Friday morning the Supreme Court of the United States voted to legalize gay marriage in Amarillo, Texas and in every city and county in this country. I want to say a few short somethings about that today. This is not going to be exhaustive or comprehensive in any way. This is going to be short. For now.
1-We believe and we teach and we stand that homosexual conduct, the practice of a homosexual lifestyle, is contrary to the will of God as it’s revealed to us in the Holy Scriptures and through his Son, our Lord Jesus. We believe homosexual practices are against God’s desires for all men and women who are created in his image.
2-We believe and we teach and we stand that all gays, lesbians, bi-sexual, and transgendered people are created by God in the image of God. We believe they are loved by God and that our Lord Jesus died and was raised for their sins just as he was for ours. So our church at Central will show them, and the groups to which they belong, the love of Christ. We will treat them with respect and show them mercy and compassion and forgiveness and grace.
Now, I would call on all disciples of Jesus in the United States to commit to these three things going forward:
1-Please don’t say that the Church is being attacked or our religious freedoms are being taken away or that our Christianity is being persecuted. If it happens — it hasn’t yet and I’m not sure when or if it will — losing the state’s sponsorship or the federal government’s support of our worship is not the same as losing our freedom and it’s certainly not persecution. Let’s not claim that it is. People outside of Christ don’t want to hear it. And it’s laughable to people who are hostile to the Lord’s Church.
2-Let’s all please commit to living with this, to negotiating this uncharted present and future, in the name and manner of Jesus. Let’s reflect the glory of our God in word and deed, in thought and action. Let’s promise to live like the Christ who came in truth and grace, who preached repentance and obedience and, at the same time, defended adulterers and ate with prostitutes. Let’s live and uphold Christian principles in ways that can never be labeled mean or hateful.
3-Pray for wisdom and strength from God. Pray for holy discernment for his people. And pray for God’s Church — not for protection, but that we would be his light of mercy and salvation in a fallen world.