I shared the following this morning at the request of a close friend who wanted my thoughts on how best to respond to the gay marriage issue in a practical vein. I offer them with hope that they may prove helpful to others:
The challenge in confronting any contemporary issue is that such is always tied to culture that by definition is confined to a commonly held set of beliefs and practices. Culture is always transitory and subjective. Take flag flying for example. In American culture at this moment displaying a rainbow flag is expressing freedom of speech while the same culture clamors against raising a historic symbol of the Confederate States of America from the 1860’s. What I’m getting at is the need for Christ-followers to look to that which is above culture, not for the purpose of taking a stand, but rather to have a confident standard against which to consider every momentary and subjective cultural voice. These steps are always in order when addressing cultural muddle:
– Examine Scripture critically (the Bible can never mean today what it didn’t mean when written), and determine the best biblical response to the issue/practice.
– Explore the cultural issue with an open mind so that personal preference does not cloud biblical principle.
– Listen with compassion to persons directly affected.
– As God grants opportunity, articulate biblical perspective as a matter of compassion rather than debate.
– Love the individual without condoning aberrant practices or conceding biblical values.
– Be known more by what you favor than by what you oppose.
Hopefully, Christians will respond to this and any other cultural quandary in a manner brings light to a darkened culture and, in so doing, rightly reflects the Lord Jesus Christ who offers salvation and abundant life indiscriminately.