Thursday, October 11, 2012

Minnesota Defense of Marriage Act: A Christian Perspective

I have made it no secret how I'm going to vote on this come November.  Only recently was I finally asked by someone at church why I stand where I stand.  Here's the message I got, "I noticed you're voting against the Marriage Protection amendment, may I ask why?"

This is my response.  It is not an exhaustive study in the matter, it's what I've been wrestling over the past few months.   I've edited it slightly to be more blog friendly.

"Please, don't read this as if I'm angry, I'm not. This is a peaceful discussion on something that I've taken a lot of time to think about.

I am against the Minnesota Defense of Marriage Act for many reasons, political, moral and spiritual.

First political. The institution of marriage as recognized by the state and nation is mostly for tax and benefit reasons. Could you imagine not being able to visit your husband or wife in the emergency room because the government says you can't marry? I see no reason for the government to step between same-sex couples that desire marriage. I believe that it would be overstepping governmental limits.

Second, morally. I am morally opposed to the amendment because it is a blatant attempt to legalize discrimination within our society. I am opposed to discrimination in all ways.  If this is passes, it legalizes second-class citizenship much like pre-civil rights America. 

Third, and most importantly, I am against this spiritually. I would find myself a hypocrite if I voted for this. The scriptures used against same-sex marriage are stretched scripture at the most. If I were to vote for this based on the Old Testament scriptures, I would then have to be against wearing clothing of mixed fibers, or against eating pork chops (two things that are also forbidden in OT Law). Not to mention I would have lots of animal sacrifices to catch up on, and where would I sacrifice them? The Temple's been gone for years and you can't sacrifice animals without it. Take into account where Paul talks about dying to the Law (Gal. 2:19-20), and the OT Law argument falls apart pretty quickly.

So we look to the NT for arguments against Same-sex marriage. Still coming up short for support. The verses commonly referred to as banning homosexuality as despicable, when taken in context, are talking about people that do detestable things, "being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them." (Romans 1:29-30) I know people that are homosexual, and I've never known them to exude these qualities. Which proves to me that Paul wasn't talking about homosexuals, rather he was talking about evil people that hold unnatural relations.

And what are these unnatural relations? When looking at the original text and context, more times than not, it's talking about child molestation and rape, not a mutual lifelong relationships. Marriage in the time of Jesus was largely for property possession and other material reasons.  Marriage how we know it today was very new and almost unheard of.  Loving your wife?  Crazy.  So if marriage as we know it wasn't standard, why do we think that the Bible standardizes it in today's society?  And if marriage as we know it wasn't really addressed in the Bible, why would we expect same-sex marriage to be addressed?  Is it?  Or are we taking verses out of context to rationalize condemnation of something that we don't fully understand?

But put all of these semantics aside and get to the core of the Gospel, we are to love God and love others. And God is love. These verses overpower any argument for me. If God is love, and we are not God, how are we to fully understand love? God? Or are we able to? We can only know God as much as he reveals himself to us. I have found a greater understanding of what love is within my marriage and fatherhood. I experience God's love through my family. Who are we to say that God can't reveal his love through same sex couples? Wouldn't that be limiting God's power? Wouldn't that be limiting God's love, which is supposed to be limitless?  Who are we to say that same sex couples can't love a child like I love my kids?  Who are we to say that homosexuals can't know love?

But moreover, if the heterosexual church views homosexuality as a sin (not saying it is or isn't), they NEED it to be forgivable. God HAS to be able to work and minister through all people. Because even though not all people are homosexuals, every one of us has fallen into the shortcomings that Paul lists. And if homosexuals are condemned, then we are all condemned. 

So, after all of this consideration, this is why I'm voting no on the Minnesota Defense of Marriage Act.  Any way I cut it, I can't justify it.

Like I said, this is how I see it. I could be right or wrong, but lucky for us, God's grace allows us to be wrong.

Blessings to you."


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