Originally written for Shepherd of the Ridge Lutheran Church, apply these ideas to your local context.
As the ELCA discusses the role or acceptance of LGBT clergy at the 2009 Churchwide Assembly, it seems like a good opportunity to discuss how God uses the sin in the world, not condoning it, but twisting it back to His glory. God never ceases to amaze me as He takes the pain and suffering and evil in the world, evil with no intrinsic good, and brings good from it just as He brought the universe from nothing. Best example: the Son of God is murdered, and the world gains eternal life.
While I’m saddened by the widespread dismissal of the Word of God as He speaks to the issue of sexuality, God will use this through us, and here’s how:
When Christians talk about “gay marriage,” they usually refer either to Leviticus or Romans. While both of these texts address homosexuality, I’m convinced that the “proof text” for Christians is found in Ephesians 5, God’s definition of marriage, and I believe it’s there we need to start in our discussions with others.
God defines marriage with a simple formula: one man, one woman, married for life. The man’s role is to serve his wife, giving his life over to her needs, and the wife acknowledges his loving service and supports him in love, so they give themselves to each other in lifelong service and self-sacrifice, modeling our relationship with Christ and showing that mutual unconditional love to each other.
Our society long ago already eliminated “married for a lifetime” from the equation, so it shouldn’t surprise us when the rest of the equation gets corrupted. But that formula isn’t just God being a bully—He wants us to know His love, and He has given us marriage that we may have a taste of His love. When we change the equation, we either end up with a church with no Savior or two Christs and nobody saved or church and Christ divided from each other without His unconditional love. And even on a practical level, if we eliminate God’s equation, we open marriage up to other corruptions like polygamy and more.
So take this opportunity to discuss the issue—it’s a “water cooler” topic now! And remember these points:
† All sexual sin, including heterosexual intimacy outside marriage, is equally rebellion against God but also equally forgiven by Christ’s blood.
† Jesus died for all people, regardless what sin tempts them. Since they were worth that much to Him, who are we to not love them?
† While some may find satisfaction in a man-made corruption of God’s natural order, God wants so much more for us—He wants us to know His love and experience it through each other until the great wedding feast on the last day.
Our rebellion against God’s good and loving will for us put Jesus on the cross, but on that same cross, we find our loving Bridegroom. God give us the opportunity to share His love through this sinful action and wisdom to season our discussions with the Good News of His true love.