One Christian’s Perspective

By Amber

Facebook has been abuzz with pictures, quotes and symbols supporting marriage equality. And some have been retaliating by advocating traditional marriage or sharing relevant religious articles. Others have just been engaged in conversations about their beliefs and opinions on the subject.

I’m not here to talk about what the Bible says about homosexuality or to even address non-Christians or those who believe homosexuality is not a sin. I simply want to share a few of my thoughts as a Christian, which I know some will oppose.

I had the opportunity to share my thoughts in a conversation today and what I of course want to say first is that I’m not condemning anyone who disagrees with me. This is just where I am, this isn’t some view I’m trying to bind and I’m not trying to say I have it figured out – I just want to express why so that assumptions aren’t made. Assumptions are easy to make when there isn’t understanding- I’ve done that plenty of times before, unfortunately. And I’ve also been in the midst of Christians who have condemned other Christians for their political beliefs because of misunderstanding.

I don’t believe it is righteous nor sinful to be a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or otherwise as long as we have Christ at the forefront of our mind and are trying to glorify Him the best we know how. And I don’t generally touch on politics because I don’t feel it’s the Christian’s responsibility to do so, especially since it tends to divide over Biblically irrelevant things.

I have no opinion on the legalization of gay marriage.

Here is what I said in a conversation earlier today:

“I think I’m kind of an outsider in the church but I don’t believe it’s a Christian’s job to make sure the government enforces God’s laws. Thankfully the Bible is set up so that it’s clear what pleases God and Christians can follow Him rather than men regardless of government or society. I also don’t believe a bunch of Christians condemning gay marriage is going to convert any gay person. If you aren’t a Christian and you’re gay and you want to get married, fine- that’s not why that person is in danger of the judgment. It’s the fact that they aren’t Christians, and that’s what we should be concerned with first and foremost.”

That pretty much sums it up and since I know I have a tendency to write so much more than I need to, I’m going to try to keep this short. ;)

This isn’t a post on homosexuality in the Bible because every gay person I know, and every same-sex marriage supporter, knows the verses that have been thrown at them for years. Another article on homosexuality as a sin will simply solicit “likes” from (most) Christians and scoffs or protest from those who disagree.

I don’t believe protesting with a traditional marriage symbol on your Facebook profile or a reactive Bible verse or article will touch the heart of an unbelieving homosexual. I think it will breed bitterness and annoyance. Does that mean it’s wrong to do so? I wouldn’t say that. I’ve chosen not to go that route out of conviction, but maybe you have decided to do so out of your own conviction. The question to ask before every decision is ultimately, “why am I doing this?” “where is my heart?” And I can’t know those answers, so I’m not making any judgments.

But here’s part of where I’m coming from: I read an article about a woman who did convert, but it was through sincere friendship and wise self-control on the part of the Christian who reached out to her. In His time, she came to study the Bible on her own, though she had heard those key passages before. In His time and through the love of one who had faith to trust in His timing, she surrendered to Christ as her Savior.

And we know that goes for everyone. Homosexuality is not some especially horrendous sin. An unbeliever is an unbeliever: a person desperately in need of God’s grace. Before we put on Christ, we’re all the same to God: lost, condemned. We know when dealing with anyone else, we put an importance on caring for them genuinely and developing a friendship with them and those who oppose us in this currently hot topic are no exception.

I could also go into the political side of this, but I think that’s a separate post since it requires so much more explaining. Thankfully, I think my quote above provides a general description of my beliefs. You can call it separation of church and state, or libertarianism.

“I am first and foremost…an evangelist. I couldn’t care less about politics…because I believe that if I thought the law could change people’s behavior, I’d become a politician. But only Christ can change the heart.”Rick Warren

As Christians, we know what the Bible says. We want to please Christ and we will always be able to do that, whether our government happens to also align with His will, or whether it opposes it in every way. Let’s just follow Him, make disciples one person at a time and help our brothers and sisters follow Him in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.

