The Supreme Court has just said that they would do away with the key part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Christians are scrambling to figure out what steps to take next. Gay Rights Activists are celebrating. What is the next step for the Church and how do we respond to the situation?
I propose that we step back and ask a different question: Was this a pursuit worthy of God’s Kingdom? Many are going to say yes to this. They believe that since the Bible prohibits homoerotic acts, we must enact legislation to reflect that. Law is the way, in this case, to enact the Kingdom commands.
I would disagree. Though I agree that homoerotic behavior is a sin, I also agree that no law can replace the Holy Spirit’s work in us. A quick look at Paul’s Epistles shows us that the greatest law ever made, the Law of Moses (Torah), was not good enough to enact the Kingdom. The People of God needed something bigger and more transformative. That would take more than any regulation of actions. It would take a heart change and a new pursuit of God (or being born again into God’s family). Paul’s story in Acts also shows us that he was very adamant about conversion through conviction instead of through coercion, which was the way of Israel and even the Roman Empire of his day. You either followed the law or were to be punished by the law.
What’s more, Jesus never commanded us to make laws, but to love God and neighbor/enemies. He also said to go into the world and baptize and make disciples. Note the order: baptize and then make disciples. This act of making disciples is teaching them the way of Christ (Matthew 28).
So how do we respond? We reach the lost. We minister. We evangelize. We teach God’s great plan for marriage to those who have accepted Christ. And we gracefully work with people who struggle with homosexual feelings as the Holy Spirit works in them to transform them, whether in this life or the next.