4 Ways Christians Can Cope With Gay Marriage

[Word count: 628. Approximate read time: 3 minutes]

SameSexCake

The Supreme Court has struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which will allow national recognition of same-sex marriages. This also snatched the rug out from under California’s Prop 8, making gay marriage legal. I just know somebody is gonna lose sleep over it. So I’m here to set your mind at ease.

Losing freedom of religion. Having privacy infringed upon. Being denied the right to vote. These are reasons to lose sleep and file lawsuits. Same-sex marriage isn’t that big a deal. But here’s something you can do about it:

1. Stay in your lane

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” —John 13:35

If your goal, before the DOMA decision, was to grow and become more like Christ, then nothing should change for you. Keep raising your families. Keep following peace. Keep encouraging. Keep abiding in faith, hope, and charity. Do you love Him? Keep feeding His sheep. This is the proper response to the ruling.

I’ve been guilty of aiming a smirk at feminine men. I may also raise an eyebrow at women who look better in shorts and wifebeaters than I do. But I’m working on that. People are who they are. Gay couples ain’t botherin’ me. My job is to love them. You cannot minister to anyone you don’t love.

1 Peter commands us to be holy, but it doesn’t say “make sure your neighbor does it too.” Let the weight and burden of other people’s decisions fall off your back. You’re not responsible.

2. Don’t get mad

You mad? If so, I understand. There is a fear that this ruling could be a slippery slope for invasive legislation in the future. But as a result, some may want to double down on demonstrating their displeasure. Please don’t do this.

When you do Westboro Baptist Church things in the name of Christianity, it’s horribly embarrassing to everyone else on the team. If you disagree with anyone’s lifestyle, rather than try to convince them they don’t enjoy their life, work on making yours better. Live out loud. Let your actions speak louder than you do. That’s what Matthew 5:16 says. That voice will carry.

“Living well is the best revenge.”
—George Herbert

3. Know how people are

Just because we vote a law in does not mean it will be followed. It just means the offenders may be punished. Possibly. Making behavior illegal does not stop it from happening. Even if every Christian votes “on one accord,” and we win every battle, and outlaw everything God finds abominable, people will still sin.

You cannot legislate holiness. Moses couldn’t do it with a bunch of Israelites then, and the separation of powers can’t do it now. Only God can change a heart. If you thought the U.S.  Constitution would help spread the Gospel, you misunderstood who’s got the power.

4. Do the right thing

Though I prefer the traditional model of marriage I grew up with, not everybody is gonna fall into it.  The Bible has provisions for them too. Philippians 2:3 says, “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”

Out of sheer compassion, I don’t want someone’s gay partner denied health benefits or turned away at the hospital for not being family. That doesn’t seem Christ-like. And frankly, if Jesus had come today, instead of sitting down to eat with a tax collectors and sinners (Mark 2:15-17), he might have broke bread with Adam and Steve to make his point.

Maybe the DOMA ruling is not what you would have wanted for this country. But it’s not going up in flames just yet. Not today. Keep calm and carry on.

***

Do you AGREE or DISAGREE with me?
Please explain why in a comment below.

***

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46 thoughts on “4 Ways Christians Can Cope With Gay Marriage

  1. You know I agree. I’m a flaming liberal. I get a lot of flack for my political views. I oppose Prop 8, and I’m a Christian. A lot of people tell me I can’t be a Christian and support an equal right, but that’s between God and I. I have reasons that I have thought out, and prayed about. Instead of praying the law away, maybe we should pray for compassion and understanding.

    • I think love is the only way to win ANYBODY over and people are saying this, but not loudly and often enough. Now that this ruling has come down, we need to go even harder on it.

  2. I agree. Christ had love for everyone regardless of their views and lifestyle choices. He embraced all people. I think by following in his footsteps acceptance of all people is a basic requirement.

    The main message that I believe that Christ was trying to convey was a message of love. He also made it fairly clear that this love was unconditional. Love is love. I don’t think that Christ would condemn those that are forming loving unions regardless of what that union looks like. I think that He would recognize it for what it is and celebrate it.

    I think we need to all act a little more Christ-like and show empathy, compassion and love to all others regardless of our prejudices and judgements. Who are we to judge another. I think that some scripture about casting the first stone would be suitable here. 😉

    Love, Iniko

    @inikoblue

  3. Very well stated. I am with Montrelle on being a “flaming liberal,” and I rejoice for the happiness of my many LGBT friends. Their love takes nothing away from me, but their happiness adds to my own.

    • Hey! I know you! First of all, after 20+ years, it is STILL a thrill to get your approval on my writing. 😉 I’m certain this is going to change the face of our culture and society, but we just need to make sure that we grow well with it so that we don’t get left behind!

  4. This. So clean cut and to the point. I have been saying that love and the understanding of God’s word is the answer to the “homo-ignorance” that people seem to have. Thanks for making it clear. Your bravery is appreciated.

