The following are a few examples of the many words and phrases describing what people might be thinking about the legalizing of same-sex marriage: Basic civil right; freedom; peace; equality; love wins; finally; American victory (President Obama); the end is coming; sodomites; God loves everyone; God hates gays; too traditional; narrow minded; hate crimes; unconstitutional judiciary tyranny (Mike Huckabee), etc. The list goes on, but what should be our reaction as believers, co-workers, neighbors, and leaders? I would like to address 3 areas of response. First we must think biblically. Our thinking will then lead us to beliefs that will guide how we feel, and ultimately lead us to a proper response.
1. How Should We Think?
Over the last generation the government has technically made adultery, pornography, and other sexually immoral acts legal. Legalizing gay marriage is no different. This does not mean God’s timeless standards have changed. God is the standard of morality, not a finite, temporal government nor group of fallible congressmen. If we claim to believe that Christ is our Substitute and Savior, then we must also claim the absolute authority of God’s Word. says, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness.” As believers we should not be surprised at the wicked decisions of men. We must know in our minds and hearts what God’s Word says about sexual sin outside of a monogamous, heterosexual union, i.e., marriage.
Christ talking in says, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” God created man and woman in His image for unity in a complimentary way that “fits” (pun intended). This has been God’s plan since creation (–28). He feels so strongly about heterosexuality that He clearly states that it was Him who joined man and woman together and that nobody can separate or change what He created marriage to be. We must be confident in God’s definition of marriage and not be influenced, demoralized, or persuaded that same-sex activity and marriage is okay.
2. How Should We Feel?
Merriam Webster Dictionary, Oxford Dictionary, and of course, the Bible all claim that marriage is between one man and one woman. Even though I have had past friends, coworkers, and even family that claim to be gay, lesbian, or bi-sexual, it is still hard to believe the government is perverting the elementary concept of marriage to fit a specific communities’ agenda. To be honest, at first I felt sad, frustrated, and almost angry about not only the decision in congress, but also the way it took place. I thought about the potential pains the church might go through because of this decision. I also thought of Christian business men and woman who might lose their livelihood because of same-sex law suits due to a false and hypocritical interpretation of discrimination laws. I soon realized that my negative sentiments about the decision was in no way trusting God and could potentially burn bridges for the gospel. I quickly remembered , “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” In these times we must be confident and trust that a sovereign God is still in control. We must acknowledge Him in everything and He will lead us to respond based on truth not emotion.
This is no time for hyper homophobia, light-hearted mocking, or even feelings of happiness for the LGBT victory. If anything, we should feel remorseful for they will someday feel the just wrath of a holy God if God gives them over to this sin completely () —not simply because they are gay or lesbian, but because they have repeatedly rejected and denied God. states, “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.”
Also, we should remember that God loves all men and woman equally enough to send His only Son to die for us (). He also does not desire that anyone die and go to hell, but that all should know Him, repent, and be saved ( & ). If this is God’s heart for all men and women, then this should be our desire as well. The LGBT crowd is no exception. If Christ loves everyone, then so should we.
3. How Should We Respond?
In most cases this decision does not yet directly affect us. But, if and when this bridges from legalizing sin to forcing us to participate, then we must first obey God’s Word. When duty to God and duty to country conflict, we must, like the apostles, “obey God rather than men” () knowing that ultimately our citizenship is not on earth, and not even the United States of America. Our first citizenship is in heaven (). We must stand strong, be wise as serpents but harmless as doves () and seek to show the unbiased love of Christ to any and all—no exception.
Paul spoke out against homosexuality and other forms of sexual sin in , Corinthians 1 & 2, Colossians, Ephesians, and other letters in the New Testament. James also warned against sexual sin; and even Christ called out the adulterous woman at the well for her sexual sin. The key is not avoiding the truth, but to speak the truth in love (). Why preach the gospel if the motive is not in love to win souls to Christ? David Gunn from Regular Baptist Press wrote in response to the recent decision:
Morality is important. Legality is important. Standing up for what we believe to be right (and denouncing what we believe to be wrong) is important. But even more important is our duty—indeed, our sacred obligation—to embody the mercy, compassion, and tenderheartedness of God, and to put those traits on display before a lost and dying world. Precious few (if any) will ever be nagged to the cross, but many can be loved to the cross.
May this be an opportunity for us to see and proclaim the depravity of sin and the world’s desperate need for a Savior. May the Light of the Gospel shine bright in the darkness of men’s hearts and do a regenerating work that only Christ can do. Do not shy away from speaking the truth of the gospel; do so in confidence and love. Remember, God does not need to be defended for His sake, but for the sake of the unbeliever who desperately needs salvation. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” ()
“May we who know Christ hear the cry of the damned as they hurdle headlong into a Christ less night. May we shed tears of repentances for those we have failed to bring out of the darkness.”
Jim Elliot, missionary pilot to Ecuador
20 Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter! (ESV)
4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (ESV)
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (ESV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths. (ESV)
5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. (ESV)
26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. (ESV)
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (ESV)
9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (ESV)
4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (ESV)
29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, (ESV)
20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, (ESV)
16 “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. (ESV)
1:1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, 6 including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,
7 To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. 9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you 10 always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— 12 that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. 13 I want you to know, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. (ESV)
15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, (ESV)
21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (ESV)