For The Gospel Coalition, Kevin DeYoung wrote a post entitled “40 Questions For Christians Now Waving Rainbow Flags.” At first I was excited! I thought it was another BuzzFeed quiz.
Sigh. It was not. But I still love question and answer time – once a teacher, always a teacher, I guess. So while I can’t answer these questions for every Christian waving a rainbow flag, I can give my own responses in my own corner of the internet. At least my friends will know where I’m coming from.
TGC: 1. How long have you believed that gay marriage is something to be celebrated?
AZ: Since I knew my friends with same-sex attraction could get married. At first, they could only get married in Canada, so the laws of our USA didn’t apply to their marriages. Then, different states started recognizing same-sex marriage. But now, ALL of my friends who want to be married can do so in our fine country.
TGC: 2. What Bible verses led you to change your mind?
AZ: Oh – I never had to change my mind. Next question!
TGC: 3. How would you make a positive case from Scripture that sexual activity between two persons of the same sex is a blessing to be celebrated?
AZ: Since it’s highly unlikely it would be spoken about in that culture, I’m guessing that’s why it didn’t make it into scripture. However, Song of Songs goes into great length about sex between and man and a woman – yet the woman in this book is one of many, many wives and concubines to one man. That just stinks and I’m glad our current culture frowns on that.
TGC: 4. What verses would you use to show that a marriage between two persons of the same sex can adequately depict Christ and the church?
AZ: That’s true – the Bible does say marriage is the depiction of Christ and the church. I’m thinking the object of that lesson is the love in a marriage union and probably not gender related. But, for argument’s sake if it IS gender related – maybe we should stop concentrating on a Supreme Court decision and start working on how we are RUINING heterosexual marriage. If any outsider looked at a marriage being equal to Christ’s love, we’d all be doomed.
Fun question – but I don’t see what this one had to do with a government decision.
TGC: 5. Do you think Jesus would have been okay with homosexual behavior between consenting adults in a committed relationship?
AZ: Maybe? I would NEVER want to speak for my Lord and Savior on a topic he never addressed. However, he did make the Samaritans (who were hated by the Jews for their differing beliefs) heroes of his stories a couple of times. (parable, woman at the well)
TGC: 6. If so, why did he reassert the Genesis definition of marriage as being one man and one woman?
AZ: Are you referring to Matthew 19? When Jesus talked about divorce and how the 2 united together are now one? If so, lets look at the meaning of the passage, right? Don’t get divorced. You want to honor this? I dare you to go to the courts and ask them to outlaw divorce. Oooo – what color would a “save divorce” flag be?
TGC: 7. When Jesus spoke against porneia what sins do you think he was forbidding?
AZ: Ack! Probably all the things porneia means; selling sexual purity and promiscuity. So can we please take all of this energy and effort you are using to fight gay marriage and instead fight the selling of little girls for sex in our own country?
Also, call me a prude, but I think porn is gross. You hear that all of you Christians who are addicted to porn? Oh – if I find out ANY of you who ARE addicted to porn are speaking loudly against gay marriage, I will so yell “HYPOCRITE”!
TGC: 8. If some homosexual behavior is acceptable, how do you understand the sinful “exchange” Paul highlights in Romans 1?
AZ: Are you talking about vs. 26-27? I know. Those pagan rituals were kind of kinky, huh? Not my style at all. And yes, these were the folks who knew God, but neither glorified nor gave thanks to Him.
Lucky for my LGBT Christian friends, they love God with their whole hearts and have no problem diving into His word and giving thanks. Lots and lots of thanks.
And though I haven’t been in all of their homes, the ones I have visited didn’t have any apparent idols in the form of other humans, animals, or reptiles. We do have live in an area largely populated people from South Asia. I have been in their homes. There ARE idols of animals and reptiles. Crazy, huh?
AZ: No. Because Romans 8:38-39
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
TGC 10. What sexual sins do you think they were referring to?
