It saddens me deeply that we Christians have fallen so head-over-heels into the deceptions surrounding gay marriage. We seem to draw our opinions from facebook and Twitter and the on-line and on-air media. (A dwindling minority actually reads printed news.) What we don’t seem to do, is draw our opinions from this book.
So let me say as succinctly as I can what my views are on the issue, making specific reference to the firestorm surrounding the remarks by Dan Cathy of Chick-fil-a and the letter to him from the Mayor of Boston inviting him to take Boston off of his company’s expansion plans because he hates gay people.
First, there are only a few things I hate. I hate sin. I define it by what this book says. I don’t hate sinners. I am one. I hate lies, all of which come right from the mind of Satan, who is the king of liars. I hate him too. But that’s pretty much it. Oh, and I hate intolerance. The trouble is, we’re all intolerant in one way or the other. That’s because we can’t seem to separate our hatred for lies from our hatred for liars. It’s hard to do, but this book calls us to do it.
I believe that the universe did not just pop into existence on its own. The scientists tell us it had a beginning. I believe them. Logic tells me there had to be a cause. I believe the cause was the eternal, self-existent being we call God, who created everything, including you and me. The other thing I believe about God is that he has revealed himself to us in this book, which I believe to be without equal or peer as a guide for us as to how we should live.
I believe that God loves us, but that love does not mean allowing us to do whatever we please without consequence. God from the beginning allowed us free will. He allowed us to decide for ourselves. But our decisions always have consequences. When we earnestly seek to understand what God wants of us – how he wants us to behave – the consequences are ultimate joy in our eternal home, Heaven. But when we ignore God’s will, or excise parts of His Word so that we use only the parts that we agree with, we may say we are Christian, but we worship a god of our own creation. And that god does not exist.
Another decision we all make over time is whether we truly believe in God’s system of rewards and punishments for our decisions. If we do, we take seriously the instructions contained in the Book. If we don’t, we don’t read it much. We don’t study it. The result is that we are christians in name only – little c. Jesus himself said, in Matthew 7 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
So, if you call yourself Christian, and if you expect to be rewarded on that day when you stand before Jesus himself, wouldn’t it be a good idea to really put some time and effort into understanding what his will really is?
Now let’s talk about tolerance. So often we Christians are accused of being intolerant. The gay rights crowd adds that we are haters and homophobes. It dies not seem to occur to them that they are being intolerant of us. God understands who is truly being tolerant and who is truly hating. And He will judge. Will he be fair? Yes, but more than that. See, He’s full of grace and truth. Trusting Him in this life as The Truth will mean that you will get a far better assignment in Heaven than you deserve. But the consequences for rejecting Him as The Truth will be dire.
Should we be more tolerant of the gay lifestyle? Is it more loving of a person with a same-sex attraction to help them resist, or to tell them in effect, there’s absolutely no way for you to ever be happy unless you live out your same-sex attractions? Let’s look at this question without some of the hyperbole that typically surrounds it.
If my child wants to stay out after dark, am I more or less loving if I say no? If he wants to immerse himself in internet porn, am I more or less loving if I advise him on its dangers? If my barely adult child announces that his girlfriend is moving in with him, do I celebrate? Or do I have a talk about the value of things like delayed gratification and commitment? If I tell my gay friends that I love them and want the best for them, am I being honest if I don’t tell them about successful organizations like Exodus International, which helps people deal with their unwanted same-sex attraction?
Do I mention the higher rates of suicide among gays? Would it be more or less loving of me if I suggested that living gay may not be the key to happiness? Do I embrace their lifestyle choice by throwing a party? Or do I just tolerate it? If I love them (and the Bible is absolutely unequivocal that I must!) do I accept life choices I see them making without telling them that I believe they are in moral danger?
Have we forgotten that all of us have sexual urges, and that most of them should be resisted? When I got married, I promised to cling to my wife and to forsake all other women. I took that vow seriously. Many of us don’t. We jump in and out of relationships with other “partners” as if we never made the vows in the first place. Are we fearing God when we do? Do we honestly believe that we will be OK on judgement day, but the homosexuals will not?
All of us, the Bible assures us, have sinned and fallen short of the standard God laid out for us. There is no escaping eternal punishment for those sins outside of commitment to follow Christ. That may seem intolerant, but that’s what the Book says. I am not your judge, God is. But I am commanded to discern what is right and what is wrong, and to seek justice, love mercy, and to walk humbly with God.
I have read the “guilty as charged” piece in the Baptist press. There is not one single solitary reference to gays, or LGBT or gay marriage. There are references to traditional family, which Cathy says he and his company support. That’s fodder for a firestorm?
Well, maybe it was Mike Huckabee’s inflammatory comments in response? Nope. No reference there to gays, gay marriage or LGBT there either.
Could it be that somebody is a little hypersensitive? And could it be that the news media is so anxious to find the next “man bites dog” piece that it fuels the fire when there is no fire?
Let’s be clear about one thing. The Book teaches us that “a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” Genesis 2:24. This union produces children, and in 100% of all births since Adam and Eve, there was one man and one woman involved. It is also an absolutely irreplaceable component of a healthy society and culture. Every place on the planet where you see a declining birth rate, you see a nation or culture in decline. And where you see fewer people getting and staying married, you see a declining birth rate.
What’s more, the family, with a Mom and a Dad who are there with the kids, and who love them, provide for them, teach them the way they should go, and who never leave, is the original department of health, education and welfare. If we as a society had any sense, we would be doing all we could to support and promote this kind of family culture.
That may be controversial, but it’s the truth.