I live in Canada. Here, it is legal for same-sex couples to marry each other. And somehow, the apocalypse has not occurred. Shocking, I know.

As someone raised in a post-Christian culture, now living in a post-same-sex-marriage culture, AND as someone that is a heterosexual evangelical Christian herself, I think that same-sex marriage should be legal –and I think that Christians, even those that believe homosexuality to be a sin, need to back off the issue.

From a purely pragmatic standpoint, it doesn’t affect my own life negatively. For my friends and acquaintances that are GLBT,the ability to have a legal standing on par with heterosexual couples carries weight in every area of their lives. And the fact that two consenting adult people love each other and are committed to one another does not devalue me, my marriage, my religion, or the society I live in. If anything, it has created a more stable, tolerant, and accepting society.

Most of us evangelicals in Canada, regardless of personal beliefs about homosexuality, can admit that since same-sex marriage has been legalised in Canada, our society has not gone to hell in a hand basket, nor has traditional marriage, or our families been under attack. Scare tactics and wild-eyed fear-based rhetoric rarely turns out to be true.  In actual practice, our society has become “live and let live” which is actually a rather tolerant and comfortable place to be.

 

My personal definition of marriage goes beyond the government’s definition of marriage, to that of a religious sacrament undertaken within the context of an affirming community of believers, serving as a foreshadowing or a demonstration of Christ’s love for the church.  With that in mind, I think that, in the interest of separation of church and state, a post-Christian or post-religious society should, in fact, be exactly that – post-religious.

In Europe, most of the governments do not ‘marry’ couples. Rather, they issue civil unions allowing for legal connection in matters of health, access, finances, custody and adoption etc. regardless of sex. Then, if one is religious, you go to your faith community and participate in a marriage ceremony as your tradition dictates and understands that sacrament. As long as the government is in the business of performing marriages, there is no need to discriminate.

 

I don’t believe that the traditional family needs me to “defend” it in the least.  Within Christian community, family is defined liberally, crossing blood lines to include all of those within the community of believers anyway. God promises place the lonely within families. We are even cautioned against the idea of making an idol out of our familial relationships.

My marriage is the greatest relationship of my life, spiritual in every way. And my ability to have a strong marriage, that affirms God’s heart for relationships and demonstrates unconditional love is not altered by someone else’s inability or disinclination to do so. If people around me are getting divorced or having affairs or treating each other terribly, I’m still called to a Godly marriage. If people around me are in same-sex relationships, I’m still called to a Godly marriage. We raise our tinies in spirit and truth, regardless of what the world, the church, or the neighbours, are doing. Even if one believes that same-sex marriage or relationships are a sin, their existence doesn’t threaten the very existence and sanctity of your own marriage.

(Part of me also asks “What traditional family?” Perhaps that is a cultural ideal, but the truth is that most of us were not raised in a “traditional” two-parent, 2 kids, 1 dog home (well, I was but that’s beside the point). Whether it’s due to divorce, death, or some other circumstance, most children are not raised in 50s-television-show homes, which, from what I can tell, is what many of the staunchest “marriage defenders” are actually looking at as the ideal.)

 

Finally, most arguments against same-sex marriage fail to take one thing into account: love - and not just love between two people that wish to live their lives together.

Rather, we miss an opportunity to love those that are different than us, to express love to those that we even disagree with strongly, to affirm their right to make choices different than our own. As Nathan Albert wrote, we have turned it into an ‘issue’ to debate, to fear, to feel anger over and lobby. On both sides, probably with cause.

But we have forgotten that it is not just an issue. It’s about people. So when we debate an “issue” and forget that it is backed by people – imperfect, wounded, beloved people on both sides – we dehumanize each other.

It’s missing the point. The point of God, the point of Jesus, the point of the Holy Spirit is not to block same-sex legislation.  The point of Christianity is not to create a theocratic Christian society. No one is won to Love by hate or legislation.

God does not need me to defend marriage. He does not need me to block other people’s decisions. He does not need me to wade into a culture war or gang up on a minority or sow seeds of discord and fear. He does not need me to defend Him, my understanding of His best or even my way of doing life. I have much to learn.

He has called me to an active, all encompassing, radical love that looks beyond all things to see the value, dignity, and humanity of each person, to speak the words “you are loved more than you could ever imagine” to every soul. And then to try to live out that Love.

*This edited post originally appeared in 2010 on Sarah Bessey’s blog. It seemed like a good thing to consider these days. 

131 comments

  1. Beautifully written. I am so stirred by this– “we miss an opportunity to love those that are different than us, to express love to those that we even disagree with strongly, to affirm their right to make choices different than our own.” Perfect. (I am Roman Catholic from Connecticut, but I feel much the same way: http://www.parentingmiracles.net/2011/08/so-same-sex-marriage-is-legal-here/ )

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  2. Sarah, thank you for this. I’ve been struggling so much with it. You can read on my blog a post from yesterday where in my “head” I debate about this idea of a theocratic Christian society. My struggle is if truth is truth then shouldn’t I always support that? Isn’t it loving to support truth? If I believe God’s way is the very best way, isn’t it loving to support that? But I do struggle with “forcing” non-Christians to act like a Christian. You are right, no one is won to Love by that. I admit, it is still a battle but I so appreciate this.

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  3. Very interesting. I’m debating whether I agree with the article, not because I don’t think it’s great. Everything in my heart says you’re right on target, yet everything the society of “Christians” has taught me says you’re wrong.

    Love your boldness!

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  4. Ali

    Oh bravo, bravo, bravo. Would love to see this published in the USA’s major newspaper opinion columns – why not have a go? (They’d probably just get you to shorten it a bit – but it is full of stuff people need to be challenged by, very well written, and beautifully timed given Obama’s recent statement.)

    Me is impressed!
    Best wishes from Switzerland,
    Alison

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  5. This is well said. I don’t honestly know what I think about same-sex marriage, but I do think it’s ridiculous at this juncture to refer to the US as a Christian nation. It has become such a polarizing comment. A separation of church and state is more realistic and practical. We cannot pick and choose when to apply Christian beliefs and practices to governmental issues. It does not change my life, marriage, beliefs, etc. And as always this debate opens the door for us to show the love of God.

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  6. Carol Haggerty

    How long has same sex marriage been legal in Canada? How has it affected the children? I worry how the idea of raising children in a world where gay marriage is legal will affect their choices as they grow. I don’t want my grandchildren playing house with two mommies or a preschool teacher saying to them – “you might grow up marrying a man or a woman”. I don’t believe that all homosexuals chose to be that way – but I do worry that it will become more of a “choice” if generations to come are raised that way. And I am not sure that is good for society as a whole.

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    • L

      My friend was raised by two gay men. He’s straight, served in the military and is a “normal” guy. If there is an increase in the LGBT population, it will be because they’re allowed to come out of the closet and not feel shame. Sexual orientation is not a learned behavior.

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    • Tina

      Who do you think raised the gay kids? STRAIGHT parents!!!

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    • SRH

      People don’t *become* gay because they grew up in a less homophobic society. They’re just more likely to *admit* they’re gay (and concomitantly less likely to be depressed, stressed, suicidal, etc.). And I’ve got news for you, kids used to play house with two mommies (and a bazillion other variations on the “traditional” family) when *I* was in preschool, and I’m 38. Kids experiment — that’s part of what childhood is for.

      My daughter has a cousin who brings her girlfriend to family gatherings. She has friends who have two moms, and a friend whose divorced mum and dad both have girlfriends. It’s a complete mystery to her why anyone would say it’s not OK for two men or two women to be married if they want to. But she’s also very clear on her own sexual identity, if all her crushes on cute boys in her class are any indication :P

      I truly think this is a non-issue.

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    • Scott Baxter

      Same-sex marriage has been legal nationwide in Canada since 2005. It was legal for most of the provinces (8 of them representing around 90% of the population) some years before that due to a series of court cases, starting in 2003. No sign of society collapsing just yet.

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  7. I am absolutely stunned by the clarity of your words and your ability to concisely write the most lucid, articulate opinion on this topic I have read yet. Thank you both for your ability to see beyond the issue to the people and your willingness to write about it in a way that will, almost certainly, resonate with people on both sides of the argument.

    I am humbled by your ability to express the very opinion over which I have stumbled on more than one occasion trying to express.

    Brava!

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  8. Sarah, thank you for this. You summed up my unarticulated thoughts in a way I never could. You helped me understand my own stance and feelings more clearly. Grateful…

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    • This is how I nearly always feel after reading Sarah’s posts, and as you said Alece, this one is no exception.

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  9. Thank you for this. I agree wholeheartedly, and it’s not a popular opinion in American evangelical Christianity, that’s for sure. God is God and we are not and we are, pure and simple, to be representatives of love and grace and little else. Thank you for speaking up.

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  10. Erika

    You are stealing my May 31st DS-thunder! ;)

    Love you,
    E

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  11. Thanks, Sarah, for a well thought out and challenging post. I admit that I’ve been riding the fence on this issue in recent years, just not sure which side to fall on. But your arguments here have definitely tipped me in a direction I feel good about. Thanks again.

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  12. You hit on so many good points. We do need to love those different than us. I always why we, Christians, feel it is our job to judge when Jesus clearly calls us to love one another (John 15:12-13).

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  13. Thanks for the shout out. :) Nice piece!

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  14. I agree with some of your points… but things I do not agree with are your points of having an “accepting society”. I truly believe that God doesn’t desire us to be accepting, accepting to me means compromising. I won’t compromise when it comes to the truth of God’s word. But I do lean more towards the side on this particular issue that it isn’t for Christians to go around forcing one belief on the whole of society, and yet….. I struggle with this issue because of the

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  15. I’d be your sisterwife if you asked me.

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  16. I haven’t made up my mind on the subject. I’m not threatened or afraid or feel that I have to defend “family values” per se. I’m simply trying to figure out how living my life as a Christian is worked out in the world. I’m not sure as to what role the government plays in all this either.

