Let’s all sit back on the couch. Most of you look very tense. Can I get you some tea?
Here. We’re Christians. All of us. If you’re reading this post and you’re not a Christian, you’re hearing the story from me afterwards over a cup of coffee; but if you’re a Christian your place is here in my living room, because we need to have a talk.
Take the tea. It will make it better.
You know you don’t support gay marriage. You know homosexuality according to the Bible is wrong. When you hear about gay people you mumble that they just need to be healed and become heterosexual and God will bless them. (Either that or you hold signs saying that all gay people are going to burn in hell but I’m really hoping you don’t. Really, really hoping.)
I want you to confront this issue because Jesus wants you to. I want you to look up at the heart of the Lord who loves you enough to die. I want you to look into the Bible. I want you to decide what you believe not because of what you’ve been told but because of what you personally have researched.
In doing your research, you will stumble across two truths that will make you uncomfortable. They did for me. They do for most of us. All of the great church leaders, as far as I know (including Timothy Keller) acknowledge these general statements to be true:
- Sexual orientation is not something that can be changed.
- The Bible is not as condemning of gay marriage as you think.
Let me backup and explain briefly: there are a few men and women whose sexual orientation has truly changed. I don’t question their testimonies; I trust them. But this is why I encourage you to do your research: the overwhelming consensus of any Christian who has studied this issue is that for 99% of gay Christians, men and women devoted to God and obediently trying to become heterosexual… it’s not working.
I’m also not saying that you’re suddenly going to start wearing rainbow socks. (Although you might.) I’m merely saying that this is an issue you need to understand thoroughly… you need to understand that it’s not as cut and dried as a pulpit-slamming minister might have you believe. If you will continue to love your gay brothers and sisters but stand by your conviction that same-sex marriage is anti-scriptural, then you need to take your scripture very seriously. You need to be grounded in your “no,” and you need to understand it backwards.
At the end of your research, you will find yourself on either side A or side B.
Side A: God blesses faithful homosexual marriages.
Side B: God calls gay Christians to lifelong celibacy.
I have gay Christian friends in both camps, and I deeply respect all of them for their commitment and dedication to their faith. They are not Thomas-Jeffersoning the bible. They aren’t leaving out the bits they don’t like. They are following God with all of their hearts, in the most scripturally sound way they know. My heart bleeds for their hurts and is in awe of their courage. They are people you want to get to know.
Don’t pick a side now and then only read the books that support that claim. In order to logically condemn something, you need to know both arguments. On Side A, read God and the Gay Christian, and Bible, Gender, Sexuality. On Side B, read Is God Anti-Gay? Washed and Waiting, and explore the invaluable resource of SpiritualFriendship.org.
So. It’s time to stop being ignorant. It’s time to choose how your beliefs best turn into love. Whether that will be entering in covenant friendship with a gay Christian in your city or educating other Christians in what you believe the Bible really says, go out there and be Jesus in an explosive, accessible, practical way.