So, first off a confession. This really isn’t so much a post about Amendment One-I just knew if I titled it that, I’d get a lot of hits.
This post is though, related to the nature of the discussion surrounding what the Amendment is primarily about…Gay marriage.
First off, calling Christians who have biblical and theological convictions regarding gay marriage ‘hateful and bigoted’ is not beneficial. If Christians speak up on the issue, and voice their support for the said amendment, or speak of their convictions about homosexual marriage…It is called hate speech. Why? Isn’t name calling and false accusations much more hateful than simply stating your convictions and why you believe marriage ought to be between one man and one woman? Look, I believe the Bible defines marriage as one man and one woman. That doesn’t mean I hate gay people. It doesn’t mean I don’t believe gay people in a consenting, monogamous, committed relationship should have no rights.
It simply means what I say it means. I believe God, in the Bible, defines marriage as one man, one woman.
Second, and this is really related to the first. The tone of this discussion must change. Name calling, labeling, demonizing the other side, and lowering arguments to the lowest common denominator is unfair. This is a complicated issue on both sides. To say it isn’t is ridiculous. Whatever our opinions or convictions…whatever good points we have to make…and there are good points on both sides…must be made with respect and love. I think both sides ultimately want what they think is best for America and it’s citizens. Many of us have differing opinions. That doesn’t give us the right to talk down or insult each other. This won’t help either side…it will only serve to further polarize our country on this issue. Which is good for no one.
Third, and this is for you Christians. Only God can change hearts and only God and his Gospel will ultimately save. It is not up to us to save America or the World. Certainly we should preach the Bible in it’s fullness. I believe we should openly talk about the sin of homosexuality…but that isn’t all we should talk about. The Bible speaks of many sins…and many sins that are sexual in nature. Elevating homosexuality to the sin of all sins or the unforgivable sin is not biblical nor is it helpful in light of the current discussion. We are to love our neighbors…all of our neighbors…even our gay neighbors. Oftentimes it seems to me like we are trying to win the culture war by being just as loud or louder than the other side. This isn’t going to win us anything. All it does is plays up to the stereotypes we already have as hate mongers. Constantly telling people what you are against, rather than what you are for…Constantly talking about other peoples sin as opposed to loving people gets us nowhere.
Again, this is not a call to sugar coat sin. But it is a call to remember where our priorities are to be. All things are to be done with love and respect. We don’t have to agree with everyone, but we do have to love everyone…even in their sinfulness. God did that for us, and it is our call as Christians to do the same for others. Ultimately, as I’ve said it is not our job to save anyone. That job belongs solely to God, and He is quite good at it.
Whether this amendment passes or not…people are still going to be gay. If we pass the amendment, yet people continue in their sin, do we count this a win? Instead of using all of our energies on protesting, and trying to change and influence legislation…perhaps we should devote more time to preaching and living the Gospel. Because ultimately the Gospel is the only thing that is going to change anyone.