How to RESPOND in LOVE + TRUTH: AN Early Church Response to Same-Sex Marriage + Attraction
How would the early church respond to culture in the context of same-sex marriage? As a pastor in Canada, where same-sex marriages have been legal for the last 10 years, has given me a few thoughts of how to respond, in LOVE + TRUTH.
1. The Early Church has always been counter-cultural
The Church has never been called to follow culture. In fact, the Church is designed to bring hope, love, joy, and security for humanity to find God IN the midst of culture. With that said, the Church was always meant to be KINGDOM focused, not culture focused.
2. The Early Church has never looked to Rome to make decisions
Furthermore, the early church never looked to the Roman government to make decisions. In fact, the government was against the early Church. The Church was misunderstood, persecuted, scattered, mocked, and degraded... YET, the early Church kept thriving, growing, and influencing the world... interesting.
3. The Early Church influenced the world through prayer, meeting felt needs, and living like Christ
The early Church grew because of prayer... Yes, our response to culture should be one of prayer. Too often, we respond in our own resources (of judgements) rather than asking God to resource us. We need to pray for our culture. Maybe that is what we are lacking.
Also, the early Church grew because it met needs in the culture that the government didn't. To me, it is amazing to read the responses the early Church had on Roman culture during the plagues. It was the Christians who stayed in cities to tend to the dying, take care of displaced families, and reveal the GOSPEL in practical ways.
Last, the early Church grew because Christians maintained a Christlike character in the midst of persecution. Christians maintained love in the gladiator pits, offered forgiveness to those who hated them, and had an eternal perspective on life where the culture didn't. Not only was this counter-cultural to Rome, it was what drew people to Christ.
4. The Early Church's response to the world is to love, not judge
No where in Scripture are we called to judge the world. Christians - who are meant to be authentic, Spirit-led, and community focused - is called to love. Love is NOT love... Love is God... and Christians are called to love. Why? Because God first loved us. How? Because God showed us His grace.
How can we judge the world on the need to be "Christian" if they do not even hold to the same values? It is ridiculous.
The early Church responded to the world by loving people (which actually attracted the world to the church) not judging them (which pushes people away)
5. The Church is the HOPE of the world
This leads me to my last thought, the Church is meant - designed by God - to be the HOPE of the world. The Church... PEOPLE... are called to live it out in love and truth.
Be encouraged friend... for over 2000 years the Church has grown, thrived, and influenced the world through prayer, love, and meeting peoples needs.
Perhaps our culture who champions Same-Sex Marriage + Attraction is to teach the Church to truly be the Church?
What are your thoughts. Feel free to add to the conversation.