Some Advice on Same-Sex Marriage for US Church Leaders From a Canadian

In June 2015, the US Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples can marry in all 50 states, setting off a flurry of reaction by Christians and virtually everyone else on social media and beyond.

Ed Stetzer wrote a helpful background post to the shift in opinion that led to the decision and included links to a number of other leading articles in his post.

The social media reaction ranged from surprising to predictable to disappointing to occasionally refreshing.

I write from the perspective of a pastor of an evangelical church in a country where same-sex marriage has been the law of the land for a decade.

That does not mean I hold any uniquely deep wisdom, but it does mean we’ve had a decade to process and pray over the issue.

I hope what I offer can help. It’s my perspective. My fingers tremble at the keyboard because my goal is to help in the midst of a dialogue that seems far more divisive than it is uniting or constructive.

There will be many who disagree with me, I’m sure, but I hope it pulls debate away from the “sky is falling/this is the best thing ever” dichotomy that seems to characterize much of the dialogue so far.

The purpose of this post is not to take a position or define matters theologically (for there is so much debate around that). Rather, the purpose of this post is to think through how to respond as a church when the law of the land changes as fundamentally as it’s changing on same-sex marriage and many other issues.

Here are 5 perspectives I hope are helpful as church leaders of various positions on the subject think and pray through a way forward.

gay marriage church christianity

1. The church has always been counter-cultural

Most of us reading this post have been born into a unique season in history in which our culture is moving from a Christian culture to a post-Christian culture before our eyes.

Whatever you think about history, theology or exactly when this shift happened, it’s clear for all of us that the world into which we were born no longer exists.

Viewpoints that were widely embraced by culture just decades ago are no longer embraced. For some this seems like progress. For others, it seems like we’re losing something. Regardless, things have changed fundamentally.

But is that really such a big deal? For most of the last 2000 years, the authentic church has been counter-cultural. The church was certainly counter-cultural in the first century.

Even at the height of ‘Christendom’ (whenever that was), the most conservative historians would agree that Christianity as embraced by the state was different than the authentic Christianity we read about in scripture or that was practiced by many devout followers of Jesus.

Being counter-cultural usually helps the church more than hurts it.

If you think about it, regardless of your theological position, all your views as a Christian are counter-cultural and always will be. If your views are cultural, you’re probably not reading the scriptures closely enough.

We’re at our best when we offer an alternative, not just a reflection of a diluted or hijacked spirituality.

2. It’s actually strange to ask non-Christians to hold Christian values

As the Barna Group has pointed out, a growing number of people in America are best described as post-Christian. The majority of Canadians would certainly qualify as having a post-Christian worldview.

The question Christians in a post-Christian culture have to ask themselves is this:

Why would we expect non-Christians to behave like Christians?

If you believe sex is a gift given by God to be experienced between a man and a woman within marriage, why would you expect people who don’t follow Christ to embrace that?

 Why would we expect people who don’t profess to be Christians to:

Wait until marriage to have sex?

Clean up their language?

Stop smoking weed?

Be faithful to one person for life?

Pass laws like the entire nation was Christian?

Seriously? Why?

Most people today are not pretending to be Christians. So why would they adopt Christian values or morals?

Please don’t get me wrong.

I’m a pastor. I completely believe that Jesus is not only the Way, but that God’s way is the best way.

When you follow biblical teachings about how to live life, your life simply goes better. It just does. I 100 percent agree.

I do everything I personally can to align my life with the teachings of scripture, and I’m passionate about helping every follower of Christ do the same.

But what’s the logic behind judging people who don’t follow Jesus for behaving like people who don’t follow Jesus?

Why would you hold the world to the same standard you hold the church?

First, non-Christians usually act more consistently with their value system than you do.

It’s difficult for a non-Christian to be a hypocrite because they tend to live out what they believe.

Chances are they are better at living out their values than you or I are. Jesus never blamed pagans for acting like pagans.

But he did speak out against religious people for acting hypocritically. Think about that.

3. You’ve been dealing with sex outside of traditional marriage for a LONG time

If you believe gay sex is sinful, it’s really no morally different than straight sex outside of marriage.

Be honest, pretty much every unmarried person in your church is having sex (yes, even the Christians).

I know you want to believe that’s not true (trust me, I want to believe that’s not true), but why don’t you ask around? You’ll discover that only a few really surrender their sexuality.

Not to mention the married folks that struggle with porn, lust and a long list of other dysfunctions.

If you believe gay marriage is not God’s design, you’re really dealing with the same issue you’ve been dealing with all along—sex outside of its God-given context.

You don’t need to treat it any differently.

By the way, if you don’t deal with straight sex outside of marriage, don’t start being inconsistent and speak out against gay sex.

And you may want to start dealing with gluttony and gossip and greed while you’re at it. (I wrote more here about how to get the hypocrisy out of our sex talk in church.)

At least be consistent…humbly address all forms of sex outside of marriage.

The dialogue is possible. (Andy Stanley offers a great rationale for sex staying inside marriage here.)

We have that dialogue all the time at our church.

And people are grateful for it.

We also talk about our greed, our gluttony, our jealousy and our hypocrisy as Christians. It’s amazing. Jesus brings healing to all these areas of life, including our sex lives.

4. The early church never looked to the government for guidance

Having a government that doesn’t embrace the church’s values line for line actually puts Christians in some great company—the company of the earliest followers of Jesus.

Jesus spent about zero time asking the government to change during his ministry. In fact, people asked him to become the government, and he replied that his Kingdom is not of this world.

The Apostle Paul appeared before government officials regularly. Not once did he ask them to change the laws of the land.

He did, however, invite government officials to have Jesus personally change them. 

Paul constantly suffered at the hands of the authorities, ultimately dying under their power, but like Jesus, didn’t look to them for change.

Rather than asking the government to release him from prison, he wrote letters from prison talking about the love of Jesus Christ.

Instead of looking to the government for help, Paul and Jesus looked to God.

None of us in the West are suffering nearly as radically as Jesus and Paul suffered at the hands of a government. In fact, in Canada and the US, our government protects our freedom to assemble and even disagree with others. Plus, it gives us tax breaks for donations.

We honestly don’t have it that hard.

Maybe the future North American church will be more like the early church, rising early, before dawn, to pray, to encourage, to break bread.

Maybe we will pool our possessions and see the image of God in women. And love our wives radically and deeply with a protective love that will shock the culture. Maybe we will treat others with self-giving love, and even offer our lives in place of theirs.

Maybe we’ll be willing to lose our jobs, our homes, our families and even our lives because we follow Jesus.

That might just touch off a revolution like it did two millennia ago.

Perhaps the government might even take notice, amazed by the love that radical Jesus followers display.

5. Our judgment of LGBT people is destroying any potential relationship

Even the first 72 hour of social media reaction has driven a deeper wedge between Christian leaders and the LGBT community Jesus loves (yes, Jesus died for the world because he loves it).

Judgment is a terrible evangelism strategy.

People don’t line up to be judged.

If you want to keep being ineffective at reaching unchurched people, keep judging them.

Judging outsiders is un-Christian. Paul told us to stop judging people outside the church.

Jesus said God will judge us by the same standard with which we judge others.

Paul also reminds us to drop the uppity-attitude; that none of us were saved by the good we did but by grace.

Take a deep breath. You were saved by grace. Your sins are simply different than many others. And honestly, in many respects, they are the same.

People don’t line up to be judged. But they might line up to be loved.

So love people. Especially the people with whom you disagree.

Those are a few of the things I’ve learned and I’m struggling with.

The dialogue is not easy when culture is changing and people who sincerely love Jesus sincerely disagree.

I think there’s more hope than there is despair for the future. The radical ethic of grace and truth found in Jesus is more desperately needed in our world today than ever before.

Is the path crystal clear? No.

But rather than being a setback, perhaps this can move the church yet another step closer to realizing its true mission.

I was tempted to close comments off on this post, but I will leave them open just to see if we can continue the discussion constructively and humbly.

Rants and abusive viewpoints (on either side) will be deleted.

Show grace.

Respect those with whom you disagree.

If you want to leave a comment that helps, please do so.

But please spend at least as much time praying for the situation and for people you know who have been hurt by this dialogue as you do commenting on this post, on others like it or on your social media channels.

Maybe spend more time praying, actually.

That’s what we all really need. And that’s what will move the mission of the church forward.

————

Caleb’s Story

To help you navigate the issue a little further, I’m adding the interview I did on my Leadership Podcast with Caleb Kaltenbach into this post.

Caleb was born to parents who divorced to both pursue gay relationships. Caleb grew up to become a Christian and a pastor, and has spent his adult life fighting for the relationship with his parents. It’s a fascinating, moving story of grace in the midst of disagreement.

You can listen here in the browser window below, or click here to listen to Episode 33 on your phone or other device.

You can subscribe to my podcast for free here on iTunes, Stitcher or Tune In Radio.

Some Advice on Same-Sex Marriage for US Church Leaders From a Canadian

4,785 Comments

  1. Laurelita DeNatal on June 20, 2021 at 8:13 am

    As an Atheist,I fund many of the comments of these religious lunatics to be appalling ! If their invisible God in the clouds did not create homosexuals,….who then,the Devil ? Religion has to always preach it is saving you from something or someone horrible,evil and immoral.Otherwise,what is the pint in all ?

  2. David Mack on June 13, 2021 at 9:57 am

    I ran across this article while doing some research to assist me in finding a church I can embrace and attend in light of all the social upheaval going on now and for the past 30-40 years. There are all kinds of churches, priests/ministers, denominations, fractured denominations, religions, and faiths. What is good and right and noble about any of them if these institutions can’t stand for and uphold their beliefs and noble faiths in opposition to the lay world of hedonism?

    I grew up going to the Episcopal Church every Sunday no matter where my family lived at the time. The Episcopal Church always felt very noble(do the right thing), and honest(we are all sinners), including when they openly accepted homosexuals as church members. Yet when they decided to not only embrace gay individuals, but also gay marriage, appoint and accept openly practicing and non-repentant priests and bishops I had to do some serious soul searching and finally came to my own personal conclusion that I can not attend and support a church that can not separated the sin from the sinner to this extent. I can not in all good conscience allow my children and grand-children to grow up thinking sin is simply ok and to go to church in a house of God and not to be avoided!

    This is the gist of my belief(however wrong I may be, this is my belief), that while we should accept all people into the church, indeed into society, and treat them all with personal dignity and respect I can not and will not accept openly and practicing sinners(in my eyes) to stand up in front of the congregation and give sermons about morality and doing the right thing when they themselves are so openly and brazenly sinning on their own without regret or repentance.

    Yes, I am a sinner. I have committed adultery when I was young, before I was married to my one and only beloved and current wife, I had sex with a married woman several times and yet after that period of time came to an end I have in retrospect regretted that decision and on-going affair ever since. My point here in revealing this publicly is to highlight my own personal perspective on the topic of sex outside of marriage(gay, straight and otherwise), it is all sin and should be avoided. I am not trying to take a “holier than thou” attitude for anyone or any system of belief, I am just stating what I believe and think about separating sin from sinner. There is a line there that the church itself should not cross and should always strive to do the right thing from the perspective that we are indeed all sinners, but let us not embrace openly practiced sin from those who would lead our Christian souls to God and his Son Jesus Christ.

    If my church were to openly embrace a practicing and non-repentant gay person, or alcoholic, or thief, or child molester, or murderer, or even a traitor to my country I could not accept any of those leaders or churches which would accept that. We can not and should turn a blind eye to sin just to be accepted by society. Society and governments at large are here, or should be in my own personal opinion, simply to handle affairs between countries and among our own citizens such that all citizens can truly enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in a fair manner as provided for in the US Declaration of Independence and Constitution. Which is and should be separate from any and all religious fine point of various belief systems. This includes gay people and gay marriage as well, but the “marriage” part of this should not be a governmental control point, and should be a Church decision and sacrament only, leave the government out of our religious lives completely. Marriage should not be a government function, or policy, or concept or benefit or burden. If gay people wish to create their own church then go ahead and do that, but leave mine out of that point, out of my churches’ acceptance and belief system, and allow us to believe and bless things we feel are worthy of that blessing, which is the very center of this entire point of disagreement.

    • W. Mars on September 15, 2021 at 11:15 am

      I had some questions… Did you tell your wife and kids that you are an adulterer? Did you get up in front of your church and tell the congregation that you’re a perversion, liar, and cheating fornicator. That you risked giving your wife a disease due to your selfishness?

      Get a piece of cardboard and list your sins. I’ll help you start the list but I know (a fornicator) you will have plenty more sins to add to the list…

      1. Adultery
      2. Fornicator
      3. Liar
      4. Selfishness
      5. Hypocrite

      Once you’re done punch some holes at the top of your list and add some string. Wear that list around your neck so we can identify you for who you truly are. I mean, since you’re serious about peoples sins.

      Oh, you did tell her husband, right? You have to bring all your sins to the light. To achieve real forgiveness her husband has to know. If you judge other people’s sins openly, publicly, your sin should be judged openly and publicly. Tell her husband and wear your list. You can’t expect non-believers to be held accountable for biblical laws and rules if you’re not living the truth first.

  3. Okpala Carl on May 5, 2021 at 11:18 am

    This is very correct Alex, but just in case this becomes viral, I think it’s best you should support it with a lot of scriptures for the Christian readers on this website to have a 100% certainty of the truth in your powerful advice.

    • Dave on May 19, 2021 at 6:23 am

      As he said , all his comments do have scriptural refernce but to see how jesus behaved and conduced himself shows unwritten truth as he didn’t do anything unless he saw God doing it first..
      We would do well to just do what jesus did and not major on what was written..
      Grace without truth is as bad as truth without grace.. hope this helped

    • CURTIS MARTIN on June 1, 2021 at 2:07 am

      Hello, i was reading your post, and first thing that came to me, you judge much.
      Did jesus say not to love the gay people. No…..and, king james deciphers the bible in the 1600’s, but…..he couldnt do it…..not 1, or 2, or 3…it took hime 7 peoples input on what the bible should say….NOW, , I WOULDNT CALL KING JAMES A PROPHET….HE COULDNT ASK GOD, FOR HELP….HE ASKED MAN….TRUST ME PEOPLE, GOD WILL NOT SEND YOU TO HELL, FOR BEING GAY, MAY BE A SIN.,?, we just know for a fact that when the bible was printed, the word sodomy, didnt exist in their vocabulary….something tells me, king james…going to have to answer FOR A LOT OF DEATHS……I think it is just shameful for parents to act like that….if they do….DIVORCE THEM….AND STAY WITH GOD…

  4. Alex Goncalves on August 27, 2020 at 8:06 pm

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Edward Moore, sinner saved by Grace on October 31, 2020 at 10:55 am

      Your article is timely and helpful, however as a Christian sinner Saved by grace. I submit that God and his revealed word never changes. Homosexuality is a sin., but not for me to condemn a person for it. But it is not for me or the church to embrace as natural, or accepted as righteous in Gods sight. Love the sinner, hate the sin, if I’m misunderstanding Gods word, please show my using Gods word. Respectfully.

      • Tad on November 30, 2020 at 10:08 pm

        Sin is an archer’s term. It means the archer aimed for something and missed. This simple innocuous word has morphed into some heinous crime that one has committed against God, creation and humanity, which is just ridiculous. When I hear the rabble of today’s evangelists it makes me want to conjure a vision of me walking hand-in-hand with Hagar and Ishmael into the wilderness thinking the worst is not what lies ahead but what has just been left behind.

      • Tracey C. on January 12, 2021 at 11:25 am

        Just wanted to add.. Love thy sinner, PRAY for the sin. Only God shall make judgment. (The capitalization is only to show a change of wording. Not being harsh). I was always taught and believe; Jesus loves all, God is a forgiving God, that we ask for our own forgiveness and pray for those whom have sinned and do not know what they have done. That all shall be loved and welcome regardless! Period! Like the author spoke, we can not expect non followers to behave in a way they do not know. It is up to us to love and teach them. Great article to read and enjoyed your comment Edward. Thank you both!

        • David Sommer on February 7, 2021 at 4:00 am

          I agree with you and basically agree with the article. I believe our basic purpose as Christians is to cause as many people as possible to want to be saved and that the tremendous unconditional love of Christ should be shown towards all and no judgements cause we were all sinners saved by grace right in our sin in the first place.

        • Carlos Francis Parter on April 6, 2021 at 9:15 am

          Good points. We often make it difficult when it is so simplistic. My view is God’s word never changes. Sin is sin. He spoke of all sexual indiscretions as foul to the temple of God, which is our bodies. So, when we look to those who are homosexual, we have to view them the same as adulterers, fornicators, and the like. We do not need to speak of the sin. We know to know what sin is. Our reaction should be love and kindness but not leaning toward condoning. We often result in a condoning posture and speak out in support of what the Bible says is a sin to appease present culture. My concern is not over the sin within itself (of homosexuality/same-sex marriage) but for those who chose such a lifestyle openly and still want to be a leader in the church. I know everyone wants to belong, but how can someone decide to live a life openly that opposes the teaching of Christ and want to be a leader in His church? The church is like a hospital where the sick goes to be healed, but it is not part of an evolving culture that is fallen. The church should not mirror society. The church should be a beacon to society, so they draw near to understand the never-ending/ever-forgiving love of Christ.

        • EB on April 20, 2021 at 1:13 pm

          God has judged our sin and placed the eternal punishment on his Son, as written in the bible. Those that practice these sins, as lifestyles, will not inherent the Kingdom of God; even those that dont practice these sins, but approve of these sins or wink at them. There is no ambiguity, from God, as written in His Word, that states any different. God”s law forces us to see sin as sin, and that we are sinners, in order for us to, hopefully repent and have the faith that comes from God and is given to us, so we can believe on Christ”s atonement, birth, death and ressurection.
          Sexual sins are intrinsically more damaging to the body and the soul, since sex is reserved for Holy Matrimony, with one man and one woman. This institution is representative of Christ”s relationship to His church. Hence, adultery is as grave to a marriage, as idolatry is to the body of Christ. Even idolatry, present and taught thru false doctrine will eventually lead to sexual sins and sexual perversion.
          The act of homosexual sin and the approval or lack of church correction is a direct result of idolatry, in the world, in the church and being taught that it is no less a sin as other sins.
          Read Romans 1! Just look at all the sexual perversion, that has been exposed, in the last 2 decades, by priests, in the Roman Catholic Church; hence the false doctrines of idolatry.
          But any, church that is ordaining or marrying openingly homosexuals is committing idolatry, and teaching idolatry. This will damn the souls in their church to hell! So, this blasé attitude, about sexual sin and homosexuality, in the church is cowardness. The fear of the world and the fear from the world of persecution is behind why preachers are not standing firm in preaching the sexual standards of God.
          We can’t afford, not to be firm, but lovingly, in dealing with these sins. The practice must be repented from and put away, from the living life of the Christian. God will not leave a child who is sincerely struggling and has a heart of true repentance, with sexual sins, unvictorious……..He will deliver them! For God is not a liar!
          He delivered me from fornication and promescuity. Now, after 20 yrs in Christ, I have no ungodly desires to fornicate. It took time, but the first step was to except His standard/laws in my heart as His perfect will and repent for past sin. Then He began to strengthen me as I grew in His Word.

      • Bianca on May 18, 2021 at 5:26 pm

        I do not believe homosexuality is a sin. But I will tell you why lgbtq people don’t like the phrase “love the sinner, hate the sin” when you use this phrase, you aren’t distinguishing how deep someone’s sexuality runs within them. If someone said, love the person but not the sin of being a christian. It would be like okay, you love me, but you hate this part that makes up so much of who I view myself to be that I wonder if you actually love me. Since if you don’t love the parts that make up who I am as a person, what do you actual love about me.

        • Daniel Skupien on July 10, 2021 at 11:39 pm

          In the Old Testament, God gave the Jews different categories of laws; moral laws (laws that apply to all people in all places at all times), civil law (what to do if someone accidentally kills someone) , and ceremonial law (like don’t eat this or mix fabrics and etc).

          Some moral violations God understood/deemed to be so serious and so destructive to a people/society, that He commanded the death penalty, and homosexual behavior was one of those. If you don’t think it’s a sin, by what standard do you say it is not? What authority do you appeal to? Your own arbitrary opinion?

          Loving the sinner and hating the sin may be what Christians should do, but to love the sinner you must confront them and plead with them to repent, and then one can sympathize and hate the sin through the understanding that the sin that person is committing will result in eternal consequences.

          By the way, God not only hates sin, He hates the sinner!

          “The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity,” (Psalm 5:5).
          “The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, and the one who loves violence His soul hates,” (Psalm 11:5).
          “Moreover, you shall not follow the customs of the nation which I shall drive out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I have abhorred them,” (Lev. 20:23).
          “There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: 17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil,19 A false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers,” (Prov. 6:16-19).
          “All their evil is at Gilgal; indeed, I came to hate them there! Because of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of My house! I will love them no more; All their princes are rebels,”(Hosea 9:15).

          Also, this is very important, homosexuality is NOT an identity! It is a behavior, and all behaviors come from desires. Having a desire for a particular behavior doesn’t make an intrinsic identity or who one is. If one has strong desires for sleeping with people that aren’t their spouse, and said, “I’m just an adulterer, that’s just my identity” , everyone would find that to be ludicrous. If you take the logic of homosexuality being an identity, you can literally just create every immoral behavior into an identity. Someone says, “it’s just natural to me, how could it be wrong?” And I would respond with, “Do you have any idea how many things comes naturally to people that are evil?” Lying comes naturally, lust comes naturally, stealing comes naturally, fornication comes naturally, adultery comes naturally, hatred, murder, cheating, cruelty, malice, gossip, and on and on ALL COME NATURALLY to human beings, and if one belives that if a desire comes naturally and therefore can’t be a sin, and is just who they are, then that person will forever be condemned to never deal with those desires, those behaviors, and once you make an immoral desire/behavior into something that is acceptable, you have just set people up to justify any and every behavior they have. If you make sin not a sin to someone, you make repentance and thus salvation incredibly difficult, if not impossible. It’s a rather ingenious diabolical trap; convince people that the sinful desires/behaviors they have don’t ever have to be dealt with, and the Gospel can be made into something that is never sufficiently/savingly embraced, because one will not come on Christ’s terms, and those terms are repent and believe.

    • James on December 4, 2020 at 4:49 am

      Should the Church marry same sex ? NO simple truth

      • Mr. Globe on December 5, 2020 at 5:25 am

        A club who doesn’t like certain people for no reason at all ,
        perhaps it’s indeed better they’re staying away from such specific club !!

    • Matt Tyson on February 14, 2021 at 6:53 pm

      This topic never gets old because you guys won’t admit what really drives it. Here’s a perspective probably way more common in Christian churches then you think, Alex: the CINO (Christian In Name Only). I’m not a believer – not in God, Christ, or salvation anyway. I was raised in the faith and stopped believing in my teens. I still keep with the church, its culture, calendar, celebrations and general morality because it works for me. (Heck, it’s how I met my wife.) Otherwise, I agree with the church only as much as it agrees with me.

