By Geoffrey Roberts
It is rarely good news when Christianity appears in the mainstream media. Sex scandals, abuse and fraud seem to be appearing with frightening regularity and the entire church is often painted by this broad brush of moral failure. Likewise the debate surrounding the legalisation of gay marriage has not reflected well on the Christian community. What could have been a great opportunity for the kingdom of God has degenerated into a public fight between traditional Christian values and modern secularism. A fight where our culture is a willing audience as the media gladly promotes each sound bite, tweet and press release from Christian leaders who are naively sensationalising the hypocrisy and cultural irrelevance of the church.
As a married man, father, Christian, pastor of a local church and celebrant I have been asked quite a few times what I believe about the legalisation of gay marriage. Many of the people I have spoken with are uncomfortable with the homophobic and bigoted ‘Christian’ view they have seen in the media and they are looking for a place to stand that doesn’t require them to persecute the homosexual community or compromise their faith. They want to know where Jesus is standing. I am writing this article to respond to these queries but mostly I am writing because I feel sad, I feel offended and I feel compelled to finally say something about the stunning lack of reference to Jesus in this debate. I can’t write a message on behalf of ‘the church’ any more than I can write a message on behalf of ‘husbands’, ‘fathers’, or ‘celebrants’ but I have something I need to say: I believe the vilification and demonization of the homosexual community and the loudly proclaimed ‘Christian’ view that homosexual couples should not be allowed to marry is distinctly unlike Jesus. Quite frankly, Jesus does not care about our laws… he cares about our hearts.