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OrdinanceAgainstRainbowFlagDraftedinLouisianna070713For evangelicals who lament last Friday’s Supreme Court decision, it’s been a hard few days. We aren’t asking for emotional pity, nor do I suspect many people are eager to give us any. Our pain is not sacred. Making legal and theological decisions based on what makes people feel better is part of what got us into this mess in the first place. Nevertheless, it still hurts.

There are many reasons for our lamentation, from fear that religious liberties will be taken away to worries about social ostracism and cultural marginalization. But of all the things that grieve us, perhaps what’s been most difficult is seeing some of our friends, some of our family members, and some of the folks we’ve sat next to in church giving their hearty “Amen” to a practice we still think is a sin and a decision we think is bad for our country. It’s one thing for the whole nation to throw a party we can’t in good conscience attend. It’s quite another to look around for friendly faces to remind us we’re not alone and then find that they are out there jamming on the dance floor. We thought the rainbow was God’s sign (Gen. 9:8-17).

If you consider yourself a Bible-believing Christian, a follower of Jesus whose chief aim is to glorify God and enjoy him forever, there are important questions I hope you will consider before picking up your flag and cheering on the sexual revolution. These questions aren’t meant to be snarky or merely rhetorical. They are sincere, if pointed, questions that I hope will cause my brothers and sisters with the new rainbow themed avatars to slow down and think about the flag you’re flying.

1. How long have you believed that gay marriage is something to be celebrated?

2. What Bible verses led you to change your mind?

3. How would you make a positive case from Scripture that sexual activity between two persons of the same sex is a blessing to be celebrated?

4. What verses would you use to show that a marriage between two persons of the same sex can adequately depict Christ and the church?

5. Do you think Jesus would have been okay with homosexual behavior between consenting adults in a committed relationship?

6. If so, why did he reassert the Genesis definition of marriage as being one man and one woman?

7. When Jesus spoke against porneia what sins do you think he was forbidding?

8. If some homosexual behavior is acceptable, how do you understand the sinful “exchange” Paul highlights in Romans 1?

9. Do you believe that passages like 1 Corinthians 6:9 and Revelation 21:8 teach that sexual immorality can keep you out of heaven?

10. What sexual sins do you think they were referring to?

11. As you think about the long history of the church and the near universal disapproval of same-sex sexual activity, what do you think you understand about the Bible that Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, and Luther failed to grasp?

12. What arguments would you use to explain to Christians in Africa, Asia, and South America that their understanding of homosexuality is biblically incorrect and your new understanding of homosexuality is not culturally conditioned?

13. Do you think Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were motivated by personal animus and bigotry when they, for almost all of their lives, defined marriage as a covenant relationship between one man and one woman?

14. Do you think children do best with a mother and a father?

15. If not, what research would you point to in support of that conclusion?

16. If yes, does the church or the state have any role to play in promoting or privileging the arrangement that puts children with a mom and a dad?

17. Does the end and purpose of marriage point to something more than an adult’s emotional and sexual fulfillment?

18. How would you define marriage?

19. Do you think close family members should be allowed to get married?

20. Should marriage be limited to only two people?

21. On what basis, if any, would you prevent consenting adults of any relation and of any number from getting married?

22. Should there be an age requirement in this country for obtaining a marriage license?

23. Does equality entail that anyone wanting to be married should be able to have any meaningful relationship defined as marriage?

24. If not, why not?

25. Should your brothers and sisters in Christ who disagree with homosexual practice be allowed to exercise their religious beliefs without fear of punishment, retribution, or coercion?

26. Will you speak up for your fellow Christians when their jobs, their accreditation, their reputation, and their freedoms are threatened because of this issue?

27. Will you speak out against shaming and bullying of all kinds, whether against gays and lesbians or against Evangelicals and Catholics?

28. Since the evangelical church has often failed to take unbiblical divorces and other sexual sins seriously, what steps will you take to ensure that gay marriages are healthy and accord with Scriptural principles?

29. Should gay couples in open relationships be subject to church discipline?

30. Is it a sin for LGBT persons to engage in sexual activity outside of marriage?

31. What will open and affirming churches do to speak prophetically against divorce, fornication, pornography, and adultery wherever they are found?

