Tuesday, December 9, 2008
A Balanced, Thoughtful Look at Gay Marriage and the Bible
I tend to agree with this article. (Please read it first before continuing, if you haven't already.)
I have always believed in civil unions, but stopped short of believing that gays should be allowed to marry. After reading this and really thinking about it, I'm caught up in feeling like a partially blind hypocrite, to feel free to marry someone I love, but disallowing someone else to do the same thing because their sexual orientation is not "the norm" but a subset. (Ten percent of all mammals are homosexual. Did God make a mistake? Or is homosexuality the result of a fallen world? No one knows until we ask Him when we get to heaven. It's on my mind and I will ask when I get there! Perhaps homosexuality is allowed on earth by God to reveal to us the way we feel/fear and treat others who are not like us.)
On my mind is this conundrum: If the situation were reversed, how would I like being told by society, "You are making an aberrant choice (it's not something "hard-wired into" you) where your sexual orientation is concerned. Change your mindset before you marry, or you cannot marry." Could any of us "turn off" the heart/mind and chemistry connection that says with every fiber of its being, "I want to love and be with this person for the rest of my life"?
One very clear statement the Bible makes is this: "Against love, there is no law."
People who want to commit to each other in a marriage -- as an indivisible union of body, spirit, and mind -- should not be denied the right to do so. Every Biblical reference to homosexuality was a story of "unleashed lust" between two people of the same sex or between an aggressor and a victim. The Bible's vital message is that we should love one another as God loves us.
To set someone apart because they don't define love the same way that monogamous heterosexuals do is pretty ludicrous, as long as there is no bondage, no usurpation of each person's rights, no mean-spirited enforcement of a desire upon another. Many of the most honored people in the Bible had harems. It was a part of the culture. Stoning homosexuals and adulterers was another part. Go figure.
The Apostle Paul thought no one should marry unless an individual couldn't contain their lusts.
Jesus never married.
Does that mean the Bible preaches abstinence and single-hood?
What, then, about "go forth and multiply"?
So I'm changing my mind. It's a little uncomfortable, as a committed Christian, to say, "I now find gay marriage as acceptable as I find heterosexual marriage," but I can certainly say without equivocation that I find it equally honorable.
When two people want to commit in a sacred way to each other, that's worthy of celebration, not censure.
So there you have it.
I'm with Paul and Jesus: I love the single, celibate life. I thrive as a single person without carnal attachments.
But for the rest of you, find a committed relationship and love one another with all your hearts!