“I am sorry if gay marriage attacks the sanctity of your fourth marriage.” Does God define marriage as only for one man and one woman? You would think so by how often it’s claimed. But the answer is ‘no’ and I am reclaiming that truth today.
As marriage equality becomes the law of the land, pastors are seeking real answers for how to respond. As I said last week, there are people sitting in pews and pastors standing behind pulpits whose hearts are being changed by God. More than you can imagine.
Perry Noble, a pastor in South Carolina, said this is one of his most frequently asked questions. He wrote about it on his blog, and I appreciated his loving tone and his focus on Christ. But I differed on his view of marriage equality and thought it worthy of a response, not just on directly to him, but for others working through this issue in their congregations. (Here is a link to his post.)
Here is my response.
I appreciate your message about same-sex marriage, your heart of love, and not wanting to legislate morality – that you want to point people, with love, to Jesus. That is the call of a Christ-follower!
But I differed with you when you said, “And as far as we’re concerned, God clearly defined marriage as a relationship between a male and a female in Scripture.”
We see various configurations of marriage (multiple wives, multiple wives plus concubines, marrying your dead brother’s widow, etc.) that are NOT condemned. They served a compassionate purpose in a period of time.
I’m not saying this to be a burr in your saddle, but to point out that your conclusion is not foregone. Pastors and scholars who have studied this disagree. I thank you for encouraging your people to love, not moralize. I want to encourage you that love is enough! Being the love of Christ is enough!
Jesus tells us to let the Holy Spirit lead in all truth, not to try it ourselves. We are not to be trusted with correcting. We have a poor track record at it!
Only a little legalism empowers people to take matters in their own hands, and soon you have bullies enforcing those views in the classroom and workplace, and parents kicking kids out of their homes.
I thank you for your kind heart. I implore you to make sure your people get the main message: love, love, more love, when they’re tiring of loving let Jesus love through them, and leave all the correcting and directing to Jesus.
Otherwise, they’re in danger of hurting someone Jesus loves dearly.
Marriage is not about religion. Atheists get married.
Marriage is not about reproduction. The infertile get married.
Marriage is about love. That’s it.
And that’s beautiful.