I am increasingly finding myself struggling with the so-called status quo within Christian circles of being against same-sex marriage. I will be coming from this angle from my Christian beliefs and will be using Scripture and experience as a basis for this.
I am not convinced of the old adage that God created Adam and Eve to be married and not Adam and Steve holds as much water as the proposers think There are various reasons for this.
I do wish to make the following statement though that I do believe every Minister, Pastor, Celebrant or what ever label you wish to use should have the right to not marry someone if it goes against their conscience and beliefs…which they now exercise for any couple wishing to be wed.
1.) Marriage is not a Christian institution, it’s a cultural institution. Scripture says that before the flood, the population was busy eating, drinking, marrying, working etc…ignoring God and Noah’s warning.
2.) Historically the early church was never involved in marrying people. It was the Jewish custom for the heads of families to organise their sons / daughters to marry…or men would just go and take for themselves a wife. The priest hood was not involved in presiding at this celebration….
3.) The church increasingly become more involved with the function / celebration of marriage the more it was entwined within the governmental process’ of state. Church / state / records / marriage tax….
4.) I have sat with, counselled grieving people whose long-term spouses have died. One gent had been with his boyfriend for 25 years. His grief was real. His pain was real. His experience was real. His regret of never being allowed to marry was real as he shared with me his experience of not being allowed to marry.
5.) Christianity is a subset belief system within a greater societal / governmental frame-work. Whilst as a Christian I whole heartedly believe in my beliefs. I know why I believe what I do. I know that faith in Christ is what compels me to love others and to want others to know this very love of how God loves us.
In saying this I need to acknowledge that there is no such animal as a Christian government. Certainly I believe that Christians have a right to practice their beliefs in peace, and in the name of tolerance society should expectantly tolerate Christians to practice their beliefs.
At the same time, I will wholeheartedly allow someone to believe and live their lives as they feel is right for them. I believe it’s our hearts God is interested in more than he is in a legalistic out-ward showing of obedience. Within this frame-work I believe I have the right to share my faith in the same way others have the right to share theirs.
6.) Typically what we call a defacto relationship in which a male / female who taking on the responsibility to live together have actually taken a commitment which is akin to marriage as recorded within Scripture and other ancient historical texts.
If indeed marriage is a societal institution and not a Biblical institution as I propose it is; then the church should not stand in the way of gay marriage within society… though again I reiterate it should be allowed to officiate accordingly to its belief system.
7.) It is oft argued that the promiscuity within the homosexual community should be a barrier to marriage as its considered a long-term commitment. I would counter argue that as much promiscuity happens within the heterosexual community and that anyone contemplating marriage should do so with the ideal of single-minded faithfulness to the other.
There are other issues to explore within this highly emotive subject. I know many want to tar and feather homosexuals as being sinners. I would remind us all that the Apostle Paul tells us in Romans that Sin unites all of humanity. He says that ALL have sinned and fallen short of Gods glory. That we all are in need of Gods grace, his mercy and His forgiveness, which he freely extends to us when we ask Him.
Rather within the frame-work that marriage is more of a societal issue, more so than an issue of faith – I have come to believe that we should not withhold this to any who is genuinely seeking it within a societal structure.