Marriage Equality and Sin

Yesterday’s ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States in favor of marriage equality for homosexuals is viewed by many, especially religious people as sinful and shameful.

Is Allowing Marriage Equality a Sin?

As a professing follower of Christ, I am somewhat conflicted as to my own position on marriage equality. On the one hand, I do believe that homosexuality is a sin, and therefore should be against marriage equality on the basis of my own faith.

On the other hand, displayed his love for sinners without the need for seeking justice against such sin. He did list several major sins that keep people separated from God, and sexual immorality is one of the first listed by Jesus and his disciples in later books of the New Testament of The Bible.

Sexual immorality is not confined to homosexuality or to the issue of marriage equality. It is also inclusive of pornography usage, adultery, incest, debauchery, fornication, and a plethora of other sins against our own bodies. Jesus even mentioned that to get divorced is to commit adultery. These sins seem pleasurable at first, but eventually change who we are as people and even at times enslave us in a lifestyle where our every thought is plagued with this sin.

On the other hand, Jesus was neither protesting for nor against marriage equality in Israel. He left no instruction for how the church should handle the issue of marriage equality when it arose in the United States in 2015. He certainly did not provide a framework for how his followers should ridicule the Supreme Court for issuing this decision in favor of marriage equality.

It was the Pharisees and Sadducees who placed undue emphasis on law and legalistic viewpoints. Jesus rebuked these religious leaders for their strict rules and definitions of sin. They would have stoned anyone who displayed any homosexual desires, let alone a cry for marriage equality. Jesus overlooked the sin of those he encountered in order to minister to the lost. It is my belief that if he were here today he would say that we need to look past the issue of marriage equality to things that are eternal in nature. It is my hope and prayer that those who claim to be followers of Christ will remember that we are all sinners, and each one of us needs to display the love and provide the opportunity that Jesus did for us, regardless of how they view marriage equality.

Matthew 22:36-40 New International Version (NIV)

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

While Jesus did not leave any instructions specifically on the issue of marriage equality or on whether backing the cause of marriage equality or even allowing our government to provide for marriage equality, he did leave some advice on how to handle a government faithfully while still following Him:

Matthew 22:20-22 New International Version (NIV)

and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.

Let’s stop the social media crusades against certain groups of people, especially with regards to marriage equality. Let’s look past people’s sin to see their shame and provide the love and care that Christ provided while he was on earth. He did not see prostitutes or thieves in his company, but rather a broken and needy people who were burdened by the laws of the religious leaders of their day. If we expect perfection from people, God will expect perfection from us. We will be held to the same standard and level of accountability as we hold others, so let us take off the burden from our shoulders by lightening the load we give to others. You don’t have to agree or support someone else’s choices in order to love, minister to, and care for them.

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