Saturday, November 01, 2014

SERMON: Great debate on marriage

By CLINT DECKER, Hope For Today | 4/5/2013

Based on the results of a survey conducted by The Pew Research Center, “a fierce debate is taking place” across America. What are they are talking about? Gay marriage.    

As the movement to legalize gay marriage has gained strength in recent years, it has received strong opposition from the Christian community. Arguments have been made against Christians, encouraging them to acknowledge that times have changed and they should change with them. Helping with that line of thinking, the gay movement has utilized acceptable phrases like “marriage equality,” “civil rights,” “tolerance” and “diversity” to its advantage. Such advocates’ compelling and effective campaign has raised two significant issues in my mind — freedom and truth. The gay community wants freedom to practice their lifestyle and pursue measures to normalize and legalize it in our culture, while the Christian community, which is governed by Biblical truth, seeks to remain faithful to its beliefs and resists any legal measures to force their compliance.

Based on the results of a survey conducted by The Pew Research Center, “a fierce debate is taking place” across America. What are they are talking about? Gay marriage.    

As the movement to legalize gay marriage has gained strength in recent years, it has received strong opposition from the Christian community. Arguments have been made against Christians, encouraging them to acknowledge that times have changed and they should change with them. Helping with that line of thinking, the gay movement has utilized acceptable phrases like “marriage equality,” “civil rights,” “tolerance” and “diversity” to its advantage. Such advocates’ compelling and effective campaign has raised two significant issues in my mind — freedom and truth. The gay community wants freedom to practice their lifestyle and pursue measures to normalize and legalize it in our culture, while the Christian community, which is governed by Biblical truth, seeks to remain faithful to its beliefs and resists any legal measures to force their compliance.

For more than 3,000 years, historic Judeo-Christian teaching has accepted the Bible’s position that homosexuality is a sin, just as lying and stealing are. Even though efforts are being made to reinterpret key Scriptures on this issue, modern scholars stand by the accuracy of traditional interpretations. As a result of this time-tested truth, the Christian’s conscience is gripped by a conviction that the gay lifestyle and the promotion of it is a violation of God’s standard. Even so, believers acknowledge the strong passions homosexuals feel for each other. However, this doesn’t take away from the reality of God’s Word, that He condemns all forms of sexual expression — except one. He only puts His blessing on sex between a married man and woman.    

Christian opposition to the gay movement is on the basis of Biblical truth. Similarly, the Christian’s mandate to show kindness to homosexuals is also on the basis of truth. As a Christian, I apologize to gays who have been shunned by the church. We have a divine obligation to lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender individuals to show nothing but love, even in the midst of disagreements. The Scriptures say, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all” (Romans 12:18).

Ultimately, Christians have a positive and simple agenda. First, we are positively for people and against sin. Second, we simply want to share the love of God through the good news of Jesus with all. My prayer is that everyone will experience freedom through divine forgiveness.

 

Clint Decker is president of Great Awakenings Inc. in Clay Center. Email him at cdecker@greatawakenings.org or call (785)632-5063.

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