I first wrote this 4 months ago when the US Supreme Court ruling came out. I held back from posting right away because, well, I think the whole western world was emotional one way or another, including myself. I process through writing, and now that the dust has somewhat settled, at least on my feeds it has, I’ve decided to come back to it. So if you’re reading, thanks for taking the time and caring about my voice.
Much love and grace, 1100.
I was initially going to title this post “Double Rainbows All the Way Across the Sky!” but as I opened the empty text box to compose this blog, WordPress has hoisted the rainbow banner at the top of the page. And why not? Yesterday’s event dropped like a boulder into the ocean, sending supporters like water to the sky, and shaking up everyone else like the sand below.
But yes, that was strangely my first thought when I saw the colours. A straight banner of each of our seven colours as a symbol to celebrate gay marriage. And yet after the flood, God used a bent banner of the same kind as a symbol of His promise and mercy.
Before I go any further, let me invite you to read this post by Mike Donehey titled “To hear or be heard.” (May require scrolling.)
Most of this post is an echoing of what he wrote. I’m not here to judge, I’m not here to mock, I’m not here to condemn, and I’m not here to dish out an opinion simply for the sake of being counter-cultural. And I apologize if in this post I do any or all of these things, this is not my intention. As with many of my other posts, this is just me trying to figure things out. Unpack and process the thoughts I’ve bottled up for years.
For a long time, I’ve shied away from topics like this online. There was an instance (maybe more) where I didn’t, and I was still new to this whole Christianity thing, and I was writing out of frustration. I’m hoping I won’t make that mistake again today.
Since that time, I’ve stayed far away from this discussion and one other one (cough cough evolution) because I could empathize with, if not understand, both sides, and no matter what I said, I knew I would get labelled. And fitting into boxes just isn’t my style. (Except if it’s a physical cardboard box/spaceship. Those are fun.) Not to mention that all of those labels, from either side, are meant to tear down not just an argument or an opinion, but one’s character.
But enough stalling (can you hear the eggshells creaking?), after yesterday, now’s a good time as any to open this particular can of worms. Or come out of the closet, if you will. (Sorry.)
I’ve posted before on my thoughts on marriage, intentionally leaving gay marriage out of it, not because I’m discriminating, but because that would’ve been way too much for one post. Just to be clear. But I’m here now. Nervous, afraid, vulnerable. I am neither gay nor married, so do I know what I’m talking about? Probably not. But here it goes.
I disagree with and do not condone gay marriage or homosexual activity. Does that make me a homophobe? To some people, absolutely. Do I hate people of the LGBTQ community? By no means. On the contrary I respect those I know and commend them for their bravery. I even work for one. (Hi Mark.)
So how do I reconcile that? At first I told myself, well, it’s the law, and has been for a decade now (in Canada), what choice do I have? But that wasn’t quite it for me. So then I thought about the definition and purpose of marriage now, compared to that of the church. Of course if people are defining marriage only as a proclamation of love and pleasure, all this marriage equality and marriage rights talk makes sense. But getting into the gospel applications of heterosexual marriage kind of seemed like the wrong approach to this. I wonder why.
So how about just the good ol’ gospel itself? There’s a song from the Prince of Egypt Soundtrack that has always captivated me, called Through Heaven’s Eyes. One, because it gets your eyes off of yourself and onto the big picture, and most importantly onto God. Similarly, Brandon Heath’s Give Me Your Eyes invites us to see and remember what God has done.
The sea of faces you see everywhere you go, or the throngs of pride parade attendees, are all precious to God. That means that they are infinitely more than their sexuality (or their ethnicity or gender for that matter). Every human being is an image bearer of the Most High God, and should be treated with worth, love and respect. Let me be the first to say that I don’t always do this. I try to see everyone as a God-breathed masterpiece who are loved to the point where Christ died for them. But I confess that, among other things, I have looked with lust before, that I have idolized and objectified people, I have committed adultery in the heart. Willingly, involuntarily, it doesn’t matter. The point is, who am I to judge and throw stones at the biblically sexually immoral? (That is, whom the Bible calls sexually immoral, whether you think they are or not.) But fear or avoidance of hypocrisy isn’t the only drive here.
While I won’t and can’t judge, I think there is a difference between not judging and agreeing/celebrating/glorifying. A huge difference. “Well if you think being gay is wrong, that’s being judgmental.” But isn’t saying that being gay is good and fine also a judgment? I’m not convinced that judgment and opinion are as closely tied as people think it is.
To me, being non-judgmental means loving and respecting in spite of what you see as flaws. The love and respect alone doesn’t stop the flaws from being flaws, but neither do the flaws hinder the love and respect. And I think the gospel facilitates this because it is the story of unconditional love, after all.
Whether you perceive homosexuality as a sin or not is really of no consequence, not that I’m saying I believe it isn’t sin. But even if it weren’t, there are plenty of other sins that have us covered. That’s the bad news. The good news, is that
God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. (Romans 5:8-11)
Maybe you don’t see yourself as a sinner. Maybe you don’t want this “reconciliation with Christ.” Maybe you still don’t get why Christ had to die. Many don’t.
But if you’re willing to find out, come exactly as you are, because you don’t have to find God, He’s already found you. You don’t have to work to earn His favour, He is already at work in you, inclining your heart towards Him.
In the end, Love does win, but not the comparatively cheap, divorce-susceptible love driven solely by sexual attraction, whether homosexual, heterosexual, or otherwise.
God’s love wins, not simply over hatred or injustice, but death itself — and it can never be undone.
In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. (1 John 4:9-12)