As Prop 8 is overturned in California, Christian organizations are campaigning with fervor in final attempts to keep California's marriage laws restrictive to heterosexual unions. While the Bible is clear that homosexuality is not God's design, I have to ask myself if this political battle is one we should really be taking on considering our own real positions.
If marriage is such a priority to Christians, how do we explain the divorce rate? It is difficult to get hard numbers for the Church, but merely being a member one can see that there is little difference not only in the amount of divorces, but also in our attitude toward it. There are legitimate divorces – when a non-Christian leaves his or her spouse for example (See 1 Corinthians 7:12-16) – but the quantity can not be excused by the anomolies. If marriage is supposed to be a picture of Christ and the Church (See Ephesians 5:25-32), what are we telling God about our commitment to Him? Not only are so many of us divorced or divorcing, but so many of us do not hold each other accountable for it. God is explicitly clear that marriage is a steadfast commitment. He doesn't give us an out because we get tired or because they did something really mean or because we feel like we can do better.
In the common go-to verse for divorcing Christians, Jesus says “that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery,” (See Matthew 5:32) but even then He doesn't say that it is okay. If she is already an adultress, divorcing her won't maker her one, but He by no means recommends it. And in case there were still any question on the matter, God's example of His marriage to Israel is a poignant, convicting reminder that God HATES divorce, suffering Israel's adulteress ways generation after generation and offering reconciliation time and time again (See…. entire Old Testament). Why do we care so much about what the secular picture of marriage looks like when our own is so perverted? If it is something God-ordained and sacred, that should be all the more reason for us to for us to show the world what it ought to be rather than railing against them for not understanding. When God's people cannot do it the way God said to, how can the people who do not know God be held accountable?
Aside from divorce, the Church in our culture has largely ignored God's design within marriage. Men do not lead and their wives do not submit in too many Christian homes. This has become a pattern which deteriorates exponentially the family dynamic God laid out for us (See Colossians 3:18-21; Ephesians 5:22-33). Not all Christian homes are broken or distorted, but too many are and we pay little attention. At the fellowship my husband and I attend, masculine and feminie roles are defined and encouraged in the church and it has transformed individual family units as well as our part of the body. When we strive to obey God's Word and put aside our pride or our fears, things happen. God knows what He is talking about… Things truly do run smoother, we are able to understand one another better and people find more fulfillment in relationships. It is mostly just sad to see so much of the Body living outside of God's principles and having to deal with the natural reprecautions.
When we ignore the Word we are sending a strong message out to the hurting culture we live in: We Don't Care. We care enough to judge you, People Who Have God's Pity, but we do not care enough to tell you how adored you are by God and why He wants things done another way. We care enough to talk about how disgusting and “worldly” we think you are, but not enough to show you that real commitment and sacraficial love are not only attainable, but to be desired. We care enough to condemn you to Hell, but not enough to put ourselves in your shoes and ask ourselves “If I didn't know God's love what would I do?” We care just enough to say we are tending to the least of these, but not enough for anyone (including God, I'm afraid) to believe us.
If you are frustrated over Prop 8 ask yourself why. And perhaps turn your attention to the “Church,” because, brothers and sisters, I am afraid for it. What's more, every Christian I know who has taken an objective look fears with me. When even those of us within cannot see the difference from without, something is terribly, terribly wrong.