Two weeks ago New York became the sixth state to legalize gay marriage. It joins Connecticut, Iowa Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. Some polls show that public opinion in America has shifted from opposition to support of gay marriage in just a decade’s time.
Our world is changing. How should Christ’s Church respond?
FIRST, we must not respond with hate. Paul said, “…our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against...the spiritual forces of evil…” (Ephesians 6:12). Vilifying and indentifying as evil those who stand on the other side of this “issue” results in deluding ourselves that we are somehow spiritually superior. Beware of casting off the humility of Christ.
John Wesley is a help here: “Be angry at sin, as an affront offered to the Majesty of heaven; but love the sinner still: Like our Lord, who ‘looked round about upon the Pharisees with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts.” He was grieved at the sinners, angry at sin. Thus be thou “angry, and sin not!’” (Sermon 33, Sermon on the Mount, Discourse 13).
SECOND, we must not respond with fear. Fear of public opinion, of being in the minority, of being hated and accused of hate and prejudice will result in quieting the church. If we give into fear we will fail to speak out lovingly and take a firm stand. Do we love the souls of our gay friends and family members enough to refuse to condone their actions and bless their choices?
Jesus prepared us for the backlash against the righteous: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” - John 15:18-19 (NIV)
If the person who has chosen a gay lifestyle has no representative of Christ in their life who lovingly yet firmly disagrees with them, how will they experience the love and holiness of God so they might return to Him?
I can plod. I can persevere in any definite pursuit. To this I owe everything.
- William Carey
My name is Tim Kirkes. I am honored to be the a child of my heavenly Father, the husband of Lisa, the father of two boys and the pastor of San Dimas Wesleyan church.