To be honest, I don’t know where I officially stand. I will admit that I’m more in support of civil unions then I am marriages happening in a church, before God. Sounds weird, but that’s where I am. I’m still wrestling with the issue, because while I believe that same-sex relationships are sinful, I also think that the “sanctity of marriage” went out the window long before gays and lesbians began fighting for marriage equality.
Christianity in America
While many Christians still proclaim that America is a “Christian Nation,” the sad reality is we aren’t. We may have the Name of God on our money, in our pledges, and we may place a hand on a Bible when taking an oath, but these things don’t make us a Christian nation. America is a melting pot of religious freedom. Each citizen is given the right to believe in whom ever – whatever – they choose. We do not have an official religion – Constitutionally speaking. Christians may live within the USA, and the major religion may be Christianity (in various forms), but the country as a whole is not a Christian nation.
Look at our culture. Look at our entertainment. Look at the rise of other religions and the decline of Christianity. Look at the hypocrisy of the Church. Look at the family structure … the government … our materialism and selfishness. This is not a Christian nation. Far from it, I think.
Now, before you think I’m raising my hands in surrender, let me say that while America might not be a Christian nation, this does not mean that Christian’s aren’t suppose to influence the Nation in which we live in. We should be; Christ clearly says that His followers are the light and salt of the world (Matthew 5:13-16). So, we best be letting our lights shine brightly!
However, can we really expect non-Christian-thinking/believing people to adhere to Biblical standards? I mean, how can they know the Truth of Christ if we aren’t living it out before them? It’s said that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Let’s face it, the Church isn’t exactly scoring points with those around us; especially since some of us look and act exactly like the world.
To Judge or Not to Judge
In Matthew 7, Christ calls us not to judge others. And we think that this means we aren’t suppose to call out sin; we don’t have a right to tell people not to do something. In a way, we don’t have a right, but then again, we are commanded to teach the things of Christ to all people (Matthew 28:18-20).
What if Christ is more saying this, “When you’re teaching truth, make sure you aren’t being hypocritical. If you’re living no better than the world around you, then the same judgement you pass onto them is your own judgement, too. So, instead of worrying about everyone else around you, get your life in order, first, and then you can help others get their life together.”
The Apostle Paul adds this in 1 Corinthians 5, “For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?” Meaning this, can we really expect non-believers to adhere to the principles of Christ? Not really, cause they don’t really understand the message of Christ – either by their own admission or by seeing the message of Christ being lived out in the wrong ways. Those in the Church, however, should understand the message of Christ, so we do have a right to call each other out when sin is roaming freely within the Body of Christ.
When we speak out against sin, as the Church we need to speak out against all sin, not just the ones we don’t particularly like. And when we stand up in support of something, like the sanctity of marriage, we best be representing a healthy view of marriage ourselves. Otherwise, the same judgement we pass onto others is passed onto us as well.
Divorce runs rampant in the United States, and more specifically the Church. Currently, Christians are divorcing at a higher rate than non-Christians. With those in my generation and younger, cohabitation among Christians is also on a rise. Sex before marriage is more of a norm than not among teens and young adults – Christian and non-Christian. Affairs are also a norm within marriages. So let’s be realistic here, the sanctity of marriage debate is bigger than just gay marriage.
If we are truly gonna stand-up in protecting marriage, then we need to stand-up all the way. Otherwise, we need to sit back down. Truth is, it’s easier for Christians to picket pro-gay marriage rallies and ceremonies, instead of divorce courts, porn shops, and cohabiting couples. Why? Because while most Christians aren’t necessarily getting married to the same-sex, many Christians are getting divorces, going to porn shops, and cohabiting. The majority of Christians, more than anybody, hate facing their own sin. It’s much easier to point out the sin of others while ignoring personal sins.
This is a major problem, and its hypocrisy at its finest. This is what Jesus slammed the religious leaders for; yet, this is what many in the Church do – to them it’s justifiable. To them, they’re still more righteous than gays and lesbians.
However, to God, it’s no different from two men getting married.
As the Body of Christ, we need to stand-up for the sanctity of marriage full circle – not just the parts we like. And through it all, we need to be representing Christ as He is, and not as we think He should be.