Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Does the Church Have an Answer for This?

The issue of homosexual marriage is the hot topic of the week, and Christians are, as a whole, "undecided."

Not surprisingly, there are people in both camps. I have Christian friends who tell me that Jesus would approve of gay weddings, and others who say He would not. But most of the people I know honestly don't have a firm opinion on the matter and just avoid talking about it.

Believe it, or not, plenty of people don't actually know any homosexuals. (Or, they don't think they do.) Some of you will find that hard to believe, but it's possible to spend your week going to work and seeing your friends and family without being around anyone who is gay. A lot of people I know don't have a single gay contact in their life, and when questions about homosexuality come up they are at a complete loss because they don't know anything about it.


My advice to the church is that we get to know these people. Don't treat them like outsiders or freaks, but get to know some of them and listen to what they say. Ask a gay person about their life story and their beliefs. Find out what goes on in their world and how they feel about the church. Getting to know the people we've been condemning will change this conversation for the better.

10 comments:

Bethany Sundstrom-Smith said...

While I don't think this was the point of your post, it hits on an interesting topic. It seems about 3.5% of the population identifies as LGBT. If that's the case, it makes sense why many people don't know any homosexuals. As a culture we tend to think the LGBT population is around 30%. Take a look at these articles:

"Do Gay People Really Make Up 3.5% of the Population?"
http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2013/02/do-gay-people-really-make-35-population/62248/

and

"Americans Have No Idea How Few Gay People There Are"
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/05/americans-have-no-idea-how-few-gay-people-there-are/257753/#

arthur said...

But what does Jesus say on the matter? Sure, he dined with those in need of help, but then what happened?

Adam Jones said...

Bethany - that's a very good point.

Arthur - Jesus said very little - if anything at all - about homosexuality. I recommend getting to know these people because it helps to put a human face to the issue.

Brian Franklin said...

Adam - I agree with the thrust of your post: that we should actually spend time with and get to know people, particularly if we're inclined to speak poorly of groups.

As to what Jesus said about the subject, we can only claim that Jesus said very little if we claim that Jesus did not in fact author and inspire all of the Scriptures. But if we believe his claims to be God, then we have to accept that He spoke (and speaks) not just in the Gospels and Acts, but throughout the Old and New Testaments. And those have plenty to say about the subject.

reneamac said...

I think what Arthur was alluding to was Jesus' "Go and sin no more," which, as the Divine remover of or sin, Christ had authority to say, and which, I believe, he only said to the already religious, specifically, Jews and Samaritans. (The other thing Jesus often did during these encounters is denounce the Super Religious who were quick to judge the "othered," even if only in their hearts.) Not being divine and sinless, it may take many many dinners before we earn the right to make any such similar gesture.

arthur r said...

To reneamac, that's part of what I was getting at.

To Adam Jones, I believe that Jesus did speak on the matter

In Mark 10, verse 7 in particular:

2 And the Pharisees coming to him asked him: Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him.

3 But he answering, saith to them: What did Moses command you?

4 Who said: Moses permitted to write a bill of divorce, and to put her away.

5 To whom Jesus answering, said: Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you that precept.

6 But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female.

7 For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother; and shall cleave to his wife.

8 And they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh.

9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

arthur r said...

Sorry, i meant "verse 6 in particular"

Adam Jones said...

Jesus also said that some people were not meant to marry.

For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others--and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it." Matt. 19:12

But do either of these verses directly confront homosexuality? Not exactly.

arthur r said...

The passage I quoted does confront same-sex 'marriage', which was the subject of the article.

Adam Jones said...

I'm afraid we'll just have to disagree. I think that verse is simply about divorce.