The bottom line of the same-sex marriage debate is this: The LGBT community is requesting to participate in the legal right and/or sacrament of marriage. The Christian community and others say: “No, you cannot participate in the sacrament of marriage.” Some may say “no” on the sacrament and “yes” on the legal right part of the issue.
At minimum, the following reasons are reasons why I won’t condemn homosexuals. Mainly, though, these are the reasons I support same-sex marriage, both as a legal right and as participating in the sacrament.
#1 – Legal reasoning: The death penalty for being gay still exists
It would be rare (I think and hope) to find a Christian in American who supports making laws to put gays in prison for life or to kill them just for being gay. However, that is the legal reality of most of Africa, and in numerous parts of the world.
The first and foremost reason I support same-sex marriage is that it would be a step toward eliminating the legal penalties that exist around the world for being gay.
#2 – Logical reasoning: There is no pain inflicted on other people
If all the gay people in the world suddenly started got married, would that really hurt other people? You may not (and don’t have to) like it or participate in it. But really, with all the violence, pain, suffering, hunger and and strife in this world, I think Christians really should not be expending so much energy to forbid same-sex marriage.
# 3 – Moral reasoning: Do the supreme “right thing”
Morality is a system or doctrine that defines “conformity to ideals of right human conduct”. As a Christian, I cannot elevate ANY doctrine above the greatest command: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” And the second greatest command is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” And furthermore, Jesus defines this greatest command to love as “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” Whether our conscience guides us to support or oppose same-sex marriage, Christians on both sides would be far more effective by remembering the highest “right conduct”: love.
# 4 – Biblical reasoning: No prohibition of same-sex marriage
When I understand the six gay-slamming Bible verses in context, I see only a warning against promiscuity, sexual experimentation and harmful gang rape. Christians are right to use Scriptural teaching to speak out against (with civility?) those activities. Yet in no verse do I see a prohibition of same-sex, monogamous marriage. I see no reason to forbid certain people to marry. And while we ought to have a much higher regard for the doctrines of celibacy, I also contend that we should apply the same reasoning about marriage toward homosexuals as we do in regard to heterosexuals: “if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” 1 Corinthians 7:8-10 Monogamous, same-sex marriage is actually a restraint against sexual immorality.
Why in the world would God allow some of the Leviticus laws in Judaism? I contend that all of Leviticus points to Jesus. The homosexual reference in Leviticus, I contend, was put there by God so that the condemnation of homosexuals would be forever abolished on the cross. The 613 laws of Judaism were ended by being nailed to the cross. This is a part of the gospel that has been lost in Western Christianity, I contend. If anything, Christians ought to be proclaiming the joy and freedom God gave to homosexuals, helping them to overcome guilt and condemnation!
In fact, I contend that if Christians would approach the LGBT community with love and honesty, I believe many of them would realize they do not really believe in the gospel Jesus proclaimed. Many, I contend, would discover that they really believe in obeying the law rather than in the grace of God. Many others would find that they have adhered to a form of Judaism, and not Christ-likeness. I further believe the LGBT Bible teachers have the greatest opportunity to know and preach and live the gospel of Jesus to Christendom.
More thoughts on Biblical reasoning in regard to sames-sex issues:
#5 – Historical reasoning: No gay cure
As time passes, we human beings have discovered much in the world and universe around us. In regard to homosexuality, we’ve found that there is a sexual orientation that cannot be changed. Yes, there are people among all orientations who are just experimenting or playing around. Those people are confusing the issues, I think. But a truly same-sex oriented person simply is just that– and will be for their entire life. I believe we must factor this into whatever our position is on this issue. For example, trying to find a “gay cure” is just not going to work.
#6 – Historical reasoning: The inquisition mindset is wrong
Until the 12th and 13th century, and until the inquisitions became fully active (1200-1500), there was debate and discussion about homosexuality, but not widespread penalties. “After the twelfth century Christian tolerance and acceptance of gay love seems to disappear with remarkable rapidity. The writings of St. Aelred disappeared because they were kept locked up in Cistercian monasteries until about eight years ago, when for the first time Cistercians could again read them. Beginning about 1150, for reasons I cannot adequately explain, there was a great upsurge in popular intolerance of gay people. There were also at this time violent outbursts against Jews, Muslims, and witches. Women were suddenly excluded from power structures to which they had previously had access-no longer able, for example, to attend universities in which they had previously been enrolled. double monasteries for men and women were closed. There was suspicion of everyone. In 1180 the Jews were expelled from France.” (Source)