Is “Sexy Christianity” Really Sexy?

If you’re a believer and you’re reading this on your Macbook Air, throw a hand in the air.

You’re probably a sexy Christian.

Well, hold on. I meant that you probably subscribe to this sect of Christianity that’s called “sexy Christianity.” Maybe that was the wrong way to put it, but as we are made in God’s image and he is the perfection of beauty (Psalm 50:2, ESV), it might be accurate nonetheless.

If you’re a trend-follower on social media, there’s a chance you’ve seen this post. It’s been making the rounds from internet town to internet town, but I want to take another look. And again, for emphasis: This is just another look. It’s not a stern rebuking or a tongue-lashing worthy of a band of picketers against unity; I simply want to dive into the world of sexy Christianity and poke around a little bit.

Macbook Air or not, I probably found you in the midst of poking around. You’re a part of this sexy Christianity, which is described as follows by the author, Kyle Donn:

My generation of believers loves the idea of radical Christianity. It’s edgy, compromises everything, it’s dangerously transparent, and it’s simple. Phrases like “I just want Jesus” are its slogan – its very breath. Verses are tattooed on our backs, and Greek words are penned into our wrists and biceps. Our sweatshop-free clothes are ripped and dirty. Our coffee is fair-trade. Our books are doctrine-heavy and well worn. And maybe we’ll even have a drink or a cigar here and there over a deep theological conversation. Today, most of us have made our pilgrimage to an African orphanage or held the hand of the dying somewhere in the third-world. We are not like our parents – who worry themselves that our bold-faith is going to leave us homeless and maybe dead.

Do you see yourself in that? Despite my lack of excitement for tattoos or TOMS shoes, I know two things: This is me… and there’s a good chance it’s you as well.

That’s okay.

We’re all world changers. The brands we love and causes we stand for drive us to action because God’s love compels us. We would likely rather die than see another child go waterless in Uganda. That’s okay. We come in different shapes, shoes, and sizes, with different causes, creeds, and capacities. And Kyle is right, “When a believer is more interested in the idea of loving Jesus than actually loving Jesus, then that is not Christianity.” But sexy Christianity isn’t sexy, just like antiquated Christianity isn’t antiquated. Christianity is Jesus. It’s the rock. And yes, this may be a simple, tattoo-worthy message, but it’s the truth. Christianity isn’t defined by who we are, but who God is. When we start moving the compass needle off of ourselves and onto Jesus, this no longer becomes a heart issue. His next sentence says:

And we ought to wage a war of wrath upon it – mortifying, dismembering, and crucifying it, and then putting it in a tomb where it belongs.

The belief that sexy Christianity needs to be dismembered is only a lack of understanding. Again, sexy Christianity is just plain normal Christianity. The second we begin to iterate and denominate who is doing what and wearing what, unity evaporates. God is not sitting in some massive courtroom, gavel in hand, waiting to tell the hipster that he’s less adored than the man in the blank sweatshirt. Clothes don’t matter! God’s favor doesn’t fall solely on the man in the blank sweatshirt just because he wears nondescript clothes and doesn’t tell anybody about it. Jesus says, “Come!”

Come if you’re wearing skinny jeans. Come if you’re wearing no jeans. Come if you love Starbucks or fair-trade or your own brew. Come if you like brewing beer. You are who you are and God has called you to dance down to the water and take a drink.

Radical Christianity isn’t going out of style, because it isn’t radical, it’s normal. Radical might be a buzzword (and that will die), but it only exists because we struggled to quantify it when this mold of living rolled onto the scene. Just like generations past had their own way of doing things, so do we. This Christianity thing has been around for thousands of years and we are just the latest manifestation of Jesus’ love to the world.

You are who you are.

You are living in a world that is unlike 50 years ago, or 500 years ago for that matter. You were created at this very time for a very specific purpose (Esther 4:14). You will glorify God more while on this earth than at any other time in human history. This Jesus you love and His Christianity thereafter is not going out of style, and neither are you. Sure, we’ll change with our surroundings–––I’ve said “y’all” more times during my time in Florida than I ever did in the north–––but we’ve come to expect the evolution of our hearts and minds.

Take me, for example. I wasn’t a very great person for awhile, but slowly, Jesus let the temporal crumble. I was a man who couldn’t name the Gospels, for crying out loud! And now look: I founded this very outlet and later its’ sister. I walk with a massive group of college students on a weekly basis… and I hated churchy college gatherings! Hashtag, redeemer. Hashtag, blessed. If you’re an instagramming, homosexual-loving, bring-the-fire type of Christian, know this:

“Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish.”

