Why Christians Shouldn’t Be Threatened by “Gay Marriage”

In light of the recent Supreme Court hearings regarding same-sex marriages, there has been much conversation on how Christians should react. With people who support same-sex marriage doing such things as posting an equal sign as their Facebook profile picture, Christians who oppose are making clever reactionary pictures (plus signs, a man and woman holding hands, etc.). But, is the government acknowledging same-sex marriages actually something by which Christians (even the most theologically conservative ones) should be threatened?

My opinion is a resounding “no”. Even if one holds to the traditional definition of marriage between one man and one woman, then one still should not feel threatened by all that is going on. I’ll explain.

The biggest issue that Christians need to address is the problem of semantics. It is my understanding that the marriage that the government institutes is a very different thing than the covenant of which the Bible speaks and which God established. Honestly, the only things that they have in common are their names, “marriage”. They act as two completely separate things.

The governmental institution of marriage does such things like providing benefits in regards to taxes, estate planning, medical, death, housing, and social security along with other government benefits for the two people who enter into the marriage. That is literally all it does. Christian marriage is a completely different matter, a spiritual covenant acknowledged by God and by the Church. It does not have anything to do with the government or the political realm at all.

Christian marriage does not need to be recognized by the government to be an official marriage. It is only because of the nationalism that is commonly found in the American Church that many Christians have began to enmesh the two together. If one follows this line of thinking, then Adam and Eve were not really married. And if one truly follows a strict version of this line of thinking, then anyone (even Christians) who are married outside of the U.S. are not actually married either. Logically, if one thinks that the way that the American government defines marriage directly correlates with how Christianity in general views it, then no one outside of the U.S. could technically be married, since no one else is under the American government except for America. A Christian marriage does not have to be acknowledged by the U.S. government, or any government for that matter, to be a genuine marriage.

Some people are still led astray because the two still still share the same name of “marriage”. But think about this. What if the government began instituting a weekly ceremony called “The Lord’s Supper”? And what if this ceremony was nothing like the ordinance that Jesus established in the gospels? Would this change how the Church does the Lord’s Supper? Would the traditional/biblical idea or definition of the Lord’s Supper amongst the fellowship of believers be threatened by this governmental institution of the same name? Of course not. Not to mention that even various Christian denominations disagree with the nature of the Lord’s Supper! In the same way, Christian marriage is not threatened by how the government defines marriage.

Not to go too off topic, but why are Christians so adamant about gay marriage being outlawed, yet continue to practice or be indifferent about divorce? This is something that Jesus addressed way more directly than the subject of homosexuality. The most probable answer is the scary reality that homophobia is still rampant in the Church. Perhaps the rally against same-sex marriage is almost an attempt for Christians who are so apathetic about divorce to validate themselves by being really against one thing, while shying away from another issue. Either way, the hypocrisy within the Christian community on this topic obvious.

However, in the end, what I am saying is that, to the Christian who believes that the traditional model of marriage is biblical, marriage is marriage is marriage. It should not matter what the government says or how it defines its own institutions. Jesus said that His kingdom is not of this world. Why, then, do so many Christians insist on fusing the kingdom of the earth with the God’s kingdom? Christians shouldn’t be threatened by “gay marriages”. Because, in the end, Christians shouldn’t be threatened by the government at all. Our kingdom is not of this world.


15 thoughts on “Why Christians Shouldn’t Be Threatened by “Gay Marriage”

  1. Thank you for articulating some of what I’ve been thinking about over the past few days. Although, the one thing I would question, and this is not something I have the answer to but is a bit of a problem is; what really defines a marriage? An agreement between God and a church, for two individuals to be united forever? If so, why emphasis so strongly that people shouldn’t have sex before marriage? If two dating people agree to be “married” before they are legally recognized as married, is it still wrong?
    Again, I don’t have the answer, but I’m not sure we can completely divorce marriage from the culture around us.

  2. I like this, and it makes sense. Yet, I still believe that, as Christians, we should remember that weather ultimately it doesn’t matter what Government says, The Kingdom of God is so much bigger, yes, but homosexuality is still wrong and therefore should not be left completely alone. Yes, we shouldn’t be alarmed by whatever the government says and we are not of this world, but we still have to responsibility of representing Christ. No it doesn’t matter what the world says, but people still need to understand that this is not what God intended of marriage or sexuality in the first place…does that make sense?

    1. Sure. But I think that is a matter completely separate from government or politics at all. As Jesus said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” I think Caesar was representative of the government and that Jesus was talking about a lot more than taxes. Christians should be concerned about the kingdom of God, focusing on individual transformation, not political affirmation or institutional change. The OT is proof that that leaves nothing but hardened hearts. Christians aren’t called to legislate Christian morality. We still uphold and stand by it, sure. But it is a completely different matter.

    2. Your argument makes sense, but I have to disagree with your logic. Yes, the Bible says that homosexuality is wrong, there’s no arguing that point. However, it also says that having a tattoo is a sin, amongst many other things that people do every day and nobody bats an eye. Why is it that Christians are honing in on homosexuality and none of these other topics similarly condemned by the Bible? The truth of the matter is that homosexuality is just one of many sins listed. I guarantee you that even though you aren’t gay, I’m sure you have some other behaviors that would qualify you as a ‘sinner’ by biblical standards. The only difference is that nobody is criticizing you for your flaws and trying to keep you from having equal civil rights because of them. My point is this: if you want to represent Christ truly, do so by showing His love to all, even people who, like you, sin… just in different ways. The Bible mentions love much more often than it mentions the punishment for any sin.

      1. And I would wholeheartedly and absolutely agree with you. I love all people. But my point was not to address that topic, but rather simply to engage Christians who believe that homosexuality is a sin and think that they should violently oppose gay marriage. My point was to convince Christians who are working in that framework that they have no need to be threatened by gay marriages in regards to the “traditional model of marriage” being at stake.

  3. My apologies blakebaggott, my comment was actually intended to be a reply to thejay96’s earlier comment, not yours. It seems I clicked on the wrong reply link. I agree with you completely!

    1. That’s not my main point. Although I do have my own personal convictions, opinions, and beliefs about the relation to Christians and government/voting, this article was more of an attempt to engage Christians who do view homosexuality as a sin and explain how one can still hold to that conviction and not be violently opposed to the government’s decision to legalize gay marriages.

      1. thanks for the clarification and insight; i tend to jump to conclusions. your article was actually a really interesting perspective though, especially the thing about the difference between legal marriage and Godly marriage.

  4. A great article with many great point. I do differ on one though: “The biggest issue that Christians need to address is the problem of semantics.” I suggest the biggest issue that Christians need to address is Christ’s teaching that we are to love our neighbors as ourself. When he said “neighbor,” he was not referring to the folks next door. He was referring to ALL God’s children who are many races, many creeds, many religions, etc.

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