’ve seen so many professing Christians slide over into this false way of thinking and Christian living over the past couple of years. They mistakenly have begun to believe that if gay people are going to ever experience the love of Jesus through us, they need to first experience our affirmation of their behavior and relationships. If you’re a professing believer that is leaning toward adopting this perspective, please, do not! Our calling as believers in Jesus is to love people where they are, yes, but the essence of true gospel love is true gospel proclamation – which unfortunately includes the awkward, confrontational-ness of being honest with people about the sin that they’re living in. I’m not saying that every time we have a gay couple over for dinner we need to have a full out, three hour long explicit gospel conversation. Nor do we need to call them to repentance and faith every single time we see or talk to them. In my relationships with unbelievers – gay or straight – there are so often very natural opportunities for me to be gently honest with them regarding their separation from God, and to encourage them toward the great hope that is in Christ (I try to never do one with out the other!). When we’re actually involved in the lives of unbelievers – and not just obnoxiously voicing our opposition against their lifestyles on Facebook or in very gossipy Sunday School classes – they will invite us into their problems, their struggles, and their dissatisfactions in life. And these are incredible opportunities for us to share the gospel with them. Not argumentatively, but gently; saturated in genuine love and care for them as a fellow broken human beings in need of redemption.
As lovers of Jesus and of society-at-large, we should continue to boldly stand and voice ourselves in the political arena as long, and as respectfully, as we possibly can. But please join me in praying for the Spirit of God to make Christ’s church a people that whole-heartedly embrace their gay neighbors – right where they are – while simultaneously embracing their gospel-calling to speak biblical truth – even when it’s difficult – as we approach a day when same-sex marriage could very well no longer be a political battle, but every American’s reality.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.