Gay Marriage, Gay Christians & Deciding If It’s Right Or Wrong

July 3, 2012 — 38 Comments

I received an email this week asking me: What do you think about the whole “gay marriage” thing? For it? Ban it?

The ‘Law’ of marriage from a civil perspective.

Something interesting about the law of marriage in general is that it is probably the only law that is based on love, and it is also one of the only laws you voluntarily opt into to. Law, in general, is based on fear. It’s basic message is: Do what the law says & don’t do what the law says you are not allowed to do. If you break the law you will be punished for it. And yet somewhere in the masses of laws based on fear & obligation is this law of marriage based on love and volunteerism. I think for a same sex couple wanting to ‘opt in’ to this law, they would also be doing it based on love. So, from a worldly legalistic perspective, I don’t think it should be banned. But the question is not really about what the government should allow or ban, I think the real question Christians are asking is if it is not a direct violation of what the Bible says. It is the feeling that gay marriage goes directly against what the Bible says that causes many to be very hardline in their views against gay marriage. But here’s the thing…

Using the Bible as your reasons for condemning gay marriage is a very slippery slope.

There are several verses in the Bible that do seem to indicate that same sex relationships are not God’s plan for people. There are also several verses that indicate God hates divorce. This means if you want to be hardline about gay relationships/marriage, you have to be hardline about divorce too. But of course the main problem with that is we all know someone (even ourselves) who have been divorced, and we know they are committed Christians who love the Lord – so we let it slide. A little hypocritical isn’t it? So why is it easy to be hardline against gay marriage, but soft on divorce?

It’s because, for most of us, we know Christians who are divorced, but we don’t know Christians (or anyone) who are gay.

When you know someone & you’ve allowed them a position in your heart (and when you’ve listened to them share their own heart and over the course of your friendship with them you’ve accepted they are a genuinely committed and loving person/Christian), it’s much harder to use the Bible to condemn them about some part of their life. The heart is always stronger than our interpretation of the Bible. I believe this is by God’s design. Living by your heart is a divine act. (Remember, we are in the New Covenant of the Spirit and no longer under the Old Covenant of the written code. We can trust the Spirit that abides in us, really! He’s there in our hearts.)

I believe God wants all of us to live from the heart so his Spirit, that abides in our hearts, can enlighten us on all things and lead us into all truth. This is what allows us the blessing to receive be a heart understanding instead of an information/mind understanding. This doesn’t mean you throw the Bible out, it just means you put it to the side long enough to listen to God’s Spirit in you, and to other people too.

Before you judge based on your theology, listen based on being a loving human being

Something I think we all need to remember is that gay people – are people. Yes, that’s right. Shocking for some to believe, but it’s true. They are full of fears, struggles, talents and dreams, just like any straight person.

Before we put on our Bible glasses, we should be willing to look into their eyes without our bible interpretations blocking our view and see them as a fellow human. We should be willing to listen (not just wait until they stop talking so we can blast them with Bible verses) and learn about what it means to be gay, how that struggle effected them growing up, how they processed it with God and why they would like to marry.

Before we can say what we believe, we need to listen to what gay people believe

It’s really easy to create a straw man argument that justifies a position against gay marriage without ever really learning about the issue to begin with. I think if we were willing to have a conversation with a gay person and let them share, without them feeling we have already condemned them in our minds, we would all learn a lot more about the issue.

  • Mick

    Feel free to share you thoughts too

  • Nilda

    Good word! I have friends who are gay/lesbian. My gaydar is so bad that I had little clue what their orientation was. When I asked my pastor about what I should “do” regarding my friends after finding out they were gay, he simply asked, “What did you think of them before you became aware they were gay?” When I answered that I liked them and respected them, he asked, “What changed?”

    • Mick

      nice response from your pastoral friend

    • Jacquie

      wow… what a beautiful piece of advice!

