"Gay Marriage" - What Can We Do Now?
Well, they've done it. Advocates for same-sex marriage have gotten their way in Idaho. Federal judges have made their dream a reality, it seems.
As a Christian, this has brought some questions to my mind, one of them being, “If federal judges were to rule that division by zero is a Constitutional right, will the process therefore become possible?” The answer to this question should be obvious: human beings with limited powers (and in some cases, severely limited horse sense) cannot alter immutable transcendent laws, regardless of the loftiness of their appointed positions. Do not be too discouraged, Christians; marriage remains what it has always been, it's just that fewer people respect it. Rarity rarely devalues, however, and disrespect for common decency is nothing new.
What is new for most Idahoans is the increasing prospect of government-sanctioned persecution (and prosecution) of those who believe in Jesus and his simple truth. We have had it pretty easy up until now, and have perhaps been lulled into complacency by our assumed freedoms – freedoms which the unrighteous would like us to believe we still maintain, lest we dare to start paying more attention to the dangers that they present to all. Hopefully, we are reviving as a result of current events. And if so, we are faced with the very real question of “How should we react to the 'gay marriage' issue?”
There are vocal proponents of fighting back; of trading law for law and lawsuit for lawsuit. This may seem a logical response, because the concept of individual rights receives a great deal of emphasis in America. So far, this tit-for-tat strategy has plainly not panned out. But more importantly for Christians, this cannot be the solution anyway. Consider that Jesus had more of a right than anyone in history to respond to his attackers with counterpunches, yet it was he who taught us to “love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you”; and significantly, “if any man will sue you at the law, and take away your coat, let him have your cloke also” (see Matthew chapter five). It was Jesus who went “like a lamb to the slaughter” (Isaiah 53:7) when he was arrested without cause, unfairly tried in a sham court, and unjustly tortured and killed.
The Apostle Paul likewise admonished believers when he wrote, “Do not repay anyone evil for evil... overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:17-21). His compatriot Peter taught the same principle (1 Peter 3:9). Admittedly, I find adherence to this precept to be very difficult, because the reprehensible tactics employed by homosexual rights activists have done absolutely nothing to endear them to me or to make me sympathetic to their agenda; quite the opposite, in fact. Their methods have only underscored their madness. But in order to protect our interests, should we become like them? God forbid.
When faced with rampant governmental corruption, the desire for radical change – perhaps even for revolution – can be strong. Yet even non-Christian readers of Orwell's Animal Farm should grasp the essential problem with this idea: you may end up suffering under worse leadership than when you began. The cycle of revolution has the potential to be endless. But Jesus held the secret to breaking that cycle, and he lived it... and died it. Now he lives again. It is this last fact that provides the ultimate motive for following his example. We have a hope that our enemies cannot hope to threaten, regardless of the amount of temporal support they gain.
So if retaliation and revolution are not the answers, does this mean that we capitulate, tolerate, and celebrate when it comes to homosexuality? Far from it. A major part of the problem I see in the church today is that our opposition to such behavior is not nearly strong enough. The mandate to love one's enemies does not imply a dilution of the truth for the sake of comfort (ours or theirs), or a whitewashing of the nature and consequences of sin. Evil must be called by its proper name if it is to be fought effectively. The destructive nature of any immoral lifestyle demands a gravity of tone; it is not just the perversion of marriage that is wrong, it is sexual immorality – period.
If the “tough love” approach seems harsh, consider that Jesus was the most loving of men, yet his verbal exchanges with the self-indulgent leaders of his time can hardly be considered friendly banter. While each person and situation demands sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, it can safely be said that hard hearts call for hard words. To use such words is not unloving, for they may provide the only chance for reaching those hearts. Regarding the topic at hand, it isn't difficult to see that the gentle approach hasn't helped matters. The more lenience the advocates of aberrance have received, the bolder they have become in forcing their ways on innocent parties. They are just not “getting it.”
The use of direct and uncompromising speech (whether it remains free or not) will certainly lead to the aforementioned persecution. Yet in Second Timothy 3:12, Paul tells us that suffering for righteousness is an unavoidable component of following Christ. It should even be considered an honor; Jesus said that we should rejoice when we suffer for his sake (Luke 6:22-23), and the book of Acts contains records of those who willingly did so. This is one of the very behaviors that serve to distinguish Christianity from other ways of life, and where our faith can be proven to be more than platitudes on paper. Can we advance from theory to practice? It will not be easy, but Jesus didn't promise his followers ease. He did, however, promise eternal life to those who obey him.
For an alternative take on the "Add the Words Idaho" protesters, please click here.