    The fact is the government will always play SOME role in defining standards, good or bad. The fact that, as you say “two consenting adult people love each other and are committed to one another does not devalue me, my marriage, my religion, or the society I live in” may be true. But what if MORE than two people want to create a loving marriage? What about 3 or 4 “partners” who want to be married? Polygamy is a lifestyle option that some embrace, although for Biblical reasons I also don’t see that as a viable option. What if a 15 year old wants to consent to creating a loving marriage? The fact is this issue is not just about homosexuality, but who and what defines what is allowed as a “right.” Whatever way is decided, values are at play, and someone’s values are going to be upheld while others are not. So in thinking about this issue, broader issues are at play.

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    • KatR

      I always find the “it’s not Biblical” argument against polygamy to be funny, considering how many of God’s favorite men in the OT were kickin’ it Big Love style.

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      • They also raped, had adultery, murdered, etc. Their lives are depicted in all it’s sin to point us to God’s grace despite ourselves, and how much we need Him to redeem us. Doesn’t mean all they did is God-condoned, meant for us to mirror.

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    • Well, aside from the lack of social support for polygamy/polyamory comparable to that of gay marriage, I can think of one very good reason America might be slow to recognize multi-partner marriages: they’re actually legally nontrivial. Gay marriage presents basically no implementation challenges, since almost the entirety of state and national law works just fine no matter what gender the participants have. Polymarriage, on the other hand, opens up a rather extraordinary can of worms, since most law pertaining to marriage makes the presumption, either explicitly or implicitly (e.g. with the notion that someone’s spouse is a unique individual who can be assigned distinctive rights, or the tax bracketing assumption that a joint filing consists of two adults), that the marriage in fact consists of two people, neither of whom are married to anyone else, and these laws _would_ have to be reconsidered if marriage was opened into a more flexible sort of group-commitment.

      Which is not to say polygamy is impossible to implement in law (or that doing so is necessarily a good or a bad thing), but the idea that it’s a short step away from legalizing gay marriage seems not to take into account the major impediments to even considering such a step.

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  17. Matt

    I found your article very interesting. Sometimes though, I think we can overlook the hard things Jesus said too. He loved people and also told them to stop sinning (John 5v14 8v11). The Bible says Jesus was ‘full of grace and truth’ (John 1v14) – very challenging yet great too!

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    • Matt,
      I agree. This is the part I have trouble with. Loving someone doesn’t mean allowing or applauding them doing something that is detrimental or sinful. Love calls me to gracefully speak the truth. The two go together. Love without truth is permissive and neglectful. Truth without grace is harsh and unrelational. We need both.

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      • no one is talking about applauding sin. the truth is that in the US, marriage is a state-licensed arrangement conferring hundred of legal benefits to spouses, and we prohibit gay couples and families from accessing the same protections and benefits most of straight folks take for granted. (adoption rights, survivor benefits, partner health coverage, etc…)

        no church would be made to marry anyone or act against its beliefs–just like they now can restrict marriage to members, those who submit to premarital counseling, couples who don’t live together, etc. Not In My Church is markedly different than Not In “My” Country. excluding gay people from legal protection doesn’t seem all that loving from a christian standpoint or just from a governmental one.

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        • I’m sorry I don’t see it that way. I believe by condoning it or legalizing it we are giving it our stamp of approval. We are saying, what you’re wanting is the SAME as that of a man and a woman. Now, those of us who are heterosexual would be remiss in not being honest about the fact that we’ve botched this thing called marriage up. And we sin all the time by having babies out of wedlock, cohabitating, divorcing, etc. Those are all sins. I think what I’m open to is the idea that if we’re willing to love peopel through all those things we should be willing to love people who are gay. Listen, I’m still processing this idea of legalizing gay marriage. I don’t have it all figured out and I don’t think the way we’re fighting for this as Christians is working. And I certainly don’t believe that just because the government changes a law means that God changes his truth. So, the government can ultimately do whatever its going to do and God’s truth will still win in the end.

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          • our government’s role was never to legislate “God’s truth.” that wasn’t something Jesus pushed for, and it’s not how our country was founded, either. government should promote justice and equality for all citizens, not just christian/straight ones.

            a giant problem is that the language and realities of marriage are already so muddled between church and state. to religious people it is symbol and sacrament, but marriage is ALSO the key avenue through which families access legal protections and benefits. a good starting place would be for the state to get out of the marriage business altogether. let churches handle marriage and government grant civil unions to couples, gay and straight. legal protection should be accessible to all families, no matter how churches define marriage and morality. it’s about what’s fair for all citizens–not christians giving their stamp of approval.

          • legislating “God’s truth” wasn’t something Jesus pushed for, and it’s not how our country was founded, either. government should promote justice and equality for all citizens, not just christian/straight ones.

            a giant problem is that the language and realities of marriage are already so muddled between church and state. to religious people it is symbol and sacrament, but marriage is ALSO the key avenue through which families access legal protections and benefits. a good starting place would be for the state to get out of the marriage business altogether. let churches handle marriage and government grant civil unions to couples, gay and straight. legal protection should be accessible to all families, no matter how churches define marriage and morality. it’s about what’s fair for all citizens–not christians giving their stamp of approval.

        • Andrew

          I am not sure I accept that “no church would be made to marry anyone…” If same sex marriage is legalized, then any church that speaks against it would be accused of hate speech. There have already been attempts to label the Bible as hate speech. It feels like I am slowly being forced against my will and my understanding of the created order.
          While “No one is won to Love by hate or legislation.” Neither has anyone been won to tolerance or acceptance by hate or legislation.

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          • Sharene

            I agree with you, Andrew. The push to legalize many behavior which the Bible condemns rests on the erroneous idea that public and private lives are separate. In the two years since this article’s publication, we’ve increasingly seen the interplay between the two and how that exchange effects those opposed to gay marriage. For example, I’ve read of many Christian-owned businesses who’ve experienced negative effects from the gay marriage’s legalization. These laws don’t allow for a Christian’s moral objections to homosexual unions. Canada’s more liberal (at least in many respects) to the U.S. so perhaps Sarah hasn’t witnessed Christians persecuted for their faith. In the U.S., though, conservative Christians can find themselves in a Catch-22: stay true to my beliefs or earn a paycheck.

            On another note, can someone please explain why a Christian would want to encourage a behavior that God says is wrong? Do you believe the Bible or do you interpret the anti-homosexuality verses to mean something else? If so, what would keep you from reinterpreting the Bible in any way you wish?

  18. i love this. and honestly, the way i feel is that true marriage is from God and those who are truly married are done so with Him ruling over them. therefore, government ceremonies and laws have nothing to do with it. homosexual marriage, in my opinion, is the same as non christian marriage. so let them marry under the law of the land, we marry under Christ. i have many christian friends who have not married by the government’s laws but are still married, under Christ. and i believe that to be 100% okay, as long as they are married by God’s law… not man’s.

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  19. Thank you for this. This has been a huge thing in our lives. we live in Ontario, and my mother in law is married to a woman. They are amazing Jesus adoring women who come to church with us every Sunday. It is a debate I have argued to the point of tears over and over within church and non church communities, its a debate I have chosen to like you said see the people over the situation. The world needs Jesus and see His love instead of angry protesting Christians hating on the world. I will choose love over and over and over

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  20. Wendy

    As a youth worker in the church(in Canada), I certainly feel that this issue is driving this current generation away from the church. The issue is held up like a lightening rod, it is brought up almost right after “Welcome” – just to see if you will freak-out or not. I feel like we are obsessing about a “thing” instead of being the Love of God to a hurting generation. Like we are losing sight of the person – as if sex defines who we are.

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  21. Sarah, you make some valid points on a difficult topic. We are called to love as Jesus loved. But we are not called to accept and encourage sin. Jesus loved the sinner; however, each time He confronted someone caught in sin, He extended His love and grace, and then commanded them to go and “sin no more.”
    Do we, as a society, encourage, legalize, or support those who steal, murder, commit adultery, etc.? Then, I’m sorry, I cannot in my Christian conscience do so with gay marriage either, which is called out as a sin in God’s Word. Christians stand on nothing if we don’t stand on the entire truth of the Holy Bible. We can’t choose to believe only what we like or agree with.
    I am as much a wretched sinner as the next, and I will strive to reach out in love to all, but I will not promote sin in any form.

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    • amen Julie! Well, said!

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      • Thanks for the support, Holly. It’s nice to know I’m not standing alone.

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        • Brian

          I have a problem with this logic.
          See Christ didn’t call us to action to change the laws of the land or prevent them being changed. Christ never fought for political change. He simply called out people on their sin. He did not take away their free will to do as the please.
          Us legalizing gay marriage would not mean we endorse it.

          Another small problem is that if you go that route then you should be condemning and outlawing divorce as well. Jesus said there is only one valid reason for divorce and that is Adultery so explain to me why it is your not fighting to have divorce laws changed. In fact if you have ever been divorced for any other reason than that and you have gotten remarried then you are living in a life of sin. You are an adulterer if you remarry after divorce. Read Mark 10:1-12. The only way you could actually repent of said sin would be to leave the new wife and never marry again. Yet divorce rates are astronomical in this country and many of them are eveangelical Christians. I detest divorce and would never seek one but I don’t believe I have the right to tell someone else they can’t. That is why God gave us free will. We have the choice to sin or not sin. If we legislate that gays cannot be married and have equal protection under the law then we are taking away the right God bestowed upon man kind to choose to sin or not sin.

          I do not think we should be fighting so much to get it legalized but if it happens we shouldn’t stand in the way either. Jesus absolutely would have called out a homosexual couple and instructed them not to continue in this unholy union but he wouldn’t have told them you cannot do that.

          Tollerance is not the same as endorcement.

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        • Well said Julie. As a believer in the Truth, I do not “believe” in gay marriage. I am also not a “gay hater”. At the end of the day, I pray for ALL us sinners, that we bring glory to Him. That is our role. To love, to reach out to, to show Jesus in all we say and do. Whatever happens, happens. We live in a fallen world. Yet as believers, we are called to be defenders of the truth.

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    • The Dave

      The bible also clearly and directly states that women must wear head coverings while praying (1 Corinthians 11). Are you standing on that part of the entire truth of the Bible? Are you trying to pass laws to force all women in the nation to wear head coverings when praying? The bible also clearly and directly states that one must neither eat ham nor even touch pig flesh (Deuteronomy 14:8) Are you standing on that part of the entire truth of the Bible? Are you trying to pass laws to force all people to stop eating ham? The bible also clearly and directly states that a father can sell his daughter into slavery (Exodus 21:7-8). Are you standing on that part of the entire truth of the Bible? Are you trying to pass laws to allow all fathers to sell their daughters into slavery?

