I was made aware at work that Vermont and Iowa had become the latest two states to okay gay marriage. I pondered that for most of the rest of the day, thinking about what to say from the standpoint of a follower of Christ.
Let me first say this: Those who are homosexuals should NOT be the subject of ridicule, hate, or vitriol. To need to say this to the Christian community is a tragedy of the highest order, and to think that some of those who most need the mercy and grace of Christ receive only judgment and scorn from those who are most supposed to represent it is ridiculous. This kind of behavior is precisely what the LORD would NOT appreciate.
As for my own personal beliefs on homosexuality, I believe that it is, in fact, prohibited by the bible, having been condemned as sinful both in the Old Testament (Leviticus 18:22) and the New Testament (1st Corinthians 6:9 and 1st Timothy 1:10). Also, there are several verses in the bible that indicate homosexuality as a condition of depravity. I realize that there are scientists who propose that homosexuality is a genetic condition, but I also know that the evidence is by no means conclusive. In fact, there is evidence that this is not the case. Intellectual honesty would require a statement of inconclusiveness.
While I will not debate the sinfulness of homosexuality (I believe that it is a sin, much as I believe that lying, heterosexual sex before marriage, drunkenness, and other assorted deeds are sins), I will vigorously debate the legitimacy of homosexual marriage.
Let me begin by saying this: I am unequivocably opposed to homosexual relations (again, just as I am to heterosexual sex before marriage). That being said, let us look at the origins of marriage to discern why the Christ follower should take issue with homosexual marriage.
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24, NKJV).”
This passage has set the tone for male-female relationships for all time. In fact, several thousand years later, as Jesus was being questioned about marriage, He responded by quoting this exact verse. I realize that for this to be universally accepted as proof that marriage was meant to be the union of one man and woman would require a person to accept the word of Christ as the very Word of God, but as Christ followers, my assumption would be that one would do just that. Therefore, from a Christian perspective, marriage is indeed meant to be between one man and one woman, a permanent covenant between opposite sexes before the LORD our God. For the Christian, there is really no other point to arrive at than the point that lines itself with the words of our LORD, which is the reaffirmation of marriage between a man and a woman.
Even from a logical perspective, it would stand to reason that man and woman are designed to be placed in tandem with one another in matrimony. One look at the completeness of our LORD, the nurturing side of the Blessed One, the ruggedness and power in the voice of Messiah, and we see that completion is in fact, a union of the man and woman. When God created Eve, He did so according to the notion that “it is not good for man to be alone.” The implication is that indeed, it is the union of man and woman that is considered a place of completeness. I am by no means iterating that an unmarried person is incomplete. Far from it, for those who remain unmarried have the LORD as their companion just as the married couple, thereby offering them the same level of fulfillment in life in the Spirit. I am saying this only to deny that a marriage between two men or two women could possibly be the image of completeness in the eyes of the LORD who has created us.
Again, I would love to expound further upon the relevancy of scripture in defining homosexuality as sin, for I believe that it is imperative for those who are Christ followers to set the standard of Grace and Truth on earth. It would be a tragedy and hate crime of the highest order if we were to spare the ears of homosexuals from the truth out of lack of desire to offend. We are the hands and feet of the LORD, yet we are also the voice of the LORD here on earth. It is a biblical mandate for Christians to stand for truth, and sometimes that will call for speaking things that will create discomfort. We are called to love, we are called to minister, we are called to stand for truth and righteousness.
The union of man and woman was the original design of God. This was His decision, His choice, and this was how He designed us to work. I do not, and I cannot stress this enough, condone homosexuality. Quite the opposite, rather. I also, however, feel that as Christians, we are to show grace and mercy, all the while living out the ideals of truth and righteousness, and speaking truth in the areas where it need be said.
“For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ; (Ephesians 4:12-15, KJV)”