As I write this, a rainbow band adorns the top of my WordPress interface. It’s all about supporting Same-Sex marriage. That’s the topic of the hour here in Australia – especially since the national postal survey is being distributed right now. It’s all about giving everyone a say in whether marriage should be redefined.
At our church, we are determined to make sure that our message focuses on Jesus Christ. Our message is about the real redemption and inner transformation that comes when people give over control of their life to the King who died and was raised to life.
HE changes people. Not moral laws. Not legislation. Jesus. And whatever happens in Australia with marriage our message is, and will always be about presenting Jesus to everyone in word and deed. It’s not easy to do. But it is something that we’re compelled by love to do.
There is obviously much in the media about this whole SSM thing. Here are some of the more interesting posts I’ve seen in the past week or so. Feel free to click them. Or not.
(1) This link is a word from Christian minister and blogger, Stephen McAlpine, entitled “Progressive Christian: Where art thou?”
(2) Here’s an interesting and provoking post entitled “Biology is not a social construct.”
(3) For long and well-thought-out views about how the church should be approaching the whole topic of gay marriage, go to Pastor Nathan Campbell’s blog. Have a look around. You won’t be disappointed.
(4) Here are some thoughts on affirming heterosexual marriage, from the Sydney Anglicans.
(5) Why opposing same sex marriage isn’t like racism.
(6) A piece about a gay couple who oppose same-sex marriage.
(7) On an unrelated issue, here’s something by New Testament scholar Michael Bird on the necessity of gambling reforms in Australia.
Same-sex marriage is all people seem to talk about in Australia at the moment. I guess it’s good to thrash this issue out. More and more people are asking for a change to how we define marriage. It seems that the majority of secular, post-Christian Australia is in favour of it. And some fairly conservative Christians I know are in favour of it too. So yeah, I guess it’s a great thing to be thinking through.
A quick google search will uncover a host of different perspectives on this issue. If you want to find out what people are saying (on all sides), then just ask Dr Google.
However, if you want a really good analysis of the issue, check this blog post by Aussie Christian apologist Akos Balogh. He raises some good points from a biblically-grounded, clear-thinking Christian perspective. Of course, not everyone will agree with what he says. But whatever you think about this topic, it’s worth a read.
Here’s a great explanation of the Christian gospel. It’s a little different from many presentations you can find online. Worth a look . . .
Here’s a great discussion between three very different people on why God’s sexual norms (presented in the Bible) are good for people. Worth a watch . . .
Going through hard times? Feeling confused about how or why God has led you to where you are in life? It’s time to pray. Here’s a prayer you might like to use . . .
“Oh Lord, I know not what to ask of you. You alone know my true needs. You love me more than I myself know how to love. Help me to see my real needs which are concealed from me. I dare not ask for either a cross or consolation. I can only wait on you.
My heart is open to you. Visit and help me, for your great mercy’s sake. Strike me and heal me, cast me down and raise me. And I will worship you in silence.
Your will is holy and your ways inscrutable, so I offer myself as a living sacrifice to you. I put all my trust in you. I have no other desire than your good and perfect will be fulfilled in my life. Guide and sustain me by your invisible hand. Teach me how to pray. And when I pray, may it be you yourself praying in me. Through Christ my Lord, Amen.”
Recently, a prominent Australian Christian made national headlines for their opposition to gay marriage. While being well within her rights to express an opinion, her public statements stirred up much anger and hurt, especially (and obviously) among the LGBTQI community. The whole saga reinforced the widespread public view that Christians are judgemental rule-keepers who feel the need to stick their moral noses into other people’s business. Yes, the Bible does clearly say that acts of gay sex are ‘sinful’ – that is, outside God’s good parameters for human flourishing – but why should people who are not Christians be expected to live the Christian life? Why do Christians seem to single this issue out, and not issues like greed, racism, and divorce? And why do so many Christians forget to tell people about the joy of trusting and following Jesus?
The fact is that the church in Australia has a lot to learn about engaging our culture with the gospel of Jesus Christ – including my own church. Including me.
How should we speak about homosexuality? How should we answer the very good questions that people have about marriage, morality, and sex? How can we point people to Jesus?
Below is an interesting video clip of American pastor Tim Keller, who was asked about his views on homosexuality. While his responses are off-the-cuff and not as concise as they might otherwise be, what he says stands in stark contrast to recent attempts to promulgate the Christian worldview.