    • Hey Jenni, thank you!

      I have some friends on Twitter who gave me a crash course on LGBT sensitivity. For the most part, I got them to sign off on the article. I’d love to write something that could bridge the gap and bring understanding between both sides. This feels like a good start. We all need to play nice together.

  5. I totally agree with every point. And thank you for using the Word to back up your points. If there were more Christians like you, there would be more Christians. So, cheers to you and God bless you.

    • WOW. Thank you. I’m very honored, man. You’ve made this a proud day for me. I’ve got some people coming to cross-examine me. So let’s see if I’m still as proud when they get done tearin’ me a new one. Heh.

  6. I agree. “You can’t legislate holiness” sums it up the best. I can’t hold people accountable to to the same standards that I live by, especially if those standards are imposed by a religious belief that we don’t share. I’ve had to remind myself of that on several occasions.

    My job is to live the life I choose and follow God’s directives since I call myself a Christian (ie love, service, patience, etc.). Everyone else has to make their own decisions.

  7. I agree, there are certain ways we are to carry ourselves to show the love of Christ. We need to stay and in our lanes as believers and do not get angry I like how the author states “live out loud” . Let you actions speak volume for your life and in concurrence i would say love out loud. Ephesians 4:25-32. This scripture also talks about showing compassion and love to one another you can be angry over the situation but do not allow that anger to cause you to sin. Remember in each measure you judge God will also judge you (Matthew 7:1).

    Thanks for the post. Keep calm and carry on…

    • Ephesians 4:25-32 (NIV) is a pretty rich passage:

      25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”[a]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.

      29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

      Clearly, I’ve got work to do. Now that I read this section, I ain’t been doin’ much of that at ALL. Thanks for reading and joining the dialogue, Shad!

      -MC

  8. This was so succinct and well-written. I loved every part of it. I’ve been saying the same things on my blog/vlog about gay marriage and the proper Christian response. It’s CLEAR that the Bible beating method of “witnessing” to gays and telling them that the only reason they should get saved is that Jesus will cure their gayness…when MANY born-again Christians who are gay will tell you that probably won’t happen…doesn’t work. What I’ve found more effective is love. It lets me get to know someone, connect with them, and they’re more open to hearing the Gospel story, even if they don’t accept for years to come.

    And don’t get me started on people using the Bible to say how marriage is defined, when it changed by Genesis 4 and stayed changed for centuries thereafter, even among people in the direct line of Jesus. Anyway, thank you so much for this proper approach. I hope Christians finally “get” it that they haven’t been treating gays correctly since…forever. Maybe this will effect a change.

    • I wasn’t willing to admit that this was like the Civil Rights movement in years prior, but I do see the similarities now… especially when I look at how much hate gay people attract. Something doesn’t seem right about it. And I hope the church learns better ways to deal.

  9. Aren’t we humans funny? We get so obsessed with minutiae, that we forget the larger message.

    I am happy to reblog this. It reflects the Christian message with which I was brought up.

      • You’re very welcome. It’s all about the dialogue. We mustn’t forget that these are real people’s lives we’re talking about, not just social and religious issues.

        I hope my response on twitter was helpful.

        I am Agnostic, but I sincerely believe that Christ’s words have meaning and value.

  10. Reblogged this on ADignorantium and commented:
    In the quest for equal rights it is important to remember that we’re all just human. We don’t always know the answers.
    If we demonize those who don’t understand, are we really any better than them?

  11. Another good read, Mark! Initially, the title threw me off. After reading the article, I went back to the title: ‘What would I replace the word, Christian, with?’… One doesn’t have to be Christian to fit in with this topic. Many religions do not condone homosexuality or gay marriage.

    No, you can’t legislate holiness, especially in a government who’s actions and history may be seen as anything but holy. While the national religion of America is Christianity, the government separated itself from religion, so as to not be held accountable for its own, un-Christianlike actions (as do many of its citizens). America is in quite a quagmire now…

    I, too, am only concerned with my own truthfulness, righteousness, family, health, wealth, etc., and not those of everyone is society. While I certainly do care about people, I don’t have mind or time to spare to fight with people who do not submit to, or practice, My truth. Even when looking out for the interest of others, the others may disagree with my position. Every tub must sit on its own bottom. “Keep raising your families. Keep following peace. Keep encouraging. Keep abiding in faith, hope, and charity,” is my response to life! But, let it be known: I want to be down with Lot and his crew!

    Thanks for pulling me into the discussion, Mark!

    • Well, shoot! Thanks for slam dunking your portion of the dialogue, Samadia!

      You make a really solid point. I only know where we lack savvy with gay communities as Christians, but I’m sure there are many religions that have failed LGBT people in the same ways. For all the progress we’ve made as a society, we still have some areas that need work. “America is in a quagmire” is an understatement. This is why “Help us, Jesus” is the prayer I end up praying most often.

