Please note: This post is especially for my brothers and sisters in Christ, and is intended to promote discussion and foster loving community in which we can build each other up in love to accomplish greater things for God’s kingdom.
On June 26th, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that each state must not only recognize a marriage between a couple of the same sex, they must also issue marriage licenses to them. I’m going to assume you haven’t been living under a rock and leave my explanation at that. What I want to discuss is the response that we should have as Americans, and far more importantly, as followers of Christ.
First, as citizens of this country, we must understand that we are subject to its laws. Before you start complaining that its laws are unbiblical, let us reflect. Historically speaking, Christians in America have life easier than the vast majority of Christians throughout the history of the world. Even today, merely preaching Christ can get you imprisoned long term in many countries, and you may be killed for believing in him. We have it so easy here! Persecution will come – and possibly within our lifetimes – but it is certainly not here yet. With this in mind, how must we view and respond to changes such as this one and others like it?
Without exception, the answer is first to seek God. We know biblically that he is in control, and that there is no problem too big for him. Why do we worry? Worry is the antithesis of trust. To say it another way, worry is simply not trusting that God is big enough to handle our troubles. Therefore, regardless of your political leanings, when the government makes a decision you disagree with, know that God is in control.
Additionally, when we seek God with a desire to align ourselves with his will, we submit ourselves to his redemptive power, thereby leaving room for his Holy Spirit to work in us and bring us closer to him so that we can more fully experience the perfect fellowship and unity he does within the context of his trinity. Sixty-word, theologically specific sentences behind us, what I mean is that the end goal of the Christian life is to join God in heaven for an eternity of perfect fellowship and love. This comes about as a natural outpouring of the perfect fellowship and love God has experienced from eternity past within the context of his trinity. We were created to experience this with God! For more on this, please do yourself a favor and read Michael Reeves’ excellent book Delighting in the Trinity.
Originally, God created Adam and Eve without sin and they enjoyed this fellowship as they walked the Garden of Eden, but when they sinned, they were cut off from God, because he is a holy God, who cannot even look at evil. However, thanks be to God that in his love for us, he sent his only son to die for us so that we could be redeemed from the depths of our sin into this fellowship with him! A part of this redemption is sanctification. This is an ongoing process through which God helps Christians to ‘clean up their act’, so to speak. By this I mean that he works in the already-saved person to convict them of their sin and therefore remove them from it. Sin separates us from God! Since God desires that those who are saved will draw closer to him, he works in them to excise sin. This is a painful process, but a necessary one.
I believe most any Protestant Christian could agree with me thus far. What I’m about to say might get controversial though, and I will take a firm stance. Bear with me.
I have read a plethora of articles on the subject of the SCOTUS decision of June 26th in the last month. These articles have come from every side of the issue, from Christians, non-Christians, gay-affirming, non-gay-affirming, middle of the road and both extremes. I’ve noticed a common theme though. Many articles propagate a very American individualistic mindset. I read an article the other day which praised a particular individual who had come out as gay for embracing who she really is. Our society is quick to tell everyone that they should be who they really are. God wants us to be who he has called us to be. I’ve read other articles which argue the point that those with same-sex attractions must live in celibacy, but give no reason better than a particular interpretation of the Bible. (Note: I am neither affirming nor condemning either of these particular viewpoints yet, just stating them to make a point).
This is the disconnect. We cannot be individualistic and still truly seek God, cannot seek God while living our lives as though he doesn’t exist in certain areas. You cannot worship God and give him control over most of your life, but hold back your sexuality for yourself. God created your sexuality. It, along with every other aspect of your life, is his. The question then, is in whether or not you submit it to him along with everything else in your life. To be absolutely clear, this issue is not exclusive to gay individuals. Those who identify as heterosexual must submit their sexuality to God just as those who identify as homosexual, gender fluid, asexual, bisexual and any other gender identity must.
With this surrender of sexuality must come a deep and overwhelming trust in God, otherwise there will likely be a sense of hopelessness. Because sexuality is so closely related to our identity and is tied closely with intimacy, surrendering it to God means that we must trust him in those areas. This is tough, but absolutely beautiful. To trust God in one of the most personal and intimate parts of our lives opens us up to restoration, hope and intimacy beyond what any sexual relationship can ever give us.
Therefore, as a Christian, I acknowledge that God has called me to surrender my sexuality to him. Part of this, in conjunction with the idea of an ongoing sanctification, is that I am called to follow the guidelines God has established for those who desire to follow and serve him. These guidelines are established in the Bible, and while many disagree with me, I firmly believe that the only biblically acceptable expression of sexuality is within the context of a lifelong, covenantal heterosexual marriage. My reasons for this are many and varied, but have to do primarily with the biblical discussions of marriage, and specifically its described purpose. What is that you ask? To show in a very personal way the intimacy God wishes each Christian to experience in relationship with him!
In conclusion, this is not an issue of homosexuality. It is an issue of human sexuality and surrendering control to God, looking to him as the source of our hope, love and intimacy. My prayer is that each and every person who reads this would experience this, that each would know how deeply God loves you and wants you to draw near to him.
I’d love to hear from you. If you want clarification on anything I’ve said, or if you’d like to dialogue with me, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
In grace and peace,