The Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage should not have surprised anyone. The wind was certainly blowing in that direction.
What is of interest is how will our culture deal with dissenting opinions.
Before delving into this further, I need to clarify my position. I believe that God’s intent for marriage is between a man and a woman and it seems obvious, at least to me, that God has clarified this intent in the Bible.
I use the phrase “God’s intent for marriage” on purpose as I prefer that phrase to “biblical marriage”. Biblical marriage can be troublesome as many ask, usually cynically, which marriage in the Bible should be emulated – after all, Abraham, Jacob, David, and Solomon did not follow God’s intent for marriage as they had multiple wives and/or concubines.
Jesus clarifies God’s intent for marriage in Matthew 19:3-6, when he says, “And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, ‘Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?’ He answered, ‘Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.’”
My concern in this post is not to necessarily to clarify my stance on marriage. What does concern me is that to state this belief – and to define it as God’s intent for marriage – will be equated with sexism, racism, and anti-Semitism.
PennLive and the Patriot News made this equation on June 26, 2015, when they posted an article that stated, ““These unions are now the law of the land. And we will not publish such letters and op-Eds any more than we would publish those that are racist, sexist or anti-Semitic.” Again, my concern is that those with a dissenting position equated with those who are racist, sexist, or anti-Semitic.
(Thankfully, the editor of PennLive offered an apology, however, he did not change their new policy, “Our letters policy on same-sex marriage – an explanation and an apology: John L. Micek“)
As you already know, the Supreme Court decision was handed down during the same week that important cultural changes were taking place in regards to racism – namely in regards to the despicable display of the Confederate flag.
The American Church has not always been on the right side of history in regards to racism, often guilty of perpetuating it, including my denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention.
Those wishing to perpetuate slavery or discrimination used scripture to justify their racism. The defenders of slavery and/or racism use eisegesis to manipulate scripture to support racism while ignoring texts that state the exact opposite.
For example, defenders of racism often use the “Curse of Ham” in Genesis 9:20-27 to contend that those of Ham’s descent (presumably those from Africa) are inferior. This argument ignores that every person is made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27) and that in Christ all are equal (Galatians 3:28).
The use of scripture to defend racism is unreasonable. Thus, racism is both unreasonable and wrong.
There are those who contend that the orthodox Christian view of same-sex marriage is also both unreasonable and wrong. As you can see in the image below, a couple tweeters deem the orthodox Christian view irrational.
However, unlike the unreasonableness of a biblical argument in favor of racism, there does exist a reasonable argument against same-sex marriage. If one believes that what Jesus says is true – that God intends for marriage to be between a man and a woman – then it is not an unreasonable or irrational position.
People are free to deem this position wrong. What the orthodox position can’t be deemed is irrational or unreasonable for people who believe that Jesus’ words are true.
Some will say that the Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage as right. This is not within the purview of the Supreme Court. It is the job of the Supreme Court to declare what is constitutional, not what is right or wrong.
As a Christian, what should our next steps be? Simply to do the task Jesus gave to us to by word and by deed to show that Jesus is Lord.
With that in mind, we must exhibit the attitudes and actions that encourages others towards faith in Jesus.
In your angst, do not display attitudes and actions that will discourage others towards Christ.
As Peter encourages in 1 Peter 1:12, “Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.”
What the world fundamentally needs is Jesus. When we are maligned for our belief that Christ’s words are true – even about marriage – accusations of hate will be hollow IF we serve and love others selflessly.