Gay Marriage Commentary
Rev. Robert Fleischmann, National Director, CLR
Gay marriage is the moral issue “flavor of the month.” We have had a few: abortion, assisted suicide (euthanasia), promiscuity, divorce, embryo destruction, cloning, gay rights, drug abuse, etc. For the most part the Christian position has gotten lost. It is becoming more taboo to express one’s Christian faith than to express a non-traditional sexual persuasion. There was a time when politicians began a speech and articulated a position rooted on the values understood from Scripture. Today, the closest we get is a shallow “God bless you and God bless America” at the end of political speeches, as if American citizens had collectively sneezed.
More alarming is how we grow to accept immorality over time. Our resolve appears to be diminishing. We have gone from “It’s wrong” to “I do” in such a way that there is an increased confusion, if not a complete abandonment, of foundational values. Consider the progression:
God is the determinant of what is right and wrong. To that end some issues are clear (on homosexuality see Genesis 18 & 19; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9 – on abortion and euthanasia see Genesis 9:6; Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 32:39; Psalm 51:5; Psalm 139; Luke 1:44). Other issues are addressed by application of various Biblical principles.
When Christians publicly differ on what is immoral we begin to think our faith is a matter of interpretation. It is not that complex. Consider this: to say what was immoral is now acceptable, does not reflect a new interpretation of the Bible but a rejection of certain parts of it. There is a big difference. We are not talking about whether the Bible really meant “homosexual actions” in this or that passage. We are really talking about whether we want to accept those passages as the binding Word of God. The answer for many is, “No.” They prefer to rewrite it. That is how values are becoming more subjective.
Once the foundation is questioned, it is easier to progress to the next level. “It’s not for me, but I can’t dictate to others about it.” Christian politicians have defended their pro-abortion positions accordingly with the mantra, “I wouldn’t have an abortion, but I don’t feel I can restrict the conscience and rights of others to do so.” They go on to say they are obliged to reflect the views of their constituents. Nonsense!
A politician doesn’t poll his constituents on every issue he votes on. His votes reflect his values, and he is elected by people who feel his values best reflect their own. Consider the sobering consequences of this “I wouldn’t, but…” mentality by reading Ezekiel 3:18-21. We are never “off the record” on issues that reflect our faith.
I suppose this should be called “giving in” or “experimenting.” Even the Apostle Paul talked about doing things he knew he shouldn’t (Romans 7:14-25). What is intoxicating about this stage is that the downward slide is gaining momentum (James 1:14-15). I suppose a lightning strike would be a powerful deterrent when we do something we know we shouldn’t, but it doesn’t work that way. Rather, spiritual maturity readily acknowledges that even if it feels good, even if no one is harmed by it, even if it is “my body, my choice,” if it is contrary to God’s will, I not only shouldn’t, but I won’t, because it is wrong (Genesis 39:9). That is why it is so critical for us to continue being built up on God’s Word for a strengthening of faith and our resolve to do what is right.
What makes the “I do” so troubling with immorality is that all shame is lost. What was previously private now becomes public. What was previously a matter of shame is now a matter of pride. Things that were not even considered appropriate to discuss (Ephesians 5:12) become something to celebrate (Philippians 3:19).
How we got to this point is a matter of debate. Some of it, I fear, we brought on ourselves. Sometimes we drew hard lines that the Bible doesn’t directly address; condemn without love; mock the sin and sinner thereby making our position look trivial. Most grievously, however, I fear we lose sight of the things of greatest importance (Revelation 2:4). We become too easily intimidated by the public arena. We retreat to becoming islands of faith rather than permeating beacons of hope. We see the problem but fail to see the endangered soul. The result is that we allow things to stand which jeopardize not only lives but eternities.
We need to fortify our faith by an increased study of God’s Word. We must know what is truly right and wrong for the sake of souls. We need to stand for what is right but to do so with patience, love, and purpose – namely the salvation of souls (2 Timothy 4:2; Ephesians 4:15). We need to point to Christ as the deliverer from sin and the solution for all we do that is wrong. We need to be part of the solution and not just the condemners of what is wrong. We need to do something! We need to do something now! Most importantly, we need to do it right!