Yesterday’s 5–4 U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage will undoubtedly go down as one of the most momentous moments in U.S. history — on par with women’s right to vote, abolishing Jim Crow laws, and Roe vs. Wade. Not since the civil rights movement has there been a topic so divisive in our country.
But with this change comes an opportunity, on both sides, to be arbiters of the one thing both sides claim is important to them — LOVE.
There’s no time better than now to exercise wisdom and love when dealing with this issue. If you claim that you truly care for the “salvation” of the LGBT people in your sphere of influence, evaluate the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of your words and actions. Why would anyone be open to the words of the gospel if they’re coming out of the mouth of a person saying stupid sh** like “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”
Remember that the U.S. is not beholden to the laws of the Bible the way the nation of Israel was to “the Law” in the Old Testament. I think many Christians act like it is. I often hear things like “This country was founded on Christian beliefs and as such should adhere to Christian doctrine.” The truth is, the supposed religious beliefs of our founding fathers and the level to which Christianity was infused in this country’s founding is far from reality. Regardless, this nation and its laws are not subject to Biblical teachings in the way that ancient Israel was. We as believers need to approach the subject as such, and deal with people on an individual basis…with love.
Remember the story of the Good Samaritan? To truly understand how provocative that story was in the context of Jesus’s day, replace the man attacked with a Christian and make the Good Samaritan gay. Your feelings about gay people pale in comparison to how the Jews of Jesus’ day felt about Samaritans. Are you willing to take up Jesus’s challenge to “love your neighbor”?
To the LGBT Community
Just because someone disagrees with you on something, that does not mean they hate or even are prejudiced against you. It is absolutely possible to love someone, show them love, even celebrate their love, while at the same time holding to a belief that doesn’t necessarily agree with yours.
Also remember, there is a HUGE difference between refusing to serve you a hamburger because you’re gay, and forcing an artist to make a work of art that edifies something they do not agree with or support. Would you want to be forced to make a song, photo, or video for a hardcore, right-wing political lobby? It’s sad to hear about small businesses run by Christian owners who were forced to go out of business when refusing to create art that supported something they felt went against their religious convictions. Especially when in many circumstances, they went about declining the business in completely reasonable and loving ways. Art is something that comes from the deepest part of a person’s soul and being. No one should ever be forced to create art they don’t want to create. And why on earth would you want to hire a Christian photographer to shoot your same-sex wedding anyway? That would be like me asking a white supremacist to shoot my wedding to my white wife.
Lastly, just like Christians shouldn’t make arguments about what this country should or shouldn’t do based on an incorrect understanding of this country’s actual history, you shouldn’t make arguments against what the Bible says without a full understanding of its actual history and context. (If I hear one more time “Well, the Bible says you can’t wear mixed clothing or that you have to stone people that work on Sunday, so should we still do that?” I’ll go crazy.)
To Both of Y’all…
Christians — Jesus said the two most important commandments were to love God and love people. So do that. Are your words and actions towards those who disagree with you loving?
LGBT — today you’re celebrating love and holding up banners declaring “love wins.” Are your words and actions to those who disagree with you loving? If the families of the victims of the South Carolina shooting can find forgiveness for the man that killed their loved ones, can you not find forgiveness for the man or woman in front of you holding a sign that you dislike?
Love is supposed to be at the heart of both sides. Let’s start seeing it.