Today I saw a rainbow. It was flying on a flag outside a public business, drawing attention to the current bill for “equal rights.”
And I can’t help but think back to the original rainbow. The one that God placed in the sky to remind Noah that He had made a promise to not destroy the earth with a flood again. (Genesis 5)
See, that’s what we believe, as Christians. Well, most “Christians”, but biblically, that is how the story reads. This is the one I am inclined to believe: the story that God; uncreated and triune, Divine and Sovereign, Spirit and without gender, spoke the world into being and then created man to inhabit it. Then man fell so far away from what God originally intended for Him, that He sent a flood (and a rescue from the flood that only Noah and his family took advantage of), and promised to not do that again.
Enter: Rainbow. The rainbow reminds us of His redemption for Noah and the redemption that is available to us.
I’m not talking from a “religious” stand point (as I’ve heard some people ask why this whole “same sex marriage” issue affects the religious people). You see, 20 years ago I traded in religion for an actual relationship with this Jesus who met me in my sexual brokenness, moral inadequacy and emotional destruction and told me I could be His friend and (as I accepted His offer of friendship) redeemed me by His love.
As I’ve gotten to know Him over all these years and gained a better understanding of His nature and His heart, I seek to emulate that to the world around me. And His heart is for love. And His heart is for relationship. But He has set up some guidelines that keep us from harm and heart break.
Now, you have to know this about me also. I’m about to file for divorce. Marriage is something still that I believe in and I believe it can be done in the right way if we get it started with the right motives and make vows to the right person that God (not ourselves) has appointed for us to be with. I also had been living in Ethiopia (where BEING homosexual is a crime worthy of jail time) and watched bills pass in my home country of New Zealand and then in the USA for same sex marriage. I never entered the debate as I had my own debates going on at home, in working with women with their own sexually broken problems that landed them in prostitution and in my own mind. So, I write this and speak out now because I’ve read the rhetoric and believe we Christians can explain ourselves a bit better.
Going back to the rainbow and when it was first placed in the sky, or a little before that actually when God created man in Genesis chapter 1. In verses 26-27 of that chapter it says
“And God said, Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” (KJV)
Here, God creates the completion of man or mankind: Male and Female. He said that THEY together were the expressed image of who He was and is. It was when they were BOTH made that the fullness of His image was expressed.
In light of this, we see the purpose of marriage, as God intended it. It was to express His image to the world. Male and female both display within themselves, different aspects of who their Creator is and what He is like. We see them biologically joining together in this sacred act called “Sex” after they enter into a covenant relationship called “Marriage”. It’s meant to be a promise relationship, like the promise that God gave to Noah- one that wouldn’t be broken or retracted.
The issue that most of us Bible-believing Christians have then, (when it comes to same sex marriage) is often birthed out of these two contending factors: 1. That marriage is an actual expression of the Creator of marriage Himself. 2. That when we limit marriage to one sex being involved, we only get half a representation of who God is.
Maybe that hasn’t been expressed well by well-meaning believers who don’t know how full of love and grace our Father is, and haven’t themselves yet experienced the fullness of His mercy. “They” are just trying to bring truth to life in this day and age where verbal and social media diarrhoea is highly contagious. What they may sense is a righteous indignation but lack the empathy for what the implication of their statements may arouse.
If we take a biological example of how this looks, I started to think of a baby born with a missing chromosome. Where there is deficiency, there is often a malformation or mutation within the baby’s make up. The baby still lives and breathes but we know it doesn’t have the fullest experience of life that it could potentially have. It may bring life to those around them but essentially, this baby is lacking a chromosome and it’s inability to achieve certain activities in life reflect this deficit.
The same thing (in light of what we believe of God, the Bible and how it applies to science), we are taught in school even that in order for a couple to reproduce, they need to be of the XX and XY combination. So we see that something is missing in this union of XX and XX or XY with XY and we feel uneasy about it. Our minds haven’t taken in what our hearts know is deficient yet deep down we know that it isn’t the best and ALL of what is meant to be. It’s like a baby who cannot achieve certain things in it’s life because it’s deficient of what was meant to be a part of it. If marriage is meant to be for a man and a woman and all of what that entails and is able to produce (and the list is long), then we get that sense of injustice.
If we believe that God created marriage and He IS love, then Love expressed fully is through both a man and a woman joined together in covenant. God is love. Reads our Bible in 1 John 4:8. The originally intended, authentic essence of Love is expressed in a male, female union called marriage.
But the debate says “Love is love.” I understand there are desires for people to get together in relationships with the one they love. My stand would be that; we all make choices and we’re not trying to make it for you. Our stand is to protect an institution that was created for more than just “love”, it was created to bear the image of the One who WE love because He first loved us. Even while we were still sinning and deficient of all that was meant to make us essentially “good”- He made us good by paying the price for our sin. Sin is essentially a choice to do what’s counterfeit of what was originally meant to be-that malformation and mutation that we are all susceptible to. It’s the worship of something else, rather than the worship of the One we are only meant to worship.
We Christians still fail, as do you, and we’ve maybe failed in expressing the deep desire we have to protect this sacred covenant of marriage as it was originally intended. We want to conserve it’s existence so that it continues to display the glory it was created for- like a heritage building that marks land and time and significant events, marriage marks for us, a sacred union not just between two people but between God and humanity. Jesus is coming back for His Bride. He, essentially wants to marry us and take us home with Him. But that’s for another blog…actually my next book.
He loves you. And so do I. But I would still vote No.