President Obama supports the constitutional right for same sex couples to get married. It’s big news for both sides of the aisle.
Obama Speaks Out
On one hand, the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered) community feels the thrill of victory. Their fight for equal rights for all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation, has taken a monumental step forward. With President Obama’s historic backing of the constitutionality of same sex marriages comes a reward for their tears and trials. CNN news reports Chad Griffin saying, “[President Obama]’s words provide genuine hope that they will be the first generation to grow up with the freedom to fully pursue the American dream.”
And then, there is the other hand; the villainous hand; the perceived hand of tyranny with cross-shaped holes in them. The Christian or “values” group will respond, no doubt, with great ferocity. To them, Obama has affirmed his place as the trailblazer of a modern Sodom and Gomorrah, as the head of the demonizing force against an otherwise “Christian” nation under God, as a spineless moral coward.
The Question Behind the Question
Needless to say, mass confusion abounds around the subject of homosexuality, let alone homosexual marriage. This is largely the case because the two sides have different starting points. For the “right” this is a biblical issue. And thus, acquiescing the advances of this country’s increasing immoral community is equivalent to dragging the pristine Stars and Stripes through spiritual mud. But the community that backs same sex marriage sees this as a freedom issue. For them, the “land of the free” should by definition be a land sans all prejudices, including those involving sexual orientation.
So you see the disconnect. One side begins with the Bible. The other begins with the Constitution. Two documents which, despite popular opinion in the church community, were written to achieve very different ends.
To take a page from Rob Bell, getting to the real nitty gritty of the issue means asking “the question behind the question.” No doubt Judeo-Christian values influenced the formation of the Constitution, but the question is to what degree. Where’s the line for bible-based legislation and governmental leadership? Just how much should we allow religion to influence legislation?
The danger with purely religious legislation is just that. There should not be such a thing as religious legislation. To pass such laws would set precedence for any legislation to be made on the basis any religion.
While it is true that the Bible frowns on homosexuality, and by extension, homosexual marriage, such basis alone is not enough to pass a law in a democratic society where the voice of the people hold so much weight. Why? Because America is not a Christian nation in the sense that it exists to promote the Christian worldview. The Bible does not have a special place in legislative consideration.
So a line must be drawn
The Line in the Sand
The shift in the governmental landscape is simple. Generation Next isn’t interested in divisive government. So when the Christian community seems so intent on imposing Christianity on others’ lifestyles in seemingly divisive ways, they close their ears and hearts. Rather than hear the immobilized, stagnant Christian dogma of conservatism, they run toward the moving, impactful communities in society; the ones that seem to be listening, engaging, and participating as agents of real social change.
The Christian community must recognize this shift. Gone are the days when God’s people can expect the government to serve as a conduit for its Christian morality. Gone are the days where the best way to impact the community meant writing letters to congressmen in hopes of prohibiting and censoring certain behavior.
Instead, the time is ripe for a new wave of Christian action and activity. The time is ripe for a new movement where Christians see the ratcheted up stakes and respond to them directly rather than through judges and congressmen. The time is now for the church to rethink its approach to the defining issues of this generation. To step down from our collective pulpits to mingle with the people we are meant to bring salvation to.
The time is now to realize that government is not the answer. It’s not even close to the answer. Jesus never told us to create governmental laws to spread the gospel. You can’t legislate biblical morality. True biblical morality is the result of the heart surgery performed by the Holy Spirit the moment we receive the truth of Jesus and his love for us shown on the cross.
So here is the line. If we can’t translate Christian values into language that shows the benefit to society, then we must accept that value as a fight we must wage on our own.
Homosexuality, even homosexual marriage, does not impose a social threat. As such, the church can’t lean on the government to sufficiently respond to the spiritual ripples speeding across the collective American pond. There is no constitutional basis for preventing same sex marriages. There are only biblical ones.
Make no mistake. If the country is “going to hell in a hand basket” it’s because the Church has not found the way to reach the unsaved in an effective manner.
Make no mistake. If the country is “going to hell in a hand basket” it’s because the Church has not found the way to reach the unsaved in an effective manner. Ultimately, the failure lies in our inability and lack of desire to evolve our methods and language to the changing challenges of this generation. The failures are in the lines we draw, the set in our ways stubbornness, and in our lack of genuine interest in people. Do we really love people the way we love ourselves? Really?
I agree with the president. There is no American Constitutional reason for same sex marriages to be prohibited. I also believe homosexuality is a sin, and to vow that you will forever practice this sin “for as long as you both shall live” deeply saddens God.
Sure, the room got a little darker today, but that’s reason for God’s people to shine all the more bright. It’s time to step up and stop waiting for government to do our jobs for us. It’s time to take the reins.
Just think, if Christians would really start behaving like Christians the government wouldn’t have to pick up the pieces in economic and social issues like this. Imagine that, Christians really being Christians.
Originally posted on Candid Christianity at http://antwuanmalone.com/same-sex-marriages-and-you/ Copyright © 2012 AntwuanMalone.com. Republished with permission