That’s a quote from author John Jakes, and besides the literal authorial meaning, isn’t that what we’re going for? To be who you are, fully in Christ, letting God shine through all of it? Yes. Yes, that’s what we’re called to be.

God doesn’t want cookie-cutter lovers with no heart and soul. He wants you. Every piece of you, every flaw. So run to him. Take your cultural relevance with you, because you’ll need it. Just like bikers reach bikers best and you reach those in your circle best, God will you use in any condition. All you have to do is run.

Waiting in Purpose

There is nothing harder for me than waiting. In a world of point-and-click, instant gratification, it’s hard not to expect everything to be accomplished in minutes or shipped overnight.

Lately, I have found myself waiting often, and slowly discovering the joy in doing so.

 

THE PREGNANCIES

My wife and I are currently expecting our second child (can’t wait to meet my baby boy, Bond), and those close to us know that her pregnancies have been rough. Morning sickness (Which is a horribly misleading word by the way. A better term would be “all-day, everyday sickness.”) is no stranger in our house. During her first pregnancy, we spent a couple weeks in the hospital because of her dehydration. The employees knew us well, and they often greeted me during my midnight caffeine runs with a friendly, unbelieving, “You’re still here?”. Though the second pregnancy has been better than the first, I still find myself wishing we could just have our baby tomorrow.

Then I have an evening with my little sixteen month old princess, Bella. My time with her reminds me to cherish every minute and not be so eager for everything to progress and change.

 

THE SCHOOLING

In the midst of work, a pregnant wife, and raising our baby girl, I am also attending seminary. Again, my mind is continually full of thoughts about it just being done. Meanwhile, the classes have challenged and stretched me, the people I am meeting have been an amazing encouragement, and the time is actually flying by.

 

THE LORD

And here lies my worst impatience.

Our God is a God of rest, and yet I often find myself frustrated and asking why I can’t just know. Why can’t I know what the next step is? Why can’t I know how He will work out the bills? Why can’t I know what the future holds?

I have been so all-consumed by my own impatience, that I have often missed the peace of waiting on the Lord. The God who releases us from the worry and stress of success, and into the peace of His will.

The joy of serving a God whose yoke is easy, and whose burden is light, is the realization that I am only called to strive to glorify Him and He will handle what succeeds.

I once heard it asked, “Can God trust you with His silence?” This question stuck with me, and has constantly can back into my mind during times of impatience. The question is really about whether or not you have the faith to wait on the Lord. Have you reached a point in your relationship with God that you don’t need an immediate answer to know that He is in control?

 

THE PURPOSE

Waiting is difficult, but often it is in the waiting that memories are created, lessons are learned, friendships are made, peace can be found, and God is ever present in the gentle whisper.

[alert style=”success”] Sound Off: What’s one area that you are finding difficult to wait in this season? Let us know in the comments below. [/alert]

Environmentally Conscious Christianity

Photo: Tom Bech

In the Beginning…”

Three simple words begin one of the most influential and controversial books in history.  Just the mere mention of these three words will cause some to become excited, some defensive, and others to shut down.  Wars have been fought over their implications, families and friends have been divided by their understanding, and churches throughout history have been torn apart over their debate.

The Bible has been at the center of many conflicts.  History has been shaped, and often disrupted, by what different people believe the Bible is saying.  However, somewhere in the midst of all the arguing, much of the Christian community has neglected to start the conversation where it should, in the beginning.

[divider]

The first two chapters of Genesis speak of how creation began.  These two chapters serve as the opening to our understanding of God, our planet, each other, and ourselves.  Both chapters are loaded with deep implications for what it means to live the life God intends.  Neglecting the importance of Genesis one and two creates many misconceptions.  Where you believe a story begins, will shape what the story you are telling even is; often times, the Church begins its understanding of the Christian message by starting in Genesis three.

Chapter three of Genesis speaks of mankind’s rebellion against God; it is the introduction of sin.  When we begin the story in Genesis three, our message becomes about the removal of sin, and salvation becomes reduced to nothing more than an answer to how one avoids Hell.  However, salvation is about more than just a ticket to Heaven.  Salvation is the answer to everything, and the introduction of a new creation that is bursting forth, here and now, and reconciling the world with God’s peace.

