In my post yesterday, which was far from perfect, I was simply making the point, reinforced by the scriptural passage at the end, how we as Christians, as followers of Jesus are to live lives markedly different from the world in terms of holiness. Yes, a passion for justice Jesus seemed to emphasize. But not by abandoning righteousness and holiness. Just read the Sermon on the Mount. I did mention the issue of gay marriage and homosexuality. That actually needs to be treated separately, given the issue itself and all that is swirling around it.
A comment after that post, even if on edge, I found helpful. And I would agree. Yes, Christians should have religious freedom, and if they don’t want to bake the cake, or take the pictures for a gay wedding, than that should be their prerogative. Religious freedom is supposed to be a given in this country, and it should be in terms of all of life, not just in church. But what does it mean for us to follow Jesus? What about the many of us who still hold to traditional marriage and find scripture upholding the same, as well as not finding the relatively recent reinterpretation of scripture altogether convincing, not at all so in overturning the basic teaching on homosexuality? The whole issue today in that score is riveting in that there are scholars and churches who seem open and it seems inevitable that a shift will continue. But by and large, no matter what some say, I can’t see a wholesale shift ahead at least not with evangelicals or those of the Great Tradition. Because the case for the new understanding in my view doesn’t stand up all that well when all is said and done in the study of the relevant passages along with the Book as a whole. My view.
But for us, what does that mean? Yes, we should be marked by holiness, a holiness which doesn’t excuse any sin, be it adultery and lust as is satisfied by too many through pornography. Instead we need to be marked by faithful marriages which weather the inevitable storms of life. By the quality of our lives. By abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage.
But hopefully needless to say we need to be marked by love as well. We should be known as those who roundly love each other in sacrificial ways. And we should be known as those who love sinners. We are sinners too, forgiven and being made holy, but nevertheless broken in ourselves. So that we all stand on the same level at the foot of the cross. We need to find creative ways of expressing that love across the board. And maybe all the more so to those who believe they are being relegated to a special status of sinners, treated worse than all the rest. Maybe it’s especially those people who we need to search out and befriend. To show them the love of Jesus, and simply to befriend them and enjoy them as human beings, made in God’s image as we are, all of us broken.
So yes, bake the cake. Attend the wedding. Take the pictures. At least think of creative ways you can share the love of Christ, even if you find that you have to draw lines. We may not be able to see it as a normal wedding. But they do. And we have to accept that. It is the gospel which is the power of God for salvation. We all need Jesus.