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A Christian Argument in Support of Gay Marriage
A message of God's redemptive love
A Christian Argument in Support of Gay Marriage
The stereotypical Christian is one who sides politically with conservatism, believes it his right to single-handedly uphold the sacred institution of marriage defined as between a man and a woman, and believes the aforementioned woman’s place, if not in the kitchen, is firmly seated behind the man and his ideals. Since we’re discussing marriage, statistically it’s worth mentioning that the stereotypical Christian will find himself signing divorce papers at least once in his life.
Just like all Blacks are not thugs, all Asians are not astro-physicists, all Hispanics are not immigrants, all Gays are not promiscuous, and all Whites are not politically correct, neither are all Christians conservative. I have met many liberal Christians who believe more in Jesus’ radical message of love than they do in merely upholding the moral laws and codes of a bygone era. There is a valid Christian argument to be made in support of gay marriage that is also biblically based and following a precedent not only set by Jesus’ example in the New Testament for all sinners, but also by God, Himself, in the Old Testament through His relationship to the Israelites.
I will go ahead and answer the critics before they speak because I know what they are going to say. This isn’t an argument I am making out of personal interest. I am not gay. While I have several close gay friends, if I felt the Holy Spirit telling me they should not love one another or be married, I would follow that leading whole-heartedly. I don’t believe in sexual promiscuity, yet I have had many friends both straight and gay who were promiscuous of their own free will. I did not judge them for it, but neither did I approve. As a responsible Christian who is passionate about growing in my faith, I genuinely sought the Lord for an answer to this question of gay marriage when it first became a major social issue. Like every other person of faith, I wasn’t sure where I stood. I saw the vitriol being spewed on both sides of the conservative and liberal lines and felt I should know what I believed to be the truth. As I was searching my heart and soul for the way, God began leading me to these verses and giving me a wisdom over time to know how I should treat my gay brothers and sisters in Christ. Throughout the past few years, many people have made arguments in support of gay marriage, some weak and some strong. However, I noticed that anytime anyone tried to make a biblical argument for it, they failed because they either did not know the Bible well enough, they were not Christian so they could not truly appeal to the faith, or they were too personally caught up in the outcome and sinned in the anger of their emotion. This is where my argument is different. I am neither emotionally concerned with the outcome nor am I interested in sentiment. I’ve built a very powerful, biblically based, rational argument in support of gay marriage that upholds the tenets of my faith and the integrity of my allegiance to God alone. I have not created the truth here, but merely revealed it. As Jesus says often after sharing a parable, let those who have the ears to hear the truth, hear it. My task here is only to share the message God has taught me. It is up to God to choose who will receive it. I ask you to truly read and think upon the scripture I have included and decide for yourselves in your own spirits. With that said, let’s begin.
What is the divorce rate these days?
Ask any Christian what he feels about divorce and he will certainly say he is against it or, at the very least, strongly discourages it. Ask that same Christian if he’s been divorced or known a loved one who has been through divorce, and he will likely feel less interested in judging the behavior too harshly. What was God’s opinion on divorce in the Old Testament? I seem to remember in the time of the Israelites that God not only hated divorce, but had forbidden it. Yet the hearts of the people were so hard, God made the decision to allow them to divorce. As a loving God, who created people to be in loving relationships, He allowed divorce to the Israelites because he saw that it was better for a man and a woman to be apart and at peace with one another than to be bound together in marriage and destroying each other.
What is God’s response to divorce?
Malachi 2:10-16 Breaking Covenant Through Divorce
10 Do we not all have one Father? Did not one God create us? Why do we profane the covenant of our ancestors by being unfaithful to one another?
11 Judah has been unfaithful. A detestable thing has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem: Judah has desecrated the sanctuary the Lord loves by marrying women who worship a foreign god. 12 As for the man who does this, whoever he may be, may the Lord remove him from the tents of Jacob—even though he brings an offering to the Lord Almighty.
13 Another thing you do: You flood the Lord’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer looks with favor on your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. 14 You ask, “Why?” It is because the Lord is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.
15 Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth.
16 “The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,” says the Lord Almighty.
So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful.”
What is Jesus’ response to divorce?