32. If “love wins,” how would you define love?

33. What verses would you use to establish that definition?

34. How should obedience to God’s commands shape our understanding of love?

35. Do you believe it is possible to love someone and disagree with important decisions they make?

36. If supporting gay marriage is a change for you, has anything else changed in your understanding of faith?

37. As an evangelical, how has your support for gay marriage helped you become more passionate about traditional evangelical distinctives like a focus on being born again, the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ on the cross, the total trustworthiness of the Bible, and the urgent need to evangelize the lost?

38. What open and affirming churches would you point to where people are being converted to orthodox Christianity, sinners are being warned of judgment and called to repentance, and missionaries are being sent out to plant churches among unreached peoples?

39. Do you hope to be more committed to the church, more committed to Christ, and more committed to the Scriptures in the years ahead?

40. When Paul at the end of Romans 1 rebukes “those who practice such things” and those who “give approval to those who practice them,” what sins do you think he has in mind?

Food for thought, I hope. At the very least, something to chew on before swallowing everything the world and Facebook put on our plate.

Note: An earlier version of this post had the questions in paragraph format rather than enumerated. The content is still the same. Readers interested in studying what the Bible teaches about homosexuality may be interested in checking out my new book on that theme.

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170 thoughts on “40 Questions for Christians Now Waving Rainbow Flags”

  1. Jim Yearsley says:

    Interestingly, Woodwarda et al. were quick to attack, but strangely bereft of any attempt to address the questions you raise. hmmm?

  2. Marcia McGuire says:

    Good questions! I know many Bible-believing Christians have been trying to sort out some of the questions you listed. The dilemma is we believe God says homosexuality is a sin, but how do we love the sinner, but not the sin or reason in our minds how homosexuals can openly promote their sin and still call it love? Bottom line is it’s futile to debate with each other, because we’re on different pages. We aren’t reading the same Book. Their modern interpretation of scripture has really made them a law unto themselves.

    They’re good people who’ve made choices opposite of what we believe. Most don’t even believe in the Bible so that draws an even deeper line between us. They’ve made a cultural choice to be homosexuals and want us to agree with it. I, for one, can’t understand their mindset, because homosexuality is developed through being with other homosexuals and/or family situations, and I’ve never been exposed to that kind of world. It’s pretty conclusive they weren’t born that way.

    “Consider the obvious problem of survival for individuals who allegedly possess a gay gene: individuals who have partners of the same sex are biologically unable to reproduce (without resorting to artificial means). Therefore, if an alleged ‘gay gene’ did exist, the homosexual population eventually would disappear altogether. “We now know that it is not scientifically accurate to refer to a ‘gay gene’ as the causative agent in homosexuality. The available evidence clearly establishes that no such gene has been identified.

    Additionally, evidence exists which documents that homosexuals can change their sexual orientation. Future decisions regarding policies about, and/or treatment of, homosexuals should reflect this knowledge.”

  3. Tim says:

    First of all Jim if you were trying to come across condescending , you were successful. Lev. thought is written under the old covenant. We live under the new covenant, all of the lev. law past away under the new covenant of a Jesus Christ. However the sin of homosexual was still condemned under the new covenant. Now that you have read some of the old testament, be fair and read the new testament also. Homosexuality is still an abomination under the new covenant.

  4. Chris says:

    I am not a Christian, however for a large part of my life I considered myself a “born again” (I’m currently 38). I am also not an atheist. Someone has already commented that these questions are for Christians as they relate to how Christians view the Bible–I do not disagree with this. Christians should think long and hard about how they reconcile gay marriage with what they read in the Bible. They should also consider these questions:

    1) Do I also demanding the death penalty for those who curse their parents (Lev 20:9)?

    2) Do I demand the death penalty for those who commit adultery (Lev 20:10)?

    3) Do I demand the death penalty for those who don’t keep the (Exodus 35:2)?

    4) Do I support slavery (Lev 25:44)?

    5) Do I advocate the stoning of “non virgins” (Deut 22:20)?

    6) Am I being consistent in my “following everything the Bible says” or am I interpreting and rationalizing the parts that make me uncomfortable to make it consistent with my world view?

    7) Do I use the Bible as an excuse to condemn the things I don’t like?

