Same Sex Marriage? The Bible? And Living in Culture.
No doubt the airwaves have been filled to the brim with the controversial Same Sex marriage comments floating through politics, business leaders, and the water cooler at work. It's a subject we've danced around for years, but will be THE issue; not merely in society, but in the whole of the Church at large.
Some will frame Same Sex marriage as a right in society and cry discrimination from a social structure only giving advantages to hetero marriages.
Others will protest the moral fabric of a Judeo/Christian nation eroding into the abyss.
I realize, even by writing on such a controversial issue, I've chosen to set myself up for angry e-mails from one side, and theological purity on the other. But before we start throwing stones at each other, maybe there's a way to frame this conversation in light of what Jesus asked us to do.
First, this is an A-Political conversation. I'm not interested in making this about political sides, as we know Politics Solves Little to NOTHING! I know the President's recent comments were the centrifuge throwing all sorts of wonder into the culture, but let's be honest; The President of the United States has a few more things to do than sit around dictate what marriage looks like. I'm not impressed.
Secondly, this blog is about how to live in a world and remain true to following Jesus. It's not about the theological discourse mounting verse upon verse to justify one side or another. It's not about the judgment of humanity, I think that's God's Job. It's not about rules of Christian living, I think that's kind of a cop out for control. And it's certainly not about any organized religious organization or their views of general religiosity.
This is a place where level headed people can talk, exchange ideas, and try as best we know how to follow Jesus in the historical place in time we've been given. We have the Bible. We have the Spirit. We have our communities of faith. And We have thousands of years of fellow faith followers who set precident for us to know how to act. We MUST count them all.
Third, this isn't a place to call people names. In order to have a level headed discussion, we can share ideas, disagree, even adamantly think someone has an opinion off the reservation; but to hold true to respecting people, and debating ideas must be at the core of conversation. If we don't respect people, then we need to go back to Matthew 22:37-40 again and start at the beginning.
So on to the issue at hand...
What's with all the talk about Same Sex Marriage? And What would Jesus do?
I think Tim Keller Got it right in this short video. Watch first, and then let's move on.
From a person following Jesus, the point isn't to cast a stone of judgement towards sin, but to always be in the middle of a self evaluation. It isn't homosexuality that sends someone to hell, but rather; the greater question at large is the self righteousness accompanying ANY kind of sin keeping ourselves at the center of salvation. For some it's the obvious keeping or not keeping of the law. But for many, and even Jesus spoke loudly against this, the self righteousness of our own spiritual architecture condemns us already.
It's only God who has the right to save, not man.
And if by any chance you think hetero sexual marriages have the sinlessness figured out, just look at the overwhelming number of divorces, adultery cases, lying, cheating, and idol worship inside the walls of traditional marriage. How can anyone speak to the validity of traditional marriage when Christians have the MOST marriage counselors, the MOST marriage seminars, the MOST help from people claiming to be experts. What gives? It reminds me of the speck and the plank example Jesus told in Matthew 7:3-5.
As followers of Jesus, I think we need to be careful first to learn how to love people.
Jesus' examples pile high in the discourse of the gospel as restoration comes only by love.
The woman at the well.
The man at the pool of Bethesda.
The woman who touched his garment.
The disciples themselves were no real bunch of righteousness.
The woman caught in adultery.
The sinners who sat for hours listening to the sermon on the mount.
His feeding of 5K
Certainly God knew the sin in my life and decided to go ahead and take a chance on loving me. In spite of all the times He knew I would disappoint Him, and those around me, God took it upon Himself to risk the chance of loving me into His Kingdom. (John 3:16-17)
As we battle out the rights and wrongs of morality in a culture of plurality, let's not forget the chief goal at hand is to Love God, and Love Others...PERIOD! (no qualifiers there)
What say you?