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EDITORS NOTE: In lieu of the Champion’s weekly “From the Desk” article, we present a debate on the topic of same-sex marriage. Along with the recent Supreme Court deliberation of the Defense of Marriage Act has come credible arguments from both sides. Though both of this article’s contributors are members of the Champion staff, the views presented are solely their own and do not reflect the official viewpoint of the newspaper or Liberty University itself.
Christians are called to love, not to judge
With the recent news that two same-sex marriage cases made it to the Supreme Court, people have been angrily voicing their opinions on both sides of the debate.
As a Bible-believing Christian, I feel much pressure from my conservative friends to begin protesting against the “atrocity” of homosexual marriage.
However, as an independent thinker, my mind leads me elsewhere.
I support same-sex marriage. While this notion might get me shunned in certain circles that would otherwise welcome me with open arms, I stand firm in my opinion.
Before you gather your pitchforks and quote the Bible, let me explain.
Believing that homosexuality is correct and allowing two people to sign a contract claiming that they will not separate are two different matters.
The first deals not only with biblical faith and conviction, but also common sense.
Obviously, humans were not physically created to be homosexual. The secular individuals who claim that they were are refuted by their very own evolutionary belief system. We have all had the birds and the bees talk, and we all know that two members of the same sex cannot procreate to complete the species-sustaining life that evolutionists claim is the only purpose of existence.
For Christians, understanding that homosexuality is unnatural is much easier to accept than not, but that viewpoint also comes with bigotry and a misunderstanding of the biblical truth that we so often quote.
Same-gender coitus is a sin, yes. But just as Jesus showed us with a bit of writing in the sand and the pardoning of an adulterous woman in John 8, only he has the authority to judge.
Everyone has sinned, and all sins are equal in the Lord’s eyes, because they are all perversions of original perfection. Consider yourself — you liars, cheaters, those with impure thoughts — on an equal playing field with homosexuality.
Now that the notion of homosexuality being unnatural is addressed, allow me to describe the differences between this egotistical belief that humans have the authority to deny anyone anything based on faith, and why Christians do indeed have the right to protest against same-sex marriage.
The connotations that come with the term “marriage” have interesting implications.
While I have neither the knowledge nor the space to address the complete history of marriage, I can say this: marriage, as it has been practiced in the industrial, Western world, originated as a religious affair.
It is true that other cultures outside of Christianity and Judaism have had semblances of marriage. However, at its founding, the United States primarily discussed marriage as the joining of two people — one man and one woman — under God.
It is here that those spewing hate toward Christians get lost.
Under God, a man and another man joining together as one is an “abomination.” Christians try to stay as true to the Bible as we possibly can, and as clear as the writing on the wall was, the forbidding of homosexual relationships shines through much of the Old Testament.
However, Christians do not understand that many of these same-sex marriage proposals are purely for equal treatment in society and are not meant to be religious affairs.
Protests against same-sex marriage on the basis of marriage being a biblical tradition might have held some ground in this debate had Christians kept true to the notion that marriage is the union of one man and one woman under God.
Once we allowed marriage to become a secular tradition open to atheists and agnostics alike, we made it available to all people. It became an equal-rights debate determined by the government, and not the joining of two lives in the name of God.
Should same-sex marriage be made a legality, it should not be performed in the church, under God, as God would not approve of such a union.
However, legally being married should be of no concern to anyone other than the two parties at hand.
As Christians, we need to practice what Jesus showed us better than anyone else — love.
Not all Christians are bigots who only wish to seek retribution for something they know little about. Likewise, not all non-believers are Christian-hating atheists who wish only to crucify us.
In democracy, Christians should vote for God’s laws
As a Bible-believing Christian, God’s word defines my view of everything, including same-sex marriage.
I admit that I am not a free thinker. My worldview is narrow-minded. I read my Bible, and I do what it says to the best of my ability. I am a slave to Christ. I understand it is not popular.
In Romans 1, the apostle Paul wrote to the Roman church, addressing sin in the culture.
In verse 24, Paul established the root of homosexuality: “… they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator…” (ESV)
In verse 25, Paul concludes that those evil desires are at odds with God’s natural order: “God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another…” (ESV)
Verse 26 escalates the consequences of sin: “Men committed shameless acts with men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” (ESV)
What we are witnessing in American culture today is the same thing that Paul saw in Roman culture.
Some may read this and say that arguing against homosexuality is sidestepping the issue of marriage rights, but the two are inseparable.
In a democracy, the people decide laws based on what they believe to be true. Why would Christians not use an opportunity to cast votes to support biblical truths? If we are a democracy, what makes anything we — or anyone else — have to say any more or less valid in the public square?
It is a question of how badly Christians desire to see God’s institutions supported by their government. Should we not desire the best laws?
For Christians to endorse or condone the practice of same-sex marriage is an unnecessary departure from the pursuit of holiness. To count homosexuality as a sin and yet affirm same-sex marriage is a contradiction.
Call it freedom of choice, freedom of religion, freedom of speech or civil rights — whatever you like. The fact is, the American people have created a culture where the truth looks wrong, and sin looks normal — in the name of progress.
To accept truth as relative to society’s whims is letting sinners decide — whether in court or at the ballot box — what is moral.
Neither Christians nor non-Christians created morality — God did.
The consequence of an individual’s sin is death, but God judges society too. For evidence, check out the stories of Sodom and Gomorrah, or that of Noah and the rest of the planet.
America already has a shameful record of departing from God-given institutions. Embracing evolution, for instance, has devalued life in America.
A lower view of life has lead to decisions made in the name of “choice” and “reproductive rights” that have allowed for the merciless killing of millions of unborn babies.
Same-sex marriage will have far-reaching implications. Outside of complicated and expensive procedures that circumvent nature, same-sex unions will not produce children. As a result, the nuclear family will decline.
The other column brought up John 8. A liberal Christian will examine the way Jesus handled the situation and deduce that the message is for Christians not to judge others.
This is a correct deduction, but to suggest that to avoid casting judgment requires accepting sin is not correct.
In John 8:10, Jesus says, ‘Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?’ ‘No, Lord,’ she said. And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I. Go and sin no more.’”
How do we fit Jesus’ admonition to “sin no more” into our decision to simply accept others’ sinful choices?
The beauty of what Jesus did in his gentle rebuke was the fact that he offered redemption. That redemption is available to all people — homosexual and straight — when we turn from our sin and place our faith in Jesus.
If we truly believe, as the Bible teaches in Romans 6:23, that the wages of sin is death, then is not calling sin, sin the most compassionate thing we can do for the world? Supporting laws that legitimize homosexuality will not help people recognize their error.
It may be unwelcome now, but I believe it is the far more merciful thing to warn someone who is walking off a cliff than to ignore their plight in the name of freedom of religion and watch them plunge right over it.