This is the first in a series of articles that I wrote a few years back. My hope is to give a fresh take on a very old debate.
“How did a spirituality such as Christianity, a spirituality that speaks of eternity, of a world without end, of forgiveness of sins and a mysterious union with the Godhead, come to be represented by a moralist agenda and a trickle-down economic theory?”
Donald Miller- Searching For God Knows What
“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ.”
Philippians 1:9-10, NIV
Many in our society believe that a Christian supporter of same-sex marriage is oxymoronic. If it is, then I suppose that makes me a walking oxymoron. I’m Angela: a straight woman and Christian supporter of same-sex marriage. Of course there is nothing oxymoronic about my desire to give my life to Christ and to see marriage equality become a reality. However a depressingly large part of society—those both deeply religious and completely irreligious—believe that people like me simply don’t exist, that we cannot rationally exist.
Though I have called myself a Christian for my entire life, it has only been a true statement for a little over five years. That was when I came to feel that my purpose and salvation are deeply rooted in the grace and mercy of God and that the Bible is comprised of more than just a lot of interesting advice.
It was long before this transition to faith in Christ that I formed my opinion about homosexuality, which has changed little since. An aunt of mine came out to the family when I was rather young and my parents continuing support and respect of her showed me that she was still the same person I had always known and loved (if only a happier, more at peace version of herself) and that there was no reason why I too shouldn’t love her just as I always had.
When I began to grow in my faith, I forced myself to reconsider my opinion of homosexuality, desiring to know what was true, not just clinging to what I wished to be so. I spent weeks buried in verse and contemplation, struggling to understand God’s will. In the end I resurfaced with a strengthened conviction about sexuality rooted upon a single, undeniable truth: above all else, God wants us to love.
I do not believe that it is a sin to be homosexual, nor do I believe it is a choice. I have many reasons for these and other closely related beliefs which I will cover with as much clarity and biblical support as possible in following pieces. I pray that the Holy Spirit will work through me in my writing, but I admit that I am not absolutely positive that He will. To be perfectly honest, I have no absolute proof that God condones homosexuality, or that God exists at all. What I do have is immense faith about both, faith that I will try my best to share in a rational, tangible manner with the hope that whoever reads my arguments will acquire or have renewed a faith of their own.
I’d also like to emphasize that whether homosexuality is a sin or not, I believe absolutely in the necessity of marriage equality. Ultimately, this issue is one of civil rights and religious freedom, not of moral integrity. Civil marriage has nothing to do with the church. Of course, I believe any adult should be able to commit them self to another in the love and loyalty of marriage, both before God and before the law without condemnation from anyone, but I understand that many will disagree with me on this point. I’d like to ask that those who disagree with my arguments on homosexuals’ right to religious marriage please consider my arguments for civil marriage separately, as they are in fact separate issues.
It is truly tragic that so many Christians (and as seems to always be the case, the loudest bunch) have such an un-Christian prejudice against homosexuals, and in some cases a hatred. And it is tragic that so many LGBT persons will not even consider pursuing a relationship with Christ because they too quickly associate the whole of the church with bigotry. It is my prayer that these articles will give each group a better understanding of the other, and perhaps even unite the two when circumstances will oblige.