Christianity is God working through us, by the same power that brought the world into existence and raised Jesus from the grave (Romans 8:11), to bring about His plan to reconcile us with Him, His creation, and humanity as a whole.  To begin to grasp this, we must start with an understanding of how God intended things to be.  We must start “in the beginning.”

Though recently there has been a shift in focus, environmental issues have typically been ignored by the Church.  Any conversations about environmental issues, such as global warming, have been passed off as either myth or of no importance.  The focus placed on evangelistic efforts has made the argument that anything outside of one’s eternal security is not worth the attention of Church efforts.  However, in a view of Christianity that begins in Genesis one and two, there is a drastically different understanding of our world that needs to be discovered.

[divider]

In the Beginning, man was created in a garden.

In the second chapter of Genesis, during the account of man’s creation, it says,

[quote]“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”[/quote]

–Genesis 2:15 (NIV)

One of God’s plans for mankind is that mankind should care for the world we have been placed in.  There is a vital need for the Church to reclaim an understanding of God’s way as one that includes the proper care and ordering of our world.

The exploitation of our planet is a deeply spiritual issue, which is rooted all the way back to our very creation.

There are drastic implications to our ignoring the issues that continue to weigh upon creation itself.  Millions face starvation and death as a result of climate patterns, which are the direct result of the abuse of nature and the environment.

There are people suffering because of those who feel entitled to treat the planet as their own, personal source of need fulfillment.

This is not the proper care for God’s garden.

[divider]

Mankind has taken God’s blessing to “rule the earth and subdue it”(Genesis 1:28) and abused it to become power-hungry dictators attempting to reign over creation as THEIR kingdom, rather than using our God-given authority to order creation in such a way that no one is left in need.

With a Genesis one and two understanding of our world, poverty is no longer an abstract idea, but the direct result of our neglect to care for and order our world through the use of a self-sacrificing love.

There is no excuse for many to be suffering and starving while a few have excess.

[divider]

It is time that the Church reclaims its God-instilled responsibility to care for the creation it has been blessed with.  It is time that the environmental issues plaguing our world be understood as an offspring of the selfish nature which drives us from being what we were created to be; the same selfishness, apparent in Genesis three, which resulted in mankind’s original rebellion from God’s plan for creation.

Our world must no longer be seen as a temporary holding place (from which we wait to evacuate), but as a blessing that is the bararight[1] of all mankind to share.

It is time to reconcile with the planet itself, care for it, and properly partake in a way that is better for everyone and everything.

It is time that we see a more environmentally conscious Christianity as an aspect of taking part in the Kingdom of God today.

[divider]

[1] “Bara” is the Hebrew word, used in Genesis one and two, which means “to create.” It is the word used to speak of God’s “creating” the world and man from nothing.  Its implication is that “something” is brought into existence where there was only “nothing” before.  I use the term “bararight’, because mankind’s role in creation is not something we are born into; it is a privilege, honor, and responsibility that is derived from the very beginning of time.  It is not something we deserve, but “something” placed (created) within us, by God, from “nothing” we were or have done.

His Weekly Word: Christian Activity

Photo: heartfeltmusic.org

How often do we go on mission trips?

Go to church because we are Christians? Tithe to a church because we know it's a biblical commandment? How often do we date someone because they are a Christian also? Go to a Christian college and upon acceptance claim that God led us there? [divider] We go to church functions, board meetings, take on positions as elders and

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deacons because we are Christians. We like to do cute things–––like give up chocolate for Lent–––making some trivial sacrifice that has nothing to do with bringing us closer to God.

What if there is supposed to be more to our decision making?

What if I told you these things are…

1. Completely worthless without a daily walk with God, and, 2.

Pointless without a confirmation from God that you are actually supposed to do it.

You see, all of the things above are great and definitely have their place… but WHY? Why are we doing them? Did we get a word from God

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about doing this or participating in that? Sometimes, it just “feels” like the right thing to do in order to tell ourselves we are good Christians that serve the Lord. This walk is about

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Jesus and obeying Him when He puts something before us. How insulting must it be when Jesus has a great plan for us (Jeremiah

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29:11)–––a plan to give us a future and hope–––and yet we decide to do something else. Then, as if it wasn't bad enough, we claim that it's for the Lord! To put it plainly, that's called disobedience. [divider] Now

I will be the first to admit, I'm guilty of this more often than not. See, we think all this Christian activity is what this life is all about, but the Word says differently:

“Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?” Matthew 7:21-22

We have to seek Him daily.

