Gay Marriage, Politics and People

Man and Woman

I think it is true to say that we live in difficult times.  We live in a time when the church’s influence in society continues to diminish.  It is a time when even many Christians have little idea as to what they believe or why.  It is a time when the forces opposed to the Scriptures, and its teaching, seem to be rising at such a rapid rate sweeping all within our society along with such force and power that few can withstand the onslaught.  It is not surprising that in such a time of upheaval and unprecedented attack on all that is holy and sacred that this nation would be prepared to change the traditional understanding of marriage and seriously consider revising it so that same-sex relationships are included in its purview.

I am often personally quite challenged as to what my response should be.  I also find myself feeling angered, threatened and overwhelmed by the assault on my beliefs expressed quite glibly and assuredly on television and elsewhere.  There are many times when I want to raise my voice as loudly as possible, gather together others who feel the same way and make a stand against this unholy imposition.  The problem for me, of course, is that my main call from God is to ministry to people within the gay scene.  Most of these people hold a different world view to mine and many would be surprised and deeply hurt if they knew that I don’t agree with gay marriage.

The other day I found myself even more disturbed when I heard of a prominent Christian sportsman suggesting that Christians who didn’t back gay marriage, as he did, were simply hypocrites.  I wanted to write to him and at least let him know that whilst I am happy to identify as a hypocrite, nonetheless I am his brother in Christ, not an idiot, or lacking in compassion even though I don’t agree with his position.

Thankfully, I took some time to pray regarding my response, and whilst I wouldn’t dare suggest that the insight I received is the only truly Christian insight available on this subject, nonetheless, I hope it might be of help to some.

I sensed God remind me that the true battle is rarely where the most noise is coming from or even where power seems to emanate most obviously.  As Paul advises Christians in Ephesus, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”  With this in mind, I also sensed God remind me not to lose sight of the people he has called me to reach out to.  All too easily I can get distracted and expend enormous amounts of energy and time trying to get heard, win arguments and make myself feel a little better and in the process lose those I am seeking to share God’s heart with.

Whilst issues such as the present one regarding society’s understanding of marriage have enormous implications, nonetheless, we as Christians have to be careful that we never lose sight of the many men and women, gay and straight, that Jesus gave his life for. Some of these people will disagree with us, seek to discredit us, ridicule our faith and make light of all we hold sacred.  Our call as Christians is to bless those who curse us, turn our cheek to those who strike us and lay down our lives if necessary even for those who would destroy all that we hold sacred.

I remember a conversation recently with a gay man deeply involved in the sex industry.  This man has occult involvement and has lived a life that appears completely opposed to all that we hold true as Christians.  He came to a group I run in a gay venue.  During the group he made fun of God and used language to describe our Heavenly Father that was downright offensive.  Another atheist who was attending the group raised the issue of how a God of love could send people to hell.  As this was being discussed the man turned to me and quite humbly expressed his belief that he had truly closed the door to heaven for himself.  He doubted whether there might be any possibility of salvation for him.  I gently assured him that God’s grace is such that there will always be hope and the possibility of salvation no matter how far a person might fall.  Later that day after our group had ended I received a simple text from this person with the words, “Thank you for today.”  If I had simply responded to this man’s appearance, language and blasphemy, he might never have opened up regarding his very real concern over his eternal destiny and I would not have had the opportunity to share the hope God has given to all people in Jesus.

May we never be so concerned to win our cause that we lose sight of the people dying in the conflict.