The Supreme Court is looking at the validity of gay marriage. Huh. A friend of mine asked on Facebook what the theological arguments for gay marriage would be. I’m actually not going to give those here, I think one could google it and get a solid overview fairly quickly.
I will, however, tell whoever wants to read this, why – as a Christian and a pastor – I’m not against it.
When I first became a chaplain, the first marriage I was asked to do was between to Christians who had both been divorced previously. Having had a very conservative ministry training experience, my instinct was to refuse. However, since I had not really been presented with this situation in actuality before, I studied it. I read authors from both sides of the argument and reflected on what various thoughtful, godly, reasoned people believed about the issue.
I came away with the conclusion that it was an issue of theological interpretation and like all theological interpretation issues, I needed to “work out my own salvation” and act accordingly. Good people, who love God, Jesus, and the Bible are on both sides of that issue.
I certainly didn’t join some fight to get the Congress of the Land to ban marriage between divorced people since its a theological understanding of the Bible that even Christians disagree on. What the Bible says or does not say about divorced people has little to do with whether or not the state recognizes the contract between them called “marriage.”
To this day, a rule that I hold dear in marrying people is this: as an ordained minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I only marry those who BOTH declare Christ. I am helpful to those who are not Christians (or one is and the other isn’t) – I’ll help them find the courthouse or even recommend another minister who might be ok with that. However, I won’t do it. Both individuals need to be Christian for me to perform a Christian ceremony for them.
Again, not a rule I think that the Supreme Court of the United States should uphold for the entire nation.
So, am I for or against “gay marriage?” Doesn’t matter.
Not in the case of the supreme court. It’s a non issue. Whether the state should honor a contractual relationship between two people and call it marriage is not particularly important to me. In fact, I think that a couple that wants to marry should be able to. How I personally interpret the Bible and what federal, civil law – that applies to every person that lives within our borders – says has little to do with each other.
I’ve read authors on both sides of this debate. In particular, the books “Slaves, Women, and Homosexuals” as well as “Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality” both convinced me that there are valid theological arguments (which are beyond the scope of this post to articulate) for the idea that homosexuality isn’t the “great evil” that it is often portrayed as.
Whether homosexuality is a sin or not is a theological issue that needs to be worked out in each Christians and churches worldview.
Like anything else.
Can we still be friends?
Postscript: Actually, if you were asking, I’m a fan of the model in which a couple that wants to contractually bind themselves to one another and receive the benefits the State doles out to that kind of stability can. They can go to the courthouse and sign a document that binds themselves to one another – gay, straight – it’s the same for everyone. If they want a Christian ceremony wherein they are married in the eyes of God, let them find a body of believers that has no issue with whatever baggage they bring to the alter. Lord knows – we all have baggage.