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.