Gay Marriage: What does it means for the church?
As the summer heats up so it appears that our presidential politics is doing as well. It is not just enough that President Barack Obama has to govern this nation, but he has to campaign for the fall election also.
And, of course, every move he makes will be scrutinized even more as voters contemplate who will hold that high office come January 20, 2013.
Some may suggest that as current office holder he has a significant advantage because he can influence the conversation and discussion. The flipside of this is the proverbial microscope that will observe every decision and move that he makes.
One of the issues that resonate both good and bad is same sex marriage. President Obama placed this on the table for a national discussion by stating his personal belief with an affirmation of same sex marriage. With this announcement, television pundits, radio hosts, newspapers columnists and editorialists, bloggers, and even churches chimed in with their particular stance.
Was it political? Yes! Yes! Yes! Everything politicians do is political whether they do it for political reasons or not. Every decision they make has a political impact, especially when you are the president, then everything becomes political for one reason or another. It comes with the territory.
Decisions are either made for personal political reasons, or perhaps it will have a larger political impact on the people. Most politicians are aware of this and many of the decisions they make are calculated at a particular time for a particular reason in a particular season.
The president said supporting gay marriage was his personal belief. How will this impact policy remains to be seen. We should all wait and see if it does at all.
In regards to people of faith, some would suggest that the scriptures are clear about the issue and that settles it. Isn’t the scripture clear about divorce, adultery, fornication and taking care of the poor? However, I have yet to see anyone address these issues with the same tenacity and veracity as same sex marriage. And remember, the president did not say the church or mosque was mandated to support it.
The president’s decision will not affect my marriage at all. Believers’ real focus should be on staying married and not divorcing. That rate hovers around 50%.
If people are going to use their religious faith as the barometer for support or not, then the discussion should be done in the spirit of love.
These are just a few points for consideration in regards to this issue. It should be noted as well that we are a culture and society that is obsessed with sex in all its forms. Just take a look at the subliminal and overt messages that permeate what we see and hear. Could it be that we are so uncomfortable with sexuality that we are truly afraid to have a real discussion about our own personal proclivities? This is just another viewpoint that should be placed on the table in the discussion.
As a preacher I am often asked what does this all mean for the church. That is a good question and I certainly do not have all the answers. What I do know is that faith may be private, but it is not lived privately – faith is lived in the public square.
What does this mean as theology mingles with public policy? It is evolving. Take a look around. So what does it mean exactly for the church?
Gay marriage may not be as open and shut a case as some would think because – although some may be against it citing scripture – churches still take the money from people who may be homosexual and my guess is that are not giving it back.