  • Glenn Earls

    I found this article had some good information. It is written by a former Gay man…

  • sarah

    It is interesting to me, that the parts of the bible that seem to indicate no same sex relationship, also indicate slavery is fine. We seem to have moved on from thinking that is OK …
    True Christians know the answer. Anyone who is loving and giving is a Christian, those that hate are not listening to God.
    Let’s look at the word of God, not just the things in the Bible that might just be opinion.

  • Mick

    fyi: the comic used in the blog post is from the Naked Pastor who also writes quite a lot about the gay topic and has some great thoughts (and funny comics) you can check out his stuff on his website:

  • ~Jaguar

    Surprising, I said something very similar on my blog only last week…

    It’s good to see that more people are beginning to recognize the difference between the legal definition of marriage and the spiritual definition.
    However, what I would point out is regarding the divorce example (and obviously, this goes for me also, given the similarities) – Just because we, as Christians, are okay with accepting divorce, does that make it right?

    I think it’s also a slippery slope to say – or imply – “Well, Christians are okay with divorce, therefore there’s no argument against gay marriage.”

    What we do need to still recognize is what the bible says is wrong.

    • Mick

      Thanks for sharing Jaguar. Hey, regarding the whole ‘slippery slope’ analogy I used. The point I was trying to portray was that while we do want to recognize what is wrong from the Bible, we clearly don’t do this with everything, and we need to be able to see our own prejudices and not be blind to them. We all pick an choose from the Bible, but not many of us can admit it.

  • Maddy

    I do believe that condemnation is not going to make things any better as much as it could make it worse, such as warping the world’s perception of who our God is. We are all the image and reflector of God, the extensions of His Love. Banning gay marriages will not dissolve the population of gay relationships either. Hence to nip the bud of the bud, is to dive into the root of their identity. By simply sharing the complete unmerited and unconditional love of God with them, it will not only soften their heart but also renew their minds and thus a permanent transformation from the inside out; seeing themselves who they truly are in Christ :) We become what we believe, we manifest what we believe and right believing begets right living.
    Because our true identity can only come forth when we are born again, Holiness is a fruit and not the root of Salvation.
    By telling the gays how they should be straight because it is right before God’s eyes, it’s like we are telling them they have to be straight first before they can be right with God.
    But only God can make us right. We are only righteous and holy because we have been made that way through the baptism of Jesus’s crucification and ressurection.
    Our Holiness is the fruit of Jesus’s Holiness. We are made Holy because of Jesus’s Holy sacrifice at the cross. Therefore Holiness, our wholeness in Christ, should be a by-product of our intimacy with God and not the way to our relationship with God.

    Thanks for sharing Mick :D You are a huge blessing to the body of Christ and the world :))

  • Sophie

    Hi Mick,

    Sooo cool to read this post. And funny cause I’ve been wondering about this topic for quite some time having gay friends in my world. Thanks.

    Sophie (from HLSG college 2006 :))

  • cafemoi

    I think it prudent to turn one’s attention to America’s Best Christian, Betty Bowers

    Honestly, given all our problems — hunger, poverty, western disease epidemic, global warming, depletion of resources, gross overpopulation, polution, etc — who really cares if a couple of guys are knocking boots?

    • Mick

      Yeah that’s right. There are MUCH bigger problems going on in our world

  • Lynn

    Thank you for this blog! My son who is a Christian recently informed us he is gay. I love my son no matter what. He has now turned away from the whole religious thing as he puts it because all of his Christian friends have told him how wrong he is. It really is sad that we don’t as Christians understand it is all about Love!

    • Bret Alldredge

      Lynn, so sorry to hear your son turning from Christ. I pray that Jesus speaks to his heart so that he can rebuild his theology apart from what many Christians say. I recently changed from anti-gay to ally. I am among a handful of straight ally Christians that I know. It is a long path from either the super-fundamentalist or from recently coming out to a position of true Christ-like love. It is my hope that more Christians and GLBT will begin the walk on that path.

  • Judy Gale

    Well said, Mick! “Love never fails…” Seeing people and interpreting Scripture through the lens/heart of Jesus is where it’s at. That’s the path I’m on, anyway. I appreciate you, brother! Judy Gale (Chapel Hill, NC)

  • Robert Dundon

    Actually, I think a *stronger* grip on the Bible is necessary.

