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Gay Marriage and the Church

Today the Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage is legal in all 50 states in America. This has caused an enormous uproar in the church.

I grew up in the church. As a young boy, I was very active, singing, worshipping, and praying; which also caused me to be very aware. I noticed quite a bit! I fell in love with the church and all it has to offer. But I also saw her flaws and all her indiscretions. She’s not perfect nor are her members.

I’ve witnessed infighting between parishioners, lay and clergy. I’ve seen cheating and the destruction of relationships between church leaders and pastors. I’ve seen married men sleeping with multiple women and I’ve seen married women conceive and bare children from men other than their husbands. In some places pastors have impregnated teenage girls, fondled young boys, and spread sexually transmitted diseases to congregants. Some leaders have robbed the church blind and others have been drug users, sitting in the pulpit with cocaine in their pockets.

I’ve seen the church misappropriate scripture for personal gain, prophesy falsely, ignore the poor, discriminate against women, self-segregate, oppress minorities, exalt wicked leaders, exploit the generosity of benevolent people, and shake down their members for their last two mites.

The threat or reality of same sex marriage will not destroy the church if none of these things have yet.

Currently, Christians have a 50% divorce rate. My step-father, who is also a pastor, is working on his 3rd marriage. The sanctity of marriage was in trouble long before today’s Supreme Court decision, yet many Christians strive to preserve “traditional” or biblical” marriage. But what does that mean?

Father Abram/Abraham prostituted his own wife Sarai/Sarah for sheep, oxen, donkeys, slaves and camels (Genesis 12:14-16). Solomon had over 700 wives and 300 concubines that ultimately led to the collapse of his kingdom (I Kings 11:3). Rachel and Leah shared a husband (Genesis 29:27-28). Ester was one wife among many (Esther 1:12). Gomer cheated on Hosea repeatedly, he even had to purchase her back from men she “belonged” to (Hosea 3). Husbands in the Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near East routinely considered women as property and often “willed” them to brothers after death.

So which biblical example are we to follow?

The courts, the government, the president are not evangelical missionaries nor are they pastors. Their job is not to advance the cause of the church or to govern according to scriptural interpretation. I am grateful to have a Supreme Court and federal government that believe in equality and strive to establish it through the law; because biblical example often fails to do so.

The church must focus its attention on the many problems that already persists within its ranks. The government establishing marriage equality is not a problem for the church. Hungry people, people without a living wage, child sex trafficking, gender inequality, racism, these are more urgent problems. For if married gays are going to hell for ignoring the bible, aren’t we all?!

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