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Thoughts from a pastor on same sex marriage

Dear Editor:

Recently, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of same-sex marriage. Even though this was expected by many pundits, it is still a bit jarring for those who believe in the biblical definition of marriage. Many are wondering what this means for the church.

Here are a few things we need to be thinking about in light of this new ruling.

4: Stand for truth, but demonstrate love. This is incredibly difficult. This means we should not react when a gay couple comes into our church, sits near us at a restaurant or attends the local Bible Study. This is not the time to point fingers, yell hateful slurs or put up a bigger wall to those who are deceived. Rather, we should allow them to sit in our pews and our Bible studies so that they can hear that we are all sinners and that Christ died for our sins and calls us to a life of holiness. I pray that many homosexuals will come into the church. I desire for them to hear the gospel. This leads me to my next point:

5: Pastors…..please preach the whole Bible. Too many times ,we address sin only in a list that is incredibly myopic. We like to focus on the adulterer but not lust. We want to focus on the murderer but not racism. We want to focus on homosexuality but not greed. When we pick a few things to call sin, we leave people with the false impression that only a few people in our congregation are sinners and the rest are perfect. When we preach all of God’s word systematically, then everyone will be confronted with their sin. Preach God’s word in its entirety  over and over again.

6: Create systems that please God. I love missions. Giving to missions is a core value for me. I love local food banks, and I believe that we need to help those who have no food. All this is the right thing to do; however ,with this issue, I do not think we have thought deeply enough about it as a church.
We are about to enter into a time much like the early church. We will have homosexual couples that completely intertwine their lives. They will buy homes together and combine their incomes. When one receives Christ, but the other does not, this may mean that many of our new brothers and sisters in Christ coming out of that lifestyle will have nowhere to live, nothing to drive, and no one to care for them. They will abandon it all for the sake of the Gospel.
Much like the early church, we must be ready to help. We must help  provide for housing, help with vehicles, and provide relational support. This may be one of the greatest ways to display to the world; we do not just talk about love, but we demonstrate it as well.
If we believe that God will save many out of this lifestyle, and I do, then I challenge pastors and churches to begin to think of ways that they can set money aside to help with this upcoming issue. How can we partner with other churches that are like-minded to embrace, care for, and disciple those who will come out of this lifestyle?
There are certainly many more challenges as the implications of this decision become clearer in the days ahead. I am confident that the church will respond with strength and will bring glory to God. We must stand firm in our faith, preach the truth, and love all at the same time. It will be a difficult thing, but one that will be worth it when we hear Him say, “Well done.”
The first part of this piece was published last week in the Hartselle Enquirer.

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Jason Kennedy