Out of all the stories currently headlining news networks across the nation, perhaps the biggest headline is the Supreme Court’s decision of gay marriage. After the decision was announced, the social media world lit up with both praise that “love won,” and disappointment towards the Supreme Court ruling. Although the Supreme Court recently made this ruling, the majority of Americans have already made up their minds on same sex marriage. A recent Gallup poll revealed that almost 60 percent of Americans view same sex relations as morally acceptable, whereas only 38 percent of Americans find gay or lesbian relations to be morally wrong. The Millennial Generation should pay attention to this statistic, for the Millennial Generation is the first generation to have the majority of its generation in favor of same sex marriage. It is not, however, the first generation to push for same sex equality. That started with the sexual revolution in the 1960’s, and ever since then, people have pushed to make same sex marriage universally legal.
However, there has been one constant that has stood against the gay rights movement: The Bible. A recent Gallup poll has shown that the vast majority of those who are against same sex marriage are that way because of their interpretation of the Bible. The Bible is very clear about homosexuality. The Bible very clearly lists homosexuality as a sin. This does not bode well with the gay rights movement, especially since the majority of Americans consider themselves to be Christians. However, now that the majority of Americans consider themselves to be in favor of same sex marriage, Conservative Christians who adhere to the Bible’s pro-traditional marriage views have a dilemma on their hands. They can either stand by the teachings of the Bible and be condemned as a bigot, or can follow public opinion and disregard what the Bible says.
How Does the Christian Respond to Same Sex Marriage?
In his dissenting opinion on the Supreme Court’s ruling on same sex marriage, Justice Antonin Scalia stated, “In the majority’s telling, this story is black-and-white: Hate your neighbor or come along with us. The truth is more complicated. It is hard to admit that one’s political opponents are not monsters, especially in a struggle like this one…” Justice Scalia was talking about how controversial this topic is, and how this topic causes fierce opinions on both sides of the argument. It is very easy for those who support same sex marriage to view those who disagree with it as intolerant bigots, and it is also easy for Christians to succumb to the pressure of not wanting to be considered an intolerant bigot, because truth be told, we are not intolerant bigots, and don’t want to be perceived that way. Therefore, when addressing same sex marriage, Christians must be mindful of two things:
1: Never compromise on the Word of God.
The Bible leaves no question as to its stance on same sex marriage. Homosexuality is a sin. Marriage is a union between a man and a woman alone. The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians, “Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality…none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10) As Christians, we should be careful not to set our workplace relationships, friends, public opinion, etc. on a status higher than our relationship with Jesus, and should never consider same sex marriage to be morally acceptable. So, one might ask, should we go out and condemn everyone who promotes same sex marriage? Absolutely not! And here is why:
2: God has commanded us to walk in love with everyone.
Right after Paul lists off a number of sins, he reminds his readers that “Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11) He reminded the people at Corinth, and reminds us today, that we all have sinned. There is not one of us who can stand up and say that we have lived a perfect life, for “there is no one righteous, no not one.” (Romans 3:10) As Christians, we must always remember that without Christ, we are nothing, and just because someone is attracted to a person of their gender does not mean that we should treat them any less than anyone else. Remember, while on Earth, Jesus hung out with those whom the Pharisees condemned. God loves every person, irrespective of their past, occupation, or sexual orientation. He loves each and every one the same. Shouldn’t we as Christians do the same? (Yes, we should.)
The secular media will still be quick to label this position as intolerant and bigoted. In light of that, I will add this final point. Everyone has opinions. We all look at controversial topics such as same sex marriage through a perspective of morality and value the arguments we find to be morally upright. If you think we live in a society where every topic is perceived through value-free lenses in which no one has an opinion, you are deceiving yourself. This society is not value-free. We all are going to have our own unique opinions on controversial issues, some of which we will agree on and some of which we will not agree on. I have a right to my opinion as much as you do. I have a right to disagree with same sex marriage just as much as you have a right to support it. If you blindly refuse to accept the fact that I do not agree with homosexuality, then who is the real bigot? As long as I love everybody like Jesus loved everybody, without discrimination, then I have the right to disagree with same sex attraction.
In conclusion, love the person, hate the sin. Saint Augustine one wrote that “the human being who lives according to God and not according to man should be a lover of good and, consequently, a hater of evil. Because no one is evil by nature but only by defect, he who lives according to God ought to have a perfect hatred for evil. Thus, he will never hate the man on account of the defect nor love the defect on account of the man, but hate the defect and love the man.” (City of God) In other words, even though we should not consider homosexuality to be morally acceptable, we should love each and every person the same, regardless of their sexual orientation.
Follow Caleb Casto on Twitter @Caleb_Casto.