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The Modern Family

Homosexuality is one of the most polarizing issues in our world. The gay rights movement has been one of the most successful movements in recent memory, nailing their strategy of swinging the pendulum of an entire culture from “it’s unnatural” to “it’s completely normal” - from “we can’t talk about that” to “we see that every day” – all in less than 30 years. Homosexuality is also one of the most difficult issues to address in America because the minute anyone asks questions about it, they are profiled as close minded and unintelligent, ridiculed for holding such an ‘old fashioned’ view. It has gotten to a point where very few people will voice their opposition to the movement for fear of who they might offend or how they might be ridiculed.

I am not going to talk about homosexuals here; rather homosexuality. After all, one of the strokes of genius for the gay rights movement was to make it impossible to talk about the issue of homosexuality apart from “attacking” real people. Their strategy was to make it impossible to talk about “it” by making it about “them”. My intention is to approach the subject with grace while providing a lens through which Christians should interact with it on a philosophical level.

‘It’ has become a talking point in political campaigns and many ‘progressively’ minded Christian circles. Many denominations have come to accept homosexuality, some accepting it is a reality for ordained ministers. Most of us have friends that have found an identity in this movement. And the media is in full force trying to make it a commonplace idea in the lives of every American. By the late 90’s, nearly every TV show had a representative for this movement. At first it was subtle. Those who portrayed the movement were friendly, quirky, and likeable. Their sexual orientation wasn’t a main theme in the show but one-liners here and there over the course of many years softened us to the idea. Then a group of more progressive shows began to surface which put more of an emphasis on sexual orientation. And finally we have arrived with situational comedies like “New Normal” and “The Modern Family” which are focused on showcasing the new way we do family in America. As a student of leadership, I have found the gay rights movement to be one of the best case studies for designing and executing an overwhelmingly difficult strategy. Everyone reading this has been impacted by that strategy in one way or another over the last 30 years.

The current cultural debate is not really about human rights. Every citizen of the United States has equal access to the bill of rights regardless of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. What advocates are standing for is the right for the equal expression of marriage. Marriage has traditionally been defined as a sacred covenant, undertaken by a man and a woman, before God. And as I will explain, there is good reason for the marriage relationship to exist within the confines of that definition.

I often hear people on both sides of the argument use scripture to debate it. The people on one side point to parts of the Bible that clearly speak against it. People on the other side point to external sources that propose that the other side has misconstrued what those verses really mean. But I believe the biblical view is embedded in the overarching narrative.

In the beginning, God created man in His image. Then He created woman in His image. Genesis records she was taken “out of man” – ‘and for this reason a man will leave His father and mother and be united to His wife. And the two shall become one’. In the union between husband and wife, two become one. It is a picture of the Godhead Himself (3 in 1). In marriage, we see the image of God on its fullest display: a man in God’s image united with a woman in God’s image – over time the oneness they grow into is a model of God himself. Both genders expose something unique about God, and together a man and a woman can express a beautiful picture of God Himself to everyone who sees. And out of their union children are born. Life itself is created in the joining of male and female. This is why marriage is such a sacred assembly. My chief question about homosexuality is how these truths about marriage are fulfilled within it.

As I understand the metanarrative, homosexuality doesn’t fit in the story. And accepting it as part of the story when it doesn’t fit is a precarious path for the church to pursue. I’ll end with the thought that when God created everything he said it was good or “functional”. The first time that He saw something in His created order that wasn’t functional was when He saw that man was alone – so He created woman. “And it was very functional”.

With all this being said, all people should be able to identify those who follow Jesus by our love. In many ways being ‘right’ is a very dangerous objective to chase. All people are our neighbors. Our lives should be centered on inviting people to live in the restoration Jesus provides, and only the Holy Spirit can convict people to change – we should be content to allow him to do His work.

Comments

  1. I appreciate the grace and love with which this was written. A Biblically founded approach to an often misunderstood and misconstrued conversation.I find myself in complete agreement with what was written, and I hope followers of Christ can model their view and speech with the humility and wisdom demonstrated here.

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  2. Thank you so much for the kind words Ben!

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  3. Wonderfully written...the truth that many, including myself, have not known how to put into words.

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  4. Thank you Courtney! I appreciate it :)

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  5. Its true, we have to ask "we would want to be right or have relationship?" Loving people were they are at is biblical. The problem comes when people interpret our loving them or accepting them as condoning their sin. As a Pastor I have to draw the line when any person wants to flaunt their sin in the Christian community and use it to divide the unity we have as brethren (unity based on the commandments of scripture). That's why its better for me go into the community of the sinner and "love them" to Christ rather than wait for them to come to me in my Christian community.

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