Summary: Same-sex marriage has been a controversial issue recently, especially since the SCOTUS decision to legalize same sex marriage. How should we respond biblically?
Nine days ago on June 26, 2015 the SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) legalized same sex marriage in all fifty states. How should we, as Christians who believe that the Bible is the Word of God and is the authority for our faith and life, respond to this decision biblically?
According to the Bible, marriage is between one man and one woman (Gen 2:24 ”That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” ; Jesus quotes and affirms this verse in Matt 19:5). And practicing homosexuality is a sin. In Leviticus 18, God, through Moses, gave a list of sexual misconducts that still applies today. One of the things God forbade is practicing homosexuality. Verse 22 states: “Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.” Apostle Paul in 1 Cor 6:9-10 also lists a homosexual relationship among other serious sins: “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
Based on this biblical foundation, I suggest the following:
1. Don’t judge or hate! But be gracious and loving.
We disagree with the actions of the homosexual, but it is not for us to judge them. Jesus reminds His disciples in Matthew 7:1-2 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” We should also not hate those who are homosexual, because Jesus says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” And even “Love your enemy!” (Matt 5:44). Instead God wants us to show His love, grace and mercy to the homosexual. They need to know about that. Some gay people are struggling with their sexual orientation, which is not easy. I have counseled gay persons, both male and female, and they expressed their desires to follow God’s principles of sexuality, but it’s hard for them. They need our love, our prayers and support. Judging them and hating them will not help anything but will make the situation worse.
2. Don’t focus on somebody else’s sin and only on certain sins! But be sensitive to our own sins.
In our Bible Study nine days ago, we have discussed 1 Cor 6:9-10. We have to know that homosexuality is not the only serious sin! There are seven other serious sins that Apostle Paul mentions in verses 9 & 10. So, instead of focusing on the sin of homosexuality, we should remember that we are also not free from wrongdoing. We were sinners before we knew Christ. And after we know Christ, we are not perfect yet. It’s important for us to be sensitive to our own flaws and sins, confess them to God and ask for His forgiveness.
3. Don’t compromise your faith and values! But be faithful to His truth.
Some Christians have already compromised the biblical truth about marriage and sexuality because of certain reasons. Often times it is caused by the social pressure that Christians face. Today some people would accuse us, who disagree with same sex marriage, of being bigots, intolerant, homophobic, and even haters. Those are serious accusations. Of course we don’t want people to have a bad view or impression of us. Because of that some Christians just go with the flow, they compromise their faith.
Jesus reminds us in Matthew 5:13-16, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” God puts us on this world to bring light into a dark world and to prevent decay from getting worse in society. If we compromise to the world's values and lifestyle we'll lose our calling to be the salt and the light for our dark world.
Apostle Paul also reminds us in Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” God calls us to transform the world, not to be conformed to the world. I admire Rick Warren’s statement when he was interviewed by Piers Morgan on same sex marriage: “I fear the disapproval of God more than your disapproval or the disapproval of society.”