Gay Marriage: The Day After

United States Supreme Court Building and American FlagMy grandmother lived as a widow for many years in a small Arkansas town. She significantly outlived her husband and many of her friends, and consequently life got lonelier as she aged which often happens to the elderly. Every day my grandmother would call a few other widows in the town to talk, see how everyone was doing, and pass the time.

In that same town lived a florist, and one day he decided to take the widows of the town for an outing, and the widow-wagon was born. The florist, who was gay, took the elderly ladies out several weekends a year. It led to many stories. After an evening concert my grandmother said I cannot see, and my friend who went with me can’t hear, but between the two of us we saw quite a show!  We were grateful for the witness.

As a pastor, several families in my churches have been gay and living in committed relationships. One couple in particular stands out. They adopted special needs children and gave them a loving home that I do not know could have come to these kids any other way. They never said anything about being gay. They just lived a life that was easy to see God use. Every time their kids hugged me I smiled.

Sometimes before speaking I will try and check myself. Verses are easy to quote and conclusions easy to make until calling to mind people and stories I have known.  The stories are humbling because they remind me that convictions should be shaped by real people, and the honesty of what I have seen is that God uses the love and lives of people who are gay to accomplish God’s good and perfect plan. It is difficult for me to listen to conservative pastors deriding the Supreme Court decision while not acknowledging the witness lived in their midst.

For now, my prayer is that Jesus’ church might continue to get along in spite of disagreement. Schism only weakens our witness. In our history;

When Christianity Meets HomosexualityThe church has split over types of baptism.
The church has divided over who can participate in Holy Communion.
The church in America tore itself in two over slavery.
The church hemorrhaged over race.
The church is divided over the role of women in church.

I hear the voices that quote Matthew 19:4, where Jesus says Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? I also hear the voices quoting Acts 10:15  “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”

For now, I pray we let local churches and pastors make their own decision regarding marriage but not let this split our church. Personally, I believe there are many people who were gay in heaven. If God can bring us together beyond, can we not imitate His Kingdom here?

 

(thanks for reading, please feel free to comment and share)

 

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12 Responses to “Gay Marriage: The Day After”

  1. DeeDee Autry June 27, 2015 at 8:39 pm #

    Love you, Andy Nixon. Well said…In a good and perfect loving honest way.

  2. incelawoffice June 27, 2015 at 8:59 pm #

    This is the best and most well spoken response to the Supreme Court ruling I have seen. I am fairly certain Jesus would never respond with anything but love and certainly not with hatred.

    • andy@rocktheword.org June 27, 2015 at 9:02 pm #

      Thanks Jim, I had a good teacher or two make me think about what I write….

      • incelawoffice June 27, 2015 at 9:26 pm #

        I am at the point where I am learning from you.

  3. Scott McLaughlin June 27, 2015 at 9:57 pm #

    Well, Andy, I like what you said here. I have never understood the christian problem with LGBT behavior. Assuming all of that behavior is sinful (easier to assume than make the arguments that it is not), how is their sin different from ours? The only way I can see that it is different is that it is in the open (when it is not, we do not know about it). The “conservative” answer to my question is that they are unrepentant. This does not satisfy me. I have not successfully repented of my various sins either – if I had, would I not be free of sin? If “repent” in this context means only to feel sorry for the sin, well the ones I know are repentant, in a sense – they would not have chosen that life. They were born that way – like all sinners were born in sin. Christ has room for all sort of folks within His tent – all of them sinners. The Christian churches’ treatment of the LGBT issue is disgraceful – and my use of the word “grace” within this word is intentional. There is nothing graceful, Christ-ful, about much of what we see from our fellow Christians on these issues, and that is a shame. I hope that we can all do much better. Thanks for speaking up on this difficult issue Andy – it is not something you could have done in your former life.

    • andy@rocktheword.org June 28, 2015 at 5:22 pm #

      Thanks for being part of the conversation Scott, I am convinced that dialogue is the only way we can really learn to love each other. Jesus never said this would be easy! And I laughed, in my former life this probably would have been a little difficult indeed.

  4. David Wilson June 28, 2015 at 9:44 pm #

    Andy: This is excellent. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Kevin Patterson June 29, 2015 at 11:22 pm #

    There ARE many LGBTQ persons who strive to live moral lives. But constantly, we are pushed down and away from the very families and churches we grew up in. We have little choice but to seek solace elsewhere. Far too often, the individual cannot separate the actions of family and Christians from Christ and therefore reject Christ. That is the tragedy that drives many to destructive behavior.

    What I hope for is a bit more effort be put into understanding the Scriptures and into understanding that sexual minorities are not one homogenous group. I understand how some view the recent Supreme Court decisions as radical. But realize that ours is a request for committed relationships to be recognized, and the ruling is not a cart blanc approval of all homosexual acts.

    • Scott McLaughlin June 30, 2015 at 11:34 am #

      Hey Kevin – some of us straight Christian dudes absolutely understand your points and 100% agree with them. Vaya con Dios, even if His people are all messed up sometimes.

  6. Karen Reade July 3, 2015 at 1:16 pm #

    I struggle with this. To me, the scripture is very clear that homosexual it is a sin, but it also says that God gave some over to homosexuality. I’ve known people who have committed suicide because they were homosexual. They clearly didn’t choose it. Alcoholics don’t choose to be alcoholics,but that doesn’t mean that they should just go ahead and stay drunk because God gave then over to alcoholism.
    I feel the homosexual and the alcoholic are first of all Christians,assuming they claim salvation in Christ alone, and Christ is merciful, as we should be. Can homosexual live in a comic Ted and loving relationship without the seal part? I’m not trying to be funny or seem insincere, I really don’t know. Of course God uses broken people for many good things. We are all broken, but we should strive to live holy and perfect. Honest confusion.

    • Scott McLaughlin July 13, 2015 at 1:48 pm #

      Karen – from my unschooled reading, it seems that Scripture (indeed Christ Himself) characterizes divorce as sin, except in cases of sexual immorality. And folks who have been divorced clearly chose it, as opposed to being born with it. I frankly do not understand why our churches, and we christians, reject homosexuals and embrace people who have been divorced. I don’t understand why we don’t treat both groups of people the same – with grace and acceptance.

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