My Answers to 10 Questions for Christians Who Support Gay Marriage

gay-marriageThe Christian website crosswalk.com poses 10 Questions for Christians Who Support Gay Marriage. I’m going to comment and give my answers.

Not all Christians have been shocked or saddened [by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage]. In fact, many have blithely changed their Facebook profile images to blaze with the colors of the rainbow. They’re glad for the ruling and see no contradiction between the tenants of God’s Word and gay marriage. To those, Pastor Kevin DeYoung at The Gospel Coalition presents a list of searching and important questions:

“If you consider yourself a Bible-believing Christian, a follower of Jesus whose chief aim is to glorify God and enjoy him forever, there are important questions I hope you will consider before picking up your flag and cheering on the sexual revolution. These questions aren’t meant to be snarky or merely rhetorical. They are sincere, if pointed, questions that I hope will cause my brothers and sisters with the new rainbow themed avatars to slow down and think about the flag you’re flying.”

Here are the top ten selected by crosswalk.com:

1. How long have you believed that gay marriage is something to be celebrated?

I don’t celebrate gay marriages; in fact, I’ve never been invited to one. I have always believed that if someone is doing something that isn’t harming anyone else, they have a right to do it. I also believe that people have a right to pursue their own happiness.

2. What Bible verses led you to change your mind

Matthew 7:12: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” I want others respect my right to marry, and therefore, I respect theirs.

3. How would you make a positive case from Scripture that sexual activity between two persons of the same sex is a blessing to be celebrated?

I wouldn’t make the case from scripture. I would not make the case for heterosexual sex from it either. As Paul said in Corinthians 7:1, “It is good for a man to abstain from sexual relations with a woman.” In the remainder of the chapter, he concedes that most people will be unable to avoid sexual relations due to their “lack of self control”, which he calls “sexual immorality”, and therefore, marriage is necessary for them.

4. What verses would you use to show that a marriage between two persons of the same sex can adequately depict Christ and the church?

I don’t think they do, so I wouldn’t try. Christ said nothing about same sex marriage. The Christian church clearly defines marriage as being between a man and a woman.

5. Do you think Jesus would have been okay with homosexual behavior between consenting adults in a committed relationship?

Yes. He would likely have tried to get them to renounce the flesh and become his followers, as he did with other groups that the Jews of the time considered to be sinners.

6. If so, why did he reassert the Genesis definition of marriage as being one man and one woman?

As Jesus said, he did not come to change the Law. Like Paul, he suggested celibacy for those able to abstain (Matthew 19:12):There are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it.

7. As you think about the long history of the church and the near universal disapproval of same-sex sexual activity, what do you think you understand about the Bible that Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, and Luther failed to grasp?

Jesus grounded his teachings in the Jewish society that existed 2000 years ago, as did Paul. Jesus does not teach that homosexuality is wrong. Paul, who did, was a Pharisee before converting to Christianity, and was trying to convert people who were themselves Jews who followed the laws of the Torah. Augustine, Aquinas , Calvin, and Luther were also men of their times. Men are fallible. Augustine doubtless believed that the world was at the center of the universe. Why do you expect these men to grasp everything?

8. What arguments would you use to explain to Christians in Africa, Asia, and South America that their understanding of homosexuality is biblically incorrect and your new understanding of homosexuality is not culturally conditioned?

I wouldn’t. When they have fully embraced the principles of the enlightenment, their cultures may reach the point where they are ready to tolerate abnormal consensual sexual behavior. The best thing we can do now is to show them a good example.

9. Should your brothers and sisters in Christ who disagree with homosexual practice be allowed to exercise their religious beliefs without fear of punishment, retribution, or coercion?

Yes. And they should not be allowed to punish, take retribution on, or coerce others.

10. Will you speak up for your fellow Christians when their jobs, their accreditation, their reputation, and their freedoms are threatened because of this issue?

It would depend on what they had done. I wouldn’t stand up for a Christian who bombed an abortion clinic. I would stand up for their right to peacefully protest one.

According to Janet Boynes, “The Supreme Court cannot redefine what they didn’t create. Marriage is a covenant, a sacred bond between a man and a woman instituted by and publicly entered into before God. Marriage is intended to be a lifetime commitment since it was established by God.”

The Supreme Court is a secular institution, and does have the right to define the secular (legal) definition of marriage. I agree that they have no right to change the religious definition of marriage, unless that definition is in conflict with secular law. Secular law must balance human rights. One of those is the right to practice whatever religion you like, but that doesn’t give you the right, for example, to practice religious honor killing.

“Marriage represents a serious vow that should not be entered into lightly or unadvisedly. It involves a solemn promise or pledge, not merely to one’s marriage partner, but before God. Marriage is also a human agreement between a man and a woman; it is the most intimate of all human relationships resulting in a ‘one-flesh’ union.”

I agree that religious marriage can and should be a more serious commitment than a legal secular marriage. I think churches are within their rights to decide what a religious marriage means to them. I agree that the secular, legal system of marriage is has become a corrupted institution. But I still don’t think churches should be able to impose the concept of religious marriage onto the secular law.

About jimbelton

I'm a software developer, and a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, and I blog about movies, books, and philosophy. My interest in religious philosophy and the search for the truth inspires much of my writing.
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1 Response to My Answers to 10 Questions for Christians Who Support Gay Marriage

  1. Pablo Assab says:

    Thanks for sharing. I just won’t touch that hot iron re, gay or gay marriage, right or wrong or wherever. As a Christian my only response is to love my neighbour as I love myself. And who is my neighbour? However your comment ‘if someone is doing something that isn’t harming anyone else, they have a right to do it’ is a bit underwhelming as it is acceptable way of life that is leading us all on a manic dash to the edge of the cliff. So, I’m gonna try sky diving for the first time after having a six pack, cause after all it isn’t harming anyone else. If one is defending a subject such as gay marriage, I’m not sure that helps much in this case. Thanks anyway as this matter causes so much divisiveness I’ll stick with loving my neighbour regardless of who they are. The best argument I’ve heard on this topic is: if you’ve just fell in a dark hole and a hand reaches down to help you, you never say “Before I take your hand, are you White, Black, Arab, Jew, Gay?” Pablo

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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