    That’s how we love without comprimising our beliefs.

  • Shanny

    Very touching to hear someone speak their piece/peace about it. The fact truly is that there is such a double standard, and such a huge spotlight on this. It’s unecessary and it really is hurting a lot of potential chances to love without condition. People harsh to judge anyone of a different sexual orientation should walk in their shoes, with a heart of compassion just one day. I did not “choose” to be attracted to what I am attracted to, and I would too would struggle with life if I felt God loved me any less because of such a minor detail that I didn’t choose in the frist place.

    I think we should just love, and it shouldn’t be the world’s business what sexual orientation someone is for qualification in faith life than it would be for any private matter. This issue breaks my heart because the LBGT community is so rejected by the world, the Church (organic kind ;D )should have their arms wide open to hug out that rejection. Instead, it seems to be pushing the community of people looking for love and family, back into the vicious world. God is love, pure and simple- no ifs ands or buts.

    Proud of you Mick. You’ll get quite the backlash for this one but it sows mighty good seeds.

  • John W Baker

    It is wrong and no one can say it is acceptable today on the authority of the Word of God. It is immoral and will always be immoral. Next we will have people who will want to marry their pet (yes there are people who love their pets and have sex with them) it is called beastiality. There are absolutes established by God or there are not. You cannot have it both ways. This is a false love towards same sex couples that some exhibit in their effort to show how much they care for these lost souls. I will never accept it as ok for it is absolutely wrong and should never be accepted by us no matter what laws they may pass.

    • Bret Alldredge

      John, I have a friend who is a gay Christian. He views his homosexuality as a sin and has been celibate for over a decade. This is his struggle. His love of Jesus is true. His homosexuality is also very real. He is a wonderful man, a close friend of my wife; a person she turns to when her work becomes difficult. He would agree with your comments about homosexuality and the absolutes of God’s Word.
      I have another friend that would not agree so readily. She has not spoken with me about her sexual preferences, but is a strong ally of the GLBT community. Her opinion is based on the grace and love of our Lord. I will not choose to take God’s power from Him. He judges, I do not. I choose to love all people. The soccer mom who is addicted to pain meds, the father who spanks his child with too much anger, the pregnant teen who is still drinking alcohol, and the gay/lesbian all deserve my love and acceptance equally.

    • Ostteen Julie

      Thank you John W. Baker for making a stand for Jesus. You can’t straddle the fence and be a Christian. Jesus loves all, but not the sin we live in. God didn’t create Adam & Steve…but Adam & Eve. Can homo’s reproduce? Do they truly commit themselves to ’till death do we part’ ? No, it’s the one who makes them feel good now (for a season) and tomorrow they can find them another companion to satisfy their flesh’s desires. That is all it’s about….their selfless, lusts of the flesh. I have worked beside them and that’s all that’s on their minds. It is wrong! I loved the persons, but not their sinful living. I know (not think) that Jesus will forgive them and then tell them to go and sin no more, just as he forgives me. He doesn’t want me to go back and do that same sin again. That’s when I have to tell Satan to get thee behind me when I’m tempted, just as Jesus did. That’s why we need to read the Bible, it’s God’s word and he is teaching us how to live our lives the best we can, as no one but him is perfect. Now, the divorce thing is also in the Bible, explained very well. For fornication, it’s acceptable in God’s eyes. There may be other reasons…check it out in the Bible. It’s all there.

  • alice scott-ferguson

    utterly BRILLIANT!!

