A Xian Response to Gay Marriage

Image courtesy of kangshutters / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of kangshutters / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The other day I was contacted by a woman who had some pretty heavy questions regarding the LGBT lifestyle (her questions were all brought on by the Supreme Court’s decisions last year…). 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!

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.

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5 thoughts on “A Xian Response to Gay Marriage

  1. Well, as a bisexual, married man, raised as a catholic, I find this course of discussion very interesting. But there is scientific evidence that homosexuality (or behavior) exists in animals, which is an indicator of a natural phenomenom; there has also been genetic studies completed that shows homosexuals share a common gene. However, I am familiar with the catholic theological explanation of homosexuality and our expected response to it – i.e. that it’s a disorder and that each of us has a cross to bear, therefore we have to choose to do right over wrong.

    But I struggle with this concept: Everything we can reference about God’s law is written by a human being, which you have already demonstrated is flawed, so how is it we can trust anything that is written through a human being?

    I think some things just are and there is no reason to refuse what is completely natural.

    • While the Bible was penned by humanity, the notion of inspiration understands that God backs it up. How can we trust Scripture? I suppose that really comes down to an issue of faith. By faith I confess the Bible to be God’s revelation to humanity. You cannot convince someone through reason. There are no proofs. It’s faith.

      That being said, I do think that language is limited and that it is very easy to misunderstand words (whether they be in the Bible, in a blog, on Twitter, or anywhere else).

      As to something “completely natural” I would disagree. The male/female pairing is the completely natural. Biology and reproduction bear this out.

      While same-sex behavior might exists in some cases in the animal kingdom you can’t point to it as being the norm. If you know of any studies that prove a common gene in same-sex attraction I’d be willing to read them.

      • o be intellectually honest, I’m reciting regurgitated stories on the genetics of sexuality. But I’m not claiming that same-sex behavior in animals is the norm (Normal is a mathematical charactersitic), rather I’m claiming that it occurs naturally in the animal kingdom…and likewise, I wouldn’t claim that same-sex behavior in human beings is “normal”, again I only claim that it is a natural occurrence.

  2. In doing study on this issue a couple years back to council with someone, I came across a point of view that I had not considered before and helped me. It said that there are those who are born with a “same-sex desire” just as there are those who are born with a “Quick temper.” Just because you are quick-tempered, it doesn’t make it right to get angry and fly off the handle at someone. Just the same, just because you may be attracted to the same sex, it doesn’t mean that you are okay to give in to it. Each person has that certain sin that we battle. What affects me may not affect you.

    Great post.

    • Thx for the thoughts.

      Part of the problem some have with our point of view is the idea that the behavior is sin. “If God made us this way why is it a sin?” But you’re right – we’re all prone to some sin – and God made us the way we are. The idea is to refrain in spite of our “natural” inclinations.

      Thx for reading! 🙂

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