Recently my old mate Scott posted this image on his Facebook page and took some heat for it. We had coffee that afternoon and he mentioned to me that he hadn’t seen the words at the top of the image, just the sentiment on the bottom. Maybe he did lose some friends over it. Certainly the comments on his post suggested his views weren’t welcome and a pastor he should know better.
Then just last week another friend posted a link on Facebook to this article with the accompanying disclaimer ‘No I’m not a bigot’. It takes the other point of view and she also copped heat from people who declared her narrow minded.
It seems that whichever side of the debate around gay marriage you sit on, you risk losing friends. You have to face the reality that your point of view on this one issue is going to bring conflict and possibly even the end of a relationship.
What an unbelievably stupid response…
I want to say ‘Really?… Seriously?… You would dismiss me as a friend because on a non essential issue I read the Bible differently to you?’
This is another in a long line of boundary marker issues that seem to be used to decide who is ‘in’ and who is ‘out’. In times gone by it was inerrancy, as certain people were demonised and harangued for refusing to subscribe to one particular view of scripture, or perhaps you encountered the same shunning over your views on creation, or women…
These are all issues that can still generate a little heat here in Oz, but let me change your perspective for a minute.
My aunt visited from Ireland a couple of years back and I asked her what was the pressing issue for the church in that part of the world. Do you know what she said?
Yep – hats… HATS!…
People are fighting one another over whether they keep their heads covered in church… I was speechless, but managed to utter some completely insincere words of concern.
People are losing friends over hats…
You probably find that sad and absurd. Bizarre even, but in another part of the world that is still more ‘christianised’ than Australia, this is a serious issue.
In 20 years time when the heat has gone out of this debate around gay marriage you will probably view it like you do creation, or inerrancy or gender. Its not that its a storm in a teacup. Its a real question that needs a thoughtful response. We do need to grapple with these issues as Christians, but we don’t need to lose friendships over them.
That is DUMB!
I get the clear sense we would be far more comfortable with a friend suggesting a non-divine Jesus, or many ways to God, than we would be with someone having a divergent view on gay marriage. We could more easily tolerate a compromise to our core convictions than we could someone holding the ‘wrong’ view on a hot topic.
Time to grow up a bit folks.
And – no – I haven’t presented my own view on this issue on here, because I’m not writing for that purpose. I’m more than happy to tell you what I think, but only if you promise not to ‘de-friend’ me…
If that’s too hard it might be time to get a grip of what Jesus said was really important