7 Questions for Christians About the Gay Marriage Debate

There are many and varied opinions on gay marriage, but just about everyone across the spectrum can agree on one thing: It’s been a landmark week for the national debate. Tuesday marked the Supreme Court's hearing of the case against Proposition 8, the amendment that prohibits gay marriage in California. Then on Wednesday, the Supreme Court held arguments debating the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a law that denies federal benefits to same-sex couples married in states where gay marriage is legal.

But the discussion wasn’t confined to the Supreme Court, either. Supporters and protestors are rallying in Washington D.C. Facebook and Twitter are ablaze with opinionated posts and campaign-related profile pictures. And even though the court rulings likely won’t be decided until June, it hasn’t stopped everyone from talking.

Governments are, and have always been, broken systems run by broken sinners.

The Church is not a political party, and problems often arise when we politicize biblical viewpoints. Nonetheless, this is not a conversation Christians can check out of altogether. Some are lending ardent support to gay marriage. Some are ardently resisting it. And some are saying that you can be in favor of legalizing gay marriage while still believing God’s design is for marriage between a man and a woman.

Whatever your personal stance on gay marriage, it’s currently the topic of a heated national dialogue—and one that’s not going to end any time soon. So how should Christians engage this discussion? I ask you to consider the following in your interactions and conversations about gay marriage.

1. What is communicated by our words?

When we use incendiary words, our point is lost as soon as it exits our lips. Be clear, but kind. Be bold, but gentle.

2. What is communicated by our tone?

Arrogance hides easily between pleasant phrases. A judgmental attitude can be neatly packaged in a passive aggressive expression. Our tone betrays our heart and all the kind words can’t hide an ugly tone delivering them.

3. What are our aims?

If “winning” the debate is our aim, we must reconsider. We win an argument and lose a potential friend. Winning the debate at all costs leaves a trail of destruction—jaded souls unwilling and unable to hear the good news of Jesus because they were bludgeoned into defeat. However, if our aims are to win people to Jesus, then the debate takes a back seat—where it belongs.

4. If we believe in a sovereign God, then why are we so fearful?

This could apply to just about any area of life, but apply it liberally to our societal fears. God is in charge. He knows what’s up. Represent Him well in all spheres of life, trust His reign and chill out.

If “winning” the debate is our aim, we must reconsider.

5. Why are we putting so much hope in the government?

Governments are, and have always been, broken systems run by broken sinners. We benefit greatly from good ones but ought not make the mistake of putting our hope in them. The hope we put in the government is evidenced by the energy we pour into influencing it, as if this is the means through which victory will be gained. But what I see is Christians doing what Jesus' disciples did—hoping in the overthrow of the Romans rather than the establishment of Christ's Kingdom. We cannot see government as the ultimate decision-makers or ultimate law-makers. We live in a monarchy, and our King is perfect. Put more faith in Him than in the Supreme Court or any other governmental body.

6. Can human hearts or culture really be legislated into godliness?

It is tempting to think this way, but it’s untrue. More than laws, what can really influence human hearts and culture as a whole are our personal and collective witness as the Church. As Christians, we are called to represent Jesus in word and deed. And all this political fervor is doing a pretty poor job of it.

7. Are we reflecting Christ in all our words and actions?

Don’t fall prey to your emotions or the tide of opinion—on either side. Don’t make the mistake of using the wrong medium for passionate debate. Above all, be a witness—not of your political views but of your faith. Because the real question here is this: What will make Jesus more beautiful, more full of hope, more full of joy in the eyes of those who have yet to meet Him?    

This article was adapted from BarnabasPiper.com.

114 Comments

Marc Wildman

1

Marc Wildman commented…

Hello

The answer's to these questions are very simple in terms of implementing either common sense and or the appropriate scriptures.

The Bible predicts the many emerging faces of Jesus and the consequent social issues that are now erupting as a result of what happens when people pervert God's Word(s). Homosexuality and lesbianism are two faces of the same coin, and are powerful, driving forces, that have become acceptable in our post-millennial age.

Both are an 'abomination' to our God who obviously created a male and a female with corresponding aperture, that visually joins both together, like 'hand-in-glove'? Amen? Attempting sexual intercourse by sodomy results in disease, and spreads the like throughout our society.

If men were to lie with men, (woman with woman) then how would children be born? If everyone would have partaken in this sickness throughout history, we would have been unable to populate the world, period. This shouldn't even be an argument and if everyone would simply employ one third of their biological equipment sitting atop their shoulders, we wouldn't be wasting our time on any of this.

The bottom line is, homosexuals lifestyles are beyond perverted attempts to circumvent God's plans for procreation. It's more important to have thousands of multiple orgasms than to worship a Holy God.

If people want to erect penises and vagina's on their own personal alters and give their lives over to them. Go ahead, but don't drag the rest of the Body of Christ through your pools of 'lust' and 'mud'.

Not to run the risk of sounding 'spiritually' incorrect? May I repeat that old-fashioned axiom? God loves the sinner but He hates the sin!

Thanks
Marc :(

Christopher May

22

Christopher May commented…

The Christian voting block believes that homosexuals should not get married because the Bible talks about marriage being between one man and one woman for life. The Bible is also clear about divorce (Mark 10:11-12). Christians argue that allowing homosexuals to marry will destroy the American family. The reality is, we have yet to have seen this happen. We have seen the devastation divorce has had on the American family. My question is why are we as Christians not seeking to legally prohibit no-fault divorce? This seems very inconsistent to me.

We as Christians have got to come to an agreement on what biblical moral principles we decide are strictly principles followers of Christ are called to adhere to, and which ones we want to make into national law knowing we live in a very pluralistic society.

Chris Mills

22

Chris Mills commented…

It's curious that we presume that Christian morality cannot be legislated, because the morality of so many Christians is influenced by legislation (rather than the Bible). I gotta wonder if we're wrong when we say that - if the converse is true, then why can't morality be legislated?

Stephanie

31

Stephanie commented…

One thing we often forget is that homosexuality, while it may be a sin, is only one of many sins in this world. In fact, it is mentioned fewer times in the bible than the majority of sins that you and I likely commit daily and think nothing of. We condemn members of the LGBT community as if they're lepers, while we tend to look past habitual lying, drunkenness, gluttony, selfishness, materialism, judging others, etc. A sin is a sin. There is no "this sin is worse than that sin" in Christianity. We are all sinners and we all need redemption. My tendency to be selfish is no less sinful than someone choosing to engage in homosexual behavior.

If we are so concerned about sinners reaping the legal benefits of other married folks, none of us should be allowed to be married! Why should Christians be okay with criminals, adulterers, porn addicts, and those guilty of any "everyday sin" marrying? Personally, I think members of the LGBT community could do a better job at raising a wholesome family than many of those who are legally allowed to marry. It's hypocritical to allow everyone outside the LGBT community to get the legal (note: separation of church and state should apply here) rights of marriage, regardless of their lifestyle choices. We choose only to condemn one type of sinful lifestyle, but look past our own filth.

Simple application of a simple truth: we need to remove the plank from our own eyes before focusing on the speck in others' eyes.

I'm not condoning the homosexual lifestyle, but the way I see it, we're all sinners. I don't have the right to deny another sinner of their legal (not religious) rights just because I decide that their sin is "worse" than mine.

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