Protest_against_a_constitutional_amendment_banning_same_sex_marriage
Photo credit: Fibonacci Blue

Gallup released a poll today that found 55% of Americans believed that same-sex marriages should be recognized by law and given the same rights as traditional marriages.

Below shows the trend line since they have polled on the issue.

gallup-poll

They found 8 out of 10 Americans between the ages of 18-29 support same-sex marriage.  They noted that Republicans still do not support same-sex marriage, with only 30% saying they do, it still represents a 14 point jump since 1996.  There has been a 17 point jump among those who identify themselves as conservative since 1996 with 31% saying they support same-sex marriage.

You can read all of their findings here.

I’d like to direct my thoughts to my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who maybe troubled by this news.

  • This is not a surprising development.  Popular opinion goes with the culture and popular culture has advocated this for a very long time.
  • While Gallup didn’t specifically poll young evangelicals, it is a trend we’ve seen that many have rejected biblical truth on this issue for cultural norms primarily again because young people are inundated by a popular culture that is slanted this direction.
  • Evangelicals and social conservatives must reconsider their strategy.  I think the primary problem, and have said so on different occasions, is that we focused for too much on the political aspect of this issue and not as much from the perspective of the Great Commission.  We need to be salt and light, but that doesn’t just encompass going to political rallies and voting.
  • Church must make apologetics and worldview training a priority for its children and youth – not just teaching the what we believe, but the why as well, and then how to defend it.
  • The Church must engage the homosexual community in the proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ and through servant evangelism.
  • Christians must place as much emphasis, if not more, on cultural missionary work as we do foreign missions work.  We can’t afford to cede music, movies, TV, and other popular cultural mediums to secular culture.  That’s how we got into this mess in the first place.
  • We must remember that our fight is not “with flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places,” (Ephesians 6:12, ESV).  Homosexuals, even militant homosexual activists, are not the enemy.  Satan is.  Jesus died for them, as much as He died for you and me.
  • We must continue to defend traditional marriage and our religious liberty, but do so in a winsome way.  There are two extremes here.  One position is to just remain silent and withdraw.  The opposite extreme (among mainstream evangelicals) is to use pejorative terms in attempt to defend our faith.  While I understand the tactic, and I defend their constitutional right to do so, I don’t believe it is the most effective way to be salt and light in culture.  I do see in scripture that we are to speak truth in love, (Ephesians 4:15), and we are to make a defense for the hope we have within us with gentleness and respect, (1 Peter 3:15-16).  We should do all thing as though we are serving Christ, (Colossians 3:23).  We should seek to honor Christ.  Does that mean being weak and mealy mouthed?  No, but if our goal is to win an argument instead of being winsome for Christ I think we’ve gone astray.
  • We also need to remember this is not new.  The Roman Empire had its share of debauchery and in many ways was worse, it persecuted Christians, and yet the Church thrived.  We were never promised we would be spared persecution, in fact Jesus promised the exact opposite.  We also need to remember that God has not come off His throne.  He is in control, and He knows and is in control of the final outcome.

And here is a general comment towards those who disagree with me.  Since it seems popular opinion is shifting in your favor shouldn’t you then try to push your agenda through legislatively instead of the courts?  At least then the people would have a say through their elected officials instead of us falling under judicial tyranny.  If you truly believe this is the right course for America do what those of us who support traditional marriage have done, honor the constitutional process.

36 comments
  1. If 99 percent of the people believed in the lie (in this case, that Sodomy equates with marriage, those millions of people would still be wrong… I’ll stay with Truth.

    1. I’m with you, and hopefully you didn’t interpret that I was suggesting that.
      I just think we need to consider how we’re communicating that truth, and in what realm. I think our biggest problem is that we’ve focused mainly on the political sphere.
      We don’t need to give that up, but we need to engage in other spheres as well. It’s going to be an uphill climb and frankly we need to pray for revival.

      1. Hi Shane,
        I posted a question above, which I’ll ask again, in short form. Why are you spending so much energy on preventing consenting adults from marrying, when there are so many horrific evils in the world? Imagine Christians rallying together to stop violence against women. Or slavery. Why this? I have asked this question so many times. NO ONE has ever answered me. Maybe you could. You seem like a reasonable person.

