Love Is A Verb

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I spent my morning at the NH State Capital building.  I was joined by a few hundred people from both sides of the debate regarding same sex marriage.  As I stood outside this morning and listened to both sides of the argument I was struck by the question of love.  Do I show love in all that I do?  This can be a loaded question to some but for me as I stood in the midst of many people who were searching for love and finding only dirty looks and expressions of hatred I was troubled with how I respond to people.

The answer to the same sex marriage seems very simple.  I know what the Bible says regarding homosexuality and what it also says in regards to marriage.  As one who has been married to one woman for over 14 years I would say that I hold the institution of marriage in high esteem.  The issue that troubles me is in how I communicate my position to those who may desire to be joined in a same sex marriage.  It is a difficult conversation to have and one that I am wrestling with.

There were many signs that were held by both sides this morning.  “Love for all”  “1 Man + 1 Woman = Marriage”  “End the Democratic homosexual agenda”  Equality is Marriage”  Each signs carried a message.  There came a point when I wondered if I should be there.  There was a time when I wanted to go to those who identified themselves with the homosexual crowd and apologize for the words that were being spoken about their desire for equality in the realm of marriage.  Not so much because I had changed my mind, but because I could sense the hurt that they were experiencing.

It’s one thing to say that we love all people and to acknowledge that God loves everyone (we all know that John 3:16 refers to ALL people) but it is another to live that out.  I do not believe that any one of the many homosexuals who were at the NH State House this morning felt truly loved by the Christian community that was there.  We can say that we love them but our words feel empty.  We can express that God loves them but how are those words received?

I have neighbors who are homosexuals.  I consider them friends of my family.  I noticed one of them at the State House during the hearing.  I wondered what he may have thought about me being there.  I wondered how he may have felt as though I was against him.  My true desire is to express the love of God to all people but at the same time I want to do it in a way that is Biblical.  I struggle with what is the right way.  I am sure that I will make many mistakes in the coming months and years.  This issue is not going to just be swept under a rug.  It is not going away.  I must be able to reconcile my Biblical values and beliefs and at the same time be able to reach out to my neighbors.  I do not want to make them feel alienated in any way by what I do or say.  I want to be able to communicate to each of them just how much God loves them and how Jesus’ greatest sacrifice was for them as well.

Love needs to be an action.  Love needs to be a verb.  It is easy to view this issue in black and white but that viewpoint can also lead to much pain and heartache.  I don’t believe that is what God wants for any of His children.  I know it sounds cliche to ask the question “What Would Jesus Do?”  but that is what I am left with.  This morning, where would Jesus have been in the crowds?  Would He have been leading the rally for marriage as 1 man and 1 woman or would He have been comforting those who felt sidelined and ostracized for their sexual expression?

What do you think?  Where would Jesus have been?

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7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Amy Clark on April 20, 2009 at 7:31 am

    I am so glad I read your blog. As a heterosexual, I struggle a lot with attending church because of these issues. I don’t want to belong to any group that spreads hate. These are tough words to say but so many times I have left church thinking I can have a relationship with God without church and I admit, it is just not the same. I recently found Grace Capital and as I was just beginning to have hope that I have found a place to worship that focused on ministering and helping people… all people.

    Then came the announcements during service to stand up against gay marriage and to me, those are not words I want to hear at my church. It divides people. Not just homosexuals but people like me who feel Gods love but then wonder why am I at church because this isn’t love.

    My husband won’t attend church with me because of his past experiences with church and hate. Hate is a hard word I know but there is a lot of shameful history there between the Christian community and the treatment of gay people.

    It is a fine line but I agree that Jesus would not have been at that State House and if he were he would have been wondering both sides to see who needs his love.

    Thanks for this blog because it actually gives me hope for what church stands for. I want to be part of a community that cares about the gay community (regardless of what side you would be on in this marriage issue). I don’t want to change their relationship status I want them to be at church for all the same reasons as I need to be at church. To know God and to have a relationship with him.

    Reply

    • Posted by Amy on April 21, 2009 at 6:56 am

      Reading my post again this morning (I don’t know why) but it sounds like I think the announcements that are being made at GC to stand up against gay marriage are hateful and I want to clarify, I don’t think they belong in church but they were not hateful by any means. They were short blunt statements.

      Just need to clarify that because GC is a wonderful church and I hope to be there as long as God wants me there.

      Reply

  2. Posted by stuartdelony on April 16, 2009 at 11:14 am

    Good thoughts. I enjoyed them and I’m totally tracking with you.

    Jesus would have been no where near that building. He’d have been out spending time ministering with people. Maybe I’m a cynic, but I don’t see much being accomplished in protests and debates. It just seems to entrench people.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Deborah on April 16, 2009 at 7:48 am

    My thoughts …. Jesus wouldn’t have been in either of the two sides of the crowds you described, he would have had his own. As he said to the rich man, leave it all behind (paraphrase of course). This is for ALL of us who DESIRE to follow him. We all have had to leave something or someone or both behind to follow Him. We were never promised it would be an easy road, just that we would have His company along the journey. I for one do not regret my decision. I think, the fact that we struggle with how to show we love each other, while still staying true to God’s word, is evidence of His grace and mercy in us. Just my thoughts….

    Reply

  4. Hi Kev

    Thanks for posting this blog. It is a question that we all should be asking ourselves daily… not just what would Jesus do, but what should I do to bring about the Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven?

    I must say that I do not have totally the same view as you seem to on the Gay Marriage issue, but none the less, the answer should be no different.

    In order to truly love, you have to first forget that you disagree with the issue that divides you. In essence, whether God accepts gay marriage or not, is not for us to worry about, because if we do, that will be our focus, not the person.

    Relationship (ie mutual love) can only come as each side sets aside their beliefs and sees the person behind the banner.

    True love takes no account of wrongs, is peaceful, is full of joy, is not prideful, is not boastful… you know all of this.

    I guess it comes down to this… love God. love neighbour. act justly, love mercy, walk in humility with God.

    Blessings

    Reply

  5. Posted by revkevgcc on April 15, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    @Chris – I’ll be checking out that book. Thanks for the tip.

    Reply

  6. Good stuff man! I think these thoughts have been floating around in the minds of many of us for a while now. I received it a couple weeks ago, but I can’t wait to dive into Andrew Marin’s book LOVE IS AN ORIENTATION to get all of this a little more straight in my mind.

    Reply

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