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22 thoughts on “One Christian’s Perspective

  1. It seems that this issue is divisive no matter where one stands; even if, like you, one chooses not to take a stand. I’ve heard so many arguments over this issue, I immediately thought of the question: what about gay Christians? You seem to infer that once a gay person converts, God will change their sexuality. There is a growing movement in some churches (and attempted in all) that says we’ve misinterpreted the Bible. Homosexuality is ok. I know a lot of wonderful, loving, Christian people who (no doubt out of love for their gay friends) support homosexual marriages. Are you saying its ok for unbelievers but not believers?

    And here’s the question I’ve been asking myself for the last few days: if a movement succeeded to convince everyone on earth that a certain thing God condemned, like murder, was really not a bad thing, would it matter in the end? Because in the end we all be judged on what God said and not what everybody or anybody else says. If only He would spell it out for us, give us an instructional manual or something so we could know for sure…

    • I know that many Christians believe a person should become heterosexual after conversion. It’s my personal belief that that doesn’t have to be the case. There are several references to Christians becoming eunuchs -celibate- for Christ (Matthew 19:12, 1 Cor. 6:11), and I know a few people like this, whether because of a personal conviction, because of divorce or because of their sexual orientation.
      I have several friends who are Christians that believe homosexuality is not a sin, like you’ve described. I don’t believe that and I do take the traditional view but chose not to go into that here.
      I’m not sure where you stand and what you meant at the end – to me, I think that is definitely the problem: more and more are discarding the Bible as irrelevant or outdated or just very, very offensively wrong and when the majority starts to believe something, it’s so simple to get carried away in it. I’ve been there. But I think the Bible is clear on many big issues. It’s up to us to rely on God to change our hearts and see His eternal truth, which understandably may take a long time for us depending on which issue is being addressed.

      • Also, sorry I missed your point about unbelievers: no, I don’t think gay marriage is acceptable in the sight of God. And I think if a gay couple were to come to Christ, changes would have to be made. My point is that making it illegal won’t change anyone’s heart and isn’t the job of a Christian to decide- our business is teaching Christ and converting souls, then showing them what God’s law says. One who takes part in same-sex marriage and is not a Christian will be held accountable for much more than just their marriage.

  2. Just for the record, I do agree with you. My heart breaks that people are losing sight of the BIG picture, which is eternity… Having grown up a naive traditionalist, I’ve lately (in the past 10 years or so) been drenched in secularism as a bi-vocational minister. I didn’t realize how pervasive the world view was while I was in my “Christian bubble.” You would think, after awhile, I would get used to it and quit walking around slack-jawed at the absurdity of it. The media has been a powerful tool for giving this viewpoint a voice and “normalizing” it, reframing meanings and increasing doubts.

    As for my last question in my previous statement, let me be clearer: this is the question I struggle with as friends and acquaintances embrace an anti-biblical view. Even if everyone on earth banded together and said homosexuality was ok and acceptable (which seems to be the objective of the movement), if all of society was in agreement and approved, would it matter? In the end we won’t answer to anyone but God, for any of our sins. If He said something is wrong, it’s wrong. (This is also true for lying, stealing, gossiping, gluttony, etc). So what response does that require from us?

  3. Very good read, thank you for your thoughts, Amber. I personally choose to engage this issue whenever it is brought before me, but I respect that you abstain from it.

    I’m curious, what is your view on arguing against same-sex marriage from a purely secular standpoint? This is the method I usually employ, right or wrong. I wouldn’t expect a non-Christian, or someone who calls themselves a Christian but continues in their homosexual lifestyle, to give any credence to a Biblically based argument so I tend to stay away from that angle.

    By the way, I’m glad I found this blog and we can’t wait to have you and Thailer back at Gadsden for a visit! I enjoyed Thailer’s sermons and hanging out with you guys at Don Purdy’s house in the afternoon when you were here. God Bless!