  • Lonnie Mussell

    Situational ethics is man-centered and totally opposed to following the words of God Bible. Man thinks their own rationalizations are what is important. A Christian is concerned with reading understanding and OBEYING what God has decided is right or wrong…The slippery slope that is so dangerous is when we feel free to substitute our OWN laws instead of accepting that the god of the universe is the one who is qualified and has the authority to make the rules. Sir, i am sure you mean well and that this (false0 doctrine sounds so much better than the harshness of the bible, but you are leading people along the path of destruction. Satan himself is the original deceiver and he told Eve that what god said was true, was not really true…you are doing the same thing, sir at your own peril and the peril of those who you are leading astray…You are a law unto your own self and god has curses that you do not want to receive for changing the clear word of the Lord. I beg you to repent of these false doctrines created in your own mind and the mind of the father of lies, the devil who seduced you with words (just like Eve) by negating and rationalizing what god has said. You use false doctrines about divorce (that Christians already have) to justify other false doctrines of homosexuality to somehow make it okay to change the clear words of scripture on BOTH subjects. …God will not be mocked. -Please disregard MY words because they are unimportant, but please do NOT disregard the words of god himself else you will face certain judgement. You are very much at peril and I would warn you to turn away from these false teachings that you have given to others. You cannot substitute the word of god with your own foolish musings. The bible says that it is better for a millstone to be put around your neck and be cast into the sea that to offend these little ones. Innocent people will take your words of “truth’ and innocently fall under god’s judgement because of your lies. I beg you to turn away and renounce these false doctrines.

  • linda

    daily i do things that r not the right way in godsword….but gods love and grace never leaves me…thia same jesus died for the sins of the world…every gay human being every hetersexual is forgiven we r just to love people share the good news and let the holy spirit do the rest.

  • Gravity

    Just a comment to those who want to tell “homos” that Jesus loves the sinner but hates the sin. I will never be able to hear the truth in your words until you can say them to me in a tone that is not full of hate and disgust, or at least a similar level of hate and disgust as you apply to divorced people. If you’re only concerned with proclaiming the word of God then I suppose it doesn’t matter much but if you’re concerned with my salvation then you might as well be speaking swahili.

  • David Ray Conger II

    in your paragraph about being hardline on gay marriage and divorce, the truth is, many Christians have been advocating for years to make divorce harder to accomplish. It’s the law that makes it so easy.

  • allen antrim

    Jesus says something like, if one is not married and having sex one fornicates-anyone I assume, this works for the divorced, single, outside of marriage and such, and it will work for divorced gays when all the mess comes legal, old christianity thought Jesus to be god, not so much anymore; if he was god then god said what he did, if not he must have been a moron or god is a rattle brain. The church is always a state church, not “from above” as most christians think, it expresses the spirit (from a philosophical perspective) of the people, just as the state is the spiritual form of the people made sensuous. These are issues of the culture and so these are issues of “its” church (if the church was from above, this would be a non-issue). “One” does not escape one’s culture, and the culture is in the “one,” the two form a unity and come from each other. When the god (the state) legalizes this, most church folks will quickly follow as the divine has spoken.

  • thomasdosborneii

    While I can’t say that I am a total Bible expert, I bet I have read and understood the Bible more times than most of the people here. And while the nice author of this piece is attempting to be loving and friendly, which outlook is to be applauded, I would be a whole lot happier if he actually was truly innovative and spoke from the real reality and truth instead of playing a mind game with the standard misinterpretation of Christianity as promulgated by those who understand very little, if anything (about anything). (a). There is not one single place in the Gospels where Jesus condemns homosexuality. (b). If anything, Jesus was either open to homosexuality, or else didn’t concern himself with it at all. Example (1), the Roman soldier, the centurion who ran out seeking Jesus to cure his sick body slave. That means “homosexual sex”, to you. Of him, Jesus said, “There is none who has more faith than he.” Example (2), the water-bearing man who could guide the disciples to the hidden location of the Last Supper. A “water-bearing” man in that society was like a “third sex” in other cultures, mainly men who associated with a woman’s role–not exactly the same thing as “homosexuality” as we know it, but enough in the ball-park to count. Example (3), while many, or most, are not quite sure what to make of “John, whom Jesus loved” (didn’t he love everybody?), to whom he gave over to Mary when he was on the cross as her new “son”, that’s like wow, special treatment and announced as “one of the family”, maybe not actual “gay marriage”, in itself, but again, rather in a similar ballpark enough to shut everybody up in today’s world. And I am sure that there are several other examples in the Gospels were one able to read them open-mindedly and with a knowledge of the cultures of the era. (c). Other than a few letters from addle-brained disciples who wrote letters to the Corinithians or whomever AFTER Jesus died (and for sure Jesus was clear on how he was leaving everything to a pretty limited-understanding group of people, but they wer the best he had to work with, I guess), there is NO condemnation of homosexuality at all in the NEW TESTAMENT. It is ALL in the OLD Testament, in other words, Jewish law, handed down by an animal-husbanding society living under very harsh conditions, where “animal reproduction”, including human (incorporating such laws as that a brother is to take over the “tilling” of a man’s wife if he died too soon, oh yeah, we are all following THAT one, aren’t we?) was the mainstay of their very survival and little niceties such as “non-reproductive love practices” had no real place (not even for heterosexuals!), and WHAT did Jesus say about the OLD TESTAMENT? Throw it all out except for the Ten Commandments (he said it, and otherwise, what WAS he then, just another member of the Sanhedrin, preaching the same old same old?). If there is a commandment against homosexuality among those ten, I have yet to discover it.