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    • Thanks for your humility in your response Julie. I think the main point of difference here is that we’re disagreeing about what it means to “accept and encourage sin.” In this case we’re talking about sexual sin, no?

      There are lots of sexual sins that are “legal” by law but that doesn’t mean the church accepts or encourages them. I think it’s a mistake to make that leap from legality to approval. This is a fine line that I admit is tough to walk, but Christians in America, such as myself, often struggle about where that line should be drawn between what we allow in the church and what our laws should be.

      There are also some really key voices missing from these discussions: people who are actually gay. I’ve heard some really heart-breaking stories about gay couples who were living in a committed relationship, but one could not be by the other’s side in a medical emergency because of laws taking away their rights to have a civil union or marriage. Whatever I think the Bible says about same sex marriage, I want a couple like that to be together as one of them stops breathing. That’s just common humanity and dignity. It shouldn’t be too hard to understand that. I don’t agree with same sex couples on plenty of things, but Christian love compels me to never get in the way of their most important moments and decisions.

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    • Anthony Rosa

      Gay marriage is not murder. No one is killed by it; people become a family instead. Gay marriage is not theft. Nothing is taken by anyone; something is created instead. Gay marriage is not adultery. No one is betrayed by it; and it is in fact the vow to do the exact opposite.

      To compare these things to a marriage between two people who love each other, and wish to stay together in a stable family unit, perhaps raise children together, and have the legal benefits society gives to a couple they condone… is so strange that it beggars description. To do so hurts people, by creating an atmosphere where the very thing you cherish, marriage, is shunned as an evil on the level of murder… if it’s done by the wrong people. And by being the wrong people, through no fault of their own, through no choice that they made (for no one chooses to be gay… certainly not when there are people like you comparing their loving marriages to murder, just for existing), the same love you could feel for your spouse if you have one, becomes evil? That is hurtful beyond reckoning, that is downright cruel, and I cannot for one minute believe that God would condone such cruelty towards anyone for the choice of love.

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    • Brad

      Sarah: There are plenty of things that are categorized as “sin” which we do nothing about legislatively. Where are the legal penalties for adultery? Lust? Graven images? Coveting your neighbour’s wife? There are none.

      Yes, we penalize things like theft and murder, but those are crimes that do affirmative harm to third parties and are viewed as bad by nonchristians too. No atheist would say that we should not punish theft and murder or that the only reason that we do is because God said they were bad.

      The Bible is replete with things that are classified as “sin” yet receive no civil sanction.

      I won’t even bother with the “well god says that eating shellfish is a sin” arguments because they are so obvious.

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    • Sheri

      Julie, I agree with your perspective. You are not alone.

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    • Liah

      Amen…1 Timothy 1 vs 8-11…..We know that the law is good when used correctly. For the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy,who kill their mother and father or commit other murders. The law is for people who are sexual immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders, liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching that comes from the glorious Good news entrusted to me by our blessed God….1 corinthians 6 vs 9…Don’t yu realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people-none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Our mandate from God as christiansis to love and also…please read Ezekiel 3 vs 17-19..Whenever you receive a message from me, warn people immediately. If l warn the wicked saying ‘you are under the penalty of death, but you fail to deli er the warning, they will die in the their sins. And l will hold you responsible for their death. If you warn them and they refuse to repent and keep on sinning, they will die in their sins. But you will have saved yourself because you obeyed me(The Lord)

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  22. Jeff

    I read your article, and feel compelled to share some things that might help readers understand another perspective concerning this issue, as well as gay people themselves.
    First, I do not doubt that you are sincere, and that you truly are motivated by a sentimentality towards all people because of your faith. So I do not intend to judge your character or you as a person. That is not my intention.
    Second, no one I am aware of believes that simply legalizing same-sex marriage will immediately bring about the end of the world as we know it. Legalizing abortion didn’t, so why should gay marriage? A careful study of history will show that no civilization was brought down by a single act, or within the span of a single generation. Further, the people who lived during a prolonged time of such a collapse didn’t recognize that’s what was going on at the time because they could not perceive the long-term cause and effect of the direction of their culture. Only those who study history (or perhaps prophets) can see such a thing. Erosion is a slow and gradual process, not an act or event. Even most marriages fail over a long period of time and not because of one disappointment or fight, right?
    Third, to argue your point simply from pragmatism and because it doesn’t seem to affect you personally comes across as extremely unthinking and selfish. That’s like saying you don’t care what kind of genocide is practiced in Africa because it doesn’t affect you personally. Obviously, it may NOT actually affect you or me, but it doesn’t mean we can just ignore it or not cry out for justice for those being slaughtered (referring to the Africa example). If Christians only used pragmatism to guide their lives (instead of Scripture), then why would we not allow (or engage in) a whole list of immoral activities (children cheating on tests, husbands lying to their wives, etc). Practicing pragmatism in a post-christian culture of moral relativism is, at the very least, dangerous, irresponsible and unspiritual. Or something worse.
    Fourth, I concur with your definition of marriage. But the separation of church/state issue is a misapplied (maybe irrelevant) argument here. The institution of marriage issue goes beyond just Christianity or us trying to shove our “outdated values” down the throats of society’s pagans. And I agree that there has been abuse in my country (USA) of overstepping the boundaries here (forcing prayer in school for example). We cannot, and never should, expect those who do not trust in Christ do be made to act like they do. I get that. However, that being said, its important to recognize that marriage is not just a “biblical thing”. It’s a societal/civilization thing. It’s part of what theologians refer to as “common grace”, or something God has given ALL peoples to enjoy for the betterment and survival of civilization. Even nature backs us up here as lesbians/homosexuals cannot reproduce without “help”. You don’t even have to be a Christian to see that its unnatural and against nature itself. My point is that the argument against recognizing homosexual marriage can be made outside of biblical grounds alone. God does indeed “need” godly marriages, and in a way, you already are defending that sacred institution by your relationship with your husband and by your example to others. Sometimes, not always, but sometimes God asks us to speak up and defend things He cares deeply about (children, women, etc).
    Fifth, all of us are somewhat conditioned by the culture in which we are raised, so I can see why you would look to Europe as an example for your point. And it’s not about (nor should it ever be about) which nation is more righteous. We have just as much moral compromise here as many European nations do.
    Sixth, who is called to stand up for the values (like the ‘traditional family’) if believers lie down on the issue? Will homosexuals defend it? Can we count on the Government? Hollywood? Again, you are right to say we aren’t called to make an idol out of marriage, but if someone chooses to be a pedophile or sell young women in to the sex trade, Christians should lead the way in defending those values of morality and justice that are commanded or reflected in Scripture.
    Seventh, it’s both a logical as well as a theological fallacy to assume that “love” means “letting anyone do anything that pleases them”. This is not freedom in any sense of the word. Since when and where did God define love that way? How is it “dehumanizing” someone when the God whom you claim allegiance to opposes that persons actions? Is it dehumanizing someone to say that if someone rape, murders or steals is wrong? Or should we accommodate them and give them the same status as those who obey the law? Or maybe (more wisely) we (society) should define some boundaries for the moral good of everyone. By saying this, I am not suggesting that homsexuality be “outlawed”, okay?
    Eighth, agreed that Christians who are not controlled by Christ, who do not understand how to love, spew hate towards many gays (often this hate is towards those with more radical gay agendas, like promoting love/sex between grown men and children). But either way, this kinds of hate is sad and wrong. And the church has room to grow here for sure! Personally, I have several gay friends – some who have been rescued by Christ from that lifestyle and some who still desire to continue in it. I can and do love them as friends, and there sexual orientation is rarely the topic of our conversation (though when it is, it’s civil and loving).
    Ninth, yes, radical love is what God has called us to. But your definition of love must be biblical, and not just sentimental and emotional. If your husband had an affair, would you still love him? I hope so. What if he had more than one? What then? Would it be difficult to feel/show love for him then? Possibly. Probably. But you are still called to love him, despite his failings. However, would you say nothing while he continued his affairs? Would that be the loving thing to do? Or would your love be more radical than that? Obviously that example is personal and would require you to speak and ACT since it affects you deeply. But if your neighbor was being robbed, would you call the police? If they were dealing drugs, would you? The point is, and you would probably agree, is that while our job as christians is to love and not to “police the world”, there are still some things we should speak up against, EVEN if it means we are labelled “narrow-minded” and “bigoted”. As long as you are not mean-spirited, you can disagree without being hateful or abrasive. of course you can’t control what others think of you, but at least your conscience is clear before God. Obedience is sometimes bold.
    Tenth, though Scripture is clear on homosexuality (just like it is on adultery, murder, envy and gluttony), a homosexual’s biggest problem is NOT his/her homosexuality. I have never tried to persuade someone to stop being gay. That’s not God’s primary intent for them. Instead, they need salvation and a savior just like heterosexuals do. Being gay never condemned anyone to hell. Being a sinner does that, and we are all guilty. So our #1 message to gay people is to point them to the cross.
    The greatest act of love you could ever show a gay person is certainly not to roll over and play dead while their perverted morals infiltrate every aspect of society (and then justify this inactivity because we’re supposed to be “loving” as Christians).
    For Christians to “vote by silence” to allow gays to be married is the LAST way to ever reach them with the Gospel (which would lead them to repent from their homosexuality). Where is the logic in that? Bottom line, like it or not, at some point our Christian faith will cost us something in a post-christian, hostile-to-biblical values society, and we have to be willing to risk our reputation for the sake of those things which are honorable, pure and just. The term “evangelical” doesn’t simply mean we “believe” the gospel (euangellion is the Greek word for “gospel”), but it also means we believe that same gospel is the answer to all of mankind’s problems and sins, and that we are commanded by Christ to share it.
    Finally, “love for others” can also be an idol, just like marriage can. Though I am not implying this is true of you, some Christians hide behind “love and kindness”, simply because they are afraid of societal backlash or being accused of being a “nazi” or some other horrible, unfriendly thing. And what about loving GOD? Where is the radical love for Him? Doesn’t our love for Him and His Word supersede any love for humanity? Gays and our spouses included? Shouldn’t our greatest allegiance be to Him, even if we have to stand against man?

