Home > Apologetics, Christianity, Living, Questions > Question: Christians, Same-Sex Marriage, and Active Faith

Question: Christians, Same-Sex Marriage, and Active Faith

I received this question from a friend,

Why are so many Christians focused on marriage equality and if people are quoting the Bible correctly, rather than actually helping people–feeding the hungry, taking care of the sick and wounded, clothing the naked, etc.? I mean, I as an atheist do more for people than all my Christian friends – and I’m sure I could say the same about a large majority of the people online who denounce same-sex marriages. It’s worrisome.

The following is my response:

That is worrisome, and it is a fair criticism to the American church. The thing is, though, that many in the American church are only nominally christian. Christianity, for them, is a cultural or familial experience–not a reality in their lives. It is nothing more than something to do on Sunday mornings–and Wednesday nights if you’re hardcore. So, it’s an unfair criticism to charge American believers with a wholesale forsaking of the second half of Christ’s command, namely obedience, when the majority of professing Christians are not actually Christian, as evidenced by the fruit of their lives.

Nevertheless, a group mentality arises even in nominal Christianity, which in turns grows in the Church at-large. From where this fight against gay marriage first arose, I have no answer. But within the past decade it has come up as a cultural question, an issue on which politicians have jumped and pastors have capitalized. A strange sort of community within both the nominal and actual Church has arisen, one wherein a greater passion to fight against gay marriage than to uphold the totality of God’s commands exists. Unfortunately, this community is among the loudest–this of course can be due to the fact that the mainstream media loves controversy.

This community has made gay marriage the hill to die on, overemphasizing it from the mound that it is and deemphasizing the mountain that the gospel is. (Now, don’t misread me here:  homosexuality, as the authors intended it, is sinful in the same manner as any other sin. However, it does not deserve its place as the defining topic-of-choice for a Christian in contemporary America, supplanting even the gospel of Jesus Christ, which Paul makes note to the Corinthian church that it, i.e. the gospel, is worth delivering of first importance. [1 Corinthians 15:3])

With that in mind, there are a thousand other cultural questions that deserve attention, things such as abortion, unnecessary war, and pervasive poverty, not to mention divorce and sexual immorality that resides within the church. Because all sin is held equally in the eyes of God, and therefore ought to be held so in the eyes of the Church, it does not make sense for the American church to devote so much time and energy to fighting this one issue, not when there are others that 1) are directly harming people as we speak and 2) we overlook in the Church that are of the same manner. As far as the rallying cry, “We are only upholding the sanctity of marriage”? Please. The church doesn’t even hold its own accountable–not when divorce rates are as high or higher within the church as without.

Instead of being lights in the world pointing to and upholding Christ, many in the American church have picked a popular issue, which they may certainly feel strongly about, as the most important issue to tackle, which is absurd, and the absurdity lies in the forsaking of the rest of God’s commands:  such commands as keeping personal holiness, upholding communal holiness, and pursuing at all costs the advancement of the kingdom of God. Again, it simply does not make sense to devote the energy to fighting gay marriage’s existence outside of the Church when we do not have in mind the totality of God’s command. Disregarding the gospel, instead of proactively implementing and enacting social justice, many in the American church have been content to fight a secondary issue, i.e. one that does not lead to death, does not lead to loss of property, and concerns those outside the church; legislating these sorts of things, such as the standard of marriage as being a picture of Christ and his Church, as the standard for the secular world is nonsense.

Nominal or otherwise, those in the American church have been misled and taught wrongly that God is pleased in his Church legislating morality–upholding a moralistic therapeautic deism that does not see a relationship with God as necessary, instead trying to live morally well, i.e. within the law–rather than actively teaching and living the gospel to the poor and the rich, the clothed and the naked, the saint and the sinner. (Again, do not misread me; it is important to live in a morally upright and proper way. Nevertheless, no amount of good deeds merit salvation; instead, the life that we live instead is for the glory of God, which life now serves as a testament to the believers and non-believers alike of God’s faithfulness.)

Gay marriage is an important issue, within the church. Outside of it, the church should be interested in three things: proclaiming the glory of God (and within that there is the facet of preaching both the Law and the Gospel, wherein the Law convicts sinners and the Gospel restores the sinner to righteousness, permanently declared so by God), upholding justice or equity, and practicing compassion. We must not miss this fact: we were saved to do something, and doing something constitutes far more than crying out against gay marriage.

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  1. MrTheKidd
    May 16, 2012 at 7:11 am

    Very well put, I totally agree.

  1. May 16, 2012 at 7:15 am
  2. May 16, 2012 at 11:55 pm

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