Correction: Gay marriage is not the problem.

*Disclaimer: You know how I hate disclaimers. But after a conversation with my husband  last night (he's so much smarter than I am) I felt the need to reword my title and key statement in yesterday's post. He pointed out that the impression it gave was that I think homosexuality is okay. What I want to make clear is that I think those are symptoms, not the problem.*

For those of you who live under a rock and haven't heard, North Carolina passed an amendment on Tuesday that says: "Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state." I wasn't surprised that it passed, but the 61 to 39 margin was a little shocking.

As I watched the responses on my own Facebook wall I literally felt like I was being torn in a hundred different directions. There were a dozen different statements that I wanted to jump on with Scripture and love and rebuke all rolled into one. I must have typed and deleted twenty times before finally just shutting my laptop and going to bed silent.

I couldn't sleep last night. I laid in bed thinking of all of the implications of the things I had read. The pride with which so many condemn homosexuals. The passion with which they fight to shut down every potential right that a gay American might seek to gain. And the shameless use of Scripture to defend it all.

Yes, Scripture is clear, homosexuality is a sin. So by all means, you Sinless Saints,  pick up your stones. Find one of those despicable fags and bludgeon him with your Scripture. Then step back and tell me what you've gained. Do you feel better? Does shining a spotlight on the sin in someone else's life somehow make you feel like a better Christian? If so, something is wrong with your Christianity.

It doesn't offend me and it doesn't enrage me when I hear about gay couples wanting to be married. Gay marriage is not the problem. It offends me and enrages me when I hear Christian people talking about those gay couples as if they're animals, rather than people. I cannot wrap my mind around what we are possibly seeking to gain by taking people (unbelieving, lost, in need of Christ Jesus as their Savior PEOPLE!) and fighting with all that we have to cram them into a neat little Christian package, when they do not know Christ! 

We cannot expect lost people to uphold Christian standards. Do you know a single gay person who has ceased to be gay just because they aren't allowed to be married? That's ridiculous. Do you know a gay person who has read a sign that said, "God hates fags," or "Homosexuals burn in Hell," and responded with, "I need Jesus!" Seriously?

We say things like, "Love the sinner, hate the sin," but is that what we're living out? Or do we stamp that on our hatred like a bow on a crown of thorns? Our focus shouldn't be on hating their sin, it should be on loving the person. Not just loving them like they're a pitiful, helpless little sinner in need of our mercy. They are no more that than we are, remember?

Love them as a person. Who is trying. To make sense. Of who they are. What they believe. Why they are here. And how all of that can be reconciled together.

A person whose only understanding of Christ may be what you model for them.

Will that be a Jesus who loves them as they are, or a Jesus who will love them only after they X, Y, & Z? 

Will it be the Jesus that you experienced in your lowest, most despicable moments, or the Jesus that you have confined to church buildings and perfect lives?

The problem is not same-sex marriage. The problem is Christian people feeding into the unbelief of this world. Have your convictions, but what are you gaining by shouting them across the interwebs for all to hear? Your friends pat you on the back for your boldness. You get a few "likes" and "shares" and "tweets" and metaphorical gold stars.

Is it worth it? For the gay friend you have who sees your post and makes a mental note: Don't let him know that you struggle with that. Don't go to his church. Don't ask him questions. Keep it bottled up. He won't understand.

You've closed a door. No, you have slammed it. And that is a shame. Christians, we are called to share the love of Christ with all men. All women. All faiths. All colors. All sexual orientations. All vices. All records. All wrongs.

That is so much more important than whether you think same-sex marriage should be legal. We should be ready with open arms, beckoning people to come and hear about the saving grace of our precious Lord Jesus. The same Jesus who dined with prostitutes and tax collectors.

He didn't waste time talking about how much he hated their sin. He loved them. And opened his arms to them. And invited them to come and walk with him, at which point they would find freedom and peace.

I wish we lived in a Christian world. Where everyone followed Christ. And loved Scripture. And walked according to the Word. But that's not our world. Sin is rampant, and the only way to fight against it is by sharing Christ. He's the answer.

So stop wasting time on the secondary stuff. There's nothing wrong with standing up for what you believe in, and asserting the truth of scripture. But there is a right and a wrong way to do that.

Our ultimate goal isn't to have everyone living perfect little Christian lives.

Our ultimate goal is to see hearts surrendered to Christ.

After that happens, He will work out the details, not us.

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 and is filed under ,,,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

5 Responses to “Correction: Gay marriage is not the problem.”

  1. The main problem is not a sinful world who condones and participates in all manner of evil; the problem is a church that steps in along side of the world and declares the deviant to now be normal.

    The judgment is to begin at the house of God and when there are churches promoting not only same sex Marriage but denying the inherent sinfulness of homosexuality, that judgment is long past due.

    The World needs the Gospel and the church needs some tables turned over.

  2. @Luther Wesley

    I agree. There is a lot of re-writing of Scripture going on, and that's never a good thing.

    What I disagree with is our approach to homosexuality. We cannot expect lost people to conform to Christian standards. We should be sharing Christ first. It bothers me very much that homosexuality is treated as the ultimate sin, the one that cannot be overcome or forgiven. That's just not so.

    A church condoning sin is a problem, but so is a church condoning hatred, rejection, and disgust of the sinner. That's not our job. Our job is to point to Christ. Victory over sin comes after we surrender to Him, not before.

  3. I think this is brilliant! I completely agree with you, yet sadly this is an opinion that seems to be lost in the debate. I'm from the UK and we have civil partnerships, and I am happy they exist. But if it becomes marriage I am not going to fight against it, as I'm rather not be known for my perceived 'anti-gay' stance, but my 'pro-love' one.

  4. @Louise

    Louise, what is the general feeling there toward gay marriage? And for the gay population, are civil partnerships enough, or do they continue to fight for marriage? I'm just curious what it's like in a different culture. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  5. @Nikki Weatherford

    There has been a lot of talk about it at church, as something we must fight against. Among the general population it's not as polarising a topic as in the US- a minister wouldn't lose an election over it. The gay community are fighting hard for marriage to be legalised, though individual churches can refuse to perform the ceremony. Though they would have the same rights as with civil partnerships, it's still seen as being unequal to heterosexual marriage.