Moving beyond the marriage debate as Christians

It would be insincere to say I was surprised by the results of the same-sex marriage vote in Maine this time around. I uphold that as a supporter of traditional marriage, it was out of principle- not hate- to vote No on Question 1. But a majority of Mainers have spoken, and because we live in a democracy rather than a theocracy, we must begin to move beyond the debate over civil marriage as Christians.

While there are many places in Scripture that seem to exactly describe where our culture is today (Romans 1:24-32 is one New Testament example), the question that remains is what are we to do about it? One thing we should NOT do is just gloss over such warnings and ignore the Word of God at these uncomfortable points, or explain them away as not applying to our current situation. But correction and reproof from Scripture are for those inside the church, not those on the outside (see 1 Corinthians 5:12-13).

So what about the people “on the outside”? Like all of us, they too need the grace of God. We all fall short of His glory, and only the power of The Holy Spirit can change lives. We must refocus on bringing this message to our state, demonstrating the love of God in the process. I do not think we should retreat inside our church walls. As I’ve stated before, we need to be a counter-culture not a subculture. We must be “salt and light” in the world and be bolder than ever in declaring the truth of God’s Word.

As someone who made no place for the God of the Bible in his life until relatively recently, I understand how it’d be difficult for someone to give up or feel any need to have to change various behaviors and lifestyles. As a result, we must be ever vigilant about reaching the younger and next generations with the sincere and unconditional love found only in God the Father, through Jesus Christ. Children growing up in a world with all kinds of sexual confusion need to know things do “get better” when they commit to finding fulfillment solely by this love from their Creator, instead of by their own lusts and desires.

But children must see this exemplified by their parents. This must be the call of the Christian church moving forward. People of all ages need to seek purity in their own lives, especially when they demand it of others. Where society sees hypocrisy in our lives, they see hypocrisy in Jesus.

Finally, as is evidenced by the change in the marriage vote from 2009 to 2012, winning political battles are only temporary. Christians must stay engaged where necessary, but refocus on the mission of being disciples rather than political activists. The local church must seek ways to serve others, trusting in God’s sovereignty to provide for His church and protect it’s voice in this world. The harvest is plentiful in Maine, and the workers are few. Let’s get to work.