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.