Gay Marriage and "Equality"

In the Shadow of the Gay Marriage Debate     In the shadow of the gay marriage debate is the shadow of something even bigger…  a pair of beams weighing over 100 lbs… tied together, stuffed into the earth, and casting a 10′ shadow… “What? What is he talking about?!” We’ll get there…

     A lot of us who profess the name of Christ are at risk of being distracted by a very emotional news story that just so happens to be going on at a time when our hearts and minds should be focused on the most important story of all… the Resurrection. Across America, people are talking about “marriage equality”… Apart from Christ, we already have equality – we’re equally wicked and guilty of eternal crimes against an eternal God… Bent on our own agenda, the agenda of the flesh: “me”. But, there’s good news… It’s “Good” Friday…

      Today, I’m not here today to comment on whether gay marriage should or should not be legal. Nor am I worried about the Supreme Court’s decision(s): I believe in a God who has seen these court cases’ outcomes before the world began and will not be thwarted in His plans either way. I’m not here to hate anyone or judge anyone outside the faith. Is homosexuality a sin? I firmly believe so, because of what God has said about it consistently throughout scripture. If you don’t believe scripture, you’re not the center of this discussion. 
     Actually, as a man who came out of that lifestyle, I pray you come to know the same peace, freedom, and joy available on the other side of the cross. I’m also grateful for God’s deliverance, knowing that only He could truly know or change my heart… or “theirs”. I’m here today to remind us all that it is Passion week. You’re either blind or not on Facebook if you haven’t seen the red banner with the equal sign standing for “marriage equality”. Once you discovered what it meant, some of you expressed annoyance at its ubiquity, others excitement. But, I’m here to remind you that however you see it, you have something even bigger to be annoyed about… or excited… or both:

We “all fall short.”
There you go. Equality, Romans 3:23 style.

Equally Short of the Glory of God
      One of the strengths of the one-on-one discipleship work I get to do is transparency. I’m honest about my faults and shortcomings. For example, this week I yelled at my wife once. Nothing I’m proud of. And it’s a sin. I called someone I didn’t know a moron (‘raca’). I told a “little white lie” to someone about how late I was going to be. I dwelled on a lustful thought for more than 1.5 seconds. Ok, it wasn’t this week, it was yesterday. But, I’m a Christian… not The Christ. I was distracted from the cross. Ever been there? Good news is, because of that red banner of blood, shed by the perfect Savior, casting that shadow on the hill of the skull – I’m acquitted. Ever been… there? Liberating.

My Responsibility, My Prayer
      Let me not forget this week… especially this week… that a man died a vicious death 2,000 years ago not so I could marry who I want… or so you could marry who you want… or so “they” could… But, to marry me – an otherwise wretched sinner – to a perfect, loving, Holy God from whom my sin estranges me and makes me irreconcilable. Let me not forget, while fingers are pointing at “them” that sin… my sin… made me a “them”, against God and put every nail into the Christ. Let me not simply repent next time I sin and move on to the next thing… Let me honor the cross… its Messiah… its stains… its shadow… its inequality that a man who did no wrong should suffer for my wrongs… Let me do that despite all that’s going on in the news… on the web… in my own heart. 

Our Responsibility
      Let us all not allow one, small shadow to overshadow the most important shadow: the shadow of the suffering Christ who reconciles us to Him despite our constant rebellion. Let us remember that “reconcile” means “to bring into agreement or harmony; make compatible or consistent”. We’ll never have equality with God, but in Christ, we’re finally… equally… compatible…

     Equality… achieved at Calvary. Available only to the penitent, in the shadow of the cross, for the price of a confession: “Jesus paid it all… for all who confess with their mouths that Christ is Lord and believe in their hearts that God raised Him from the dead. (see Rom. 10.9)

Happy Resurrection Sunday.

in the shadow of the cross,