About 4 years ago, a guy started attending my church. He was, visibly, very effeminate, which led others to wonder if he was gay. He was, and he wasn’t necessarily trying to hide it either.
Shortly after he began attending the church, he asked if he could meet with me. I said yes, and though I wasn’t exactly sure what we were going to meet about, I had a feeling that somehow it was going to be bigger than just a meeting.
We met in my office, and it was there he told me he was gay and joked that it was probably obvious. He made it clear that he WAS gay, not simply dealing with same-sex attraction, and that he had been involved in multiple sexual relationships with men. His details were very graphic but were “necessary for you to know who I am,” he stated.
He was also a Christian, and he said that he knew that his sexual preference went against the “clear teaching of scripture,” but he felt like he didn’t know how to stop. The discipleship process didn’t last long enough for me to find out. He eventually left the church succumbing to the sexual habits he had developed.
Since then, I’ve met and befriended Christians who battle SSA but haven’t given in and don’t agree with those who say the Bible doesn’t forbid monogamous gay relationships i.e., gay marriage.
Two things have stood out to me. First, gay is not the new black, if for no other reason than because black people were unified in their stance on racial equality. In this, we see a stark difference from what has traditionally been known as the civil rights movement for black people.
Blacks were not divided on freedom from slavery and equality for black people. You didn’t have a large portion of black people saying, “I don’t agree with these guys. I think we should still be slaves, be beaten, hung from trees, denied education, falsely accused and imprisoned because we are black.”
That didn’t happen. Black people may have had differences in methodology (peaceful demonstrations versus fighting back with weapons) but not in ideology. We were unified in our goal. So this is one way I have been re-thinking gay marriage. But there is one more.
Since gay marriage has passed as a legal option in the country, public acceptance of homosexuality is at an all time high. The Orthodox Christian view that homosexuality is a sin has been equated to being in the KKK of the Civil Rights Jim Crow era, and Christian businesses and colleges are now inundated with shouts of bigotry for not accepting gay rights.
This has been fascinating to watch, if for no other reason than because the “gay cause” is a glitch in the matrix of human rights. Historically, gay marriage was not an issue people would’ve taken seriously, probably because marriage has never been seen as a “right” until now. So, while gay sex is nothing new, the pressure on the church to accept it as not sinful most certainly is.
In the last 50 years or so, a new brand of theology called “Pro-Gay Theology” has tried prove that homosexuality is not sinful in Scripture. At its root, this theology states that the Bible doesn’t speak against monogamous gay relationships and that the biblical authors did not know these kinds of relationships would occur because they weren’t around during the time the authors wrote Scripture.
So this means that Paul, Moses, as well as other biblical authors, were not speaking about the kind of gay relationships we see today.
In the past year, I ‘ve read quite a bit of pro-gay theology. Some of it really dumb. Some of it really compelling. I began reading it because a friend challenged me, saying that my thinking on the issue was too shallow. I agreed.
So I read and read and read and read, a ton of theology in books and on pro-gay blogs. I even prayed consistently, “Lord if I’m wrong here, change my perspective.” And he did, but not exactly the way I was praying for.
As I have observed both the theological framework along with the cultural framework that is pressuring churches to change their position on homosexuality, there was something I had overlooked about the pro-gay position that has made me re-think gay marriage and those who are proponents of its validity.
There a ton of people who say they are gay and that they are Christians who DO NOT believe that their sexual preference glorifies God. This is blowing my mind right now.
Here’s why. If everyone who was gay and Christian thought the Bible didn’t condemn homosexuality, there would at least be a more powerful witness to their claim. But as it turns out, there are many gay people who know and believe wholeheartedly that the Bible doesn’t endorse their sexuality.
Why is this a big deal and why does this have me rethinking gay marriage?
The people who are gay – who have tried to convince me and others that the Bible does not condemn monogamous gay relationships – aren’t even convincing people who are just like them. People who have the same struggles and temptations, some of whom have delved deep into the lifestyle, aren’t convinced that God is okay with it.
If those folks, who would clearly benefit from a pro-gay Biblical perspective, aren’t willing to compromise the clear teaching of Scripture, why should I change my perspective? Why should I compromise my conscience when there are people who are fighting the very desires that others are confidently saying they have the biblical right to pursue?
Because of these two things, I’ve been re-thinking gay marriage.
I will, like my brother’s and sisters who struggle with same-sex attraction and profess Christ, persevere to the end, standing my ground on a biblical sexual ethic that says marriage is designed for one man and one woman.