      I think I’m like most under 35 American guys: I don’t hate gay people but I’d don’t like them either. They disgust me. As far as their politics concern me I support the laws and leadership that keep gays, their marriages, their parades, and everything about them out of my face. However our politicians choose to spin it (supporting God’s law, defending marriage, protecting children, etc.) is fine by me. I really don’t care what they say about their policies or the gays. So save your five-point arguments Alex and take a good look at your congregation. They probably don’t want to hear it. More likely all they want from you is that gays are bad and better change or stay in the closet. Gays are judged and we don’t want any relationship. If it takes the law to keep them in line with our values then so be it. Quit pussyfooting around and lay out the truth for your congregation and for whatever lgbts want to argue with it. It’ll save time for all.

      • Tad Evatt on February 14, 2021 at 7:31 pm

        I don’t hate rednecks but I don’t like them either. They disgust me.- their multiple marriages, their ignorant talk, their flag-waving/pickup truck parades. I want everything about them out of my face. Perhaps they should be legislated against and banished to the closet so that I will no longer be required to turn away in disgust. I could give you examples of at least four more groups of people who should also be closeted but I will spare your having to scroll out of the post.

        • Matt Tyson on February 15, 2021 at 10:51 am

          You angsty type has neither the power nor the support to keep rednecks out of your face. Our cultural and political influence is “as American as apple pie”. It doesn’t take much balls and muscle to put the lgbt-alphabet back where it belongs. Rednecks are all balls and muscle and proud of it. We get s–t done. Not to mention that we’re also the backbone of most American Evangelical Christian congregations. Pastors who want to stay employed remember that. As far as legislation goes, don’t count on too many sanctions against rednecks. The gays, on he other hand, are in for it. Justice Amy Coney Barrett will see to that and America will be a better place for it. Cultural battles are ultimately settled by strength Tad and gays are a bad bet once their support withdraws. If you want to keep face within your own congregation you best pick your side well.

          • Tad Evatt on February 15, 2021 at 12:50 pm

            Agreed! Agreed!! Uncaring Evangelical balls and muscle is the reason why I tossed my 60-year affiliation with Evangelicals out into the street and watched it wash down the gutter. Jesus did not preach balls and muscle – Grace, acceptance and forgiveness were his forte. Current era Evangelicals shout Christian but they are not and when they behave in an ‘in-your-face’ manner they take Christ’s name in vain. My affiliation is now with mainline protestants so I have indeed picked my side well.



          • W. Mars on September 15, 2021 at 12:43 pm

            We can all see how well the redneck American Evangelicals put the lgbt in their place. Lol! Gay’s have made the egotistical bloated wealth-driven Evangelicals into a running joke. The lgbt have marriage equality and now nationwide discrimination laws. They are running scared in the streets… Lol! 🤐



          • Dale Henson on September 17, 2021 at 7:41 am

            I am gay and 230 lbs of muscle. Would you care to come over to my house and show me my place? I sure hope you have evolved.



          • Dale Henson on September 17, 2021 at 8:33 am

            I want to apologize for my previous reply. I read what to posted and frankly it was hurtful. In m hurt I wanted to strike back at you. I had hate in my heart. I would humbly ask you t0 examine your heart as well, because what you describe sure sounds like hate to me, even though you say otherwise. As for the act of sodomy, I am not sure what I think. I ask that the holy spirit guide me. That is all we as humans can do sometimes. Please don’t worship the flag, muscles, power or redneck culture. They will leave you wanting I am sure.



      • Carlos Francis Parter on April 6, 2021 at 9:23 am

        Matt, Do you believe the building we enter to worship together is the church? I see we are the church from my studies, or should I say the building blocks thereof. The body of Christ is not subject to four walls and a ceiling. When we fail to recognize our own purpose, we become combatant and far from being a part of the solution to a world of sin. We can only control our own actions through love and forgiveness as our Father has forgiven us. We live in a world of inherited sin and are born with sin as a natural impulse. It is easy to point the finger at a group or belief but harder to realize that we have our own personal responsibility built on relationships and walking a line where we are continuously trying to live out our purpose. When we see our own imperfections and less of others, we have truly evolved.

    • Michelle on March 6, 2021 at 7:40 pm

      Study God’s Word, lest you be swayed. If you have received Jesus as your savior and believe he is the son of God, you will be saved, you will want to repent, and God will change and mold you according to His will. It is a constant surrender to Self. And, God does not change. He created man, then made a woman for man. This is God’s idea of marriage. Everything else is not, no matter how you spin it. You either are for God or are against Him. If you say you are for Him, he will point out your sin so you can repent and keep walking. Study His word so you will not be mistaken.

      • Tad Evatt on March 6, 2021 at 8:04 pm

        It isn’t God’s word. Surely you know that already. He did not write it down. He did not dictate it. The words were all written by men. They wrote down what they thought about God. They were inspired by a concept they had about God and certainly not directly by God so they wrote it down and proceeded to make people believe it came from God [with bondage and suffering for those who did not believe them]. Had the prophets/kings/scribes not invoked God’s name at every turn, the people would have laughed them into hiding. It is the same today, if you want to be heard and followed then you invoke God’s name and then expect people to follow you, which, sadly, works and the blind follow their blind so-called “God-called” leader.

        • Carlos Francis Parter on April 6, 2021 at 9:26 am

          I challenge you to live out the words in the bible for one year. Love but do not judge. Invest in your church, community, and future—study forgiveness under David and wisdom under Solomon. If you would conduct yourself as accountable to yourself, your family, and Christ, you may have a life-changing experience. While you are taking the challenge, pray daily that God helps you in your unbelief. Be prepared for a miracle.

          • Bianca on May 18, 2021 at 5:34 pm

            Thank you for advising people to study his word. Now I’ll advice you of the same. As someone who is a christian, who reads their bible every day, who lives for Jesus Christ. We must understand the Bible, to understand God’s commandments for us. Which is why history is important. The Israelites in the Bible lived a different life than we lived, the christians in the Bible lived a different life than the Israelites. When the Bible talks about marriage, it’s going to talk about marriage in the position of a heterosexual marriage since the Bible deals with oppressed minorities of people. What do you need in an oppressed minority of people? Procreation, to make sure that group of people live on. Marriage is a changing concept in the Bible, there are multiple types of marriages in the bible (infertile heterosexual ones, monogamous, fertile heterosexual, etc) the thing that doesn’t change about marriage in the Bible is a covenant to God. I’m not asking you to agree with my theology, I’m asking that you hear it as I hear other people’s theology of marriage also. Have a great day.



        • Dave on May 19, 2021 at 6:52 am

          Invoking the name of God today doesn’t invite followers like you suggested..
          Not the Christian God, realising the.God in you and spirit guides and all occultism is more relieved than a God who has.judged us sinful and said we.are.bound to eternal punishment..
          Why has the world embraced Jewish scripture and writings of the new testament. Why don’t we now have many bibles or writings accepted as Gods Word..?? I believe these men didn’t just give us tbier interpretation ,even though each writer does has attributes that are evident as unique to that person.
          All of it runs consistent with each other..
          What other Book has 40 odd authors compiled and collected over 6000 yrs..
          That run consistent and don’t ever contradict each other.
          Has to be.more than mere coincidence..
          Maybe because the name of Jesus has power to radically change a person and a people group…
          If you question the bible , you may not of met the author yet..
          Have to humble yourself like a child..
          Come for salvation and restoration ..
          Jesus don’t care if you read or accept scripture, just as long as you come to him..
          He rebuked the religious.folk and said you search and read scripture like your eternal life depends on it , which thay did.do… But. JESUS said they All just speak and point to Me..
          I am the Way.the Truth and the Life..
          Come to me all you who are weary of religious folk , judgemental hypocritical Christians..
          Jesus is consistent with never saying no to anyone who comes to him…Gay, serial killer, kid pest ,tax cheats, bloggers..He will wash them all….

  5. Andy Pollard on April 27, 2020 at 1:35 am

    Hi, there:

    I realize this is an old piece. But, given the fervor over the last few years and the hard, right swing my country (the US) has taken as a reactionary knee jerk to the progressive movement, I feel the need to denounce. Not you, but, a position: that gay sex is somehow against god in any way or that sex in itself is necessarily. The early church was an amalgam of bronze age tradition, Grecco-Roman thought and this new guy called Jesus the Nazarene. The Jewish belief of marriage at the time was that it was between a man and (a) woman. I state a parenthetically as it was perfectly legal for certain men to have mulitple wives as it was necessary at the time, and especially after the exile, to reproduce as a people. The more children a man could have the more of God’s chosen people there would be. Which, at this time of infant mortality being something on the level of five out of ten or more meant having as many kids as possible was needed. That maternal mortality was only slightly better meant having more than one wife if your social standing was in kind with the law meant your chances of having more than one kid with more than one woman increased your chances of helping out Judaism as a whole survive. When did polygamy become illegal? Surely the early church didn’t seem to mind it as Charlemagne, Holy Roman Emperor/Augustus Charlemagne had half a dozen wives at the one time in the 9th century. Such really didn’t change until the 12th century when it was realized how complicated not having a totally uniform understanding of marriage became understood as not beneficial for society. And even then that was only because the church served as a kind of medieval UN and if war between the Franks and the Bavarians was the result of one a prince marrying more than one princess it stood to reason that keeping inheritance laws clean and clear made sense. Why do we think that marriage should be between just a man and a woman? That we’ve taken the poetry of Augustine too seriously is why: the story of Adam and Eve, the creation myth, is just that. A myth. A fifth century BC allegorical tale meant to show the transition of the Hebrews of Judea in the post Babylonian Jews: it was never meant to display the literal creation of man or really even society as the people of the time would’ve understood the cues in the story. How the word “Eden” or state of delight has its root in the Akkadian word “Edenalou” meaning grassland or steppe (the exile was spent in exactly such a place in modern day Iraq). Heck, even the serpent is a direct translation of the Babylonian god of knowledge and divination whose name means “lord of the good tree” in Akkadian. Adam, one of the Earth, and Eve, one of the life, in the context of the time represented the new Jewish people as being distinct from their semi-pagan Hebrew forebears (I am high above all gods {little g}) and having been cast out of their state of ignorant delight and into the world on their own were now the people of Israel: one who struggles with God. It was the marrying of the Earth of Judea with the Life of the people. That these guys lived before condoms and paternity tests meant that keeping an idea of who the father was meant that child support wasn’t hard to figure out. Go on, be gay. Have sex with who you love and understand vices for what they are. Booze, drugs, sex all in excess lead to misfortune. But, as the litany of televangelists who’ve been caught with their pants down have shown, everything of this world is a cycle.

    • SueQ on June 7, 2021 at 6:05 pm

      Here we are in 2021. And it’s pride month. First off, I believe “church“ is a hospital for the sick, and that is every single one of us. But I happen to be perusing my social media today and saw friends from my church that facilitate and are involved in teaching, with pride emblems and love is love posts.
      Where do we draw the line ?
      I pray we become better at telling the truth in love about all sin.
      Jesus literally set us free from the law of sin and death .
      We are no longer in bondage.
      We have the power of the Holy Spirit to break every chain. It seems as though many have forgotten this amazing truth.

  6. Brad Pemberton on February 14, 2020 at 3:02 pm

    I didn’t have to read long to disagree with you and am sorry that you have bought into the millenial fatalist christianese viewpoint that it is “strange to hold non-christians to christian standards.” Any government or person that promotes a culture or belief contrary to the ideal plan laid out in scripture is a perversion and should be confronted and held to a higher standard. We are to storm the gates of hell here on Earth – and that includes being salt in the culture we find ourselves in. It is non-Christians that are counter-culture. The definitions of what culture is to be is laid out in detail in His Word and any weak-kneed attempt to embrace or even excuse Biblically-condemned perversions is nothing short of denying Christ and the Gospel.

    • W. Mars on September 15, 2021 at 1:20 pm

      You and your kind don’t own this country. What you want is for Christianity to become a dictatorship. I suggest you see a therapist for your “control” issues. Are you God now? What happened to his giving us “free will?” Changing his word, his plan, is an horrible sin. You go against his word and you will surely BURN IN HELL! Changing Gods word, his will, is an unforgivable SIN! For even holding such a narcissistic thought, you should crawl on your knees over glass and beg for his forgiveness. It’s Gods plan! Not Brads plan! Egotistical and self-bloating.

  7. Aaron Zacharias on September 26, 2019 at 9:26 pm

    I am not going to dignify any of this forum with a comment.

  8. Many thanks for being my tutor on this topic. I actually
    enjoyed your own article a lot and most of all cherished how you really handled the areas I widely known as controversial.
    You happen to be always quite kind towards readers much like me and assist me in my life.
    Thank you.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on July 16, 2019 at 1:42 pm

      Glad to help!

  9. Ken on June 6, 2019 at 12:27 am

    There is still time to repent of your sin before hell fire punishment. Jesus died to atone for sin and propitiate the wrath of God towards sinners.

  10. The Hypocrisy and Reason for Judging Others on July 2, 2018 at 6:30 am

    […] that it turns people off to Jesus and his teachings. I really can’t say it any better than what Carey Neiuwhof says about judging others. So I am just going to attempt to amplify it here (but I encourage you to read the whole post and […]

  11. diamondinruff on February 15, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    Thank you for this article. You said “At least be consistent…humbly address all forms of sex outside of marriage.
    The dialogue is possible. (Andy Stanley offers a great rationale for sex staying inside marriage here.)
    We have that dialogue all the time at our church.
    And people are grateful for it.
    We also talk about our greed, our gluttony, our jealousy and our
    hypocrisy as Christians. ” Mr. Nieuwhof — do you also talk about the sin of abortion?

    • Erica Holland on June 16, 2017 at 11:15 pm

      I have to dissagree with the sstatement that unmarried christians are having sex,so not true where I go to church

      • Aaron Zacharias on September 26, 2019 at 8:58 pm

        And you know this how?

      • Storkdok on January 1, 2020 at 1:43 pm

        HAHAHAHAHAHA! As an OB/GYN, I find your naivety very amusing…

  12. Honey Moy French on September 22, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    I preach twice a month in chapel services in a men’s prison.

  13. Clay Mason on August 11, 2016 at 10:00 am

    Jesus said this: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.” While I appreciated your article and gained useful insights from it, I wish you had gone with your first inclination about allowing comments. Reading through them I am reminded that we are not just divided, we are fractured. Solomon said in Psalm 127: “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” As a minister to a local flock I struggle daily to feed these brothers and sisters with truth love grace and mercy. A balanced diet of Godly food. Yet when I read through these comments I see many who have chosen to pick and choose from the menu and through their choices have either starved themselves or poisoned themselves into spiritual death. Some like truth and nothing else. Some like grace and nothing else. And there is no balance. But there is judgement among brethren. And division. And strife. The very things Jesus taught against. And the world watches. And what do they see from us? And why wouldn’t they choose anything other than The Way? Shame on us! “I am the way the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father but by me” – Jesus. I think we all need to repent.

  14. D Blyth on August 11, 2016 at 4:19 am

    Love the sinners, hate the sin!

    • Joshua Goss on October 9, 2017 at 7:07 am

      Nah mate,

      Love the sinners, hate your own sin.

      • katie reynoso on January 24, 2018 at 6:03 pm

        Yesss!!! This comment is amazing!! Love the sinner, hate your own sin!! Beautifully said.

      • Aaron Zacharias on September 26, 2019 at 9:01 pm

        Yep!!!!!!

    • Striker on April 8, 2020 at 10:58 pm

      I have to support that because it is Biblical. God hated the sin and so should we. Doesn’t matter if you are a pedophile or gay sin is sin is sin.
      Here are a few more Biblical guidelines,
      1 Corinthians 15:33
      Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”

      1. Proverbs 18:2-3 Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions. Doing wrong leads to disgrace, and scandalous behavior brings contempt.

      2. Proverbs 1:5-7 Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables, the words of the wise and their riddles. Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

      3. Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.

      Things your ‘god’ Andy Stanley ignores as quoted in this article.

      • Rick on December 21, 2020 at 5:11 pm

        Looks like two quarts of fresh picked strawberries to me!

        I can do the same thing using the words of Jesus to present the exact opposite of the clearly judgmental and inflammatory approach you used.

        Matthew 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

        Matthew 5:46 “If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

        Matthew 7:1-5 “Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged. For with the judgment you use, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye but don’t notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and look, there’s a log in your eye? Hypocrite! First take the log out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

        Romans 2:1-2 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.

  15. D Blyth on August 11, 2016 at 3:22 am

    What is lawful is not necessarily moral and vice versa!
    The religious authorities deal with morals as divinely revealed while the secular authorities deal with human laws.
    The author however neglects Natural Law which would support the moral approach. It is not at odds with Judeo-Christian norms as the nature of creation has the same author as Scripture.
    Christianity has a history of independence from the secular authorities. There were many “believers” (Christian and other) who deviated.
    One of the drivers of the protestant rebellion was driven by secular authorities who did not enjoy being held morally accountable by someone independent of them (eg Henry VIII).

  16. Paul Cummings on August 10, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    Carey – I’m so glad you’ve posted this again. This has been such a major struggle for me – MAJOR. Having worked in the HIV/AIDS world for over 10 years, I was always – and I mean always, concerned about the salvation of the ones I sat with while they passed away, never feeling loved or accepted by the church, and ultimately, God. Many came from a Christian background but once they “came out”, they were shunned – not just by the church, but often by family and friends. As a counsellor – talking “Christian” to my clients was discouraged. So there I sat, thinking about them, their lives, and that I wanted so much to tell them – God loves you! Ask for forgiveness and it will be yours. But I was silenced. I’ve dealt with this issue since 1990 when I first started working in the field. I think, I have a good grasp of what I would do if the future ever gives me that chance again, but for now, I appreciate this blog and sharing the struggle you also have. thank you!

  17. Dr. Cory Annis on July 4, 2016 at 7:36 am

    Thank you for this perspective. You and I will probably never find ourselves together at the same dinner party or fundraiser. We bat for different teams. In fact, we play different sports entirely. One person to another, however, I find your articulate reflection refreshing. Knowing we could break bread without agreeing adds warmth to a world sorely in need of it.

    • Carey Nieuwhof on August 10, 2016 at 5:32 pm

      Thank you so much Cory. This means so much to me. I hope we do find ourselves at dinner one day. It would be a joy to break bread with you.

      • Dr. Cory Annis on August 10, 2016 at 8:11 pm

        I hope we’re treated to that delight one day.
        Wishing you gracious civility and thoughtful conversation in the mean time.

    • Terry M Boler on March 31, 2021 at 10:34 am

      I appreciate your comment Dr. Annis. I too am hopeful for a world where we do not have to agree with each other to love each other and respect each other. In fact, if we humbly admit that we don’t know everything and are open to hear, we might learn something. As a Christian, I know I have gotten it wrong a lot of times. Love God, love your neighbor. Short sentence, big implications. Thanks so much again for your comment. And thanks Carey for making it ok to be uncomfortable in the tension….

  18. Chris Hanley on May 3, 2016 at 7:49 am

    We don’t have SSM in Australia. We are fighting it. Are pastors required to marry gay people? How do you get around the discrimination catch cry now SSM is legal in your country? Are Christian schools required to participate in the lie?? In other words, how are Christian churches, businesses and schools treated in regards to their freedom of belief?

  19. Stephen Anderson on April 19, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    The Law of God stands as does its judgments. Most of evangelical is going to cave in since most evangelicals have a shallow “what’s in it for me” faith. This nation is currently under the wrath of God and those “Christians” that decide they rather please sinners than please the Lord will find that wrath will consume them also.
    The Lord Jesus warned, ” And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (Mat 24:12-13)
    The Lord is on His threshing floor separating the wheat and the chaff.

  20. HoosierConservative on April 15, 2016 at 8:55 am

    As soon as “don’t judge me” became “never disagree with me,” the game was over. That’s what happens when the unchurched get to write the dictionary of church vocabulary.

    I presently know a woman painfully moving away from her alcoholic son because every time she questions his drinking he screams at her to stop judging him.

    My family recently watched from afar as a gay Christian cousin of ours left his wife suddenly, dumped a house mortgage all on her, called her an ugly cow all over town when she complained, launched verbal profanity bombs at any friend or family who criticized him, moved in with a gay lover who introduced him to hard liquor, posted inappropriate behavior all over social media, framed every negative comment behind the persecution of gays, and then methodically demanded each of his family members to be for him or against him. He currently serves on the worship team of a church where his father is conveniently the head pastor. No one ever got an apology, the profanity and disgusting photos online continue, but he is apparently qualified to lead worship.

    All because other church members once got divorced or something, so they’re not allowed to judge him.

    You know who’s tired of getting judged? Faithful, righteous church members who follow the rules, respect their pastor, lead Bible study groups, and try to raise their kids right…. only to be cursed out and told to shut up.

    This is not a prodigal son story. This is the father trudging out to the night club while the prodigal is still burning through money, apologizing for not having more money to burn, and ordering the responsible son to hold the prodigal’s drink for him.

    Why is church attendance declining? To a very large degree, because the “older son” watched barbarians crash the gate.

    • diamondinruff on February 15, 2017 at 2:35 pm

      and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Luke 24:4

      • Adam Reynolds on January 4, 2021 at 10:26 am

        Proclaiming the truth is not judging.
        Jude 1:3-7
        I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. 4 For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about[b] long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.
        5 Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord[c] at one time delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. 7 In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

        The Christian proclaiming the truth is not dividing. According to Word of God, it is the one perverting the Gospel that is dividing. Jude 1:17-19
        17 But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.

        • Tad Evatt on January 4, 2021 at 10:51 am

          Nothing new here, preacher. Just loquacious rhetoric easily forgotten by the grunts in the pew. God revealed himself in Jesus! Not in Jude, not in Sodom, not in Paul, not in B. Graham, not in F. Graham, not in R. Jefress and Jesus was a compassionate nurturer – not a hyper-moralist.

          • Robert on March 17, 2021 at 7:47 pm

            What did Jesus say about marriage? He affirmed God’s design, yes?



    • Judi DeMoss on February 18, 2018 at 11:20 am

      Very well said!!!

    • John on July 9, 2019 at 10:05 am

      I agree….disagreeing with people to agree with God id not judgement…….anyone want to argue that life issues are just social issues……grace and healing come only with agreement with God…..He gives us time to see His ways …and will love us where we are but He doesnt want us to stay there…..

  21. Antoinette Lee on January 2, 2016 at 7:05 am

    I would also like to add that most of you saying you have the right to judge, lack the Holy Spirit that gives you the discrenment to rightfully access any situation biblically or even understand true biblical revelational context on any level.

    It is not us who judges, but the gift of the spirit in us that knows all, that reveals that with which we can be trusted to know. Without being baptised in and through Holy Spirit, none of the ability to properly judge, divide, and understand scripture is in you. So I don’t take offense to you misjudging a situation you lack the true abilty and gifting to properly judge, in the first place.

    What I am simply doing is sharing the truth as it has been revealed to me. Knowing that it comes from the Father, and it will do what it was sent out to do. Truth once given, is sure to revisit you. He that have an ear, let him hear.

    • D Blyth on August 11, 2016 at 3:35 am

      There is a difference between judging a person and judging behaviour. THe latter may be condemned.

