Monday, November 10, 2008

Church told obvious lies, gay activists allege

An article came out today citing protests against Saddleback, where Rick Warren is the pastor, for its support of Proposition 8. This proposition was an amendment to the California constitution, defining marriage as being between a man and a womn. See the article, Church told obvious lies, gay activists allege.

I suppose that I am glad that the amendment passed. Ironically, the high turnout of African-Americans to vote for Barak Obama helped this amendment's passage, since 70% of African-Americans voted for its passage. Since the measure passed by 52%, in a normal election, it probably would not have passed.
Laws can only be enforced if the will of the people is behind them. Currently, this is the will of the people--but only just barely. I'm glad that right now this is the people's will.

I do wonder that once support for amendments like Proposition 8 falls below 50%, whether it really is productive to the Christian cause to seek to enforce morality. Will we reach more people by passing laws, which creates protests, or by loving people and sharing Christ?
What do you think of the passage of amendments and laws that seek to define marriage as between a man and a woman? How long will this be helpful to Christianity?


Anonymous said...

Hi James:

Greetings! I'm pleased to discover your blog for the first time today.

What so strange about the debate about same-sex marriage is that the church, once again, is a lagging indicator on moral issues (lagging behind the rest of society). Secular society figured out that slavery was wrong before the church acted (with the exception of a handful of progressive denominations that were at the forefront of abolitionism). Women were given the right to vote before the church did the right thing and allowed women to be ordained. So too the courts acted before most churches to strike down "separate but equal" and "miscegenation laws."

So in reply to your question, "How long will this be helpful to Christianity?" -- it's ALREADY doing enormous damage to the church. From my view, trying to break up 18,000 legal California marriages (which Prop 8 tries to do) is not "enforcing morality." Rather, it's making an idol out of heterosexual works righteousness.

You will definitely reach more people "by loving people and sharing Christ." But that must begin with the assumption that all people are part of God's good creation -- because that's what Jesus taught us.

All the best,
Toby Rogers
Associate Director
More Light Presbyterians

p.s. Matthew 19:12 "For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth... Let anyone accept this who can." Isn't it possible that Jesus is speaking here directly about people we consider LGBT today?

Anonymous said...

I try to treat everyone with respect and love. This includes those who live lives that I don't agree with. I don't agree with same sex relationships or marriages. Ironically, I do know of a homosexual man who does not agree with his own sexuality. He was raised in the Church and firmly believes in the teachings of our faith. He hates himself for his sexuality but does not act on it. He will never marry or have children.

I wonder if this is acceptable because he makes a great effort to not sin.

James said...

Chad, I think that staying celibate and not acting upon one's impulses is an option. People may have certain predispositions, but this does not mean they should act upon them.

For instance, a married man might genuinely find other women attractive. This only becomes sin if he sets his mind to pursuing other women and engaging in sexual relations. The first impulse is not sinful--the behavior is.

Kevin M said...

I'm not sure if the Church needs to be setting one sin over another as to which are more important. All sin leads to death, as we all deserve, since we are all sinners. Jesus' grace encompasses all regardless of what sin we are guilty of. I feel that abortion and gay marriage have been lifted up by some as some type of super sin that is more wrong than other sins committed by humanity. These sins are definitely insidious as arguments can be made that we need to just "love" each other regardless of what beliefs are held. So called "love" without correct teaching and perspective when viewed through scripture and the Holy Spirit's influence is empty love and helps nobody.

I say that the only true Love we can show others is to help each other love Jesus and grow closer to him and try to live Christ centered lives by learning what the scriptures have to say and exhorting each other.

Kevin M said...

As a followup to my previous comments I also definitely do not think it is a good idea to ostracize the gay community. That community needs God's love and the understanding of all Christians. They should not be treated as lepers and need to be engaged as people and not outcasts as so many of us do (I'm guilty of this and need to make a point of being better).

James said...

Kevin, you say we should not set up homosexuals as super sinners. How true!

Homosexuality is brokenness, just as is greed and materialism. It is just that we are much less comfortable with the former than the latter.

jeremy said...

James, did you hear about the church in Michigan that was interrupted during worship this past Sunday by protesters regarding homosexual acceptance? I think it's one thing to be accepting of people, and another to be accepting of a lifestyle certainly condemned by the Bible (certainly not limited to just one particular sin).

Do you think making gay marriage legal would create an environment of acceptance around the practice? Would churches be exposed to discrimination lawsuits by deciding not to allow gay marriages in their churches? Do you think protests like this would be more commonplace at churches that believe the practice to not be in harmony with God's Word, regardless of how accepting they are of the people?