The Table: Gay Marriage and the Christian Implication

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Welcome to The Table.

Here’s How It Works: Periodically, we pose a thought or question to our staff of writers, and it’s usually tough. Our writers respond, we publish their thoughts, you decide.

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Today’s Thought: Gay Marriage. What is the Christian’s role in all of this?

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Aliza Rosen

Key Thought: ”Why should Christians require non-Christians to adhere to a set of beliefs they don’t believe in?”

Excerpt: “Culturally, we are failing as Christians with reference to exhibiting Christ’s love to all, though. To be effective, we must initially look to the heart and not the action. To soften the heart and teach those who do not believe in Christ about his love is the only true method of conversation regardless of an individual’s choice sins. Christ’s love is attractive, and we shouldn’t make it unattractive by misrepresenting Christ because of our discomfort and prideful agendas. People have been abused, hurt, lost, and turned to negative coping mechanisms, including homosexuality. These people need love, restoration, acceptance and truth to feel vulnerable enough to listen and be heard. Accusation only causes defensiveness, and leaves no room for love.”

Read more from Aliza here.[/box_light]

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Adrian Wilcox

Key Thought: ”Many argue that by supporting same sex marriage, Christians are “enabling” the sinful act. I think that supporting or opposing same sex marriage are equally enabling.”

Excerpt: “I think to legislate moral behavior is counter productive, and often leads to more radical resolves. Outlawing alcohol only gave rise to speakeasies and illegal smuggling. By legislating faith and moral conscience, many European countries only succeeded in removing conscious moral resolve from the public square entirely. Instead, as good Christians, we should strive to win the heart and souls of the lost, including our homosexual brothers and sisters, despite the moral confusion of the masses when it comes to the nature and consequences of all sinful acts, not just the ones we choose to hate more than others.”

Read more from Adrian here.[/box_light]

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Austin Gentry

Key Thought: ”While I am over my head with this topic, I would infer from Scripture that God will help those overcome the struggle with his power as he/she repents and wants to change into God’s design with a humble heart–––realizing that the condition of sin can take you further than you wanted to go without you knowing it.”

Excerpt: “Homosexuals should never feel that they are too far gone, or that they are naturally out of luck. This is not true, for God can save someone and drastically change a depraved heart of egocentricity into the image of His Son. Likewise, though we are born in sin, God gives us Jesus, as a substitute for our sin, so that the world might have the capacity to choose righteousness in Christ. Christians can do nothing but humbly point others to where they have graciously been guided to the cistern that more than satisfied their parched and empty soul.”

Read more from Austin here.[/box_light]

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Cory Copeland

Key Thought: ”The act of marriage was born in the Church, but no longer is that the only place it’s practiced. Since society as a whole sees marriage as the ultimate goal of a relationship, it’s up to us as God-fearing people to assure that we show love and equality to each and every one of God’s creations … ”

Excerpt: “My Christianity and way of life is not threatened by someone who doesn’t practice my same beliefs. So why then would two gay people marrying each other affect anyone else’s marriage? It wouldn’t. Because we Christians are steadfast in our Biblical beliefs, we assume that marriage and its rights should be reserved for those who only fit the Biblical mold of what a marriage should be. But since the separation of Church and State, the Church no longer has a say on what should and should not be allowed in our states. There shouldn’t be a debate as to if homosexuality is a sin or not; the Bible clearly states that it is. But the subject of gay marriage shouldn’t be about religion versus homosexuality, but rather equality versus bigotry.”

Read more from Cory here.[/box_light]

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Matt Wells

Key Thought: ”Perhaps the fight for the sanctity of marriage needs to begin with fighting to keep our own marriages sacred.”

Excerpt: “Marriage is holy and sacred, and yet divorce is just as prevalent among the church going as it is within the rest of society.  Christians are equally as guilty of forgetting how holy marriage is. We are just as guilty of treating marriage as expendable. It’s easy to shift the focus onto what we see wrong in others, so as to remove the focus from the issues which are blatantly apparent within our own lives.”

