This past week, President Obama finally made clear and public his thoughts on same-sex marriage. It is not all that huge of a surprise. Much will be said by all sides as to why he chose now to do this. The politics involved at that level are beyond me.
There are so many different ways to process all of this. Our culture’s current addiction to twitter and soundbites will not be helpful at all. The reality is that it isn’t going away. More and more states are passing laws that define marriage and these political wars are getting harsher and harsher.
Stating The Obvious
Let me get the obvious out of the way. As a Christ-follower, I can’t in anyway be faithful to the scriptures and condone homosexuality or gay marriage or civil unions. It is a sin. One man, one woman, for life is the scriptural standard for marriage.
However – and I had this argument with a local politician last month – I am not prepared to hang the future of the entire civilization on ‘family values.’ Making gay marriage illegal is NOT going to fix our country. It’s just a symptom of a larger problem – the insatiable selfishness of people. That is the sin problem killing our world. I’m fairly certain that no legislation will ever cure that.
The larger point is this – as a Christ-follower, I have dual citizenship. In the Kingdom and in the USA. Sometimes they coexist peacefully, other times they do not.
As a citizen of the USA, I have the right and responsibility to vote and participate in government informed by my values. And I do so. In our system of government, I can vote, argue and challenge to get laws that confirm my understanding of truth and right. We chose this way over civil war. It’s not perfect but it’s better than the alternatives.
As a Christ-follower, I have another citizenship. One to the Kingdom. It’s not a democracy. There is one King. It’s here and I am already a part of it AND it is not yet fulfilled, not yet complete. I have no voice in what is right and wrong.
My Kingdom citizenship WILL prevail eventually, in the long run. It must prevail inside my own life. But I understand that more than likely, it will NOT prevail in the short-term. In fact, it will be persecuted and challenged. Jesus told us as much.
So while I will vote my conscious, my other citizenship tells me to expect persecution and hardship. Christ tells me to love my ‘enemies’ and be a blessing to those who curse me.
I do not want lying, cheating, or slander legal. I don’t approve of divorce or adultery or gossip or greed. However, I still hang out with ‘those’ kind of people. Some days, I am those kind of people. I still love them. ‘They’ still come to our church, worship in our church and serve. They are welcomed in our church.
Just as I can’t compromise the clarity of scriptures on issues such as homosexuality, I can’t compromise the clarity of scripture on how I am supposed to treat all people.
I will vote my beliefs as will the rest of the country. But we Christ-followers were told how the world would really come to know Jesus – and it wasn’t by how we vote.