    In the end, evangelical Christians may end up being caught in a coming cultural and moral tsunami, but wouldn’t it be better to at least die while running towards higher ground?

    I hope these thoughts help your readers understand that not everyone who is against gay marriage is an uneducated, half-wit, bible-banging Christian. :) And that there really is an alternative to simply “doing nothing”.

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    • wow.

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    • Jeff, VERY well put!

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    • lisa

      Jeff,
      Beautiful, intelligent, loving, clear-headed response. So many nice, kind, sweet, people are for same-sex marriage and write eloquently about ‘equal rights, equal love for all’ and can often be quite convincing. And though I often cannot verbalize it, I know to the depth of my being that legalizing same-sex marriage is absolutely the worst thing we can do for civilization in the long run.
      Thank you for the affirmation.
      Lisa

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      • Jeff,

        Thank you for the thought and kindness you put into your reply. Makes so much sense.

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      • Brad

        How many have you have ever actually asked a gay person how they feel and what they want?

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    • Amazing response. Very well thought out. Thanks for taking the time to share.

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    • The Dave

      “That’s like saying you don’t care what kind of genocide is practiced in Africa because it doesn’t affect you personally.”

      Not using government to stop another person from getting into a loving relationship with a person of the same sex relates to not caring about the murder and assassination of 20% of a nation’s population in ethnic war? Really? Seriously?

      “letting anyone do anything that pleases them”. This is not freedom in any sense of the word. Since when and where did God define love that way?”

      Did God build a wall or fence around the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil to keep Adam and Eve from picking its fruit? I don’t recall that happening. I seem to recall that God let them walk right up to it and do what they pleased.

      “For Christians to “vote by silence” to allow gays to be married is the LAST way to ever reach them with the Gospel. Where is the logic in that?”

      When Jesus told the adulterous woman to go and sin no more, he never once went to the Romans or Jews and told them to enforce a godly lifestyle on her. When he told the Pharisees and teachers of Torah that they were sons of Satan preventing people from entering God’s kingdom (Matthew 23:13), he never once tried to use the government to stop them from doing so. Would you agree that Jesus was interested in reaching people with the gospel? Because I do. Well, Jesus never tried to enforce God’s will and law in the land of Israel through government legislation. Not once. Not ever. You may call Jesus’ way the last way to reach people with the gospel and illogical, but I call it the only way and very manifestation of Logos (Logic).

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    • Thank you, Jeff, for articulating what I could only begin to express. Very well said!

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    • sweet

      It is an honor to read a post that is God centered and not man centered! Thank you, Jeff

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    • Jeff, equating the morality or justice of allowing same-sex couples equal rights under the constitution to being complicit and apathetic to the mass-murder of a people group is horribly offensive and inappropriate.

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      • sweet

        Nish, we all know what he meant in the illustration. It made perfect sense.

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        • Nish

          I wholeheartedly disagree. Regardless of any inferred meaning and supposed understanding, it doesn’t change the fact that it was offensive and inappropriate. It was also a false logical argument. Comparing, on ANY level, the affirmation of the legalization of same-sex marriage, to apathy towards genocide is… as my friend says… like comparing apples to atomic bombs. Same-sex marriage is an act and agreement between two consenting people of legal age that doesn’t physically harm anyone or act maliciously or violently toward another human. Genocide is the act of direct and extreme violence toward a group of people that results in a catastrophic loss of life. Those two examples don’t belong anywhere near each other for his argument. There are plenty of other ways that Jeff could have articulated his argument that the affirmation of legalizing same-sex marriage is similar to apathy of another sin without invoking the image of violence and mass-murder.

          The use of our words and our choices of imagery have profound impact. To think that a member of the LGBT community might have read that comparison… I don’t even have the words that would describe the hurt and devastation that must have caused.

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    • Rachel

      Hey Jeff,

      I in no way intend to start a debate here as you seem grounded in your beliefs and I respect that, but I would like to point out some points in regards to your post, as they seem to be influencing others as well. In the order you posited:

      2) This is kind of a tangent. I don’t believe anyone is implying literal destruction of a nation (although to be fair, Pompeii was brought down by a single act xD). I think what Sarah was alluding to are the Christian fears that allowing gay marriage will cause more problems than it solves, ie: children raised in gay households will be gay, and in the long run if the gay population outranks the straight population then oh dear how will we reproduce as a species? But what Sarah was saying about Canada was that allowing gays to marry has just one impact–gays are going to get married. That’s about it. Nothing else in society really changes. Children raised by same-sex parents aren’t more inclined to be immoral or sexually promiscouos or any other false stereotypes, nor are they more likely to be gay themselves. Christians often fear ‘nature vs nurture’ but as we’ve seen thusfar there is nothing to be afraid of.

      3) Genocide in Africa should affect any Christian personally. It’s not a matter of “I am not being poked, so thus I am not affected”–that would be the ‘extremely unthinking and selfish’ point of view. But when there is an incredible act of injustice, suffering of innocent people, etc, then it is the Christian duty to stand up for it as Jesus would have done.

      In the same manner, this is why I speak up for the right to same-sex marriage. It affects me personally because I can’t stand to be a bystander and watch as homosexuals aren’t given fair and equal treatment under the law. And this is where I’m tying in a little bit to point 4, but not quite yet. I’ve seen it best phrased as follows:

      “If the government is going to define marriage and thus the benefits thereof, such as tax rates, healthcare, survivor benefits, etc… then it cannot restrict those privileges to certain citizens (No state shall make or enforce ay law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States — the 14th Amendment).”

      Thus, Biblical stance aside, the government cannot in good legal conscience promote one group of people over another; and Christians should recognize this. If Christians are afraid of ‘supporting’ homosexuality by legalizing it, then instead of fighting to have same-sex marriages banned, we should instead be fighting to have the benefits of marriage removed so that it is fair for all people, or even having the government step away completely from marriage and leave it as a religious institution (which could be separate for any religion, not just Christianity).

      4) I addressed the first portion of your point #4, but I also wanted to discuss what is meant by ‘unnatural’. The word in your stance is being used from your point of view–homosexuality seems unnatural to you because you are heterosexual and cannot perceieve of being homosexual. In this case, it WOULD be unnatural for you to change your sexual preference. However, from a gay’s point of view, it would be completely and wholly unnatural to change their sexual orientation, or to renounce feelings of love altogether (as some Christians hold). In regards to reproducing, we have seen through history that survival of mankind has not been hindered by the existence of homosexuality, which can be seen throughout history. In fact, we have an overpopulation problem. More same-sex couples would lead to more adoption of children who are otherwise abandoned (see: one-child policy of China); thus, having more same-sex couples would actually be a large improvement to our society from the evolutionary point of view you are trying to argue.

      5) Kind of irrelevant.

      6) Christians can and should continue to be against pedophilia and sex-trafficking, because entail sexual actions with lack of consent. This in no way is an equal counterpart to fighting against same-sex marriage, which involves mutual consent of two adults.

      7) Of course we are not claiming to let anybody do anything that pleases them. That would lead to a nation of ‘an eye for an eye’, among other things. The purpose of laws in the nation are first and foremost to protect the rights and the safety of society. It is, however, dehumanizing when we treat homosexuals as second-class citizens (refer to my point #3) when they are not threatening the rights and safety of society through their actions. You often make parallels between homosexuality as a sin, and other sins like murder, rape, stealing. These are not on par. A better analogy would be making a parallel between homosexuality and divorce; in God’s eyes divorce is clearly very wrong, and a breaking of a vow between the man, woman, and God. However, we continue to allow divorce to be legal, even though this is very clearly a sin. Why? Because one couple divorcing does not threaten the rights and safety of society.

      8) Agreed.

      9) Agreed. However, it is a very very important distinction to draw the line between where religious-based beliefs should affect the government. Again, refer to my point #3. If same-sex marriage is ever legalized, which I believe it will be, I would fully understand (and indeed hope) that Christians will continue to express their love and concern for their homosexual friends committing acts the Bible says to be wrong. But it is so important to stress that this does not belong in a non-theocratic government.

      10) “The greatest act of love you could ever show a gay person is certainly not to roll over and play dead while their perverted morals infiltrate every aspect of society” <– Refer to my point #2; this is what was being referred to when people fear that a nation will 'go to hell in a handbasket' if same-sex marriage is legalized.

      TL;DR– I do respect all views and I hope you respect mine. I hope that this has helped some people in realizing that the issue of same-sex marriage is not a battle between what God says is right and wrong, but a matter of what our government's purpose is. A lot of things that the Bible says are sins (divorce, sex before marriage, pornography) are legal because these actions do not threaten the rights and safety of society, and as Christians no one is making a fuss over these. This is the approach we should have with same-sex marriage. You can continue to believe that homosexuality is a sin without bringing that religiously-motivated thought into a secular government.

      Thanks to anyone who read all of this. I realize it is long. Jeff just had a lot of points xD.

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      • MaryBeth

        Very good point! Being pro-gay marriage does not necessarily mean you believe it is the best moral choice. I believe that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality as it exists today, but even if I believed it was a sin, I could still, in good conscience, fight for the freedom of homosexuals to get married.

        I fully agree with you that genocide ≠ homosexuality. Comparing homosexuality to pedophilia, murder, or genocide is probably the most ignorant, hateful, offensive thing that people can do. They have absolutely no resemblance to each other and makes the writer sound like an ass.

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    • I, literally, clapped after I read this.

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    • Luis

      Thank Jeff for not giving in. Am sick of people confuse tolerance with acception. You can love somebody without accept their behavior. Two consent adult arguement doesn’t work since I know a gay guy who was having incest relationship and the guy right community didn’t want to help him for fear of their public image be in damage. Sin is destory our society for you christian that say no your blind because you live in sin for so long you accept it. I know this because I was raised in christianty and slowly began to accept the world way and didn’t see the danger of it. Just because this isn’t a religion government it doesn’t mean we can’t give bibical principles to help society mostly young people I wish a christian would have had the gut to do that for me.

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    • MC

      Brutal. From a gay perspective, it’s heartbreaking to hear someone compare same sex marriage to genocide.

