Over the past couple of days you have undoubtedly heard the news. The SCOTUS has officially made Gay Marriage legal. In the days that have followed I have read all sorts of reactions to Supreme Court’s ruling. The ranges of emotions have been jubilation, indifference, anger, rage, sadness, and depression. These reactions didn’t exactly catch me by surprise as I have been living in a state that gay marriage has already been legal in. When the state’s Supreme Court passed it caused all of those emotions I mentioned were all expressed here. In the five plus years that I have lived here I have seen all of those emotions continue. I have had 5 years to process my thoughts on the matter. I have 5 years to prepare for when the SCOTUS passed down this law which I believed was inevitable. For what it is worth, here is my $.02.
- The SCOTUS did not change God’s word. Despite what numerous religious teachers are now teaching on the subject, God’s word is clear on the matter. Under the Old Law those that engaged in such activities were to be put to death ( 20:13). While I certainly am not arguing that homosexuals should be treated such, I state this so that we begin to get an understanding about how God feels about sin. The same treatment was given unto other sexual sins, as well as disobedient children and those that violated the Sabbath. God hates sin. He wants us to detest sin in our own lives. Paul wrote concerning homosexuality in Rom. 1:24-27. There he tells us it was unclean, a dishonoring of our own bodies, a result of vile passions, against nature, shameful and error. He goes on in chapter 1 to list other sins that were worthy of punishment including gossiping, unrighteousness, faithlessness, murder, envy, hate, pride and disobedience to parents. No law made by man has the power to change God’s word. It is true. It is sure. It is forever.
- The SCOTUS cannot make me participate in sin. There are many things that are legal (that is, not against the laws of the land) that are unlawful (that is, against the laws of God). Just because I can have the right to engage in them does not mean that I have to engage in them. Prostitution is legal in some parts of our country. But I don’t have to engage in prostitution. No-fault divorce is legal in most states, but I don’t have to divorce my wife because we don’t always agree on things. Drinking alcohol is legal, but that doesn’t mean I should go out and get drunk every night. The legalization of gay marriage does not mean that I must engage in a sinful activity. I don’t have to react with hate, spite, or violence even if I disagree with their decision. I certainly don’t have to participate in homosexual behavior. And even though I am a preacher I don’t have to officiate a wedding. Now, I realize that there are some concerns that that last point might one day become an issue. But, as it stands right now, I am not being ordered to perform a same-sex wedding. (I haven’t even been asked to perform a same-sex marriage even though I live in a state that it has been legal for more than 5 years and in a county that according to the last numbers I saw on it issue more same-sex marriage licenses than any other county in the state save one.) But, even if it does, I still can say no. If I am fined, if I am thrown in jail it they still cannot make me. We as Christians need to realize that if we indeed suffer it won’t be the first time Christians suffered as a result of their beliefs. Peter and John both were ordered to no longer preach Jesus. They didn’t stop. They were beaten. They were thrown in prison. John’s brother James was beheaded. They didn’t stop. Likewise, I can choose not to sin!
- The SCOTUS’ ruling does not give me the right to discriminate. Paul wrote in I Cor. 5:9-13 about how to react to those that live immoral lives. Paul warned about associating with the wicked. However, he did not say the wicked in general. Paul so that any so-called brother that engages in wickedness was to be purged from the church. He also wrote the following, “I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people– not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world (I Cor. 5:9-10).” He did not at all mean those of the world. When I hear Christians make statements like, “I wouldn’t want to serve a homosexual couple.” “I don’t want my kids being taught by a homosexual.” My stomach just gets uneasy. Do these same “Christians” feel that way about the alcoholic? The guy beating his wife? The guy that steals office supplies? The person living in adultery? The unbeliever? Just because I don’t agree with a person’s lifestyle it does not give me the right to be bigoted, hateful, spiteful, rude, etc. Jesus certainly didn’t agree with the lifestyle choice of the woman caught in the act of adultery in John 8. He didn’t shun her either. He was moved with compassion and tried to teach her. Rather than being afraid that by showing compassion to another human being might me you agree with their lifestyle come to the realization that God showed compassion upon you even when you were in your sins when he sent his Son to die for you!