I recently spoke at Campus Crusade for Christ at Duke University. I was invited to blog my answers to students’ questions. Below is my answer to one such question.
Question: Why don’t you think it’s important for the Church to respond to same-sex marriage?
This issue is inextricably tied to the church’s involvement in a decades-long culture war that has severely damaged our ability to reveal the person of Jesus Christ to those around us. While I personally believe there is no biblical basis for same-sex marriage, neither do I believe that the laws of America equate to the Kingdom of God: the church’s primary mission.
The Kingdom is supposed to invade our hearts. We are to pray for and live out in our own lives the coming of God’s Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. There is a deceptive temptation to try to force this to happen in others through man-made laws. The Kingdom, however, is spiritual and it co-exists alongside the kingdom of Caesar (no matter what the laws are).
I do not think that gay marriage is unimportant. I do, however, feel it is a convenient distraction that keeps us from focusing on more important matters. I want to resist every temptation to avoid such distraction. How does our focus on gay marriage distract us?
First, it gives us a biased view of what morality is. If we are so concerned about morality, then let the Kingdom reign in “our” hearts. Let it so reign that internet pornography and divorce become extinct in the evangelical community. We must base our hope for morality in the coming of God’s Kingdom in “our” hearts: and in the defeating of “our” sins.
Second, it tempts us to miss all the ways we have messed up relating to LGBT+ people. I do not wish to depart from the mission God has entrusted to Lead Them Home and Lead Them Home Radio. We must learn to authentically love LGBT+ people no matter what America’s laws are.