“But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added

unto you.” –Matthew 6:33

And ask Him what His will is for our lives.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” –Matthew 7:7

We must know Him above our

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Christian activity.

“I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” –Hosea 6:6

We must know Him in every aspect of life and He will direct us.

“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” –Proverbs 3:6

[box_help]Sound Off: What are your thoughts on “Christian activity”? Pointless, meaningless, meaningful? Let us know in the comments.[/box_help]

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Christian Leaders Packing a Punch on Twitter

Photo courtesy of Awaken Generation.

From the New York Times.

[box_light]

Why are some tweets more popular than others?

When a Twitter staff member set out to answer that question 10 months ago, he thought the answer would emerge among posts from N.B.A. players, politicians or actors. Instead, he found a mystery: a set of messages that were ricocheting around Twitter, being forwarded and responded to at a rate that was off the charts.

“They were punching way above their weight,” said Robin Sloan, who discovered the anomaly but did not recognize the names behind the tweets.

Joyce Meyer, Max Lucado and Andy Stanley were not well known inside Twitter’s offices. But they had all built loyal ranks of followers well beyond their social networks — they were evangelical Christian leaders whose inspirational messages of God’s love perform about 30 times as well as Twitter messages from pop culture powerhouses like Lady Gaga.

[/box_light]

You can read the entire article here. It’s pretty incredible to see the reach of Christian thought on Twitter. Certainly, the message is more uplifting… take a look:

The Table: Gay Marriage (Adam McGregor)

The Table

This is a huge subject to cover, especially when talking about it through a Christian perspective. Where to start and where to end is very complicated.

First and foremost, as Christians, we cannot approach this subject as if being homosexual, lesbian, etc. is any worse or more unforgivable to God than any other sin. Simply put, sin is sin. Now, sexual sin in general (and in any form–––including pornography, infidelity, and the like), certainly can be seen as one of the most destructive, if not the most destructive of sins compared to some. Nevertheless, sin is sin and we will all be held accountable on the day of Judgement. Only with the blood of Christ covering us shall any human being be given an abundance of grace by receiving eternal life. In our personal lives, we must love everyone deeply as Christ loved, but we cannot agree or support the gay lifestyle. We must love the person and lead them to the Gospel, but we cannot condone the lifestyle.

Personally, I have no idea why the federal government is getting their noses into this topic. President Obama has every right to believe the way he does and I do appreciate him not making it an issue (to the point that he feels there needs to be a constitutional amendment for it). I also appreciate the fact that he is allowing state sovereignty on this issue.

What is sad about this whole issue is that it reveals the moral degradation of our culture. No matter what way the issue falls or how the government (whether federal or state) decides to go with it, it does not really matter on a grand scale. Only through the power of Gospel and working of the Holy Spirit on an individual’s life can someone truly change their lifestyle or change the way one thinks, especially with this issue. Our culture needs Christ, not government making laws.

With that said, some states do allow for civil unions to take place, but even that is not enough. I believe this issue is not about what technical rights someone may have, but this is about a group of people wanting to be accepted into the culture as normal and natural.

Similar to abortion, when an issue is made into law, there typically is a culture shift in opinions on the issue. Since abortion was made legal, it seems, especially over time, more and more people tend to think abortion is simply a necessary (and at times unfortunate) right of women. If gay marriage were to pass, particularly on a federal level, I believe the same type of culture shift would occur. I do not personally support gay marriage, but I could see an argument to be made for allowing civil unions when it comes to benefits and the like. Again, that will never be enough for most–––this argument has been made into an equality argument, as if gay rights are equal to the civil rights movement of the 60s.

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. I do not believe this issue will affect the election very much, seeing as most people who adamantly support gay marriage are typically progressives (and vice versa).

President Obama, in my opinion, is simply using gay marriage as an election tool. I think the most pivotal issues will be about the economy including taxes, gas prices, stimulus packages and the like. The wars we are in and will potentially enter into will also be large I am sure. The big moral issues that will come about will be in regards to social justice with the economy, especially in Christian circles.

The Table: Gay Marriage and the Christian Implication

The Table

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.

[divider]

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

[box_light]

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]

[divider]

[box_light]

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]

[divider]

[box_light]

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]

[divider]

[box_light]

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]

[divider]

[box_light]

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]

[divider]

[divider]

[box_light]

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]

[divider]

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.

