In thirteen years since graduating high school a lot has changed, not just in my own life but in the life of America. We’ve gone from having President Bush to President Obama. I’ve gone from being single to being happily married, graduating seminary and leading Servants of Grace for thirteen years. While our nation has changed along with our lives, a few things have radically changed the way we live out our Christian lives every day. No I’m not talking about September 11th, 2001 although I believe that day changed America forever. Rather, I am talking about the debate over gay marriage. Growing up in Seattle, Washington, I was exposed to people who were gay and was often asked by them and other Christians what I thought about the issue. Even in Boise, Idaho, one of the most conservative states in the United States, we have a large gay population. Of all the issues that have come to the forefront in the past decade, I cannot think of anything that has been more prominent, forceful and with a more vocal demographic that wants its views to be known than the gay marriage issue.
America I believe is changing and not for the better. In the past decade we’ve seen our jobs increasingly exported as our economy continues to decline. Yet, in the midst of this economic chaos, we don’t see morality increasing. Many Americans today claim they are good people yet fail to understand their definition of good is lacking not to mention down right wrong. America is changing and is now known more for what it exports (pornography, movies, etc) than what it produces (cars, technology, etc). With generations of Americans addicted to pornography, overweight, and consumed by materialism what is our response? Is it to go to war? Is it to fight against the Supreme Court and view politics as supreme? While I believe responsible Christians need to vote with a biblical worldview in mind, I also know with this increasingly changing landscape, many Christians struggle to make sense of it all. They struggle to live out their faith and earnestly desire to know and make known the glory of God’s Gospel to their hurting neighbors. America is changing, but so is Christianity in America.
Christianity in America is changing from being more cultural to being authentic. In the coming days we are going to see the issue of gay marriage only increase because their goal is not just to dominate the headlines and push their agenda but to destroy marriage entirely. Some people may be alarmed by what I just said namely that “gay marriage wants to destroy marriage”, but I think the evidence is overwhelming. When gay marriage is put in effect, the evidence seems to suggest that gay “couples” will not get married. Why would people pushing for an ideology in the courts and in the public square not follow up with what they believe? What is the real agenda here? I believe it is to utterly destroy marriage and redefine it as something else. The whole gay marriage agenda is not restricted to just America. Countries such as New Zealand have legalized gay marriage and many other countries have also legalized gay marriage or are on the path to doing so. This isn’t a trend we are seeing but rather a sweeping change away from the godly values we once cherished and held in high esteem. What we are seeing is the ever evolving and changing face of a nation and a world that rejects and despises the God of the Bible who created man in His image and likeness and who established the institution of marriage. Furthermore, since the Apostle Paul says marriage is to be a reflection of Christ and the Church, this makes the attack on marriage a direct assault on God’s character and His glory.
The real question all of this raises is “Should Christians support gay marriage and view it as “equal rights” for those who believe in it?” The argument goes that everyone should have equal rights because to not have equal rights for everyone is to lack “tolerance”. While our secular culture accuses Christians of hypocrisy and being “old-fashioned” even telling us we are “preaching at them”, they are actually doing the same. Let’s be clear here. Those who support gay marriage have an agenda and that agenda is to do away with traditional family values and to expose their own values as “normal”. We already see this normalization taking place in our society with the vast increase of TV shows, movies and more showing gay marriage as normal. Case in point is the NBC show called “The New Normal” which depicts two gay men raising a child. If anything in the past decade has changed it is the outright flaunting of gay marriage as normal on our mass media. We do indeed live in changing times, one that will challenge us to stand not just for cultural change, but rather for gospel renewal in our nation.
The cultural battle is changing as our nation changes. While our nation is falling in love more with itself every day, Christians are called to stand up and be salt and light to our world. Christians are called to be holy, to speak the truth in love, and to do so with a view to faithfulness to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in every area of life. The question over who has “rights” and whether they are equal or not is really the wrong question to be asking. The real question we should ask is Who is the ultimate authority. We all want to appeal to our rights and our own opinions but they are as the writer of Ecclesiastes says “vanity” and grasping for the wind. Many of those who support gay marriage want to come to the Bible to persuade Bible-believing Christians of the rightness of their decision to be gay. Yet by coming to the Bible to prove their position, and preaching a message the Bible does not support, they demonstrate they have no fear of God and are in fact in rebellion against God and His Word. The cultural battle is shifting and what is needed now more than ever is renewal centered not on the opinions of man, but on the Word of God and the Gospel of the Lord Jesus. Many people are espousing that the cultural battle is over, but the truth is the battle is not over and Christians are to stand upon the Word and proclaim its truth all the more in faithfulness to God.
Faithfulness to God and His Word is what it is going to take in this day and age. Faithfulness is not a popular word. Many people think if I’m “faithful” my ministry and my life will go well and everything will be fantastic. They sing “All is well” and think all is truly well despite having struggles and issues in their lives they have no intention dealing with. All is not well in our lives and while every single one of us wants to sing that song with all of our hearts, we struggle to believe it. Life is messy and hard and Jesus never promised that Christianity would be a life of your best life now, but rather a life of taking up your Cross and following Him to the glory of God. Faithfulness is what is needed in this day and hour. More than anything in a country and a world that is changing, faithfulness to the Creator who created us in His image and likeness, faithfulness to your spouse and faithfulness to the Gospel are increasingly becoming countercultural and viewed as “odd”. As our world continues to decline, I plead with you beloved of God to be faithful to the Word of God, to the Gospel, and to your spouses that our world may see a picture of Christ and the glorious grace that has saved us, is sanctifying us and will one day glorify us.