      Breathe, fingers. He’s just 1s and 0s.

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  23. AMEN.

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  24. When you point out that we need to “speak the words ‘you are loved more than you could ever imagine’ to every soul”, that especially hits home with me because I use that same phrase almost verbatim (“God loves you more than you can imagine”) when I’m working with kids at church on Sundays. How can I say that to the kids, mean it and believe it, and not say the same thing to gays and mean it just the same? I can’t… if it’s true for one, it’s true for the other.

    I’m still not to a point where I can say that homosexual behavior doesn’t have a sinful element, but I can say that God does love gays more than they can possibly know… but they won’t get that if all we send their way is judgment.

    Great post…..

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  25. Heather

    Anna, Matt and Julie Sunne have summed up everything I feel as well. Love the sinner, hate the sin, don’t be tolerant of the sin. That is exactly how the enemy gets his foot in the door.

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  26. David

    I still do not think that gay marriage should be legalized.. First of all, we shouldn’t abuse God’s love. God hates sin. God hates sinners as well. God specified told us that he hates sin and he will judge who sinned against him. But by the grace of God, he still loves us so he gave us second change by send his only son, Jesus Christ. In Romans, is said practice of homosexuallity is wrong. Should we then ignore God and legalize the gay marriage?

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    • if god hates sinners, we’re all in big trouble.

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      • marie

        Amen to that!!

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  27. Emily

    Sarah I always love everything you write and this is certainly no exception, I’m really curious though, in this piece you write a couple of times ‘if you beleive it is a sin’ and I just really wondered if you think personally that homosexuality is a sin? Personally I don’t, and I think if we say that god made each of us perfect then there is a real question over the sinfulness of same sex unions, because I certainly believe that homosexuality is not a choice and that people are born with their sexual orientation ( after all when did we choose to be straight? We didn’t, it’s just an intrinsic part of who we are) I think it’s important to remember that? I love what Jimmy Carter said on the subject “When we go to the Bible we should keep in mind that the basic principles of the Bible are taught by God, but written down by human beings deprived of modern day knowledge. So there is some fallibility in the writings of the Bible. But the basic principles are applicable to my life and I don’t find any conflict among them.” (you can read that whole interview here- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/19/president-jimmy-carter-bible-book_n_1349570.html

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  28. take heart, sarah. i have so many feelings about these issues i feel like my heart will explode. i accept the theology of my evangelical brothers and sisters but thoroughly reject their recent political methods. i want to love, to soothe wounds instead of inciting them, to speak true identity to all of us. thanks so much for your voice.

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  29. erika

    i read one person’s thoughts and then another and sometimes I get so confused because I know God to be saying NO to homosexual marriage.

    But I, living in seattle, am surrounded by people living in homosexual lifestyles. my boss is gay. so are several of my coworkers. yet they are people i respect so fully and they are raising wonderful children.

    and to me, marriage is no longer what it once was, especially in the u.s. people get married and divorced on whims — they beat each other, cheat on each other– marriage is NOT what it is defined in the Bible. Therefore, let us give them that marriage.

    The marriage of God and His church, the union between man and woman, that is something different and that is something they won’t have– even if the U.S. calls gay marriage legal. And it is the marriage that Christians are called to and will always be, regardless of what laws say.

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    • Laura

      Well said Erika….this is my experience as well.

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  30. Thank you for this, Sarah. I’m in full agreement.

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  31. I am a conservative, libertarian, small-government believer and I am also a committed Christian in a wonderful marriage. Perhaps that is what gives me complete freedom from fear that redefining state-granted marriages is going to drastically affect an already, as you call it, post-religious society. I have long thought that we would do well to adopt the European model of state-granted civil unions that allow people whatever benefits exist for cohabiting individuals, and churches should be the place where “marriage” takes place. Denying the rights of same-sex partners access to their loved one, or the children for whom they are mutually responsible, does absolutely NOTHING to benefit the Gospel and perhaps does even more to discourage these beautiful people who need a Savior just like the rest of us from ever seeking answers from the Church. If the Church prevented me from seeing, loving and caring for my partner or my children, I’d be running the opposite direction as fast as my two legs could carry me. I agree with you wholeheartedly – continuing to engage in uninformed, fear-based rhetoric does more to damage the Gospel than all the other effort we put into evangelizing can possibly balance out. Thanks for stepping out to debate this issue – Christians need to understand that we ALREADY have a situation in which we are supporting “sinful” marriages in the U.S. – the key example being non-Christians marrying Christians. If we are so concerned about voting for Biblical politicians, then somebody better start tooting this horn. The truth is that governments can’t possibly judge the motivations of one’s heart – and therefore, there is absolutely no guarantee that we aren’t supporting sinful marriages just because the only ones we allow are heterosexual.

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  32. Jessie

    I agree with a lot of what Genevieve has said. Government should have nothing to do with marriage. Let everyone who chooses have a civil union for law’s sake. Let marriage be a matter of the church, and for each church to decide what they are willing to accept.

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  33. Amen! As a fellow Canadian I totally agree. It’s too bad the church burned so many bridges in the fight beforehand. At this point Christianity has become synonymous with hatred to many in the LGTB community. My marriage, my children, my values are in no way threatened by it, but my witness sure has been. That’s the sad part.

    Love God. Love others. The Greatest Commandment is not just a whiney defense for bleeding heart liberals. It’s the real deal. I don’t see a huge emphasis on “defending our values” in the great commission. So, let’s focus on what really matters.

    Thank you for saying it so clearly!

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  34. I loved this. Really, truly loved this.

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  35. Deborah

    Thank you, Jeff, for your response to Sarah’s post. You have laid out exactly what I need to tell my kids. We struggle with this issue on a daily basis. My family is surrounded by homosexuals whom we love. They are brothers, cousins, dear friends. Some of our relatives have even married in states that allow them to. But I firmly believe that homosexuality is sin. I don’t love them any less. And I don’t preach at them. But I am grieved that Church has accepted post-Christian morality. That Christians would call Truth bigotry. We are entering an age when our children will be persecuted for saying what they believe — I’ve already seen it. Not for being militant about morality. For saying what they believed on this very issue when they were asked. I face it as well. The pro-gay marriage side can be just as hateful. Even those who say they are Christians. It’s our right to vote as Americans. And I have to vote against what I believe is sin.

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    • Wil

      “But I am grieved that Church has accepted post-Christian morality”

      This.

      Just because we may live in a post-Christian society, doesn’t mean the Church has to accept a post-Christian morality.

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  36. I chimed in above, but wanted to leave another affirmation. Thank you for not putting God – our wildly big Lord – in a box, for leaving it to Him, for letting Him cover all in love.

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  37. Sophie

    “In Europe, most of the governments do not ‘marry’ couples. Rather, they issue civil unions allowing for legal connection in matters of health, access, finances, custody and adoption etc. regardless of sex. Then, if one is religious, you go to your faith community and participate in a marriage ceremony as your tradition dictates and understands that sacrament.”

    Ouch, no, sorry but that’s not entirely true. I’m from France, and in most European countries, you may have two distinct things: the kind of civil union that you described, with the advantages you describe, MINUS adoption and custody, and regardless of sex (if France that’s called “PACS” aka “Civil solidarity Pact”), but it isn’t called marriage, it is a type of contract for fiscal advantages mostly; and then you DO have civil marriage at city hall which is allowed for 2 people from opposite sex only, and gives specific rights regarding kids (adoption, custody) – although that’s about to change in France with the recent election of our new president. And then you can in fact get married religiously wherever you please, with whomever your religion allows (as long as you are officially married for the governement too – in France)

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  38. Kristen

    I’m with you on every point listed here. For a while I’ve thought: We cannot force non-Christians to live as Christians. It just doesn’t work that way & in the process of “defending what is right” we so often get caught up in spreading hatred.

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  39. Nick

    Many good points raised in the article, and if I may add one, the idea of a pure, Christian marriage has been dead a long time. Read 1 Corinthians 7 and just think about how many of those points any marriage holds to and whether it should in the modern age. In fact it suggests that ALL marriage is an affront to God as it distracts them from him. The further you go down the rabbit hole of religious dogma, the weirder everything gets so it probably is best to just simmer down and remember the Beatles: ‘All you need is love’.

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  40. sarah. thank you for this beautiful post. i live in NC and the hatred that is spewing in all directions is overwhelming. this post is so encouraging and not the least bit aggressive and right now i really appreciate that:)

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  41. The political football this issue becomes …well I’ve just hit fatigue with it. (this includes both sides of the issue)

    When we punish or hinder monogamy for any two people, communities suffer. Monogamy is difficult. It forces you to mature. No one really enjoys that maturing experience b/c it’s painful.

    I’m glad I don’t have to come up with laws on this b/c I find the issue too complex and very difficult to deal with through legislation.

    A female friend of mine from college is still married about as long as I’ve been. That’s hard work. They should be encouraged to stay together and love each other. But they feel throated and (largely) unloved.

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  42. so much could (potentially?) be solved if we could all just sort out our terminology. let the state conduct civil unions and let the church bless marriages. everyone wins. no one is alienated. it’s an issue of domains. unfortunately we’ve done a great job of getting the domains of society jumbled up over the last few thousand years… and it’s landed us in a hot mess.

    i want the government to recognize my legal rights that stem out of my union with my husband. and i want the Body to recognize, bless, and affirm the covenant we’ve made before God.

    the term “protecting marriage” should not be used for this issue. it should be used for the issue of preserving covenant between those that have already chosen to enter into it. lord knows we need help in that area!

    thanks for writing intelligently and compassionately about this subject. it’s not easy in this climate.

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    • Anne

      Thank you Sarah for posting this and all the wonderful replies.
      I feel too scared to say anything for fear of ppl calling me a hater, cause I really love gay people and I want to be able to just love them like Jesus does, like he loves me.

      I think also that definition is key; thanks Adriel. Let the government conduct civil ceremonies and let the churches bless marriages. I think everyone should be able to have the same legal rights as each other, with regards to legal, health etc.

      Thank you everyone for posting on here. It’s good to know I’m not alone.

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  43. Amen, Sarah.