    8) What is the historical value of this issue? Was there a similar divide among Christians in the past when it came to abandoning practices such as the murder of Jews for being nonbelievers, burning women for being witches, prohibiting the mixing of races, prohibiting women from holding leadership positions, and looking the other way when male leaders abuse their positions–all in the name of “hating the sin”? Is this an issue that my faith will rationalize away as it has previous practices after considerable outside pressure?

    9) Am I called to condemn others or love others?

    10) Am I putting too great a focus on the parts of my faith that forbid things I don’t fully understand?

    11) When I think about my faith do I consider it to be unchanging since the time the Bible was written? For example, have Christians over the centuries spoken of a “personal relationship” with God or is this a new invention (for the answer I recommend you do an NGram for the phrases “personal relationship with Jesus” and “personal Savior”.

    12) When I try to think critically about other belief systems in comparison to my own, do I read only Christian versions or do I also read perspectives of people who hold these beliefs? Is there a connection between these two things?

    I think every Christian should carefully consider the glass house that they stand in before picking up a stone. Consider the effect your bigotry has on a person who has no control over who they are.

    As a final aside, if you seriously consider “marrying a goat” to be in the same category as marrying a person of the same sex, that reveals far more about your inability to have a serious, intelligent discussion than it does your obscene bias; and that’s saying a lot.

  5. Sarah says:

    Thank you so much for the opportunity to answer. I have been waiting for the sincerity. It would take awhile for me to answer each question, but here is my thought process which addresses some of them. I’m sure I can say a ton more, but I’m thankful for a beginning. My heart change began when I heard a gay teen say under his breath that he’d never be allowed in a church. It broke my heart and I began to pray that God would change my heart in whatever ways were not aligned with His and give me direction – wherever that lead.

    This is what I was able to say as I changed my fb profile to a rainbow:

    “Freely celebrating the God who does not change; is sovereign over all; who works beyond our understanding. He showed love to Adam and Eve after they sinned by continuing to pursue them and providing them clothes. He came as Christ to do for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves. Celebrating the rainbow, the symbol of His faithfulness and commitment to love us with grace and mercy and continue to pursue us. Celebrating that we have redefined marriage in our culture, over and over, not in an attempt to lessen who God is or what He desires for us, but an attempt to more fully honor Him as we learn more and more about the value of each person on earth; to see each person as He does; for our hearts to be broken for the things that breaks His (I don’t think He cares much about tax exemptions). Celebrating that I was not sold with three goats in order to be allowed to marry my spouse. Celebrating that I am allowed to honor God through my interracial marriage – also previously not allowed, since it didn’t represent our understanding of God’s initial intent. And, finally, celebrating that a entire people group who truly believed that they weren’t allowed to enter a church are now being welcomed, even if it is cautiously. I truly believe that God is more concerned with the least of these and how they are being drawn to Him than how well we proclaim our correctness. I can’t help but be reminded that it was the tree of the KNOWLEDGE of good and evil that He told us not to partake in. I grew up in a faith community that believed it was evil and sinful to own a television. How many reading this own a tv today? And you’ve gone far beyond – because now you are using internet, which we couldn’t have imagined back then. Is this because your heart has been hardened? Perhaps. But does God still meet you where you are, continue to pursue you and call you to Him? Does this mean that you must give up tv and internet to honor Him? I don’t think so. We are where we are and in this place (broken as it is) we can enjoy a relationship with Him and allow others the freedom for the same. I have no desire to fight for tax exemption over a soul who desires to seek Him (and, yes, they do – lots of them!). Get to know them. Do more than tolerate or avoid. LOVE THEM as Christ loves them. He pursued them, he sat and ate with them, he died for them.”

    I believe in God’s wrath and judgment and the authority of Scripture. I come from a very conservative background. I remember listening to Rush Limbaugh when he was on tv. Before that, I actually grew up in a faith community where owning a tv was considered disobedient and sinful and inviting evil directly into your home. Today, we know we aren’t doomed to live in fear but rather freedom in Christ. Not a license to sin but rather a freedom to honor God. God looks at the heart and we can’t see all that He sees.

    My heart has changed a lot since I began praying that God would lead me in this area. My stomach used to turn when I saw a rainbow. Today, I know it is used in the gay community as a sign of God’s faithfulness that although evil is in the world, God chooses to use mercy upon us all to continue to draw us to Him.

