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Against or For?

It seems it’s difficult these days to say anything challenging gay marriage without being looked as a bigot, a religious zealot, or a hater. In response, many have gotten quiet.

But I can’t. Not so much because I’m opposed to gay marriage (though I am), but because I love homosexual men and women.

For the past 15 years, I’ve had the privilege of meeting and walking alongside hundreds of men and women who, due to no fault of their own, discovered early in life that they were attracted to the same gender rather than the other gender. For most of them, this discovery came with a great deal of anxiety, fear of rejection, and shame.

My heart is for these friends. I want what’s best for them, just as I want what’s best for everyone.

This is why I am opposed to gay marriage.

Gay marriage holds out hopes for a better life for my friends: hope to be treated as an equal to everyone else, hope they won’t have to live a lone and lonely life, hope they can have a loving family of their own, and so much more.

As one who loves them, I want these things for them, too, and so much more. Jesus has what they’re after. But same-sex marriage will not deliver on its promises. It will take more than it will give. Not so with Jesus, he will give more than he takes, even when it seems the cost of obedience to him is far too high.

I’ll unpack this in other blogs elsewhere, but for now let me stand as one voice standing unequivocally for love and against same-sex marriage.

What do you think? Do you believe it’s possible to stand against gay marriage in a posture of love? How do you do this? If you are for gay marriage, what do you think of the idea that others may oppose your view out of love for homosexual men and women? Leave a comment below. 

For people,
Josh

17 thoughts on “Against or For?”

  1. Why do you think that same sex marriage wont give on its promises? why do you think same sex marraige will take more than it will give? I’m opposed to same-sex marriage and I just want to be able able to speak to those friends that are gay that I love why I am against it. Not out of malice or spite but out of love. Cause I want them to be happy too.

    1. Good questions, Richard. I don’t know all the ways gay marriage will take more than it gives; but such is the way it goes with all things contrary to God’s will.

      But the most obvious example of where gay marriage will not live up to its promises is in the area of equality. While legalizing same-sex marriage would change a lot for same-sex couples socially, laws can’t change other realities, the most signficant being that heterosexual marriages can produce children of both parents and provide a home where those children are raised by a mother and a father–and not just any mother and father, their biological mother and father.

      By way of parallel, no-fault divorce laws have changed a great deal for men and women who have divorced, including making single-parent homes a cultural norm. But these homes (and I am speaking from the perspective of one raised in a single-parent home since I was 3) are far from equal to homes where mom and dad remain faithfully married.

      One other note: please don’t hear my comments on equality in a light different than I mean. I am NOT saying that homosexual men and women (nor single moms or dads) are unequal or should be treated as less valuable as others. They have just as much worth and are just as loved by God as anyone else. I am saying gay marriage is not adequate to convey their worth to their hearts. Only Christ can do that for them. Their worth is one reason I oppose those things that further entrench any faulty sense of identity or behavior.

  2. Thank you for sharing. I have many friends who are gay or lesbian. It is so hard to watch them struggle. I am trying to stand by them in love and show them that if they choose to fall in love with Jesus that they do not need to fear and that He will not disappoint them.

    1. Cyndi (and Richard),
      Honestly, I see no more ‘struggle’ in the lives of my friends and associates who are gay/lesbian than I do among any other group of people in my life. In fact, the g/l couples and individuals I know seem to be more at peace and (frankly) loving. They tend not to go around fixing others.
      The single most egregious act causing angst in one friend’s life was when someone in her neighborhood (a neighbor) broke into her car and stole her robe and vestments — she is an ordained minister. So sad that some Christians are unable to love in the same manner that Christ did….

    2. Bill, thanks for sharing. I’m sorry your friend was treated so awfully.

      I don’t know if you intended to, but you’ve raised an important topic: What do you think the level of angst or struggle (or for that matter, peace) a person experiences reveal?

  3. Josh, as one who has experienced sexual attractions which, had I acted on them could have put me in jail, I stand in solidarity with you. I can testify that it is possible to battle unwanted inclinations and begin the process of healing. God bless you.

  4. What concerns me the most is that this is an organized, well funded agenda that is hoped will sweep across the country with the end result being complete acceptance of the redefining of marriage. The social problems that will come from this new and unparalleled definition of marriage will have disasterous consequences for everyone. To love the same sex attracted individuals is to be truthful (with a loving voice and attitude) so that they understand that when you tinker with God’s plan, there are consequences. Those who do not know Scripture will not realize that God put up with the Israelites idol worship (and that is what this is) for only so long and they put an end to it violently…….that is where we are headed. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow……..better to turn to God and seek His strength to live chastely than try to change His law.

    1. Barbara, you make some good points.

      On one point, I heard someone share something similar the other day and it was miscontrued. I think it’s important to clarify that you are not calling for or condoning violence against anyone. Correct?

      Instead, you’re advocating speaking the truth in love to those who disagree.

      No need to reply unless I’m misunderstanding you.

  5. Josh,

    Do you have question or questions you would like me to ask panel on FOX 45 tonite?? Am put down to be in the audience but this could change at the last minute.

    I strongly suggest you send the substance of your Email to Dan Rodrick and take a crack at answering his big put down of Leviticus and Romans.

    Suggest you see movie Road to Glory if you have not already done so. It’s most likely a matter of time before we look the same stuff in the eye.

    Love in Christ Jesus,

    Bill

  6. Thanks, Josh, for offering a solid position in a posture of love. There is no doubt that there has been an unfortunate amount of hatred shown toward homosexuals. This is not excusable, especially for those claiming to be Christians. On the other hand, there are also attempts by some (not all) to push the idea of acceptance and celebration of homosexuality on to others. We do need to take a strong stand for what God says is true and right, as it is a blessing for everyone in the long run. Many times the truth can be offensive, so we need to be sure we speak it in love. I think you’ve done that well in your post here.

