Christ lover, singer, songwriter, poet, writer, & stuff.All Intents and Purposes Me Yes? Submit
This is something that I’ve wanted to write for quite some time. I’ve spent a lot of time with all of my thoughts in my head because of the nature of the topic and the sensitivity surrounding it. I really feel that this is the right time to say something in such a way that hopefully clears up confusion with both Christians and the LGBT community.
To all who read this, whether you claim to be a Christian, are straight, gay, lesbian, believe or don’t believe in God, anyone— I hope that you will receive what I am writing with an open mind and walk away with at least an understanding that may or may not line up with your own, but an understanding of where one honest and earnest follower of Jesus stands on the issue. I hope this will open the eyes of both Christians and non-Christians, straight, gay, lesbian, atheist, and anyone of any belief to the perspective of someone who strives to follow Christ and is attempting to offer a sound and fair voice to this whole discussion. If you don’t believe the Bible, God, or Jesus, I think this will still be helpful, especially if you have friends who do follow Christ and you have trouble understanding where they might be coming from.
—The nature of the marriage debate between Christians and the LGBT community has ranged from sympathetic and enabling to cruel and vicious. I’ve seen Christians stand on both sides of the issue, and there’s a reason for that; nobody knows exactly what a “Christian” is.
Here’s what I mean…
The word “Christian” was used in Biblical times as a derogatory term to insult the early church. To call someone a Christian was to call them something like a “Little Christ” or “Jesus Jr.”. In the same way today, we might call somebody a junior version of whomever they are trying to model his or herself after, the members of the early church were called “Christian” as a joke or an insult.
The word “Christian” has no true definition. It’s been adopted as a word to describe those who go to church and worship a kind of God or Jesus. This can explain why we have so many different sects of Christianity and why there is one of every kind of style or denomination on every street corner. This is why there are Christians on both sides of every political issue. This is why there are disagreements about Biblical principles among those who subscribe to Christianity. This is why someone can say they are a Christian yet appear to stand for nothing and not display any evidence of a relationship with Jesus.
There is a word in the Bible that is clearly defined, and is adopted by everyone: the members of the early church, the apostles, the writers of the New Testament…
This word is “disciple”.
A disciple of Christ. Now this is a term that is adoptable and applicable and more relevant than ever before.
Unlike the word “Christian”, the word “disciple” is clearly defined in 100% detail.
In John 13:34-35, Jesus has his disciples gathered together, and drops this mind-blowing concept on them…
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Love one another. When Jesus says this, it was a radical idea for the time. To value another life, to give them a reason and purpose, to treat them with respect no matter who they are— this was a radical and groundbreaking idea at the time. The word “new” that Jesus uses translates to “different”, an “original thought”, and “unlike anything before it”. It meant that husbands had to love their wives. It meant children had to respect and obey their parents and that parents were to treat their children with value. It meant that workers had to respect their masters and that masters had to treat their slaves fairly. It meant that the way man interacted with one another was going to change forever.
And here’s where it gets good…
Jesus very clearly and definitively defines the term “Disciple”. He says that we must love one another in the same way that He loves us. He says that everyone will know that we are disciples of Jesus by how we love one another in the same way that He loves us.
Still with me? I hope so. This is where I can start getting into the original point of this post on the marriage debate, but please bear in mind everything that’s been said.
—The way Jesus loves us is incredible. It’s powerful. It’s wonderful. It’s magnificent.
Jesus’ love is, at its core, a sacrificial love. He gave up His life for an undeserving mankind when he didn’t have to. He died to take our place and so that we may have a relationship with God. This sacrificial love is crucial and imperative to being a disciple of Christ.
As a “disciple of Christ’, if we are to love others as Christ loves us, then we are to have that same kind of sacrificial love for others as Jesus has for us.
This is where marriage comes in.
Throughout the entire Bible, there is marvelous imagery of the Son of God, Jesus, referred to as the Groom, and the church, referred to as the Bride. Marriage, by virtue of this image spread throughout the entirety of the Bible, is a symbolic representation of Jesus marrying His church, his congregation. This marriage between Jesus and the church is the ideal representation of what marriage is supposed to look like.
So when The Groom, Jesus, gives up his life for The Bride, the church, so too should husbands be so be willing to have a sacrificial love for their wives. Paul tells all husbands everywhere that they are to love their wives as Christ loves the church.
Husbands, this means that by being married, you are willing to die for your wife.
The implication and significance of marriage is enormous. To be a groom to a bride is to have a sacrificial love that makes one willing to die for the wife.
Even more than that, the Bible describes the act of sex, which is reserved for marriage, as two souls joining as one, and when a marriage is broken and divorce takes place, it’s like your flesh being ripped to shreds. This is why we have so much strife, so many broken and hurt people, so many lives ruined and wrought by pain, anger, loneliness.
Is it any wonder that we have so many people who are hurt, beaten, broken, low self-esteem, unloved, undervalued, unappreciated when our society has such a flippant attitude about sex and human sexuality? If the act of sex is two souls joining as one and the separation of those souls is like flesh being torn apart, then it makes sense why there are so many hurt and broken people in this world.