    I know a little about the ladder theory of St. Augustine. I’ve been reading City of God to try to understand more. I recognize the ladder idea, and that each rung represents something God created. It is disordered when we put them in the wrong value order. I agree with this, but, at the same time, I see another ladder. This one is for people and represents our relationship with God. We are each supposed to be going up the ladder, getting closer and more intimate with God. We each have our ladder and we are supposed to keep our faith between ourselves and God, but instead, we are looking at everyone else on their ladders and comparing which rung they are on with ours. God isn’t so concerned with which rung we are on (our starting point) but more concerned with which direction we are going, towards or away from Him. So, in my ladders, I suggest that gays are beginning on a separate rung from us straight people and their ability to get married is going up the ladder and being thankful for the blessings and grace He extends to them. This is similar to C.S. Lewis’ description of drawing a circle.

    What I am seeing in Scripture is a distinction of the Law of sin and death and the Law of Christ. It seems we have a choice of which to live by.
    How do we live according to the law of Christ vs. the law of sin and death
    There is now no condemnation in Christ Jesus
    Whatever is done without faith is sin
    All things are to be accepted with thanksgiving and nothing should be called unclean
    It was the more mature who were able to be free to eat meat sacrificed to pagan gods in the temples
    In the end times, they will forbid marriage – this is the only forbidding of marriage I see today.
    False teachers will take away credit from Christ; false prophets puff themselves up
    God’s judgment, seems both temporal and eternal
    Sin’s affects on both the heart and the body – affecting believers and unbelievers alike
    Deception seems to be having all the elements but the wrong focus
    Tower of Babel – what Christians are doing now, self-centered, money-oriented, whining, no credibility because of hypocrisy, no hope, no grace being promoted. Making a name for ourselves thereby maligning God’s character to the world. (Dr. Walton’s book Old Testament Today) so God is tearing down our constructs (Denny Hastert, gay marriage, etc.) and scattering us so that we can rebuild properly with all glory being given to Him and Christ as our cornerstone, not us.
    Who are you to judge another’s servant…and the Lord is able to make him stand.
    As sin increases grace increases all the more.
    There is now neither slave nor free, male nor female.

    I seem to be looking at Romans 1 as a flat statement about what will happen (in society) and then Romans 2 as direction to believers when those things happen. Perhaps God does give them (our current society) over by allowing people to be born gay (why do we assume this isn’t possible?) as an expression of His judgment – but within His judgment, He also allows gay marriage to bring it back under His direction. So, yes, it is a sign of His wrath and judgment, but also a sign of His incredible mercy and desire to draw more to Him. (For Adam and Eve, death was both judgment and mercy) Gays who have been horribly treated in churches, taught as children to lie and hate themselves, afraid to enter churches, can now hear how God’s grace extends to them, the least of these, as well. That’s something to celebrate! To me, that’s putting all the elements into the right focus and resulting in the fruits of the Spirit and the promotion of the gospel as it should be.

    The scenario that I am looking at is this: someone who says, “We are born gay. We do believe it is a reflection of God’s judgment and wrath on society and we know we deserve death. But, we are so thankful that, through Christ, that judgment is fulfilled and we, the least of these, can honor God through marriage and live a life pursuing fidelity and love and to be fruitful in many ways beyond physical.” (a premise in this is the acknowledgement that sin affects our physical body as well – dna, genes, brain, etc, so that people may really be gay and not straight as a result of sin, but that God can redeem within that reality.) Another thing that is said is that gays are not saying they don’t have a sin nature, but rather that being gay is a manifestation of sin (in society as a whole) and not their (own) individual sin nature, so getting married is not a sin but rather God’s mercy and grace upon them given their starting point of being gay. So, I guess, this brings up another issue. How do we distinguish between our direct sin and the manifestation of worldly sin upon us? (being gay is similar to being blind – it may be a result and manifestation of God’s wrath and judgment, but also an opportunity to declare His grace and mercy. We don’t shame a blind child, even though they experience the world through their blindness.)

