There should be no confusion or uncertainty as to the conviction of believers in Christ and the issue of gay marriage. Does this mean that there is no such thing as a Christian who is gay? We passed Proposition 2 in Florida. Conservatives passed Proposition 8 in California–this done in direct conflict with its earlier Supreme Court ruling. Now, it seems Connecticut will be the new player to join its neighbor, Massachusetts, in allowing gay marriages.
On ABC Nightly News tonight, the camera focused on what seems to be two body-builders in a side-by-side embrace as they were in prayer. The cleric conducting the wedding ceremony was standing beside them. I may have been misunderstanding the video, but I think not.
In fact, I have two friends, from two different states, who claim to be both Christian and homosexual. Both of them are in relationships with other guys. I’ve even heard some of the arguments used as they interpret the Scripture (or tear it down) in order for it to line up with their convictions.
It is backwards to form an opinion and then look for evidence to support it. For example, I would be doing science poorly if I were to deny global warming and then seek out evidence to support my decision. Or I could believe that we are leaving a greater carbon footprint and destroying our planet and then seek out evidence to support my decision. The only fair way to form a conviction is to know the data and then to form a conclusion accordingly.
When it comes to morality and conviction about gay marriage, the Christian is, however, bound to Scripture. It is Scripture that speaks and the Christian who obeys it. If a soldier does not obey his commanding officer, he is not able to call his superior his officer anymore, even if he pays him lip service. In reality, there are several consequences awaiting such a soldier. And the day will come when he will be exposed for the rogue that he is, and it will be dealt with accordingly.
If I were to guess which passages of Scripture are the most offensive to American society today, and, therefore, the ones that we choose to ignore, I would say that there are two at the top. It must be stated that both, number one and number two, are passages which deal with marriage. I believe marriage is the biggest teacher of Theology that God has established. (More on this in a future post)
I. Scripture passage number one that people have little affection for:
Matthew 5:31“It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery. Commentary on the Matthew 5 passage
II. Scripture passage number two that people have little affection for, especially in California and such:
Romans 1:26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Gospel.com treats this issue very openly and honestly here.
What I would say as commentary of my own is simple. It is not theologically complicated. I have other posts where someone pointed out that the problem with theologians is looking too deeply into something to the point of distortion. I responded that distorted viewpoints come from not looking deeply enough. From Christ’s sermon on the hillside to a group of townspeople, he was not speaking above their heads anymore than our own. So, similarly on this issue, I will not respond as a theologian or a philosopher. I am a house-painter by trade, so I will comment on gay marriage as a Christian house painter:
For the rich man who does not tithe, his issue is lust. For the man who has divorced his faithful wife, his issue is lust. For the homosexual who insists on obeying those impulses, his issue is lust. The issue is not whether or not Scripture can be trusted as authoritative to believers or whether or not Scripture is popular or keeps up with current cultural mood, or whether or not we are looking too deeply at it, the issue is idolatry. It is an idol for me to put anything ahead of total surrender of all of my rights and affections to Christ. The idol for the stingy rich guy is his wealth. The idol for the lusty husband is his wandering eyes. The idol for my gay friends who claim to be Christians is homosexuality.
Now, I don’t claim to be less sinful than any Christian who is having gay sex, but I am less deceitful about it. If the Holy Spirit illumines a sin in the life of a Christian, we are taught to confess it as such and as the saying goes, “nail it to the cross.” The double sin for my homosexual friends is not that they seek marriage vows, but that they do not seek the cross.
The verses just before the Romans passage already quoted says this:
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. . .