The church in America is faced with an unprecedented opportunity right now. Instead of wringing our hands over the “issue” of gay marriage, or (God forbid) holding up more picket signs, may God help us to see this situation as He sees it – a chance to reach a ton of people with the love of Christ. That starts right here, right now, with you and me.
The excerpt below is from an article written by Tony Kriz, an author/urban missionary in Portland, called Gay Marriage and Christian Volatility
“So this brings us to our issue of the day: gay marriage. I’m not trying to make a judgment on whether gay marriage should be supported or rejected by Christians. I just want to share why I think this issue is so emotionally charged.
Let’s imagine the issue of gay marriage as a chemical experiment. Two powerful and agitated “chemicals” have been poured together. We are the first generation to face this chemical mixture (at least in its modern form). Both of these two elements are volatile enough by themselves, but when mixed together they result in an exponentially powerful compound. Two “10-issues” mixed together. Two issues of incongruent valuation mixed together. A dissociative issue and an associative issue mixed together.
You can see why such a concoction would have the potential to explode. Now add to this mixture a pinch of ignorance (since we are the first generation to really have to deal with this issue in its modern form), a dash of political polarization, and bake the whole thing in a 24-hour news cycle. We can expect fireworks.
But what would happen if we responded differently?
In the late 70s and early 80s, I was just a boy. It was at this time that the AIDS epidemic began to spread in America. I remember the fear. I remember the agitation.
At that time the church community chose to use its extensive power, platform, and influence to condemn the outbreak. We called it the gay-plague. We separated ourselves from it and judged—when we could have loved.
I believe that most of us Christians wish we could go back 30-plus years and use that same power and platform as an influence to love. We could have started hospices, given to medical research, and fought to stand with the infected — “for I was sick and you visited me” (Matt. 25:36). (ed. note from Ted – many Christians did do these things) Regardless of our moral beliefs, we could have embraced that moment to stand with the homosexual community in love. We missed it. That was a God-opportunity that we can never get back.
Today we have another chance.
I don’t claim to know the course for these uncharted waters, but can we restrain the rhetoric? Can we temper the judgment? Can we assuage the agitation? While we maintain our moral positions, wherever that line may be drawn for each of us, and take this moment, this unique moment, to tell the nation and the world, in whatever way we can: “We love you.”