Gay Marriage: I choose Jesus first Jul03

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Gay Marriage: I choose Jesus first

When I first got the idea to start this blog, I never dreamed that my first post would be on gay marriage.  In the back of my mind I thought, “Ya, I’ll slip that issue in somewhere down the road, but I’d rather develop a rapport with some people before polarizing myself and turning away most readers.”  Hahaha.  Over the past few days, however, the issue has come to the center of a conversation with some of my best friends – and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.

How does Jesus want us, as Christians, to respond to the issue of gay marriage?  How does he desire us to treat our friends and family members who embrace a homosexual lifestyle?

After a few hours of thought, I finally landed on an answer that seemed to address these issues on the lowest foundational level, and it rested well in my soul.  Jesus told us directly in Matthew 22:37-40, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

This passage of Scripture lays out the two highest priorities for virtually every Christian living on this Earth.  The first and most important thing that we can even attempt to do is to love God with all of our hearts, souls, and minds.  I believe this is only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit and the grace God shows us in His love towards us.

The second most important thing that God commands us is to love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves.  Again, this is impossible to do without the power of the Holy Spirit working through us.  If I was making the rules, I’d love myself a lot more than my neighbors.  But in commanding us to love others, God gives us a glimpse into what it is like for Him to love us – often sinful, frustrating, and foolish children.  So sinful, in fact, that Jesus had to come and die as the penalty for our sin!  Remembering this should humble our hearts and fill us with joy and gratitude, which hopefully translates as love and grace towards other people.

A few days ago, a friend of mine posed a question to our women’s bible study relating to gay marriage: “Should we as Christians have the right to impose our biblical convictions onto all people – including non-Christians – through the law?”  My first thought is, no, I don’t want to impose or force anyone to do anything they don’t want to do – and I certainly don’t want anyone forcing me.  God doesn’t “force” us to do anything.  The Bible is chock full of His wisdom and commandments that He shares with us for our good because He loves us and came to save us from our sin.  So I don’t want to impose or force my beliefs or God’s moral design on anyone – that’s not what this is about.  What I do want to do is see people saved from the destruction of their sin and come to know Jesus instead!

The Bible is clear in stating that practicing homosexuality is sinful – 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 1 Timothy 1:10, Romans 1:26-27, and Genesis 19:1-29.  Choosing to live a lifestyle defined by any sin separates us from God, and ultimately, sends us to an eternal place of suffering (Ephesians 5:5).  Sharing the gospel and discouraging sin – from a position of real humility – is the most loving thing a Christian can do for a “neighbor”.  That is why I write about this stuff in the first place!

Both my husband and I have beloved family members who have lived homosexual lifestyles for decades. This issue is personal and emotional for me.  If one of them came to me and asked how I would vote on gay marriage, difficult as it would be, I would have to say that I would be against it.  Why would I want to encourage someone I love to entrench themselves even deeper into a sinful lifestyle?  Hebrews 13:4 says, “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”

A lot of people don’t want to discuss the gay marriage issue – or any political issue – because they are afraid of being judged or harming relationships (see my post on apathy).  When I care more about what other people think of me rather than what’s important to God – that’s fear of man, not fear of God.  I believe that when we love Jesus and endeavor to love Him with all of our heart, soul, and mind – we care about what He cares about – first.  So when I have a discussion or go to the polls to vote on anything, I consider the issues that are at stake, and vote according to God’s commands, given to us in His Word.  If I have a choice between Jesus and anyone else – I want to choose Jesus first, every time.