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What should the primarily heterosexual community of United States churches do for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) community? After all, in multiple states, the voters (to include Christian voters) are being asked to give or deny the right of “marriage” to the Gay and Lesbian (same-sex) couples.
As Thinking Christians, we do not say quickly say, “Yes! We’ll give the same-sex couples the right of marriage!” In fact, as Thinking Christians, we also do not hastily say, “No! We’ ll deny the same-sex couples the rights of marriage!” Rather, we pause, and then ask ourselves: “Did Jesus teach principles that we must apply to the request of the same-sex couples for the right of marriage?”
We, as Thinking Christians, ask ourselves “What Did Jesus Do or Teach?” We must deny our own self the right to make a quick “snap” decision. Rather, as Thinking Christians, we research the Word of God – the Bible – to understand how best to imitate our Lord Jesus.
The question for the Thinking Christian is never “how to vote”, but is always, “how should I imitate Jesus?”
Let’s look at the words of Jesus in the famous “Sermon On The Mount”.
[And Jesus continued, saying,] "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.”
“He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. [The Bible, the Book of Matthew, Chapter 5, verses 43 – 48. New International Version]
Examining this passage, we see that Jesus said the key phrase, “But I tell you….” This key phrase, to the Thinking Christian, shows that the new teaching of Christ must now take precedence over the previous teaching.
Conclusion: we are now forbidden to hate our enemies; we are now required to love our enemies. What Jesus is about to teach takes precedence over our interpretation of all Laws that came before and all Laws that will come afterwards.
How are we to then “love” our enemies? Good question. Jesus then defines this “love” as the imitation of “… your Father in heaven”.
Fine. We are to imitate our heavenly Father. But then, as Thinking Christians we search the passage for more specificity in order to understand the manner in which we are to imitate God, our “heavenly Father”. After all, imitating God in general is a subject that is very abstract.
Fortunately for us, Jesus communicates very specific examples and converts the abstract concept into the concrete actions.
Jesus first gives two examples of God’s specific actions – the sun rising on the evil and the good, and the rain being sent to fall on the righteous and the unrighteous.
Conclusion: God’s law of impartiality transcends His law of making a distinction between the “evil” and “good”. God’s public blessings are given with impartiality.
This is important conclusion for the Thinking Christian. God does not negate the law of making a distinction between “evil” versus “good”. Rather, God uplifts His law of impartiality as the higher truth for His children to imitate.
Are we certain that Jesus is stressing imitation of this truth – that God’s law of impartiality is to take precedence over God’s law of making a distinction?
Yes, we are certain, because Jesus then gives us yet two more examples of how to implement this teaching: in the giving of love without partiality, and in the giving of a greeting without partiality.
Conclusion: As God gives the blessings of the sun and the rain with impartiality, we must also give the blessings that we control with impartiality.
Therefore, to the Thinking Christian, we must give the blessing of “marital rights” (a blessing we control at the voting booth) to the ones we consider “evil” or “good”, for the law of impartiality shows us that Jesus would give that right to them.
The distinctions of “evil” versus “good” can still be taught within the bounds of any Church doctrine, and should be taught. But the distinctions must yield to the higher law of impartiality in respect to “public” blessings, as taught by our Lord Jesus.
Does the “righteous” heterosexual church community enjoy the warming “sun” and refreshing “rain” of marriage rights? Yes, of course they do. And the law of the states gives them that blessing.
Therefore, we are obligated as Thinking Christians to vote so that the “blessing” of the “sun” and “rain” of marital rights also will fall upon the “righteous” and the “unrighteous”.
We most certainly can make distinctions within our private Church doctrines concerning “what” is “righteous” and what is “unrighteous”. And yet, we equally and most certainly must also imitate our Christ in showing impartiality with giving and sharing the blessings that we control.
Christ’s teaching takes precedence over all the teachings that came before, and yes, Christ’s teaching takes precedence over the Constitution of the United States, which came 2,000 years later. “Righteousness exalts a nation” says the Bible, and the righteousness of the impartiality taught by Christ, will exalt this nation all the more.
Let us imitate our Christ, and vote that all persons – the “evil” and the “good”, the “righteous” and the “unrighteous”, the heterosexual and the same-sex couples – that all be allowed the rights of marriage. The primary issue is not “right or wrong” -- the higher issue is to ensure the “impartiality” of giving and sharing as taught by Jesus.
Let us be perfect, as our heavenly Father is perfect; let us obey the words of our Jesus. Let us make distinction within the Church teachings as needed. Let us vote for all to have the rights of marriage.