Read more from Matt here.[/box_light]

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Adam McGregor

Key Thought: ”Our culture needs Christ, not government making laws.”

Excerpt: ”As Christians, I do not believe we should support the government in their efforts to change the definition and meaning of marriage, but again, our main focus should not be on specific laws. We should look to challenge the notion out there that homosexuality is equal to race, but we have to do it through the Gospel, or honestly, it does not matter. It is not our opinion that is being espoused, but it is the command and values of our Heavenly Father through the revealing of His truth through Scripture.”

Read more from Adam here.[/box_light]

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What Are Your Thoughts?

Let us know in the comments below. For now, think about what’s been shared today and formulate your opinions. As Christians, it’s not enough to have opinions about the world–––we have to defend them. If your comments on the website, or Facebook/Twitter are thought-provoking, funny, or good, we’ll include them in a future post.

I am the founder of the Quarterlife movement, curating content by day and running a digital agency by night. I am on this planet to call out vision in others. I love Detroit sports and CrossFit. Connect below via social media or by email: jayson (at) quarterlife.co

  • http://twitter.com/twbtwb Tim Wilson-Brown

    There are many Christians, faithful to Jesus and the Bible, who believe that homosexuality is not a sin. I’m sad that not one of these responses acknowledges that – in fact, many assume that heterosexuality is a core component of the Gospel (it’s not).

    And regardless of your stance on homosexuality itself, there are many lesbian, gay, and bisexual Christians. And it really annoys me when the existence of a marginalised group is ignored – particularly in a conversation that’s about that group!

    Please check your privilege when you write on this topic (i.e. consider people who are not like you, particularly in the attributes you’re discussing).

    • Tommy Copeland

      Sorry Tim, there is no such thing as a gay Christian . The word Christian means to be Christ like, so a person that is willfully sinning by living a homosexual life style is not Christ like or even trying to be Christ like, no matter if they attend church everyday of the week. The Bible clearly points out that homosexuality is a sin. Are we to love gays? That is not even a question for a real Christian, because people who are Christian already loves gays just the same as they do any other sinner.

      • http://twitter.com/twbtwb Tim Wilson-Brown

        Tommy, I could respond to your comment in multiple ways. Which would you like to explore?

        1) It is possible to read the bible faithfully, and come to the conclusion that God says that being gay and / or homosexual behaviour is not a sin.

        2) It is possible to read the bible faithfully, and come to the conclusion that God says that being gay and / or homosexual behaviour, while sinful, is neither unforgiveable nor fundamentally contradictory to living life as a faithful Christian.

        3) If a person believes that homosexual behaviour is an unforgiveable sin, or fundamentally contradictory to living a faithful Christian life, then to be consistent, they need to put other sins in that category: lying, divorce, promiscuity, the charging of interest on loans, gluttony, not providing for the poor, lack of hospitality, and hatred all come to my mind, but they’re just my particular biases.

        4) If a person believes that homosexual behaviour is an unforgiveable sin, or fundamentally contradictory to living a faithful Christian life, then they need to support this from scripture as a whole. (This would, of course, provide a comprehensive list of unforgiveable and anti-faithful sins from the Bible.) Quoting from individual verses usually has the unfortunate effect of focusing the discussion on severely limited portions of scripture. This is not being faithful to scripture – it is being compromised by our own biases, and those of our churches and cultures.

        5) Whatever they believe about human sexuality, the “love” that most Christians show to non-straight people, or people who don’t conform to their gender expectations, is fundamentally different to that shown to other people. (Aren’t we all sinners? Yet gay people are almost always labelled as “sinners” or “the enemy”, but most other people are labelled as “people” or as individuals.)

        6) Whatever those who are giving “love” think love is, it is actually how it is received that matters. It is possible for a person to think they are acting in a loving way, but the person they are “loving” just wishes they would stop.