    The trouble that I’m having is when I use the pat answers that are going around, it seems those same answers (it is unacceptable unless it is God’s initial intent) would apply to any overweight, rich heterosexual couple getting married. Being overweight is probably not God’s intent and being rich while others are starving is probably not God’s intent. So I’m forbidden to celebrate their marriage because they are overweight and I can’t say Happy Anniversary because now they are even more overweight and I would be celebrating a lifestyle of sin? It seems the principal needs to be universal for all. Also, I look at the fruit that comes out of it. Here, the fruit is a desire to honor God. I have been seeing a lot of rotten and self-centered attitudes from Christians against gay marriage this weekend and a lot of glory being given to God for His mercies by gays and their loved ones. I also see money and fear as being the driving force in the Christian media but we know that money is a root of evil and God is not a god of fear. Seems backward if we are standing on the right position. I am absolutely exhausted from all of it, but I also recognize that you probably are, too. Thanks for your work in this.

    (another thing I keep hearing is why have we thought the same for so long up until now. I used to be afraid of the “gay agenda” too, but now I know that’s not a fair statement. I don’t have an agenda other than being absolutely sure I’m on the right side with God. I think one reason it comes up differently now is because we have more scientific/medical understanding and that the occurrences seem to be increasing – I certainly never expected it in my own family and I know many others with the same background who didn’t either.)

    If you are committed to God’s will above your own, please pray for us – and please pray for your own heart with equal ferver. If we trust God, let’s put it to use and show it in our most private moments. Trust God to change your heart if there is any way that is not pleasing to Him in this area.

    I think many of your questions are related to the “how do we proceed from here?”, which I think is fair and I understand the stresses on our pastors. By allowing gay marriage, the application would be the same for hetero – no sex before marriage, etc.

  6. Chris says:

    Oh and regarding the “old covenant” and “new covenant” thing–again–please consider “am I referring to the old covenant when it suits my points and disregarding it when someone calls me out on it? The 10 commandments are part of the old covenant, as our many of the lessons you preach in church.

  7. Josh B says:

    I just spent entirely too much time typing this out for a friend so I’ll post it here too.

