Tag Archive: gay marriage

Since California’s Proposition 8 has been in the news (seemingly forever, but only really since the 2010 Election), many friends, neighbors, and church folks have ask my opinion on the subject.  As a pastor, I sense they are trying to discern my “true Christian-ness.”

“What’s your take?  Where do you stand?” they ask.

My response to the most recent person who asked: “I stand with Christ.  I stand on the Christian side.”

“Oh,” he said. “So, you’re against same-sex marriage.”

Uh?  What?  I never said that!

I stand with Christ.  The Christ that welcomed the outcast and marginalized.  The Jesus who ate with the least and the lowly, the unclean and the tax collectors.  The Savior who refused to ignore those deemed unworthy.  The Christ who touched the untouchable and loved the unlovable.

But my friend’s jump to a conclusion was clear: The “Christian” side is the Rick Warren side.  Or the Albert Mohler side.  To stand with Christ is to stand with those who refute the judge’s findings.

Why is it that “standing with Christ” is interpreted as standing on the side of exclusion?  When did this fusion of Christianity and the Right-Wing happen?  Why is is that the “Christian” side is synonymous with the GOP?  Why do we use Christian and Conservative interchangeably?  When was “Christian”translated as hate, prejudice, and discrimination?

I stand with Christ.

I stand with Peter.  I  echo his words to the Gentiles in Acts 10: “I understand that God shows no partiality” (Acts 10:34).

Where have all the Christians gone?  Where are the voices of compassion, humanity, and tenderness?

I pray for the day when “Christian” becomes  synonymous with love, compassion, inclusion, and grace.  When “standing with Christ” means standing on the side of justice, fairness, and embrace. When being a Christian reveals to the world around us that we truly heed the call of Micah, “to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6.8)


“Obama’s new pastor dilemma”

Remember Jeremiah Wright?  No?  Well, don’t bother trying to recall the pastor from Chicago.  Rev. Wright, Obama’s former controversial minister is off the hook.  Enter new “pastor of controversy:” Rev. Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in Southern California.

Before he even officially sets foot in the Oval Office, Obama has already upset some on the Left with one of his inauguration day participants. Specifically, Obama’s selection of Pastor Rick Warren to deliver his inaugural invocation has ruffled the feathers of gay and liberal advocates who perceive Warren to be a homophobic, anti-gay, leader of the Evangelical Religious Right.

Obama’s selection is interesting on many fronts.  In fact, I think the Obama-Warren inauguration connection raises more questions than it does offer a definitive statement of the pair’s relationship.

– For Obama: Is he merely “throwing a bone” to Evangelicals?  Or is this a sincere attempt to reach out to those Christians in the Evangelical circle whom the Left traditionally fails to “capture?”

– For Warren: Is he participating in Obama’s inaguaration because doing so is the “American” thing to do?  (Who would pass up a chance to be a part of history?)  However, Obama and Warren admittedly disagree on many social and moral issues.  Most notably, the pair falls on opposite sides of California’s recent Constitutional Amendment that bans gay marriage.  Warren supported the ban, while Obama opposed it.  Does Warren’s “services” represent an endorsement of Obama policy?

Yesterday, Mike Huckabee appeared on “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart.  After some talk about Huckabee’s book, Do the Right Thing, the duo turned to the more potent issue: Gay marriage.  As one would expect, both Huckabee and Stewart treated one another civilly throughout the interview; perhaps to the disappointment of the audience!  As a result, both sides replayed the same arguments that have driven this debate for years: equality for all, homosexuality as a choice or not, procreation, etc.

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