        I’m happy to continue the conversation on any of these points, but it may help to tackle one at a time.
        If you’d like to share your research, or your background awareness, of the different perspectives on the issue we’re addressing, that would help us both start out on the same page.

        • Tommy Copeland

          Good morning Tim, I would like to respond to the 5 statements you posted: Answer to #1 is NO, #2 The Bible does not say that homosexual behavior is a unforgiveable sin, as a matter of fact it talks about people that were once homosexuals but are now saved in Christ, #3 All sins, no matter what they are, are contradictory to living a Christian life.#4 See the first line of #2, #5(Aren’t we all sinners? Yet gay people are almost always labelled as “sinners” or “the enemy”, but most other people are labelled as “people” or as individuals) This statement tells me a lot about your past experience with “Christians”. First of all Christians or not sinners, I believe your thinking comes from being associated with people that are selling themselves as Christians that are not (the Bible also has a lot to say about that), just because a person attends church and calls themselves a Christian does not make them one, neither does standing behind a pulpit preaching make you a man of God. Being a Christian is not a label Tim, it is a way of life, a life style. We all have opinions, but as Christian the Word of God is the final authority. Anyway, let me give you a few scriptures what the Bible says about the sin of homosexuality, I read the NIV version of the Bible, but you can look these up in the King James also.

          Leviticus 18:22 Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin.

          Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

          I Corinthians 6:9-10 Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

          Romans 1:26-28 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper

          Tim, we are all touched by this sin in someway, I have friends who are gay, I have relatives who gay, friends whose children are gay, but as a Christian I can’t justify there sin and deny what the Word of God says about it just because I love them. I have to pray for them and ask God to give them a desire to not just repent and turn away from homosexuality but from ALL their sins and be filled with his Spirit so that he can help them to live an overcoming life and come into a relationship with him.
          Hope you have a GREAT weekend Buddy !!

          • http://twitter.com/twbtwb Tim Wilson-Brown

            Tommy, I’d like to focus on the Bible, as it appears that we both consider it the authority for the Christian faith.

            But to do the topic of the original post justice, I want to address it quickly:
            7) It is possible to believe homosexuality is a sin, yet support marriage for all people as a civil rights issue.

            Now, I’m reluctant to quote individual verses of scripture, because I believe faithfulness to the Bible involves reading it as a whole. And I’m concerned that swapping proof-texts tends to put the focus on our own biases, rather than the message of God’s word.

            With that proviso:

            Please consider Jesus’ words on love and the law:
            “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
            Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” — Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV)

            Please consider Paul’s perspective on the Old Testament Law, before quoting it on any topic:
            For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” — Galatians 3:10 & 11 (NIV)

            Please consider that the translation of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 has changed in the NIV compared to the KJV:
            “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” — 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (KJV)

            Please consider that it is possible to read Romans 1:26-28 in a strictly literal way. In this reading, Paul is addressing straight people (who naturally desire heterosexual sex), who go against their natural desires and engage in homosexual sex. It then requires some further interpretation to see this passage as addressing gay or bisexual people (who naturally desire homosexual sex), because this natural desire for homosexual sex isn’t mentioned in the passage at all. (And any arguments from the absence of information are notoriously sketchy.) Yet many Christians read this passage, and immediately jump to conclusions about gay people, because of their own traditions or culture – which are not reliable guides to accurate theology.

            Please consider how Jesus treated the homosexuals and bisexuals he interacted with. (And please do some research on Roman sexual practices before telling me that Jesus never interacted with any bisexuals.)

            Please consider Jesus’ words about loving those you disagree with:
            “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. … If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. … But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” — Luke 6:27-28, 32-33, 35-36 (NIV)

            Please consider Jesus’ words about judging others:
            “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. … For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. …
            Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” — Luke 6:37-38, 41-42 (NIV)

            And then consider this:

            My experience, and the experience of others, is with genuine Christians who are clueless about the effects their words and actions have on others. Jesus wasn’t like this.

            What if, when you think are being loving towards people, they experience your words and actions as condemnation and hate? Aren’t you best just to stop until you work it out?