The Debate Over Same-Sex Marriage
While We Slept
When four justices in a Massachusetts courtroom ruled that it was unconstitutional to bar homosexuals from marriage, they set in motion a series of dominoes that no one—not even the gays themselves—could have predicted. In courtrooms throughout different parts of the country, judges flaunted the law and ‘married’ jubilant homosexuals. Repeatedly, the media interviewed those who insisted that the ‘weddings’ were constitutional, other laws not withstanding.
The reason that the Massachusetts decision to legalize same-sex marriages was so widely accepted, is that the judges spoke into a cultural climate that had already been conditioned to accept the possibility of homosexual marriages. Mayor Daley here in Chicago, a devout Catholic, said that he would, “have no problem if gay marriages would be performed in his city hall.” The fact that he could say this without any fear of political backlash is a commentary on our times. Even though the majority of people say they are opposed to gay marriages, Mayor Daley knew that their opposition was so tepid that they would be unable to mount formidable opposition. The mayor could count on churches, whether Catholic or Protestant, to roll over and play dead. The voices of many have been silenced, in the midst of what has to be regarded as the most damaging social experiment to ever be attempted in America.
The story of how approximately 2% of the population has been able to impose its agenda on America and marginalize all opposition, is one that needs to be told. Here I can only point out that with divorce available for convenience’s sake, the word family has begun to take on new meanings. Now it is common for the mother to raise the children alone, or with a new husband, or at least a new lover. Meanwhile, the husband and father goes on to pursue the relationships which he deems are ‘best’ for him. Children raised without their father’s love and protection become vulnerable to sexual experimentation and abuse.
Meanwhile tolerance has become our national icon. Once, this word meant that people should be free to believe whatever they wish. But now it means that they can do whatever they wish, and it is improper to judge their conduct. We must affirm virtually all behavior, no matter how immoral, unnatural and bizarre. With these streams flowing into our national culture, much of America was ready for same-sex marriages.
The media, ever obedient to the gay agenda, paints those of us who oppose same-sex marriages as vengeful and hateful. However, the vast majority of those who are opposed to same-sex marriages are not hate mongers. We cannot allow the media’s bias to silence us. Difficult days lie ahead for us as a church, and we must lovingly respond. After all, is not the truth of the Gospel best seen in the light of harassment and misrepresentation?
Many of us have watched the gay community with great concern. But now we can no longer simply watch. With the possibility that the definition of marriage will be expanded to include same-sex marriages, we must ask: What can we do at this late hour? And if we cannot change the present, what are we doing to change the future?
The kind of society we have for our children and grandchildren is at stake.
Responding as a Christian to Same-Sex Marriage
Homosexuality is such an emotionally-charged issue that it’s increasingly difficult to discuss it rationally. Here, Pastor Lutzer provides a few guidelines and thoughts to help you consider and develop your response.
Q: You say that the story of how 2% of the population could sway public opinion needs to be told. Could you elaborate?
A: In 1973, homosexual activists persuaded The American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality from its list of psychiatric illnesses and reclassify it as normal behavior. This change was made, not because of scientific data, but because radicals planned a systematic effort to disrupt the annual meetings of the APA. One prominent psychiatrist said it was the first time in psychiatric history that a scientific society ignored scientific evidence and yielded to the demands of a militant group.
Through this action, the radical gay movement let it be known that its agenda would proceed (1) regardless of research, science and dialogue and (2) that intimidation would be one of its weapons to achieve its agenda, no matter what.
Details of how the nation could be persuaded to accept the homosexual agenda were worked out by homosexual activists. It included disinformation, winning the allegiance of sympathetic media, and intimidation. All of these strategies have worked beyond our imagination.
Q: You’ve written a book about same-sex marriages. How would you describe it?
A: First and foremost, I’ve attempted to aim at redemption, not rancor. We must lower our voices in this debate, speaking with respect and dignity. No matter how strongly we oppose the homosexual agenda, we are first of all called to be Christians who have the privilege of representing Christ to all the communities of the world, regardless of class, color, nationality or ‘gender orientation.’
Second, this is a book written with the same compassion for the gay community that we should have for all who share this hurting planet. We must never speak of homosexuality as if it is the one sin worthy of the eternal flames. Yes, the Bible does condemn homosexuality, but it also condemns a host of other sins that are rampant in the best of our churches. If we can only shout at homosexuals across a chasm, be assured we will hear only the echo of our own voice.
Q: What do you have to say to those who have a homosexual son or a lesbian daughter?
A: We’ve all known families with gay children, whether sons or daughters. I recall one man who was quick to denounce homosexuality, and then discovered to his everlasting chagrin that his own son was gay. Rather than repenting of his self-righteous attitude, this father, in what he deemed to be a grand show of consistency, disinherited his son, telling him he was no longer welcome at home. Of course the father was right in disagreeing with his son’s lifestyle, but quite wrong in his response to his own flesh and blood. We should not be surprised that his son flaunted his ‘gayness’ and became a leader in the homosexual movement.
Q: Many people, especially in the media, say that all opposition to homosexuality is based on hate and bigotry. How do we respond?
A: First, those Christians who do oppose homosexuality in hatred need to look at Galatians 5:19–21, where Paul speaks of sexual immorality and hatred in the same breath as the sins of those who will not inherit the Kingdom. Second, it’s important to remember what sin is. We believe firmly that sin not only displeases God, but harms the individual who sins (and others). Therefore, as the Bible tells us that homosexuality is a sin, opposing it is based on a desire to prevent spiritual and emotional pain. It’s “hate speech” only if warning someone that they’re about to walk off a cliff is also “hate speech.” Opposing any sin should be based on love and concern for the sinner.
Q: If you could speak to the homosexual community, what would you say?
A: First, I would speak about the sins of the church. I’d point out that we have failed homosexuals by refusing to deal with the sins among us. Second, we have also failed them by failing to distinguish between the radical homosexuals whose agenda we oppose and the homosexuals who are in our churches who struggle with their sexuality. This is no time for self-righteous finger-pointing. We have to humble ourselves before God and others.
Q: Do you think same-sex marriages will be legalized nationwide?
A: Quite possibly. We are in a cultural current driven by the media and liberal churchmen, all of whom are beating the drums for same-sex marriages. If God doesn’t come to our aid, we will take one more step downward in our spiritual and moral spiral. I fear for our young people and children. Every Christian needs to be informed, to be an influence, and to pray.