      2. It’s been ten years of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, five years in Iowa. Do you really think you are going to turn back the clock?

    2. So you’re for slavery also? Stoning a woman for not being a virgin on her wedding? Forcing a woman to marry her rapist? Stoning a woman for wearing pants? There are over 600 laws in the Bible and most people would find idiotic or immoral.
      I personally still cringe when I see two guys kiss but I am old and that is the way I was brought up. Actually, any open displays of affection makes me feel uncomfortable. The bottom line is no one is forcing you to enter a same-sex marriage. No one is forcing your church to conduct same-sex marriages.

    3. I’m glad you are vigilant in your fight against sodomy. I’m sure the first target will be political conservatives like Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, and the CEOs of corporate America:

      “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.”
      Ezekiel 16:49-50

  2. DEAR SHANE:

    Would you like to know what the sinister “Gay Agenda” really is? It is fair and equal treatment under the law, nothing more and nothing less. People who are Straight (i.e. heterosexual) have never had to worry about
    being fired from their jobs, kicked out of their rental properties, turned away from businesses, targeted with vandalism and violence, or denied the right to marry the person they love, SOLELY because of their sexual orientation. Gay people shouldn’t have to worry about it, either.

    The reason most Americans have become so accepting and supportive of their Gay friends, family members, and co-workers, is because we have demonstrated through example that we are capable of conducting our lives with decency and humility, and that we are contributing members of our communities. It also goes without saying that social networking sites such as Facebook have made the proverbial “closet” virtually obsolete.

    This is not to say that Gay people are all saints. People can also behave abominably, whether they are Gay or Straight. But other than the gender and sexual orientation of the people we love and marry, there really
    isn’t too much difference between Gay and Straight people, as more and more people are discovering every day.

    The fact is, Americans are learning to make better value judgments.

    Why is it that Straight couples are encouraged to date, get engaged, marry and build lives together in the context of monogamy and commitment, and that this is a GOOD thing … yet for Gay couples to do exactly
    the same is somehow a BAD thing? To me this seems like a very poor value judgment.

    Ask any Straight couple why they choose to marry. Their answer will not be, “We want to get married so that we can have sex and make babies!” That would be absurd, since couples do not need to marry to make babies, nor is the ability or even desire to make babies a prerequisite for obtaining a marriage license.

    No, the reason couples choose to marry is to make a solemn declaration before friends and family members that they wish to make a commitment to one another’s happiness, health, and well-being. Those friends and family members will subsequently act as a force of encouragement for that couple to hold fast to their vows.

    THAT’S what makes marriage a good thing, whether the couple in question is Straight OR Gay. It looks like American voters are starting to accept that.

  3. I love the gay commenters to your post who immediately put those of us who disagree with them on the marriage issue, into a category of people who want women stoned to death, slavery to return, approve of housing and job discrimination, etc, etc. I get so tired of hearing them babble on and on!

    1. I suppose you would get tired of it. Your side is losing.
      Considering you use the Bible to justify your homophobia, then why wouldn’t we be able to use it also. You don’t like when people call you out when you pick and choose what you like and what you ignore.

    2. Well- if you oppose it for biblical reasons – there are a lot of other sins in that book that you should oppose for biblical reasons.

      Too often we get convenient Christians. Where they only abuse the bible when it validates their existing biases or opinions.

    3. Slavery is biblical. Slaves are property and the OT says they may take slaves from the nations around them.

  4. You evidently have the mindset that being gay is a conscious choice and that if left unchecked, homosexuality will take over the country to the point that the birth rate will drop.

    This is falsehood — on religious, scientific, and psychological bases.

    LGBT people are born the way they are; the only choice they have is when and how to express it. People often come out of the closet of being naturally attracted to people of the same gender way before they have any concept of sexual feelings, which proves that it isn’t a choice. So does the fact that heterosexuals don’t make an analogous choice. (Even if being gay was a choice, what possible incentive could there be?)