Matthew 19:7-9 The Teachers of the Law Try to Entrap Him
7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”
8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
God changed His mind for the Israelites
If this is true, then the same logic should apply to gay marriage in modern times. Did God intend for marriage to be between a man and a woman? Sure. I’d say absolutely. The Bible is clear on that. You have to remember we serve a God of relationships whose main concern is that we be foremost in right relationship with Him and secondly in harmonious relationship with one another. It wouldn’t have made any sense for God to allow homosexual relationships in ancient times. How would people reproduce? It was an issue of functionality. The human race would not expand and grow without babies being born. Genetically speaking, it made perfect sense to forbid homosexuality in a time where you had ten children just in case you lost a few to curses, random illnesses, or wolves. Fast forward to modern times and we see that because we heterosexuals have broken the marriage covenant through divorce and have embraced promiscuity instead of loving commitment, there are orphanages full of abandoned children with no one to love them. How popular do you think adoption was in the Old Testament? Not very. Yet in modern times, it is a regular, even routine way to start a family. Also, gone are the days of the perfect, nuclear family structure. Now we use the common term “blended family” to describe God’s grace to us in our decisions to break up our homes through divorce. Still unconvinced? Let me ask you this.
How well do you know the Bible?
Most people try to make an argument for gay marriage by pointing out all the dos and don’ts in Leviticus that we as Christians no longer follow in our daily lives. Even the fundamentalist brethren make the excuse that since Jesus’ sacrifice we are no longer under the old covenant, but adhere only strictly and literally to the New Testament values. Yet the Bible is a text many thousands of years old and the letters in the New Testament, aside from the Gospels, were meant for specific churches of the day who were dealing with very specific issues in their own congregations. Read the following passage and decide for yourself if it all directly translates to how you should be living your life currently. It doesn’t for me, but I’ll leave you to judge if it does for you.
Who knew a hairstyle could be so controversial and divisive?
1 Corinthians 11:4-16 Letter from Paul to the Church in Corinth
4 Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. 5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is the same as having her head shaved. 6 For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head.
7 A man ought not to cover his head,since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; 9 neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10 It is for this reason that a woman ought to have authority over her own head, because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12 For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God.
13 Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, 15 but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering. 16 If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God.
Basically, in the ancient Corinth church men were not allowed to have long hair and women were not allowed to have short hair. Is this a law? Is this a sin? Is this a preference? Sound familiar? Most importantly, is it worth alienating someone over? What would God rather us do—ostracize someone for having a different hairstyle or love the person despite the way they look on the outside? And how can we grow in our spirits without challenges? If we ask for patience, shouldn’t we expect God to put us in situations where patience is required? Same thing goes for kindness and love which are also fruits of the Spirit. If everyone were exactly like us in every way, if everyone were totally agreeable to us in every way (which will never be the case), we would never have the opportunity to grow in our spiritual traits.
Paul was a great disciple and a smart man. However, he was only a man. He was not God. I have to say it bothers me when some Christians worship the Bible or worship the teachings of Paul blindly without using the discernment of the Holy Spirit to interpret the text. I love the Bible, and I know it well, but I don’t worship the Bible. I worship God. The Bible is a spiritual compass, reference, and guide, but not a definitive rulebook. Even the Bible is clear on how we are to read the Bible—in and through the SPIRIT. Even Paul answers their problem with a question, telling the church in Corinth to “judge for yourselves” and work it out amongst the people. He ends his advice by saying if they are going to be arguing and in opposition to one another over this issue, then there is no reason to have a church or to follow God with that kind of attitude. As always, it is about harmonious relationships and love. Even Paul brings the argument back to that very basic point.
And what about Jesus, the Son of God? What would He have to say to the church in Corinth or to the church in modern day? In Matthew 22:36-40 a follower asks, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” and it says, “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
So, if God could have a change of heart with the Israelites’ marriage laws in ancient times, isn’t it plausible that God could show that same change of heart in modern times to homosexual couples? As I mentioned before, the Bible is clear on what the real sin is, sexual immorality or promiscuity. It also says hatred and discord are obvious sins as well as dissensions and factions. Hey, who knew being in a political party could be a sin? Jesus did. That’s why He refused to align Himself with the established church of His day. Whenever the Sadducees or Pharisees tried to trap him with political arguments or questions, He always gave the diplomatic answer and brought the topic back to love. Also, the Bible says we will be known by the fruit we bear. The Bible is clear that hatred is a sin and love is the fulfillment of the law. Anyone who claims to know God, yet hates his homosexual brothers and sisters in Christ is a liar and not a true follower of Jesus. 1 John 4:8 says, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
Galatians 5:16-26 The Sins of the Flesh Vs. The Fruits of the Spirit
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whateveryou want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
Whether we are heterosexual or homosexual, as Christians, we are called to purity in our bodies. Because the body is a house, a holy temple, for God’s spirit, we are not to defile it. Isn’t it better, then, for men and women to be in committed relationships than to sleep around and use one another’s bodies? Jesus seemed to think so. That was the only condition in which He said it was okay for a man to divorce his wife. So why is that, do you think? What’s the big deal with sexual immorality?
