O.K., is it safe to comment on the recent passage of the same sex marriage law? As of June 26, 2015 same sex couples have the right to be legally married in all 50 states. This is a federal ruling that has been creeping its way state by state for the last ten years. Those who wish to oppose this on some kind of legal or political challenge will find a very difficult and steep mountain to climb. Although I hold to a traditionally Biblical view of marriage I also believe the the ship has sailed…the genie is out of the bottle and we are not getting him back in. Like it or not, I believe that same sex marriage is here to stay in the United States of America.
My thoughts about this? Well actually, my first thoughts had less to do about gay marriage and more to do about traditional marriage (heterosexual; between a man and a woman) as well as sins of omission.
While I believe that once you redefine marriage you open up a can of worms and wind up on a very slippery slope which will have dire consequences for our nation, I truly am more concerned about the future of heterosexual marriages and in particular, Christian heterosexual marriages. Depending on which statistics you look at we can pretty much assume that the divorce rate among Christians is as high as those who do not profess faith. Second marriages tend to end in divorce at a higher rate than first marriages. This says nothing about Christian marriages that are in trouble, that have bitterness, anger, hurt and resentment infecting them. A marriage can be broken…in disrepair and cracking under stress but still remain together. It does not mean that it is healthy or in any way representative of Christ and His Church, which marriage is supposed to be. The sad truth of the matter is that there are many people going to church each week, driving in the same car, sitting next to each other and living a lie so that others would not see the loneliness and pain. There are many marriages that suffer in silence…husbands looking to escape, wives looking for romance…Married and yet apart. Married and broken. In addition to broken marriages, in the last 50 years cohabitation in the general population has risen 900 percent…..900 PERCENT!! And more and more professing evangelical Christians are moving in together before they get married. While one may be opposed, based on Biblical standards, to same sex marriage, it may be more important that they repair their own marriages and live according to Biblical instruction before they take up the battle cry against what they believe is an assault on the morality of our country.
The church has long been quick to condemn the sins of commission, those sins that are obvious and easy to identify. But we have been equally quiet about the sins of omission…Those things that we fail to do that are no less grievous to the heart of God. Such as when we neglect to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the prisoner, give water to the thirsty or take care of the sick. When the church is quiet about injustice or fails to provide services for the widow, disabled or weak…is she not just as guilty of sin as one who willingly neglects the Word of God?
These are not easy times for the Church and we will have to navigate the many changes and challenges ahead. We will have to love, as Christ loves us, unconditionally and with mercy. We will need to examine our own hearts and beliefs and wrestle with things we never had to wrestle with before. There are no easy answers. But Peter warns us: “For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17).
So maybe, as Christians, we need to get our act together first and foremost instead of expecting those who do not share our faith and values to do the same. And for those Christians who believe and think differently than you do…as Jesus said to Peter when he wondered about what would become of John: “What is that to you? You must follow me.” (John 21:21-22).
What do you think?
How does it make you feel?
Save The Date: The “You’re Still The One” Marriage weekend will be held April 15 – 17, 2016 at the Spruce Lake Lodge and Retreat Center. You will have a chance to register soon.
“Connect”: We invite you to join us at our monthly gatherings for married couples. These gatherings will give you an opportunity to strengthen your relationship and reinforce those principles and practices that help create a God glorifying marriage. Join us for our annual picnic on Sunday, August 23. Details below.
Note: I am actually interested in hearing what you think and feel. Your responses are appreciated. And they are private. So feel free to respond with your thoughts and your own reflections to What Do You Think?