Well, the hot topic of conversation at present would have to be the issue of same-sex marriage. Along with the recent vote in Ireland and the US Supreme Court’s decision to legalise it last week in that country has only added more fuel to the fire around the debate in our nation (seen most vividly in the numerous Facebook profiles overlaid in rainbow colours). Sadly, we are finding that it is nearly impossible to have a proper debate on this subject as anyone with an opposing view is immediately branded as being intolerant, bigoted and homophobic. The Biblical view of marriage and family is completely disregarded by those pushing this agenda because they strongly believe that it has no place in modern secular culture.
According to proponents of same-sex marriage, the issue is not about religious beliefs but about ‘equality’. They spruik that ‘if Christians are meant to be loving then surely that love must insist on all people having the right to equality’. They have even gone so far as to say that Jesus would see this as a fundamental human right.
As Christians we cannot expect secular society to understand things from a Biblical perspective. The people of this world are blind to the things of God (2 Corinthians 4:4). We are arguing from a place that is completely foreign to them. I admire the efforts of believers to stand up for what they believe in and to engage in debate through conversations – be they face to face or in some other means…
My concern is that we may be trying to win the ‘battle’ through human reasoning and logic rather than recognizing that the real battle is a spiritual one. Paul writes in Ephesians 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” This battle must primarily take place in the spiritual realm through concerted prayer. The only way people’s lives and beliefs are going to be transformed is through a super-natural work of the Holy Spirit.
Coupled with this, as believers we need to be living out our faith in authentic and genuine ways – demonstrating true grace, patience, forgiveness, love, and care towards everyone. We must be living out the gospel! This needs to be done particularly in the context of how we treat other believers. Our lives need to display Christ! The temptation we face is to be legalistic and judgemental towards those around us. Yes, we are to proclaim the truth, but we are to do so with gentleness. Peter writes, “… but in your hearts honour Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defence to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behaviour in Christ may be put to shame” (1 Peter 3:14-16).
People in this world may not want to hear what we say or believe what we say, but they cannot deny the way we live. However, to live this way will require a real dependence upon God and His Spirit through prayer as well. This is how we as the Church can truly influence this world.