      Regards,
      Mark Chappelle

      P.S. I love the saying “Every tub must sit on its own bottom.”

  12. Ok so here are my 2 cents…and then some.

    The title assumes that all christians have an issue with gay marriage.
    and “gay marriage” assumes that there is a difference between “straight marriage” aside from the parties involved. But then again ALL marriages are unique because the two (or more parties involved) are unique.

    Someone mentioned that Christianity is our national religion and that isn’t true. The founding fathers weren’t Christian’s they were deist and freemasons. Then throw in seperation of church and state and it shouldn’t even be a religious issue.

    If you look at the early church as a model, you never see Peter and Paul protesting against the ills of society by legislation. Their concern was the church more than anything. Even Paul says how silly it sounds to seperate yourself from people in society that you don’t agree with.

    1 Cor 5:9-13

    9I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:

    10Yet not entirely with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must you needs go out of the world.

    11But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such a one no not to eat.

    12For what have I to do to judge them also that are outside? do not you judge them that are within?

    13But them that are outside God judges.

    Also the bible doesn’t say ANYTHING about gay marriage. it is all inferred. Ironically it is anti-interracial marriage. (check out Ezra and Nehiemiah) and at one point in time scripture was used to prevent that as well.

    I’m gonna side with Paul in 1 Thes. 4:11 when he says in essense “Shut up and mind your own business!”

    If you don’t like gay marriage, then don’t get in one.

    *sorry for all typos and grammatical errors

    • Yeah. A terse, yet relevant comment said that I should’ve included a 5th way to cope with gay marriage: “Don’t get one.” Ha! Yeah. There’s a good bit of minding our own business that people’s general understanding of The Great Commission won’t let us do. But I think it’s very appropriate here.

      Regarding the comment about the Bible discouraging interracial marriage, I must look into this. Not just because scriptural peculiarities turn me on, but also because white girls do. LMBO

      • To butt in a bit on your conversation, the OT referred to cultural issues. God wanted His people to stand apart, be different. Other groups tended to have other ‘gods’ and Yahweh didn’t want His people drawn into that mess (as Solomon eventually was)…so, keep on with your white girl addiction ma brother!!

  13. This may be slightly off topic, but I don’t think “Jesus hung out with sinners”. I think sinners hung out with Jesus — and their lives were changed as a result. Too often Christians find themselves “hanging out with sinners” and end up with lifestyles that are virtually indistinguishable from non-Christian lifestyles. Every single person Jesus encountered, he radically changed for the better.

    • You know what? You’re probably right. Jesus probably didn’t just go to the club to clown around with the disciples, pop bottles, and holler at the girls. But the Christians I’m familiar with spent too much time running away from “sinners” and the influence that we are supposed to have on them, and as a result of THAT, failed to be like Jesus! LOL

      I get what you mean though. We have to use discernment always. And thank you for reading and commenting. I appreciate the correction and the contribution.

  14. Pingback: Keene Point of ViewHey, Christians, Hey: Gay Rights » Keene Point of View

  15. Well said! I always get confused when people attempt to force feed their beliefs on others. Raised by a southern preacher also known as my grandad I was thought to love all. I may not agree with someone but the word is not meant to be force-fed.

    • I think we all want to do the right thing on both ends of the moral spectrum from permissive to restrictive. It’s just a messy process trying to figure out what “the right thing” is. It’s a frustrating problem to consider.

  16. Coddling sinners in their sin is not the answer. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 says do not be deceived the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God. These verses name off a whole list of sins and homosexuality is one of the sins listed. As Christians we are to warn unrepentant sinners to flee from the wrath to come. All unrepentant sinners need to repent and trust Jesus. You can’t claim Jesus as your Savior if He is not Lord of your life. Jesus said unless you repent, you will likewise perish. He told the woman caught in adultery to go and sin no more. He didn’t say love wins, He told her to repent – to turn away from her sin.

    • Good evening, Dennis.

      Thank you for being daring enough to offer an opinion that goes against the mainstream. In truth, the Bible does indeed say that! But for people who know nothing but same-sex attraction, these are the same scriptures that have been used to condemn and push them away from the God that created, loves, and desires a closeness with them.

      So as you dutifully push the sin away with one hand, please never forget to pull the sinner close with your other hand. And if you do indeed call them sinners, please remember to remind them that you are a sinner too—we all are, and that their sin is no greater or more heinous than any other.

      So preach 1 Corinthians 6. But make sure you deliver it along with 1 Corinthians 13. “If I do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” “[Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

      I understand if you want to distance yourself from mentions of “love wins,” but before it was associated with any kind of LGBT movement, it was love that was winning souls. Please never forget that you can’t win souls without it.

      God bless,
      Mark

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