It was only three years ago today that the Supreme Court which guaranteed the right to marry for same-sex couples.
It feels a lot longer ago than three years.
It’s amazing how fast it all happened.
Many years ago, the argument for recognizing the legal validity of same-sex marriages and unions was the “what if two people are in a loving relationship for many years and one is in the hospital. Their partner can’t visit them?”
We’re so far beyond that now.
A celebrity says something critical of same-sex marriage and there’s a backlash, efforts to boycott and essentially destroy the person.
Tolerance has been traded for tyranny.
The conversation has been crushed on this issue.
State after state after state voted against it. 32 of 33 states where this was voted on, voted no. In 13 of those states, the vote wasn’t even close, with more than 70 percent of people voting to ultimately preserve the traditional American definition of a marriage.
And now, it’s a fundamental right. And now, if a business owner doesn’t want to support it, he’s a hateful and bigoted. The public arena does not tolerate dissent, it doesn’t tolerate having any moral opinion on the matter other than enthusiastic support and affirmation.
America has changed the definition of love, promoting the idea that you cannot love a person and simultaneously disagree with an aspect of his or her life. But love is not purely about affirmation. Everyone knows that. We see people do things all the time where we disagree with them but still love them.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
-1 Corinthians 13:4-7
We flourish when we live in accordance with Godly wisdom. God’s ways are better than our ways. True joy and purpose is found in living for God, desiring to honor and follow God. Based on the Bible, it is my firm conviction that same-sex relationships are fundamentally inconsistent with this and are sinful.
Love is meant to be unconditional. Love doesn’t mean to always love everything someone does but it means to love a person where they are today. Love is loving a person even if they never do live in agreement with what we think is moral or right.
Love is also ultimately wanting the best for someone.
In Evangelical circles, there have sadly been many examples of unloving treatment towards the LGBT community. This is tragic. Culturally, we’ve been losing the public discussion on LGBT issues.
Part of the mistake that we make is we start at the wrong place. The Church shouldn’t be trying to save people to heterosexuality. We need to build relationships and spread the gospel. It is God who transforms souls and lives.
Josh Benner is the associate pastor at Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Fergus Falls, Minnesota and has a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He enjoys writing about faith and culture. He lives with his wife Kari in Minnesota.