    Many times I think the rift between Christians regarding homosexuality lies at the enerrancy of the Bible – for example, I have a friend that believes in the absolute inerrancy of the Bible, so she believes that homosexuality is a sin that God hates, therefore we should “hate the sin, but not the sinner” & stand up against gay marriage. For me, I do not believe in the inerrancy of the Bible or that this was Jesus’ idea of love.

    Priesthood of the believer, overall. But it’s the forcing the priesthood into the government that makes me feel uncomfortable.

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  44. Risé

    Sarah … I love the points you bring up. I cannot tell you how much I have wrestled with this topic in past years – and even moreso recently. I have always held fast to the truth that as believers ‘we are in the world but we are not of it.’ As believers we are just ‘visiting’ an alien land (on this earth) until we are taken to our true Home.

    Homosexuality is truly a sin … God has gone so far as to call it an abomination – it is something He gave souls over to because of the way they live, God has given them over to it. (Romans 1) I cannot find in scripture whether or not the homosexual is without hope of salvation – I would think that even a repentant homosexual can be saved. Any repentant sinner can be. With that said, with God sin is sin and the penalty for all is the same. It’s death – spiritual death. I am getting to a point – really. The point I’m trying to make is that we live in a world where sin is rampant – and in my 20 years as a believer, its getting worse. Why? Because Christians are NOT called to change the world – but to share with them the gospel and the love, mercy and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. That’s it. God did not come to save our world or world system. He came to save the lost and only God knows who His people are.

    Many folk live in sin – people cohabit without being married – yet we still love them. We make points of loving women who have babies outside of marriage. We love women who have aborted babies because they felt it was their only option. We know people who have affairs, who cheat and lie – yet we strive to even love them – that we might be able to win them to Christ. I love how you stipulate that LOVE IS THE THING. This so resonated with me.

    God chose us to love and to share the gospel with folk. It is not our job to convince them – just to tell them. The convincing is God’s business, not ours. It’s not our job to change the world system into our own idea of a utopia that we think would be ideal. No. Jesus is making a place for us and its not here. Jesus came to save the lost from their sins. He came that He might adopt us as sons and daughters.

    As people have choice to receive or reject Christ as Saviour, they also have choices to live as they choose. We cannot force someone to want to live the righteous life God has called us to. The world we live in is becoming more and more dire in every way. The Lord said that ‘the world is condemned already.’ So why, as Christians, do we fight so hard to change the world system. God says that He will wrap this world up like a scroll.

    I think I have to agree with you, Sarah. This clears up any confusion I had on the matter. I thank God for your bravery – and to remind us that we are not on this planet to change it … this world is NOT our home. We need to focus on LOVE being the thing. God knows and knew that people would rebel against Him and insist on living their own way and when they do, He lets them go – He has never, nor will He ever force someone to love Him and serve Him …

    God’s plan for us is to show them that God is love. He is merciful. He is just. His ways are perfect. It’s not up to us to convince souls or to change the world as we know it – when we share the gospel with someone and they reject it … we are supposed to ‘shake the dust off our sandals’ and be done with it. I don’t think we do that enough.

    Great post!!! I love your boldness!!

    Reply
  45. Risé

    Adriel Booker … well said. :) I like that under government there is a civil union … in the church, a couple’s commitment to God to be married. This touches on what Sarah said too – it sounds like it works like this is much of Europe. It just makes sense.

    Reply
  46. Risé

    Okay … now I am reading other’s comments … good points.

    Reply
  47. Risé

    At Carol Haggerty … I have pondered this as well. Let me just kindly say, that no one can know the effects this has on children. I know from first hand experience that even some heterosexual couples shouldn’t be raising children. Don’t get me wrong, I do hold to God’s truth that homosexuality is a sin (and is it just me, or is this phenomena on the increase?).

    No one will know the true effects of one’s parenting until they are much older. I had an emotionally and verbally abusive mother – I was a MESS!! She hasn’t been in my life for 12 years because she refuses to acknowledge how she treated me – in her mind, because she’s my mother that she had every right to treat however she felt she wanted – so not okay. It was bad – I had been a Christian only 8 years at the time and she ‘beat me up’ so bad that I was very much dying inside – I was an empty shell person and I didn’t know who I was. Any other women or men that I have known who have had abusive backgrounds like mine – the crap doesn’t surface or get dealt with until we are in our late 30′s at earliest, most of us in our 40s and some of us are in their 50s and 60s. Those wrong things take a long time to manifest.

    My point is, one fella made the comment above that he knew a guy who was straight who was raised by homosexual parents and he seems ‘normal.’ I seemed normal at one time too – and then I had children of my own and everything collapsed. Until I had kids of my own and realized that my mother’s ‘love’ was actually hatred in disguise – I could not see the damage done. I didn’t see it until I was well into my 30s and didn’t start dealing with the ugliness of it until my late 30s – finally confronted the rest of my family about it 2 years ago and they have chosen to not be in my life (which is very typical by the way.) God promised me years ago that He’d be all the father and mother I’d ever need – and He has fulfilled that promise.

    Sorry … rambled there … my point is, there are straight couples who can ruin their kids as much as a gay couple could. The real test will come when those children get to be in their 40s and 50s – and when they too have children – then you will know.

    Trying to ‘perfect’ society (from whatever view one chooses) is impossible.

    Reply
  48. sweet

    What if the issue is rebellion. No one can honestly read Romans 1 and not see that one curse of rebellion is homosexuality. To live in it and promote it (as with other sins) leads to pain, alienation and a seared conscience. It doesn’t matter how many agree with you on your blog, the whole world may agree with you…and yet the wrath of God is described in this passage. What do you think of God? Not just “I love Jesus so much” stuff, but do you really agree with God the Creator?
    On another level, what does your “compassion” do for the “identity” of the homosexual man for instance. Any honest man will tell you that there is true shame in being the “woman” in a homosexual relationship. It is the inferior, weak, degrading “position”; not because of what true womanhood is but because of what true manhood was created to be. In ancient Greece where homosexuality was rampant, the shame of the “woman” position was seen as reason for abuse, degradation and sometimes death. Talk all you want about “love” in the same sex relationship but the consequences of this rebellion against God’s creative purpose (one only needs to look at how the male and female bodies were made!) will lead to deep pain. As Romans 1:27 says, “…deceiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.”
    There is no gain to throw this issue out as a provocation. It is deadly serious business. I would rather pray along with St. Paul, that if we are involved in anything dark or evil, that God would expose our thoughts and actions and draw us back into the light of His love. Eph. 5:11-13

    Reply
  49. I think that one “fear” of {some} Americans/Evangelicals being overlooked is the chance that churches will not be protected from narcissists wanting to make a point and attempting to have their same-sex marriage done in a church against that church’s/pastor’s will. That is my only hang up with it. If what it comes to is preachers being put in a position where they’d have to consider compromising Godly conviction to avoid jail, we’ve condoned religious oppression. If the church was protected and pastors were at not risk for “hate crimes” by refusing to do a cermony for GLBT couples, then of course, let the law allow for same-sex unions… but only if churches can still practice their Biblical beliefs freely and refuse to honor and officiate gay marriages without penalty.

    Reply
  50. Agnes

    There are a lot of good points here Sarah, and also from Jeff, thank you so much, because this is something I’ve struggled with for SO. LONG.
    I am part of a church that allows openly gay couples to lead services. And no, it was not a deal-breaker for me to leave this church. I live in a country that has ‘civil partnerships,’ i.e. legal rights for gay couples, which I think is fair actually although it still makes me a bit sad. I mean, if you want to legalize your partnership for your own reasons, that is your choice. BUT, there is a big, big difference between that and marriage. Marriage is holy, between a man and a woman for the purpose of procreation, as created by God. So the
    terminology does matter, because now gay couples here want their legal partnerships to be called marriage too. Why? Why call it marriage and bring God into that? Why try and pretend that two men or two women can fulfil God’s mandate equally as naturally as a man and a woman can? The whole institution of marriage under God is then twisted and perverted, whereas I believe civil partnerships are appropriate for what the relationships actually are, ie two people who choose to be together legally but are not sanctioned under God and cannot naturally procreate.
    My problem is not with gay people choosing their own lifestyles. We all have that choice. In fact my boss and closest colleague now are both gay. I take part in the political / religious / sexual talk every.single.day.. and trust me, I have had pretty much more than enough of this topic by now! Apparently, not enough that I would not write this comment :D
    MY problem is when Christians try to mix their faith with homosexuality in order to be loving and start to say homosexuality is OK by God. It’s not. Read the Bible. It’s just not. That’s why it hurts me so much to see Christians defending the practice and getting
    all mixed up with wanting to be ‘nice’ and ‘loving’ to the point where they deny what their Bible says (I’m not necessarily saying you’re doing this here, Sarah). It smacks of such a lack of integrity, and twisting verses to say what you’d like them to say is just as false
    and insulting to God and other Christians. Yes, I do live with this tension in my current church, so I know of what I speak, and we do manage to muddle along together. Like I said, I don’t consider it a deal-breaker issue where I would separate myself out from people.
    Also want to make one more point and then I’ll shut up, I believe the word ‘homophobic’ is meaningless the way it’s used. Phobia is fear. I am not fearful of homosexuality. I just don’t believe it’s Biblical or morally right to practice it. So, am I homophobic? Um, no.. I just DON’T AGREE it’s morally right to act it out. It doesn’t mean I am hateful, fearful, ignorant, uneducated, bigoted or unloving, just that I have a different view. That is allowed. I can’t stand this idea that if we don’t, as Christians, go along with the current cultural agenda regarding sexuality, we are all these nasty labels. I love my boss and colleague, pray for them regularly and love them in practical ways every day, and they do the same for me! And we get along very happily, thank you. If as a single Christian I slept with people before marriage, my lifestyle in terms of sexuality would not be Biblical either, in just the same way. I will never be able to agree, as a Christian, that practicing homosexuality is OK by God or that any gay relationship should ever be defined as ‘holy matrimony’ ie marriage sanctioned by God. I don’t accept any of those labels thrown at Christians who hold such beliefs, but neither do I believe that my beliefs need stop me from loving gay people. So far, they haven’t.

    Reply
    • Sarah S.

