Gay Marriage

Gay Marriage – Why Are “Christians” Divided?
By Shane Idleman

With best-selling Christian authors and popular worship leaders showing support for “gay marriage”, many are left baffled and confused. These points may help us better understand the great divide.

The definition of love is misunderstood. To truly “love” others we must first love “God and His truth,” – that’s the foundation: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? Jesus replied: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40 NIV

Does loving someone mean we “approve” of their lifestyle? Or does it mean that we love them enough to “share the truth?” If a person is more worried about “being liked than being truthful”, do they really love those caught in “sin” more than those who are willing to speak the “truth” in love?

The answer is obvious: “Authentic Christians love the truth and others to the degree that they are willing to risk the consequences of confrontation in order to help others.” This is genuine love, not hatred. The greatest gift LGBT parents can give to their children is “love and truth” rather than reinforcing a “destructive” lifestyle.

How can one person review Bible verses dealing with this topic and come to the conclusion that “gay marriage” is biblical while others come to the opposite conclusion? It’s very simple: “The first group looks through the lens of opinion; the second group through the lens of genuine love and absolute truth.”

Dr. Michael Brown recently remarked, “One reason people support gay-marriage is because their gay friends are really nice and some seem to be committed Christians. They say their spiritual lives came alive when they realized they could be gay and Christian at the same time.”

I believe that they came “alive” because someone “validated” their lifestyle. This is no different than people who say they feel “alive and renewed” even though they are caught in “adultery.”

Sin feels good for a season – that’s the deception. But these seasons of sexual fulfillment are often short lived – “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows” Galatians 6:7 NIV. True freedom comes from true repentance.

Is the Bible clear or vague? Recent polls show that less than 50% of believers even “read their Bible, let alone practice it.” And, as we know, to read truth without practicing it, leads to “deception.” No wonder there’s confusion. Additionally, many of the proponents are embracing the views of “liberal” authors. They value the words of Matthew Vines more than the gospel of Matthew.

When Christians believe that God has given them the authority to change “truth” in order to keep it relevant, they are “departing” from God.

Although disheartening, this trend is not surprising. The apostle Paul warned centuries ago: “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4 NIV. If this isn’t what we see today, I don’t know what is.

The Bible encourages us to be “peacemakers” but not religious “negotiators.” In our zeal to reach others, we often “compromise” the message because we want to be “liked rather than truthful.” Surprisingly,  it was “Christians” who came against my article regarding what the Bible says about “gay marriage and homosexuality.”

Don’t “judge” apparently means don’t say anything “negative.” When we look at the context and the true meaning of “judge,” we clearly see that there is no contradiction. This misrepresentation of “judging” is an attempt to “conform scripture to support opinions.”

In John 7:24 NIV, “Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly” Christians are to judge or “call into question” those things that clearly contradict God’s principles. In 1 Corinthians 2:15 NIV, the apostle Paul said “The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments.” We are to examine our own lives first, and then we are to be moved primarily by love for God and others before critiquing.

Who’s influencing your decision, “Hollywood or the Holy Spirit?” Our beliefs should reflect God’s heart rather than the world’s influence. The world will know that we are Christians by our love for one another and by our “obedience”, not by how well we “imitate” the world around us. Oswald Chambers once noted that a sinner, who is now saved by grace, “proves he is forgiven by being the opposite of who he was.”

Carnal Christians give God “His due” a few hours on Sunday. The things of the world are “exciting” and the things of God are “dull.” The love of this world and the praise of men have drawn a large section of Christendom away from God, hence the “divide.”

A carnal Christian does not “pray and seek” the heart of God. A deep prayer life exposes “facades and crushes hypocrisy.” Carnality also “destroys” spiritual power and “hinders” the infilling of the Spirit. In short, everything that God calls us to be is “compromised”, including a skewed view of “sexual purity.”

Sadly, many who embrace “views” outside of the Bible are not “saved.” Genuine faith is reflected in a love for God and His Word, sincere humility, true repentance, and a disconnect from the world. Does your life reflect these characteristics?

We all “sin and fall short,” but the important question to ask is what is the condition of your heart—have you truly “repented and believed” in Christ as your Lord and Savior, or are you trusting in false assurance?

Paul said in 2 Corinthians 13:5 NIV to, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?”

There is hope. At this point you may think, “Why try? This is hopeless! I’ve drifted too far.” Let me reassure you. God doesn’t let our relationship with Him hinge on “measuring up” or on “following rules.”

He wants us to come as we are, “recognize” our need for a Savior, and “commit” our life completely to Him. Whether you’re promoting “gay marriage” or struggling with “homosexuality”, recognize that we’ve all made “mistakes.”

Simply “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” Acts 3:19 NIV.

“Change” is God’s job, but “obedience” is ours.

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