  22. pablocruize on October 26, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    Good article and thoughtful.
    I think the main thing God keeps slapping people up side the head on is we human types constantly forget, (little things like what is the purpose of sex?)
    We forget (or are willfully ignorant) of who we are, why we’re here and where we’re going.
    Its the Christian privilege to remind people of this, although like drunks on the sinking Titanic in the midst of looting spree they often (and violently) don’t want to know.
    But there is a life boat for each of us marked with the initials JC and pointing that out takes courage and HS wisdom.

    • Joe Malburg III on December 2, 2015 at 8:49 pm

      Attitudes like yours are why religion is dying. Your views are so myopic and ignorant of religions history. Christianity (like all existing religions) has been in a constant state of evolution to fit the modern times since it’s origination. Saying that today’s cultural is in moral decay is absurd considering we are far more moral than any previous century in human history by the modern standard which you seek to apply.

      • pablocruize on December 2, 2015 at 9:52 pm

        To whom can I speak and give warning?
        Who will listen to me?
        Their ears are closed
        so they cannot hear.
        The word of the Lord is offensive to them;
        they find no pleasure in it.
        But I am full of the wrath of the Lord,
        and I cannot hold it in.

        Good luck with trying to pull off lame excuses at the Great White Throne.

        • diamondinruff on February 15, 2017 at 2:37 pm

          and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Luke 24:4. Churches cant just say well, we all sin and its all good cuz we are saved by GRACE….NO. REPENTANCE must be preached. Every revival in church history was sparked by a call to REPENT.

      • D Blyth on August 11, 2016 at 3:39 am

        Were it not for Western Christianity you would not have your modern science and law which was developed by scholastics of the Church!
        Universities evolved from cathedral schools.
        There have been many who have attempted to eradicate the Judeo-Christian ethos – they have disappeared and the ethos grown! 😉

  23. Anne Kenniston on September 20, 2015 at 8:27 am

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  24. Hawkeye on September 17, 2015 at 10:57 am

    The church is counter-cultural. Thank-you brother Carey for that reminder. Many have forgotten that we are sojourners, just passing through and some of us have stopped to enjoy the scenery for too long. Like Wilberforce who fought for years to change British public policy and abolish institutionalized slavery, we can be salt and light to this culture. However there may be a limit to how much fruit can be enjoyed when trying to change culture. We are here primarily to introduce people to Jesus. The Great Commission calls us to go and make disciples, not to go and make heterosexuals.

    For those who ascribe to a biblical view of marriage (one man and one woman), can we pray for grace that allows us to be welcoming to those with whom we disagree yet without compromise to the truth we believe? If we stop and pray, He will show us the way

    I have long believed that shouting at each across an ideological chasm of polarized opinion is not the way to win hearts to embrace saving faith.

  25. Siu on September 17, 2015 at 8:07 am

    Dear Carey
    Thank you for this interview!
    What a breath of fresh air!
    Wow….. Practical ways to embody truth and love…..
    I have often be a truth Christian and lost many vital relationships in my quest to protect Truth.
    But how we can carry both…..allowing messy conversations.
    I am a Chinese Aussie who is still learning to speak English in Oz traaa.lia. But loved the testimony and realise that Jesus wants His church to be family that will eclipse anything that LGBT identity and belonging can offer.
    Wow…. If only we could get a revelation of this.

  26. djbigelow on September 4, 2015 at 2:53 am

    When the righteous rule there is shouting, but when the wicked rule, the people mourn. If the wicked cannot be ruled by the righteous, then why does the book of wisdom even offer it as plausible?

    • Siu Churches on September 17, 2015 at 8:10 am

      Must pray for government and provide Daniels who are able to speak to those in policy positions

  27. David Anthony on August 24, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    I find it interesting that we can condemn homosexuality but we can stand next to someone obese from gluttony in church and sing hymms and hug them… It’s a strange religion, nothing like the bible I’ve read!!!

    • Sara on August 29, 2015 at 11:00 pm

      I pray David that you might see the inherent judgement in your statement that seems so upsetting to you in others’ statements about homosexuality. This post is about trying to remove the hurt people feel because of judgement by one person to another. You are right we are all hypocritical as we live our lives full of sin and failure. It is the nature of a fallen world and human family. I simply work everyday to become aware of my tendency to cast stones at hurting people and try to put down the stones before they leave my hands in the form of my words written spoken and thought.

  28. Steven McCoy on August 15, 2015 at 9:52 am

    I deeply appreciate the solid foundation of this post, Carey. Each point is spot on. Even though it seems like many things are changing, as you point out, the culture in which we live has been the same for centuries. Great post — thank you.

  29. Marc Ulrich on August 11, 2015 at 9:04 am

    Great insights! Thank you for your wisdom and insights Carey!

  30. Francois Lambrecht on August 8, 2015 at 2:20 am

    Francois Lambrecht
    Great discussion. But the conversation can carry on forever.

    My view is that in the end it all boils down to:

    1. Everyone must decide for himself whether the Bible is true or not.

    2. Having decided that it is true in every respect (As I have done) it behoves one to live the life of love in Christ with
    obedience –

    (Deu 10:12 And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God
    require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, )

    and humility, but with the terrible injunction –

    (Eze 33:6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow
    not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away
    in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand. )

    and non-judgemental responsibility of pointing non-believers
    to the truth : that God is Eternal, that He is in control, that He loves
    sinners but hates sin, (The Bible teaches in no uncertain terms what sin is and its consequence – death) to point out that He has a perfect plan of redemption and eternal life for all who accept Him through Jesus Christ.

  31. Maria Todd on August 7, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    Thank you for this article. I struggle a great deal with the church’s position on gay marriage even though I know what the Bible says. I have an immediate family member who is gay and has been with his partner for nine years and I absolutely love them both and glad they are both in my life. I don’t think the only options for gay people is to be abstinent for the rest of their lives and no opportunity to experience love. That just does not seem fair to me. Years ago God told me to just continue loving my brother and that is what I continue to do to this day. Not my job to judge sin only God knows the heart not me.

    • Think about it on August 23, 2015 at 7:49 pm

      Your comments show your true view of homosexual acts. You either don’t truly see them as sin, or don’t realize the awful nature of sin. Sin is to be abstained from. Anybody that desires deeply to sin doesn’t get a pass just because they deeply desire it – the God-honoring thing to do is to abstain from sin…for life. Search your heart – I don’t think you honestly believe homosexuality is a sin.

      • Maria Todd on August 23, 2015 at 11:52 pm

        If I am going to be honest, I don’t really think it is a sin. To think that automatically my very close immediate family member will go to hell because he is gay is too much to swallow. I sin everyday and repent and try to turn from it. I don’t think I have to search my heart. I know it is sin but I just chose to love to automatically say to my brother well I hate you and we can have no relationship because you are gay.

        • Nead H Doon on September 18, 2015 at 2:54 pm

          I know of 43 animal species where homosexuality is common. (PENGUINS ANYONE?) So as a point of interest….does God create mistakes? I simply don’t think so. Therefore I do not believe homosexuality is a sin. You are who God makes you.

          • Maria Todd on September 18, 2015 at 4:59 pm

            Thanks for your gracious reply. May God Bless You.



          • Don Wallace on September 23, 2015 at 9:17 am

            I think it is clear that the Bible says homosexuality is sin, and we are not to substitute our judgement of what is or isn’t. The Bible is very clear on that as well. I think your original comment, while well intended, is incorrect, because you seem to be EQUATING those people having homosexual relations with love. There are friends that have shared apartment, homes, etc. and had great love for each other, but not sexual. That should apply to opposite & same sex friends if you will. I also believe the Bible would make it clear that we are to love them as individuals, desirous of them having fellowship with Christ and leaving that sinful behavior, just as we all should with the sin in our lives. That’s my problem, the world’s problem: we want to justify our own sin, instead of walking in holiness. I pray for revival in my own heart and in the hearts of people across the world, that we would turn from our sin and let God heal our land, our communities, our families, and our relationships. May God Bless and lead and guide you as well, may he guide all of us.



          • Maria Todd on September 23, 2015 at 9:29 am

            Dear Don,

            I can appreciate your perspective but just because someone is gay does not mean that they cannot be a Christ follower for all have sinned and continue to sin on a daily basis. What I am saying is that God clearly told me to continue to love my family member who is gay and that God does not want me to be the one to confront his sin. Take the post out of your own eye before pointing out the speck in your brother’s eye. He may have someone else in mind to confront him with the truth but it is not what God told me is my job. It is not a sin to be gay, it is sin to have sexual relations with the same sex. Please try to keep those two straight.



          • Jentri on September 19, 2015 at 2:07 pm

            You have to remember the entire universe fell into sin after
            Adam and Eve sinned in the garden. Before sin animals didn’t even eat each other because there was no death. The first animal to die was killed to cloth Adam and Eve. We should never compare ourselves to animals because we are the crown of creation created in God’s image.



          • Nead H Doon on September 20, 2015 at 4:00 pm

            You are absolutely deluded!



        • Jordan on March 14, 2017 at 2:55 pm

          Maria, thank you for this perspective. However, I have to say that I believe that homosexuality is a sin, just like any other sin. It can be forgiven, just like anyone else. However, a person who is saved should not want to continue living in sin! A change of heart occurs with salvation that awakens the soul! A person won’t automatically go to hell because of a sin; people go to hell if they have not been saved by Jesus! And yes, a saved person still sins, but they love the sin less. We are to be transformed, and stop living in the sin that entangles us! Blessings.

          • Donna Maria on April 5, 2018 at 1:21 am

            What is Sin? A blot, a spec, an action of ill reput! What is a person? A living, breathing, individualist! A wanderer may wonder where they are going and along the way meet someone who really changes their life. Be that person, bring about change, love so you will be loved! Our opinions don’t make us right, but our hearts should always be considerate, thoughtful and kind to one another. Demonstrate a loving nature by putting yourself in someone’s else position, so you allow a new perspective other than your own.
            Ask the good Lord for wisdom and hug a homosexual, show some love!!!



      • Kingdom Now on August 28, 2015 at 6:00 am

        Think about it, I hope you are consistent with your beliefs. My biggest issue with this is that the Bible states the same thing for those who have been divorced (for whatever reason), yet believers somehow think because they are “straight” it doesn’t apply to them.. When’s the last time you’ve heard a sermon on that? I can tell you I’m a musician who plays at multiple denominations (and have consistantly done this for 35 years) and I NEVER hear a sermon on divorce and remarriage, yet I monthly hear something about homosexuality and I really get sick of it. In the Bible Belt (south), it’s almost hatred in the churches (as if hate is going to “win them over”. Sorry I don’t buy that! I’ve NEVER heard a sermon in my life forbidding remarriage (while the spouse is still alive). Why? Because 501c3’s are in it for the money and entertainment….let’s be honest. In the US, nowadays if you aren’t a megachurch with good “entertainment”….I mean music “praise and worship” you won’t survive. Believers are freakin shallow over here now and are CLUELESS about the Bible. If you challenge them on ANYTHING, they will regurgitate what they’ve heard behind the pulpit but fall flat on their faces if you ask for Scripture to back it up or get into doctrine. Most of them haven’t cracked open a Bible in a decade or more (unless they are under the influence of a preacher’s sermon on Sunday which are usually twisted to whatever the pastor believes) and they don’t know what a true Berean is and that we are CALLED to “search the Scriptures daily”. If it comes out of the preachers mouth it must be right….right? WRONG! I’ve actually challenged preachers one on one to have an open dialogue about stuff like this and they just tell me “if you don’t like it leave”. Most can’t even handle church members questioning anything that comes out of their mouths. I’ve recently left the praise and worship area and focused more on Bible teaching because of this. If you are going to take this stance, then you have to take it for the straight believers too (of which I am and have been happily married for 26 years which makes me a dinasour in the church nowadays). The Bible is clear throughout the new testament that one must remain single if they separate from their spouse.

      • Siu Churches on September 17, 2015 at 8:18 am

        Rather than not honouring the Word….maybe they want us to embody it.

      • Nead H Doon on September 18, 2015 at 2:55 pm

        So over 43 species of animals in the natural world are committing sin?

        • Steve McCormick on October 14, 2015 at 11:13 am

          Yes, unless they sacrifice a human.

        • RWilliams on December 19, 2015 at 9:25 am

          Animals are incapable of sin…. I’m not at all following your logic. Human beings are created in the image of God with logic, reason, conscience, a soul….. If we want to take the nature route let’s follow the logic for a minute.

          If a male lion finds a female lion that he wants to take as his mate, he will proceed to kill that lion’s current mate and any and all children that they have produced. He then takes the female and begins a new pride.

          If you want to compare nature to humanity, things will get real crazy real quick

      • Tyler on April 25, 2020 at 6:05 pm

        I do hope you realize how fast you were to attack her for loving her brother and not having the same opinion as her. There are many different views and perceptions. I respect all of your opinions all I ask is that when you disagree with us you don’t condem us to hell as If you are god. You say lgbtq are hating you for your belief but you do the same not all but some. There are haters on both sides we must temper we must love are neighbor as we love are selfs. Don’t shut the lgbtq out of the church don’t shun them how do you expect to save anyone if you keep them away from a place where they can learn and grow

    • Siu Churches on September 17, 2015 at 8:14 am

      God calls us only to love and pray!
      It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict!
      God is the best and only righteous all knowing God.

      • Maria Todd on September 17, 2015 at 9:58 am

        Thanks for your gracious response.

  32. RPE on July 31, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    THANK YOU!!!! These are so akin to the thoughts that have been running through my mind, just today! Your inspired thoughts are refreshing and encouraging…

  33. Donna Dunn on July 31, 2015 at 10:48 am

    My son is gay and does not feel comfortable in church any longer. He loved going and then when he felt the judgement against him, he stopped and now is bitter because he misses coming. He loved praise and worship and now he avoids it. He is a Christian not “Non-Christian” and should be only shown love and not peoples judgement. I am sad and struggling myself as the church is driving the LGBT christian community to become non-Christians.

    • Grannie Q on August 2, 2015 at 3:42 pm

      I am so sorry Donna, in our church we love all who enter, no judgement; But we do hate the sin… In other words, we that lust are loved, the sin is hated; we that covet are loved, the sin is hated. We recognize that all are sinners but we Know Jesus died for us, each one of us; we know that we can not cleanse ourselves, we will live and die in sin but our Lord will redeem us… Personally I see the big problem not with Christians or LGBT’s but with the government passing laws that make are making us, the Christian Community the “bad” guys… We as Christians must put our Lord and His Word first and the laws of man second; this is where I see the biggest problem. May God Bless you and your son and grant you peace.

      • Donna Dunn on August 3, 2015 at 9:02 am

        Why do you say Christian community and LGBT community as if they are two separate groups. Are you saying a gay man or woman can not be part of a Christian community?

        • Grannie Q on August 3, 2015 at 9:35 am

          Not at all Donna, sorry you understood my post that way… In our Church we say “We are all sinners who come to the foot of the cross, Jesus came to redeem the sinners not the saints” We recognize that we are all sinners thus all are welcome… We do NOT condone the sin, I ask forgiveness for my many sins daily and “try”(& usually fail) to stop sinning. We celebrate the saving grace our Lord and Savior extends to all by His death and resurrection…

        • kinna on August 14, 2015 at 4:15 pm

          the lgbt community and the christian community cannot work together as one. you cannot be both a self-professed homosexual and a christian. that would be the same thing as taking pride in my sin rather than coming into repentance. god is JUST, not FAIR. as christians, we cannot rely of the cultural movement of the world to judge what is fair or not, but read the living word of god. i may love my homosexual friends, but love is not kindness, tolerance, or compassion. we must intervene in their lives to show them truth because that is what jesus did. he said “be holy for i am holy”. jesus has called us into a life of cleanliness. and i believe that once we really die to ourselves and understand the father heart of god, we will be able lay ourselves down. i know this is no easy process to deny yourself, but it is through that that jesus may receive all the glory. everyone is welcome into the church, but as a growing christian, you are called to leave your life of sin behind.

          • Donna Dunn on August 15, 2015 at 8:18 am

            Well that was a whole lot of ugly all wrapped up into a imperfect person that should let God do the judging, and worry about yourself only. I do not wish to hear your unkind selfish responses. My son in a gay Christian and there are a TON more where he came from… THANK GOD!!!



          • Sara on August 29, 2015 at 11:01 pm

            Donna I too have a daughter that is gay. She is married to her partner and she believes in God as well. But she does not regularly attend church and is wrestling with God about her love partner and God’s word. I love my daughter and I show love to her and her partner. We have Sunday dinners and lake outings. My daughter and I talk about God, her relationship with Jesus and her choices. I say little and pray a lot. And I don’t actually want her to find a church that accepts her lifestyle choice. Just as I don’t want to attend a church that would support me in a choice to gossip regularly about other people, or steal, or be greedy, or be in a sexually active heterosexual relationship outside of marriage. I want a church that guides me to behave in a way that honours Jesus and helps me to be a better Christ follower. I want a church that holds me to account for my walk with God not in a judgemental or unkind way but preaches God’s truth and keeps shining light on the dark corners of my soul, supporting me to walk with Jesus in a deeper, more caring and loving way with integrity.
            This is how I grow my relationship with Jesus. My daughter’s discomfort within the church is the same as mine when I listen to the sermon or attend my small group bible study and am convicted by the Holy Spirit of something I am doing that outside of what Jesus shows me in the bible. The difference is I am willing to feel the discomfort and recognize the Holy Spirit is telling me it is important I go back to scripture seek wise counsel and make different choices. My daughter is uncomfortable in church because she’s making choices that she knows fall outside of God’s loving and caring plan for her. She fights against the conviction of the Holy Spirit to justify her choices. It is an uncomfortable place for a believer to be no matter what the Holy Spirit is speaking on. I would not want God ‘s work in my daughter to be diminished by a church that made her comfortable to be in a relationship with God that is less than it should or could be.
            I actively pray for the light to shine in my daughter’s heart to help her find her way back into a deeper connection with Jesus however He chooses to do it, and I pray that she is uncomfortable as she needs to be for the Holy Spirit to work within her. And I pray that the Holy Spirit never stops making her, or me, uncomfortable when either of us is not living up to the guidance of God’s word and His plan for our lives. I trust God’s word, Jesus’ example and the Holy Spirit to help me and my daughter to find our way. None of that means I have to judge or condemn my daughter and her partner or the church. I work out my salvation with fear and trembling and look to the plank in my eye and remove it first. I trust God to help my daughter and others see their own planks whatever they may be. It is, for me, the hardest part of parenting: knowing my child hurts, wanting it to be made right and having to let go and trust God to do what I cannot. May the Holy Spirit comfort you as you ache and weep for the hurt your child feels.



          • rosario on September 2, 2015 at 9:58 am

            Sarah, you are my hero. Well said. You are the kind of a chistian believer that is making a difference in this world. God will answer your prayers. You helped me to understand how to treat and talk to our friends of any person that is struggling about it. Blessings to you and your daughter.



          • Jentri on September 19, 2015 at 2:20 pm

            Sara, that post is beautiful and I believe embodies exactly what the church as a whole is or at least should be striving to do. I pray God continues to give you a heart that yearns for more for your daughter and others. I also pray you find the courage to share your story with as many people as you can as I feel you have been given wisdom and discerning in the midst of a situation that will allow you a stage for speaking. You in no way come across as “hateful” but you also do not compromise Bible truths. God bless you.



          • Mattie on November 10, 2015 at 10:55 pm

            I believe as you do. it truly hurts my heart because my church is one that does not teach anything. They accept without teaching. I see the lives of people not being enhanced in their walk with Christ. I am struggling myself. I feel like I want to leave after 40 years because I don’t know if they are even teaching Christ or the Bible anymore. I don’t know what the church stands for or believe. How can one get to know the Lord or increase in their faith if the preacher is not a practitioner?



          • Jordan on March 14, 2017 at 2:59 pm

            Sara, I LOVE this response!! We don’t judge, but we also don’t compromise the Bible.



          • Jean H Steele on August 30, 2015 at 11:32 pm

            There is a church around the corner from me that has a marquee out in front that says they accept everyone because that’s what Jesus did.



          • Jean H Steele on August 30, 2015 at 11:27 pm

            Intervene? I thought we are all supposed to be children of God. So are you saying that God has made a mistake when somebody is born homosexual? You are only kidding yourself if you think homosexuality is a choice. I have an elderly cousin who is gay, and I asked him not too long ago if it was a choice that he had made. He replied that why would he choose a life of abuse, name-calling and self-righteous “Christian” judgment? And just so you know, there ARE churches that accept everybody because that’s what Jesus did. Oh yes, and my cousin is an atheist. No wonder!



          • Sharon H. on June 29, 2016 at 4:39 pm

            I disagree with your statement that “you cannot be both a self-professed homosexual and a christian”. It is not a sin to be a homosexual any more than it is a sin to be heterosexual. I am a self-professed heterosexual and a Christian. I am single and not sexually active, but Christ does not judge me as to whom I am attracted. Those with same-sex attraction most certainly can be Christ-followers!



  34. Jrieds on July 29, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    There is a thing called righteous judgment. This occurs when the end goal is not to tear a person down but to ultimately help him.

    • Dustin on August 1, 2015 at 8:22 pm

      I’ve heard this from many people but it’s simply not our place. Where you see righteous judgment others just see judgment. If you truly feel you are called to judge by God then so be it, but it will do no earthly or heavenly good. It is ONLY to satisfy your ego, which appears to be on the line for many people when it comes to this subject. As if there is shame in admitting you were wrong to judge and turning back to God through love and acceptance. There is no shame, just strength and wisdom. The she comes from self serving judgment and doubling down on a hateful, bitter world view.

      • vanislescotty on January 19, 2016 at 2:29 pm

        Dustin, while I agree with some of what you say, it’s interesting that you are judging someone for judging someone. Just a bit ironic.

    • Matt Tyson on February 14, 2021 at 7:07 pm

      Judgement is judgement. “Righteous” is the spin afterward and it really doesn’t matter. The end goal is to get gays back in the closet or under it where they belong.

  35. Steven Weir on July 24, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    I’m also not replying any more on a forum that allows censorship. The author is dishonest and is controlling what I say instead of responding to it. Cancelling this account, if you want to find me I’ll be in uncensored forums. Good-bye.

    • CB on August 1, 2015 at 11:28 pm

      Please don’t reply to anyone anymore, Steven. Your vitriol is exactly what the author did not want, and trying to disguise it as a ‘free speech’ campaign is poor form indeed. In this context, the author’s ‘censorship’ of you is just an act of supervising manners (since people forget them when they start attacking those with an opposing view), NOT morals. Leave your diatribes elsewhere. Thank you.

  36. Steven Weir on July 24, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    My comment being removed shows the inherent weakness of the authors position. Poor form. Did Jesus teach you to ignore and deceive? Christian hypocrites.

  37. Steven Weir on July 24, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    You are all so worked up about homosexuality, what do you think of left-handed people?

  38. Sarah on July 21, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    I found this most helpful! Thank you so much, it’s answered some of my questions and challenged my attitude and approach to difficult situations. God bless you.