    So, if all you are Jewish, then have at it, hate homosexuality all you want (interestingly, though, they don’t seem to be all that much bothered about it, though), but if you call yourself CHRISTIAN, which means a follower of JESUS, then homosexuality is a non-issue. And to those for whom is IS an issue, I don’t know what you should call yourselves, but “Christian” isn’t it.

  • John

    In a discussion like this I believe it is important to look to Scripture to establish why did God create male and female in His creation? I don’t think there would be any argument that the sole purpose was for procreation be it animal or human life. Genesis clearly establishes the institution of marriage between a man and a woman.

    Now one may argue that not all marriages result in procreation, and that is true, for instance man may exercise his/her free will and choose not to or there may be medical reasons which prevent it but that does not in anyway negate God’s original intention for the joining of a man and woman (populate the earth Genesis 1:28).
    Therefore any relationship between the same sexes cannot be referred to as a marriage because by choice or otherwise it is unable to fulfill (within the context of that relationship) God’s original intention for His institution of marriage.

    Romans Ch 1:26-28 is quite clear in how God views gay relationships, in that it says God gave them over “to their shameful lusts etc.”.

    Under the New Covenant we have the wonderful provision of grace due to the finished work of Christ, the total forgiveness of sin past, present and future. His grace is available to all sinners. Can a gay be saved? Absolutely! Even if they choose to live in a same sex relationship? Absolutely! Are they welcome in church? Absolutely! Should we show and demonstrate love towards them? Absolutely, they are no different to anyone else.

    Personally from the above scriptural reasons I don’t believe gay relationships are God’s intention and such unions should never be referred to as marriage. Praise God for His grace.

  • Jerry Sorrow

    God who we say hates divorce divorced the Old Covenant house because of her many adulteries. Now you say don’t draw on Theological arguments can we just draw on sound doctrine instead? Come on; while it may be true our laws now allow these type unions OK so be it, but will i indorse “Gay” marriage in no way; will I slam dunk “gay”people who marry no I may love them without embracing their practices. Sound doctrine in no way in the N.T. sense would indorse gay marriage and I would say even the way God designed us would indicate how against God’s mandate to fill the earth with godly seed that kind on union is. God’s grace saves us just as we are but it was never designed to leave us in the miserable state we where in.

  • Tom M.

    The problem with the comparison is that divorce is an event, not a lifestyle and you are comparing it to a lifestyle, not an event. Maybe I’m in the wrong churches, but I’ve never found anyone who cordoned or encouraged divorce. I have heard plenty of messages on the sanctity of marriage, so I don’t see your argument at all. I think a better analogy would be of an alcoholic or a person in pornography as a comparison to a gay lifestyle. I accept and love my Christian brother who struggles with drinking or pornography, but I do not say that their actions are right–in fact, they are struggling with sin. I think the gay Christian is in the same boat. We need to love and accept them as brothers, but we don’t have to accept their sin. Like drinking and pornography, we need to encourage them to give up the sin of homosexuality. God’s word is clear except to those who don’t want to hear the truth.