    1 – Celebrated isn’t the right word so I’m just going to go with never; we’ll come back around at some point I’m sure.
    2 – None.
    3 – I don’t know that there is a case to be made. I also don’t know that there isn’t, but it’s not relevant to my point of view so I’m not going exploring.
    4 – I wouldn’t use any.
    5 – I don’t think so, no. I may be wrong, I’ve been wrong in the past, but at this moment I don’t believe so.
    6 – NA
    7 – I’m no scholar but a quick google makes it look like adultery? That doesn’t sound like the answer you want, probably homosexuality. We can go with that if you’d prefer, it’s not relevant either way.
    8 – I don’t know that any is, I don’t know about any exchange in Romans 1, again not applicable, not going exploring.
    9 – Sounds legit.
    10 – In those passages; I’m not going back to the original text or anything but this fancy thing I hover over and it spits out a verse makes it look like sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, homosexuality, cowardice, faithlessness, murder, sorcery, and liars.
    11 – Oh definitely nothing, I imagine they all know the Bible much better than myself.
    12 – This isn’t applicable, so many of these questions are super baity and cheesed but for the sake of actually answering all of them “I wouldn’t argue with them.”
    13 – I’d imagine a little of both.
    14 – Now this question is just a blast. There’s like a dozen different ways to answer this, and none of them are the answer that anyone writing these questions wants to hear. I’m going to leave out the crazy obvious stuff that anybody can find if they google “heterosexual parents vs same sex parents,” because that will give you more information than I can in a reasonable length of time. All I’m going to do is point out the false dichotomy where everybody who brings this up is pretending that that kid has a choice. As of today there are almost 400,000 children in the United States foster care system without permanent families. The choice here isn’t “Which is better? A same sex couple or a traditional couple?” It’s “Which is better, growing up in a loving homosexual home, or in the foster system.” Nobody is stealing traditional couple’s babies and giving them to the gays. That said, I’m a little concerned you’re going to dismiss the vs that was initially presented and walk away from this thinking that there’s all this research showing straight couples actually are better parents, (that’s not what all the evidence suggests.)
    15 –
    16 – NA
    17 – Yes. It means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Legally, the part that matters are the 1,138 benefits, rights, and protections provided on the basis of marital status in Federal Law.
    18 – My definition is irrelevant. If you’re going to put me up on a pedestal and pretend that I matter I’d say consenting adults calling themselves married and having their way with some benefits.
    19 – If they want to.
    20 – I don’t see any reason that needs to be the case.
    21 – I don’t know. Somebody smarter than me should probably put together some types of laws to prevent entire cities from calling themselves married for various benefits. Also there has to be consent, and the ability to consent.
    22 – Yes.
    23 – I think that’s about correct, yes. Unless I’m just missing something in the way that’s worded. It’s already so botched up by state as it is. In Texas, literally the only requirements to be legally married is to live together and tell other people you’re married. I don’t keep up with the other states.
    24 – NA
    25 – This is a weird question that can’t be answered in yes or no. Should a church that doesn’t believe in gay marriage have to marry a gay couple, no. Should a county clerk who works for the government have to issue a marriage certificate to someone whose decisions they don’t agree with? If they choose to have a job issuing marriage certificates, yes. A Christian who has a problem with pornography and works in the Amazon Warehouse can’t refuse to ship a girls gone wild DVD and expect to continue on unable to perform the job they were hired to do.
    26 – Despite the fact that the only Christians who would feel threatened by the decisions made are the ones who openly preferred denying secular homosexuals the right to the 1,138 benefits they themselves are legally entitled to, I would – in the cases of being forced to marry homosexual couples in religious venues.
    27 – Unwarranted shaming and bullying, yes.
    28 – I wouldn’t, this isn’t a religious issue, it’s a legal one.
    29 – If that church feels homosexuality is wrong then being open about it doesn’t make them exempt.
    30 – I believe it’s a sin for anyone to engage in sexual activity outside of marriage, yes.
    31 – I don’t understand the question, I’m also not a church, going to pass here.
    32 –
    33 – There’s some stuff in 1st Corinthians.
    34 – I don’t know. This is another one of those questions that just wants a church answer.
    35 – Absolutely.
    36 – Supporting, that’s the word. That’s a lot better than celebrating. I don’t celebrate pornography, but I support it being legal in a free society. I don’t celebrate taking the Lord’s name in vain, but I support it being legal in a free society. I don’t celebrate working on the Sabbath, but I support the ability to do so in this country I’m proud to live in. To the question though, what else has changed? I don’t know, a lot over the years. I think with this I just came to the realization that you don’t draw someone near to God by pushing them away from the church. If a teenager walks up to me and says “Hi I’m James and I’m 40,” I respond with “Hey man, I’m Josh it’s great to meet you,” not “You’re a liar and you’re going to hell.” If homosexuality is a sin, it’s still a sin, the Supreme Court didn’t change that. I can be supportive of the the LGBT community getting a big win, gaining the benefits that I already enjoy under the blanket of marriage, without actively promoting their lifestyle. It’s my job to love them, show them who God is, and let Him do His thing. And finally, this decision wasn’t a question of if, it was a question of when. We could have wasted the next 10 years talking about this in the news, in the court rooms, in the political sphere, throwing away just absolutely absurd amounts of money, time, and manpower. Instead we can see the end. We can put all of that freed up stuff into something else, something that needs a lot of hands on for us to figure out like the economy.
    37 – I hit on this for like one second, I don’t really feel like I need to hit on the whole question though.
    38 – I haven’t looked for any.
    39 – Yes.
    40 – Those ones.
    I may not be the guy that this questionnaire was directed at, but I’m happy to get the opportunity to respond to the type of person that would post that this decision “still hurts.” We’re not a nation that’s dictated by religious principles, there’s an absolutely laundry list of sins that are legal, and that’s how a free country founded on religious freedom is supposed to work. There are several religiously driven countries in the middle east and I invite you only to open the front page of just about any major website these days to see how that’s working out. I don’t want my country to throw people in jail for forgetting the Sabbath’s holiness and skipping church. I don’t want someone to get a ticket because they hit their thumb and yell GD it. I don’t want us in the business of legislating morality, are we really choosing what’s right if the other option is illegal?

  8. Michele says:

    28. Since the evangelical church has often failed to take unbiblical divorces and other sexual sins seriously, what steps will you take to ensure that gay marriages are healthy and accord with Scriptural principles?

    Wouldn’t a better question be: What are you going to do to ensure that heterosexual marriages between Christians become healthy again and accord with Scriptural principles? It’s past time that we deal with that issue.

