Wow. So, I’ve been gone a while. Life got a little busy. To sum it all up in about two sentences, this is what happened:
I met this great guy and started dating him; while we were dating, a lot of really bad things happened at my old school, so I decided to quit in December. I moved up to my then boyfriend’s city, found a new job, then we got engaged and just got married in May.
Well, that sums it up. It’s been a crazy, scary, fun, frustrating, insane, wild good time – and it’s only just started. (Stay tuned for more adventures. I have some fun plans up my sleeve.) But for now, I wanted to share a few thoughts about the supreme court ruling from July, 26.
In case you hadn’t heard, gay marriage is not legal in all 50 states!
While I’m sure you’ve heard this by now, I’m also sure you’ve heard both the good and bad of this ruling. I know I did. I now live in a very progressive city that was recently voted more hipster than Seattle, but I also go to church. So I heard a lot of comments about this ruling from many people over the weekend, including my own husband. But you know where I didn’t hear it? The pulpit.
I know. I know. What could the pastor possibly say about this situation that is kinda a big deal in modern American history without sounding like a raging homophobe who hates all gay people? Well, a lot. While sitting in church on Sunday morning, I realized how I didn’t really care about the sermon at all. I wanted to hear how we as a Christian church should respond to this, and how to respond without alienating or hurting or turning people away from God. Really, how do we do it? After an exchange of emails with the pastor and some personal reflection, my only conclusion is this: we need to respond to it in a Christ-like way by simply being kind, respectful, and polite. The same thing I was doing before.
Earlier today, I called a friend from Honduras who just interviewed with her dream job working for Women at Risk International, an organization that helps save women from slavery and trafficking. (Seriously, you should check them out here) I’m really happy for her and hope the best for my friend. After this conversation, I felt compelled to write because I realized what I’m really frustrated about. What I’m really frustrated about is the realization that the modern American Christian church cares more about expanding and church planting than about standing up for the downtrodden and those who desperately need help. Instead of encouraging us to love those who sin or the victims of injustice, we hear short sermons that are nothing more than a light version of the gospel. Where Christians were at the forefront of the Abolitionist movement to end slavery, the suffragette movement to earn women the right to vote, and even the Civil Rights movment for racial equality, modern Christians are just sitting on couches (or in pews or cushioned chairs in neat rows) listening to a man dissect two verses from a book in the new testament. While Bible education is good, it should encourage action.
Just to clarify, I don’t think Christians should be encouraged to carry hateful messages proclaiming that gay people are going to Hell. I’m not supporting Westboro Baptist here. Rather, I don’t understand why pastors and churches are not even addressing the issue or any other issue that affects our world.
I’m frustrated with the fact that the modern American Christian church (ACC) cares more about church planting, increasing the numbers of bodies in the pews, and making sure order is maintained in the church than encouraging its church members to take up their calling and go out and do stuff to make the world better. I’m not just talking about missions trips to Africa for a week or sending money to poor children in Honduras or Vietnam (although all of those things are good with the right attitude). I’m talking about doing things, big and small, that really stand up for Christ instead of just encouraging them to sit back and be complacent, quiet church goers who listen to the sermon without a thought. This is the same attitude I saw in American classrooms and I got sick of it.
If you’re wondering about my views about the ruling and what I think of gay people, my thoughts and opinions have never changed.
- The government attached additional rights and benefits to heterosexual marriage that don’t exist in homosexual relationships/partnerships. This action denied those rights to people who were not heterosexual and created two groups of people without equal rights. Legally, that was unethical and needed to be corrected. Thus, gay marriage is now legal.
- Do I think homosexuality is wrong? I think I have no place to judge the heart of another and that I am commanded to love others and God loves them. So I love people regardless of sexual orientation, identity, gender and gender identity, religion, race, or their own personal beliefs.
- The only people I have ever had a problem with are those who are simply hateful.
Those are my views and they’re probably not going to change regardless of what a pastor or preacher say, but I still think that the church needs to address how to respond to this ruling and to encourage it members to respond to the wrongs of the world in a way that shows the love of Christ. Without a response, the church is missing an opportunity to show love to those who desperately need love and right wrongs that desperately need to be righted.