  39. polguy7 on July 20, 2015 at 10:25 am

    I agree. Here is the big rub. I totally agree there is one standard for the world and a different one for the church. It is one thing for a vast majority of Christians to struggle with sexual immorality. It is quite another for the church to embrace sexual immorality. What does that mean? Living in open sin cannot tolerated. By open I mean saying it is ok. We can embrace people struggling with sexual immorality whether straight or gay. What we cannot and should not do is make anyone who have a prominent place who has nothing wrong with open sexual immorality whether straight or gay or wed individuals who are living in open sin whether straight or gay. It is one thing to struggle with sin. It is quite another to celebrate sin.

    • James on December 14, 2015 at 10:37 pm

      Genuine Christians do not oppose marriage equality, because genuine Christians believe in treating all people fairly. Sin is to violate the Golden Rule. Opposition to equal justice, including marriage equality, violates the Golden Rule, and is therefore sinful from the perspective of the Gospel of Christ.

      • Steve cook on January 3, 2021 at 5:59 am

        What is “fair” is purely subjective and there can never be a consensus on what is fair. Jesus tells us to love one another, not to treat people fairly. It seems that you are confusing God’s standards with the world’s.

  40. Damien Reeves on July 19, 2015 at 3:41 am

    I am American and have been a missionary in France/Austria for 22 years. Two years ago when France legalized homosexual marriage, I was perplexed and disappointed. But having lived in this godless nation (estimates are that just over 2% of the entire population of France (66 million) are born again believers), I was not so surprised… I think that somewhere in my heart, I was convinced that a “Christian” nation such as the US would be a ‘light’ in a dark world… When the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in the states recently, I was perplexed, disappointed, and frankly very angry.
    I was talking with my collègues and spouting off about how angry it makes me and how omnipresent the whole topic is in our society. They had rational arguments about the ambiant culture wanting same-sex marriage, but I was just too mad to listen.
    And then, I started praying. What was I mad about? That non-Christians living in a post-Christian culture don’t want to submit to the guidelines laid out by a loving God who wants to protect his creatures from pain and hurt? Whether the persons be French or American they are still living apart from God and frankly could care less about what He wants for us! And that hurts me. But in the end, it’s not about me. It’s all about GOD. So that begs the question: Is He still in control? If I read my Bible correctly, YES! He is still in control. Do I believe that God can use an awful situation for His glory? YES! He did it throughtout the entire Bible and if He is immutable as the Bible claims, then He can still do that today. So I need to get over myself and my disappoint about godless men making godless décisions, and focus on Him who is in control of all things…
    We just had a retreat for 100 young people (Christian, non-Christian, grown up in Christian homes without a personal faith etc) at the Christian retreat center I direct. In our series of the “High (and low!) Points of the Old Testament” when one of the speakers talked about the promise of the rainbow and about the difference between the symbol that God intended the symbol for the gay movement, I didn’t get angry. The speaker explained beforeand that 8 – 10 % of the world’s population deal with same-sex attraction, so odds are that 8 – 10 Young people in that room, needed to hear a message of love and understanding without judgement. That is want he offered. That they come and talk to the counselors without being judged…
    I can be angry and not be of service to the Lord in a hurting world in regard to same-sex marriage or I can get over myself and look to Him to use me to draw lost souls to Himself…
    Thanks Carey, for your words of wisdom.

    • Linda Touwen on July 20, 2015 at 1:41 am

      I really like what you had to say and I agree with it. Just one point of clarification though – the percentage of gays at most is at most 2% and bisexual another 2%. In some countries it is even less. The gay lobby is very good at making this out to be a much bigger issue than what it is.

      • Dale Milford on August 7, 2015 at 2:31 pm

        Linda, you are certainly entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts…. Only Fundamentalist reactionary groups (like “The Family Research Council” LOBBY group in D.C.) tout such 2% balderdash. To quote the Gallup (disinterested) comments: In his 1948 book, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, Alfred Kinsey shocked the world by announcing that 10% of the male population is gay. A 1993 Janus Report estimated that nine percent of men and five percent of women had more than “occasional” homosexual relationships. On the other hand, you could spend more time on “a much bigger issue,” that is adultery which is 8-10 times more frequent. Besides, Jesus NEVER commented on homosexuality but 4 times decried divorce and remarriage… I’m just sayin’

        • Knowlton on August 18, 2015 at 2:25 pm

          The Apostle Paul was Christ’s proxy. Just sayin’. Plus, Christ most certainly DID define marriage.

          • James on December 14, 2015 at 10:44 pm

            Paul *claimed* to be Christ’s proxy. Actually, he never met Jesus in person (and I already know about the Damascus road story). Jesus never said any word against gay and lesbian people. It has been those who claim to follow Jesus who have for centuries treated God’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender children unjustly.



      • James on December 14, 2015 at 10:42 pm

        Equal justice is a big issue regardless of the proportion of the human race being treated unjustly. Even if only 0.005% of the human race were gay, injustice would still be unchristian.

    • Tami Miller Skinner on July 20, 2015 at 2:53 am

      Beautifully said and absolutely the point we should all be coming to.

      • Steven Weir on July 24, 2015 at 2:12 pm

        Praying is conceding that you do not trust God’s plan or you would not beseech him to change his plan.

        Only atheists see the irony.

        • Dave on July 27, 2015 at 9:29 am

          Prayer is not done in an effort to beseech God to change His plan, but it is done in an effort for Him to change our mind to His. “Not my will but Thy will be done…”

          • Steven Weir on August 17, 2015 at 5:31 pm

            And who in the heck knows the will of a being no-one has ever met and never shows his face or speaks? The con-man, that’s who.



        • Tami Miller Skinner on July 28, 2015 at 12:57 am

          No Steven praying is talking to your creator, asking for wisdom, guidance, and understanding. It’s understanding that we are not in charge God is. It’s thanking him for the things he’s given us, for the love he continues to give us and then letting go of the things that do bring us worry and finding peace in him.

          • Steven Weir on July 31, 2015 at 9:25 am

            Moderator has removed my comments prior, I will not discuss things on a forum with moderators who do not like when they are wrong. You should complain to the moderator for stifling me. Then I will come back and speak, but otherwise I will not.



          • Terri Barnes on August 1, 2015 at 9:07 am

            You keep saying you are leaving, because of censorship, but I see more comments from you than anyone else. To quote a great work of literature, “You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.” Still, remaining to discuss the topic, even when you disagree, is a positive step.



        • Thomas Bryant on August 6, 2015 at 7:19 am

          trusting God in every out come He is in charge we are the babys being taught again its his plan an out come.

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            -BARENESS/INFERTILITY]]……,



        • A Name on August 8, 2015 at 2:44 am

          Steven, God gave humans free will; therefore, we CAN ask Him to change His plans if It is in His will. As exampled by Jesus while He was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane right before He was arrested. Look it up: Book of St Mark in The Holy Bible, Chapter 14, Verses 35 & 36. Use a modern day version of the Bible so it will have modern English instead of that old King James Bible language.

          • Steven Weir on August 17, 2015 at 5:30 pm

            Nice story, too bad it never happened. But you explain to me how authors of the story of Jesus knew his thoughts. It’s obvious fiction to anyone who looks critically at it. Historians from his alleged say nothing about Jesus, not a single one.



    • Steven Weir on July 24, 2015 at 2:11 pm

      You believe a lot of things without basis and ignore the evidence. That is the hallmarks of faith, as a skeptic I have no respect for this belief. Facts are facts whether you like them or not. You say you’ve been a missionary for 22 years so all you do is determine what you think is right or wrong based on a book written by people who got a great deal of things wrong and yet you feel you are some kind of moral authority. There is simply nothing wrong with homosexuality, and it is just something to point out how irrelevant the church is to modern morality.

      • Guest on August 8, 2015 at 2:11 am

        Steven, there IS something wrong with homosexuality. It is an abhorrence to God (according to the Bible). For me, that settles the matter.

        • Tracy Hilliard on August 16, 2015 at 9:17 pm

          Same with eating or even touching shellfish, shaving your face and touching a woman on her period. Would you please go get mad about those things – because goodness knows far MORE Christians struggle with THOSE “abominations”?

          • Dee on August 31, 2015 at 9:48 pm

            Where did you look that up, some website that lists anti-Bible talking points? Please crack a Bible open and realize all the points you mentioned are from the Old Testament, and therefore no longer apply.



          • Tracy Hilliard on September 16, 2015 at 11:22 pm

            If they no longer apply what’s the beef Christians have with marriage applying to two adults regardless of gender again? C’mon now. It’s the HEIGHT of cherry picking to say the Old Testament doesn’t apply EXCEPT for the gay part. (gay men only, of course, God doesn’t have any issue with LESBIANS, Biblically speaking!) And no, the New Testament passages don’t really bring anything to the table either, considering the places where the idea of homosexuality is brought up (not by JESUS, mind you!) it all seems to get lumped in with ANY form of extra martial sex including all forms of straight sex, with special mention ONLY going to pedophilia being utterly damnable in Romans.

            So please, tell me where in the Bible (remembering that you feel that the OT doesn’t count!) that homosexual marriage is ACTUALLY a sin.

            And let’s be clear, I don’t need to use websites. I’m a Biblical Scholar.



          • Dee on September 17, 2015 at 6:12 am

            Ummm… no, it is not cherry picking. The New Testament directly states homosexuality is an abomination. The entire Old Testament is not required for this topic.



          • Nead H Doon on September 18, 2015 at 2:50 pm

            In the New Testament, there are at only three passages that MAY refer to homosexual activity: Romans 1:26–27, 1 Corinthians 6:9–10, and 1 Timothy 1:9–10. A fourth passage, Jude 1:7, is often interpreted as referring to homosexuality. None of the four gospels mentions the subject directly, and there is nothing about homosexuality in the Book of Acts, in Hebrews, in Revelation, or in the letters attributed to James, Peter, and John. Jesus says NOTHING about it. He does talk about divorce. LOADS more negative about divorce throughout the New Testament, and yet even ministers can get divorce? Do you not see the point here?



          • Dee on December 15, 2015 at 1:31 pm

            I completely agree with your statement regarding divorce, under no circumstances would I support divorce except in the case of abuse/adultery (though Christ only mentions adultery, I consider adultery abuse).

            Romans 1:26-27 is quite descriptive about men giving up natural relationships with women, and “were consumed with passion for one another”.

            I realize Jesus does not touch upon the topic directly. That said, Paul does. So if one believes that the Bible is the inerrant book of God, then one must grant credence to Paul. If one stands that the Bible is not inerrant, that is one’s choice …



          • James on December 14, 2015 at 10:40 pm

            Some of the writers of the Bible were anti-gay. God, however, is not anti-gay. BTW, the word that you are using, abomination, is a translation of an ancient Hebrew word that appears in the Old Testament. Where do you find that in the New Testament?



          • Dee on December 15, 2015 at 1:15 pm

            True enough, I stand corrected. Unrighteous and sexually immorality are the terms used in the NT.



        • Steven Weir on August 17, 2015 at 5:28 pm

          So is eating shrimp and being left-handed. Why do you believe this stupid book.

        • Nead H Doon on September 18, 2015 at 2:42 pm

          So is wearing cotton and wool together. So is eating shellfish. So is divorce. So is sleeping around. So is alcoholism. So is ignoring the hungry and homeless. So is planting two different crops together. Oh ….and let’s not forget that you should stone to death a disobedient son. If you are living in Leviticus then you miss the whole point of Christ. And then I have to ask myself …why are so many animals in the natural world also homosexual. At least 43 species identified. God made a mistake???

        • James on December 14, 2015 at 10:38 pm

          Some of the writers of the Bible were anti-gay. God, however, is not anti-gay. God does not hate any of God’s children, including those whom God created with a homosexual orientation.

  41. Gillian Thomson on July 18, 2015 at 8:21 am

    Thanks so much, this gave me a lot to think about. So refreshing to read!

  42. Travis Stephens on July 18, 2015 at 8:04 am

    The best article on this topic I’ve found. Great job Carey.

    I’m teaching on Daniel in the Lion’s Den in a few weeks, and what’s jumped out to me about that story is that when the law was put in place to only allow people to pray to King Darius and no one else for 30 days, Daniel knelt and prayed to God just like he’d always done.

    He didn’t jump on Facebook and declare the world was ending. He didn’t run King Darius’s name through the mud. He didn’t lash out at those who betrayed him. He just continued what he had always done.

    I think we can learn a lot from that account.

    • Tracy Hilliard on August 16, 2015 at 9:18 pm

      You know, I really like this.

  43. Rae Ann Stuckey on July 17, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    I SO totally agree with each of your perspectives!

  44. Mark Henri on July 17, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    Thanks. I was trying to explain this stuff to people and didn’t have the words.

  45. Marilyn Carnes on July 17, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    I Thank You For these Words Of Wisdom. So full of wisdom. As a Christian I have struggled with Lgbt, the world and the way it is going. And yes have even followed into the hate, Fully Realizing I didn’t LIKE the way I was feeling!! As I saw the world of my values come crashing down around me I was thinking ok The End Is Here. Instead of Realizing OK I Need to Share Jesus As Much As Possible, I fell Into, “OK well THESE PEOPLE are going to he’ll nothing I Can Do About It Now”!!!!! WOW, WRONG!!!!! HOW ABOUT GETTING BACK TO THE BASICS OF THE BIBLES TEACHINGS!!!!! The Love, THE LOVE Of Jesus, Not Wanting ANYONE To Go To Hell!!!! The LOVE of Jesus Is What Saved Me. Realizing that I AM ALSO A SINNER, Saved By Grace AND The LOVE of Jesus!!!! THANK YOU, THANK YOU with All My Heart, for giving Me That Perverbial Slap In face to WAKE ME UP out of My Sin Of Judgement. GOD BLESS YOU and Keep You in His Loving Arms!!!!

    • Steven Weir on July 24, 2015 at 2:13 pm

      Stop struggling, leave the church and figure out how life works for yourself. Sin is an imaginary disease, morality predates Christianity and your guilt should only exist if what you do harms others. You need no other criteria.

  46. Xrucianus on July 17, 2015 at 5:55 am

    Thank you for your seasoned, Spirit-sensitive refections, Carey. I too have wondered whether the “new normal” will breed opportunity for the fruitfulness of the gospel through a heightened dissimilarity between the Kingdom light and a culture darkness. While, generically speaking, the gospel should challenge personal issues of “waiting until marriage to have sex; cleaning up language; smoking weed; monogamy etc.” the perspicuous 2000 year history of the Church shows that we perpetually end up compromising with darkness, rather than “living out” a true Biblical contrast to darkness. There is much to lament in our nations (and the thousand and one little communities that compose them) when the “new norm” becomes such a fundamentally “destructive norm”. The ministry objective that I believe Jesus calls us to is a high, long and deep vision of changed culture; where Psalm 132 becomes tangible earthly reality; where our relationship to the Lord isn’t relegated to closed huddles in safe-houses in the middle of a cultural storm of evil; but changed culture through the penetration of His Lordship in all aspects of our community through faith-filled judges, bakers, teachers, business men & women, council-members etc. THIS is the Kingdom end-point. Though it is indeed here, but not yet fully (thank you Eldon Ladd) it is my understanding that Jesus calls us to pray, work, redeem & bless unto the fullest expression of His Kingdom within our communities as He will give. Whether great manifestation, or diminutive, our call is to belong faithfully to the Lord and His purposes on earth.
    Blessings, fidelity and favor to you and your good ministry, brother.
    JSB

  47. Raquel Llanes on July 16, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Good Article and Great Podcast with Caleb Kaltenbach!

  48. Jean H Steele on July 16, 2015 at 1:01 am

    Marriage has always been, and remains, a civil institution. Yes, it is mentioned in the Bible, but it was a contract usually between two families and primarily for financial benefit. More recently, one must get a license from the government to marry. That the churches are allowed to follow through on the license is something that has also been allowed by most governments. Most aspects of marriage are ultimately controlled by the legal system. In our country of freedom of speech, thought and religion, I am always surprised at the judgmental attitudes of those who profess to be Christians. Everyone is entitled to his or her belief but not entitled to pass judgment on how others wish to live as long as they are not harming anyone. If you feel threatened or harmed by homosexual love, that is your problem and one that should be dealt with privately. What if the shoe were on the other foot and a heterosexual couple wanted to marry but was told that their love was a sin? It doesn’t matter what the Bible says on any subject. If you choose to believe what scripture says, that is your purview, however, scripture also gives the right of judgment to God alone. If you are going to call yourself a Christian, then BE A REAL ONE and leave judgment and atonement to God.

    • Cathy on July 17, 2015 at 4:37 pm

      First, as a Christian I want to say that I love all my neighbors, including LGBT people. Second, Jean, you seem to have a poor understanding of what the Bible actually teaches. So, be a real non-Christian and admit that your beliefs come from non-biblical sources. May I ask you on what basis you declare no one is allowed to pass judgment on others? If by “Pass judgement” you mean declare that such-and-such is wrong, then you have done that by declaring that no one is entitled to pass judgement on others. We humans are all stuck in this kind of inconsistency unless we accept our Creator’s judgment on what is good and harmful, pleasing or displeasing to him. When we know what God says, we must first apply it to ourselves, then we are allowed to – yes commanded to – share that with others, for everyone’s benefit
      .

      • Jean H Steele on July 18, 2015 at 2:41 pm

        What you did not say after declaring your love for your LGBT neighbors is that you believe they are sinners. I have heard that before. We ALL pass judgment, however, judgment has many faces, and I am saying that it is wrong to tell somebody that their life path is wrong based on what you believe because what you believe is subjective just as all religion is subjective. There are 1000s of religions. Are they all wrong except for yours? Believe me, they think you are wrong! So whose benefit are you speaking of? Yours! You don’t have the right to determine someone else’s life path based on what YOU believe because what you believe could be wrong!
        And what do I know about the Bible? Well, it is a remarkable piece of literature. Is it the Word of God? Maybe. Is it the Word of Jesus? Maybe. But nobody has the true answer because the New Testament was not written until long after Jesus hung on the cross. It was written by men who are fallible, and scrolls were copied out by priests/scribes who could put their own spin on the words especially based on how much control leaders wanted to have over their subjects. Oh sure, I know you will dispute that, but my experience is that most Christians have no idea of the actual history of the writing of the Bible, and I do not claim to be an expert. I just don’t blindly accept it as factual. The Bible did not just magically appear one day in its completed form. There are also numerous versions of the Bible. Books have been added and deleted over time, and verses interpreted and reinterpreted… and misinterpreted. So what is the truth? It is what you believe.

        • Erin E. on July 18, 2015 at 8:25 pm

          Actually, the Gospels (the first 4 books of the New Testament) were written within 30 years of Jesus’ death by those who knew him. Also, when the original dead sea scrolls were found- Isaiah was found complete, and matches the Isaiah of today’s Bible (except for a few spelling differences). A good book for you to read is “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel. He started out research for his book as an atheist, trying to find out how true it really was. He is no longer an atheist.
          Could what I believe be wrong? Absolutely. There are many reasons that I believe what I believe, but one of them is because it gives me a concrete way to know how to ultimately be in the presence of God after this life. Most other religions tell you that you need to be good or do good to reach whatever the next phase is. But how good is good enough? In Christianity- you know how good is good enough. You have to be perfect. Since we can’t be, we needed help. That is where Christ comes in. He came to pay the penalty for our imperfections (also known as sin), and to guarantee our place in Heaven. The Bible says, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ.” Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” You have to put your trust in Christ alone instead of anything that you can do. In other words- there is nothing I can do to earn the love of God. He did it all on the cross.

          • Jean H Steele on July 21, 2015 at 12:10 pm

            Maybe re the books. Biblical scholars (Protestant, Catholic and Jewish) are reconsidering the actual authorship and dating of much of the Bible. A popular term among the scholars is “pseudepigrapha” which is authorship by a person claiming to be someone else especially of an earlier time. Part of the proof is that events are written of that could not possibly have occurred during the periods in question.
            Nonetheless, the Bible is a remarkable piece of work and is a “guide” for living as well as a history of Judaism and early Christianity. Personally, I believe that while there is historical fact, much of the writings, especially of fantastical events, are allegorical. Bear in mind that this is my perspective, and I do not dispute anyone else’s right to his/her own beliefs. I am neither right nor wrong, but I am right for myself!



          • Knowlton on August 18, 2015 at 2:43 pm

            This is simply not true. There are only a few books where authorship is unknown, and in those cases, it really matters little. Either the Bible is the infallible word of GOD, or it is mythological pleasure reading.

            In the case of the New Testament, we have thousands of complete manuscripts and multiple thousands more fragments available. There are more than 5,000 copies of the entire New Testament or extensive portions of it. In addition, we have several thousand more fragments or smaller portions of the New Testament. If these numbers don’t seem like a lot, compared to other works of ancient history, the manuscript evidence and copies for the New Testament far outweigh manuscript evidence for other works. For instance, there are less than 700 copies of Homer’s Iliad and only a handful of copies of any one work of Aristotle.

            So when it comes to manuscript evidence, the New Testament definitely has numbers on its side. As was previously stated, we could also add the fact that much of the New Testament was written within just a few decades of the death and resurrection of Christ. First Corinthians, for instance, dates from the 50s – only twenty years or so after the death and resurrection of Christ. This is important because 1 Corinthians 15 contains key elements of the gospel message, emphasizing the importance of Christ’s resurrection, and claiming that more than 500 people had seen the risen Christ. People who would still have been alive at the time of the writing of 1 Corinthians would have been around to corroborate or criticize the claims made in the letter.



          • Jean H Steele on August 19, 2015 at 3:22 pm

            If the Bible were on trial, it would be inadmissible as hearsay which I am sure you would like to dispute. I am not a biblical scholar by any means and cannot quote books and verses, however, I do investigate the findings of modern scholars who are investigating all of those manuscripts, and their findings are extremely interesting leading to (but not necessarily proving) my previous statements. I remind everyone that my opinions are my own to which I am entitled. I consider that I have Christian ethics which, in my life, have nothing to do with religion and everything to do with one’s behavior towards oneself and others. I am vaguely offended by the notion of people be unchurched or non-Christian as that is a judgment.
            So if it makes you feel better to go on and on about the “truth” of scripture, that is fine with me as long as you understand that it is what is right for YOU and not always everyone else.



          • Knowlton on August 30, 2015 at 7:58 am

            Your statements are modernist, humanist and simply non-Christian. I don’t have to judge “you” to tell you that your words are heretical. If you are not a Christian, then it is fair game. If you call yourself a Christian, however, then you words are outside of orthodoxy.



          • Knowlton on August 30, 2015 at 7:59 am

            You also clearly do not understand the difference between judging the person and judging their statements and actions.



          • Jean H Steele on August 30, 2015 at 11:02 pm

            Does it make you feel good, important, big, manly, to tell me that I am wrong? From where I’m sitting, you are a self-serving, self-righteous, sanctimonious, arrogant, judgmental know-it-all. Oh yeah, and smug. I AM my statements and actions, so when you judge those, you judge me. Judgment is judgment even though it may have different levels. The last time I checked, I live in a free country, and that gives me the right to believe whatever feels right to me, and while it also gives you the right to believe something else, and speak your mind, it doesn’t make it right for you to tell me I am wrong just because you don’t like what I say. So yes, I have judged you the person. I don’t care what you believe, which I keep saying over and over, but it seems to bother you a lot that I don’t believe the same thing. So, I also judge your statements and actions, because they are mean spirited and definitely not what Jesus had in mind. You don’t know anything about me and yet you think you can tell me where I am going wrong. Just give it a rest and stop being so annoying.



