I've been thinking about the controversy around same sex marriage approval in the USA. I'm a bit puzzled about why my Canadian friends are so upset. In some cases, same sex marriage has been legal in Canada for 8 or 9 years so it's not like this is some sudden infringement on our rights, freedoms and privileges.
When I think about Jesus and who he engaged with and how He did it, I think I see a path that we need to follow as the church in responding to the LGBTQ community. The most common accusation against Jesus was about who He spent his time with. If you are even a casual student of the scriptures, you'll know that Jesus spent considerable time with 'sinners, drunkards, tax collectors and prostitutes.' The Pharisees (the religious right of the day) hated him for it.
Some of the conversations that Jesus had with these people were recorded. Like the time, he encountered the woman caught in adultery. His response to her, after quietly rescuing her from certain death at the hands of the 'righteous' was 'go and sin no more'. His encounter with the woman at the well (multiple divorces, and at least one common law relationship) was to offer her Living Water after which he told her all about her life and ministered to her deepest needs. He met her where she was, offered her truth that set her free and gave her hope for a better day. I could go on, but the pattern is always the same.
Here's the difficulty with what I hear/see many of my friends posting and reposting. There is no hope, no mercy, no grace, and no love on this issue. There is only fear, outrage, anger and judgement.
To say that God is going to bring His judgement on American/Canada because of this particular issue reflects how messed up we really are. God doesn't need this to judge our nations. He can judge us for anything from the way we have treated First Nations peoples to the way we treated Jews and Sikhs who were seeking to flee persecution in their homeland to the way we treated the Chinese or the Japanese or the way we treated children in Residential Schools. The list is long and we are guilty on all counts.
We need to stop looking to politicians and judges to either save us from or solve our many difficulties and challenges. It might be better for us to weep for our nation and the mess that it is in, not because our law permits same sex marriage but because we, the church have been lax in fulfilling our mission and mandate to serve, love, go and give.
Perhaps once we own our sin and become 2 Chr 7:14 people, our nation will find healing, wholeness and the blessing of God.