  9. Coach Irf says:

    While I absolutely understand and respect the arguments being made against gay marriage from a Christian perspective, the ultimate flaw in the argument is just that — these are Christian arguments, not American arguments.

    Gay marriage is legalized in our country as a result of a decision-making process that was set forth by our founding fathers, through a wonderful document called the Constitution. While one can argue (and perhaps have a legitimate point) against the decision made by the Supreme Court on a state’s rights basis, they ultimately did rule that banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, and thus cannot be banned by any state. This was done on a purely judicial and Constitutional basis.

    What you guys need to understand is that our country follows the Constitution as the framework within which we live. The first amendment to this document clearly prohibits the establishment of a state religion, and furthermore protects the religious rights of any American. This is important to note — there is and never will be an official religion. We are officially a secular nation, as per the founding fathers. Always have been, and always will be. The next thing that needs to be understood. There is a HUGE difference between the term “marriage” from a religious point of view (the kind that you guys are talking about), and the legal contract that is being discussed by this Supreme Court ruling. They are two totally different things. As a secular nation, all marriage is in the eyes of the government is a legal designation for a couple for tax purposes and laws (hospital visitation rights, the census, etc). The institution of marriage from a religious perspective is completely unaffected by this ruling. The government will not (and by the first amendment) cannot impede on the religious rights of Christians (or any other religious group) by forcing churches or synagogues or mosques or anything else to marry gays. The first (and fourteenth) amendment goes the other way too in terms of protection — there is officially no state religion, so any laws regarding the legal definition of marriage cannot be denied towards a couple on the basis of religion.

    At the end of the day, you can personally have whatever belief or opinion that you want about whether gay marriage is good or bad, sinful or not. However, as long as it does not impede upon your own personal beliefs (and it will not), you do not have the right to extrapolate your own personal religious beliefs onto others and try to dictate how they can or cannot live their life in the United States. It’s as simple as that.

  10. Mary says:

    There seem to be a couple of misunderstandings floating around here. 1) The idea that anyone who has expressed support for the RIGHT of same sex marriage is not Christian. Can’t one be a Christian, think gay marriage is wrong personally, and still think a non-sectarian government should allow it? That being said, I consider myself a Christian AND I support gay marriage itself, not just the right to it. I suppose some here may say that I then, ipso facto, am not a Christian, but luckily that is not your determination to make.

    2) Some have suggested in one way or another, that the only true way to a moral life is through Christianity. Even with my not-so-worldly experience, I can say that this is absolutely not true. People with and without religion can fall anywhere on the spectrum of living a moral and ethical life. Not being a Christian doesn’t preclude it, and being one doesn’t guarantee it. Even ordained ministers from seminaries represented on this website.

  11. Scott says:

    Relabeling brokenness wholeness is not part of the process of sanctification. Too many have bought into the false philosophy of love is love. We have lost the concept that homosexuality (along with other sins) are our ways of finding wholeness and covering shame apart from God. When we are centered in self, we become the arbitrators of what is right and wrong.

  12. Neil says:

    This article asks some very good questions, but it comes from the perspective of someone who believes that a divorce can end a one-flesh marriage covenant. Here is my response to a select number of questions.

    6. If so, why did he reassert the Genesis definition of marriage as being one man and one woman?

    The Lord Jesus Christ asserted that the Genesis definition of marriage as being one man and woman for life. (Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:6-9)

    7. When Jesus spoke against porneia what sins do you think he was forbidding?

    Porneia is specific to “fornication”. This is sex of heterosexuals outside of a consummated marriage. You cannot use “porneia” to describe all kinds of sexual immorality. Porneia– sex by or with prostitutes PORNE, and SINGLE women acting like a prostitute (harlot, whore), such as brides, widows, concubines, slaves, a step mother whose husband has died, girls, and any single woman without a husband. As for men and boys, pornos includes whore mongering with single women, and catamites who are kept boys, or any man that prostitutes his body for money.

    Porneia is not adultery (sex with neighbor’s WIFE), incest, homosexual relationships (the term is arseno koites in the NT and Lxx), and bestiality.

    In fact, this question is answered by my answers to questions number 9 and 10.

    9. Do you believe that passages like 1 Corinthians 6:9 and Revelation 21:8 teach that sexual immorality can keep you out of heaven?

