Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What would Jesus Do if Invited to a Gay Wedding? – John Shore

Omdat ons so besig is met Sonde is dit die ding waarop ons altyd eerste fokus. Dit is die manier hoe ons grootgemaak is. Daarom is ons eerste gedagte dat ons die Sonde moet aanspreek. As ons in die eerste plek so besig was met God se liefde, sou ons eerste gedagte sekerlik gewees het om God se liefde te verkondig. Hierdie artikel het my persoonlik weer laat dink

I've recently been invited to a couple of gay weddings. So -- what with being Christian and all -- I asked myself the famous question, "What would Jesus do?" (Which I don't too often ask myself, actually, since Jesus could, for instance, raise people from the dead and turn water into wine, whereas I can barely drag myself out of bed in the morning and/or turn water into coffee. Safe to say lots of His options are none of mine.)

Wondering what Jesus would do naturally enough led me to the New Testament. And therein I found these quotes:

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices -- mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law -- justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel." (Matthew 23:23-24); and

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to." (Matthew 23:13); and,

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are." (Matthew 23:15); and, last but hardly least:

"Love your neighbor as yourself," [said Jesus]. "There is no commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:31)

When I next went looking for anywhere in the Bible where Jesus says anything -- and I mean anything -- about homosexuality, I learned that Jesus spent about as much time talking about gays and/or lesbians as I spend talking about button collecting and/or sea horses: none. Of course, it's entirely possible that Jesus did say crucial things about homosexuality, but that when he did (curse the luck!) no one around him just then happened to have handy an ostrich feather, sappy stick, or whatever it was they used for pens back then. Which would make sense, actually. If you've spent any time at all reading the New Testament, you know that Jesus' disciples weren't exactly Johnnies-on-the-spot. They were just normal, everyday guys.

Kind of the whole point! Jesus most surely did love him some everyday people.

Throughout the New Testament, the only kind of people with whom Jesus consistently took frightful exception were the very "teachers of the law and Pharisees" we see him dressing down in the passages above. One thing that often gets lost in our considerations of Jesus is the degree to which he is exactly the wrong person to piss off. And you don't have to spend a lot of time in the New Testament before you understand that the only kind of people who seem to ever truly anger him are those who put religious dogma above what he most stood for, which was God's compassionate will.

Around Jesus you can whine, lie, shift your loyalties, be late, be greedy, be too ambitious, be stupid, be a coward, be a hypochondriac, constantly complain, fall asleep at every wrong moment -- you can do nothing right, and it won't in the slightest way seem to offend him. But you put dogma ahead of empathy? You transmogrify God's law into a justification for denying God's grace?

Then ... yikes, man. Then you've got yourself a problem no one wants.


I'm not exactly sure how we came to so often consider Jesus-formerly-known-as-The-Carpenter as a kind of a soft, dreamy, namby-pamby sort. (Not that there's anything wrong with that!) But it's hard to believe it was from the accounts of Jesus we have in the Gospels. That's just not the guy on those pages.

Jesus is scary when he's riled. And the only people who rile him are those who, in His name,set themselves up as sanctimonious judgers of others.

I think I better go to the weddings of my gay friends. I'm almost scared not to. In some of his parables Jesus wasn't exactly fortune-cookie clear, but he didn't even almost waffle about his "Love your neighbor as yourself." He very explicitly declared that the "first and greatest commandment."

If there's any wiggle room there, I just don't see it.

So I'll attend my gay friends' weddings, and I'll do so in the exact same spirit I'd expect them to
attend a similar function of mine. And if it happens that in the course of either of their weddings or receptions I find myself wondering if I'm doing the right thing, I'll be sure to remember the first miracle of Jesus' recorded in the Bible. It's when he turned water into wine. At a wedding.


  1. 1… Invited – I think it is pretty noteworthy that John was invited to attend said wedding. This means that he actually followed Jesus’ actions in befriending folks who are different then himself. Not to mention the fact that he must of made a big enough impression on the homosexual couple to be invited to their wedding, even though they must know (hopefully, he isn’t hiding this fact) he is a Christian who does not agree with the life style (as seen by his initial dilemma).

    2…. Attending vs Officiating – I think there is a HUGE different between attending a wedding as a friend and officiating the wedding. Allowing to explain – if you are simple attending the wedding, that is no problem as you are just going as a friend of the couple. It is like going to the wedding of a friend who you might think is marrying too young or marrying the wrong person. You may disagree with their decision – but you love them as friend, so you go to show your support to them as a person.

    Officiating the wedding is a different matter as it means you are the person who is blessing the same sex couple in the eyes of public, state and God. Seeing how the Bible clearly draws a line against homosexuality, it would be a sin for a Christian leader/pastor/elder to perform said wedding. (yes – I know that some people claim that the Bible doesn’t really forbid homosexual marriages. But, in my view, those folks have to do quite a lot of dancing and explaining to get around the passages in Romans and Leviticus.)

    3…. Confrontation – A lot of Christians believe that it is their “duty” to point out the sins of others, especially those within the homosexuality life style. However, I would disagree with this stance as it seems to me that it is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict people of their sins (John 16:7–11). Our job, as followers of Jesus, is to point people to Christ through our actions, words and deeds. We are also to follow the actions of our Lord, who, instead of condemning the prostitutes, sinners, and tax collectors, joined in fellowship with them.

    Granted, there was times when Jesus spoke up about the immoral life (i.e. sermon of the mount) – but those where times when he was teaching the people. Away from the “pulpit”, Jesus would love folks and model the life of the Father.

    Now if someone came to up to Him and wanted to follow Him, that was another issue as then Jesus would tell them to go and “sin no more”. But, again, this was done out of a relationship versus a blanket condemnation.

  2. As dit naby jou kom - familiegewys, snaaks dan is mens skielik geneig om dit uit 'n ander oogpunt te sien. So of dit meer aanvaarbaar word ...

  3. Skewer as skeef
    'n Gedig deur PIETA soos op geplaas in 2009 (Somerset Mall)

    Sit ek en sy rustig hier innie mall op 'n bankie saam.
    Sommige drentel net rond ander drafstap,
    dis vele gesigte wat kom en gaan.

    Vreemde gesigte.
    Wat skuil agter daai maskers?
    Elkeen het iets innie hart ~
    dalk vreugde of dalk pyn of dalk smart?

    Twee jong verliefdes stap klouende voor ons verby.
    Hy fluister vir haar en dan neerhalend giggellag sy.

    Altwee draai om en se hardop vir mekaar:
    "So skeef as kan kom!"
    Hy't hulle gehoor!
    Kyk hul net afkeurend aan en brom...

    Skielik besef ek, in my senior jare, dat ek 'n jammerte ervaar!
    Hoe baie male het ek ook al gedink: "Skewer as skeef en klaar!"

    God het ons almal volgens Sy beeld gemaak.
    Al verstaan ons soms nie hoe sommige dan anders raak?

    Hy het 'n plekkie eendag vir ons almal in Sy grote ryk;
    Met liefde en aanvaarding is ons almal eendag gelyk.

    Gee, Vader, vir ons nou op aarde meer liefde en harte wat bloei,
    Vir hulle wat anders voel en nog in die kas emosioneel stoei!

  4. Ek hou van die ou se skryfstyl. Baie lekker om te lees. En ja, hoekom leef ons nie meer Grace as judgment nie? Ek dink nou aan wat Ron matroia oor Adam en Eva gesê het. Oor dat hulle nie die naaktheid nie, maar die verskil tussen hulle, as not good verklaar het. Baie keer sien ek nog die verkille tussen my en ander as not good, en dit is waar die moeilikheid begin.....