  7. Hi, Josh-

    I just got through reading the information on the Massresistance web page that Bob emailed yesterday. It’s interesting how I felt my blood pressure rising by the time I got to the end of the article. As I sit here and consider why I have this visceral emotional reaction to all that I read about I realize that my reaction is not really directed any any individual, activist group, judge or politician but rather at the great lie that our enemy has so successfully peddled to many in our culture. Whenever I find myself becoming angry at the latest injustice perpetrated on Christians by the people who are pushing the homosexual agenda, I need to turn my lens of judgement onto myself -a sinner, a liar, an addict, an adulterer in both mind and body. I need to try to think back to how I felt when I was completely lost in my sin; the constant emotional pain that I tried to medicate with ever-increasing amounts of sex. The crushing guilt that I awoke with every single morning that came from sleeping next to the beautiful bride that the Lord had given to me when I was giving my body to another. I was so far down in the pit that I did not see any way of escape that would bring anything but scandal, shame and loss of relationship.
    This is the state in which all of the wounded, broken individuals who are living this “lifestyle” exist. When I was in that place, I would (and sometimes did) almost anything to push that pain back, even if only for a few moments. I believe that all of these political, cultural and social battles that are being fought over this issue right now are borne from this same need to make what our God-given conscience tells us is wrong and against the grain of what our Creator intended seem “right” in the eyes of those who suffer in this way. While I don’t believe there is any record of Jesus interacting with someone with a SSA, I try to imagine how Jesus would interact with someone who is lost in homosexuality. I try to imagine how He would speak to them, with love, empathy and a supernatural understanding of the state of their heart. I can imagine how He would open His arms to them, enfold them in an embrace and stroke their head as they wept on His shoulder. Jesus would have first and foremost LOVED anyone caught up in this brokenness; no less than He has LOVED me in mine. And so I must love all of those who are broken in this way, even as they scream obscenities at me, denegrate me, label me and despise me. Because my Shepherd edured all of that and much more, even unto death on a cross – and He endured it for me. I can attempt to do nothing less for anyone who does not know the best news in life.
    Stay strong, Brother. My heart goes with you and all of the work that you do.
    In Christ-
    Lewis

  8. Would it be equally loving for Christ to take away our choice of His path or another? In a society of laws, giving a minority the same right as the majority is not a celebration of the minority, it is merely a refusal to discriminate.

    1. Matt, of course Christ doesn’t remove our freedom to choose his path or another. We know from him that love must be a choice, it cannot be something forced out of us or it isn’t love.

      Still, I’m struggling with your logic. Based on your line of reasoning, what is the basis for any law? Also, what are the criteria for a “minority”? Would any group of people qualify who desire something that most in the culture don’t?

      To me, this issue is not about denying rights to minorities.

  9. Hey Josh, Yes, I do think it’s possible to stand against gay marriage with a posture of love. As one who struggles with S/S, I know that gays and lesbians just want the same equalities and securities as everyone else. They want to be loved, committed and (if marriage- minded) in a special relationship with a single partner.
    There is nothing intrinsically wrong with these base instincts, however, I believe the biblical definition of marriage is between man and woman. If a S/S couple wishes to pursue a binding relationship, there are other alternatives legal and social which address this request. Civil unions are performed in many states and carry a majority of the legal and insurance benefits as a marriage relationship.
    Among heterosexual, dating and mating populations, domestic partnerships abound. Most people including Christians accept, tolerate and even promote couples living and sleeping together before marriage. Cohabitation is also prevalent among gay and lesbian partnerships. This is an alternative, which I feel is no more right or wrong for homosexuals than when straight couples live and share sex together without being married.
    The question, I believe, is what is best for single people and their sexual and relational fulfillment? Is the individual (single, homosexual, straight, etc.) allowing the person to be an idol to them and worshipping their partner (married people could do this too), or are they finding core wholeness and value in their bridegroom Jesus first?
    This is not a judgement call which can be evaluated or estimated from someone on the outside, that answer can only come from the individual. For this reason, we must operate in a posture of love when we interact and respond on a political and social level as Christians on this issue. “Take the log out of your own eye…” (paraphrase) Not to do so is to be guilty of judgement and sin against those we propose to help. Jacqui

  10. …”one who loves them…” Are they defective, do they need to be fixed, do they deserve pity?! “They” are us. Opposing gay marriage is no more logical than supporting a public school curriculum based (exclusively) on Christianity. Marriage, in this context, is a social act — that is also (for those who believe in Christ) a spiritual act. Denying the civil advantages of marriage to those that choose to live in homosexual partnership is analogous to rewarding those who choose to practice Christina. This is America. We are inclusive, not exclusive. That said, the Church (based on doctrine) can and should restrict gay marriage or, at a least, take up the issue in forums such as this. But, to deny a segment of our population the rights of civil marriage is, in essence, excluding Americans. A bad idea.

    1. Bill, we may have to agree to disagree.

      Marriage is by definition both an inclusive and an exclusive institution. And laws that give special consideration to some people and not to others are not by default un-American or a bad idea (e.g. police officers can exceed posted speed limits, only those with medical licenses can practice medicine, you have to be 18 to vote).

      Finally, as a Christian, my understanding of God’s will is this: he wants us to live according to his commands because he made us and so he knows what works best for us. If I truly believe this, which I do, I bring this to the way I engage in all aspects of my life, including the laws I support. To do otherwise would be in essence to say that I don’t really believe my beliefs. Or it would reveal that I don’t really care for those who believe differently.

      With all this said, I respect those who disagree and will continue to seek to treat them with the dignity and love God’s given all of us. As you say, “they” are us.

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