In this two part series on some of the hottest topics dressing the front pages, I addressed the fall of the confederate flag following the slaying of nine African American church members at the hand of a young white male. You can find that post by clicking here.
Today I seek to address another polarizing topic of discussion – rainbows and the cross, the Christian response to the legalization of gay marriage.
I recall the day that the Supreme Court ruling came down. It was the same day as the funeral for the slain Senator Clemente Pickney. Before proceeding to deliver a powerful eulogy, the President sent out a tweet, I imagine to summarize the sentiment behind this ruling: #LOVEWINS.
Rainbows highlighted avatars and profile pics for days across social media from Huffington post, to the White House, to your average citizen in support of the ruling. It was a colorful week to say the least, as the multicolor symbol of “love” was not exactly embraced by everyone. Many that stood in opposition spoke loudly on social media, declaring their disagreement with the ruling, citing scripture as their defense. And what may have previously become a blurry divide, became distinctly clearer that day as the large majority of the voices challenging the ruling were laced in anger and again identified with being Christian. As previously posted by a fellow blogger, I strongly agree that this message is not the message of love that Christ followers have been instructed to live out:
“12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:12-14.
I have been known to boldly speak the truth in love…in love is the key phrase. Love does win when it is clearly communicated. I think the words expressed out of anger from those identifying with being Christian were spoken out of fear.
Fear of what?
Fear of change?
Fear of losing the value of traditional marriages?
Fear of decreasing the number of traditional families?
Newsflash! That is happening anyway and gay marriage and gay rights are not the cause. We are. We are the ones that are representing the traditional marriage, we are the ones that are representing the nuclear family, and we are the ones who are not holding this institution sacred. And to further our relational demise, we do not make these relationships seem appealing and worth fighting for because we are so quick to dismantle them. In writing this I hate that there exists statistical validity to this thought that comes to mind: Divorce is a disease that holds no prejudice, not even in the Christian home.
As Christians I would say that there is something to learn from watching the reactions of those who fought and won the legal right to marry. One does not have to agree with the ruling to note the sad reality that they fought for a blessing we so clearly take for granted. Even if our marriages do not end up in divorce, they are not representative of the image that was given to us to represent.
“25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…33…each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5:25,33, NIV.
Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church —sacrificially; He died for His people and wives respect your husbands. Does this directive match the image of marriages of today? Ashamedly not, and that is no fault but our own. So fellow believers, please save the energy used to speak against gay marriage and turn it inwards towards enhancing our own. We need to fight to do exactly what Christ called us to do and demonstrate love…first in our homes and to each other and I believe from this overflow, the message of true love will win.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16, NIV