IF I was in a same-¬sex relationship I’m pretty sure I’d feel unfairly discriminated against.
I may be thankful for the legislative changes that have removed discrimination in some areas, but I’d still feel unfairly discriminated against.
The definition of marriage may soon change to honour and embrace relationships like mine. But still I’d feel unfairly discriminated against. I would want more.
Allow me to ask of my gay friends: what is offensive to you?
Is it simply that our legal system fails to sanction your relationship as a marriage? Or is it something more? Is it also offensive that certain people will still go on declaring that same¬-sex relationships are bad, and doing so with an air of authority, by quoting from the Bible?
I too have felt deeply offended by many things the Bible says. The author of the Bible also labels me a “sinner”. He condemns me for who I am. He says that at the very core of my being I am defiled and deceitful. He says I have become “worthless” and should be ashamed of myself for who I am. Now that is offensive!
The author of the Bible seems to have a thing against everyone. He especially has it in for the self-righteous do-gooders who think they are better than everyone else. At least I can say “amen” to that.
Furthermore, the author of the Bible singles out one man, a truly noble man, as the worst of us all and heaps upon him the most extreme condemnation imaginable. This is unconscionable, until we realise that man is the author of the Bible himself! Then we realise that somehow he is suffering condemnation in our place and setting us free. Free to know ultimate love.
Being offended by what the author of the Bible says can set us on the path to freedom, but changing the definition of marriage will bring freedom to no one.
The offence will still be there, especially if the church is granted exemptions and allowed to continue with its own more restricted view of marriage, based on the Bible. The discrimination, the hurt, the offence will continue.
The ultimate argument is not with our country’s definition of marriage, but rather with the author of the Bible. It is the Bible that contains the words of condemnation. It condemns every single one of us. But it also reveals the one who can give freedom and eternal love.
Let no one live under the illusion that changing the definition of marriage will be the end of this matter. While ever the author of the Bible has a voice, there will be offence. But there will also be hope.
Pastor Geoff Findlay