From RedState.com, By: Erick Erickson, March 29th, 2013 –
Much has been said about this post, including a good bit of heat toward me for putting on the front.
There is much that could be said. I disagree with a lot of the theology.
In particular, I disagree with this:
Is Homosexuality a Sin?
I. Do. Not. Care.
Luke 10 tells the story of a legal expert who queried Jesus about what was required to inherit eternal life. Christ turned the question back on its questioner, and this man whose entire life revolved around studying the law of God summed it up in two points: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
And Christ informed him that he had it exactly right.
That’s what is required to be a follower of Christ. I’m not called to hunt down sinful people, or question the faith of my friends and neighbors, or try to wield the power of the government to enforce my convictions on others.
I’m called to love God, and love them. period. The End.
First, you are not loving your neighbor if you are cool with them going to hell. Do you want to go to hell? No? Well then how are you loving your neighbor as yourself if you’re cool with him going to hell? Leading people to Christ requires leading them to ask Christ to forgive them of their sins. It requires a deeper understanding of what is a sin. The Bible is clear.
Being gay is not a sin. But same sex sexual relations is a sin, as is lying, greed, gluttony, etc — no more or less worse than any other sin — and Christ himself is clear that marriage is between one man and one woman. My church does not treat marriage as a sacrament, but it would be a sin to alter that which God himself ordained and established as an institution. Active sin without repenting, and without even feeling the need to repent, should be a big red flag on anyone’s salvation.
But that’s a distraction from the core point:
I. Do. Not. Care.
That is the point of most everything I’ve written this week. I guess I’ve been too obtuse. Let me make it clear for you — you will be required to care.
Gay rights advocates on the steady march toward and past gay marriage will make you care. They will not give you room to sit on the fence.
Tim Keller has gotten a lot of heat for saying that “you can believe homosexuality is a sin and still believe that same-sex marriage should be legal.” He was not talking about himself. He was talking about the compromise many young evangelicals are making.
Some, though, are going the next step to
I. Do. Not. Care.
The left will allow no fence sitting. You may not believe me. You may think me hyperbolic. But the history of the world shows this. Events ultimately come to a head. They boil to their essence. And at that point you must choose.
That is why so many Christians are fighting. Because we see in Europe and Canada what will happen here. Christianity is a religion of the city square. Christ compels us to “go forth and teach.” It is the Great Commission. We cannot go forth and teach when the left bars us from the town square.
Many people say we should have legal gay marriage, but not have religious gay marriage.
The left will not honor the distinction. Look to Canada. Preachers can be brought up for hate crimes charges merely for discussing passages of the Bible that deal with same sex sexual relations. You may not care that it is a sin, but the world surely does.
Look at Louie Giglio, who could not honor the President at his inauguration because of his orthodox Christian beliefs on this subject.
In short, you may choose not to care and in so doing sit on the sidelines or give aid and comfort to the open minded and tolerant who want gay marriage so everyone can have equal rights.
But the world will one day make you care. Your church, should it open its doors to all, but refuse to perform a same sex wedding, will be accused of discrimination. In some places, the church will be forced to stop performing weddings. Many churches will lose their tax exempt status. The costs of sharing the gospel will go up.
Already Christians are being harassed by fellow American citizens for not wanting to participate in a gay marriage.
The time will come, more quickly than you can imagine, when you will be made to care.
It is not, as mjdaniels posits, this:
If, as the anti-SSM crowd would have it, the levers of State are to be wielded to enforce the commands of Scripture, then pardon me, but what the H-E-double-hockey-sticks are we doing spending so much time, energy and effort fighting to overturn Obamacare?
We are not using the state to enforce the commands of Scripture.
We are using the state to protect our ability to preach the scripture under the first amendment. If the state has the power to change the definition of an institution that it did not create, but that God himself created, the state can compel and coerce the church to honor that definition or sit on the sidelines.
A Christian on the sidelines is a Christian not going forth.
You can be a sincere Christian and support the idea of gay marriage. But you would also be foolish to ignore what is going to happen to the church once the state decides something is a matter of equal protection. You can dismiss me now, but you are ignoring what’s already happening.
Keep in mind as well that many of those who you make look to for reassurance that I’m wrong are hostile to the church already and will not be on the side of the church as the equal protection arguments against it grow.
The state did not create marriage and it should not now exert the power to change the definition of that which it did not create.
Those of you who are Christians who support gay marriage will one day have Archbishop Chaput burning in your ears. He said that evil peddles tolerance until it is dominant then seeks to silence good. That’s why Christians fight on this issue. It is not to force themselves on others, but to protect themselves from others being forced on them.