AZ: See my answer to question #8
TGC 11. As you think about the long history of the church and the near universal disapproval of same-sex sexual activity, what do you think you understand about the Bible that Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, and Luther failed to grasp?
AZ: I think they failed to grasp that slavery is really, really wrong. Also, women can preach and some are dang good at it. They failed to grasp that not all marriages stay together. They also interpreted “pederasty” to mean men taking advantage of young boys. Can you believe guys did that in Biblical times? Oh, wait, that happens today too, huh?
I also think they failed to grasp the Bible written in English would really screw up some of the ideas that didn’t exist in the English language. I think we should all be required to read the Scriptures in their original languages. That may solve a lot of problems.
TGC: 12. What arguments would you use to explain to Christians in Africa, Asia, and South America that their understanding of homosexuality is biblically incorrect and your new understanding of homosexuality is not culturally conditioned?
AZ: I may have them talk to the Christians in Canada, Holland, South Africa (yes, even though you said “Africa” in your question), Norway, Sweden, Argentina, (wait – isn’t that in South America?), or any of the other 14 countries where gay marriage is legal.
TGC: 13. Do you think Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were motivated by personal animus and bigotry when they, for almost all of their lives, defined marriage as a covenant relationship between one man and one woman?
AZ: Why would any of my opinions on anything in life depend on Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama? Michelle Obama, on the other hand, is a different story. I love her.
TGC: 14. Do you think children do best with a mother and a father?
AZ: Not if the mother is an alcoholic and the father is an abuser. Even if they are both Christian.
TGC:15. If not, what research would you point to in support of that conclusion?
AZ: Emotional and physical scarring.
TGC: 16. If yes, does the church or the state have any role to play in promoting or privileging the arrangement that puts children with a mom and a dad?
AZ: The church preaches whatever they believe is correct. The state needs to make sure children are in safe homes. Which reminds me…
We have an overwhelming need for foster parents. There are too many kids being pulled from (mostly)heterosexual parents for abuse. We have more kids who need a stable environment than ever before. Maybe instead of focusing on WHO is raising them, open your homes to the many sibling groups who want to say together but can’t because no one wants to take care of them. The church needs to be in this role.
TGC: 17. Does the end and purpose of marriage point to something more than an adult’s emotional and sexual fulfillment?
AZ: Yes, of course. It’s legally binding. Otherwise, why would we need to register our marriages with the courts?
TGC: 18. How would you define marriage?
AZ: Church-wise: 2 people committed to each other with God at the center.
Government-wise: a legal contract affording rights to both parties.
TGC: 19. Do you think close family members should be allowed to get married?
AZ: No, because it is against the law.
TGC: 20. Should marriage be limited to only two people?
AZ: In my opinion, yes. The opinion of Mormon fundamentalists differ. Also, the opinion of men written about in the Bible differs as well. Those men had a lot of wives! And concubines! They were never bored, I bet.
TGC: 21. On what basis, if any, would you prevent consenting adults of any relation and of any number from getting married?
AZ: The law, I guess.
TGC: 22. Should there be an age requirement in this country for obtaining a marriage license?
AZ: I think yes. If we’re going to put an age on fighting for our country and drinking alcohol, I’ll agree to this rule as well. However, I say raise the age of fighting so at least our soldiers can have a beer at the end of the day.
TGC 23. Does equality entail that anyone wanting to be married should be able to have any meaningful relationship defined as marriage?
TGC: 24. If not, why not?
AZ: Because kids getting married is a huge mistake. And while it is legal in other countries, marrying my 13 year old daughter to a 40 year old man makes me want to barf.
TGC: 25. Should your brothers and sisters in Christ who disagree with homosexual practice be allowed to exercise their religious beliefs without fear of punishment, retribution, or coercion?
AZ: As long they don’t harm or interfere in the well-being of others.
