Christ and Same-Sex Marriage
The world is different today than it was when I was a child. The hardships we’ve come through have shaped and changed the world for better and for worse. There is hope where there was once desperation. There is peace where there was once storm. Yet, even still the winds of change and undertow pulling at our culture can maroon the best of us and can leave us treading shark invested waters. The how and why and even when of sinking comes from our own interactions and focus. In a world where love is ambiguous, the belief that we hold fast to the hope of a true unwavering unconditional love is all the more needed and explored.
Love and commitment. These are words that describe truth and choice. Love is choice. I choose every day to wake up and stay married and in love with my wife. My commitment is made true by me choosing to honor vows that I made on our wedding day. For the LGBTQ community this is equally true. Love is a choice. Commitment exists. I will not dispute the idea that a man can love another man or that a woman can love another woman. I will also not deny the fact that there can be emotional, physical, and mental attractions at work. The Bible records accounts of people “giving themselves over to their own desires”. In this specific text it references that men and women had focused their sexual attentions toward others of the same sex. It’s also obvious from the text that the city we know as Sodom was overrun with immorality and crime. This doesn’t sound like the type of monogamous same-sex relationship I see calling for rights to marriage, however the Bible does consistently speak of homosexuality being out of the original plan God set in motion.
The Bible calls us all to a place of love and companionship. God Himself remarks that it’s not good for man to be alone in the creation accounts of Genesis and thus he creates Eve for Adam. Yet that’s not really what we’re talking about is it? Our debates are coming down to one topic…
Marriage. What is it about marriage that makes this so difficult? One thing is for sure. Christians have no time to ignore this question and no excuse to ignore it it. We are called to be love. We are to be known by the love we have found in Jesus. This means diving head first with love and grace into this conversation. To hold signs and rallies dehumanizing those in the LGBTQ community is unbiblical. To use phrases like “that’s gay” to describe something in a negative or derogatory term is to paint a picture of hate towards a group of people that have just as many questions about God and life as heterosexual people do. Christians must not be known for what we are against. We must be known for what we are for. We are for love. That means we must handle these questions all the more cautiously, not so that we don’t take a stance for truth, but so that we can focus on the people behind the issue and truly show love and hope for all.
The Bible gives, what I believe to be, the framework for marriage. In the Genesis account we find God uniting a man and a woman. There is something specific in this relationship that I believe is different and defining for marriage. When God created mankind he looked around and said that all that He had created was very good. He then tasked Adam to have dominion over all of that creation. Yet, when He saw Adam, He decided that He would create a “helpmate” for Adam. From Adam’s rib was created Eve. They are then commanded by God to “be fruitful and multiply”. Procreation. The distinct ability that Adam and Eve had to procreate is what I believe separates biblical marriage from the union of any two human beings.
It is this same thinking that leads Sean McDowell and John Stonestreet to write their book Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach To God’s Design For Marriage. It’s out of a heart of love and understanding of people and biblical truth that they carefully handle these topics. They come out of the gate letting readers know that the don’t believe LGBTQ is the design God intended when He created us. They spend as much time talking about how we should love and care for all people as they give a biblically-based apologetic towards homosexuality.
The authors aim is to give a clear understanding of what the Bible teaches concerning homosexuality. They do this quickly while then spending the majority of it’s time in a very practical manner asking: “So, how should we respond?”
I’m more and more keenly aware that the world my children will grow up will be different than the one in which I have. What the future looks like to me is unclear, what I can say is that for my family will be known for love. I personally believe that homosexuality is outside of God’s plan for us. I also believe that His love for all is the overwhelming ethic of how we are to live our lives. I may disagree with someones choices, but I will not be known for my disagreements. I will instead choose to be known for love. There it is again, that having to choose love.
How will you choose?