Same Sex Marriage “Stuff” – Part One

This post is part of the July Synchroblog which invites bloggers to post about “Same Sex Marriage.”

As someone who has a gay son and who owns and facilitates a Private Facebook group for more than 500 moms of LGBT kids I have a LOT to say about same sex marriage “stuff.”

In fact, I have so much to say, I don’t know where to start.

But, I guess a good place to start is with my own story about how I went from believing same sex relationships were sinful to believing that condemning same sex relationships is sinful.

same-sex-marriage

When my son came out he told me he had come to the conclusion that the bible did not condemn loving, committed same sex relationships.

I fully expected to be able to prove him wrong.

I was accustomed to “studying” scripture as I taught women’s bible studies for years. I knew what it meant to dig into original language and consider the historical context of the verses I was studying.

I was shocked to find that my son was right …  none of the “clobber” verses were speaking about a loving, monogamous, healthy same sex relationship.

In fact, after a lot of studying and searching I had to admit there was no sufficient evidence in scripture that “clearly” condemned or supported same sex relationships.

One would have to put their integrity at stake and make scripture say more than it does in order to claim that scripture clearly condemns or supports same sex relationships.

(I could go into greater detail here about what I found and didn’t find in scripture, but instead I would like to share a link to a message by Pastor Stan Mitchell of GracePoint Church in Franklin, TN. The message is “Dialogue On Full Sacramental LGBT Inclusion.” This message includes almost everything I discovered in my own journey. I personally think this should be required listening for all Christians living in 2015 but I will just say “if you are a Christian who loves anyone – ANYONE – who is LGBT, you should take the time to listen to this message right away.”)

In light of discovering there was insufficient evidence in scripture to condemn same sex relationships I then had to ask myself, “What should I do?” and “How should I respond to something if scripture doesn’t clearly condemn or support it?”

The only thing I could think is I needed to find out if there was any evidence to indicate same sex relationships hurt people.

I searched and I couldn’t find that kind of evidence either – in fact, the evidence I discovered showed healthy same sex relationships had the same healthy effect on individuals and society as opposite sex relationships have on individuals and society.

Two more things happened which ended up playing a significant role in my journey.

First, I ran across this quote:

“A traditional religious belief is that “grace builds on nature,” in other words religious life depends on a good foundation in human health. Therefore we can legitimately evaluate the validity of a religious belief system by its psychological consequences. Good theology will result in good psychology and vice versa. Accordingly, bad theology will have negative psychological consequences. This is nothing more than an application of the biblical norm: “You will be able to tell them by their fruits” (Matt. 7:16) If Saint Irenaeus proclaimed, the glory of God is humans FULLY ALIVE [emphasis mine], then clearly a belief system that results in the destruction of human health cannot serve the glory of God.” ~Dr. John J. McNeill

And second, I kept bumping into Micah 6:8:

“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”

The quote by Dr. McNeill made so much sense to me and supported what I had always believed in my heart … which was the tenets and beliefs of Christianity should mostly lead to a person’s health and wholeness. In other words, our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health should all be “better” if we are embracing good theology. Like Dr. McNeill explained, good and right theology should mostly lead to good psychology (good fruit).

As I considered this idea I began to understand that when our theology about something is resulting in a lot of bad fruit or bad psychology – such as hopelessness, depression, self hate and self harm – we have an obligation to re-examine what we believe and ask ourselves why we believe it.

And Micah 6:8 became like a guiding light for my journey. The words reminded me that justice (doing what is right) is a very high priority to God and led me to ask, “What would it look like, in light of what I have discovered, to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God?”

Everything combined together led me to the conclusion that it would be unjust, and lack mercy and humility, to condemn a loving, monogamous same sex relationship.

There was nothing in scripture to clearly mandate the condemnation of same sex relationships, there was no evidence that same sex relationships caused harm to anyone (in fact, the opposite was true) and the theological position of condemning same sex relationships was not producing good psychology (good fruit).

Those things together have given me peace in my heart about being a Christian who affirms same sex relationships. Those things have led me to believe that condemning same sex relationships is a sin.

The transition didn’t happen overnight. Although I was able to see right away that what I had believed wasn’t right, it actually took somewhere between one and two years of study, prayer, learning, listening and thinking for me to officially change my position/belief.

I’ve been accused of letting my love for my son blind me to the truth, but nothing could be further from the truth. My love for my son made me study more than ever, it caused me to ask tougher questions and to carefully consider all the evidence before me. I love my son too much to mislead him in the wrong direction if I can help it.

I’ve been accused of disregarding scripture and the Christian faith, but nothing could be further from the truth. My high view of scripture, my determination to not make scripture say more than it says, my commitment to study in a thorough manner, my deep devotion to being a follower of Christ and to do my best to live into the kind of radical love that he demonstrated and calls me to imitate … those things have led and guided me to where I am today regarding same sex marriage. I do not affirm same sex relationships in spite of my faith. I affirm same sex relationships because of my faith.