    Because having same-sex attractions is as inborn and immutable as being left-handed or having a certain hair color or skin color, its prevalence can never increase. Thus, the fear-mongering about birth rates and gay people’s danger to the nuclear family is needless. What would you have LGBT people do — enter into marriages with an opposite-sex partner they have no chance of loving in all the ways that married couples should? That’s a recipe for broken families, and that’s been tried throughout history, always with disastrous results. And the lies are to blame. All gay people want is the civil recognition of the relationships they have that are analogous to those of heterosexual couples. They can be against heterosexual marriage any more than a meat-eater can be against vegetarians. Simply put, there is no valid secular argument against same-sex civil marriage.

    As for the religious side, modern biblical scholarship has been proving more and more that what purports to be “clear” prohibitions against homosexuality in the Bible are, when translated accurately from the original Hebrew and Greek in their intended contexts, actually prohibitions against temple prostitutes and those who patronized them. There is not one verse in the Bible that prohibits loving same-sex relationships. To the contrary, there are actually a few passages that seem to praise them. Churches of all denominations are coming to realize this and are now atoning for their past transgressions against LGBT people. As for Fundamentalists… well, it’s not difficult to see why they are not at the forefront of biblical scholarship.

      1. Yes. Because we all know that everyone decides to be gay just to irritate you, Tony.
        I am impressed that a dog can type.

    1. Terry –

      There has yet to be any credible scientific evidence for your claim that LGBT people are “born that way.” However, even if that were ever to be proven, being born with a certain behavioral focus does not make the behavior acceptable. Many have made the claim that alcoholics have a predisposition to alcohol, but we don’t say, “they have to be allowed to be drunk, it’s who they are.”

      The Bible teaches that sin has affected the whole of creation, that it is a fault in the very make up of all we see (Romans 5 and 8 address this concept). That means that our genetic make up is flawed, not just our emotional, mental, and spiritual conditions. Some genetic flaws are not sin, but the result of sin’s curse, and ultimately we all face the physiological effect of sin when we die. Death is, according to biblical orthodox teaching, the direct result of sin’s comprehensive influence on all that we know and see.

      You asked about “incentive” toward homosexual behavior. The incentive for such behavior is ultimately found in the nature of man – we do what gives us pleasure, whether it’s ultimately beneficial or not. At a behavioral level this occurs: we mouth off to our boss even though we know we could get fired, but it “felt good.” We tell the creditor that the check is “in the mail” when it hasn’t been written because the sense of being left alone and believed to have acted “feels better” than having to own up to not having cared for the matter yet. The list is endless. We are constantly making decisions based on what gives us pleasure, even delaying present pleasure for future pleasure. Athletes push themselves in grueling exercises for the hope of being the fastest, strongest, quickest, highest scorer, etc.

      Relationships are no different. Platonic ones are formed for the pleasure they bring. Best friends, companions at sporting events, etc.. When a friendship becomes painful, we distance ourselves, or end it. The same is evident in romantic relationships of any kind. Whether heterosexual or homosexual, whether a committed marriage or an illicit affair, we do what gives us pleasure. And that pleasure is defined by our worldview.

      An orthodox Christian worldview sees God as Creator and sovereign over all rule and authority. Since He created us, He has authority to define our roles, our boundaries, what is right, what is wrong, etc. The Bible teaches that those who walk in His ways will be rewarded and those who disobey Him will be punished. Therefore, in one sense, those who hold to biblical orthodoxy are acting out the same primary behavior – they are doing what they believe will bring the most pleasure, in this case, the eternal favor of the Almighty God.

      To answer your claim that there is “no valid secular argument against same-sex civil marriage,” I strongly disagree. From a secular vantage point, long-term, heterosexual marriage provides the best and most stable environment for the continuation of a society and culture. First, for a human being to exist requires the chromosomes of a male and a female to be joined. By its very nature, “pure” homosexual behavior is self-destructive as it cannot reproduce. Biologically, even if one holds to an evolutionary worldview, it demonstrates itself to be an aberration that does not promote the species but would ultimately lead to its elimination.

