Christians and Gay Marriage
President Obama statement that he believes government should allow gay marriage has created a spark on controversy politically and inside the Christian world. This has been an issue that I have been pondering for a while and I will be honest, I have terribly mixed feelings. Blogging on this is dangerous because someone will misconstrue what I am attempting to say but I can’t help to think out loud on this issue. So first let me tell you where I am coming from: I am a Christian and I believe the Bible condemns homosexuality. I am a libertarian politically and so most Christians think I am crazy. I am a Christian who believes love should always be the ultimate response to everyone and every situation. I am not always successful if practicing love but it is my goal.
My first quandary with this issue is determining the role I believe government should play in all this. I see most people belonging to one of four camps:
1) Government should impose the morality of the culture. We pass laws based on what the majority of people believe to be right or wrong. When culture’s morality changes the law also changes. A good example of this would be laws that made adultery illegal. They used to exist but then were taken off the books as cultures view changed. To me this is the least desirable because culture has often been on the wrong side of what is right or wrong and laws would constantly change based on the latest polls.
2) Government should impose the morality of those in leadership. This is seen by activist judges and politicians who will try to pass laws that their constituents oppose because it is their moral judgment that they know best. The advantage of this is sometimes a leader may actually see something is wrong before other do. Someone may rise up and say racism is wrong before people realize it is. On the downside they may lead us into moral depravity. See 1-2 Kings.
3) Government should impose the morality of the Bible. The center of the gay marriage issue is that the Bible only condones marriage between and man and a woman and condemns sexual relations between same sex. This sounds great to most Christians and in a perfect world it would be the perfect way. To be honest I long for the day when the perfect returns and all things are made new. But in a non perfect world like we live in we can also get the crusades, defending slavery, banning the celebration of Christmas, etc. I don’t care what religious group you belong to, but look at the infighting that exist. Would we not have the same arguments and instead of democrats and republicans wouldn’t we have Church of Christ, Baptists, and evangelicals versus Anglican, Episcopal, and progressives.
4) Government should only impose morality that allows people to live peaceably with one another. This view is that government should pass laws like do not steal, kill, injure, cheat, and the like because they physically or financially hurt others. But government should not pass laws to regulate other forms of morality such as prostitution, alcohol, or who can get married. The positive is that government stays out of the way. The negative is that immoral acts often lead to people being physically and financially injured.
I don’t know what role I believe government should play in this because if carried out to the nth degree I think any of these positions would be scary. I do know however what role the church should play in this. We need to be a place where love is supreme. The church should stand on truth and surround it with grace. We need to be place where one sin is not worse than another. We need to be a place of compassion and not campaigning, a place for people and not politics. We need to be a place for sanctification, justification, and transformation. We need to be a place less concerned with the kingdoms of this world and more concerned with the kingdom of God.