TGC: 26. Will you speak up for your fellow Christians when their jobs, their accreditation, their reputation, and their freedoms are threatened because of this issue?
AZ: It depends on where the job is. If it’s in a public office, then probably not. If it’s in their own church, then yes. Remember Nazi Germany with signs on the door with pictures of the Star of David crossed out? I’m not into that.
TGC: 27. Will you speak out against shaming and bullying of all kinds, whether against gays and lesbians or against Evangelicals and Catholics?
AZ: Of course. Bullying should never be tolerated. However, someone calling you a name is way different than being beaten up and killed. So, I guess I’d have to base it on the situation.
TGC: 28. Since the evangelical church has often failed to take unbiblical divorces and other sexual sins seriously, what steps will you take to ensure that gay marriages are healthy and accord with Scriptural principles?
AZ: The same steps I would take in a heterosexual marriage.
TGC: 29. Should gay couples in open relationships be subject to church discipline?
AZ: If they are Christian they can be subject to the faith community in which they’ve chosen.
TGC: 30. Is it a sin for LGBT persons to engage in sexual activity outside of marriage?
AZ: It’s a sin for anyone to engage in sexual activity outside of marriage. Duh. (Sorry. I’m getting rude. Some of these questions are really lame.)
TGC: 31. What will open and affirming churches do to speak prophetically against divorce, fornication, pornography, and adultery wherever they are found?
AZ: I imagine the same thing non-open and affirming churches preach. Hopefully, that through everything, Jesus is the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.
TCG: 32. If “love wins,” how would you define love?
AZ: Jesus Christ.
TCG: 33. What verses would you use to establish that definition?
AZ: Oh, good. This one is easy.
1 John 3:16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
TGC: 34. How should obedience to God’s commands shape our understanding of love?
AZ: Matthew 22:
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
TGC: 35. Do you believe it is possible to love someone and disagree with important decisions they make?
AZ: Most definitely.
36. If supporting gay marriage is a change for you, has anything else changed in your understanding of faith?
AZ: It’s not a change for me.
TCG: 37. As an evangelical, how has your support for gay marriage helped you become more passionate about traditional evangelical distinctives like a focus on being born again, the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ on the cross, the total trustworthiness of the Bible, and the urgent need to evangelize the lost?
AZ: It really hasn’t changed my opinion about any of these things at all.
TCG: 38. What open and affirming churches would you point to where people are being converted to orthodox Christianity, sinners are being warned of judgment and called to repentance, and missionaries are being sent out to plant churches among unreached peoples?
AZ: Are you asking for specific names all over the country? I can give you some from Portland, OR – but really, I think you need to look at this site. It will answer your question better.
TCG: 39. Do you hope to be more committed to the church, more committed to Christ, and more committed to the Scriptures in the years ahead?
AZ: Every day I pray for this. Thank you for questions like these which have me diving into Scripture and remembering how thirsty I am for it.
TGC: 40. When Paul at the end of Romans 1 rebukes “those who practice such things” and those who “give approval to those who practice them,” what sins do you think he has in mind?
AZ: Are you talking about this end of Romans 1?
28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
If so, than I am so grateful my LGBT brothers and sisters retain the knowledge of God. Oh, how I love to worship with them. You should see D., when we are singing, he is so in touch with God – hands raised, eyes closed, you just know there is some serious love going on there. He is an inspiration to me, this gay friend in our church.
Looking at the list above, I am reminded of how many good Christians do so many of these things; envy, deceit, malice, gossip, slander, arrogant, boastful, disobeying parents, no understanding, no fidelity, no mercy. Holy cow! Look how great the need is to get on our knees and thak God for sending his Son to take our sins. We’d never make it otherwise.
Phew! That was waaaaayyyyyy longer than a BuzzFeed Quiz, but pretty fun. I feel closer to Jesus now, so thanks for that. And also, I have to admit, I don’t own a rainbow flag. Excuse me while I find out how to obtain one.