      Societally, then, there’s no benefit to grant equality to that which will functionally eliminate the society. Since those who practice homosexuality cannot reproduce, they must either violate their nature (if indeed they are “born that way”) to engage in heterosexual behavior, or they must recruit from the heterosexual population. That is an inherently faulty and ultimately destructive system for a society on several fronts. A society that willfully supports, encourages, and legitimizes behavior which by its definition destroys that society has demonstrated its own insanity. And we are fast going mad.

      Finally, you make the claim that “modern biblical scholarship” is refuting traditional orthodox beliefs about homosexual behavior. The only segment of biblical “scholarship” where that is true is found in those who reject the orthodox foundational truth that the Bible is the inspired and authoritative word of God. Since they have disregarded the foundational identity of the Bible, they are naturally going to err in their understanding and interpretation of it. While there are definitely verses that address prohibitions against temple prostitution, that is not the exclusive limits of the prohibitions. Additionally the Creation narrative demonstrates the very heterosexual nature of intimate behavior, setting it contextually into the realm of marriage immediately (see Genesis 2:24).

      You are relatively accurate in your statement that “churches of all denominations” are involved in claiming that God allows and approves LGBT behavior, at least in the broad stroke definition of denominations. However, I doubt you would find any church which accepts LGBT activities that believes the Bible to be their ultimate and exclusive rule of faith and behavior. It’s not a matter of scholarship; it’s a matter of worldview. They have rejected the orthodox view of the Bible as uniquely inspired and authoritative and instead have decided that they are authoritative over the Bible.

  5. As someone from Canada, where we’ve had same-sex marriage for about 10 years now, I’m often puzzled by this debate. I understand that you think it is a sin – I was raised that way, too. But I don’t understand why you single this out, from amongst all of the other things that the bible names as sins.
    No, I won’t talk to you about mixed fabrics and shellfish. But I do want to know why so many Christians are spending so much energy on this, when there are real evils in the world to fight against. There is so much hunger, there is slavery, there is SO much violence against women here in North America alone. Why are you wasting your resources trying to keep consenting adults from marrying each other, when you could be eradicating some real evil? Think how much you could get done if you came together like this in order to stop child abuse. Or wife battering. Think about it. Please.
    In Canada, since we legalized same-sex marriage, our freedom of speech has not diminished, nor has our freedom of religion. Divorce is about the same as it was before. Nothing else has changed as a result of this. Really. We’re fine. You will also be fine. Really.

    1. It’s been legal in Iowa, where this blog is based, for five years now. In my state, Maryland, for almost 17 months. Life goes on, but with the benefits of marriage for same-sex couples and their families. I don’t see what the big deal is.

      1. Baltimatt – the big deal is that florists, bakers, and photographers in several states are being told they MUST be party to homosexual marriages when their faith and conscience oppose such. A baker in Colorado was just told so this past week. This is a violation of the First Amendment, and a violation of individual conscience and faith. It IS a big deal and will be made to be so more and more.

      2. So, would you support same-sex marriage if you were allowed to discriminate against homosexuals?

      1. Haha, Rebecca, maybe that was me as well. It keeps being true. And I just don’t understand all the fuss.

    2. Elsa – Freedom of religion is being challenged in Canada right now because of same-sex marriage. Trinity Western University, in their free exercise of religion, had a covenant agreement with attending students that they would not engage in sexual conduct other than within heterosexual marriage. That is the orthodox biblical and historic Christian view of what is acceptable. But they are being sued and, should they lose, will not legally be able to hold students to that covenant. That is NOT freedom of religion.

      Adultery and fornication are sin. Homosexuality is sin. Greed is sin. Theft is sin. And there are a host of others. So it’s fair to ask “why spend so much energy on this.” The answer is found in the above situation. No one has ever sued a Christian university for prohibiting adultery or fornication by its students. Theft would most likely get a student expelled and there would be no outcry by kleptomaniacs wanting their ways to be “normalized.” But those promoting the GLBTQ agenda are interested in eliminating any and all opposition to their lifestyle. And while the popular argument is “why can’t two people who love each other be allowed to get married,” the reality is the lifestyles of those involved in this behavior are far from monogamous. Additionally, those insisting on equality of homosexual behavior are equally as adamant about removing age barriers. They want “consent” to be up to each individual, and they can make little boys and little girls say they “want” something that they do not comprehend – until it’s too late.

