Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Same sex marriage, love and refugees...

A hot topic currently is 'same sex marriage', with people from all sorts of fields being asked to make comment on it... politicians, church ministers, celebrities, even footballers (just to add the surreal to the situation).

And lately I am being asked what I think.

Straight off the top of my head I think, 'Who cares what I think. What possible relevance does my opinion have?' The facts are, some people of the same sex fall in love, some have affairs, some live together, some want to legalise their relationship. My opinion is of negligible consequence to all of that. Yet the questions keep coming.

So for what it's worth (very little actually) here's what I think.

It's a topic that is being pushed to the fore at the expense of what I consider far more weighty issues in our society, like Australia's inhumane treatment of refugees. The breakdown of families and the consequent problems that causes young people. The selfish vapid and empty 'look at me' ethos of the celebrity that our media pander to and our young people aspire to.

Against this, how my friends Joey and Peter want to live is small potatoes to me. What they want won't bring Australia into a moral morass. We're doing that fine just on the refugee issue thanks very much.

Then there's my friends who say 'But you're a christian, shouldn't you be toeing the church line?' Well, yes I am a christian, in that I have surrendered my life, present and future to God and His grace. And what I read in His word are things like "Do not judge, lest you be judged", "God loved the world so much He sent His Son so that we may be saved", "He who is without sin may cast the first stone", "Come to Me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest", "And they shall know you are Christians by your love".

So, as a christian, I'm all about emulating the very basis of God's character - Love. Yes, there is judgement in the Bible, but that's not my job, and I am in no way qualified to judge ANYONE, being just a sinner saved by grace myself. And I don't know a single other christian that is any better equipped than I am to do God's job for Him.

I've had friends who are so riled up about it from the other end of the scale too, saying things along the line of "I believe in equality and if you are against same-sex marriage then you are no friend of mine and you are a bigot." Well, from my vantage point, that's bigotry itself.... saying 'if you don't agree with my opinion on this topic then I have no time or place for you in my life, as your opinion goes against my opinion'. Yet they seem to think that gives them the moral high ground, when all it does is potentially drive otherwise good caring people away with hatred and hostility. 

You may have noticed that I haven't stated unequivocally whether or not I support same-sex marriage. I could cover all sorts of arguments, like is marriage a legal or religious institute... what parts of the Bible are relevant today?... Are we a christian nation?... 

All these are furphies, like having a theological debate over should we help the homeless. It turns into a wordfest. So I will reiterate... Why do you think my opinion is so important that you need to know. How I live is far more important than what I think about one issue. And here is how I endevour to live - Love God, love others.

If you don't understand that answer, then I suggest you put aside all thought of these 'hot topic' issues like same-sex marriage, and meditate for months on just how you live, and whether or not love is the basis of all that you do.

Greg Carrick