      Comments like this make me think of my grandfather’s second marriage. My grandmother, his beloved first wife, died when my grandfather was in his early 70s. My grandfather spent a few lonely years on his own before reconnecting with an old friend, a widow in her 70s. They had a church wedding and made vows before God, they explicitly brought God into their relationship and committed to help each other grow in their faith, yet they did not marry with the intent or hope of procreating (indeed, it was a medical impossibility). Was their union not holy? Did their commitment mean less in the eyes of God because they married to be companions to each other in their last decades, rather than to bear and raise children? Should they have considered themselves mere domestic partners?

      I have no problem with separating the legal rights of marriage from the various religious meanings it can have, and I believe that that’s the best way forward in this debate in terms of protecting everyone’s rights. But on the religious side, I am always puzzled by the line of reasoning that says marriage is one man and one woman together for the purpose of procreating: there are a great many married heterosexual couples who are not truly married by that definition.

      Reply
  51. Elizabeth

    “My marriage is the greatest relationship of my life, spiritual in every way. And my ability to have a strong marriage, that affirms God’s heart for relationships and demonstrates unconditional love is not altered by someone else’s inability or disinclination to do so. If people around me are getting divorced or having affairs or treating each other terribly, I’m still called to a Godly marriage.”

    This is exactly how I feel about my same-sex marriage.

    Reply
  52. My husband has been getting very vocal about this issue lately, and even though I agree with him it makes me somewhat uncomfortable. But this post is so beautifully written that I couldn’t help but Tweet it. You have said things that have been on my heart that I hadn’t figured out how to articulate. Thank you.

    Reply
  53. Christina Karnes

    AMEN!

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  54. mary

    God is my redeemer, my confidant, and my great High Priest. Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing.

    Reply
  55. Sarah, I can resonate with this on several levels. I completely agree that legalizing same sex marriages may not affect me directly…at least not yet, I have no idea what the future of that would hold in America. Would this in any way devalue or negate my faith, religion, relationships, etc. When it comes to faith and religion, and most of my relationships, the answer is a resounding “NO!” because my faith is NOT in any way tied to what is or isn’t legal, but was founded before creation and etched in blood at Calvary.

    There are two points I have serious concerns with though.
    1) “I think that Christians, even those that believe homosexuality to be a sin, need to back off the issue.”

    I can kind of go with you halfway on this one: When it comes to pickets and things of that nature, it’s totally counter-productive. When it comes to the way people should vote on issues, or on candidates regarding issues, we can’t ask or expect people to vote against their conscience or even their religious beliefs. That said, I say that across the board, concerning all faiths and religions. People NEED to vote their conscience and trust God (or whoever they hold as the Supreme Being) with the outcome.

    2) “…we miss an opportunity to love those that are different than us, to express love to those that we even disagree with strongly, to affirm their right to make choices different than our own.”

    We need to look at what “love” really is. Love is emphatically NOT tolerance. We know this because God is Love and yet He absolutely does not tolerate sin. We know this because Christ’s message to us, both directly while He was on Earth, through His disciples after He left, and in His Scriptures, is “repent.” Change the way we think and the way we act and submit to the Lordship of Christ.

    As Christians, the most loving thing we can do is preach the gospel with our lives and our lips. Peter demonstrates this in Acts 2 when he boldly calls out the “lawless men” who killed Christ and told them to “repent and be baptized…in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins…” Peter wasn’t tolerant of their misguided understanding, even while he proclaimed that God delivered Christ to them so they’d kill Him (Acts 2:23). Peter’s message was still to repent of their thinking, belief, and actions and follow Jesus.

    To this end, Christians can’t afford to get stuck on secondary issues with people who don’t know Christ as Lord and Savior. Trying to debate the legality or sinfulness of ANYTHING with someone who doesn’t confess Christ and Lord and Savior is pointless, because without the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit in their hearts they simply can’t agree with that which goes against what they want when it comes to what is and isn’t sin. The primary message is communicating Christ’s Lordship over all things, and then we can lovingly look at Scripture as the authority to determine whether actions are sinful or not, while devoting much time to prayer over the people we walk with and the conversations we have about these sensitive issues.

    Reply
  56. Pemberley

    I identify as lesbian and as a Christian. As someone who is part of the “gay” community I can attest to the fact that this debate and the way heterosexual Christians typically frame it is only hurting the witness of the Gospel.

    In response, I always have these things to say:
    1. Holiness is not synonymous with morality.
    2. Stop worrying about what people do in the bedroom so much. Stop thinking about genitalia and start thinking about the people the genitals are attached to.
    3. Before you condemn a bunch of people who mostly aren’t believers, who aren’t going to your church, do your own “house of God” cleaning. Studies show 80% of singles in the church are having sex or have had sex outside of marriage (http://www.relevantmagazine.com/digital-issue/53?page=66). Get your own house in order before you try a fix an entire country.

    Thank you Sarah for your beautiful and encouraging post. It gives me hope.

    Reply
  57. Aaron

    I am also an evangelical Christian that does not want to make same-sex marriage illegal. The government has absolutely no right or cause to make laws about marriage. The marriage ceremony that I was a part of sealed a covenant with my wife and the Lord. I would not be pleased with my church if it performed same sex marriages just like it shouldn’t knowing agree to perform a marriage for anyone openly pursuing sin in their lives. There is an incorrect idea that either everyone should be allowed to marry by the government or there is inequality. The real answer is to reduce the over-reaching arm of the government so that it has no say or interest in marriage and let people live their lives.

    Reply
  58. Rob

    Hi Everyone, I’m happy I found this blog, I’ll be sure to check back. I’m an ‘evangelical’ Christian living in BC myself. I appreciate Mike’s well articulated position, even though I don’t agree. I am grateful Mike made this whole thing a discussion.

    Another thing I liked about Mike was that his contribution was on the topic of the blog, Christ and Culture. Really, this is the issue. How do we Christians do great things for our culture? Mike takes a political approach. Its top down. We’ll fight to make it illegal, and then things will be better for everyone because we won’t be allowing any of that around here.All his points really boil down to that. He did such a fine job, but to skeptics they would read like this:
    -Civilization is Christian based and needs to be to survive
    -Its a matter of justice, we are defending what is right
    -It just makes good sense to be against it
    -We should be defending (past) ways if they were right by whatever means we have
    -We love more by by saying no
    -Homosexuals are “perverted” in more ways than marriage so they are a threat and should not be legitimized in any way
    -It takes them further from the gospel
    -We’re voting for it by remaining silent
    -We are to love God’s ways more than we love people

    I don’t agree with this whole way of thinking. I think Christians have to do their work bottom up. The movie Pay It Forward described it fairly well. You know we make such a deal out of believing the Bible. Then lets look at 1 Corinthians 1 and 2 (yes two chapters, no proof text here). In these passages Paul makes it clear, its a mistake to rely on human power and reasoning, but rather the power of the Gospel lies not in the exercise of political power, but in the power of God’s Holy Spirit working in the hearts of men and women. We are not called to be the one’s who are wise, wealthy and influential, but rather to live out lives transformed by God’s Holy Spirit. Lives that lead others to faith, and by that means to change their values. A homosexual person, like any other, is as far from the Gospel as they are from a Christian who’s faith is a demonstration of the Spirit’s power.

    I was ‘saved’ through the 1970′s Jesus movement, a American cultural phenomenon. Whatever happened to that? I feel abandoned. Now I am beginning to struggle with the label ‘Evangelical’. It used to mean someone who believed in a faith worth sharing. Someone who was conservative in theology and progressive in practice. Now it has become something I no longer recognize, and you know what I’m talking about.

    Anyway, your bookmarked. See you back sometime.

    Reply
  59. Brave.

    Finality: LOVE.

    Reply
  60. I caught this post “late” (which seems to be happening to me lots lately!) – I just submitted a piece to be considered that discusses this same thing, in a similar fashion. It’s a topic I really want to think about and hammer away at my own understanding of, other’s understandings of, and all the real-life implications of. Thank you, Sarah, for sharing your thoughts eloquently, with grace. It’s a challenge. I am going to read through all these comments that have been gathered now.

    Reply
  61. SRH

    Bravo! (Here via Slacktivist, who linked this post today.)

    Reply
  62. John V

    I almost agree.

    I wouldn’t say “I’m an evangelical Christian. And I think same-sex marriage should be legal.” Instead, I would say, ” I’m an evangelical Christian. And I don’t have a problem with same-sex marriage being legal.” There’s a difference between “should be” and “don’t have a problem with”.

    My only other issue with the article is that it refers to Christians who think the bible forbids same sex marriage. While I’m a huge proponent of Christian liberty, and while marriage isn’t a core doctrinal issue in scripture, this isn’t an issue like evolution or end times that allow for multiple viewpoints among believers. The bible is explicitly clear that the only divinely sanctified marriage is 1 man + 1 woman. Scripture isn’t obscure on it at all. It’s pretty clear. As long as Christians understand that “legal marriage” does not equal “biblical marriage”, then this shouldn’t be an issue, though. Most legal marriages in society aren’t biblical marriages, nor is there any Christological or biblical reason they need to be.

    Reply
    • Brian

      John I am 100% with you on that. The bible is black and white clear that homosexuality is a sin in both the Old and New testament and that marriage is clearly defined as between 1 man and 1 woman as echoed by Christ quoting Genesis.

      Sin or not I maintain as you do that our concept of bibilical marriage is not the same as societal legal marriage. If it were then we would be in an uproar of the allowing of divorce so easily in our culture.

      I am from the camp that I won’t campaign to make gay marriage legal but I sure am not going to block its legality or attempt to.

      Reply
      • Kathy

        I appreciate this discussion!…I am wrestling with this now!…I love God and I love all people…I do think that homosexuality is a sin and that like all sinners I want desperately for them to find Christ! That being said, I am not sure that we should force Non-Christians to behave like Christians. (It’s hard enough to get Christians to do that)…Personally I think that some of the fight for equal marriage is an attack on Christianity but perhaps we shouldn’t be engaging them so much on the legal front…Maybe we should just point them to Christ and let him work on them….Not saying we can’t be honest with our stance but I think we all need to search our hearts on how to deal with sinners….Some would call it compromise but I think it is more about staying focused. Not sure, still praying….I know one thing this world needs Jesus desperately :*(

        Reply
  63. Joe

    Awesome and you aren’t alone. I read this recently and thought it was awesome! goo.gl/Xf6wo

    Reply
  64. Delmar Evans

    I pray you seem and trust what’s God final word says about same sex marriage, and lean not on your own understanding or view. God loves you very much and he knows your are a beautiful and smart individual.

