I begin this post neither expecting to influence people nor win friends … or even an argument.
I’ve proposed that passing more restrictive laws regarding items like abortion and gay marriage (can I say “gay”? do I have to use the term “homosexual”?) is pointless if Christians don’t explain why.
I’ve proposed that the issues are complex, and are difficult to articulate.
I’ve explored one or two snowflakes on the tip of the iceberg of the issue of abortion.
There are seven scripture texts that generally fall into the debate about homosexuality: Genesis 19, Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Timothy 1:9-10, 1 Corinthians 6:9, and Jude 7. Apologists for the Christian gay viewpoint (yes, there are some) refute the traditional interpretations of these with arguments about Greek and Hebrew words, customs during Biblical times, redefining the sins of Sodom as idolatry and inhospitality, and the view that most of these scriptures decry only non-consensual sex – rape and pedophilia, for example – and pagan worship ritual. It’s complicated, I agree. It’s easier to simply condemn than to study out our own views. But if we as Christians want to reach and teach, we have to know what we believe and why … and we have to be willing to listen and learn as well.
Please understand … I’m not an advocate of making “choice” into “God.”
All I’m really asking is:
Should Christians support laws which limit the rights of – let’s call it a “minority by choice” – by defining marriage a certain way? While gay people don’t consider themselves a minority by choice, Christians generally consider them to be such. And in passing restrictive laws, we set a precedent that it is permissible to restrict the rights of a minority by choice.
Christians are still a minority. By choice. Are we aiming at a target that will turn out to be our own feet?
On the other hand …
Are we also setting precedent that it is permissible to further restrict rights to marriage? Will a future, even more conservative voting public define marriage to exclude people who have been divorced?
I’ve been divorced and have married again. (There was a time when church doctrine would have “outed” me. It was not that long ago. There was even a common opinion that to make things right, I would have to divorce my current wife and remarry my first wife – something God views as an abomination in Deuteronomy 24:3-4.)
Should everything that Christians don’t like and consider to be sin be outlawed by vote of the people, even if we cannot document the harm? Is a consensual gay relationship harmful to society? If so, how and to what degree? One supposes that Prohibition was intended to address public drunkenness. Was it the appropriate response? Or did we just need laws against public drunkenness?
Should changing laws be the focus of our efforts as Christians? Or changing hearts?
Should we be passing laws and passing judgment? Or passing the word that Christ loves – and died for – all?
Are we Christians who pass such laws really any different from those whom those laws will most affect?
“… all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23
Last in this series: The Other Foot, The Other Shoe