Thursday, July 9, 2015

How Should Christians Respond?

I write a column for the local paper called "Ask the Preacher."
In the light of the SCOTUS ruling on same-sex marriage, I got the following question and answered it last week:

Q:  What should we as Christians do about the Supreme Court's Ruling on gay marriage?
A:  There are several answers to this question, because it touches on both a political and spiritual level.
First of all, politically, we have to recognize that there simply is no practical way to undo this.  There are only two ways to overrule a Supreme Court decision: One of those is to have it overturned by a later court, which is unlikely to happen anytime soon.  The other is to pass a Constitutional Amendment, which would have to be proposed by a 2/3 majority of both houses of Congress or a 2/3 majority of all State Legislatures, and then ratified by popular vote in 3/4 of the states.  Bluntly speaking, public opinion has shifted so drastically on this issue that the odds of that happening are pretty much zero.  So same-sex marriage is the law of the land for the foreseeable future.
  Spiritually, what should we do?  I am only one man, a poor country pastor, writer,  and schoolteacher.  I don't have a perfect answer for everything. But based on my study of the Scriptures across a lifetime, here is what I believe: 
   First of all, we have to stand by what the Bible says.  I know there are some sincere and well-meaning Christians who have tried to say that maybe we've been reading the Bible wrong about homosexuality, and that a monogamous, loving, same-sex marriage is acceptable in the eyes of God.  I frankly wish this could be true - I get sick and tired of being labeled as a bigot and a hatemonger for defending the clear teaching of Scripture.  But I have read all the relevant passages very carefully, both the ones that speak about homosexuality and the ones that speak about marriage, and I just can't make them bend that way.  So either we cave on what is a pretty clear and plain reading of the New Testament, or else we take a stand on what the Bible says and, in the words of Jesus, "Marvel not . . . if the world hates you."
   Secondly, we MUST act in a loving manner.  If our response to this ruling is couched in terms of anger, bitterness, and ugly name-calling, all we do is confirm every negative stereotype that the world already holds about us.  My prayer for Christ's church is that we conduct ourselves in such a manner that those who differ from us will never be able to accuse us of hate.  Homosexuality is a sin - Scripture is crystal clear on that point.  So is lust.  So are heterosexual relations outside of marriage.  So is divorce. So is using obscene language.  I do think it's time we came back to the truth that all of us are sinners hopelessly lost without Christ; just because we don't struggle with one form of sin doesn't mean we can cast stones at those who do.

No comments:

Post a Comment