I have been avoiding writing anything on this subject as it feels like we are continuing to beat a dead horse that has been dead for years.
Social media does not however seem to want to leave the issues alone. I see people changing their profile pictures to a rainbow filtered images of themselves to support the gay marriage decision by the US supreme court.
I have no hate in my heart for LGBTQ people. I love them as children of God with their own unique challenges. I also know that God loves them and has no hate in his heart for them. Comments in social media seem to reflect that Christians are all haters and hate everyone who is LGBTQ and they are all bigoted anti gay, haters whose only desires are to oppress the LGBTQ community and revoke their rights. I won’t deny that there are many people who claim to be Christians that behave in such a manner.
Given all of this I feel that I need to put my own thoughts in on this vitally important issue that is facing the world today. God’s doctrine of marriage cannot change without God himself declaring it so. The LDS church of which I am a member recently made a statement in response to this legalization of gay marriage.
“The church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints acknowledges that following today’s ruling by the supreme court, same-sex marriages are now legal in the united states. The court’s decision does not alter the Lords doctrine that marriage is a union between a man and a woman ordained by God. While showing respect for those that think differently, the church will continue to teach and promote marriage between a man and a woman as a central part of our doctrine and practice”
God’s doctrine is that marriage is a union between man and woman and cannot be anything but a joining of 2 people of opposite gender. This does not include trans men marrying a man after he changes to a woman or a trans woman marrying a woman after she changes to a man. For myself I cannot ever consider anyone married outside of this definition of marriage as married.
With this in mind I cannot stress enough how much gay couples have no impact on my personal relationship with my wife. My marriage is not so fragile that the idea of 2 gay people having the kind of relationship that I have with my wife threatens our relationship in any way or the sanctity of it. My marriage to my wife is sacred and unique. Nor do I have any desire to force or compel others to recognize my relationship as a marriage. I don’t need anyone Else’s approval. Not the governments, nor my family, not my co workers or public approval. The only approval I need is my wife’s and Gods. When it comes to defining my relationship with my wife they are the only 2 whose opinion has any bearing on the status of our relationship other than mine.
I have no desire to stand in the way of 2 people who love each other, regardless of gender, from having a relationship of any kind, nor should our government stand in their way. But I ask what has this really changed? LGBTQ people were in relationships that were for all intents and purposes that of a married couple before this decision? They still were living together. They were still sexually active with each other. They were still engaging in all the behaviors of those that are in heterosexual relationships are.
Anti gay marriage opponents have often talked about the destruction of the sanctity of marriage. The problem with this kind of statement is that the sanctity of marriage had been torn apart and mocked long before the gay marriage issue ever came up. Marriage rates have been declining for decades and divorce rates have been rising. This is not LGBTQ Peoples fault or liability. It is our now godless society. In Canada you don’t have to get married to be considered married. You just have live together for 6 months.
LGBTQ Peoples should not require the government’s permission to be wed. It is not their or the public business how they live or who they are sexually active with. This problem exists because we allow the government to define our relationships to begin with.
God has declared that marriage is a union between 1 man and 1 woman. No amount of public pressure, government or supreme court declarations, accusations of homophobia or bigotry will change that.
That is what I believe and accept as marriage. I wont force you to accept that. I wont harass you and accuse you of being a God hater and anti Christian bigot for disagreeing with me. I won’t accuse you of pushing some kind of LGBTQ agenda on me and forcing your beliefs on me. I hope that you and others like you would show the same respect. I am not a bigot. I am not a homophobe. I am not a hater of LGBTQ people. I simply have a different definition and belief about marriage than you do. And you know what. That is perfectly fine. We are not going to agree. You need to remember however that you forcing me to accept your idea of marriage is no different from what you accuse many Christians of doing, forcing their beliefs on you. When the arm of the government conforms to a religious definition (or non religious) of marriage however, that is forcing a select group of societies religious (or non religious) principles on everyone else. Laws should only exist to protect the liberty and freedom of others. No law, however well-meaning, should exist to prohibit or ban behaviors or actions that do not harm others. Laws concerning what is and what is not a marriage do just that. They restrict what is accepted and what is not accepted when it comes to relationships between consenting adults. These relationships pose no harm to others. At least no secular harm as the spiritual consequences cannot be measured or enforced via secular governments. So long as they are consensual.
LGBTQ people should be respected and have all the same rights as everyone else. So much of this debate has been focused not on whether they have the right to be together and have a relationship. They have had that right all along. It was never taken from them. No gay person was ever denied the right to marry one of the opposite gender, just as every straight person has had that right. A straight person could not legally marry one of the same gender any more than the gay person could. What this has been about is seeking recognition of their relationships. LGBTQ people have been seeking all the legal recognition and benefits of straight couples. Something they should have had all long. It is not up to the government to decide what is or is not a legally recognized relationships. They should not be defining such things to begin with.
This decision does not change the definition of marriage, but it does bring some equality to same-sex couples. It’s sad however that they felt they needed the governments blessing to begin with.
Our relationships are ours and ours alone. When we focus on love and mutual respect we will be happier for it. I call on all Christians to reach out to our LGBTQ neighbors with love and respect. Don’t preach to them about how they are living in sin or that god hates them or that they don’t have the relationship they say they have. Rather preach the love of Christ and show them how they ought to live.
If asked by a gay couple if I accept them to be married I would simply say something like this. “I believe marriage to be a union between one man and one woman. However I recognize that you are in a loving relationship and I won’t stand in your way to be whoever you want to be. Your happiness is no less important than mine or anyone else”
It is not our place to judge them or enforce our ways on them. We need to stand firm in our faith and preach love and respect for all regardless if they are living according to God’s gospel or not. We bring people to Christ with love and respect not hatred and intolerance. As Christ once said
“Let him who is without sin first cast a stone”.
And that is the gospel according to Andrew