I feel like my Facebook stream exploded this week with posts about “equality.” I’m noticing a few things over and over.
I see a lot of people arguing for love and tolerance but spewing hate and intolerance. I see a lot of people professing the love of Christ and damning others.
Both make me sick. I think there are extremists on both sides of any debate that make their “respective group” look awful, and I’m smart enough to know that they likely don’t represent how the majority of that group feels. At least I hope so. I tend to be an optimist.
It’s interesting to me that people are arguing from such different viewpoints. Could they ever be on the exact same page? Do they really even want the exact same thing? Maybe. Maybe not. Let’s explore, shall we?
Before I go any further, I should probably state two important facts: I am a Christ-follower. I have family members and friends who are gay, AND I love them.
From what I have read and watched, the main issue at hand is an issue of “rights.” It’s a legal issue. Any two people in a long-term, committed relationship want to have the same legal rights that are currently available to men and women who are “married.” These include both tax and legal benefits that today certainly put same-sex relationships at a disadvantage.
I’ve heard really compelling and often-times sad stories of gay couples who can’t be side-by-side while one is on a deathbed, or those that have paid huge tax bills that wouldn’t apply if they were “married.” I’ve read about the difficulty sharing medical benefits, and I’ve seen first-hand how gay people are viewed as “different” and often times “wrong.” It’s all sad to me, really.
On the flip side, I’m seeing Christians reference the biblical definition of “marriage.” In every reference I can find, the Bible does talk about a man and a woman. The Biblical definition is clear.
Here’s what I find interesting: I don’t think people are looking to re-define the Bible. I think they’re looking to re-define the law.
Many Christians are so scared. They’re afraid their whole belief system is being challenged. I, personally don’t think so.
I am a Christ-following, Bible-believing person. The Bible is my go-to source for how I lead my life, and I can very passionately and honestly say that I believe it provides me great direction and hope for the best possible life on earth.
I’ve been slow to learn this, but over time, I have found this to be completely true. God wants the very best life for us. He wants us to be happy. He wants us to prosper and experience joy. He wants us to enjoy companionship and community. And He promises us that if we trust Him, follow Him and have a personal relationship with Him that He will give us a fullness of life that will extend beyond our time on Earth. I believe all of this.
AND, I haven’t heard a single gay person ask me to renounce this, either. I’ve heard more Christians use the Bible as a weapon, and I don’t think that’s what Christ would do. (He spoke truth with LOVE!)
I’ve also seen people twist the Bible to try to fit their needs. I don’t think anything taken out of context is fully accurate either. I want to be fair, reasonable and a truth-teller.
I do know for certain that the Bible does clearly provide direction for both man and woman in the context of marriage. And, I don’t see any other reference outside of that. Equally as important, I also see that the Bible clearly and passionately states that we should love our neighbor as ourselves.
Is anyone asking that the Bible be re-defined? I don’t think so. I believe the passionate request is for the LAW to be redefined.
What are Christians so afraid of? I can’t answer every question of faith, but one thing I know for certain is that I serve a big God. One that is more than capable of handling everything. One that is both loving and just. One that sent His son to die for us. Yes, He loves us that much. ALL of us. NOBODY is excluded from this love.
I do think the laws in our country are written as they are because the Bible used to be so much more a part of our daily lives than it is today. Our country was founded on these principles, and they are evident through the inscriptions of government buildings, in our founding documents and on our dollar.
“In God We Trust.” I know I do….even though our world looks so much different than He intended. He created it perfectly, in the beginning. That was His desire. But man…man chose differently, and He allowed us that free will. So life isn’t going to be perfect or all-together explainable. But God is still God, and in God I trust.
For me personally, I look to the Bible for direction in my marriage. I refer to it often, and when I follow what God directs, I find that my marriage improves. This has been my experience.
I don’t know how to direct people in a same-sex marriage to this same comfort and direction I find. He doesn’t provide directions for anyone other than a “husband” and “wife.” He provides clarity to these roles and how each should behave.
How can people in a gay marriage find this same direction? I don’t know. Perhaps through prayer and relationship with Christ, if they so choose. I know it’s not written in the Bible, but I believe all things are possible through Christ, so perhaps there’s another way to seek His guidance for this specific situation. He is God, after all, and His greatest desire is for relationship with us. If anyone seeks Him fully, I believe they will see His love in return.
The world is a funny place these days. There’s a lot I don’t understand. There’s a lot that scares me. There’s a lot that I don’t agree with.
But allowing two people to be “married” by a legal definition, to get tax deductions, health and death benefits doesn’t seem unreasonable to me.
Will things be “equal” then?
Is that even possible???
It would be great if our loved ones in nursing homes or with special needs were cared for as much as those in jail. It would be reasonable for everyone – all citizens – to pay an equal percentage of taxes. It would be ideal if unborn babies were as protected as those that are born. I’d love to see stronger laws against sex trafficking, and I wish people with mental health issues could get better care and attention before they could even consider taking another person’s life. These are just some of the major issues in our country that currently cause much inequality and unfairness.
People, we have a LONG way to go on equality….let’s try to work together to solve all of these important issues. In the meantime, let’s let stop the vitriol and show some respect along the way.
Real Christians are not “haters.”
So, if you are one, please show the love of Christ.
And, if you’re not one, please don’t accuse all Christians of being judgmental and hateful of any people.
NONE of us is perfect, and Christ loves us anyway. He loves us and calls us to Him. Everyone.