    1 Cor 6:9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral(porneia), nor idolaters, nor adulterers(moichoi), nor men who practice homosexuality(arsenkoitai),

    Pertaining to question 7, Kevin, your ESV version states that “porneia” is used for the sexual immoral. Why would Paul use “porneia” as a broad term for sexual immorality, and then use “arsenokoitai” for the homosexual? Why would Paul use fornication, adultery, and same-sex separately in a sentence, and you say “porneia” is a broad term that is not specific to fornication?

    Matthew 19:9 says, except for fornication.

    This exposes the fact that marriage is one and one woman for life. A divorce never ends a one-flesh covenant marriage and all “remarriages” are not lawful marriages, they are what the Lord says they are…adulterous unions. Adulterous unions that the Protestants have sanctified based on false lexicons and twisted scripture.

    10. What sexual sins do you think they were referring to?

    1 Cor 6:9 makes it perfectly clear that those who remain in the sins of fornication, adultery, and homosexuality will not inherit the Kingdom. Fornicators are heterosexual people who have sex outside the covenant of marriage and do not see this as sinful. They will not inherit the kingdom. A “remarriage” after a divorce of a one-flesh covenant marriage is adulterous and remains adulterous until repentance. Remaining in adultery and calling it a marriage is sinful. A person who remains in a homosexual lifestyle and does not see his or her actions as sinful, will not inherit the kingdom.

    1 Cor 6:11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

    18. How would you define marriage?

    One man and one woman for life. This is a true definition of marriage as it was in the beginning and it is a perfect reflection of Christ’s love for His bride, the Church. (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 29:4-6; Mark 10:6-9; Eph 5:31,32)

    28. Since the evangelical church has often failed to take unbiblical divorces and other sexual sins seriously, what steps will you take to ensure that gay marriages are healthy and accord with Scriptural principles?

    This is a question is so ironic. The evangelical church needs to answer this question. What will the evangelical church do to take one-flesh covenant marriage seriously?

  13. fadhili(reggie) says:

    Mr. Kevin Deyoung thank you for writing this. Lately ice been having problem with this whole issue. I believe loving the person while no accepting thief behavior is more I like to do things. Christ with the woman at the well he never condoned her for being in sin and living in it. He genuinely. Loved her. As Christians we should do the same for our countrymen. We should care for the sinner because we ourdkeved are sinners. If I go go a gat wedding it doesn’t Mrs I agree wuthrge act. It could mean I’m supporting a friend or the family.

  14. Don says:

    I appreciate the author’s tone in not being sarcastic and sniping at people. I hope we Christians sit down with those with whom we do not see eye to eye and have calm, thoughtful discussions and show love, compassion, and grace.

  15. Chris says:

    A few more questions :

    1) do I embrace censorship of dissenting opinions?

    2) do I elect to ignore scientific discovery (thus bring historically consistent) and misunderstand homosexuality as an “on/off” switch or do I understand that science seems to support the view that homosexuality and heterosexuality exist on a spectrum?

    3) am I truly willing to engage in a real discussion over an issue that has caused a tremendous amount of pain and suffering to a group of people?

    4) am I a Christian because God chose me or because I was born into it. And were my relatives Christians because they were descendents of a culture that was fortunate enough to expand their influence worldwide at the expense of millions of lives?

  16. Just wondering says:

    Just wondering…you’re telling people not to swallow everything they read on Facebook, and yet you seem to be swallowing everything you read in the Bible. Just looking for some clarification on the difference.

  17. lar says:

    Jim, this should address your 10 questions

  18. Scott says:

    Perhaps there is a deeper problem on both sides in regards to our sexuality? We’ve crafted something that keeps us from seeing the forest from the trees.

  19. Gabe says:

    Lol, you people actually think the bible is not a fairy tale, ah to be so naive.

  20. ilene says:

    The rainbow is a sign of a promise from God promise that He will not destroy the earth by flood. Why does it have to be looked at only in the context of the gay community. Everyone on both sides of the issue needs to stop the hate.

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Kevin DeYoung

Kevin DeYoung is the senior pastor at Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina. He is chairman of the board of The Gospel Coalition, assistant professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary (Charlotte), and a PhD candidate at the University of Leicester. Kevin and his wife, Trisha, have seven children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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