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Jul 1, 2014

I'm Still Standing

Yesterday I shared my personal thoughts in a Facebook post. It created a bit of a minor stir. Everyone shared politely, but tense emotion about the topic could be felt through discussion.
After re-reading these comments, I noticed that many may have misunderstood my point. Perhaps not, but I thought I would clarify nonetheless. Yesterday, Sir Elton John made a public statement that he believed Jesus would have supported gay-marriage because He was all about love. My posting was not about gay-marriage, nor its political or religious impact, nor whether homosexuality is "sinful" and biblically condemned. It did seem that many might have heard me say such words. If anyone involved did, my hope is they would re-read the post again today to note that I never gave an opinion in those areas.
My point was that I disagreed with Sir Elton John's opinion and that I do not believe that Jesus Christ would have supported gay-marriage. My disagreement is not based on my opinion on homosexuality and what I hope Christ would say. My opinion is based on the study of Christ's character and teachings from the authenticated writings about his life and mission. I fully believe if asked, Jesus would have answered in a way similar to his response about paying taxes. Christ often had a way of saying, "Silly question; you're missing the point." And I believe He probably would have told us something like "earthly ceremonies are temporary but life with My Father in Heaven is eternal." Then we'd still be scratching our heads and debating the point today.
All this leads to "what difference does it make?" One commenter asked why should heterosexuals hold an opinion on gay marriage and further wondered whether Christians felt this is an attack on their faith. These are great points and good questions. Well...I don't believe one must belong to a group to hold an opinion. If so, non-slave abolitionists would have had little impact in the 19th century.
However, I find many Christians do feel it is an attack of their faith, but quite possibly for the wrong reason. People, Christian and non-Christian alike, become uncomfortable when others do not disagree or do not live in the same way they do. Sadly, many people justify it is okay to reject or condemn others based on their differences. This is not isolated to Christians; however, many Christians do it as well -- and often find it their duty to do so.
This, of course, is not Christ-like behavior. Christ never rejected others. He came to save everyone, even the "lowest" of among us. And Christians should be careful about condemning gays. God does not hate gays! Jesus does not hate gays!
One minor defense for Sir Elton John's position: some might interpret that Jesus did mention the subject in the Gospels depending on how one interprets the cultural meaning of the word eunuch. Eunuchs and gays are not the same thing, but some believe Christ represented this group as anyone incapable of marriage which would include gays.
This is a bit of dangerous political ground for the modern LGBT supporter to take, however. Christ stated that some eunuchs became so in the mother's womb and others became so later in life. Let me be clear, I do not interpret this passage to mean Jesus was referencing gay people. I believe He is discussing living single to serve God. However, if one does choose to apply this to homosexuality, then Christ clearly would have said that not everyone is "born gay" and one could choose to be gay in two of three circumstances. (That's a topic for another day.)
But would Christ have supported gay-marriage? I can't interpret that He would anywhere in his teachings. He always referred back to the Torah when on the topic of marriage -- and the Torah was strict in its definition of man-woman marriage and that homosexuality was not permitted. So the answer to the "what difference does it make" question is not whether gay-marriage should be legal or even whether it is right or wrong. The difference is that Sir Elton John promoted an inaccurate portrayal of the character of Christ as I interpret His teachings.
Sir Elton John is welcome to his opinion; however, when he uses his celebrity to promote false attributes and inaccurate character of my Lord and Savior, then that is when it becomes an attack on my faith. That is when I must stand up and say "Not so fast, Sir!" I am not trying to shove theology down anybody's throat. I am trying to prevent a celebrity from shoving his corruption of my theology down others' throats.

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