    Reply
  65. Anne

    For myself:
    When in doubt, turn to God’s word. Read the prophecies in the Bible. Study, pray and study some more. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide me in everything I think and say. Ask God what it is He wants me to do in my life. Pray and fast. Ask God if it’s His will for me to enter into a love relationship with this person. Question my own motives. Am I driven by physical desires? Am I lusting after something that is harmful to me? Am I influenced by something in the media? Ask God to speak clearly to me then allow my heart to be open to what He’s saying. Pray and cry out, “Lord, I desperately need to hear from you regarding this relationship!” Search scripture. Go back to the beginning. What was God’s created order? What, if any, negative will come from this decision or relationship? Are there health risks?
    How is the human body designed and why? Would it be better for me to remain single?
    Remind myself every single day: It’s dangerous to compromise when it comes to the truth of God’s word. It should guide me in all things. God’s words are absolute and allow no compromise. I need to study scripture and become clear in my own mind on why God destroyed the earth by flood? Why did He destroy Sodom and Gomorrah? Why does He say He will come back and destroy this earth that I live on? And then I need to ask myself everyday: Am I allowing myself to be deceived by Satan because I want my desires to be met and in the ways I think they should be? What does God think about compromise? God warned scripture against another Jesus, gospel, and spirit from Satan, the great deceiver.
    As far as I can read and have been taught, following God and His truth’s is serious business. It’s not about me, what I want, how I feel or what feels right and good to me. Yikes!!! The wages of sin is death. I do not want to take that risk. No way.
    I have sinful desires and yes, I was born that way.
    God loves true obedience. Try it. And never, ever discount God’s power in your life.
    Acts 17:11 says that, Noble men and women search the Scriptures to determine truth and reject all else.
    Discussion is good and the comments are thought provoking but relying solely on another’s opinion or interpretation is foolish and dangerous. Find out for yourself.

    Reply
  66. Anne

    For myself:
    When in doubt, turn to God’s word. Read the prophecies in the Bible. Study, pray and study some more. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide me in everything I think and say. Ask God what it is He wants me to do in my life. Pray and fast. Ask God if it’s His will for me to enter into a love relationship with this person. Question my own motives. Am I driven by physical desires? Am I lusting after something that is harmful to me? Am I influenced by something in the media? Ask God to speak clearly to me then allow my heart to be open to what He’s saying. Pray and cry out, “Lord, I desperately need to hear from you regarding this relationship!” Search scripture. Go back to the beginning. What was God’s created order? What, if any, negative will come from this decision or relationship? Are there health risks?
    How is the human body designed and why? Would it be better for me to remain single?
    Remind myself every single day: It’s dangerous to compromise when it comes to the truth of God’s word. It should guide me in all things. God’s words are absolute and allow no compromise. I need to study scripture and become clear in my own mind on why God destroyed the earth by flood? Why did He destroy Sodom and Gomorrah? Why does He say He will come back and destroy this earth that I live on? And then I need to ask myself everyday: Am I allowing myself to be deceived by Satan because I want my desires to be met and in the ways I think they should be? What does God think about compromise? God warned scripture against another Jesus, gospel, and spirit from Satan, the great deceiver.
    As far as I can read and have been taught, following God and His truth’s is serious business. It’s not about me, what I want, how I feel or what feels right and good to me. Yikes!!! The wages of sin is death. I do not want to take that risk. No way.
    I have sinful desires and yes, I was born that way.
    God loves true obedience. Try it. And never, ever discount God’s power in your life.
    Acts 17:11 says that, Noble men and women search the Scriptures to determine truth and reject all else.
    Discussion is good and the comments are thought provoking but relying solely on another’s opinion or interpretation is foolish and dangerous. Find out for yourself.

    Reply
  67. Tracey

    I would like to offer a bit of a different perspective. I am a Christian, and I have homosexual friends. I love them dearly, but I witness to them in whatever way God shows me every chance I get.

    Romans 1:20 says this: “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.”

    God Himself made sure that every single person on the face of the planet, even in the deepest, darkest, most isolated areas, and having never heard the Gospel, would KNOW that there is a God. This relates to this issue because most, if not all homosexuals would probably admit that innately they KNOW this lifestyle practice is unnatural and even wrong. But because the Church has failed to do its job of standing strong and keeping society in general accountable to the teachings of the Scriptures, most homosexuals have no idea why they are “this way” or what to do about it. That attitude of the Church then progressed to tolerance under the guise of “love”, not willing to risk offense to tell these precious people the TRUTH, which would be REAL love. “Experts” compounded the problem by misinforming the public that you’re “just born that way”. (These same “experts” fail to note that studies of the past 20-30 years indicate that practicing homosexuality leads to physical, emotional and mental issues.) Hence, homosexuals, in an attempt to assuage the guilt, hurt, shame, or whatever, evolved to demanding validation, BECAUSE, if society will validate them by accepting this as another “normal”, then everything will be all right. Really??

    I cannot by any stretch of the imagination believe that Jesus would have validated such a practice. Love them, yes…YES, YES, YES! And he would have acted on that love by DELIVERING them, NOT validating them; for, at the risk of sounding like a flake, homosexuality IS a demonic spirit. And, there are many, many modern day testimonies of homosexuals that have been delivered and set free. Since God is NO respecter of persons, this is available to all. Is this not REAL love, seeing someone set free from such bondage?

    The fall of past societies began with the acceptance of this reprobate lifestyle. It didn’t happen in a month, or a year, or even a few years. But eventually it DID happen. ALL of society is affected when sin is openly flaunted and not kept in check by the Church. My hope is that the Church is waking up to God and walking in the power and authority that Jesus himself gave to us. When homosexuals see the REAL power of God, that is all they will want!

    Reply
    • MC

      “most, if not all homosexuals would probably admit that innately they KNOW this lifestyle practice is unnatural and even wrong” – ask one of your many gay friends?

      Wow lady, I do not believe for one second that you have a single “homosexual” friend. It might be best to get in touch and see if they feel the same way about you. A short conversation with any one of them would clarify some of your delusions about the “lifestyle” but you shouldn’t expect a positive response to your insights.

      Why would they be friends with someone who harboured such dark thoughts about them?

      Reply
  68. huong

    thoughts?
    Below are excerpts from this website
    http://www.gaychristian.net/justins_view.php

    “As many of you know, I’m fairly conservative in my theological views. I believe that the Bible is morally authoritative, that sex is for marriage, and that promiscuity is harmful to everyone involved. For many years of my life, I also believed that all homosexual behavior was wrong – whether it consisted of anonymous hookups or committed relationships. I believed, based on what I had read in the Bible, that even the most loving and monogamous of same-sex relationships was evil in God’s eyes. But as I studied the Bible, my view on that subject changed. I now believe that homosexual behavior is appropriate within the confines of a committed, loving, monogamous, lifelong, Christ-centered relationship. Essentially, I’m arguing that a Christ-centered marriage is a good thing, regardless of the gender of the people involved. ”

    …”For example, adultery is an inherently unloving act. If you were living in a loving way toward your spouse, you’d keep your vow without being told to. Similarly, you wouldn’t murder someone if you loved them, and you wouldn’t steal from someone if you loved them. And if you truly love someone, you don’t covet the things they have; instead, you’re happy for them when good things come their way, not lusting after those things for yourself.

    We could literally go through every single one of God’s commandments and show that each one of them is simply an extension of this basic principle to live a life of servant love. (“Love” here of course doesn’t mean romantic love; it means the deep, abiding, unconditional love that comes from God.)

    But wait – the very definition of the Traditional View says that even when two relationships are equally loving – even when they’re motivated by the exact same selfless desires and the exact same servant hearts – that one of them can be ruled sinful just because of a person’s gender. Traditionalists say that this command is from God. But if it’s from God, then why does it contradict the rule Paul gives us here – a rule that applies to every other commandment?”

    …”But if Jesus is telling us that we’re allowed to break the rules sometimes, what does that mean? Is God getting soft on sin, becoming mellower as the years go on?

    Well, of course not. God detests sin and cannot have anything to do with it. But God also knows, in His infinite wisdom, that mere rules and regulations are not always sufficient to define what is sinful. The specifics of the situation make a huge difference.

    Even we humans can recognize this. Killing another human being, for example, is both a sin and a terrible crime. But there are situations in which we would not hold someone accountable for killing, such as if it was in self-defense. There might even be times we would approve of their actions.”

    …”You see, sin always shows itself. Sin is like the monkey’s paw in W.W. Jacobs’ famous horror story; it promises good things, but it never delivers. We sin because of the good we think we’ll get out of it, but in the end, the negative consequences of our sins always outweigh any positives we could have attained from them.

    If same-sex relationships were sinful, we wouldn’t need theological debates to tell us that; it would be readily apparent from the fruit of those relationships. Indeed, the fruit of many same-sex relationships through history has been bad. Just take a look at how Paul describes the fruit of the Romans’ actions in Romans 1! The same can be said for the secular gay community today; a promiscuous, bar-hopping lifestyle filled with drugs, alcohol, and short-lived relationships bears the fruit of emptiness and despair. After all, modern-day gay culture is famous for its “drama,” isn’t it?

    But if you’re fortunate enough to know a Christ-centered gay couple, you’ll notice something remarkably different. These relationships are actually bearing good fruit. The fruit of the Spirit are in abundance in such relationships – love, joy, peace, patience, and all the rest. You can argue all you want about the meaning of this passage or that passage; the fact remains that I know monogamous, Christ-centered gay couples whose relationships are living proof of God’s blessing on them. Bad trees don’t bear good fruit.

    We may always have questions, but in the end, sometimes we just have to accept the evidence of God’s work as the only proof we need. It was the deciding factor for the early Christians (Acts 11:15-18), and I believe it will one day be the deciding factor for the church on this issue as well.”

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  69. Thank you for articulating what I’ve always been able to articulate. Agreed.

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