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-Different Christian Responses to Same-Sex Marriage?

by Dr. D ~ May 14th, 2012

President Barack Obama and Speaker of the Hous...

                                           (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week, President Obama changed his mind and came out in support of same-sex marriage and cited the teachings of Jesus and the ‘Golden Rule’ in the process. Since then the issue has been front and center with all sorts of differing responses from American Christians.

Most conservative Christians cite the Bible and their Christian religion as the major reason they support traditional marriage between one man and one woman. Meanwhile, others also cite their Christian beliefs as the foundation of their support for Homosexual marriage. Two opposing views and both calling in their understanding of Christianity in support of their very different stands.

Here’s Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi claiming her Catholic faith demands that she support same-sex marriage –from LifeSiteNews.com:

My religion has, compels me – and I love it for it – to be against discrimination of any kind in our country, and I consider this a form of discrimination. I think it’s unconstitutional on top of that,” she answered. Pelosi went on to praise President Obama for declaring support for the new marriage definition on Wednesday.

“So I think that yesterday was a great day for America because the president in a very personal, as well as presidential way, made history, and hopefully this will bring people together on the issue,” Pelosi said

Meanwhile the leaders of her faith- the Catholic bishops ironically say that they are compelled to oppose homosexual marriage:

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, had called Obama’s “evolution” on the marriage question this week “deeply saddening” and reaffirmed Catholic Church teaching that such social engineering is bound to harm both society and especially its most vulnerable members: children.

“The Catholic Bishops stand ready to affirm every positive measure taken by the President and the Administration to strengthen marriage and the family. However, we cannot be silent in the face of words or actions that would undermine the institution of marriage, the very cornerstone of our society. The people of this country, especially our children, deserve better,” said Dolan in a statement.

Here’s President Obama citing the teachings of Jesus and the ‘Golden Rule’ as contributing to his new understanding and support for homosexual marriage:

“We are both (Barack and Michelle) practicing Christians and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others.. But, you know, when we think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing Himself on our behalf, but it’s also the Golden Rule.”

This is a change from his stand in 2008 and in 2004 when supported traditional marriage instead and also cited his Christian faith:

“I’m a Christian. I do believe that tradition and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman.”

Here’s an article with a number of black pastors responding to Pres. Obama’s coming out for Gay marriage –mostly in opposition to his new stand:

Black Pastors Speak Out on Obama’s Gay Marriage Stance

In addition to black pastors, an entire Pentecostal denomination –The Assemblies of God USA came out in a statement opposing President Obama and Homosexual marriage:

"The Bible clearly teaches that marriage should be a life-long commitment between one man and one woman," said Dr. George O. Wood, general superintendent of the Assemblies.

"Although it has become popular to quote Scripture grossly out of context to serve a personal or political agenda, it still doesn’t change what God’s Word clearly states."

Here’s one of the most interesting reactions to President Obama’s new position from one of the president’s own religious advisors -The Rev. Joel Hunter. He not only disagrees with his friend but opposes Obama’s use of the Golden Rule:

"The Golden Rule is in the Bible but it cannot be used to contradict God’s marriage pattern reaffirmed by Jesus in Matthew 19:4-5," Hunter shared in an interview with The Christian Post. "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and the two shall become one flesh?’"

Response: I believe that Pastor Hunter sums up the differing Christian responses rather well with this observation:

“… Christians have different ways of interpreting the Bible. Some think human love or struggle should take precedence over the plain meaning of the text. Others (like many of us evangelicals) try to follow what the moral law throughout the Scripture says no matter how uncomfortable that is. We believe the Bible is centered on God, not man."

The pastor has nailed it on the head. Many liberal Christians believe that the teachings of Jesus to love everyone should trump everything else. They see the human race and culture as progressing beyond the Bible which is primarily a text that speaks to the past. Meanwhile conservative Bible believers refuse to pick and choose but try to understand and follow all of the teachings of the Bible and the New Testament in particular.

The very different approaches to the scriptures result in very different ideas about same-sex marriage and the foundations of the Christian faith.            *Top

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