    • Oh, haha, I didn’t recognize you! We’ve moved down to Salem, IN but if we’re ever close we’ll have to visit!
      As far as arguing about same-sex marriage from a non-Biblical standpoint (and I can understand your reasoning), I haven’t really found myself in that situation. I think the issue of homosexuality is that God is not pleased with it- that’s my only reason for being against it, so I don’t bother with secular points. I know there are arguments you could make about it being unnatural – I’m curious what sort of experiences you’ve had with others in talking from a non-spiritual standpoint. I was thinking about this today and if everyone already knows all the verses condemning homosexuality, what can we say? I think a better way to go about talking to anyone about coming to Christ is to paint a clearer picture of the gospel. Christ changes hearts, not an arbitrary verse outside of the understanding of His significance. We all have to deny ourselves when we put on Christ, and some deal with heartbreaking circumstances because of that decision. The beauty of the gospel, and the uniqueness of it is that it takes our focus off of this life. Being a Christian isn’t about finding things or people on earth to make you happy, it’s about finding happiness in God and being fulfilled in Him and His promises so much that you surrender to Him, forsaking all of your attachments to this world – whether it’s marriage or children or materialism or success or family or the praise of men or even just safety and health-the gospel is something that millions have run to their torturous death for. The truths that would make anyone willingly do that are radical truths that need to be spoken- and it’s so much more than “this is an abomination to God.” We need to tell the story of Christ and the grace of God before we can hope for any Biblical teaching on homosexuality to have an influence.
      Also, as I’ve been reading a few other articles, I’ve noticed that while many Christians preach truth, they don’t offer solutions aside from “stop it.” A person stuck in such a complex and personal sin needs guidance and again, understanding of the big picture. And they need to know they aren’t alone. Like I said, many have become eunuchs for Christ- including heterosexuals because of divorce or because of personal choice.

  4. Excellent post! I get agitated with Christians that flaunt their support efforts, simply because it doesn’t help those who struggle with this issue. I think many of my Christian friends feel that they are being less of a Christian by not posting their stance on the issue. Love and grace is the only way to reach the lost. I pray that Christians will start to realize that so that we can reach out to those who aren’t in our church bubble.

  5. There have only been a handful of people I’ve gotten into a conversation about it with. One conceded that my points were valid but was stubborn regardless, which I thought was a little disingenuous. I’m not “militaristic” by any means and I usually only engage someone in discussion about it if they have brought it up. I still do my best to be “gentle and meek” whether I’m discussing it from a scriptural standpoint or not.

    My reason for using non-religious arguments on this topic is based on Isa. 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.” God is truth, His ways are true. By that I mean they are good, they are the best ways for all of us. Now, if I’m explaining to a non-Christian why God’s ways are good and true, I can’t very well say “because God said so”. That is circular reasoning to them. But, if I can convey God’s truth in a way that trades on the realities of the world, the nature of man, how things naturally are (what is true), then I can hopefully help in opening them up to see that there is something in their worldview that they have wrong or out-of-whack. Maybe they’ll continue to be stubborn towards the truth. I know they would have been had I told them God doesn’t approve of homosexuality. But, if their hearts can be pricked to the truth, then later when they’re ready and I’ve had time to develop or build on a relationship, let them know that this is God’s truth that he has prescribed for us from the beginning, then maybe they are open to taking Jesus as their savior, whereas hearing that before would have hardened them further to Him.

    Maybe that’s silly, I dunno. I think it can be effective particularly in heated and emotional topics such as same-sex marriage and abortion. Everyone knows “those Christians” are against such things. Perhaps avoiding the religious angle to such topics, for a time, can help to take someone’s guard down and be open to other considerations. That’s my $0.02 :)

    • That’s an interesting point. So, what are your points when discussing homosexuality outside of the Bible? For the record, I think this type of conversation needs to happen more often-I may know where I stand, but I definitely haven’t figured out the best ways to express that productively on some topics. So, I appreciate your input!

  6. Actually it’s looking like I’m about to enter into a discussion with a friend who commented on my FB profile picture.

    The main one I use is to look at why the government has an interest in marriage in the first place. Just asking that question helps in laying the groundwork for the discussion. If you think about it, the only interest the government has in the marriage relationship is the procreation of the nation’s people. Love is not a pre-requisite as far as the government is concerned. When we sign our marriage licenses, we are agreeing to join together, there is nothing said of love being present. So, if government is only interested in procreation, and the man-woman relationship is the only one that performs this function, then that is the only one the government is obliged to approve, support and incentivize. There are more details as the discussion plays out, but that is it in a nutshell.

