Today the court struck down Prop 8 here in California. Of course that doesn’t really mean much except that a crapload more time and money will be spent fighting over the issue for the next who-knows-how-many years. But as a Christian I’ve been wrestling with the whole issue for ages and so I’m going to try and sort my thoughts out here.
For me there’s two things that are causing internal conflict. One is the fact that I believe in Christ and the teachings of the bible. The other though is that I am an American citizen and therefore have the right to speak out and vote on issues concerning the betterment of society.
Now this is where it gets tough with the whole gay marriage thing. As a Christian we are called to love people. Period. There’s nothing in the Bible that says you get a pass if the person is a really bad sinner. Nope, Jesus loved sinners, man. Hung out with ’em, ate with ’em, talked with ’em, loved ’em. The bible also says that we are ALL sinners. There’s no “levels” to sin, as if two people can commit different sins and God will decide which is worse and take one to heaven and not the other. That’s not how it works. The petty gossip is every bit unworthy of God’s love as the muderer. Only by knowing Christ and receiving His grace are any of us saved.
So we have to love each other. But on the other hand, we’re all (gay and straight, religious or non religious) part of this society that gives us the opportunity to argue for rules and regulations that we think will make society a better place for everyone. And so as a society of free people, we have the right, and many would say obligation, to basically impose our morals on each other.
And so this is where it gets sticky for me.
How do you show love to somebody and try to show them the heart of Christ while at the same time spending millions of dollars trying to prevent them from doing something we can freely do? I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that we are fighting the wrong battle. We’ve put our role as Christian-Americans higher than our role as Christians and we’re trying to maintain our vision of a “Christian society” when Christ really called us to just love people and tell them about Him. I don’t read anywhere in the bible where Christ said to go out and become political activists and create the “perfect society” by force of law. I think real permanent change comes from the heart, not by laws, and the heart can only be reached by Christ.
So where do I stand? I say let this one go. When asked if the people should pay taxes to Caesar, Jesus told them to give Caesar what is his and give God what is God’s. As if to say the systems we’ve setup on Earth will come and go, but our hearts are eternal and belong to God. By the same token, I say let the state of California issue any piece of paper they want. There are hearts to be reached for Christ. I ask you; Will denying a government license turn more people to Christ? Does giving you one make you a “better” Christian?
Now I’m sure I’m going to get hammered by some as a sell out; One of those new-age Christians where everything is all wishy washy, and that’s simply not the case. I believe homosexuality is a harmful lifestyle and that’s why God condemns it in the Bible. But what I also know is that I had a great conversation with a guy who’s openly gay and was able to tell him about a loving Jesus today because he asked what I thought about the ruling. Would I have had that opportunity had I jumped down his throat?