You can’t go anywhere in California without being bombarded from the Left, or from the Right, with the Gay Marriage debate. The issue is NOT whether a person should be legally allowed to be gay. The issue is whether or not TWO SAME-SEX PEOPLE should be legally recognized as “married”. So with specific regard to that issue, I’ve got two questions.
I ask these two questions with humility. I do not claim to have answers. I simply want to make sure that Christians aren’t jumping onto a religious bandwagon without thinking critically (it’s so easy for any of us to do). So I invite you to step back from this debate for a brief moment, to leave the comfort of the allies who agree with your set of doctrinal beliefs, and to just be honest.
Here we go…
HOW CONCERNED IS GOD WITH THIS DEBATE?
This is perhaps the most important question we can ask, not only about this debate, but about any cultural issue. And when we want to know the heart of God, the first place to look is always Jesus.
God incarnate came to the earth in the person of Christ. He came into a region swarming with homosexual relationships (in Rome). Not only that, but there was a common practice in the Mediterranean of wealthy older men “teaching” younger men about their own sexuality, practicing same-sex acts with them (called “pederasty”). Finally bisexuality was, in all likelihood, a more common practice than a strictly homosexual relationship.
Jesus steps out of eternity, and into a Jewish populous that is ruled by this culture. He will certainly have some choice words for the community who practices these things. So to this culture, this is exactly what He says about homosexual and bisexual relationships:
You can read the Gospels for yourself. Of the four men who wrote about Christ’s day to day life, none of them wrote anything about Jesus ever mentioning homosexuality. Does this automatically disqualify the subject as not important? No. But for me, it certainly helps me prioritize the battles I choose to fight.
WHAT’S GOD’S PRIMARY CONCERN WITH THE U.S.?
We are a culture that is sucked toward a materialism that takes the place of God. Jesus talked about this all the time. Don’t we trust in our wealth far more than in our God? Don’t we struggle with the pursuit of money, and all the false security we can purchase with it? I wonder if God is more concerned with the false idol of financial security, than whether or not gay people should be recognized as legally married or not? And again… Jesus talked about one all the time, but was strangely silent on the other.
Jesus might also talk about false religious systems that point to God by tying large weights on the backs of the common person, but that end up delivering only guilt and condemnation.
Finally, he would certainly be overtly concerned about providing a cup of cold water for the the thirsty in our midst. He would look at the church in the suburbs that doesn’t reach out to the thirsty or hungry, and probably vomit.
SOME CONCLUDING THOUGHTS
I am, in no way, asking anyone to abandon what they believe with regard to same-sex relationships. Be convicted about your beliefs. I’m not questioning that. I am, however, asking everyone to step back for a moment, and ask what level of time and effort you should be putting into this debate. And if you’re called to debate this 24/7, then do it. We all need to be careful that we pick and choose those things we’re bold about.
If Jesus lived in California, which rally would He be speaking at? Pro-Gay Marriage? Anti-Gay Marriage? Or would you find Him at an aids clinic, sitting with people as they struggle to keep breathing?
The easiest thing for Christians to do is to stand with the churched masses. The most difficult thing for Christians is to read a blog post like this one, and be open to processing the questions honestly, without aligning themselves with anyone.
In our culture, we may see questioning as a weakness. We are the only culture in the world like this. Every other culture (with the exception of extremist Islamic factions) sees the willingness to ask hard questions, not as a weakness, but as wisdom. May we be willing participants in the question-asking process, because if we do it with the fear of God, we’re at the starting point for finding true wisdom.