gay marriage

The Hidden Blessing in the Gay Marriage Movement

Let’s get this clear.  I believe as the Church fathers and the scriptures teach that homosexuality is a sin.  It is no more vile than any other sin, including fornication which no one bats an eye at these days.  Marriage is the sacramental union ordained by God between one man and one woman as described in the Adam and Eve story.  This sacred union imitates that of Jesus Christ with his bride, the Church. Technically, it is to be performed in the Church.  Both the man and woman are to be devout Christians and active in the Church.  The members of the congregation and the families are to provide whatever food, decorations, and whatever else is needed for the reception.  Thus, a wedding, when taken as a holy sacrament is not a business opportunity for florist, caterers, and photographers.  It is far deeper than a mere social event for family and friends.  And while it may be good for the state to record who lives together as a married couple, it is more than a legal contract.  A Christian wedding ceremony and reception is a celebration within the body of Christ.  With this in mind, I think the gay marriage movement may not be the worst thing in the world for Christianity.  In fact, it may be a blessing in disguise.

Bring back the crowns and what they mean.

As a result of modernism and money, Christians (even too many Orthodox) have relaxed their views and standards of marriage.  A sacrament that was once done in the church is now performed in mountain lodges, back yards, beaches, bowling alleys, or wherever the couple think the “mood” is right.  This act of holiness once done by pastors and higher clerics is done by local magistrates and anyone with a “certificate” including Elvis impersonators.  The event is planned by a professional coordinator working alongside professionals from the photographer to the limo service.  In some cases, the couple doesn’t even have to belong to the church they get married in or know the pastor that will perform the service (let alone agree to have pre-marital counseling) as some churches and clergy rent themselves out to whomever wants to wed.  Thus, heterosexual marriage and weddings have too often become mere productions and social gatherings celebrating love and a legal contract rather than the holy sacrament that Jesus and Paul held in honor.  Homosexuals have every right to demand that they can demand to have such celebrations as we heterosexuals do.  Rather than to try to pass laws against the inevitable, I believe we Christians should respond in a better way.

Pastors and congregations need to re-teach the sacramental nature of marriage and the communal nature of the Wedding  celebration within the body of Christ.  There is no point in a straight engaged couple shouting against a gay engaged or married couple when they are having sex before marriage and not repenting of it and confessing it before God.  The homosexuals are not in your bed, you and your future spouse are and you shouldn’t be yet.  Get the log out of your eye before worrying about the specks in someone else’s.  Pastors and other clergy need to put the holiness of the sacrament before the dollar signs. If the prospective couple are not members of some other congregation, they should either become members of yours, or have their pastor marry them.  You bear the responsibility for proclaiming salvation through the Gospel and taking care of people’s spiritual needs.  Blindly performing a ceremony without directing  the future bride and groom to some sort of spiritual accountability and preparation is dereliction of duty.  Friends, family, and brothers and sisters in Christ; you love this couple and you trust their taste buds and stomachs to strangers?  Really?  And does God concerned that the images of your special day was done with 60 megapixels?  Uncle Bob may have put part of his thumb over the lens of his smart phone.  But, he is the uncle that showed you how to make that soft ball pitch and knew how to solve that Algebra equation that you struggled with.  There are horror stories of Christian businesses being forced out of lucrative wedding gigs because some gay or lesbian couple is suing them for not providing services for their wedding.  But, is holy matrimony to be a celebration of divine love, or a pursuit of lucre and profit?

In the presence of God and these witnesses

No, I don’t support homosexual marriage at all.  It is a shame that good Christian business people have to choose between their faith and their bottom lines.  But, the blessing in disguise is that we Christians can take a hard look at ourselves and bring back our marriages and weddings to what they are supposed to be.

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Gay Marriage & Christian Opposition: How About A Truce?

 

Though I don’t support gay marriage, I could really care less about it – for the most part.  I consider heterosexual adultery and fornication a greater threat to the blessed union of male and female than any man & man or woman & woman relationship.  I don’t have to go into anyone’s bedroom but my own.  I have my own sins to repent for and salvation to work out.  As long as a person is providing me a service or a co-worker is doing as they should, it is not my business who he or she is having sex with.  Modern America has turned this holy sacrament of the church into a contract that could be officiated by a midget Elvis impersonator at a drive-thru “wedding chapel” in Las Vegas.   American capitalism has turned what was a holy celebration into just another business opportunity.  Marriage in America need only be emotionally based commerce with a civil certificate.  So, it makes sense that homosexual couples should have the same right to marry as heterosexuals.

But, here is where I draw a line.  I do not believe people of faith should be forced to provide services for such marriages.  Many practicing Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant Christians (as well as Jews, Muslims, and other people of other religions) believe whole heartedly that marriage should be between a man and a woman.  Suing people who refuse to photograph, cater, host, officiate, and provide other services to a practice that is clearly sinful according to their religion is wrong. 

A gay marriage is not the same as an interracial marriage.  The New Testament and the Early Church Fathers never forbade a Slavic Christian to wed an Ethiopian Christian.  Christians were to avoid being married to non-believers.  In cases where one spouse was a Christian and the other was not, the Apostle Paul permitted such couples to remain intact if the non-believer tolerated the faith of the spouse.  At no time did any jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church accept two men or two women to wed.  Although America’s racist past corrupted the Catholic and Protestant churches to forbid people marrying outside of their race, Christians today (mostly) accept mixed race couples.  Neither pope nor reformer ever considered the practice of homosexual marriage, much less that it would be equal to a heterosexual one. 

Being gay is not the same thing as being a minority.  If I were in a line with 99 gay black men and we were all wearing black suits and white ties, it would be nearly impossible to tell who the homosexual was.  But, dress me like and line me up with 99 white men and try to find the African-American and see how difficult that is.   So, by religion and sight, Christians are justified in refusing to participate in gay marriages.  Furthermore, Jesus Himself defines marriage to be between one man and one woman as he quotes the Creation narrative in Genesis.  The Apostle Paul declares that homosexuals, fornicators, adulterers, thieves, liars, and murders will not inherit the kingdom of heaven.  We believe being gay is a sin.  Gay marriage is therefore unthinkable for us.  Therefore, we have a right not to provide services to such marriage ceremonies. 

Rather than pick fights for punitive lawsuits, I believe the LGBT community should consider a truce with Christians on the practice of gay marriage.  For those who reject it, we may as well accept the fact that such marriages will be the law of the land.  We need not be bitter or hateful toward gays & lesbians as we refuse to offer them services for their ceremonies and receptions.  Give them a list of similar quality caterers, photographers, venues, and officiates that will be glad to serve them.  But, to the supporters of gay marriage, why not boycott those businesses and people who do not support these events?  During the Civil Rights Movement, when we African-Americans simply spent our money where we were treated fairly, a lot of racist businesses fell by the wayside.  By dragging Christians to court and winning outrageous lawsuits, you are only turning your opponents into martyrs as no one wants to be told by big business or (especially) big government what to do and how to live.  You are only contributing to the already polarized social political atmosphere as you are being vengeful.  That does not help your cause.

We Christians cannot win the fight against the rising tide of the acceptability of gay marriage.  Nor will gays ever convince us to change our belief in what we know is the truth.  Let us disagree without being disagreeable.