          • James on December 14, 2015 at 10:49 pm

            All-or-nothing thinking is unwise. The Bible is not infallible. It is, however, useful as a source of inspiration and guidance, provided one does not fall into the trap of proof-texting to try to justify one’s own preconceptions.



        • Cathy on July 19, 2015 at 9:56 pm

          Jean, thank you for noticing that I did not say that LGBT people are sinners. In fact, as a Bible teacher, I teach Christians not to say that about anyone. Everybody is sick of that statement. It does no good and lots of harm. What I do say and teach is look at the life and claims of Jesus. He is worth taking seriously. I won’t go on about that now, but rather take time on a different point: Sadly, Jean, you are caught in your own trap of relativity. If truth is what a person believes, then your words “you don’t have the right to determine someone else’s life path based on what you believe” don’t have any meaning. They have no validity to me because they are not what I believe. The one who declares belief in relativity has no basis for making declarations that have any authority whatsoever on anyone else. You can’t avoid that reality, Jean. That is why we need to recognize the loving authority of our Creator. My beliefs do not create reality. Truth is what conforms to reality. I accept the Bible because I have investigated its claims and I have investigated Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, and African traditional religions. After all that I could not find any god, prophet, philosopher, or religious leader who could compare to Jesus. Jesus’ claims – and all the Bible – square with reality, give meaning and purpose to life, give power for living, and give me the experience of God’s love and forgiveness. I share the joy and peace I experience with others, and try to do it graciously and not forcefully or obnoxiously, and teach my students the same.

          • Jean H Steele on July 20, 2015 at 1:13 pm

            We are all entitled to our own opinions/beliefs, and I stand by my statement about the life paths of others which does have meaning to me and there is no “trap”. These “truths” are relative to each person who believes them. My reality is obviously different from yours. What you need to accept is that neither of us is wrong. What we are is right for ourselves. Relativity and reality with regard to religious belief are always subjective. I don’t dispute your right to your beliefs. What I do dispute is your right to tell me I am wrong based on your beliefs because I do not give you that right. I would hardly call your castigation of my thoughts (which are important to me) “gracious”, and your approach is “ineffective” (see below). No matter how hard you try, and no matter what you say, I will not change my outlook. I have spent many years considering what I believe, and what I have concluded satisfies me just as what you found satisfies you. Perhaps you should re-read Article #5 above and apply the statements to everyone instead of just the discussed issue of the LGBT community:
            “If you want to keep being ineffective at reaching unchurched people, keep judging them.”
            “Judging outsiders is un-Christian. Paul told us to stop judging people outside the church.”
            “Jesus said God will judge us by the same standard with which we judge others.”
            And BTW, when somebody tells me he/she is a Christian, I always want to ask what that means because a lot of people who call themselves Christians, aren’t very good at it…in my valid opinion.



          • Katie on August 4, 2015 at 1:12 pm

            YES! Again, this is what Christians forget when they put themselves out as being somehow “better” because of their belief when they don’t remember all other religions think that as well. Who’s right? Who cares! Just be kind and good. Your judgment will come as you believe it will… or not! 🙂



          • Knowlton on August 18, 2015 at 2:31 pm

            Moral relativism is simply not Christian. As long as you are cool with that, there is no argument here.



          • Jean H Steele on August 19, 2015 at 7:15 pm

            “Moral relativism may be any of several philosophical positions concerned with the differences in moral judgments across different people and cultures.” Def: Wikipedia
            Hmmm, this sounds like Christianity just might fall into that pot because it is about people and culture, and while religion and philosophy are two different things, they have concepts in common.
            What you are missing here is that I would never tell you that your beliefs are wrong regardless of what I think because they belong to YOU. What I find so mind-boggling (and un-Christian), is how many people who call themselves Christians are so ready to jump all over others who don’t fall in with their beliefs which is what all of my comments have been about.
            Many people who say they are Christians have this incredible tendency to an ugly smugness that is unbecoming. This is something that Carey Nieuwhof was trying to stress in his blog above although phrased a bit differently. My philosophy is that nobody is right except for themselves. Oh yes, and you HAVE judged me.



          • Knowlton on August 30, 2015 at 7:54 am

            This is a whole load of baloney. What you are saying is that an individual’s professed religious belief is actually a proxy for their personal opinions rather than an acceptance of Christian doctrine.

            The Word of GOD is not a cafeteria line, from which we get to make up our own personal tray of inedible mush. The Word became flesh. The Holy Word of GOD is sufficient to live by–regardless of disagreement on some aspects of doctrine (hence, pluralism).

            Each of us, religious or non-religious, live out our beliefs in our actions. Christians act on a belief that the claims of Jesus Christ are true. Non-Christians act on other beliefs. Cafeteria-style means picking and choosing, as if “sliding our food tray along a cafeteria’s counter”, referring to some Christians’ making a personal selection of Christian teaching, “picking and choosing the stuff you want and discarding the rest”. The selectivity implied may relate to the acceptance of Christian doctrines (such as the resurrection or the virgin birth of Jesus), or attitudes to moral and ethical issues (for example abortion, homosexuality, or idolatry) and is sometimes associated with discussions concerning the applicability of Old Testament laws to Christians and interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount. “The idea is the moderates pick and choose the parts of the Bible they want to follow.”
            As the Christian version of “cherry-picking theology”, it is seen as a result of postmodernreading of texts, where the reader goes beyond analysis of what requires interpretation, adopting an approach where “anything goes”.



          • James on December 14, 2015 at 10:48 pm

            Anybody who has honestly and thoroughly studied the Bible knows that God did not write it, nor did God dictate it to the various writers. The doctrine of inerrancy sets up a human creation, a book, as an idol to worship. That is a mistake. God alone should be worshipped. The Bible can be useful as a tool for seeking God, but to declare it inerrant is simply wrong (both mistaken and unchristian).



          • Knowlton on August 18, 2015 at 2:34 pm

            Judging others is not our place. Judging sin is why we have the Word. If everything is relative–even in the Bible–there is no truth. Ascribing your own personal moral relativism as a pick and choose buffet line is not Christian, plain and simple.



          • Knowlton on August 18, 2015 at 2:29 pm

            Nice work, Cathy!



    • Single Mommas Struggle on July 18, 2015 at 4:50 am

      I think Christians and non-Christians are just as equally capable of judging others. I think it’s a symptom of fear and everyone is capable of harbouring fear. I know people like to point fingers at Christians in this matter, but like your seasoned and reasonable comment, it is reasonable to say that everyone judges, Christians just get more press. for it. Everyone loves a hypocrite.

      • Jean H Steele on July 18, 2015 at 2:09 pm

        Yes! I am just as guilty of judging others as the next person which I freely admit. However, I tend to judge on basic human behavior without claiming any perfection in my own as have been known to use poor judgment from time to time! However, unless somebody is causing actual harm to another, I don’t consider that I have any right to tell another how to live his/her life except to be all that he/she can be, and I would expect the same consideration from others.

    • Katie on August 4, 2015 at 1:08 pm

      THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU JEAN!!! This is exactly what I’ve been trying to get across to people! It’s NOT about religion. It never was! If you don’t want to marry people in your church, don’t! But don’t think you know what is right for someone because they are not of your religion.

  49. LeeAnna Hawk on July 15, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    I don’t believe God made any of us gay for a reason, or even just for the fun of it, or maybe just to be creative (?). Being attracted to the same sex is something that is developmental. You might liken it to thumb sucking or maybe your preference for dogs over cats, etc. It is something that develops and who knows why. No one has ever proven there is a homosexual gene that one is born with. Acting on those same sex attractions is wrong b/c I believe God has said it is wrong. I’m not going to force you to believe what I believe. If God had said it was wrong to prefer dogs over cats, then I would just be stating what I believe to be truth, by telling you that it is wrong to prefer a dog instead of a cat. But you could certainly do whatever you want. I’m not judging you. I’m being loving and accepting.

  50. spectrewriter on July 15, 2015 at 11:15 am

    I’m wondering what some of the purists here have to say about the FACT that, in Old Testament times, marriage was defined as being between a man and his WIVES, plural.
    Get the log out of your own congregation and stop trying to keep other couples from enjoying that which you hold so desirable.

    • Jerry Krause on July 15, 2015 at 4:12 pm

      Of course, we know that the Bible contains not only God’s Word but also a recording of history. So, what is your point?

    • Single Mommas Struggle on July 18, 2015 at 4:52 am

      It was a guy thing, spectrewriter, not a God thing, for as you may recall, God did not create Adam and Eves.

      • James on December 14, 2015 at 10:51 pm

        Nor did God create Adam and Eve. The story of Adam and Eve is a myth; it never actually happened.

  51. Atoloye on July 15, 2015 at 9:18 am

    Don’t I just love this point view? Now I can relate with the acultural changes in my environment And Because We Have Become Very Lazy As Christians, We Do Not Want A Time When We Will Have To Suffer To Follow Christ. I will stop condemning LGBT from hence.

    • Jerry Krause on July 15, 2015 at 4:16 pm

      Whenever one violates the natural moral order established by God, one sins and offends God. Same-sex “marriage” does just this. Accordingly, anyone who professes to love God must be opposed to it.

      • Katie on August 4, 2015 at 1:14 pm

        Every single animal on this Earth has homosexuality in it. It’s not a GOD thing. It’s nature.

        • Jerry Krause on August 4, 2015 at 5:10 pm

          You compare humans to sea life and animal behavior to reason that homosexuality is normal—because it is “natural in nature.” Indeed, mother bears, felines, canines, primates, and many species of rodents—from rats to prairie dogs—have all been seen killing and eating their young. Insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and birds also have been implicated in killing, and sometimes devouring, the young of their own kind. (cf. Why Do Animals Sometimes Kill Their Babies? – National Geographic, March 28, 2014). Is that really the sort of reasoning that you want to rely on; because animals do something it is nature and for that reason natural for humans to do the same?

      • James on December 14, 2015 at 10:53 pm

        No genuine follower of Jesus opposes equal justice, and that includes marriage equality. Let go of your prejudice and love your neighbor as yourself. God created most people with a heterosexual orientation. God created some people with a homosexual orientation. God also created some people transgender and some people intersex.

        • Jerry Krause on December 16, 2015 at 12:43 pm

          Your wording is all wrong; therefore, everything after that is all wrong.

  52. Steve on July 14, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Jesus pointed out that we are all sinners in need of a savior. We love everyone, (not
    Hate), we point out that it is a sin, but God loves them the same and that all those that resort to hate need the same grace as those who are homosexual. I don’t think anyone that feels they are hated by God are going to want to follow him. We must point out sin in a loving, kind way. Jesus was harder on the Pharisees than on the sinner! If I have to pick a side it is on the sinners, it took love to bring me to the saving grace of the cross. Great article.

  53. Bill Cribbs on July 14, 2015 at 11:13 am

    The issue to me is not sex. It is not homosexuality. The issue at hand to me is the sacred institution of marriage. No one has ever sought to legalize adultery or fornication or theft or rape. When we legalize something that God calls abominable and redefine the institution that He created, it is taking sin to a higher level. Homosexuality is sin. Legalizing same sex marriage is GREATER sin because you not only call evil “good” and good “evil” but by legalizing it you make it part of your nation’s identity. It is an act of brazen defiance, even though they are not believers, because we all inherently know it is evil. How? Because when the first couple ate of the tree of the KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL, it became inherent. To defy is to sear the conscience and cross into reprobation. Our respective nations are now under the “woe” declared by God for calling evil “good”. Not being judgmental. Humbly warning.

    • spectrewriter on July 15, 2015 at 11:05 am

      What any other people do has ZERO bearing on YOUR marriage, your relationship with your wife/spouse. And any sin is likewise between that person and his/her Creator. So mind your own and simply obey Jesus’ commandments.
      Actually, Adultery is already legal. There is nothing criminal about it. The government knows enough to stay out of people’s bedrooms. You should try that some time.
      There is nothing humble or warning in your post. You’re spewing the same fatigued rhetoric that has been spouted for years. Reread the article, then keep your fingers and mouth silent for a while and let love of your fellow humans, including the gay ones, not moralizing and judging, be what guides you… if you really do want to follow the example of the Christ.

      • Bill Cribbs on July 15, 2015 at 4:00 pm

        I guess we will all find out when we stand naked before a just and holy God who has given us everything that we need to know what is right and what is wrong, including His word, and our conscience which has been exposed to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. There will be no excuse. “Righteousness exalts a nation”. What, therefore, does unrighteousness do? Same as my above comment.

    • Tami Miller Skinner on July 15, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      Bill I hate to have to point out to you but adultery and fornication are already legal and theft and rape are crimes against someone else this is why they are illegal. As far as same sex marriage; you do realize that it did not redefine the bibles definition it changed the constitution NOT the bible and the two are very different. When our country was formed the constitution put into affect the 2nd amendment which protected both our right to practice whatever religion we chose but also the right of others not to practice it. I cannot speak for you of course but the identity of my America is one of freedom it has very little baring on who’s married to who and what they do in their bedroom.

      • Bill Cribbs on July 15, 2015 at 3:59 pm

        I guess we will all find out when we stand naked before a just and holy God who has given us everything that we need to know what is right and what is wrong, including His word, and our conscience which has been exposed to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. There will be no excuse. “Righteousness exalts a nation”. What, therefore, does unrighteousness do?

        • Tami Miller Skinner on July 15, 2015 at 10:15 pm

          yes each one of us will find out but when we stand before God he won’t be making us accountable for what others did or didn’t do or for a constitution that was created by men; we will be accountable for our own sins and also how we used our gifts and talents. If we do spend our time in judgment of others the same measure we used to judge will be used to judge us:) If we wasted our gifts and talents to busy worried about how others lived their lives instead of showing his love to others, being an example of his Love this too will work against us.

    • Kyle Horrocks on July 15, 2015 at 2:52 pm

      A few thoughts:

      (1) There is no movement to illegalize adultery and fornication because…..oh wait, they’re already legal. You can’t legalize a legal thing. This is an incredibly uncomplicated fact.

      (2) “Greater” sin? I’m sorry, but where in the Bible is this sin pyramid that groups sins together to define some as “greater sins” than others? I must have missed that passage. Quite simply, all sin separates us from God. And all sin is conquered by the blood of Christ. if you know of any passages to disprove these statements I have just made, I would genuinely like to know of them for myself (no sarcasm here, honest statement).

      (3) The Bible actually doesn’t call homosexuality an abomination. It just factually doesn’t. The original Hebrew word (ya know, one of two languages the Bible was actually WRITTEN in) that has been translated into “abomination” in many texts is “toevah”, which doesn’t actually mean abomination at all. It’s a complete and utter mistranslation. And the same word (toevah) is also used to describe heterosexual adultery, pride, idolatry, and lying. If the Bible uses the EXACT same word to describe the practice of homosexuality, lying, adultery, pride, and idolatry….doesn’t that necessarily mean that you should take just as active of a stance for the illegalization of those things (all of which ARE legal….we’ve already covered this) as you do against homosexuality? Hint: the only rational answer here is, “Yes, that makes sense, you’re right.”

      • Bill Cribbs on July 15, 2015 at 4:00 pm

        I guess we will all find out when we stand naked before a just and holy God who has given us everything that we need to know what is right and what is wrong, including His word, and our conscience which has been exposed to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. There will be no excuse. “Righteousness exalts a nation”. What, therefore, does unrighteousness do? Equal to my above comment.

        • Kyle Horrocks on July 16, 2015 at 12:51 pm

          No one is debating right and wrong. The practice of homosexuality is clearly sinful, as per the Bible. Again, no one is debating that. I pose to you the questions that naturally arises from both the article above and my original reply post to you – (1) why, of all the sins listed in the Bible, do Christians focus so passionately on illegalizing homosexual marriage, but not at all on illegalizing adultery, which is described in the same terms? And (2) speaking of those laws of a broken Earth, why do Christians care at all? Jesus never lobbied. Similarly, neither Jesus nor any of the apostles ever seemed to care much about the laws of man. Because they’re irrelevant from a spiritual perspective. Why would we try to force laws that reflect Christian values on non-Christians, when the gospel NEVER talks at all about doing that??

    • Jerry Krause on July 15, 2015 at 4:17 pm

      Calling something marriage does not make it marriage. Marriage has always been a covenant between a man and a woman which is by its nature ordered toward the procreation and education of children and the unity and wellbeing of the spouses.

    • Barb Just Barb on July 16, 2015 at 7:02 pm

      Adam was taller than Eve. So if a woman marries a man shorter than she, they are acting in “brazen defiance”? Open your mind!

      • Single Mommas Struggle on July 18, 2015 at 4:53 am

        Uhm, how do we know that exactly?

    • James on December 14, 2015 at 10:54 pm

      Please let go of your hate and do as Jesus taught – treat others as you would want to be treated.

      • Bill Cribbs on December 15, 2015 at 1:24 am

        I hate no one. The greater love is that which warns of danger even when it is not popular or when it is likely to be scorned or rejected. God is offering His love to you from the cross of Christ. You must repent in order to receive it.

  54. Jason on July 14, 2015 at 11:08 am

    Thank you for providing some clear-minded thoughts on this issue and pointing us to Jesus.

  55. MrPeabody on July 13, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    I am a devout atheist, if you will, and I wish all Christians were as introspective and understanding as you. If anything, there would be a lot less arguing and name calling in comment sections such as this.

    • Geena D. on July 21, 2015 at 10:07 pm

      Hi Mr Peabody, Great article, Right? 🙂 Best one I’ve read on this topic. I’m a Christian, I love Jesus…but I can also be a big jerk sometimes. All Christians can be (just like everyone else). And I really hate that we as Christians (me included) don’t always act like we should with name calling, arguing (like on these comments), and judging. I’m really sorry about that. But I comment just to encourage you to view Christianity not by how we (the imperfect and often hypocritical Christians) act, but by the Author and Perfecter of our faith Jesus Christ. That’s all. 🙂 Have a good night. <3

      • AllOnline on July 27, 2015 at 9:56 pm

        Well said, Geena!

  56. Susan on July 13, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    I have been believing/saying a “version” of this for years. All sexual sin is dealt with in God’s Top Ten…His Holy Commandments. (Exodus 20…#7 is : ‘You shall not commit adultery’) My neighbor’s husband decided he was gay 10+ years and 3 children into their marriage. The fallout has been hard on everyone, as you can imagine. His mom was having a real problem with it. I suggested she forget about the gay part, and focus on the adultery. Would it change her love for her son? Would she ban a “girlfriend” from the house? Could she still support the mother of her grandchildren, her former daughter-in-law? I always think of casting that first stone…my life hasn’t been sin-free, either! And, I totally agree that judging someone is not the best path to salvation! I’ll leave judgements to God Our Father. That being said, I can’t condone or otherwise support gay marriage even though our SCOTUS leveled the playing field as far as the US Government is concerned. No more than I can condone any other type of adultery.

  57. Brittany Klein on July 13, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Well, this is a nice, feel good opinion.. And I for the most part agree, just not with everything… And that is okay.
    My issue is that not one Bible verse was quoted… So he can not act as if this is truth, or fact. It’s merely opinion. And again, that is fine. Just don’t like to see the “such great truth here!” Comments.

  58. Deciding Where to Stand | Ozymandias on July 13, 2015 at 7:09 am

    […] here are a few great thoughts from Carey Nieuwhof, a pastor at an evangelical church in Canada (where same-sex marriage has been legal for a […]

  59. Veronica on July 12, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    Just watched the movie, A Man For All Seasons, the other day. Talk about the church being counter-cultural. Sir Thomas More stood on his faith, against the wishes of King and Country, in the 16th century with love and grace, not judgment. Though respected, he lost everything due to his stance, but never asked his king or anyone else for that matter to change what he was doing or thinking for God’s sake. More knew that King Henry would one day face the only one who had the authority to judge him.
    Great article!!! Thanks for sharing your wisdom and your heart in these interesting and trying times!

  60. Steve Haskill on July 12, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    “I hope what I offer can help. It’s my perspective. My fingers tremble at the keyboard because my goal is to help in the midst of a dialogue that seems far more divisive than it is uniting or constructive.” The good you have done in writing this is extraordinary. God has used your voice in a way that every evangelical needs to hear. Amen!

  61. Dennis Munn on July 12, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Good article, but I’m afraid it fails to take into account the incredible difference in temperament between the Canadian and American societies. The Canadian Church has simply never faced the angry frontal assault that the American Church is facing, so I think we must excuse our American cousins if they sound a bit more “strident” on this issue.

    As well, most thoughtful American ministers I know fully realize that the recent Supreme Court decision poses no existential theat to the Church. However, the challenges that are already lining up may prove to be truly threatening. And in those challenges, the “be nice and respectful” advice will be valueless in the face of enemies bent on the American Church’s destruction.

    • Jay on July 13, 2015 at 6:08 pm

      In addition, I don’t think the American Church has faced the full on assault that the early church faced. We face ideologies, they faced death.

    • spectrewriter on July 15, 2015 at 11:10 am

      Maybe that’s because the Canadian churches have never gone on witchhunts and gone so far out of their way to pursue and persecute people who believe differently, which is a strong point from this article; Don’t expect or require people who believe differently than you do to act as you do. If you don’t like asparagus, don’t expect others to eschew the dish just because you don’t. Likewise, don’t expect gay people to live alone, without the values and attributes of having a commitment to another person, just because YOUR sexual reality allows you to be “Married” but theirs doesn’t.
      American churches’ actions include many campaigns attacking gay people, trying to deny them basic civil liberties. The backlash they receive isn’t because gay people are attacking them, but because gay people are fighting back after having been attacked for decades.
      This changed nothing, really. It just stopped people who are attracted to, and love, other consenting adults of the same gender, from being denied that which you already hold and enjoy.

  62. […] I did but Carey Nieuwhof in this article has made me rethink my view of those I share this world […]

  63. peterhamm on July 12, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    You forgot

    6. Not all Christians are convinced that the Bible is preaching against Same-Sex Marriage anymore.

    • Steve Haskill on July 12, 2015 at 4:02 pm

      I think number 6 is a given. But this is an excellent article for the Christians that do. “The purpose of this post is not to take a position or define matters theologically (for there is so much debate around that).” For his target audience, this is the best thing I have read. 🙂

    • Single Mommas Struggle on July 18, 2015 at 5:02 am

      No, I don’t think he forgot. He’s really not talking about what other’s believe, right? He’s talking about what he believes and what his church believes and probably what most followers of this blog believe. He is saying if you don’t believe as we do, then you’re free to do as you please without us pointing our fingers at you saying, “You’re not behaving in line with our value system” because naturally, you’re behaving according to your own. It’s just common sense. But, I don’t think he forgot.

  64. GMB on July 12, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    I wish the readers knew how much super-solid, classic doctrine is woven into the arguments in this article. Total depravity, folks. Do some research on Calvin’s five points, and you’ll see that Pastor Nieuwhof’s arguments follow with logical precision from those doctrinal stances.

