Gay Marriage and the Follower of Jesus – Part Two

27 06 2015

About three years ago, when President Obama proclaimed his support of gay marriage, I wrote the post titled “Gay Marriage and the Follower of Jesus” which I recommend you read given the current circumstances of the U.S. Supreme Court decision.  Consider this post a continuation of that earlier post.  There are several things I want to tackle in this post.  I’m going to try to get to the root of some of the surface issues I see that those in Christ are dealing with.  So, buckle up, hold on tight, and enjoy the ride.

First, let’s establish the foundation of one simple fact.  If you know the Bible at all, there is a theme you should know: that this world is not our home.  In many instances in Scripture, we are told, reminded, and given examples of this truth.  Peter calls us sojourners and pilgrims in 1 Peter 2.  The writer of Hebrews says in Chapter 13 that we don’t have a continuing city, so we look for that one to come.  Chapter 11 of Hebrews gives the example of Abraham and other patriarchs who looked forward to a heavenly city, whose builder and maker is God.  James says in Chapter 4 of his letter that being a friend of the world is to make yourself an enemy of God.  Even Jesus himself said,

“If you were of the world, the world would love its own.  Yet because you are not of the world, therefore the world hates you.” – John 15:19

There are surely more examples and Scriptures to point this out, but the point is that we are foreigners in a strange land, no matter where in the world you live.  If you are in Christ, you were once part of this world, but now you are a new creation in Christ and your home is not here but where Christ is.  If you’re in Christ, you will one day be reunited with your Master and He will destroy this world and make a new one where He will be ruler and where His followers will finally feel at home beyond anything they can imagine.  As it is written:

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” – 1 Corinthians 2:9

Next, with that in mind, let’s tackle the decision that was handed down by the Supreme Court.  Again, with our understanding of the Scriptures, we can clearly see that our convictions are much different than of those in this world.  We are called to be different.  I want to stress that being different from the world doesn’t just mean just being nice and going to church.  The “different” I mean is what the Bible mean by being different, as in: being chaste while the world has sex with whoever, whenever they want, speaking truth when the world lies, treating people equally when the world discriminates, honoring your spouse when the world divorces and commits adultery, respecting governmental authority when the world does and says what they want, and on and on it goes.  The list also includes honoring a man and woman in marriage as God had intended when the world decides for themselves what they want to do with marriage.

So, with the foundation of the fact that this world is not our home and we are strangers and the knowledge that we are to be different from the world, why are we is such turmoil over this decision?  How does it affect your ability to marry someone of the opposite gender?  Does it keep you from doing what God calls YOU to do? The Constitution of the United States is not your Bible.  Nor was it a divinely inspired document written by the finger of God.  Whether you believe the United States was or is a Christian nation is irrelevant.  The Scripture is God’s Word alone and if you read it you will find that there is no place on this earth that will perfectly honor God, that is, if you find one that honors Him at all.  No only that, but the book of Revelation tells of a time where everyone will be cursing the God who made them.  So, you might as well prepare for it.  If our Lord was killed by his own people, why would we think this world would embrace what we believe?

I will now make a statement that may have most Christians wanting to stone me.  If you can separate the U.S. Constitution from the Bible, the world from those in Christ, and the United States from your real home where Christ is, then the U.S. Supreme Court made the right decision.  WOAH!  WAIT!!  Before you click out of this blog, here me out!!  My purpose on this blog is to challenge Christians to honor God and live for Christ.  Give me a little more of your time and then you can believe what you want.  I will deal with some of the objections in a little bit.

Yes, homosexuality is sin!  No doubt about it. But the Bible and the Constitution are two different things.  You are not a follower of the United States or the Constitution.  If you are a Christian, you are a follower of Christ and your life is hidden in Him, not on the rise or fall of the United States or any of its’ documents.  The Constitution does not say “Homosexuals may never marry.”  Even if it did, the people would have a right to change it.  That’s the way it goes.  The Constitution is not a moral document, but a document of rules on governing.  Years ago, this was never an issue because homosexuality was considered bad culturally, not just religiously.  Yet, so was abortion until the 1960’s.  Now, you hardly hear about abortion because it’s the norm.

I am not here to argue why or how the Supreme Court made the decision.  The point is: Homosexuality is sin, but the U.S. Constitution does not care about sin.  Do not put your faith in what the United States was or is, follow Christ.

Lastly, let’s consider what our response should be.  Here I will also deal with some objections and arguments that I have seen.

What should be our response?  Well, what should be our response to other sins?  How do you respond to atheists who marry?  Or better yet, how do you respond to Christians who divorce?  How do you respond to the pastor who preaches about giving and drives a relatively new BMW?

How do we respond?  Well, how did Jesus respond to the woman caught in adultery?  How did He responded to the tax collectors, sinners, and prostitutes of his day?  Well, He simply treated them as humans beings and told them the truth of what they were doing was wrong in the sight of God and, if they repented and followed Him, they would have eternal life.  He also made it clear that if they didn’t repent, they would face the judgement of God for their sin.  So, why should we do anything else than what our Master did?

I don’t recall Jesus or any others in the New Testament making it an aim to make Rome change or keep laws to reflect their beliefs.  Instead of making laws, the focus was on making disciples by telling them the truths of the Gospel so that God could regenerate their hearts.  Our job as Christians is not to make everyone do what we would like, but to point them to God so that God can change them.  If you think it’s about legislating morality, you need to remember where YOU came from.