Marriage is something not to be taken lightly by anyone. Not by Christians, not by non-Christians, straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, believer, non-believer, atheist, agnostic, man, woman, anyone.
But we do it all the time. Everyone, including Christians, takes marriage lightly.
The implications of marriage are bigger than civil rights, tax exemptions, definitions, social standing, status, or propriety.
In the eyes of a disciple of Christ, marriage should be viewed as bigger than all of that.
— In this debate, it’s very relevant for Christians and non-Christians alike to say “what business is it of mine to dictate who and who doesn’t get to get married?” I think this is a very valid point. In fact, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 5:12
12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?
It truly is none of my business what those outside of the church do or say. I cannot tell others who don’t follow Christ what to do, say, or be. But I think this next point is relevant for those inside the church and helpful for those outside the church who don’t understand where a disciple of Christ is coming from on their stance on marriage.
Guys, if I am a disciple of Christ, if I subscribe to following Jesus and his commands for my life, if I am to truly love others as Christ loves me, if I am to have a sacrificial love for others, if I am to make disciples as Christ commanded us, then I have an obligation to the people of this world, including my gay and lesbian friends, to share with them the gospel of Jesus, to offer them a chance at a relationship more valuable than any earthly relationship, a relationship with Jesus. And if you claim to be disciple of Christ, you do to.
If you are a disciple of Christ, you believe that God will do the best thing, at the best time, in the best way. Shouldn’t we believe that God- the same God who let His son die for us- shouldn’t we believe that that God has our best interest in mind, and that the parameters He set for marriage are the best possible ways to experience marriage? Shouldn’t we trust that God has given us the opportunity to experience the best possible kind of marriage, a sacrificial and loving marriage? If He says it’s between man and woman, shouldn’t we trust that as the only way to experience a fulfilling, gratifying, and satisfying marriage?
Being a disciple of Christ and believing in the magnitude of the implications of marriage, I wouldn’t want to willingly let anyone, straight, gay, or lesbian, walk down a road of hurt, pain, and unfulfilled marriage if it wasn’t set up the way God intended for us to experience it. I don’t want to pat anyone on the back as they pass by to walk down a road of heartbreak and despair knowing that they aren’t going to experience marriage in the best possible way as God intended.
If you subscribe to being a disciple of Christ and are willingly waving the flag under the pretense of equal rights, understand that there is something bigger happening here. Understand that there are souls on the line. Understand that by enabling a a couple who seeks a marriage outside the parameters of God’s ideal marriage, it creates an even more difficult road for someone who has already probably experienced enough of that in their lives. Experiencing redemption and a relationship with Christ becomes that much more difficult when two are legally and spiritually bound outside of God’s best possible way to experience marriage.
If you are gay, lesbian, bisexual and you’re still reading, thank you for hanging in there and reading the perspective of someone who is trying to explain the view of one who strives to be a disciple of Christ. If you have met a Christian person who has patted you on the back on the way to gay marriage in the name of equal rights and didn’t tell you about this God who sent His son and created this amazing picture of what true marriage looks like, if that Christian person didn’t tell you about what an amazing God we have who gave us marriage as a gift and a symbol of what His son did for us, if they didn’t tell you, then I apologize.
If you are gay, lesbian, bisexual and are the least bit willing to accept the idea that there is a God who created this universe, created this earth, created everything you and I see, did all of that, and still manages to love us, if you’re the least bit willing to accept that this big God sent His son Jesus to die for us, to sacrifice his life and give us a true representation of love and marriage, a true depiction of a husband giving his life up for his bride, if you are the least bit willing to accept that, then understand this:
-God has set up a better way. He’s set up a way for us to experience marriage in the best way possible. He’s clearly explained that way in His word. He’s offering it to us. Don’t be deceived into thinking of marriage as a social thing or a status or a matter of equal rights or an issue of tax purposes and healthcare issues. Don’t be fooled by that. Instead, think of marriage as this incredible picture of a God who wants to have a friendship with us, whose son Jesus gave up his life to give us this magnificent picture of marriage.
—Christians, stop saying that goofy phrase, “love the sinner, hate the sin”. Don’t say that anymore. So much of a person who is gay or lesbian has their identity wrapped up in their sexuality that when you say hate the sin you’re basically saying hate that person. Stop saying that horrible phrase.
And on that note of identity:
To all the readers who may be gay, lesbian, bisexual, your identity isn’t wrapped up in your sexuality. It’s not wrapped up in whether you’re gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual; your identity is not wrapped up in those things at all. Your identity is wrapped up in who God says you are, and what God says you are is that you are valuable, loved, cared for, cherished, and worth dying for. Don’t resign yourself to settle for anything less than what God has set up for you. Trust that God has your best interest in mind. Trust that God will do the best thing, in the best time, in the best way. Trust that God has the best possible plan for you.
If a Christian has made you feel horrible about yourself because of your sexuality and made you doubt your self worth, then I apologize. I hope that you can trust that Jesus’ depiction of marriage and God’s parameters are the best possible way to experience marriage. I hope this blog entry has provided some truth into how much God loves you and what He has for you that is so much more fulfilling and wonderful.