How Should the Church Respond to the Legalizing of Homosexual Marriage?
As many of you have heard, on Monday Oregon's ban on same-sex marriages was overturned by a federal judge. In light of that, today’s video blog (filmed last year) addresses the question:
There’s been a lot of talk in the news and among the evangelical culture in America about legalizing gay marriage. What are your thoughts on how Christians should respond?
In this video interview with Randy and former EPM staffer Julia (Stager) Mayo, we share our thoughts:
Thanks for bringing up that very easy, non-controversial topic for me! I’m very emphatic on the fact that, of course, I don’t approve of gay marriage. Do I think it’s biblical? Do I think it’s right? No. I also don’t think it’s right for heterosexual couples to be living together outside marriage. But can we control a secular society? The answer to that is also no.
Do I think there is a detrimental effect on the church because of legislation concerning gay marriage? Yes. There are some children who will grow up in the church and will come to think that homosexual relationships are normal. Sin is normalized. But marriage has already been undermined by the large number of heterosexual couples living together. Unmarried people are having sex together with no regard for the sanctity of marriage, and many children grow up seeing that, even in churches. So let’s not have a double standard, where we’re only concerned about homosexual couples.
So as much as I oppose the attempt to redefine marriage to include same sex couples, with that happening our job remains the same—follow Jesus and obey Him, share the truth in love, reach out in a spirit of grace, and be faithful to Christ in our culture, no matter the legal status of gay marriage.
We are called in Scripture to be pure and to live in purity and not impurity. Just like you’re saying, homosexuality isn’t the only way to commit impure acts. There are many, many impure things we could become involved with, even just thoughts or heterosexual activity outside of marriage. So I think it’s important to not demonize homosexuality as some sin that is so heinous that it is unforgiveable, or to get to a point where we can’t believe that Jesus would accept a homosexual person.
Exactly. You look in Scripture and you see that by far the majority of sexual sins which are condemned are heterosexual sins. Homosexual sins are also included and Scripture makes clear they are an abomination in God’s sight. Romans 1 puts an emphasis on them as an example of the judgment of God coming down on a culture. But again, look also at the Old Testament examples of heterosexual sin. Look at David’s adultery. It wasn’t a homosexual relationship with Bathsheba. It was a heterosexual relationship that was condemned.
Jesus died for sinners. And so for the homosexual couple that lives next door, whether they are legally “married” or not, our responsibility will remain the same, which is to reach out to them in the love and truth of Christ. They’re sinners like we’re sinners, who need the redemptive work of Christ and who can be saved only by placing their trust in Him. The culture changes, but God’s standards do not…and fortunately, neither does the gospel message of forgiveness and redemption in Jesus.