Monday, May 14, 2012

The President, Gay Marriage, and Giving a Flip

The President weighed in this past week on his personal feelings about gay marriage.  If anyone was surprised that he took the stance that he did, that person should probably dig out from under whatever rock is home.  No one should've been shocked.

But we, at least those who follow Jesus, ought to be offended.

Offense #1:  the President and other proponents of gay marriage are denying the clear teaching of Scripture and thumbing their noses at God.  Proponents, of course, argue that (a) Jesus never addressed homosexuality at all and (b) there are lots of ways to read the NT texts like Romans 1 and (c) all those OT texts don't make sense because they say things like don't eat shrimp and pork either.  But suppressing the Truth to get your point across doesn't make you right, whether you're a president, a pastor, or a protestor.  I'll merely point to (a) above because the scholarship surrounding (b) and (c) is so overwhelming that even liberal commentators don't buy their argument.

People who say Jesus never addressed homosexuality are technically right.  He never uttered the word, "Homosexual."  But He talked a lot about the immorality that runs rampant through human cultures that turn away from God.  And in fact, it gets so much worse than that:  He locates the impetus for all sinful sexual activity (a.k.a. immorality, Gr. porneia) in the heart.  So we don't have a sexuality issue.  We have a sin issue.  And Jesus is in the business of changing homosexuals, adulterers, pornographers and consumers of pornography, fornicators, masturbators, and any other practicer of sexual deviancy you can name.  He changes people's lives.  That's what He does.  And the biblical teaching on sexuality is not shrouded in mystery - it's simply one man and one woman for life in the covenant of marriage as the context for all sexuality.

So giving a flip means we don't let people decide which parts of the Bible they like or want to believe or obey.  And that starts with us as followers of Jesus - we get to live out the commands contained therein.

Offense #2:  hiding behind the Golden Rule.  Treating others the way we want to be treated was (and is) not ever intended to allow sinful attitudes, outlooks, behaviors, and experiences to continue in a person's life.  I am personally still trying to sort through the legal aspects of things like civil unions and the implications of them.  But twisting the Golden Rule so that I can get my way or get my point across is bad news.  Jesus gave it so that we could live rightly related to one another, carrying out the righteousness that is ours through faith in Him and surpasses external niceties and religious prattle.

But I'm not mad at the President.  He's part of a cultural milieu that puts my individual desires in the position of most valued asset.  They are pursued and protected at all costs.

As followers of Jesus, we get to enter this milieu with grace and truth, love that embraces and takes a stand.  Doing one without the other is only half of the Kingdom.  And getting only half the Kingdom is not the deal you might think it is.

But that's just me thinking thoughts...

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