I spent most of my afternoon reading The Truth About Same-Sex Marriage: 6 Things You Need to Know About What’s Really at Stake by Erwin W. Lutzer.
I think this is an excellent book that encourages all Christians to think biblically about a delicate issue. But it doesn’t just encourage thought – it encourages action.
The thing that I like most about this book is that, in his intro, Lutzer first grounds us in the truths that are so often forgotten by Christians as we discuss these issues
We must lower our voices in this debate, speaking with respect and dignity. No matter how strongly we oppose the homosexual agenda, we are first of all called to be Christians who have the privilege of representing Christ to all the communities of the world, regardless of class, colour, nationality or “gender orientation”. […] We must never speak of homosexuality as if it is the one sin worthy of the eternal flames. Yes, the Bible does condemn homosexuality, but it also condemns a host of other sins that are rampant in the best of our churches. If all we do is shout at homosexuals across a chasm, be assured we will hear only the echo of our own voices ringing in the air.
Those sins are not only rampant in our churches, but in our lives as well. A point which Lutzer takes up in chapter 1.
We must repent of the double standard that sees the sin of the homosexual behaviour in a different category than adultery, premarital sex and pornography. We must plead guilty to the charge of bigotry, for we have acted as if our sins are minor in comparison to those of the homosexual community, whose sin we think are of a different nature and category. This attitude of condemnation has caused us to lose our voice in the wider culture.
In my opinion this is our biggest problem. Why does the gay community think we are judgmental? Because often times we are!
This book is easy to read and quite short and yet covers a great deal. Lutzer discusses the effects of same-sex marriage on the tradition marriage (grounded of course in the Bible’s covenant based marriage), as well as its effect on children, the issue of adoption, the common arguments in affirming same-sex marriage, how and why the church should act and our continuous need for repentance, humility and hearts that seek God always.
At the beginning of the book Lutzer shares his motivation and thought process behind writing the book. He ends with this interesting paragraph.
Let no one say that we have to choose between loving homosexuals and opposing same-sex marriage. Biblically, love is defined not as license to legitimatize sinful behaviour of any kind, but love helps us to see there is a better way. Obviously, we must be as concerned about our own sins as we are about the sins of the homosexual community. We must be concerned enough to speak out about any action, heterosexual or homosexual, that violates God’s intended plan for marriage and the family.
Food for thought.