By Bryce Shockley, Staff Writer
The topic of same-sex marriage has always stirred emotional responses rather than thoughtful ones. There are Christians, as well as Christian institutions, all over America right now that are facing the consequences of expressing their beliefs on this topic publically. To even express doubts on this subject seems to put one at risk. Our culture has become increasingly hostile, while many Christians are continually seen as ignorant bigots for holding to beliefs that the church, and the large majority of civilizations throughout history, had for thousands of years. In all of the emotion, name-calling and fear that this issue brings about, it is rare to have a rational, thoughtful conversation about the topic.
This week, Asbury released a new statement affirming their stance and views on human sexuality and making clear where they stand when it comes to this hot-button topic.
On the topic of human sexuality, Asbury stated, “We believe that it is only within the context of the covenant of marriage between one man and one woman that the full expression of sexuality is to be experienced and celebrated.” I applaud Asbury for taking this stance. I would rather the doors of this institution close for good than have our Biblical integrity sacrificed on the altar our culture offers.
Let me be very clear in what I am saying: In this day and age, we can no longer afford to be seekers of middle ground. There is no third way when it comes to this issue. Every Christian will have to take a stance on this issue and to remain silent is to decide.
Many of you might be saying that Asbury is discriminating. Societies always discriminate on marriages that are allowed in their culture. In Asbury’s statement, they also make the point clear on what is sexually immoral in regards to “…adultery for the heterosexually married person, polygamy, polyandry…” yet we will hear no outcry against them taking such a strong stance against women having multiple husbands. Why? Asbury would be wrong to discriminate with their marital views if all marriage consisted of was the government recognizing two people in love.
However, marriage is much more than just our feelings.
In marriage it matters who is in love, not just that they are in love. When we look at what marriage is, we see that it is an institution created by God. He created man and woman to serve a unique and particular purpose. In a culture that is continually trying to change that definition, Asbury stands firm in their beliefs that are founded in the Word of God.
I have seen many hermeneutical circuses that try to reconcile what scripture clearly teaches to be wrong. Instead, they push a viewpoint that claims a homosexual lifestyle is completely compatible with what the Bible teaches. While I do not have enough space to address these passionate, yet lacking, arguments in full, as Christians we must understand that it would be anti-love and anti-gospel to ever conform to the idea that a homosexual lifestyle is acceptable. To claim what is sin to be acceptable is to go against God. But the wonderful voice of the Gospel rings out true in saying that you may be radically wrong, but you are still incredibly loved. I love and rather admire that while Asbury upholds biblical truth, they do so not only with truth, but also with grace and love as the gospel implores all Christians to do.