Marriage is something a lot of us think about. When I was growing up and finishing high school, I was waiting to get married. I got through Bible College and was still unmarried. Around me, my friends were getting married. I went off to Seminary and lo and behold, I had established a circle of friends. In a twist, from that group I have been the first to get married.
I have always been pro-marriage, and now that I am married, I am even more pro-marriage. I enjoy a marriage to a very special lady who pushes me to be better than I could have ever been on my own. I look at my friends and I want them to find the women that are right for them and I eagerly look forward to when each of them ties the knot.
Having said that, it would seem that if marriage provides such great joy, that I should want to extend it to as many people as possible. Right now, we have homosexuals saying they want to have the right to marry someone of the same sex. What is my response to them?
My response is that I don't think that's good for our world.
This automatically raises some questions for people. “Are you against loving and committed relationships?” “Are you opposed to someone having the right to marry the person they love?” “Do you want to tell other people what they can and cannot do in the bedroom?” Normally, this has come from non-Christians, but that is starting to change.
While not asking these questions specifically, Rachel Held Evans, a blogger, recently said that Christians should not be fighting this war. We could win the culture war, but we are losing the generation as many of them are looking at Christians and seeing us as bigots and homophobes. What good will it do us to win the war and lose the generation?
Granted, some battles are not worth fighting. We can only do so much, but is marriage one of those? What harm will it do if we just let the homosexuals marry? An example of this kind of thinking can be seen in a kind of graph that shows up on GraphJam. (See here)
After all, what's the big deal? Won't it just be the case that homosexuals will marry? That won't affect your “traditional” marriage and even if it is wrong, isn't the bullying that we're doing wrong? Aren't we just participating in hate speach?
Many of us do know people who are homosexual. By and large, these are fine and wonderful people and we can genuinely enjoy their company. Are those of us who are heterosexual just looking at them saying that we do not believe they are worthy of marriage? Do we want to deny them something just for the sake of denial?
Evans' piece shows, not that marriage isn’t worth defending, but rather that the case is not being presented well. This is hardly surprising when the media today does not generally take a friendly tone towards Christianity. All that is shown on TV are Christians speaking out against homosexuality. Absent are ministries to help people with troubled marriages, abused women, homeless people on the street, the drug addict, crisis pregnancies, etc.
Beware the sound of one hand clapping.
It is also proclaimed that homosexuals are not welcome in the church. Now, to anyone who has not let a homosexual come to their church service, shame on you. You are a disgrace to the church. The problem in the remark is that it assumes that because someone's behavior is not welcome, then that person is not welcome. This would be interesting in light of the fact that Jesus regularly welcomed prostitutes and tax collectors. Are we to assume that Jesus approved of over taxation and adultery for that reason? Of course not.
Let's look at a couple of paragraphs in Evans' work.
And when it comes to homosexuality, we no longer think in the black-at-white [sic] categories of the generations before ours. We know too many wonderful people from the LGBT community to consider homosexuality a mere “issue.” These are people, and they are our friends. When they tell us that something hurts them, we listen. And Amendment One hurts like hell.
Notice the language used here. We know too many “wonderful” people. Are we to assume that if the people were not wonderful that it would be okay to be against homosexual marriage? Or, do we give the people what they want just because we like them? If that's the case, then a lot of parents need to start giving their wonderful children all the junk food and allowance they want.
Are we seeing this as a “mere” issue? Not at all. For many of us, this is a fundamental issue and I'd even say this could be the deciding issue of the future of our American civilization.
Finally, when something hurts our friends, we should listen. Many of us have good friends whom we have told things that hurt--and sometimes they need to hear it. I have told some of my friends truths point blank that hurt them because they needed to hear it. Being a friend does not mean avoiding hurt, but promoting well-being.
The main point in the paragraph is the idea that many no longer use black and white thinking. That is said, but on the other hand, there is something clearly black and white in the article. That’s the idea that it’s wrong to not let homosexuals marry. If they were saying this is a grey issue, then they would have no problem with our stance. There is no black and white, except for when the other side says there is black-and-white.
Next, let's look at this paragraph:
Regardless of whether you identify most with Side A or Side B, (or with one of the many variations within those two broad categories), it should be clear that amendments like these needlessly offend gays and lesbians, damage the reputation of Christians, and further alienate young adults—both Christians and non-Christian—from the Church.
The assumption is that this is needlessly offending, and that all the church wants to do is be needlessly offensive. It's as if Christians were just sitting around and saying “We don't like homosexuals! Let's do something to get them angry!”
It’s my position that if someone is really seeking truth, then they will eventually find themselves in the kingdom. Perhaps the question to young people (and I could be considered one as I am under 40 and my wife is even younger) should be, "Are you seeking truth." If they think the reasons we are against homosexual marriage is that we don’t like homosexuals, then they have not sought out our reasons deeply enough. Have they considered being open and coming to us and asking “Why do you take this stance?”
Also, notice also the strange idea that the homosexual lobby are victims. Is this really the case? North Carolina just passed Amendment One. This means it is law that marriage is between a man and a woman. I challenge anyone to go on Twitter or Facebook or most news programs and look at the language that is being directed towards the people of North Carolina who were just using the process the way it was meant to be used, the very way homosexuals want to use it.
If the homosexuals want to force this on everyone else through the Supreme Court of the country or individual states, are they not forcing their beliefs on us? Furthermore, suppose they were to win for now. What happens years later if we get a president who a tyrant and thinks homosexual marriage has been wrong and makes it such that all homosexuals are to be hunted down and jailed using the exact same system of government. Will that system no longer be good? (Please note in no way am I saying we should jail homosexuals. They bear the image of God.)
If the homosexuals have a problem with the vote, they can handle it the way that our society does. They can complain and prepare another vote. They can build up an argument and show why they think ours don't matter. The improper way to handle this is to shout out “Bigot!” and “Homophobe!” at every opportunity. In doing this, the homosexual lobbyists are showing themselves to be the bullies rather than the bullied.
So what are our reasons for being opposed to homosexual marriage? I plan to cover those next time. For now, I think it's enough to show that Evans' position does not work. It is not wise to simply resort to bullying when there is something worth fighting for--or to give up when the going gets tough.
Read Rachel Evans' piece here.