Homosexual Marriage 1: Speaking the Truth in Love
Eighteen countries as of June 26th 2015 have legalised same-sex marriage. We are living in a time when things are the worst they have ever been on the question of homosexuality. John Piper writes about what is new in this trend of legislation, ‘What’s new is not even the celebration and approval of homosexual sin. Homosexual behaviour has been exploited, and revelled in, and celebrated in art, for millennia. What’s new is normalisation and institutionalisation. This is the new calamity.’ We have seen the flood of rainbows in the Media in support of the latest legalisation in the USA.
Ironically this symbol is borrowed from the bible after the flood when God had just punished the world for those sorts of sins. The Christian response has not always been good. There have been those who have celebrated along with the world this bible denying move. There have been other Christians who have been belligerent and trolled the internet for forums to pour out their hate. Today I would like us to respond as we should in all situations like this, by speaking the truth in love. We are not going to advocate a pacifist withdrawal and a fatalist I-told-you-so posture; nor are we going to be the angry activist who overreacts. No, God is on the throne, He is unmoved, He is in control, He has sovereignly ordained all that is happening as He works out His purposes for salvation, punishment and purification. I would like to suggest that Jesus at the well with the Samaritan woman is the way we ought to be the church in this madness. I so much appreciated reading Russell Moore’s comments, ‘The church must prepare for the refugees from the sexual revolution. We must prepare for those, like the sexually wayward Woman at the Well of Samaria, who will be thirsting for water of which they don’t even know.’2 Christ told the woman the truth, He did not rant, and He offered what she truly needed in love.
Today there are those who are all truth with no love. Think of Westboro Baptist Church, ‘WBC pickets approximately six locations every day, including many in Topeka and some events farther afield. On Sundays, up to 15 churches may receive pickets. By their own count, WBC has picketed in all 50 U.S. states. The group carries out daily picketing in Topeka and travels nationally to picket the funerals of gay victims of murder, gay-bashing or people who have died from complications related to AIDS; other events related or peripherally related to homosexuality; Kansas City Chiefs football games; and live pop concerts. As of March 2009 the church claims to have participated in over 41,000 protests in over 650 cities since 1991. One of Westboro’s followers estimated that the church spends $250,000 a year on picketing.’3 They may have the right understanding that the bible is against homosexuality but they turn the truth into weapon when they conduct themselves in this way.
An example of love without truth is Ken Wilson the pastor of a Charismatic Vineyard church who came out pro-gay marriage. He talks about going to a church made up of LGBTs and experiencing God there, ‘It was as if someone had gathered a congregation of sexually excluded Christians and I was just taken aback by the clear presence of Jesus in that assembly of people.’4 This emotional experience added to why he went the way he did. We want to chart a course that is true to the bible’s teaching on the issue as well as show the compassion of Christ while not compromising those truths. Truth spoken in hate becomes a lie, and love without truth to define it ceases to be love.