For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:14-22 ESV)
When the SCOTUS ruling about same sex “marriage” came down, the phrase “Love Wins” began trending all over social media. For the homosexual community, their definition of love had won. But the problem here is that anything but Love won that day. Let me tell you why….
Love is characterized by attributes of patience, kindness, respect (not being rude), humility, selflessness, forgiveness, endurance, forbearance, and grace. Love is not characterized by verbal attack or disrespect. Love is not characterized by conformity for the sake of peace or another person’s comfort. Love is not embodied in being abrupt or defensive or nasty in the face of opposing views and opinions. Love is not characterized by condemnation or misunderstanding. Beloved ones, Love did not win that day. Truthfully, Love was disgraced and grieved that day, and everyone is at fault. Strife and division won that day, and the price is costly.
The verbal barrage from both sides of the line surrounding this issue has been less than flattering. People who believe that couples consisting of two of the same gender are entitled to the same social rights as those couples consisting of one man and one woman have become so incredibly defensive toward anyone who voices a different of opinion that they have become the people that they despise the most. Since when does holding to a different opinion on a lifestyle choice automatically make you a bigot? There is nothing hostile about holding a different opinion. It is how you present that differing opinion, how you confront people with that opinion, how you try to force your opinion those who would stand in opposition to your own – that is what makes you hostile as a person. Let’s take a moment to define what a bigot is. Merriam-Webster define a bigot as “one who is strongly partial to one’s own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.” Moment of truth: if we are all being honest and accountable, there are persons on both sides who are guilty of being hostile and bigoted. I think it is disturbing how supporters of this issue are so quick to throw around words like “hate”, “bigot”, and “oppression.” I will agree that there are those extremists who do and say things that are not acceptable from one human being to another. However, I also feel that overgeneralizing and labeling everyone who does not agree with your lifestyle is just as damaging and disrespectful. It is my right as a human being, a citizen of the earth, and a person with God-given free will, to hold opinions, whether they are widely accepted and popular or not. I am provided the prerogative to form my own opinions about the issues in the world around me without infringement. The very fact that our opinions differ on a subject matter does not, by default, make either one of us hostile or bigoted. It is how we choose to act on those opinions and how we choose to voice those opinions. Note in the definition of the word bigot that there is a component of open intolerance for those who hold a different opinion. I may not agree with you, but it doesn’t mean that I stop loving you or stop conversing with you. It may be a subject that we avoid talking about simply out of respect for one another and in order to preserve the relationship that we have. But, more mature approach would be to seize the opportunity to speak frankly and respectfully about an issue or topic that we both feel strongly about, in a peaceful setting where both parties are open and willing to listen to both sides. Understand, however, that both choices are loving because they consider the value of the relationship overall versus one point of dissension and disagreement. This is where people on both sides of this argument fail miserably.
So, when will Love win? How does Love win, in a time and a society where opinions and emotions run high, and grace and mercy run low? Here’s the truth: Love already won, over 2000 years ago on a cross on a hill, with dozens of witnesses and spectators who mocked the only perfect Being to walk the earth in human form. We have just forgotten that Love already won, and we have forgotten how Love won. And how did Love win? By building relationships.
To those supporters of the homosexual group, stop growling at everyone who doesn’t agree with your lifestyle. The whole world is not against you. If you are that sensitive about your lifestyle, then maybe there is something about where you are that is still insecure and needs to be addressed. Those who respond so hostile to a simple difference of opinion clearly have a wound that needs to be addressed and healed before you can truly move on with your life. To those who stand on the other side of the argument and are opposed to same sex “marriage”, be careful of the way you use your words. We all have done things that someone else may not necessarily have agreed with us about, but hopefully they were not nasty and disrespectful about it. The Bible says that “Love covers a multitude of sins.” Stand your ground, but remember that Love is the highest power. This is how love wins, dear ones. No one is asking you to change your stance on things; but I am asking that you respect one another’s prerogative to hold a different stance from your own.
I personally do not have a heaven to keep you out of, nor a hell to put you in. All I know is what I have read in black and white in the Bible, and that I am doing my best, with Jesus’ help, to be the woman He created me to be. I don’t agree with same sex unions, but I understand that some relationships are closer than family, and that there are socioeconomic benefits that will only be legally recognized if there is a legal document that provides for that. However, I believe that, when God created marriage, He intended it to be between one man and one woman, with the primary purpose of populated the newly formed earth, something that can only occur when a man and a woman come together. Procreation cannot occur between two men or two women without the involvement of a third party of the opposite sex. It is biologically impossible, and God did not create humanity to be asexual or bisexual from a biologically functional standpoint. At the same time, while I firmly believe these things, I do not hate or dislike those who have chosen this lifestyle. As members of the human race, I still believe that they have something to offer, because I do not believe that their sexual preference is the only thing that defines who they are as people walking the earth. There are well-educated persons who have much to say about issues of human trafficking, poverty, homelessness, institutionalized racism, and other issues that plague our society and our world at large, who also happen to be living a homosexual lifestyle. They are concerned about the fight against AIDS in Africa. They are concerned about the thousands of school-age children who go hungry every summer when school is not in session. They are concerned about orphans and elder neglect and the quality of healthcare, both within and outside the borders of the U.S. Why? Because they are members of the human race who are concerned with matters that affect and threaten the human race. And, if you haven’t noticed, in all the dissension around this issue that has been brewing over the last few years, we have forgotten about the black churches that are being burned in the South. We are distracted from the fact that a far more egregious and heinous scourge has, once again, reared its ugly head in our country. The spike in racially charged violence that has been trending over the last 18-24 months has been nothing short of horrifying. We have a lot of work to do in the area of racial reconciliation, and it is far from over. As a woman of color, I cannot and will not let this cool or rest because it affects my everyday life, just as the SCOTUS’ ruling has the potential to do the same. So, let us continue to walk the journey, fight the good fight of faith, and keep real Love at the forefront of everything that we do.
Keep the main thing, the main thing. PEACE