    • Mick

      Hi Tom, if you reread my post you’ll see my intention wasn’t to compare homosexuality and divorce, but it was an illustration to help us reflect and understand why we are quick to judge homosexuality, but not something like divorce. The reason being that ‘homosexuality’ is mostly just a theological subject for us, where as divorce is much more a part of our personal lives.

      The rest of my post didn’t say it was right or wrong to be gay; I simply stated that we, as Christians, owe it to ourselves and the gay community to at least be willing to listen to their story without already passing judgement on them in our minds.

    • Jim Marjoram

      I completely understand your comment Tom M, I am gay and lived with that battle all my life. I was told and believed it was sin, that it was directly addressed in scripture and that I had to repent and become “straight”. Only problem is, I have only ever known same sex attraction. I have done nothing to foster this, never made a “lifestyle” decision and despite 20 years of ex-gay therapy and even becoming a leader in a prominent ex-gay ministry, never lost same sex attraction. Women are just not even vaguely appealing as a partner (despite me trying twice in marriage and having 2 wonderful children and an incredibly loving and dedicated wife).
      So I went back to scripture and decided to dig deep, and found that the original language and context don’t actually say what we have interpreted them as. I won’t go into that, but please take the time to research it. Suffice to say, I am finally at peace with myself AND God, and have never been closer to Him, loving life and actually bearing the fruit of the spirit!!

  • Sandra

    I was at a retreat once with a nun whose ministry was to help the parents of children born without any distinguishing sexual attributes, to decide on what their chidren were best suited to, being a boy or girl. If the parents got the decision wrong, I don’t think the children would be in ‘sin’. If you define sin as separation from God, then I can’t believe God would separate Himself from these children. I have also personally known children who were demonstrating the characteristics personality wise of the opposite sex before the age of two.

  • Jim Marjoram

    Yes yes yes yes yes!!!!
    Thanks Mick <3

  • xxx fff

    Heee! Divorce! seriously!?

    It violates Love and God hates it. It is not okay. There are also circumstances in which divorce isn’t wrong. It is a agreement. If anyone fails to fulfill the agreement or withheld important information that could have affected the signing of the agreement, the whole marriage is null and void. Marriage is based on sincerity and openness. Mat 19.9

    Since marriage between man and woman represents an aspect God’s love towards humanity – at least that that we humans can be able to grasp, divorce misrepresents this love and that is why God hates divorce. Having them being committed Christians does not make it right. It remains very wrong. So divorce cannot be used to explain why Christians should accept gays among them.

    Gayism on the other hand makes individuals imitate the character (masculinity or femininity) which maybe missing in their relationship. Why would a female gay couple need a woman with muscles or one that displays male qualities? Why would a male gay couple need a ‘male’ partner who has female qualities – and the other partner pretends not to fall for women. But this is a woman in a man. It is this lie that makes it hard to accept that gayism is a natural happening and not a condition of conditioning. More like how pornography affects a man’s interest for sex with his wife, Such a man could easily conclude he has little interest for women. Remove the pornography, you get the husband back.

    The urgement of acceptance should not surface because they are both wrongs. it is like a terrorist asking why he is not accepted yet a thief is accepted after they have served their sentence.

  • Elijah B WAr G

    Actually ts simple yes thr r both sins but 1Cor 6:12 states use yo bodies for Godz glory,sinning agst yo own body z not respecting the christ who sits in you, Cor 7:1-3 a man shld use hs body to satisfy wife,n woman husband, verse 10 & 15 gives an xclusion for divorce, ts not a guarantee but for 1 to stay in faith n by christ, divorce z no issue, but homosexuality not only violates against Godz order, ts one sin he severely punished showing wrath to the sodomites who did, ts not a sin btn two pple lyk divorce, but rather Sin to self, yo body, God, n the temple of christ

  • Elijah B WAr G

    but theres no point in letting another vice creep into society because we failed to stop the other, thats like cutting off your hands because you lost your legs