“I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” – Gal 2:21
Honestly, I’ll be leaving the subject of “gay marriage” soon, but I thought I’d pass along a few stories. First is from the White Horse Inn blog, and takes a theological bent. The main thrust is that folks on both sides of the argument tend to take a “me as the center of the universe” stance.
The next is from the Christian Post, titled “How Should the Church Love a Gay Couple?” – it’s well written and takes, to my mind, exactly the right view. That is, (i) the church should love everyone and minister to them in compassion and (ii) homosexuality is a sin, this is non-negotiable. The moral majority of the 80s missed on (i), preferring to tell homosexuals that they “got what they deserved” when the AIDS epidemic hit. Many mainline churches today have started to miss on (ii) refusing to follow clear Biblical delineation of what is sin.
The next is a news story about how Obama is trying to do “damage control” with the black church over his gay marriage proclamations. As the article notes, the “black church” is conflicted over the situation – wanting both to support Obama [no matter what] and opposing gay marriage. A high school friend picked up the civil rights issue over at “the Underground 88“ – in particular the “black church” aspect.
On that note, I’ll make a couple of observations. First, it is a failing of the church in general that we have to talk about the “black church” – we should all be one. But, harkening back to the slave days, for some reason we segregated the church and left it that way. If a church is in a black community, then one would fully expect most of its members to be black. In general though, one would hope that the membership of a church would reflect the demographics of the surrounding area, not a particular ethnicity. (Of course, one might expect some manner of exception for language barriers.) We still haven’t overcome the legacy of that segregation, though what divides us now is far less about race and far more about ideology.
Second, the issue seems to be just part of the great unravel. We all find ourselves comfortable in a set of policies and preferences until a new issue arises that challenges the whole thing. For the black church, this issue appears to be on the cusp. As the Underground 88 notes, the black church has a long history of involvement in civil rights issues – and if we’re talking about gay marriage on that front then you might expect one response. But, they also have a Bible to deal with, indicating opposition to homosexual acts. Of course (and this is where it gets interesting) there are plenty of gay folks in the church, perhaps in the choir or the band, or even just in the pews – and they rarely get anything other than a wink and a nod. Ah, and now the unravel. Can the black church (or just the church) wink and nod at homosexuality in the next seat but rail against it as a public policy? Surely this is as backwards as it can be. Of course, once the church starts to take on sin, the list begins to grow (how about heterosexual fornication, for instance), and the unravel continues.
I don’t mean any of this as a castigation – self-reflection is a good thing, for both people and churches. Struggling with such issues should and often does lead us to a better place, to growth, to a more effective and fruitful ministry.
On the political front, I still suspect it’s much ado about nothing. I doubt anyone will be voting against Obama because of this issue that wasn’t already going to vote against him. The folks who vote for Obama do so either for ideological reasons (in which case they likely agree with his new position) or for self-serving reasons (e.g., unions who want him to bail them out when the economy hits them hard) which are unlikely to be overwhelmed by the gay marriage thing.
Honest, tomorrow we’ll try to get to another topic. Perhaps the plight of North Korean women sold into slavery in China. Talk about civil rights …