      Why spend time on this? Because on a spiritual level, the outcome is the eradication of religion. Because on a societal level, the outcome is the eradication of any moral boundaries. And when you remove faith and morals from a culture, you have destroyed the culture. You may say that is a “slippery slope” argument, but the problem with such arguments is this: many of them are real.

      1. Wow, John, where are you getting your information from? I know many gay people, and many of those are in long-term monogamous relationships. Not a single one wants or condones sex with children.
        Many people, both homosexual and heterosexual have sex with lots of people – it’s not even close to being a same-sex phenomenon. It’s a human tendency. These things are lies that you have been fed, and are spreading. These things are hateful slanderous lies.
        Perhaps the reason TWU is being sued for discrimination is because they actually are discriminating. Having a policy against theft, adultery and premarital sex does not target any single group. Also, you don’t really want me to believe that any Christian college or university controls the sex-lives of their students, do you? Please. The amount of sex that goes on there is the same as at any other school. I know this. I’ve been to those schools, my friends have been to those schools, my friends have gotten pregnant at those schools. It’s well known what goes on there, so let’s not pretend.
        If students sign those types of agreements, they must know they will not stick to them, and think no-one will find out. It’s much harder and more painful to hide and continue to hide the fact that you’re gay.
        The difference is that being gay is who a person IS and not what they do. Telling them they cannot live as married couples at the school is discriminatory. AND it is taking away THEIR freedom of religion, also, to say they cannot be Christian and be gay at the same time. You can pretend you are not saying that, but you are and you know it.
        The outcome is not eradication of religion – it is evolution of religion. Christianity has evolved and changed many times over the past 2,000 years. How could it not? We no longer condone slavery, as is condoned and encouraged in the Bible. Women are no longer property in much of Christianity, though still we are far from equal. Many things have changed, and will continue to change as humanity changes.
        It is extremely insulting for you to say that marriage equality will eradicate moral boundaries. Just the opposite – it will be doing exactly what Jesus told us to do: love others as we love ourselves, free the prisoners, lift the downtrodden, eat with the untouchables, be peacemakers etc., etc..

      2. John, I wrote a lengthy reply to your reply yesterday, but I just realized something. You didn’t really answer my question. You answered “why spend so much energy on this?” but you didn’t answer “why spend so much energy on this rather than on eradicating real evils such as violence against women?”.

        In reply, you said, “Homosexuality is sin. Greed is sin. Theft is sin. And there are a host of others.” I didn’t say anything about theft or greed. I said hunger, slavery, violence against women. Did you just not notice that, I wonder? Why did you change those things to theft and greed? Could it be that slavery and violence against women are NOT sins in the bible?

        Christians are very active in relieving hunger in many places around the world. That’s a wonderful thing, and those people are following Jesus, absolutely. So, what about the others? Why spend so much energy on your right to discriminate, rather than on actually helping people?

      3. obviously, it is your bent that he is supporting a “right to discriminate” and that what he’s doing isn’t “helping people”.

  6. Jesus actually talked about divorce and remarriage, yet I don’t see any push for laws and constitutional amendments to codify that teaching into law. Isn’t that a bigger “problem” than the relatively small number of gays who want to marry?

  7. I see Shane is talking about “those of us who support traditional marriage” to refer to those who oppose same-sex marriage. Why can’t such people state their objective instead of trying to sugar coat it?

    As far as the court fight, what part of unconstitutional do you not understand? Striking down unjust laws while not taking anything away from the majority (other than their ability to discriminate) is not judicial tyranny.

    As far as the young evangelicals, do they necessarily “reject Biblical truth” or do they realize we are a pluralistic society? Evangelicals have apparently made peace with the concept of religious liberty, where religions that “reject Biblical truth” (as the Evangelicals see it) are given equal standing in society.

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