Thursday, April 11, 2013

Why my church supports gay marriage...

I'm sharing the following response from my church on this issue of gay marriage:

Recently, a local church made headlines by stating their opposition to gay marriage. The story was front page Easter Sunday in the Boulder Daily Camera. As another Christian community of faith in Lafayette, we at Cairn Christian Church, an Open and Affirming congregation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), formerly First Christian Church of Boulder, openly affirm the right of two people to express their love in marriage, regardless of gender.

We believe this because love was the number one value for Jesus; Love of neighbor, love of self, and love of God.  People who show love are part of the kingdom of God.  If our sexuality, like any other part of our personhood, expresses love and does no harm to another human being, it is far from sinful—it is godly. 
'Gay marriage protester outside the Minnesota Senate chamber' photo (c) 2010, Fibonacci Blue - license:

We remember that Jesus treated the marginalized – the diseased, women, children, the poor—with equal dignity and even invited them to eat at his table. He did not treat them as sinners and ask them to change their health status, gender, age or social status in order to be welcomed. His actions were completely against the norms of his day. As followers of Jesus we must then be on the side of the oppressed which are in this instance gays and lesbians seeking equality.

Though we understand the Bible to be a sacred text that has been normative for Christians for hundreds of years, we also understand it is a text written and compiled in a culture far different than our own, thousands of years ago.  We remember that the same Bible that is used to condemn homosexuals also condones child abuse, genocide, slavery, and rape. The Bible prescribes that disobedient children are to be stoned. The Bible thinks touching a woman in public is a sin. The Bible says divorce is a sin. The Bible says disease is a sin. Further, we understand the Bible has been used to justify slavery, misogyny, racism, and more—all within our own country no less.

Trying to define “Biblical marriage” is very slippery. The Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament, allows for multiple wives, allows the man to have a mistress, allows a man to sleep with any other woman without impunity as long as that woman is not herself married. Further, there is no equivalent word in the original language of the Old Testament for marriage.  In New Testament marriage was thought of as unnecessary in expectation of Jesus’ soon return. The Apostle Paul grudgingly conceded marriage but preferred celibacy.  So if we are going to define marriage as “Biblical,” which definition are we going by? Who gets to pick? And why are they right?

'Gay Marriages NYC' photo (c) 2011, Jose Antonio Navas - license:
We recognize that the definition of marriage has changed over time.  Marriage once allowed for multiple wives.  Marriage once was a formal financial contract between families and tribes.  Marriage once had little to do with love.    It was once impossible to marry across classes.  Only a few decades ago it was illegal to marry between races.  Our definition of marriage has changed with our changing ethics and our deeper understanding of the human psyche, the human body, and the human community.

Therefore, we of Cairn Christian Church, an Open and Affirming congregation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) affirm the right of two consenting adults to express their love in marriage—no matter their gender.

On behalf of the members of Cairn Christian Church,

Senior Minister Rev. Dr. Charisa Hunter-Crump (BD,MDiv, DMin)
Youth Minister Dustin Adkins (BA, Min)
Seminary Intern Loren Richmond Jr. (BS, MDiv student Phillips Theological Seminary)

(Via: )

1 comment:

  1. I'm in tears! This sums up everything I think every time someone pulls the "bible card" when it comes to homosexuality. God is love. If you are loving, in the definition as stated in Corinthians (if you want to get technical because I like that piece) then you are following God's law. The law of love that brings peace. It all starts with compassion. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And I'm not even gay! :)