  65. […] Some Advice on Same-Sex Marriage for US Church Leaders From a Canadian by Carey Nieuwhof […]

  66. […] Advice on Same Sex Marriage From a Canadian Pastor – Wisdom from a pastor serving in a country where same sex marriage has been legal for a decade. […]

  67. raziel71 on July 11, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    Sorry pastor but you want to be in the middle and appease everyone, there are some of your opinions that dont line up with the Bible or Jesus. Being in a position of authority you should really rethink your approach and who you serve.

    • Jason on July 12, 2015 at 12:43 pm

      I have been reading some of the posts this blog has inspired. If this pastor is trying to appease people, he isn’t doing a very good job. This particular discussion has created a lot of debate on the subject. The multiple discussions I have been a part of have challenged my own beliefs and sharpened my faith. I am also proud of fellow believers who have come to this site with grace and kindness. Many of us have had the chance to share the gospel without swinging our gospel clubs once.

    • Perry bohanon on July 12, 2015 at 1:57 pm

      That’s one of those constructive posts he was hoping for…lol. I certainly did not get that his position was one of appeasement, but obviously I read it with a different mindset. Even if appeasement was his focus, doesn’t that at least draw people closer together? That’s where the intimate work will be done, not standing miles apart, divided.

      • raziel71 on July 13, 2015 at 4:38 am

        Jesus did not called for closer together, He called for division in His name, He said it would be conflict because of His commandments, that people will hate us because of following Him. if you see too much ” appeasement ” and “acceptance” by the world and want to join everyone in sin to be a “big happy family” then you have to question what Scripture you are reading and how you are interpreting it. Jesus is the same. He wont accept homosexuality today any more than He would have accepted 2000 years ago.

        • spectrewriter on July 15, 2015 at 11:12 am

          Jesus didn’t reject prostitutes, so what makes you think he would reject, shun or judge gay couples who want to make a life-long commitment to each other? Put down the hate.

          • raziel71 on July 16, 2015 at 5:27 pm

            You put down the ignorance and read the whole Bible and not just the verse they have shunned in your head. Do you even know what He told the prostitutes after he forgave them?? “Go and sin NO more”. Can you read that?? I do not judge anyone, the Bible specificly judges and condems homosexuality. God loves the sinner, not the sin. If they recognize this and have a change of heart ,yes, they are forgiven. But love for the people and tolerance of sin are 2 very different things. When you have a real knowledge of the Bible then maybe you will have a valuable opinion. You can not change the Bible, not even with the queen james bible that the homoagenda just got out. You can not buy God with politics, or pressure HIm into changing to your like. God is God, not a human. We as created have to comply with Him , not the other way around.



          • Single Mommas Struggle on July 18, 2015 at 5:04 am

            Go and sin no more, remember. You might not want to use that particular analogy.



          • Laura on December 10, 2019 at 9:59 pm

            He told the woman caught in Adultery “Neither do I condemn thee, go, and sin no more.”



  68. Hauna Dolecek on July 11, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    Thank u for this. As a woman who has identified with the LBGT community my entire life I have never felt more hatred from Christians then during the supreme court ruling. I was mere moments from ending my life until a Christian friend of mine called me and talked to me about the love of Jesus and told me I had a PLACE in the church, and to fall in love with Jesus and he would cleanse my impurities. If it wasn’t for the love and non-judgement of my friend I would not be alive today. God is beautiful and so kind. I will never be the same❤️

  69. […] Regarding social ostracism and cultural marginalization, Carey Nieuwhof addressed this thoughtfully. […]

  70. Marchpig on July 11, 2015 at 4:04 am

    I’m an Agnostic-Atheist and an ex Catholic, a Libertarian brought up by a Protestant mother, by that I mean “I do not believe that deities exist, but I will convert for evidence” but have total respect for your right to believe as you will until that belief affects the same rights of others in this world.

    I just wanted to say that this article was very thought provoking, it was intelligent and insightful, and to say thankyou for a rational voice in the deafening tumult of celebration against those gnashing their teeth.

    • Jerry Krause on July 11, 2015 at 12:51 pm

      Whenever one violates the natural moral order established by God, one sins and offends God. Same-sex “marriage” does just this. Accordingly, anyone who professes to love God must be opposed to it. I suppose Cary Nieuwhof and you might not agree with that; nevertheless, I have to say I found your comment above interesting even though I do not agree with your “thanks” to Pastor Nieuwhof.

    • brenn on July 11, 2015 at 2:00 pm

      quipping use of the words “gnashing their teeth.”

  71. Jerry Krause on July 10, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    Whenever one violates the natural moral order established by God, one sins and offends God. Same-sex “marriage” does just this. Accordingly, anyone who professes to love God must be opposed to it.

    Our Creator established rules governing marriage long before governments
    began regulating the institution. The opening book of the Bible tells us: “A
    man will leave his father and his mother and he must stick to his wife and they
    must become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24) The Hebrew word “wife,” according to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, “connotes one who is a female
    human being.” Jesus confirmed that those yoked together in marriage should be
    “male and female.”—Matthew 19:4.

    Thus, God intended marriage to be a permanent, intimate bond between a man and a woman. Men and women are designed to complement each other so they may be capable of satisfying each other’s emotional and sexual needs and of providing children.

    • Chris Thomas on July 11, 2015 at 8:42 am

      In other words you like many other so called “Chritians” are a cherry picker. Got it. Don’t say otherwise because that would make you a liar with is also a sin.

      • Jerry Krause on July 11, 2015 at 12:39 pm

        Although some people may purposely respond to a question or as in this case a comment inaccurately, inarticulateness and ignorance also may cause an inaccurate response. But in this case as with other people eager to respond without first taking time to understand what is being said, instead at best they are left to a long list of mental shortcomings which almost always will result in an inaccurate response. Your response is so misguided and inaccurate, that I can think of no other appropriate reply thereto than this one. In the future you may want to first gather the real facts and even study them before attempting a response worthy of intelligent debate.

    • Shakes_McQueen on July 11, 2015 at 5:27 pm

      Completely true. If you happen to assert the existence of one particular God, (of hundreds that have existed over the centuries), as outlined in two old books.

      If your chosen set of beliefs requires you to fight the tide of secular social progress, then so be it. But the inevitable conclusion is that you become a cultural relic while a world that increasingly doesn’t share your feelings moves forward.

      If nothing else, I respect that at least you don’t pretend that your faith’s sacred texts say something other than what they do, like many other cafeteria Christians would – or open them up to a convenient “re=interpretation”.

      • Jerry Krause on July 11, 2015 at 6:30 pm

        Thank you.

        • Jason on July 12, 2015 at 1:38 pm

          Why do you thank him? He just insulted your faith in what he calls an obsolete and irrelevant deity. He just placed your God on a shelf with the ‘hundreds that have existed over the centuries’ as well. He has raised you, but cast down Jesus. . I, for one am offended by his back handed compliment.

          • Jerry Krause on July 12, 2015 at 2:12 pm

            Jason, I cannot thank you enough. My original response to him did mistakenly state “thank you” which I have since corrected.



    • Jason on July 12, 2015 at 1:30 pm

      The author doesn’t argue that homosexuality isn’t a sin. I agree, scripture is clear of our stance as believers. Scripture exhorts us to have righteous judgement. Scripture also tells us how we are to share it with believers (1Cor 5:1-11) and unbelievers (1Cor 5:12,13). This pastor reminds us as believers that we are to be separate from the world. Why are so many of us puzzled that the world doesn’t want our leadership? It is not our place to drag them through our process of sanctification as a body.

      How can we as a group criticize the non-believer desiring a certificate to validate there commitment to one another? At no point have they demanded a covenant with God. Let them deal with the justice of the peace and gain the rights they desire.

      Regarding the state of our christian body: We have a serious log in our collective eye.We on the other hand, who maintain that very covenant of marriage with God, treat it with contempt as a whole. Divorce, infidelity, lust and pornography are mirrored within our church walls. Our focus is misplaced.

      • Jerry Krause on July 12, 2015 at 1:54 pm

        On the subject of gays wanting to change the meaning of “marriage” and imposing it on everyone else, which is the real focus here, it was stated that marriage predates religion. True the
        words “faith” and “religion” are used interchangeably, but there is a distinction whereas faith more appropriately refers to believing in God. Many associate religions with a church which can be said did not exist prior to the New Testament time. The word “marriage” is repeatedly used in the Bible, especially the King James Version which was written in 1611. According to the etymology dictionary the word “marriage” originated around 1300 meaning “action of marrying, entry into wedlock” and “state or condition of being husband and wife, matrimony, wedlock.” Even before this, though, God established the true marriage relationship (Psalm 47:2; cf. Daniel 4:34-35). It also being said by Jesus Christ that marriage was instituted by God (see: Matthew 19:4-5; Mark 10:6). Also, we should not overlook Genesis 2:21-24 sometimes referred to as the first romance of the Bible; the last verse reading “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” This is the origin of the word “marriage” that gays
        want to change. They can have their “civil union” or what have you, but marriage has always been and shall remain a
        covenant between a man and a woman.

        • Jason on July 12, 2015 at 2:06 pm

          ‘Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s’. How the government chooses to define marriage has nothing to do with you or I and our faith. Regardless of the origins of the agreement. Satan and the world will twist what is holy. Its what they do. How can we be shocked when a snake bites-it is there nature. For that matter, It was my nature… before Christ.
          If the LGBT community decides that churches must go along with this union the line is crossed between church and state. Until then, lets love them and lead them to Christ. And lets start preaching to the choir.

          • Jerry Krause on July 12, 2015 at 2:27 pm

            I will have to disagree in part. Your reply reminds me of those dirt bikers who prided themselves in getting drunk and raising hell, who wanted to call themselves MADD (Mean and Dirty Deeds). Of course, the original MADD (Mother’s Against Drunk Driving) was not pleased about it. Similarly, when gays set out to redefine the word “marriage” and forced it on everyone else, it is difficult if not impossible for Christians to dissociate themselves from what violates the natural moral order established by God. Gays can call it civil union or whatever, but it is when they want to change the meaning of the word “marriage” that it affects others.



          • Jason on July 12, 2015 at 3:00 pm

            Pick your battles. It is when they want to change the meaning of scripture that is important. When they tell us to accept what is evil as good that I will fight. I will not compromise and erase scripture to appease anyone. My Bible was written with ink and blood, not lead. Until then, I will choose to drop my stone and tell them about Jesus.



          • Jerry Krause on July 12, 2015 at 3:45 pm

            I do not see anywhere in that reply that we are in disagreement.



          • Jason on July 12, 2015 at 4:12 pm

            I never thought we were in disagreement. I just don’t see that our definition of marriage is something to divide over with the LGBT community. I think they should be able to have the legal benefits of marriage from a Justice.. Just leave me and my faith out of it. Fellow followers of Christ are up in arms because of what there ‘next step’ might be. Our toes haven’t been stepped on. Yet.



          • Jerry Krause on July 12, 2015 at 4:30 pm

            Smiling



          • Tami Miller Skinner on July 15, 2015 at 1:54 pm

            also Jerry the definitions in the constitution do NOt change the wording in our bibles 🙂 But as Jason pointed out it did give them a lot of civil rights that they really ought to have had prior to this ruling; perhaps if the few states that adamantly refused to legalize civil unions had said ok then we wouldn’t even be looking at this ruling in the first place.



          • Jerry Krause on July 15, 2015 at 4:23 pm

            Now this is how a wrong is corrected: Among the strategies to protect the First Amendment rights, is a proposed voter
            initiative in Colorado that will preserve the traditional and true meaning of marriage by recognizing it as a religious expression. It reads in pertinent part, “A marriage is
            recognized as a form of religious expression of the people of Colorado that shall not be abridged through the state prescribing or recognizing any law that implicitly or explicitly
            defines a marriage in opposition or agreement with any particular religious belief.”



          • mike on July 17, 2015 at 1:15 pm

            While I understand and appreciate your view allow me to inerject. Our Christian values and institutions are not validated by the world or the “unchurched”. I believe there is a distinct and real difference between the godly covenant of marriage and the governmental institution of marriage. The latter does not take away from the afore. Do you believe God is somehow confused by the advent of gay marriage? Like a mother who knows their child – God recognizes and distinguishes between the two. I doubt that most gay couple invoke a blessing of God during their marital ceremony. Marriage between a gay couple is a product of goverment legality whereas Christian marriage is a covenant between man, woman, and God – that also, but less importantly provides government recognition of that [Christian] couple.

            For the sake of the Constitution and our separation of Church and State I believe that the SCOTUS ruling regarding gay (governmental) marriage is fair and just. I can say that as a man who’s Christian values values cannot reconcile with homosexuality. I have a gay brother and he is married. Whatever I feel about gay relationships is irrelevant to the love I have for him and the respect I have for his husband as a person. It is the same as the love I have for my friends and family who fornicate or struggle with pornagraphy for example.

            Now if Churches were required to marry gay couples that would be a forfeiture of the separation of Church and State by forcing Christians to bless gay marriage.

            I think that this article did a great job of highlighting the fact that the Church is set apart and as such we should expect the world to mirror our values.



          • Jerry Krause on July 18, 2015 at 12:41 am

            Again, staying on point this is about gays wanting to redefine and change the meaning of married. It is not unheard of that with time the meaning of a word can change; nonetheless, every word in its present has two distinct meanings: The “denotative” meaning which is what the word refers to; and the “connotative” meaning which has to do with what the word means to a person, based on that person’s experiences and emotional reactions that associates with the word. The word “marriage” has a long tradition and in fact has been around forever to mean a union between a man and a woman; its roots are deep both socially and in faith. Even so, the gay community wants to redefine and change its meaning to mean something else. It does not matter that under a different word they can have all the same civil protections that a marriage has. However, especially for people of faith “marriage” carries with it both a denotative and connotative meaning (man and
            woman) that cannot be changed over night or ever (God created marriage and therefore His Word never changes). The gay community objects to today’s youth using the word gay in saying “that is so gay” to mean rubbish; even while they themselves want to redefine and change the word marriage.



      • Marg N Julz Senior on July 14, 2015 at 4:26 am

        Jason very good comment, the last 2 sentences of your last paragraph and the last paragraph is what the Church should be focusing on not on bashing the unbeliever who doesn’t live by Gods standards. It is our job to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to all that want to hear it, and help them into faith and understanding, although it is Gods task alone to convict them, not ours, and we are asked to be salt and light by living the gospel out, (if we did this more effectively instead of standing on our righteous soapbox poking the stick at those that hate God or choose to ignore Him, we would see the populance more interested in what we have that makes us different and content in our future. We are not asked to stand in Judgement, that is Gods task and his alone as our creator, we are asked to live holy lives free of the things that bind the world to Satan. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t comment on or try to influence people in Gods direction, (that is being salt and light, and we can do this by actually living out our daily lives following Gods Word), but we need to be very very careful that we do not cause the dialogue to stop between mankind and Gods mouthpieces (us), and the dialogue will stop when righteous pride enters our attitude and translates into Judgement of the very people we are wanting to see change in. It is our job to show Gods love and explain His standards, hopes and aspirations for us. At the same time it is Gods task to convict. No conviction and Man will live as he wants to and God will let him, that’s why he gave Man freewill!

  72. Glenn Ziegler on July 10, 2015 at 10:13 am

    While I tend more toward agreement with your points, I also see a danger here. Is Christianity counter-cultural? Yes … and even moreso than you allude to here. The danger, though, is in the temptation to take a reactionary approach, effectively allowing culture to dictate our agenda by blindly rejecting everything culturally acceptable in our pursuit of counter-cultural Christ-following. Embrace righteousness with grace, and do not automatically reject anything without first getting God’s perspective.

    Just a thought. ..

    • Chris Thomas on July 11, 2015 at 8:44 am

      Cherry picker.

    • Jerry Krause on July 11, 2015 at 12:43 pm

      I see that Chris Thomas also referred to you as a “cherry picker” without nothing, absolutely nothing to base that on. People like that; it truly is sad.

  73. Milli on July 10, 2015 at 1:55 am

    Thank you for your comments. I wholeheartedly agree. You have put into words something I think we knew but needed to be reminded of. I have shared your article with a people who have in turn shared it with many others. Your article is reaching a lot of people with a note that we need to hear. By the way, I have taken the liberty of making a rough translation into Spanish to share with a few Hispanic leaders I know. I know it will be a blessing for them. Blessings!

  74. Pooua on July 10, 2015 at 12:40 am

    The author apparently thinks that all that is happening is that the US government now recognizes same-sex marriage as legitimate. However, that is only part of what we are facing. Same-sex marriage is about 1) legitimizing homosexuality and 2) destroying Christianity. As such, we are seeing the state punishing Christians who choose not to assist homosexuals in getting married, or who condemn homosexuality.

    The author talks about reaching the lost, but seems to forget what it means to be lost. You cannot lead a person to Salvation from sin unless the person understands that sin is an affront to God, and homosexuality is a sin. In other words, accepting homosexuals does absolutely no good towards Salvation if it does not include condemning homosexuality–the very thing that government is punishing. Too many Evangelicals confuse Christianity with a popularity contest; they think that merely getting people in church accomplishes God’s work. It doesn’t. God does not need numbers of people. God has always called for quality, not quantity.

    The Christian who sugar-coats the Gospel to increase popularity is poisoning Christianity.

    • Muller Oosthuizen on July 10, 2015 at 2:35 am

      “Western civilisation is based on Christianity …” The facts are against us: one only has to look (from the outside) at the decline of Europe and the US … to realise that the Christian church has missed its goal of incarnating Christ.

    • Daniel on July 10, 2015 at 8:21 pm

      You act as if homosexuality is a “different” kind of sin. I can assure you that adultery, drunkenness, greed, lust, pride, etc. are all equal sins in God’s eyes. Just because someone wears their sin outwardly does not excuse Christians from their OBLIGATION to love those people. Just because your sins are hidden does not make you a “better” Christian than anyone else. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God”.

      • Pooua on July 10, 2015 at 9:57 pm

        When’s the last time someone sued a preacher for preaching against adultery, or gluttony, or pride? When’s the last time someone marched in the streets demanding the government legitimize drunkenness? When’s the last time someone said that business owners must provide service to facilitate adultery, drunkenness, greed, lust, or any other sin besides homosexuality? Do you even believe that homosexuality is a sin? Do you bother telling people that it is?

        This isn’t just about homosexuality. It’s about the government claiming that people must engage in behavior that violates the sincerely-held religious beliefs of those people. It’s about the government deciding what people’s religious practice will be, whether as business owners or as pastors. It’s about Fascism taking over this planet. And then you spineless, sorry excuses for Christians tell us that we shouldn’t be judgmental, because homosexuality is just like any other sin!

        Christians are supposed to reject sin, not preach complacency toward it.

        • J D S on July 10, 2015 at 11:23 pm

          Well said!!!

        • Miles Mayan on July 11, 2015 at 1:07 pm

          “When’s the last time someone sued a preacher for preaching against adultery, or gluttony, or pride?” The last time a preacher advocated for making adultery, gluttony, or pride illegal. That’s what makes todays Christians so hypocritical. They’re fine with divorce, binge drinking, and overeating being legal, but gay marriage being legal is a bridge too far.

          • Pooua on July 12, 2015 at 9:20 pm

            You can’t name a specific instance, can you? However, I *can* cite specific instances in which the government has fined Christians for refusing to participate in a same-sex wedding. Apparently, you are just fine with this Fascism.



          • Miles Mayan on July 12, 2015 at 9:32 pm

            It’s a bit of a stretch to call the Civil Rights Act fascist, to say the least. Freedom of religion both does not apply to businesses, and is not a get out of jail free card for discrimination. If Christian business owners don’t want to cater to same sex weddings, all they need to do is not cater to ANY weddings. At all. Period.

            As soon as you start catering to some weddings, but not others, that’s what’s called discrimination, and that is illegal.



          • Pooua on July 15, 2015 at 5:30 am

            The Civil Rights Act has nothing to do with same-sex marriage. Freedom of religion absolutely has to do with anything a US citizen does, whether it is run a business or teach a class or serve in the US military. You have no right to force someone to do what he believes is wrong.



          • Miles Mayan on July 15, 2015 at 11:26 am

            “You have no right to force someone to do what he believes is wrong.”

            Sure you do. For instance, if someone from ISIS came to the US, and his religion teaches to strike at the necks of unbelievers wherever he finds them, he would probably find laws against decapitation to be an unfair limitation on the free expression of his sincerely held religious beliefs. He would probably even say such a law is preventing him from carrying out his moral obligations as laid out by his scripture. Forbidding him from swinging a knife at the necks of infidels would be, to him, forcing him to do what he believes is wrong.

            But that doesn’t mean it’s unreasonable, unconstitutional, or immoral to tell him he can’t saw off peoples necks on the street. The reason being to allow him that right would be to deny others the right to walk down the street in safety. Individual freedom, including religious freedom, ends where the next person’s rights begin.

            Which leads us to the Civil Rights Act. Back in the days of yore, segregated businesses were common, and were generally owned by white Christians. The way they saw it, it was their business, and they had the right to serve or not serve whomever they wanted. The Civil Rights act stripped them of the right to discriminate by reinforcing that everybody has the right to enter a “public accommodation” (which includes private businesses) and expect the same service as everyone else.

            So even if someone sees segregation as a moral duty, and sees being forced to serve blacks as being “forced to do what he believes is wrong” they still don’t have the right to treat black customers any different than white customers. In the case of interracial marriage, which was what Christians were freaking out about 40 years ago, any place that sells cakes to same-race weddings also has to sell cakes to interracial weddings. The same applies to sexual orientation: if you want to sell wedding cakes to straight couples, you also have to sell them to gay couples, and if you don’t want to have to sell wedding cakes to gay couples, the solution is to just not sell wedding cakes at all. After all, nobody is forcing these individuals to run a bakery.



        • brenn on July 11, 2015 at 2:20 pm

          Very well said. There is the point that so many of us are trying to make but getting reduced to “rant” status by other believers. The Homosexual and the Gay Rights movement need to be separated in the analysis of how the church of Christ, that still clings to scriptural authority, approaches the issue of homosexuality. The church should be standing up against the Gay Rights movement because the entitlements this movement seeks are merely a device (a means to an end) to eliminate the Gospel message about sin and to establish state control over the Gospel message (even changing it).

          The homosexual as a person should be welcomed into the church to hear that God loves them like anyone else but, like anyone else, God’s salvation is conditional upon repentance from sin. Homosexuality is among the sins we are called to repent from.

          The homosexual should be treated like a whole person and the identity of homosexual should be removed and replaced with the identity of human- that God sees people as humans and certainly much more than some identity defined by one’s sexual activity.

          Once we can frame a person as a human, we can hope these humans, caught up in all sorts of pain caused by sinful activities that were engaged in to find fulfillment but, in the end, bring bondage, will repent and receive the forgiveness from sin unto eternal life. If there is no acceptance of the Gospel message, then we would expect that these humans will go on their way in unbelief.

          The gay rights movement seeks to silence the message of the gospel and limit freedom in general. We are the most free when we have the message of salvation among us. We are most condemned when this message of salvation is eliminated. I will add that once the message of Salvation through repentance and the finished work of Christ is eliminated, anything unpopular will be silenced and total state control will reign. Totalitarianism begins with control over what can be said!

