I usually don’t write an off-the-cuff response to happenings in the world, but I’ve been sitting back, watching my social media timelines as people respond to the ruling that SCOTUS made Gay marriage legal in every U.S. state, including Hawaii and Alaska.
I’ve watched friends and colleagues rejoice with just the idea of knowing they can experience the fullness of life and love without fear of social or judicial rejection.
I’ve watched those on the fence, some who wrestle with not only their sexuality but their religious beliefs, be supportive and rejoice with those who rejoice.
I’ve also watched pastors, ministerial leaders, Gospel artists, right-wing conservative pundits and the like seemingly mourn at the news that Gay and Lesbian couples can now get married before an all-mighty God. In fact, I’ve seen more pseudo-outrage about this ruling from many Christian leaders than I have about the countless social injustices against Black and Brown people.
But that’s another conversation for another day.
I’ve seen the phrase “biblical marriage” thrown around 50-11 times in the last several hours as the marker for ideal and perfect representation of God’s design for marriage. And while I tend to be moderate in my views on marriage and maybe even considered traditional in some sense, I cannot, for the life of me, understand why a “biblical marriage” is the marker for social marital norms.
If anyone is willing to walk through Scripture BEYOND GENESIS 3 where Adam and Eve are joined as one (what we call marriage), we will see example after example after example of marriages that are the antithesis to what conservative religious views on marriage should be.
Deuteronomy 22:29 says that if a woman is raped, she must marry her rapist “for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.”
David, our favorite Psalmist and brother to the night had many wives and even entered into an adulterous relationship with someone else’s wife because he was greedy. (2 Samuel 11)
Solomon, David’s son, had 700 wives and 300 side pieces. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. (1 Kings 11:1-3)
Women who are divorced, according to Scripture, should be stoned. STONED. (Leviticus 20:10) Even Jesus tested this Old Testament law with a new interpretation in John 8 when the Pharisees looked to stone a woman who was an adulteress. We know that when Jesus starts drawing in the sand, writing God knows what, those who accused her left their stones on the ground and the woman in peace.
This notion of Biblical marriage, for all intents and purposes, is oppressive as hell. Especially to women.
But it’s the “biblical marriage” that we strive for, no?
This notion of a “biblical marriage” is fallacy. It holds no weight in the way we’d like it to, the way that limits and restricts who has access to this rite that we say God has ordained.
This interpretation of a “biblical marriage” only placates a highly patriarchal view of society, one that says men (historically white men) can determine what is the social norm. Funny enough, those who are often in positions of power that have directed this sail of “one man, one woman biblical standard” don’t stay true to their own vows, making this Scripture that they hold in such high regard the laughing stock outside the microcosm of Christianity.
Honestly, you’re better off just saying, “I don’t like homosexuality, it doesn’t make sense to me” than using the Bible as a crutch for “proper” marriage ties. We can’t cherry pick the Scripture to fit the mold that we’re in.
Anti-this because it ain’t you. For this because it is. Stop.
And if you really believe the Word to be what it is, a text of correction, grace, and love, and you have a problem with same sex marriage or homosexuality, do as the word says in Romans 2:1-4:
Those people are on a dark spiral downward. But if you think that leaves you on the high ground where you can point your finger at others, think again. Every time you criticize someone, you condemn yourself. It takes one to know one. Judgmental criticism of others is a well-known way of escaping detection in your own crimes and misdemeanors. But God isn’t so easily diverted. He sees right through all such smoke screens and holds you to what you’ve done.
You didn’t think, did you, that just by pointing your finger at others you would distract God from seeing all your misdoings and from coming down on you hard? Or did you think that because he’s such a nice God, he’d let you off the hook? Better think this one through from the beginning. God is kind, but he’s not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change. Romans 2:1-4, Message Version
Oh, that’s a tough text to follow, ain’t it? TOUGH.
In summary: It is the love of Christ that leads people to repentance. And sweeping around your own porch is more important than trying to hand the broom off to someone else to sweep theirs.
If you think what has happened today is so bad, so evil, so wrong, the proper Christian response is to undergird people with LOVE. If you’re so concerned about the souls and eternal well being of Gays and Lesbians, verse four tells us that it is LOVE that draws people to Christ.
If you’re a Christian “concerned” about a Gay or Lesbian person’s “eternal well being” and you ain’t lovin’ on a Gay today, you might not be as concerned as your faux-rage lets on.
Believe what you believe. Take whatever stance you’d like. But keep Scripture in its proper context if you’re going to do so, kay?
Whew. I’m done.
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On the Chase,