“Christians are becoming increasingly irrelevant. They are dragging Jesus down with them.”
The eyes of the nation are on the Supreme Court as we wait for a ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act and Prop 8. What is at stake for Christians in this battle? Does our stance even matter now that it’s in the hands of the Court? Some Christians support it based on their understanding of scripture, but their position in this battle has deep ramifications.
Marriage equality is coming. With some 85% of under-thirties in support of gay rights, it seems clear that it’s only a matter of time. So what are Christians doing in the meantime? They are becoming increasingly irrelevant. They are in effect dragging Jesus down with them.
Christians are the only group whose namesake welcomes anyone, anywhere, anytime — yet they seem to stand guard outside the door, barring anyone who doesn’t fit their picture. Many who seek His love, peace and rest are being told He will accept them… but on condition. We begin to sound like the Pharisees, for whom Jesus had scathing words (Matthew 23:15).
Nearly 100 years ago, temperance movement Christians bullied through a constitutional amendment to prohibit the consumption of alcohol, in an effort to manage people’s behavior. But of course people did not stop drinking; they rebelled. They made their own alcohol, thank you, and they built speakeasies — places to relax together without scrutiny. Only thirteen years later, Prohibition was repealed — but the reputation of its do-gooder advocates was not repealed; to this day, Prohibition represents not high ideals but the attempt of a few to impose their idea of good on the many.
If Christians think they will hold back same-sex marriage, they are deluded. No chance. This fight will be remembered not as one in which High Ideals lost to Evil Sinners, but as harsh and judgmental voices finally being shoved far back on the shelf of irrelevance. Even for those who believe that committed Christians should never be in same-sex relationships, passing laws based on that belief does not change hearts. Instead, it drives people away from the Jesus Christians claim to represent.
Our job today more than ever is to be the love of Christ by which people will know we are Christians, not the voice of condemnation to which they stop listening.