I was up early this morning, earlier than I normally am on Sunday morning. Over the weekend I’ve been thinking about what should I say to my church this morning, if anything about Friday’s Iowa Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage. Some thoughts (don’t know if I’ll share any or all of them this morning in church, but here you go)…
- God is still on His throne. None of this is a shock to Him. He is not surprised. Yet listening to some reaction from my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, I wonder if they believe that.
- The world is not ending, it will one day when Jesus returns, but this ruling isn’t guaranteed to hasten His arrival.
- We live in a broken and sinful world so why are we surprised when people act broken and sinful?
- We need to make sure our own house is in order. Critics of those who oppose same-sex marriage have a point when they discuss the divorce rate in traditional marriage and evangelicals in particular. The divorce rate among Christ followers should be lower, but sadly that is not the case.
- Those in favor of same-sex marriage are not the enemy, the Bible makes it pretty clear who the enemy is, (Ephesians 6:12).
- As followers of Christ we need to speak truth in love, (Ephesians 4:15).
- Do not look at those celebrating the ruling with disdain, if we were to put ourselves in their shoes we would feel the same way.
- Political answers will never adequately address spiritual problems, if at all.
- We have as a Church, by and large, failed to minister to the homosexual community. When our only engagement with this community is political in nature we’ve missed the mark and are being disobedient. That needs to change. We should find ways to build bridges with the homosexual community to Christ’s love (and by that I don’t mean condone the lifestyle).
- My friend over at Evangelicals Anonymous, who hasn’t been posting regularly but did post on this said something that we need to keep in mind when looking at potential consequences:
I believe most homosexuals simply want to be treated equally from their perspective and have no desire to sue churches, see pastors in jail, or cause a scene in any way.
- Iowa Independent cited a recent University of Iowa poll that showed 60% of those under the age of 30 support same-sex marriage. I would suggest it is pretty reflective of younger evangelicals as well. Does this mean homosexuality is any less sinful? Not at all. It does show that by and large (and not on this issue only) parents are not adequately teaching kids to look at issues from a Biblical worldview. I know I’m going to take some flak from some younger evangelicals on that, but I’m sorry. Those opposing same-sex marriage have been wrong in not showing love to homosexuals. Some (not all) younger evangelicals in their reaction to the other position are guilty of showing love, but never communicating truth on this issue. It isn’t either/or, the biblical response is both/and.
- While we shouldn’t just address this politically, it is not inappropriate to do so. Christians who choose to contact their legislators need to remember – frame your argument from a civil point of view. Talking about “God’s law” is not going to be effective. We do not live in a theocracy. We need to talk about societal pitfalls, etc., demonstrate social science evidence, etc. Be winsome and respectful.
- If an attempt at a marriage amendment fails, we are people who do respect the rule of law and democracy. We need to obey our governing authorities provided doing so does not make us violate God’s word (if changes in the law later on requires churches to marry homosexuals, or not preach on homosexuality – like what you see in Canada, etc.).
There is more that could be said on this topic, and I’m sure I will post more as we get updates.
Update 4/9/09: Linked by Christianity Lived Out.