The Shots Heard Around The World:
A pre-conceived idea of what it all meant
For those who like the same sex had the characteristics
The right-wing conservatives think it’s a decision
And you can be cured with some treatment and religion
Man-made, rewiring of a pre-disposition
Ahh nah, here we go
America the brave
Still fears what we don’t know
And God loves all His children
And somehow forgotten
But we paraphrase a book written
3,500 hundred years ago
I don’t know.
– “Same Love” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis (Feat. Mary Lambert)
Did you hear the gun shots last night? 34 of them, to be exact. They fired from our television screens, into the hearts of conservatives and Christians across the country. The 56th Annual Grammy Awards dared to accomplish what no other awards show has ever attempted before: a simultaneous wedding ceremony, of 34 gay and straight couples, on live television. The tune setting the tone for the brief ceremony, was “Same Love” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. The song was penned with a message against hatred of others based on looks, sexual preference, race, or other differences. Instead of destroying liberty, the song calls us to stand on human rights (however you define them). In the middle of the song, Queen Latifah stepped forward on the stage and led the ceremony. The room was electrified with excitement, and tears were shed by not a few faces. The gay rights movement had taken one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. The counter gospel had just been proclaimed to the tv world. Wait, the counter what? Hold onto that thought. I have some ground to cover, so stay with me.
The counter-gospel (or false gospel as the Bible calls it), is a gospel that promises the same results as the real gospel, but re-writes it to match man’s sinful desires. What happened last night was not in the name of God’s definition of love, but mans. Yet, this event was also a great moment for God’s glory. How? By inviting us to rethink why we are against homosexual marriage to begin with.
The Apostle Paul faced different circumstances than our own, but similar false (or counter) gospels in his lifetime (see Galatians 1). Paul considered the gospel something more than words, it was life (Rom. 1:16-17), it was reality (Eph. 1:3-7), it was historical (1 Cor. 15:3), and it was eternal (Rom. 3:23-27). Many today call what they believe, “my truth,” but, truth is, we don’t need your truth, we need the truth. Therefore, you may wonder why I said homosexual marriage is good for the Church, if homosexual marriage is built on a lie. How is this good for the Church? I thought homosexuality was evil? Aren’t we as Christians supposed to strongly oppose gay marriage?
Think about part two in this series: The point I made was that homosexuals are not a different race or breed of humanity, they are human beings. Many Christians speak of homosexuals as if they are a separate category of people, which is why we forget that they are people, not a different race of sinners. Likewise, the gay community does distinguish itself from the rest of society, wanting open arms from everyone. However, not all gays and lesbians think alike, but many of their voices are heard. The gay community does not think of itself as a community of sinners, but a band of brothers and sisters. Either way, both groups separate the gay community from society in some way or another.
What’s the Design?
The question underneath the question of why homosexuality (and gay marriage) is wrong, is what was man created for? I have previously established that how you define humanity determines your view of sexuality. This is essential to getting our thinking right on the subject. Please read part two if you want to know exactly what I mean by saying that.
There’s an article published online by Nick Gier, Professor Emeritus of the University of Ohio, who writes: “A growing consensus about sexual orientation is that it [is] primarily genetically determined, so gays and lesbians may not have any choice in the matter. There are two alternative theological positions that follow from the conservative Christian position: (1) If homosexuals are inherently evil, then that means that God created them such; or (2) more orthodox and acceptable is the view that all humans are created in the image of God and all that God creates is good. Therefore, if God creates gays and lesbians the way there are, then God must intend that they are an integral part of the human community.” (http://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/ngier/sodom.htm)
So, if you look closely, Macklemore and Lewis seem to agree with Professor Grier’s analysis: Homosexuality is a genetic condition. Either God makes evil people, including homosexuals, the way they are, to be instruments of judgement. Or, He makes everyone good and homosexuals are a part of that goodness. The similarity with both groups is that God created homosexuals to be homosexuals. That doesn’t sound right, does it?