And as I have talked to other Christian mothers of LGBT kids I have witnessed them going through the same sort of process … digging deep, not accepting easy answers, wanting to make sure as much as possible.

As mothers our love doesn’t let us off the hook … instead, it is the reason we must be even more resolute and thorough. Our love is that great.

Like I said … I have a LOT to say about same sex marriage “stuff” and this is just the beginning … but I’m a firm believer that blog posts shouldn’t be too long … so stay tuned for part two of “Same Sex Marriage Stuff” coming soon. (Go here for part two)

In the meantime, check out the other July Synchroblog posts about “Same Sex Marriage

8 thoughts on “Same Sex Marriage “Stuff” – Part One

  1. MacJoyful

    Reblogged this on Macjoyful's Minimal Musings and commented:
    The writer of this post has had a similar path as mine in realizing that being gay is far from a sin. That loving my son who happens to be need not require me to turn my back on God:

    I’ve been accused of letting my love for my son blind me to the truth, but nothing could be further from the truth. My love for my son made me study more than ever, it caused me to ask tougher questions and to carefully consider all the evidence before me. I love my son too much to mislead him in the wrong direction if I can help it.

    I’ve been accused of disregarding scripture and the Christian faith, but nothing could be further from the truth. My high view of scripture, my determination to not make scripture say more than it says, my commitment to study in a thorough manner, my deep devotion to being a follower of Christ and to do my best to live into the kind of radical love that he demonstrated and calls me to imitate … those things have led and guided me to where I am today regarding same sex marriage. I do not affirm same sex relationships in spite of my faith. I affirm same sex relationships because of my faith.

    Reply
  2. Tara

    Liz, thank you for sharing your story. I have always felt that is because of my faith that I accept same sex relationships. Jesus was all about love, wasn’t he? I am reminded of Jesus words in the Upper Room “that they all may be one.” Blessings to you and your son!

    Reply
  3. Jaron Terry

    I love where you say it’s because of your faith, not in spite of it, that you have come to affirm loving same-sex relationships. Thank you so much for your heart. Your son is so blessed and so are the moms for whom you provide “a safe space.”

    Reply
  4. Ted Seeber

    The thing that nobody has ever proved to me is that homosexual relationships are loving.

    Emotion is not enough. Love, is not an emotion. It is a decision to work for the best of the other person. Homosexuality, by denying procreation, is not the best. Therefore homosexual relationships are not loving- that is, they do not want what is best for the other person.

    From that, I go to such bigoted ideas as “Homosexuality is bad for homosexuals”, because it prevents them from being the people God made them to be.

    Reply
    1. Liz Post author

      Ted, If you knew some of the loving same sex couples I know you would have no doubt that they are loving … just as loving as any good healthy opposite sex relationship. That was part of my journey … taking the time to get to know same sex couples on a personal level. They have the same kind of relationships that heterosexuals have. Some are good and healthy and some are not but it doesn’t have anything to do with orientation. This BS about procreation is ridiculous and non-sensical. I could back you in the corner with it in a heartbeat but I won’t waste my time. You are too smart for that kind of stuff. AND I would like to remind you that my son is in a loving, healthy same sex relationship and he and his fiance plan to be married soon so when you come here and say that there is nothing loving about any same sex relationship you are insulting me and my family. So keep that kind of crap away from me. I have already had to block you from my Facebook page because you make ridiculous offensive statements like that.

      Reply
    2. survivorgirl007

      “Love, is not an emotion. It is a decision to work for the best of the other person.” You have that part right. Love is a verb.

      For a gay person to love (verb) another gay person is actually the best for that gay person because, well, they are both GAY. They aren’t straight, they aren’t going to become straight, and God is about changing hearts rather than changing sexual orientation.

      “Homosexuality, by denying procreation, is not the best.” Hmm. What about heterosexual couples who marry later in life and can’t procreate due to advanced age? Or infertile heterosexual couples who marry – does God frown upon their unions because they can’t procreate and they know that going in? Can you cite a scripture that says otherwise?

      Plus, what Liz said.

      Reply
    3. SWJenn

      “Homosexuality, by denying procreation, is not the best. ” This makes no sense. Does my husband’s and my 25 year marriage not count because we cannot have children together? It has felt to me that those 25 years have been full of caring, wanting the best for each other, and love. If procreation were the requirement for marriage, a large portion of straight marriages would have to be annulled, and we’d have a lot of older people “living in sin”. Seems to me the loving thing is to make a life-long commitment to another person, to share the ups and downs of life, and to look out for each other. And anyone who wants to do that should, it helps stabilize our communities and keep families out of poverty.

      Reply
    4. Rose

      As a mom with a gay son who is married to his partner, I can assure you, they know the meaning of love. They each look and work for the good of each other

      Reply

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