Culture Corner – Here we go again…

Well, here we go again… If I had a Christian newspaper, the headline this morning would be ‘Well-Meaning Christians Make the Rest of Us Look Like Idiots’.

You may remember Carrie Prejean, the California representative to the Miss USA pageant this year, and outspoken Christian. There was controversy surrounding her and the pageant after she answered a judge’s question about gay marriage by saying that she believed that marriage should be between a man and a woman. The initial media reaction was incredible. Hollywood stars fell all over themselves to speak out in favor of gay marriage. The news media was all over the story. Prejean had appearances on most of the morning shows. The end result of all of it was that Prejean herself came out ahead and looking pretty good. After all, she was just the beauty pageant contestant who answered a question honestly and got lambasted for it. Right…?

Then this morning she was back on the Today Show, taking advantage of her 15 minutes – by speaking out publicly against gay marriage. I watched the interview and heard her utter phrases like, ‘You know, Matt, I’m just here to protect marriage,’ ‘whatever it takes to protect marriage,’ and my personal favorite, ‘We just need to respect each other, even when we disagree.’ I should point out that she delivered all of this charming mantra with about as much conviction as Bobby Jindal defending the Republican party’s position in a news conference a couple of months ago.

The sad truth is that Miss Prejean has allowed herself to do what so many Christians do. Namely, she has allowed herself to be completely defined by one single issue. I am aggravated at the way Christians are portrayed in the media, but I can’t say I blame them when all we seem to want to talk about is gay marriage and abortion. Prejean said in today’s interview, ‘I’m just here to protect marriage.’ No, Miss Prejean, you’re here on this earth to bring God glory. I fail to see how stoking this controversy brings God glory. Instead, you’ve simply become another talking head on the news, saying the same thing that all the other self-appointed ‘protectors’ of marriage are saying.

As Christians, we should be bringing God glory by expressing His love to those around us, by caring for them, by showing mercy, compassion. In Dan Kimball’s book They Like Jesus but not the Church, he interviews several non-Christians and asks them what words come to mind when they think about Christians. One of the top responses was ‘anti-homosexual’. We have allowed ourselves to be defined by that issue alone. When non-Christians think about Christians they should use words like ‘loving’, ‘caring’, ‘genuine’, ‘the nicest people I know’. They don’t because we aren’t.

In the interest of full disclosure, here’s my position on gay marriage. From a scriptural perspective, I totally agree with Miss California. I believe that God has ordained that marriage should be between husband and wife. And that’s the real difference between marriage and ‘civil union’ for me. A civil union is an act of the state. If states want to pass measures to allow civil unions and grant benefits like the ability to visit their partner in the hospital, that is fine with me. I disagree with homosexuals’ lifestyle choices, but then again I disagree with some of my own lifestyle choices, too. Marriage, on the other hand, is not an act of the state but a sacrament of the church. I would argue that any church that would allow same-sex marriages has moved away from scripture, and therefore away from God’s will. Regardless, we should always be compassionate and caring towards all of God’s children, whatever their choices.



3 Responses to “Culture Corner – Here we go again…”

  1. “Marriage, on the other hand, is not an act of the state but a sacrament of the church.”

    Except for the fact that ‘marriage’ is the name the state uses for its civil unions.

    • joetheyouthpastor Says:

      The point I was making is that marriage is defined in scripture as a man ‘leaving his father and mother and becoming one’ with his wife. That is the sacrament of marriage. Call it whatever you want, ‘civil union’, ‘domestic partnership’, ‘same-sex marriage’, it’s still not the same thing. The state can perform any marriage ceremony it wants to, but the sacrament and blessing of marriage in God’s eyes is a function of the church.

      • Which I’m fine with.

        As long as any church that wants to can marry gay people, and the government can marry gay people, other churches can refuse as much as they want.

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