Tuesday, North Carolina approved a constitutional amendment that banned gay marriage. Notwithstanding the fact that gay marriage was already banned, the percentage that the amendment passed with was astonishing (58% in favor). The successful passage of the amendment was the result of Christian opposition.
When did homosexuality become the number one enemy of the church? Sure, the Bible says it is a sin: an abomination even. But the amount of hatred and bigotry that foments to the surface of the Christian church in regards to gay rights is astonishing. I can speak to this first hand. I preached against homosexuality with the same amount of fire-and-brimstone energy as any other preacher. Then one day, I grew up.
No other issue brings the church together more than our opposition to homosexuality. We are divided on abortion rights. We are divided on social justice. We are divided on race issues. But homosexuality, we all agree to hate with biblical zealotry. Why? Is it because the Bible says it is an abomination? If that’s the case, why don’t we hate the other sins God labels as abominations?
There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.—Proverbs 6:16-19
No. This couldn’t be it.
Do we hate homosexuality because it is “destroying our families” like so many would have us believe? It couldn’t be that either. Divorce rates are just as high in the church as they are in the rest of the world. So, unless all these families broke up because one spouse suddenly realized they were gay, homosexuality couldn’t be the reason our families are breaking apart.
So what is it? The answer is simple. We have warped Christianity into a religion that needs a physical enemy onto whom we can project our latent anger, hatred, and frustration. Much like urban preachers who preach against your “haters,” or evangelical pastors who preach against “liberals,” we have transformed Christianity into a bludgeoning tool. And what good is this tool without someone to hit across the head with? Too many of us get off on condemning our so-called enemies to hell. We think Christianity is about telling others what they are doing wrong instead of correcting our own missteps.
Regardless of what you think of homosexuality, Gay Rights is not a spiritual issue; it is an American issue. Gays and lesbians have just as much right to America and her corresponding rights as Christians. America is for every person of every faith and even those of no faith at all. If you think our role as Christians in America is to force our religious beliefs on those who don’t wish to abide by them, then you are no better than the Islamic extremists that wish to impose Shari ‘a law.
I’m certain this note will bring the ire of many of my Christian brothers and sisters. So be it. If you choose to label me as heretical simply because I believe gays and lesbians should have every legal right that I have, then I gladly accept your rejection. I would rather be associated with people who actually act like Christ rather than people who use religion to oppress. Feel free to de-friend me now.