California, Gay Marriages and the Church

California is legalizing gay marriages as of June 17, 2008. This has been passed before and then challenged in the courts. The courts have now decided that their ruling will stand even though it appears that in November the people of California will be voting on a constitutional amendment that could, if it passes, limit marriage as only between a man and a woman. If this amendment passes then any gay marriages recognized from June 17th to November 4th would become nullified.

The Christians are fighting to make sure marriage is defined legally (and not just by social norm) as a union of one man and one woman. Maybe we should define it as “a union between one man and one woman – one at a time” because born again Christians lead both in the divorce rate and in the remarriage rate. Wow! That leaves much room for thought, doesn’t it?

But here is why I am writing. Cindy Jacobs and others are trying to “rally the Christians to fight back against this ruling to halt lasting effects.” (Charisma article by Felicia Mann – June 5, 2008). Cindy is calling for ‘moral activism’. A little late isn’t it Cindy? The Church is becoming famous for closing the barn door after the horse is out. We are like toilet paper – always bringing up the rear.

Society decided numerous years ago to change the rules. The Gay Rights activists lobbied, poured in money, did some power brokering and succeeded in changing the minds of the general population. If not the general population then, at least, changing the minds of the legislators. Here in Canada where gay marriages are legal the population is 80%+ against gay marriages being recongized but the legislators passed the bill regardless of what those who elected them think about this issue. So much for democracy and representation by population.

It reminds me of the abortion issue which was the hot issue when I was first ordained many years ago. By the time the Church structure I belonged to at that time made its declaration against it with some exceptions the whole country – including members of that denomination – had already been influenced by non-Christian sources and had made up their minds. So, the Church actually closed the barn door long after the horse had left the stable. And, nobody was listening.

But here is my other concern. We are not addressing the real issue. The real issue is that our elected representatives and the population in general have no idea what the Christian Church believes and what moral standards we are trying to uphold. This is not the fault of society – it is the fault of the Church not doing its job of being salt and light in society. You cannot expect society, or any individual for that matter, to act like Christians until they are Christian. And unless the Church gets out there and shares the true Gospel of repentance from sin with godly sorrow (including the sin of homosexuality), receiving the free gift of forgiveness – that is really extremely costly as it will change your whole life – then we cannot expect the situation to change.

We need to stop expecting society to operate by Christian standards. Only Christians can be expected to live by the biblical standards as set out in God’s Word – and we all know that, in general, we are doing a fairly poor job of living by our own standards. Don’t expect them to act like Christians until they are Christians. And, instead of throwing stones (or trying to close the barn door after the fact) maybe we need to take a cold, hard look at ourselves and fix the problems we have – divorce, sexual sins in leadership and in the pew, lack of tithing, poor family relationships, lack of reaching out to touch neighbours and friends with the Gospel, and generally not living a Christian lifestyle that would allow those in darkness to see the light.

If we cleaned up God’s House first (as judgment begins at the House of the Lord) then the society we are trying to influence may hesitate for just a moment or two and take a look at the alternative called Christianity.

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