As I have mentioned, I thought I would begin to work through a book I picked up while I was at Camp-of-the-Woods called, “The Truth About Same-Sex Marriage” by Erwin Lutzer. For those who do not know Erwin Lutzer, let me give you a quick synopsis about who he is. He has been a pastor of Moody Bible Church for several years. He is well educated, has written about twenty books, and is a popular speaker for different venues. When I was at Camp-of-the-Woods, I saw several books he had written and considered buying different ones throughout the week. When I did some searching through the bookstore though, I saw this book and knew this book was important. So I bought it and began to read it.
I am not going to share my thoughts about same-sex marriages. That is not the purpose of these posts. I am going to do my best to stick to the information that this book calls for us to recognize. In all honesty, it doesn’t matter what my position is: I hope that no matter what your position is regarding this issue, you will be willing to have an open mind to the information contained therein. With that, let us begin.
Is same-sex marriage really an issue we should be concerned with? Erwin Lutzer says it is. To some, it is an issue that is better left to ‘those other people.’ Ultimately though, we are called to understand the implications of how same-sex marriage will affect the family. The term ‘family’ has been defined as, “a unit of two or more persons, related by either birth or by choice, which may or may not live together, who try and meet each other’s needs and share common goals and interests…” If we are going to allow such a definition to define what a family is, we open the doors for ‘equal rights’ to all types of ‘families’ and the end of marriage. Ultimately then, it is the children in these ‘families’ that end up hurt the most.
It is reported that co-habitation relationships only work out (for the most part) for only five years. Dr. Lutzer writes, “For example, in France, ‘civil solidarity pacts’ have been created for homosexuals so that they can file joint income tax returns and receive welfare and unemployment benefits.” He continues writing, “Gay marriage, as the French are vividly demonstrating, does not extend marital rights; it abolishes marriage and puts a new, flimsier institution in its place.” Would there really be a difference between people who are co-habitation, gay marriage, or a heterosexual marriage? There seems that there would not be. The lines of marriage would be blurred to non-existent and therefore endanger the institution of what marriage really is.
The issues of same-sex marriage are pushed throughout the media in a variety of ways. Those who live an alternative lifestyle would have us believe that it is a ‘normal’ relationship. Dr. Lutzer challenges that idea. Though, to challenge such a thought would border the bounds of ‘hate-speech.’ This is a term that has been thrown around to bully those who are in disagreement with homosexual marriage. Dr. Lutzer writes, “Not well: When same-sex marriages are legalized, religious freedom will have to give way to constitutional law.” It would end up being a violation to help someone who is struggling with homosexuality even if he or she wants it. The church would be held in bondage by the words it can speak. And in Canada, there was a bill that is trying to make its way through their government that would make public criticism of homosexuality a crime. Could you image what the implications of that call passing in the US would do to those who are pastors, counselors or good friends would do?
Dr. Lutzer ends the first chapter by mentioning something that is difficult for many to read. Everyone is a sinner. Just because someone lives an alternative lifestyle and another person does not, it does not mean one is greater or less than the other. As the church, we have become so critical of others in order to justify ourselves as ‘good Christians.’ That whole ‘speck of dust’ and ‘wooden beam’ story comes to mind as I consider the implications of Dr. Lutzer’s concluding thoughts. In short, Dr. Lutzer calls for the church to repent of how they have treated those who live a homosexual lifestyle. Even if one does not agree with their actions or choices, we are called to love people and not treat them like second-class citizens.