Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Why must we do these things?

I've been thinking a lot about California's proposition 8 these past few weeks. One thing that has really stood out for me is how hateful Christians are being about this. Ugh. I'm a Christian and I really don't want to be lumped in with the people that I've seen in the news. Please, my brothers and sisters, could you take a moment to read this and really think and pray about what I'm saying here. Now, I'm not a fan of gay marriage, particularly gay marriage in the church. But I'm also not a fan of the message that some of you are saying as an arguement against gay marriage. You say that God doesn't approve of gay marriage, so it shouldn't be so. Well, what good is that to someone who doesn't believe in God? How does that hold up in a society where there is a separation of church and state? It doesn't. The fact is that we live in a time where gay people are living in recognized unions. Just because you don't agree with it, doesn't mean that you need to be nasty about it. How does that show the love Christ has for people? How does that attract people to Him? It doesn't. I don't think it's right not recognising families. I don't think it's right to keep someone's partner from their deathbed because there isn't a legal recognition of their right as family. I don't think it's right that their children should be kept from them. I don't think it's right that the validity of their property should be kept from their partner and children should they pass away. This is the reality of the world that we live in. How does that help these people out? How is that being compassionate? It's not. It's being completely legalistic. We get so caught up in seeing homosexuality as a sin that we lose sight of the people. We lose sight of the emotion. We lose sight of the reality of lives being lived.
I know a wonderful pastor who thought of a great idea: the church should get out of the business of marriage. Now before you get all up in arms about this, look closer. Why not? Why not have a civil ceremony followed by a church blessing ceremony if you've always dreamed of a big church wedding? That's how they do weddings in places like France. Can't you see the problems that would erase? There are many gay couples who are fighting for the right to be married in the church. Well, what if the church wasn't responsible for marrying? What if the legal aspect of marriage was taken care of by the law, a justice of the peace? Would it make your marriage blessing ceremony any less special? My sister in law and her husband had such a wedding. They had a civil service at their home in Canada and then a blessing service at the church near her grandparents place in England. Both were lovely. Both were celebrated.
I am most concerned with how many Christians are choosing to walk out their Christianity on this one issue. We've contributed to making it Christian vs. Gays. It shouldn't be that way. It shouldn't be Christians vs. anyone except Satan. If we are really and truly walking as Christ walked, then why are we showing so much venom?
I want you to think about your own personal flaws and sins (and don't say you don't have any because everyone does - except Him). One of mine is the sin of glutony, I overeat. Do you honestly think I would have ever found the Lord if every time I turned around someone was saying to me: God hates fat people. ? No, I would have never come anywhere near a church. I would have felt so uncomfortable and so unwelcome. How is screaming out: God hates gay people any different? It's not. We've made being gay such a huge thing, that we've made it a stumbling block for anyone gay to get to know who Jesus is. The fact is, God created all of us. He loves all of us equally and whole-heartedly. He doesn't see any sin as any bigger than any other. We will all face Him one day and how are you going to answer the questions: How did you show this person love? How did you show this person who I am? How did you show compassion?
I have known and loved several gay people in my life. We have one friend so close to our hearts that our kids are being raised calling him 'uncle' (not biological, just a good friend). He's a great guy. I couldn't imagine if I had decided to gather up so much righteous, legalistic anger inside me and screamed hate at him. I would be the one to lose out. Instead, I have a good friend.

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