Same sex marriage debate
A Message from Stuart
“since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23
“and all are justified by his grace as a gift” Romans 3:24
I have held off commenting publicly about the same sex marriage debate but honestly think I can do so no longer, so here goes. I have no doubt that I won’t win friends in the process but then I am not trying to win friends but to be faithful to what I understand God to be saying.
First of all we need to state loudly and clearly that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and all can be justified freely by his grace. Both truths together. This must be our starting point. It frequently looks like Christians are saying that same sex unions are the worst of sins and there is no forgiveness. Now I know that no one is saying that explicitly but it certainly looks as if Christians are saying this to the world at large. Too frequently Christians appear to be saying the first part of Romans 3 all have sinned without the second part of Romans 3 and all, anyone, everyone can be put right with God by faith in his son Jesus Christ.
Secondly I think that a desire to see people give God the glory must be our priority ie: before everything else. Not only theirs, but is my conduct showing God in all his glory? The glory of God is the priority of the Christian, his attitude, words and actions. Now it should be the priority of those who do not know Christ as well but it’s not. Personally, I fully expect that the person who does not know God will live his way & not God’s. (I know I certainly would.) In order for someone to give God the glory they must find forgiveness in Jesus first and have their heart changed by the Spirit.
Thirdly Christians have battled governments on social issues for decades. Governments are not Christian, people are. I would be very interested to read what the churches had to say for example on the defeat of slavery, or the legal ramifications for defacto unions etc.,; things we now take for granted. It is so important that the means with which we conduct this debate does not defeat our cause. The end does not justify the means. Overwhelmingly I want to bring people to give God the glory that is due to him.
Yes the practice of homosexuality is sinful but so also is gossip, deceitfulness and a lying tongue. Certainly Romans tells us that the ramifications for society are great but James tells us that a lying tongue can start a forest fire. You can hold your tongue and you can hold your practice. You don’t have to give in to your urges.. Our responsibility before God requires this to be true. I also know that it is what comes out of my heart that is the problem. It is only the Spirit of God who can make us to do God’s will and to give him the glory.
I also don’t think we should be defined by our sin or define others by their sin. I do not see the Scriptures defining me by my sin (I am not a gossip, I am a man created in the image of God who gossips – which I think may be worse) it defines me by my creation. I am made in the image of God. I do not think that anyone should be defined by their sin whatever that may be or their wealth or their disability. This may appear semantics but I think we should talk about people not about homosexuals. The bible says there was a man who was rich not there was a richie
Finally do remember the words of 1 Corinthians 6:11 when the Scriptures remind us what the Corinthian Christians once were: thieves, the greedy, male prostitutes etc. (It must have made for an interesting congregation.) Sadly I think the church begins to have an acceptable and unacceptable morality. We are not moralists. We are those who trust in the Lord Jesus. I am very concerned that we don’t begin to make some sins acceptable and others unacceptable
This is not an easy debate. You may not agree with me at all. You may think there is too much emphasis on the love of God and not enough of the justice of God. You may think there is too much preaching and not enough love. All (there’s that word again) will be held to account one day for what we have done Hebs 9:25. Those who put their trust in the Lord Jesus will be saved. Let us make Him the overwhelming consideration as we continue in this discussion.