If you look for the theme of homosexuality in the Bible, you won’t find anything remotely close to this message. Homosexuality is a result of man steadily moving away from God towards idolatry and creating warped uses of His design (Rom. 1:20-28). That’s the problem: you can’t read societies definition of homosexuality into scripture and expect it to match. A lion and a tiger may conceive a liger, but it won’t reproduce the same breed of either. Don’t expect the Bible’s view to be societies, and vice versa. Mixing the two negates the purposes of both. The Bible never calls anyone a, “homosexual” in a way similar to race or sexual orientation, but it does call everyone sinners (Rom. 3:23, 1 Tim. 1:15-16) (the King James Version does use the word, “homosexual,” but not in speaking of anyone in particular).
Man, according to the Bible, flourishes, and exists at his happiest and best potential when He is under the authority of God (Psa. 119:103, Psa. 23, Eccles. 7:29). To worship God, means not only to praise Him, but to order ones life in a way that glorifies Him, giving Him recognition for everything. In other words, living the design of the Designer. This design includes heterosexual marriage (Gen. 1:27, 2:24), working the earths resources, and raising a family. Reproductive biology and romantic affection are tied together in true science (1 Cor. 7), but society says that they can be mutually exclusive. The shoe doesn’t need to fit for it to be a good purchase. So, according to society, if biology will not allow two men to conceive, they can still have a genuine and loving relationship. Yet, the Bible says God is love, and apart from Christ, no one can know what love is (1 Jn. 4:8). Marriage on earth is the outward symbol for how Christ loves the Church, and the Bible uses the language of bride and bridegroom (Matt. 3, Jn. 1), not bride and bride or bridegroom and bridegroom (Eph. 5).
Who is the Designer?
The Bible and society clash on this issue. Society teaches that man holds the keys to his destiny- he’s the captain of his ship, the key to fulfilling his dreams. Therefore, defining sexuality flows from what man thinks is right. In this worldview, sexuality is not necessarily tied to biology (scientifically it is), its main purpose is love. Biological predispositions to the same-sex, according to the song by Macklemore and Lewis, is given to us by god, but which god? Let’s ask them.
“No law’s gonna change us
We have to change us
Whatever god you believe in
We come from the same one
Strip away the fear
Underneath it’s all the same love
About time that we raised up.”
So, whatever god we believe in, there’s only one who made us? That’s confusing and intolerant of other religions that believe in more than one god (hint hint, Mormons). They don’t even know the answer to which deity determines what is sexually correct. The god they speak of doesn’t exist, he’s made up. Now time for the good news:
The gospel says that we are sinners who are rebels of God, and need to be reconciled to Him, by forgiveness in Jesus Christ. Homosexuality is just like any other sin, but it’s expression is emotionally deeper and more outwardly expressed than other sins. The counter-gospel of today wants us to rewrite sin and say that homosexuality is God’s design. But, as Christians we are not against people, which is the message us Christians seem to imply when we speak against gay marriage. We are against sin, and only God can open their eyes to true satisfaction and love (2 Cor. 4). I believe we can be more passionate in speaking out against gay marriage than speaking to someone who is, “gay” and telling them about Jesus. Yet, another reason why I believe the term, “homosexual” is camouflage for a deeper word: sinner. Tomorrow, I will answer more questions about identity and sinfulness. Now, for the summary:
The reason why I believe that homosexual marriage is a good thing for the Church, is that it awakens us to reality. Scripture doesn’t tells us to try and change society, or to put Christian morals on non-Christians. Should we be grateful that our country was founded on Christian values? Absolutely, but that’s not our mission as Christians, to defend the constitution at the cost of paying full attention to God’s word.
The Bible says that we need to live godly and quiet lives at the present time (1 Thess. 1), to “honor the emperor [or president] (1 Pet. 2),” pay taxes, obey the government, respect the authorities (Rom. 13, Matt. 22), and use the freedoms we have here to share the gospel (Matt. 28:18). Rick Warren told Mark Driscoll at the Resurgence conference, “our job is not to win America; our job is to win Americans.” This event at the Grammy’s was a wake up call to us Christians to stop politicizing our beliefs, and to start living them. Therefore, share the gospel, tell people about Jesus, and don’t dance around homosexuality as a movement, go to people as they are: sinners in need of the grace of God found only in Jesus Christ.
Until next time,