          • brenn on July 11, 2015 at 2:23 pm

            Well, I should add that forms of Totalitarianism are preceded by gun control as well.



        • Jason on July 12, 2015 at 4:06 pm

          I am one of those ‘spineless, sorry excuse for a Christian’. I chose to stop swinging my ‘gospel club’ at wretched sinners some time ago. Now I get to deal with judgmental believers instead. Let me tell you, its like poking a rottweiler with a stick. I have been assaulted more times at my ‘family table’ then when I dealt with those dirty sinners.

          • Pooua on July 12, 2015 at 9:13 pm

            Don’t worry; the Democratic Party is working hard to ensure they pick up the pace of persecution against anyone who dares cast aspersions against homosexuality! Only, instead of “assaulting” you with criticism, the Democratic Party intends to ostracize and bankrupt anyone who condemns homosexuality.

            If you don’t want to live in a free society; if you don’t mind having the government dictate your religious practice to you; if you admire government bankrupting Christians for denouncing what God has denounced; then, keeping quiet about these court decisions and laws is exactly what you want to do. But, understand, you aren’t a Christian; you are a traitor!



          • Jason on July 12, 2015 at 9:26 pm

            Two things: 1. The American church could use some persecution. I don’t welcome it, but 80,000 years from now it wont matter. The church thrives under persecution. It weeds out the chaff,and instills true humility. Something most Christians in our country need desperately. It is also one on the best ‘church growth’ strategies ever invented.
            2. I hate to tip over any sacred cows, but frankly, I don’t believe God is a Republican.



          • Jason on July 12, 2015 at 11:44 pm

            Oh, and thanks for the verbal assault, fellow believer. When you give me the choice of being a Christian or a traitor, are you implying that as a supposed traitor to the US (I am a veteran by the way) I would no longer be a Christian? My allegiance is to Him first. And, I hate to keep knocking your idols over, but not only do I believe God is not a Republican, I’m pretty sure He isn’t American either.



          • Pooua on July 15, 2015 at 5:26 am

            The US government is criminalizing Christianity, and all you can do is complain that you are being assaulted at your dinner table. I didn’t say your sorry attitude against Christianity makes you a traitor against the US; it makes you a traitor against Christianity.



        • Tami Miller Skinner on July 15, 2015 at 2:40 pm

          Oh my Lord, are you serious with your rant? God does not care what political party you belong to or your propensity toward one what he cares about is your attitude. You are so blinded by the hate in your heart you cannot even see people. You’ve forgotten about the sins you hold yourself, you’ve forgotten about the Grace and forgiveness that was once and repeatedly given to you. I hate to break it to you but the law suits and things you claim as persecutions against us are nothing more than people breaking the law, claiming the bible made them do it and then having to pay the price for that. Nobody asked anyone to agree with their sins they asked that we as Christians conduct ourselves as decent human beings. We do not have to agree that homosexuality is right or wrong but we do have to treat people with kindness and respect because the Lord Jesus Christ asked us to do that.
          It’s comical your gluttony pride bit have you not seen the golden arches? commercials, ect that promote obesity and gluttony? Are you so blinded when you pull thru the drive through to get your doubt quarter pounder that you do not realize the hypocrisy in your words? The march in the streets for drunkenness happened during prohibition and guess what the right to be drunks was and continues to be firmly acceptable within the USA.
          It is interesting that you asked about businesses confirming the other sins because this same business that refused a gay couple a cake i’m sure served hundreds to those with gluttony. WHEN is the hate going to stop? when will those who claim to love the Lord remember his words? When will they turn from the anger and bitterness and return to the Love he asked for us to have for our neighbors? I sometimes feel like i’m speaking to toddlers who are fighting over their toys!!!!!

          • joe on November 15, 2017 at 10:14 pm

            Jesus said “man shall not lay with man” “nuff said



        • Jason on July 29, 2015 at 3:12 pm

          As I have continued to touch base with this blog, I have been challenged and sharpened by my fellow beleivers-Most of whom I disagreed with. At the end of each dialogue, we departed as family that just disagreed with each other.

          However Pooua, you are different. Your animosity towards Christians is more pronounced since our previous conversation. I see you copying and pasting some of the same bile you attacked me with. Why are you part of this discussion? You seem to be someone just looking for a quarrel. 2 Tim 2:23-24 : “Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.” I suspect your true fight and animosity isn’t with beleivers or the homosexual community.

      • raziel71 on July 11, 2015 at 11:10 pm

        You are wrong… Paul clearly identified that there was different kinds of sin and there is even one sin that God wont forgive to anyone.

        16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.

        17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.

        There are also sin of ignorance and sins you knowingly do and God judge it in different ways.

    • Miya on July 11, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      Just reminding you to not forget that Christianity is also the cause of thousands of innocent deaths. This included defenceless women, old people, children, babies and more. Through history, Christianity cause almost more bloodshed than pagan added together.
      Also, there are many countries who have never heard of Christianity and yet they stopped things like, slavery and brutal killing even before Jesus came in existence.
      This proves that Christianity actually the ‘one’ or ‘only right’ religion that shed light on people’s morality.

      • Miya on July 11, 2015 at 4:51 pm

        I mean, “This proof that Christianity isn’t actually the ‘one’ or ‘only right’ religion that shed light on people’s morality”.

      • Jason on July 12, 2015 at 3:52 pm

        I don’t mean to split hairs, but…Our faith isn’t in Christianity as
        the one and only true religion. Its easy to shoot down what ignorant or
        unfaithful believers have done in the past and today.Rather, our
        faith is in Jesus Christ. That He is the only way to getting ‘right’
        with our Creator. No one else has offered a solution to mans’ imperfection.

    • Colee74 on July 30, 2015 at 3:02 pm

      “…our nation and our culture is doomed.” Our first priority is not to preserve our nation and culture.
      There’s a panic to control things on the big scale instead of living it out where God asks us to, in our minds, homes, neigborhood, church. THIS is why society has come to be what it is.
      The author never said to get soft with sin, but to stand firm personally(not politically)against ALL sin, if it’s a better way to live, it will become evident.

    • Colin Lee Flemington on July 30, 2015 at 7:01 pm

      “our nation and our culture is doomed.” God is not concerned with preserving a nation or culture. The Church is His priority.
      The author is not condoning the acceptance of sin, but pointing out that it’s our first priority as Christians to deal with it in ourselves. This will have the desired effect on the world immediately around us. This is God’s way of affecting the world, not through law.

  75. Byhim4him on July 9, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    Awesome!! Awesome!! I’m glad I wasn’t in a public place while reading this. My shouts of “AMEN brother” as I read would have been disturbing. Thank you for this post!

  76. […] Came across this article that echo’s what I have been saying about the church’s response to same sex marriages for awhile. Canadian Cary Nieuwhof’s five points are spot on. In his blog post he cautiously offers advice to his American counterparts on how the church should respond to same sex marriage, especially in light of the recent Supreme Court ruling. (Same sex marriage has been legal in Canada for 10 years). See his blog post here: “His Some Advice on Same-Sex Marriage for US Church Leaders From a Canadia… […]

  77. stemstan on July 8, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    Thank you for a most thoughtful presentation. Going beyond your excellent point, if the church can move towards its counter-cultural posture in the US then maybe same-sex marriage law can be a healthy thing for American Christians. Your words are helpful. Thanks.

    • J D S on July 10, 2015 at 11:29 pm

      Quote: “maybe same-sex marriage law can be a healthy thing for American Christians”

      What does that even mean? Do you really understand what you just said?

      Too many of you are falling for the empty rhetoric that it’s “all the Christians’ fault anyway. If they would just be nicer…blah, blah, blah…”

      Please think about the ramifications of your statement. Don’t let the evil one win.

      • stemstan on July 11, 2015 at 4:10 pm

        Remember that Jesus let the evil one win… He went to the cross. Speaking as a Christian, I want to ask, who put Christians in charge of America? The Church is not in charge and should not try to be and should not demand Christian obedience of our culture. It undercuts a faithful witness to the reality of Christ. The Church in America has been following other agendas than the way of Jesus. Don’t make the world the Church. Be the Church.

  78. Erling Lea on July 8, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    Historically any nations that goes against the family ideal have declined rapidly and fast after 3 generations, God follow his own principle and move to another country where the family ideal can be upheld, dont you guys study history Rome, Noahs time, Sodom and Gomorrah and America goes into that history as well a nation that went against the family ideal.

    • Muller Oosthuizen on July 10, 2015 at 2:51 am

      Real bad theology (and deliberate false use of Scripture) behind these arguments. All of the examples used had to do with completely different motives than family – Sodom&Gomorrah got punished for their lack of hospitality and not for the sexual lust of some people. Carefully read Gen 18:1-8 & 19:1-3. Greed and capitalistic greed is the US’s downfall. Etc.

      • Tom on July 10, 2015 at 10:59 pm

        Does anyone claim that Sodom & Gomorrah were punished for sexual lust? Many claim they were punished for attempted homosexual rape. I think the truth is more complex than the “gay verses inhospitality” debate. Ezekiel 16:49 indicates their sins were varied and numerous. I think homosexual sin was one of many sins for which they were judged.

        • brenn on July 11, 2015 at 2:31 pm

          All I personally read in that story is that sexual sin is prominent. I’m not a bible scholar. Nevertheless, sexual sin comes in many forms.

        • Jason on July 12, 2015 at 4:40 pm

          ‘they proclaim their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! For they have brought evil on themselves.’ -Isaiah 3:9 seems to imply there destruction was not brought on by the sin itself, but their pride regarding it.

          Additionally, Ezekial 16:49 adds they were judged because there excess of food, prosperous ease,and failure to aid the poor and needy were abominations before God.
          Jesus says in Luke 10:10-13 that the cities of Chorazin and Bethsaida would be judged more severely because of their lack of faith after the miracles that were done in their midst.
          -Scares me as a fat, prosperous American Christian. Good thing Christ’s blood has removed me from Sodom and Gomorrah’s judgement.

      • brenn on July 11, 2015 at 2:29 pm

        I was reading something about judges and the author argued that Sodom has created a law that stated any man who entered the town had to submit to sodomy. In fact, when you read Abraham’s negotiation with God about saving the whole city if there were 10 righteous men, you see that God agreed. In fact, the story reads that the Lord visited Sodom and the men demanded to sodomize the visitors. Then, the Lord blinded the men who demanded to sodomize the visitors and got Lot and his family out of that city prior to its destruction. It’s clear that the sodomy was the problem. Don’t you remember that Lot offered his virgin daughters to the men demanding to sodomize the visitors? What about sodomy don’t you get from that story?

  79. Erling Lea on July 8, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    same sex attraction is caused by lack of love from the same sex parent, all the facts is not true, no one is born that way, the % of population that is gay is also not correct see the documentary on youtube : one in ten. The kinsey percentage. And people can change if they want to. In Norway after my understanding they stopped gay marriage in churches and the state does it only, this way christians dont have to go against their faith. The created separation between church and state also.

    • IngornaceWow on July 9, 2015 at 9:40 pm

      Hi. Where’s your source for the drivel you spout about “not enough love from the same sex parent”? If it’s not a peer-reviewed, scientific study, then stop spreading that lie. My father is a great man, who spent most of his non-working, waking hours with my sisters, my brother, and me. He always led the household and raised us with solid, Christian fundamentals. My brother’s gay. I’m straight. How does that reflect poorly on HIM?

  80. Em on July 8, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Yes, yes and yes. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this beautiful article admonishing us to be faithful to our beliefs without bashing them over others’ heads. Hope this goes viral.

  81. Tracy on July 8, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    This I the best article I’ve read from a pastor on gay marriage, Great article, great advice. Very wise. Very refreshing to see the love of Jesus, practically everything I read on the subject just seems hateful and hurtful, judgemental and full of condemnation. The hate that comes out of some Christians makes me so sad and ashamed. Being loving to someone doesn’t mean you condone the behaviour. One sin is not worse than another. We all sin. We are human. Great article. Thank you for writing it. Praise the Lord.

  82. brenn on July 8, 2015 at 1:11 am

    Are the Gay Activists in Canada killing Christians and setting up Canadian business people to put them out of business if they won’t go against their conscience and marry gay folks, all in the name of tolerance of course?

    • Pooua on July 10, 2015 at 6:34 pm

      I don’t follow Canada too closely, but I know that one homosexual activist sued a preacher (Stephen Boissoin) who had denounced homosexuality. The case wound its way through multiple courts for a decade before it finally was thrown out in 2009.

      A quick Web search shows many more cases in which Canadian preachers are being sued by homosexual activists. Oddly, this doesn’t seem to trouble Carey Nieuwhof enough to mention it in his article.

      • Tom on July 10, 2015 at 11:02 pm

        I wonder if he’s come to accept it as a part of life?

  83. GGG on July 8, 2015 at 12:00 am

    Pastor Neuwhof. Thank you so much for a commentary that said let’s reach across the divide instead trying to make it wider. Jesus consistently practiced that during his ministry. He reached out to Romans, he reached out to those who would persecute and judge others, and he reached out to those who persecuted and mocked him. A great, thoughtful commentary to foster respectful discussion and disagreement. Thank you. May God bless.

  84. Skip Schwarz on July 7, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    In your comments against judging, I hear you and what you’re trying to do: to create an atmosphere of love and acceptance with those of the gay community. That’s as it should be, but I think this last point is better put positively, rather than negatively. Instead of “don’t judge”, how about ” do love” them, which is what you’re aiming at anyway. The problem with the prohibition against judging lies in the different way it’s construed today than in the Bible, where it was a prohibition against condemning. Remember the woman caught in adultery? Beautiful illustration. “Neither do I condemn you, ” said Jesus to her. So far so good, but those whose lifestyle is contrary to Biblical morality would regard his next words as nothing less than judging: “go, and sin no more, lest something worse befall you.” Today, in our amoral society, judging is equated with any set of values that would declare something wrong that others consider right. You will have people staying out of any evangelical church that preaches a Biblical morality not because people are condemning them, although sadly some will, but because the truth that is being preached makes them FEEL judged. In psychological terms, It’s called “cognitive dissonance” which means you’re not going to knowingly put yourself into any setting where you’re going to end up feeling guilty or your behavior condemned. It’s the same reason couples living together will stay away from churches that preach a Biblical morality. On an individual level, you’re going to have people feeling judged by you simply because they know you disapprove of their behavior whether you say anything or not. That’s why I think a more fruitful approach would be to reach out to them in love, hearing their hurts, listening to their concerns, helping them with things such as medical care and the necessities of life. There’s a lot you can do as a Christian to express God’s love to them short of officiating at a gay marriage. Just don’t expect to be welcomed with open arms because they’re always going to feel more comfortable with those who share their values than with those who disapprove. I see the larger issue as not being about sex at all, but about salvation, and the devil using sexual “freedom” to keep people away from the source of real freedom.

    • melinda on July 7, 2015 at 9:28 pm

      Thank you Skip for your thoughtful post. Here is some food for thought. You are quite right in that some people will feel judged. You then go on to say “It’s called “cognitive dissonance” which means you’re not going to knowingly put yourself into any setting where you’re going to end up feeling guilty or your behavior condemned.” Perhaps there are people who have lived the Christian experience and who have with a great deal of thought and struggle come to a place of non-belief. The question is then why would you put yourself in a situation where you know already that you do not believe the same things. I have read through the thousands of posts here and have very close relationships with family (parents included!) who condem and judge my way of life. I put myself in this situation because I love my family deeply and I know that they love me as well. But why should I sit with strangers and have their belief system and judgment (I don’t have as many issues with this word as most do in these discussions!) constantly reiterated to me. It is not a discussion, there is no space for my view of belief to be valid. It just doesn’t make any sense. And no – I have not felt even one twinge of “conviction” in the thousands of posts that tell me that I am a sinner and will burn in a pit of fire for all eternity. The only thing that keeps me in the agnostic rather than atheist category is the concept of a love that surpasses anything that is humanly possible and the idea of being separated from this. That gives me pause and keeps me perodically revisiting my nonbelief. I am sure you will not agree but I did not feel free when I was a fervent fundamentalist Christian. I was always looking over my shoulder afraid I would be left behind when the rapture came. Freedom is what I have now. Freedom to use the intellect I have been given to make my free choice.

      • Skip Schwarz on July 7, 2015 at 10:34 pm

        Hi, Melinda–time to turn in, but just wanted to thank-you for your own comments and offer a couple of observations. First of all, the love your family has for you overrides any differences in values, so the cognitive dissonance avoided by people in social situations doesn’t really apply here. Secondly, when you talk about “fervent fundamentalism” I’m wondering if you’re not describing a legalistic approach to the gospels that is basically driven by a combination of fear and pride and overloaded with rules. Whatever it was, if it left you “looking over your shoulder with fear” I don’t think it bears any resemblance to the kind of freedom Jesus was talking about which comes from the reign of the Holy Spirit in the lives of those who have exchanged their own values and priorities for his. Have a good night and I hope you continue revisiting your unbelief. I really believe God desires to love and bless you in a way you’ve not yet experienced. Have a good night!

        • melinda on July 8, 2015 at 1:12 am

          Hi Skip,

          Thank you for your kind words. I can assure you that the love of my family insulated me some compared with others who were tossed out. If you can imagine what it took to come out to my parents knowing their beliefs! But to believe because they believe or because I am scared to end up in hell were the best options I could come up with and neither one sits well with me. So, my non-belief is well considered and very likely to stay. But each day is a new day and I hope to keep learning and gaining new insights for the rest of my life.

          Thank you very much for the exchange of thoughts and your good wishes. All the best to you.

      • Tami Miller Skinner on July 8, 2015 at 7:59 pm

        thank you for sharing your story:) I wonder if the ‘place of non-belief’ has more to do with the way you’ve been treated or looked on by the very people who were suppose to be showing loving kindness, forgiveness and love? I was touched by the part in your story that explained that instead of being atheist you’d stayed agnostic because you did not want to separate from the overwhelming love….This would tell me that altho you aren’t say placing yourself in the midst of a crowd who has already made their judgment you at the same time are not turning your back on Jesus :). This is btw the love spoken of throughout all the Gospels and so the very fact that you feel it and don’t want to loose it means he is with you.
        Im not surprised that no ‘conviction’ is gained in forums like these or in fact even within the world because lets face it as you said people generally do not leave room for discussion they’ve already made up their minds but I wanted to tell you that not everyone has that same opinion and not everyone would ignore the discussion.
        I have been a Christian for nearly all my life and can identify with what you said about the conviction part because any time I’ve ever had conviction on anything it wasn’t from anyone’s words or well meaning judgment it was because the Holy spirit laid it on my heart and kept prompting me to do something about it …
        I know i’ll get backlash from this but it needs to be said. In a world where scholar after scholar argue about what the meaning of this passage or that one.. it is possible that we as mere humans have it wrong. It is also possible that things get lost in translation. At the very heart of the issue are people and I cannot believe that God would create a large population of people who are ‘different’ only to condemn them from childhood and so given that context I believe as Skip said that he does desire to love and bless you and according at least Corinthians and Galatians all he requires from you is your faith 🙂 Please don’t let the haters turn you from the love God has for you.. when he died on that cross it was for every single one of us regardless of what sins we carried and all he required from us is our faith in him.

      • brenn on July 11, 2015 at 2:46 pm

        I’m a bible believing Christian and the idea of a pre-tribulation rapture makes me worried about being left behind because I’m not good enough. I think the Bible was written in the form of letters and these letters were written to uneducated people, mostly. These letters were read to people who could not read. Therefore, when we read the revelation of John, we have to take it without modern theology that teaches of a pre-tribulation rapture. The raw vision dictated by a scribe and spoken by John, on the island of Patmos (after he was blinded and boiled in oil, if I remember correctly) paints a picture of a time when Christ will return but there are many things on earth that indicate this is a time of global control by a one world government and a time of geological catastrophe.

        If you do a you tube search on “near death experience” and the word “Jesus,” you will find people who have died and come back to life (some after hours). They all see Jesus and some a rescued from the Love you are talking about. Jesus rescued some people from Hell. It’s simply about that Love- you are absolutely right to focus on that Love. It’s about His love. God loves you personally, intimately, deeply and to great lengths. His love was unconditional as God gave a part of himself to become as a human and become a blood sacrifice for sin. Once the unconditional part was accomplished, there remains one condition- repentance- John the Baptist came preaching repentance and Jesus didn’t contradict that but went on to say repent and believe in me. Every author of the New Testament died to bring you this message. Believe people who die to bring you a message.

  85. Laurie Kogen on July 7, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    Pastor Nieuwhof, I just want to thank you so much for writing this. Not that I was judging outwardly, but I was saddened by the Supreme Court decision and worried about our future. But you are absolutely correct when you say “Judgment is a terrible evangelism strategy,” “People don’t line up to be judged,” Judging is un-Christian,” and to remember that I was saved by grace, my sins are just different. It is about modeling Jesus’ love. And, yes, the best strategy is to love the people with whom I disagree. Thank you, Pastor Nieuwhof. I know all this, but it’s so good to be reminded. You’ve really helped me.

  86. Elisabeth Boelman on July 7, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    The only point I disagree with is that Jesus died because of his love for us. Scripture points time and again to the fact he died out of love and obedience to the Father.

    • Tami Miller Skinner on July 9, 2015 at 11:49 am

      Elisabeth- Just a few of those verses 🙂 It is my understanding altho I cannot find it right now.. that God was angry with his people much like in the days of Noah. Jesus was sent to live among us to abide by all those laws because people were not capable of doing it. By living a sinless life among us he then became our sacrifice. (instead of having to continue to sacrifice goats or lambs when we sinned). Once he died on the cross our sins were forgiven thru faith in him. He was the mediator the ransom because he loved us and did not want us to face Gods wrath …
      John 15:9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.

      John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another

      Ephesians 3:19 And to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God

      1 Timothy 1:14 And the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus

      Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God

      John 14:21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”

      John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends

  87. Steve Jones on July 7, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    Thank you. I have some agreement and not a little disagreement here.

    1) THE CHURCH HAS ALWAYS BEEN COUNTER-CULTURAL. Agreed.

    2) IT’S ACTUALLY STRANGE TO ASK NON-CHRISTIANS TO HOLD CHRISTIAN VALUES.

    Why is that? Granted,unbelievers are not “bound to righteousness” by virtue of accepting Christ’s redemption as Christians are. But unbelievers are certainly
    still accountable to God because we are ALL creatures of the Creator and have his law written on their hearts. The issue at hand has to do with the laws of the land. We Christians certainly expect the unbelievers to obey the laws on murder and theft, don’t we? Likewise, we expect them to respect the laws on free expression of religion and free speech.

    C.N.: “Why would we expect people who don’t profess to be Christians to
    pass laws like the entire nation was Christian?”
    In a country where ANYONE and EVERYONE has the right to influence the political process so that the laws reflect their worldview why WOULDN’T we Christians advocate for righteous and just laws? Especially since those laws have a proven beneficial track record socially, economically and medically. SOMEONE’S morality (or immorality) will be reflected in the law. Why not ours?