    Another is to ask the question, where did marriage come from originally? Almost everyone will answer that it is a religious thing. That’s great, so government has adopted and promoted a family structure that has been used and proven for centuries. I would ask then, why is government trying to redefine something that it did not define in the first place? Might seem like a religious argument, but it’s actually a secular argument for the restraint of government power while recognizing the religious origins of marriage. That’s a short and simple one.

    Another is more of a defensive argument to the claim that same-sex marriage is about equality. I ask them, what is unequal about current marriage law? The usual response is homosexuals cannot marry who they love. (See the first point, government doesn’t care who you love.) I also point out heterosexuals cannot marry whoever they love either. I can’t marry my parents, or siblings, or children. I cannot marry a 12 year old. There are plenty of restrictions on marriage, the point is they are applied equally to everyone. There is no inequality in the application of the law. There’s more to this as well, but that’s a snapshot.

    Some others are: Children’s rights: It deprives any adopted children into this union of either a father or a mother, sometimes their biological father or mother. The slippery slope: If marriage is re-defined now on the basis of love or equality, what stops a further re-defining in 40-60 years using the same logic to include unions that today seem preposterous (as same-sex marriage did 60 years ago). The family argument: Traditional families are proven in study after study to be the healthiest environment for not only the married themselves, but the children born of or raised within that marriage.

    On some of these people will take immediate offense to, such as the last few, because they’ll apply them in absolutes rather than in generalities. The slippery slope for example: “You mean because I marry another guy that people will start marrying animals all over the place?” No, I’m not saying that will happen, I’m saying the reasoning used to approve of same-sex marriage is the same reasoning that would be used to approve of those such unions as well as various others. If the reasoning is faulty, it follows that the conclusion is faulty.

    Okay, I’ve been typing too long. Hope this helps.

    • Well, my reply disappeared! :( Anyway, since I haven’t been convicted on the secular aspect before, I’ve never really given thought to the points you’ve brought up. I’ll definitely have to chew on this.

      I can see how approaching it from that angle might allow for a calmer discussion but I’m not sure I’d be convinced with those points alone.

      I really appreciate this, and I am going to think about it some more- and probably check out the discussion going on with your profile pic. Thanks so much!

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  9. While, as a Christian, I certainly agree that government cannot change hearts, it will reflect the hearts of the majority in a society. What should be society’s attitude toward homosexuality? We should help our children avoid a lifestyle of sinful behavior? God doesn’t judge people for their “orientation” or “tendencies”. He loves everyone. He will with every temptation provide a way of escape, whether it is adultery, marrying a non-believer, marrying a close relative, having pre-marital relations, or any other sexual sin. We should teach and live lifestyles that honor God and this will be reflected by our government if we have a Republic.

    • I absolutely agree. I guess my point is that our only interest in government as portrayed by the New Testament is to obey it as long as it isn’t asking us to sin against God. The Roman government was corrupt and persecuted Christians, yet the New Testament writers don’t petition Christians to fight back or try to change it. It is irrelevant. What is important, like you’ve aptly said, is to follow Christ and to bring our children up in Him, to go out in the world, teaching Christ to others personally, sincerely and with fervent love.

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  11. Good reminder that the New Testament writers didn’t encourage the early church to fight against Rome but to wholeheartedly follow Christ in every day life. Jesus wasn’t out for a political revolution but a heart-change in our relationship with God. Brave of you to wade into these controversial waters when you can be bashed from every side.

  12. I absolutely loved your response to Tlhumphries! That sums it up for me. The world can do whatever it wants, but it doesn’t change God’s standards. Bashing homosexuals won’t change them, if anything it makes them more resistant to God because of the hate emanating from so-called Christians. Homosexuality is wrong, but murder and gossip and pre-marital sex are wrong too. Sometimes we’ve just got to get off our Christian high horse and realize the only difference between us and them, is the receiving of God’s forgiveness and grace.

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