While my heart ached to see my non-believing friends rejoice at the SCOTUS same-sex marriage ruling, I did not and do not judge them because we have different standards by which we live and form our opinions.
My prayer has always been that each of my friends who does not know Christ will someday have a revelation of him as Lord and Savior.
On the contrary, when one after another of my professing Christian friends made their support for same-sex marriage known, most using the ubiquitous transparent rainbows on Facebook, my heart burned with questions from the Scriptures as to the wisdom their decision.
This post is a result of that burning:
Dear Christian With The Rainbow-Colored Profile Picture,
A. Did you know Jesus (yep, THE Jesus Christ) taught marriage was a special union of male and female?
When asked about marriage, he said, "Haven’t you read that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?" (Matt 19:4)
Christ's teaching is clear and definitive: marriage is the result of God's desire to bring together again the two halves of the sexual spectrum, male and female, in union.
One biblical scholar who supports same-sex unions, Dr. William Loader, has some bold things to say about this passage:
1. "Jesus’ "statements clearly exclude sexual relations beyond that union. Nothing indicates that Jesus would have approached the prohibitions of Lev 18:22 and 20:13 any differently than his Jewish contemporaries."(Sexuality and the Jesus Tradition, 337).
2. For Jesus "one flesh" referred to "a singleness of being" and "reflects the idea that the male and female originally belonged together…and that sexual intercourse in some way rejoins the male and female to one" (Sexuality and the Jesus Tradition, 243).
This means by choosing to affirm same-sex marriage, you must walk in contradiction to the Lord whose name you bear.
B. Did you know other Scriptures back up Jesus' teaching, like Romans 1:25-27:
"Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error."
Words as strong as these require little commentary.
However, some argue Paul would not have prohibited loving, committed same-sex relationships if he had known of them. Again, let's see what Loader has to say:
1. "Paul’s indictment in Rom 1:26-27 "included, but [was] by no means limited to exploitative pederasty," "sexual abuse of male slaves," or "same-sex acts… performed within idolatrous ritual contexts" (The New Testament on Sexuality, 325).
2. Homosexual relationships in the Greco-Roman world "could include lifelong consensual adult partnerships" (324).
3. "It is inconceivable that [Paul] would approve of any same-sex acts if, as we must assume, he affirmed the prohibitions of Lev 18:22; 20:13 as fellow Jews of his time understood them" (322).
Another scholar, this time historian and openly gay man Louis Crompton, said this:
1. "According to [one] interpretation, Paul’s words were not directed at "bona fide" homosexuals in committed relationships. But such a reading, however well-intentioned, seems strained and unhistorical.
2. Nowhere does Paul or any other Jewish writer of this period imply the least acceptance of same-sex relations under any circumstance.
3. The idea that homosexuals might be redeemed by mutual devotion would have been wholly foreign to Paul or any other Jew or early Christian" (Homosexuality and Civilization, 114).
In other words, Paul meant what Christ's Church always said he meant, and if you walk away from this teaching, you walk away from teaching authority of Scripture.
C. Did you know choosing to affirm same-sex marriage may lead your friends with same-sex attraction away from God?
I believe you when you say coming to know loving and amazing gay people sparked your change of mind.
This is why I appeal to you saying Christian love demands we stay strong in the truth (Ephesians 4:15) with the patient expectation our faithfulness will incite a hunger for God in the hearts of all who see us.
To love our neighbor is to refuse to do anything that might prevent them from being everything God wishes for them to be in His Son Jesus, whether they are gay, straight, or anything in between.
And in my life, I have been able to foster precious relationships with LGBT people on this basis.
However, we cannot accomplish this goal if we reject the teachings of Scripture in favor of feelings, cultural shifts, or personal opinions.
Is temporary acceptance really worth causing those you care about to stumble before they reach the loving arms of God?
D. Did you know defending homosexual behavior as acceptable before God harms not only those who act on same-sex inclinations, but also those supporting such action?
In Romans 1, Paul ends his blistering critique of sinful mankind with these words: "they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them." (v 32.)
God's love and justice is such that even leading someone to sin is wicked and carries with it the penalty for wickedness.
Are we not to respect and fear God and His Judgment?
E. Finally, did you know supporting those we care about by opposing homosexual behavior is all about counting the cost of following Christ?
A few years back, I lost a good friend because of my beliefs on homosexual behavior.
The ordeal hurt me greatly and I repented before God of anything I said or did wrong that made my friend think I did not love or respect him because of his same-sex attraction.
I write this post knowing I may lose a friend or more and the thought grieves me.
However, even more than I desire friendship, I desire to know Christ and make him known as he is, not as I want him to be.
And I can only do that by following him and his teachings, even when it may cost me something or someone I love dearly.
Yet, I know whatever I have lost is all for the sake of the name of Christ and his glory alone.
Can you say the same thing?