The line has been drawn. Marriage has been re-defined. One word rises again and again. Love. If we as Christians are to love our neighbor, shouldn’t we agree with the re-definition of marriage? Let’s talk about love. What does the Bible say love does?
Love “…rejoices in the truth;” 1 Corinthians 13:6
Love looks for truth and is glad in it . If I love someone I should want what is true for them, what God wants for them.
“But, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” Ephesians 4:15-16
Love speaks what is true in an uplifting way. Love does not tear down.
Is Love a suggestion? Glennon from Momastary writes:
“In the Gospel Jesus makes it crystal clear that if we are going to take seriously only one of his suggestions – we should make it this one: love your neighbor as yourself. I think there is a big difference between simply loving someone and loving someone as yourself. For example: when a married Christian says that he loves gay people but can’t support marriage equality, it strikes me as an incomplete kind of love. Because loving your neighbor as you love yourself, I think, must mean that you bestow every right you claim for yourself onto your neighbor.” Momastery
We must get this straight, Jesus did not suggest. Love is essential to our walk with Christ. Love is not the greatest suggestion, it is His command.
“Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:34-40
“Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” Romans 13:10
Taking God’s Word “seriously” is not a matter of throwing out sections of His Word, the truth, and only focusing on one or two commands. Rather, it’s a matter of what are all the commands based on? If we follow these two “great” commands then we will essentially be fulfilling all — following the truth. If love presents and rejoices in the truth, love will not throw out truth and only follow it partially. What is truth?
“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your[God’s] word is truth.” John 17:17
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6
If I become the one to judge what is right for my neighbor then I’m putting the decision of right and wrong in my hands. What is truth? God’s Word is truth. Not my word, nor anyone else’s — God’s Word. Whom are we called to love first in the great commands? God. The Truth. If your love for the Truth comes first then your love for your neighbor can be complete. Can we really love a person and disagree with them at the same time? Think of the person you love the most and tell me if you have agreed with absolutely everything they have ever been, done, or said. I would venture to say we generally don’t agree with anyone 100% of the time. Yet we still love. Family Talk has an excellent broadcast on this subject of loving homosexuals. Not hating on them and saying it’s love, but practical advice on how to live out love and still stand with the Truth.
If I love God (the Truth) then He is the one I should be looking to for my standards of what is right and wrong for myself and for my neighbor. If I see my neighbor going against the truth of God’s Word would it be love for me to be silent and say nothing about the truth? Obviously, I cannot make decisions for my neighbor. However, the way in which I react to my neighbors’ decision is up to me. I can choose to point to the Truth in love, or create my own “truth” to make an easy, more comfortable experience between my neighbor and me.
Just so we’re clear, love does not throw out relationships when things look messy or uncomfortable. I am glad my parents did not throw out their relationship with me as I struggled through pride and anger. I am also glad they did not accept my prideful attitudes/actions as good. They showed love in sticking it out, pointing to the truth of my errors. Love remains. Their support was of me as a person, but not of my wrong attitudes. I, in turn, must choose to die daily to my pride. If I am truly to follow God I must give up anger and pride, almost on a daily basis sometimes. You may say anger and homosexuality are totally different subjects. Whom has God called to give up pride and anger? Whom has God called to give up homosexuality? Those who have trusted Christ as their Savior.
“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: …hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions… just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21
This list is bad news for me if I’m trying to make it on my own.
“But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice… since you have put off the old man with his deed. “ Colossians 3:8-9
Christ has saved me from the penalty of my sin, He has called me to put off the old ways and follow Him. I’m in the same boat as the people listed below. Sin, is sin, is sin. There’s not a scale of bad, badder and baddest.
“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites… will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus…”1 Corinthians 6:9-11
We are all called to give something up when we follow Christ. We are called to give up “my” way and follow God’s way. For one it might be homosexuality, while the other is called to give up anger and pride. Without Christ, giving up “my way” doesn’t make any sense. Christ is our greatest need, not changing whether or not my neighbor practices homosexuality or outbursts of anger. If you trust Christ as your Savior He begins to change you. As believers we are called to come as we are, but we are not called to leave as we came.
What about Momastery’s argument of complete love meaning we must bestow every right I claim onto my neighbor? Let’s look at conditions to a law. There are conditions to most laws, and yes certain laws benefit one group over another. Would you believe it, the benefit of marriage is not available to all, even after the recent ruling in favor of gay marriage. A 21-year-old man and a 13-year-old girl in love are not allowed to walk down the isle together. Can we really discriminate against them? Why should age matter? As long as they both are in agreement and no one is getting hurt, what’s the big deal? How about a man who loves three women and wants to be married to all of them at the same? Can we really deny them a government sanctioned union? What about a woman who loves her faithful dog? Why can’t she and her pet have the rights bestowed on married couples? Why would any of these issues matter if we must bestow all the rights on others that I myself enjoy? Where do we draw the line, and more importantly, if we take this stance do we have the right to draw any line at all?
But funny enough, we have drawn lines. With all our talk of equality we still have parameters to follow. It used to be marriage was permitted between male and female. They said it was discrimination to not allow same gender marriage. Society has redefined that line, saying marriage is to be permitted between two adults regardless of their gender. We may or may not be able to change laws concerning marriage to go back to the way God defines it. However, to agree or not to agree with these changes, that is our choice.
Consider this. If discrimination, or lack thereof, is our parameter for making parameters then we MUST continue to broaden our definition of marriage. We MUST not discriminate against age, animals, multiple spouses, and sibling marriages. You may scoff at this statement and say it is crazy to even suggest we would stand for broadening the law to allow those unions. If we as Christians accept society ordained parameters and conditions without a blink of an eye, why is it so difficult for us to accept the union of marriage as God defined it, between a man and a woman? The line was drawn; marriage was defined by Truth. Who are we to redefine what we did not create in the first place?