A Christian Response to Gay Marriage

horrified-faceToday I was contacted by a woman who had some pretty heavy questions regarding the LGBT lifestyle (unless you have your head stuck in the sand or are stuck at home raising multiple children you will know about the Supreme Court’s decisions today…). She had a question about an appropriate response and felt like and “outsider” because she didn’t feel contempt for the gay community or have a strong desire to convert them to heterosexuals. The following is the letter I wrote her back. I understand that you may differ in your take, but this is coming through my lenses on how I see the world and how I read the Bible – which I believe should set the standard for actions and belief.

From my reading the Bible is pretty clear that God’s design is that sex be restricted to one man and one woman who are married to each other. Do people break God’s design? ALL THE TIME! You are right that God’s design is also for marriage to be a life-long commitment without divorce, yet that happens as well. We live in a broken world in which people act in broken ways.

In that sense we’re all messed up, loved by a gracious God in spite of ourselves. There are probably several reasons why the church focuses so much intensity and anger towards the LGBT community, but that is our error. We are called to love people no matter what their personal sin is. Some drink to excess – yet the Bible says that drunkenness is a sin. We love them still. The Bible says not to divorce, but Christians do. We love them still.

I believe that God designed male and female to be compatible. Same-sex sexuality goes against the natural order. But let’s differentiate between sexual behavior and sexual inclination/attraction. I do know people who have same-sex attraction as a result of life circumstances (bad parenting situation, sexual abuse, etc.). There is also a cultural push to see same-sex friendships as gay because we are uncomfortable with the idea of a deep friendship between two men. I have heard some people interpreting the intimate friendship between David and Jonathan in the Bible as being a homosexual relation. While they were closer than brothers there is no indication that they were gay. But we are often uncomfortable with same-sex intimacy. How can you experience intimacy with someone of the same sex unless it is sexual? This is more of a Western point of view than an Eastern one. My wife, who has a degree in missions and has traveled quite a bit in southeast Asia, tells me that it’s not uncommon in foreign countries to see two men walking down the street holding hands as a sign of camaraderie and intimacy, even though they are both happily married to women.

Even still, some people claim same-sex attraction with no childhood trauma. I am not a scientist, so I will not deny that it may be possible that there is a same-sex attraction born in some people. To my understanding this has not been proven. But even if it were proven, I believe that God’s Word remains unchanged about same-sex behavior and that God loves them no matter what (if our behavior determined God’s love we’d ALL be in trouble).

To the person who claims attraction I would differentiate between attraction and sexual activity. Some see this as a cop out, but I believe it to be a valid way of maintaining a sense of truth to oneself and to God’s design. Just because you might find yourself attracted to the same sex does not mean you have to act upon it. Humanity has a marvelous capacity to exercise self-control if we want to – sadly, much of our society laughs at the idea of self-control (and not just in regards to our sexuality, but to every other area of life).

At the end of the day you are right that God calls us to love and embrace all people regardless of their choices. People go against God’s design all the time – we love them anyway. Ultimately God is judge and we are not. As a pastor I will tell people what I believe God’s design is. It’s up to them and God as to whether or not they act on it. I still love them no matter what they choose.

And I do believe that, at the end of time, there will be people in heaven that will surprise us – and people in hell that we never expected to be there!

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I welcome all discussion, just keep it civil and polite. If this post resonates with you in any way, please share it on Facebook, Twitter, or email!

Related Posts:
Forced Gay: Punishment for Religious Dissent?
Forced Gay: Part Two

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To my readers, please feel free to engage in discussion, but we will do so with decency and kindness, even when we disagree with each other.

11 Replies to “A Christian Response to Gay Marriage”

  1. My heart BROKE at the grotesque lack of understanding by commenter “Maranatha.” He wrote, “God’s love can turn to hatred and judgment when His children disobey His will…” How is that REMOTELY consistent with the God of the Bible?!? How can God’s love turn to HATRED?! That would indite God with multiple personality disorder! Those two things CANNOT coexist. Either God IS love or He is not. Period. Thank you, Chris for continuing to teach truth.

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  2. Awesome blog Pastor Linzey. The views of those considered to be religious is to be against “sinners”. However, Jesus’ view is to love all sinners. Invite them to dinner. Invite them to church. Thank you for this great message.

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  3. Pastor Chris, I wonder how Maranatha would synthesize Psalm 11:5 with John 3:16, which says emphatically that God loves the world. Of course, we understand that “world” in John 3:16 refers not to the planet, and not to the sinfulness in the world, but to the people on the planet.

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    1. Thanks for your feedback. John 3:16 is a great place to understand God’s love for people! It’s even more revealing to move to the next verse, for verse 17 says (as I know you know): “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” Will the wicked be punished? One day, we will all have to give account before God. But his desire is to bring all humanity into relationship with him.

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  4. Wow, what a mixed message from someone who pretends to be the Bible Blotter and I believe he calls himself a pastor! I feel sorry for those who read your blog with the assumption that you represent the true and living word of God! You seem to be confused with the issues of sin and love. Yes, drunkenness is a sin, adultery is a sin, fornication is a sin, murder is a sin, homosexual lifestyle is a sin (that is if you believe the words for Jesus, the apostles and the Word of God). This isn’t an issue about who we are to love. It’s simply about sin! The bible says God loves all but hates sin (while we were yet sinners He died for us on the cross! Romans 5:8) God’s love can turn to hatred and judgment when His children disobey His will, and justify sin in their lives. I hate the sin in my life the same way I hate the sins of this unbelieving, fallen world. You see, many people like you who call themselves Christians believe in God. It’s mush easier for people to believe in God than it is to BELIVE GOD. That’s where the going gets tough. That’s the narrow path that Jesus talked about on the Sermon on the Mount! God is love (1 John 4:8), but God also punishes the sinner and hates all who do iniquity. God is not one sided. He is not simply an infinitely loving God. He is also infinitely just. He must deal with sin. He must punish the sinner. Psalm 5:5, “The boastful shall not stand before Thine eyes; Thou dost hate all who do iniquity,” Psalm 11:5, “The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, and the one who loves violence His soul hates.” So pastor, this issue of the homosexual lifestyle has nothing to do about who we are to love, it has everything to do with sin and how this fallen world is fast headed into God’s judgment and His glorious return. That is, if you believe Jesus when He said He would return in glory! MARANTAHA!

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    1. Thanks for your feedback. I don’t see my letter as a mixed message at all. In fact, I thought I was pretty clear that I believe the Bible to identify same-sex behavior as contrary to the will and design of God. I also said that, as a pastor, I will continue to tell people what I believe God’s design and will is according to the Bible. I think where we differ is the path we take once we relate God’s message. I believe that we need to continue to show love (not an emotional feeling but actively working for the benefit of others) towards people we think are on the wrong path.

      God is the ultimate judge, not me. All I can do is preach the message God has given through the Bible. What people do with it beyond that is between them and God. I’m not justifying sin – I’m loving people in spite of sinful behavior. All sin is detestable, but the Church (traditionally) has done a better job loving certain types of sinners over other types. It’s easier for the Church to love a drunkard or spousal abuser than it is to love the gay community. We ought to do better.

      Yes, we clearly label sinful behavior as such. My post did not permit Christians to get away with sin. My post calls us to love people in spite of their sins, just as God loves you and me in spite of our brokenness.

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