Sexual immorality does violence to relationships. Think about it. How much do you get to know about a person during a one night stand? I would say it’s impossible to know enough about them to care who they are, what they need, or be of any service to them. We were not created to use and abuse one another’s bodies. We are called to deep, genuine, and purposeful love and loving relationships. Sexual orientation does not make a difference. If we follow the precedent set by God through his relationship with the Israelites, we see that it is better to allow men and women to choose whom they will love in a COMMITTED relationship than for modern society to force the heterosexual marital ideal onto people who will either then be miserable in a relationship, hating and not loving their partners, or tempted to promiscuity outside of a relationship. If God’s tremendous grace was sufficient enough for the Israelites, surely it is more than sufficient for the rest of the human race from now until the end of time. Hebrews 13:8 states, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Humans may evolve over time for worse or better, but God never changes. He merely makes the road rise up to meet us in whatever current circumstance or political climate we, in each passing generation, live. John 4:22-24 says, “22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
Where does this message come from?
1 Corinthians 2:6-16 God’s Wisdom Revealed by the Spirit
6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
the things God has prepared for those who love him—
10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments,” 16 for,
“Who has known the mind of the Lord
so as to instruct him?”
But we have the mind of Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:18-31 Christ Crucified Is God’s Power and Wisdom
18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
Does this mean you should agree with homosexuality?
Not necessarily. I cannot make that peace for you. Faith is a journey we each take individually. Only God can light the way and bring wisdom to your struggle for understanding in all areas of life. However, while you are searching your soul for the right way and waiting on the Lord to enlighten you, may I remind you of one lesson—Jesus says in Matthew 7:1-2, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Really seek within yourself to know that how you are responding to the issue is loving and just, removed from your personal judgments and prejudices. As Christians, we are not to use the Bible as a weapon against those we disagree with, but as a tool for our own personal spiritual growth and improvement. People don’t change people. God changes people. The Bible is clear what action you are to take if your spirit is troubled about someone else’s sin or salvation—PRAY CONTINUALLY FOR THEM AND ABOVE ALL ELSE GIVE THEM LOVE. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” It’s this interesting experience—I’ve always found that if you give love to people, you also develop a compassion and understanding for them as well.
Love Your Enemies—A Message So Nice, We Get It Twice
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
What did Jesus die for anyway?
The whole goal of Jesus’ life, the whole reason why He was here in the first place was to restore a loving relationship between all of creation to its Creator and to outline and define a radical message of love for all of us to follow. People learn by example the best. You can tell us what to do, but unless you show us, we won’t have the slightest clue or impetus to do it. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have taken Jesus laying down His life for our sins to get us to pay attention to God again. John 3:17 reminds us, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
As a Christian, I’m not sure why this message of love gets so lost in the political machinery of our minds. I’m not sure why we don’t take the time to fathom the enormity of the universe God created and imagine that God’s grace in our lives is merely a drop of water in an ocean we, in our limited sight, could never search to find the end of. The Bible is very clear. Love is never wrong. Hate is the sin. God gave us the Holy Spirit to know the difference when these modern issues surface in our lifetimes. The Bible is a historical work, meant to be read in a cultural context. While much of it is universal wisdom and truth, much of it also requires a higher wisdom and discernment when applied to modern day problems. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, 13:8 says, “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing… 8 Love never fails.”
I think to myself sometimes how terrible it would be to allow my own child to be killed so that the very people who hated him could have a chance at love and redemption. How can we, as Christians, say we believe in a loving God, yet have so little faith in His power to transform lives through a radical mercy and grace? Isn’t it time to stop the hate and embrace EVERY brother and sister God sends our way? Jesus died for all. Not just some. Not just you and your loved ones. Not just conservatives. Not just men. Not just heterosexuals. Not just the majority. He died for everyone in between. He died for the rejected, the despised, the misunderstood, the left behind, and every other sinner—just like you and just like me.
What is there left to say?
I leave you with this, 1 Corinthians 2:1-5:
“And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.”
And all God’s people said, AMEN.
© 2013 maramerce