The Table: Gay Marriage (Matt Wells)

The Table

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and 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, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Matthew 7:1-5 (NIV)

“The Sanctity of Marriage”

I hear this term thrown around a lot in light of the debate over Gay Marriage. We are continually reminded that we must fight to protect the sanctity of marriage. Yet, I feel that, as Christians, we need to take a step back from the argument surrounding gay marriage, and really examine what the “sanctity” of marriage means.

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.

Perhaps it’s time we begin paying attention to the plank that is protruding from our own eye (instead of nocking people in the head with it), while we make a show of the sawdust in the eyes of others.

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

The Table: Gay Marriage (Cory Copeland)

The Table

Much has been said about gay marriage over the past week. Anger, resentment, and foul words have been yelled, typed, tweeted, and felt. And right in the middle of all of it has been we Christians. Because of our deep dedication to the Church and its ways, most of our saints have taken gay marriage as a personal affront to them and their faith. They’re intentions are good—they want to keep this world on the straight and narrow—but the way they handle the situation is something to be questioned.

Most Christians believe that if the United States allows homosexuals to get married, then the very fabric this country was built on will become tarnished and worthless. And while I understand where their line of thinking originates, I can’t help but disagree.

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.

If the Civil Rights Movement taught us anything, it’s that each and every person who is a citizen of this country is due equal rights. So why shouldn’t the same mindset be acceptable when addressing gay marriage? If someone is a rightful citizen of this country, they should be allowed the same rights as every other citizen; that, of course, should include being able to marry someone of the same sex.

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—and that includes those who choose the homosexual lifestyle.

Marriage and gay marriage alike should be about equality, not supremacy. And whether we agree with their lifestyle or not, gay people hold the exact same value as we Christians do. It’s not easy to remember, but nothing has ever been truer.

Follow Cory on Twitter here.
Check out Cory’s brand new novel, “These Were the Nights” here.

The Table: Gay Marriage (Austin Gentry)

The Table

The term “gay marriage” is actually a paradoxical one, particularly because the very definition of ‘marriage’ in the first place is ‘a union between one man and one woman’. Therefore, while ‘marriage’ implies ‘one man and one woman’, a gay marriage instead emphasizes the union aspect, except between two members of the same sex.

But no one really cares about definitions as long as it ties into how it is applied in religious and social spheres, and what the following implications of such an establishment would look like. Essentially, the Christian stands counter to what most of the world stands for when it comes down to gay marriage and homosexuality. The Bible is explicitly clear that homosexuality is an abomination in the Lord’s eyes–––however, one must first discern what homosexuality is to begin with. Does ‘homosexuality’ mean same-sex attraction? Does it mean engaging in homosexual immorality? It would seem that heterosexual lust only leads into heterosexual immorality, and indeed, both are considered adultery in the Lord’s eyes because of the depraved condition of the heart to seek a functional savior in something or someone that is ultimately designed to anchor in the deeps of God’s sufficient love. Yet, heterosexual love between one man and one woman is God’s design.

How does one shift his affections from same-sex to heterosexual? 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. It seems that homosexuality is a manifestation of layered problems and sin that accumulates over time.

In fact, we see this same progression of sin in Romans 1, where people continued to rebel against God–––and the end result of their rebellion was a callous heart that then pursued homosexual acts. However, I am not speaking that this progression only ends with homosexuality. The trend of sin’s progressive dominance in our life leads into further callousness–––indeed, sin does not ever promise to go surface deep–––sin takes us deeper than we ever wanted to go, faster and faster into darker and darker waters. This is true with a little pride, a little greed, a little selfishness. Indeed, we are stained from sin’s curse from birth–––it is naturally encoded into our spiritual DNA, therefore, our inclinations and our heart’s pursuits will take many different directions to find meaning and value in anything but God, since we were born with the stain of Adam and Eve’s rebellion. However, every pursuit and inclination of our heart that is not God is held just as guilty as anything else. Thus, it would be foolish for Christians to think that their sin is not as bad or blameworthy as homosexuality. For they have rejected God as well, just in a different way. Therefore, it is imperative that Christians demonstrate the same grace and understanding to those struggling with homosexuality as with anyone else, because they have realized that they too have been rescued from the grace of God, and that it is given freely to those who want it.

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.