Paul says in 2nd Timothy 4 to

“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season.  Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all patience and teaching.”

Our job is not to keep people from sinning.  That is impossible and doesn’t deal with the heart.  Our job is to tell people what God says is sin and that they will have to deal with Him.  They don’t have to deal with us, but with a God that they have deeply offended and they will one day face the wrath of.  But, not only homosexuals are in trouble with God.  A quick reading of the first few chapters of the book of Romans will clearly reveal that EVERYBODY on the face of this earth is in the same situation.  Nobody is exempt from God’s wrath.  Homosexuals and liars will be in the same hell.  Adulterers and fornicators, idolators and the covetous, murderers and haters, Muslims and false Christians, among others, will all face the wrath of a holy and just God. It’s our job to tell them the truth.

But, some may say, homosexuality is worse than other sins.  I’ve recently seen an article from a prominent ministry that made this claim.  Really?  Where does it say that in Scripture?  The only way you can make that claim is to twist scripture and rationalize your way through it.  If you quote to me the scripture that tells me it’s an abomination to God, then you better have as much fervor for lying, shedding innocent blood, or eating lobster, shrimp, or pork as you have for gay marriage.

And why is it all about gay marriage?  Why is it okay for atheists to get married?  They don’t even think a god exists.  Is God cool with homosexuals unless they get married?  I know these are silly questions, but why is homosexual marriage singled out.  There have even been instances of people being okay with baking cakes for homosexuals unless it is found out that it’s for the homosexual wedding.  Really?  Where are our priorities and consistency?  Isn’t it the homosexuality that’s sin?

Some may argue that it’s because it’s about the “sanity sanctity of marriage”.  Who decided marriage is originally between a man and a woman?  God, right?  Do they know and care about what God says?  No.  Do you?  If you say yes, then go and marry the opposite sex.  Simple as that.  Do you believe in the sanctity of marriage?  Then YOU keep it sanctified.  Do not think that sinners in opposition to God want to keep something God honoring.  Why not live out what you believe the Bible says and be a light to this dark world, instead of trying to make people submit to what they don’t believe or want.  In the Old Testament, God warned the children of Israel to not worship the idols or do the things that the other nations did, but He didn’t say go and make the other nations to the things they did.

One last argument I’ve heard is that this opens the door for other sins like bestiality and pedophilia to become legal.  Okay.  If it does, what are you going to do about it?  Don’t do those things!  Don’t do what the pagans do.  Do what God says, say what God says, and don’t expect others to care about what God says.

Only God can change the hearts of people.  But, God made the start of the process for us to proclaim His Word, not our opinions.  You can’t share with a homosexual a scripture that says homosexual marriage is sin, but you can share with him that their homosexuality, along with their lust, pride, lying, taking God’s name in vain, etc. is sin.  Once you share what God’s says, then He can convict their hearts and produce change.  It’s amazing.  That way He get all the glory, not us.

Brothers and sisters, I’m afraid that persecution is coming, but not for the right reasons.  I’ve seen the websites and Facebook posts worrying about the looming persecution for Pastors and other Christians that speak against homosexual marriage.  Yes, I guess I can see it coming, too.  But, why should it be this way?  Homosexuals are not condemned because they get married.  They are condemned despite their perversion.  They are condemned because they have lied, hated, lusted, had wrong ideas about God, stolen, have broken the Sabbath, had sex out of wedlock, divorced, called people names, have been prideful, covetous, envious, bitter, untrustworthy, unthankful, drunkards, and selfish, among many other things, just as the rest of mankind, even you and I.  It would be better if we followed in the footsteps of our Lord and those that walked in His footsteps and would get persecuted for speaking the truth about all of these wicked things that God speaks about, than to be singled out because of a stance we have on a secondary action that a certain group of sinners do.  If we keep our focus on it like we are, we deserve the persecution.

To conclude, I write these things to somehow help and challenge us.  My heart breaks over what we do in the name of Christ and what we’ve become as a “Church”.  We uproar about homosexuals marrying because marriage was God’s idea.  Yet, we let divorce happen in the Church for foolish reasons about just as much as it happens in the world.  Is God happy with this?

Personally, I will treat a homosexual as a real person, like Jesus did to prostitutes.  Yes, I make that analogy because prostitutes were highly frowned upon in those days, yet He ate with them and taught them the truth.  I also will tell them the truth as I should with everyone.  I will not tell them the truth just because they are homosexual and they need it more than others nor because they are married.  Everybody needs the truth.  If someone rejects the truth, I can also do what Jesus did and let them alone to their destruction.  Jesus did not beg others to believe and even left when He was asked to leave (Luke8:37).

I’m not a Pastor, so most that I talk to don’t think much of what I say.  That’s okay because nobody is accountable to me.  They (and you) are all accountable to God.  I know I will be accountable for what I have said and done.  Don’t even take my word for it.  Don’t take a Pastor’s or anybody’s word for it.  Get into your Bibles and read the examples of Jesus and the Apostles and what they said yourself.  There you will find ultimate truth.  There you will find ultimate freedom.  There you will find ultimate life.

Jesus said to follow Him!

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