    C.N.: “Non-Christians usually act more consistently with their value
    system than you do.”
    Maybe that’s because we all have a predisposition to sin so it’s easy to sin and difficult to live righteously? Unbelievers get no brownie points for “consistency” when they consistently do what comes naturally, which is sin. Hitler was very consistent with his value system too, but his consistency wasn’t a virtue.

    C.N.: “Jesus never blamed pagans for acting like pagans.” Have you read the book of Revelation? Jesus not only blames pagans for acting like pagans, he also holds them accountable for acting like pagans and refusing to believe and repent of their sins. He judges them quite harshly in the end (Revelation 19:11ff).

    3) YOU’VE BEEN DEALING WITH SEX OUTSIDE OF TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE
    FOR A LONG TIME.
    C.N.: “You don’t need to treat it (gay marriage) any differently.”
    Right but wrong. Homosexuality is a sexual sin like the rest of them, so it gets treated the same. But it does not follow that “gay marriage” isn’t any different. The reason gay marriage is different is because it is a LAW that has been passed (by the Supreme Court) and that law is now being used to compromise freedom of religion and to force conscientious Christians out of the American marketplace since you can now be fined, fired and discriminated against for your religious beliefs. That is simply not the case with fornication or adultery – so there is a difference when it
    comes to gay marriage.

    4) THE EARLY CHURCH NEVER LOOKED TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR GUIDANCE.
    C.N.: “Jesus spent about zero time asking the government to
    change during his ministry.”
    Not true. Jesus’ politicians were the Pharisees and Sadducees who comprised the Sanhedrin. While he could not vote, Jesus did seek to influence his politicians by calling them out, rebuking them, and challenging them to be more just and fair. You can’t teach a course on the Life of Christ without talking about Jesus’ interaction with his politicians.

    C.N.: “The Apostle Paul appeared before government officials regularly. Not once did he ask them to change the laws of the land.”
    In Paul’s day Rome was not a representative Republic it was a dictatorship under Caesar. There was no ability or opportunity to “ask them to change the laws of the land.” Are you seriously suggesting that, on the basis of that “apples to oranges” comparison, we Christians here in America should not engage the political process and seek to change the laws of the land? And by the way, Paul certainly leveraged his rights as a Roman Citizen to save his person, his life and to advance his Christian cause.

    C.N.: “Maybe we’ll be willing to lose our jobs, our homes, our families and even our lives because we follow Jesus. That might just touch off a revolution like it did two millennia ago.” I’m sure many Christians would be willing to sacrifice everything
    for the Lord. Would it result in a revolution, a revival, a beneficial purging of the church? Who is to say? Maybe it would or maybe it would snuff out the church in North America like it did in North Africa after the Muslim invasions, or like it did the church in Asia Minor after the 14th century, or like it did the church in Japan after Christianity was outlawed in the 17th century. Maybe we will enter a thousand-year dark age. The “benefits” of church persecution are often naive and overstated.

    5) OUR JUDGMENT OF LGBT PEOPLE IS DESTROYING ANY POTENTIAL
    RELATIONSHIP.
    No argument with the need to love the LGBT’s. Actually, most Christians I know have and do love the LGBT’s. But I do get tired of the whole “judgmental” label. After building that relationship with the LGBT, loving them, spending time with them
    and modeling the grace of Jesus to them, at some point you’re going to have to share the truth with them. Some of them will be receptive to the truth and some of them (a lot actually) will not. Many of those who are not receptive are going to label you judgmental even if you have been as sweet as Mother Theresa. Remember, even Jesus couldn’t tell the truth so lovingly and tactfully that nobody ever got mad at him.

    • Mark on July 7, 2015 at 3:53 pm

      you write “The reason gay marriage is different is because it is a LAW that has been passed (by the Supreme Court) and that law is now being used to compromise freedom of religion and to force conscientious Christians out of the American marketplace since you can now be fined, fired and discriminated against for your religious beliefs. That is simply not the case with fornication or adultery – so there is a difference when itcomes to gay marriage.”

      WRONG. The law isn’t being used to compromise freedom of anything. In the case of the Oregon bakers, the law was already crystal clear–you go into business to serve the public with a product (in this case selling wedding cakes) then you serve the public. Everyone. Period. If you don’t like it then a) don’t open a business or b) open a private membership that discriminates or c) move to another country. Courts have decided over and over that public services (like cake baking) aren’t a religious exercise. Further, what’s to stop businesses to going right back to where we were in the 50’s and using “religion” to discriminate on any number of things. People did, in fact, hide behind “their serious religious beliefs” to discriminate against blacks.

      What’s so hard about this to understand? Stop spreading the lies and learn how our civil and civic laws work.

      And, no one is making ministers marry gay couples so let’s nip that in the bud.

    • Ryan Byler on July 7, 2015 at 6:58 pm

      The people that got mad at Jesus were the religious folks – like you and myself are. I WILL PRAY AND LET THE HOLY SPIRIT GUIDE when interacting with unbelievers. Even if it takes years and years of loving someone. That purest form of gracious and attractive love is what I am called to portray. To worship Christ and serve others is what we are meant for.

    • Moonlight Shadeaux on July 8, 2015 at 2:06 pm

      This how non-believing works. YOU may think I am bound the rules of the creator, but since I don’t believe, spiritually I’m not bound to anyone’s standards, but my own. Therefore, I should have the right to the same legal protections that marriage gives couples under the law. I should also have the right to marry the person who I feel makes me happy.

      The great thing about this country is that I am not forced to live my life by the principles of other religions and I shouldn’t have to. As long as my actions cause no other person harm I should be able to live my life according to my value system.

      It makes me more resentful the more I hear “holier than thou arguments.” Christians that feel that it is their right to impose their moral standards on my life is reason enough to for me to never participate in Christianity again.

      And even though I can appreciate the sentiment of this article in general, it still has the ring of “hate the sin and love the sinner.” It’s still pretty much judgmental, it’s like I’m being told that I choose to be gay and I don’t. I just choose to live my life honestly to myself because I’m not accountable to anyone’s God(s) or religious code of ethics.

      • GOTT on July 8, 2015 at 11:56 pm

        Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD’S thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is. (Deuteronomy 10:14)

        A Psalm of David. The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. (Psalms 24:1)

        Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. (Ezekiel 18:4)

        The article is titled “Some Advice on Same-Sex Marriage for US Church Leaders From a Canadian,” it is directed to Christian, not non-Christians, so I would assume Steve Jones comments were directed to Christians as well. Based on the verses I quoted above, if everything belongs to God, then as a Christian, I would expect that which belongs to God to be used for God’s purposes. This may not be how the non-Christian want Christians to believe but from a Christian’s perspective and based on the above verses, wouldn’t this be how God would want Christian’s to see things?

    • Mark Underkofler on July 9, 2015 at 1:56 pm

      Thanks. Great critique of a great article. Though, I would say most people underestimate the possibilities in a time of persecution. The American church doesn’t have the problem like other times in Church history where people were trying to get get killed for their faith. Most Christians see persecution instead as an attack on their easy lives. I think many times, even as a pastor, I am similar to most Christians in that way unfortunately.

  88. Janice Colfer on July 7, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    I really don’t have an issue with non-believers and the whole same sex issue. I totally agree with your thinking. What I struggle with is the believers who are in same sex relationships. As a person, church and community what should we approach this issue? I know there are established churches for people who claim to be Christ followers, but still are in a same sex relationship. How do we address this in our churches today?

    • Joe Janvier on July 7, 2015 at 9:04 pm

      Can I ask . . . do you also ‘struggle with’ the unmarried Christian ‘straight’ believers who are in sexual relationships??? . . . for it is no different in God’s eyes . . . as Pastor Nieuwhof has addressed . . . a viewpoint that has always confounded me when it comes to the Church’s vocalism towards Gay partners & relationships . . . in my opinion, the Church should be much more ‘up-in-arms’ over the many multitudes of sexually active ‘straight’ people!!! . . . don’t you think?? . . . for I am sure that there are many more of them sitting in Sunday Services than those of us who are monogamous Gay Christians . . .

  89. Cindy Peters on July 7, 2015 at 11:49 am

    I am a Catholic by birth baptism I have not been active due to work schedules and confusion, however I truly enjoyed your message, my daughter referred you to me and I would like to thank you for your ideas. Your new friend Cindy. Peters

  90. Kathy on July 7, 2015 at 10:21 am

    What about repentance on the part of each individual believer regarding how each of us has to some degree accepted and participated in the cultural mores of our society? I know I have and have seen its destructive effects in my family. What can God do through a church that sees the truth and allows it to convict, cleanse, and empower it? Is not this the work of the Holy Spirit? The truth will set us free from the design and working of Satan to destroy individuals and societies as well as the Body of Christ. This is spiritual warfare not just a crisis in human governance. When we repent and determine to walk in obedience to His Word, then we are enabled to participate, fully equipped., in this battle.

  91. davebaldwin on July 7, 2015 at 10:06 am

    So Carey,
    Your fifth point resonated with me. I have traveled to Ukraine some 30 times. I have worked with the Registered Baptist Union each time. During the communist years pastors of both registered & unregistered churches would be pulled in for questioning by the KGB.
    The KGB was trying to get them to compromise themselves by giving away information about their parishioners. The unregistered pastors would lecture them and tell them where they could go… The registered pastors would make it a joke. When asked who was in church the past week, a pastor would say that the head KGB guy needed better agents. He would point to agents in the room that had attended his church and said these guys were there, have they forgotten who they saw. Do I need to help them with their memories? The registered pastors handled things in a friendly manner and did their best to build bridges with the KGB without compromising themselves or their principles.
    Then the Iron Curtain falls and many KGB agents realize how their lives have been a waste. Where do they go for help and the truth? To the registered pastors who had treated them with humor and respect. Many have come to Jesus because of how these pastors treated them during the communist years.
    Great post. Thank you for all the help you give us here in the States.
    Blessings,
    Dave

  92. Bill Hildebrand on July 7, 2015 at 10:03 am

    Interesting perspective,however they made adecision in this life and according to the bible it was the wrong decision.When they pass on they will find them selves burning in hell.Am I wrong? So we should as Christians let them do there thing-don’t bother them and thank God that we did not fall into a sin such as theirs.Oh and one more thing I hope all those folks who for some reason divorce and change partner are in the same predicament.According to Gods word SIN is SIN As to who falls into this category I do not know,however if you were or are a born again chritian and you decide to get a divorce .It will be pretty hot at the end of your life-Do I make sense? I ask the question do you or do you not believe that the bible is the word of God? Check it out yourself.

    • RJ on July 7, 2015 at 11:30 am

      If we could convince everyone to remain chaste according to their station in life (either celibate or faithful within the covenant of marriage) would they receive the Kingdom of Heaven? It is only by the grace of God through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross that any of us will receive the Kingdom of Heaven. As you say, sin is sin. It separates us from God, whether it is sexual sin, or coveting, or having any allegiance that is before our allegiance to God. I believe the scripture of the Old and New Testaments are the word of God and contain all things necessary for salvation. I John 2:1-2 says, “I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” John goes on to say that those who have been born of God do not sin. The verb tense there is an on going life marked by sin. The thing is, by saying that the civil government not condemning same sex marriage, or divorce and remarriage is evil, you are expecting people who are not born of God to live as though they were. Nothing in the article condones Christians continuing in a life of sin. The article is deals with a Christian response to the secular world. If the best we can do is get people to lead sexually moral lives, we are still leaving them without Christ. Focus on introducing them to Christ first. He is the one who can bring order to the unruly affections and desires of humanity.

  93. Rich Grassel on July 7, 2015 at 9:54 am

    A response to Carey Nieuwhof

    First let me say there is much, in principle that I can affirm in this article. Although, it is important to say, that a lot and the manner, of what is said is fairly standard “Emergent Church” ideology; (privileging “Grace” over “Truth;” or “Christlikeness” means ONLY doing good works and social justice), which has significant theological, problems…

    Let me also be quick to add that he does not write for and Canadian Christians either, if you look carefully, you can find other dissenting voices from Canada, but they have to be very careful, lest they be arrested and/or fined by the government for voicing their dissent… All a part of Canada’s “Slippery Slope.”

    Here are some responses to each

    1. The church has always been counter-cultural

    True, and this is a good thing! And this is precisely the point! Do a survey from Higher Education, Pop Culture, Government Legislation and News Media to see which group has been repeatedly affirmed, supported and presented in the best possible light? Here’s a clue: It’s not the Christians… My point? The values of the LGBTQ community are represented far more favorably than those of Christians… In Higher Education there is ZERO TOLERANCE, for anyone with an opposing view than that if the LGBTQ community. Thus, the Conservative Christian historical and biblical position on the LGBTQ life-style IS COUNTER-CULTURAL… The SCOTUS decision this past week simply made something official, that has in fact existed for quite some time.

    2. It’s actually strange to ask non-Christians to hold Christian values

    I have made this argument since first entering the ministry in the early 1980’s, and have consistently held that view since then… HOWEVER, we do have a kind of pick and choose arrangement with these kinds of values. For example the emergence of Child-Labor Laws in the early 1800’s, was EXPRESSLY a Christian endeavor. We like those laws, even though they adversely affected Family run businesses and farms… In fact, virtually the entire USA Constitution (Even though many, not all, were deists) etc., would not have been possible were it not for our fore-fathers, and the profound influence of the Judeo-Christian worldview upon their lives and thinking. My point? We like some of the Historical influence, on our laws, for all people, regardless of whether they are believers or not. We just want to pick and choose, when we feel it to be necessary. Finally, in sort of counter-intuitively, as soon as we take a position, that non-believers “need Christ,” they we are also saying that they need “Christian” (Christ’s values – read: Righteousness, Holiness and Truth). Biblically, this larger, more macro view is unavoidable.

    3. You’ve been dealing with sex outside of traditional marriage for a LONG time

    This is true too (Writ large). However, while it is true that all sin alienates, marginalized and kills; not all sin share the same kind of precedents and continuum. Stealing a candy bar from a drug store, simply doesn’t share the same moral equivalency as murdering the father and husband of a family. In the same manner, the legalization of Gay Marriage, will have a far more reaching impact on the family and religious structures within our culture than premarital sex. Should we be careful to lovingly address other sexual sins? Yes! Do we always! No! But that shouldn’t mitigate in any way the importance of addressing, in authentic Christ-like fashion, behavior and values, associated with the LGBTQ community, Adultery and Fornication compromise Bibically based marriage and sexuality, but they have no yet set the stage for redefining human sexuality and marriage… The recent SCOTUS decision does… Not only that, but it also sets the stage for the final assault on Christian Schools, Organizations, even Churches (Despite Justice Kennedy’s comments to the contrary) etc., who hold to the 3,500 Judeo-Christian view on this issue… And that has begun already…

    4. The early church never looked to the government for guidance

    This is just not historically accurate… Taking Jesus at his word to be Salt and Light, as well as to grow the Kingdom in “Mustard Seed” fashion… It was again, almost exclusively, the Christian’s working through government to stop the horrors of the Roman Coliseum. NOTE: in the OT Yahweh used His theocratic governments (Israel) all the time, to affect and mandate his Righteousness and Justice within the world. In more recent times (late 1700’s – 1830’s) the Clapham Sect, led by William Wilberforce, an avowed Christian and prominent member of Great Britain’s House of Commons, used his influential GOVERNMENT position to, outlaw slavery in England, and then eventually throughout the entire Empire – the Empire that was so vast, it was described as: “the Empire upon which the sun never sets.” In addition, the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s was again led by prominent members of the clergy and the local church, to affect dramatic and wonderful new laws related to African Americans…

    Ironically enough, I didn’t see this author, nor any others of his ilk, bemoaning the fact that they used GOVERNMENT to establish a right and more Just society…

    Maybe what he’s really saying is that Christians should only involve governments when it suits their specific (Social Justice?) worldview and agenda?

    5. Our judgment of LGBT people is destroying any potential relationship

    Being judgmental is NEVER good, and too date, I’ve seen very little actual “Judgmentalism,” from those fellow believers who have dissented and commented on the SCOTUS decision… UNLESS of course you want to CONFLATE a difference of biblical and theological opinion, with hate, intolerance and being judgmental. Which of course can be absurd… All of us and everywhere have profound, life-changing differences with our children, parents, spouses, extended families, neighbors and colleagues. Does that necessarily mean then that we are being hateful, intolerant and judgmental – that we don’t LOVE them? Of course not… And this is where so much of the discussion that goes off the rails…

    Remember the same book that admonishes all of us to LOVE one another unconditionally, sacrificially and nobly (all manner sinners), is the same exact book that calls us to biblical holiness, righteousness and obedience; and homosexuality as a value runs counter to those callings… We don’t get to pick and choose which biblical passages we like and don’t like…

    It is a great Truth
    To say the we must Love everyone;
    it is equally a great Love
    To convey Christ’s Truth, to all as well…

    Whether we wish to acknowledge it or not, the “hate” and “tolerance” default is a text-book response of the Social Progressivist Movement – and most people who buy into it are being used as unwitting pawns by the Sworn enemy of the Christian Faith… The LGBTQ controversy is being used as a wedge-issue by elite SP’s and the Over-Culture to delegitimize and disenfranchise the Conservative Christian Demographic, from the rest of the Culture. Today it is the Conservatives, tomorrow it will be the rest of those who call themselves Christian…

    They are not really after Justice, what they want instead

    • Dingo on July 7, 2015 at 11:51 am

      William Wilberforce entered Parliament in 1780, moved his first motion against the slave trade in 1789. After nearly twenty years of tireless struggle he managed to abolish slave-trading within the British Empire in 1807, but sadly Wilberforce died before the abolition of slavery within the Empire in 1833 (by a few months).
      Slavery within England and Wales was abolished *de jure* after the Somerset Case [Somerset v Stewart] of 1772.

  94. alabar on July 7, 2015 at 8:08 am

    Thank-you for this post! it puts into words exactly how i feel! just last week i was trying to express what it meant to me, and i wish i had these words because how i put it was just confusing and not correct at all. i can never understand all the hate speech towards the LGBT community. then all the claims of “God/I wants to help you” crap (yeah it is crap when the very words before that are cruel and hurtful). i can only imagine how condescending and painful that must feel towards a confused LGBT person. people spouting hate speech just paint a horrible picture of the church and make it ugly.

  95. […] read a blog from author Carey Nieuwofe offering a Canadian perspective on same-sex marriage. Titled Some Advice on Same-Sex Marriage for US Church Leaders From a Canadian, the post was balanced and on target. I commend it to you. The post offers 5 ideas for American […]

  96. VB501 on July 6, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    I am wondering if the Canadian public schools are teaching that gay marriage is a “normal” family – (for lack of a better word–not typical, but an acceptable choice for them to consider. This is a concern for Christian parents here in the U.S. because gay activism very much wants to push this agenda in public schools as has been seen in Massachusetts. Do children’s worksheets and textbooks and invited speakers address this subject? If a child speaks up and says that their parents teach differently, are the parents punished?

    • Mark on July 7, 2015 at 8:05 am

      lol!

    • Tami Miller Skinner on July 8, 2015 at 8:13 pm

      As a Christian parent I can tell you I am NOT concerned about this issue and i’ll tell you why… I teach my children at home, just like sex education that is taught in school I don’t rely on a stranger to teach it to my child I teach it myself. reading writing and arithmetic yes they can teach those the rest is first of all not even their responsibility lol what happened to parents teaching whatever moral standard you want your children to follow at home instead of expecting teachers to do it? What the schools are very good at teaching with respect to issues like this is tolerance, friendship and kindness with new anti-bullying laws 🙂 i’m thinking possibly some of the parents could use a refresher course or be invited to join when their kids learn it (just my thoughts as one of those parents)

  97. yoda55 on July 6, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    I find discussion laudable, from the scriptural viewpoint. I see selective memory lapses, both regarding scriptural counterpoints and secular perspectives…
    The displayed prevelant presumption thus far sees LBGT as “unbelievers”, which is not the truth. There are members of the faith who are proponents of these lifestyles, as well. I don’t share their view. These same folks have been partly responsible for the continued fragmentation of faithful denominations – taking on a shape similar to political poles. I look at Sodom and Gamorrah (and other cities in that area) which were secular, hedonist dens of evil. I see what God has to say about such behavior (and the effect it has on those of faith living among them), as well as what He did about it.
    The Roman Empire dissolved with the proliferation of hedonistic “rights” pursued. Relativistic moral values played a major role in the empire’s demise. We’re seeing a similar shift in values in the United States of America. Those who are faithless (or extreme) are using the tools of government to transform the character of this country to ignore the rights of the rest. One can argue that relativistic morals are their “right” under the Constitution. But, those same manipulating folks state that they’re using logical arguments to support their view. According to fundamental logic principles, the principle of non-contradiction cannot be violated and still have a rationale conclusion. They ignore the fact that they make absolute statements, when they argue relativism – irrational.
    Part of the problem is education. What once was considered essential study (“He who fails to learn from history is doomed to repeat it.”) is now no longer in the curriculum. The spearpoint of the problem is lack of fair and balanced presentation by staff. Educators do not have license to hawk their own pet stance.
    Part of the problem is the reversal of the government protections. The Constitution was authored as the rule of the majority, with provision to protect rights of the minority. This has flipped, with the minority dictating to the majority.
    God started with no governments – but the Hebrew people wanted a tangible “King”.
    So, governments were instituted. The Hebrews were disciplined when they strayed from the Truth. America, once blessed as a stronghold of moral faithfulness, enjoyed blessings. Now, the devolution into ignorance and secular hedonism is having its affect.
    I know someone will say “we are in the world, not of the world”. I will reply, “just as I resist sin in my own life, I resist allowing it to inundate my home.” A passive approach served a purpose for Jesus’ role as the final sacrifice. But, He was zealous for keeping the Temple uncorrupted… If we’re serious about America’s role of leadership in the world community, then we need to clean up our act.

    • yochanan heimeyer on July 7, 2015 at 10:36 am

      We would address our comments on the “unbeliever”, who by the way, needs to believe the Gospel(Good News).

      Lifesyle, i.e.,walk/fruit or what characterises our behavior, is very important to the Lord, who died for our sins and requires repentance(change of mind) of our sins. Christians ‘have been’ (from past sins) sanctified, ‘are being’ (present purpose of our new nature) sanctified, and ‘will be’ (future removal from the presence of sin) sanctified because we have BELIEVED in a Savior, Christ Jesus, our LORD.

      Paul said, let a man examine himself and see whether he be in the FAITH, there is only one Faith, one Truth; not my faith/Truth, not your faith/Truth. The Faith is speaking of the “whole body of Truth” the Scriptures. This is what we believe and practice by faith.

      Christians are NOT sinless, but sanctified, not perfect, but purpose in our heart thru the Spirit to be obedient. Jesus, the Christ Who knew no sin, was made sin(offering) for US, who sinned, inorder that we Might Become the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD in Him. We have no inherent righteousness, but our faith, just like Abraham’s faith, was counted as righteous for us.

      But lifestyle, Paul addresses, but you, once being dead in your sins and trespasses in which ye once walked according to the lifestyle of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of this atmosphere, the spirit who(person) now works in the offspring of ‘disobediencew’, among whom WE ALSO ALL once(past tense) had our lifestyle in the lusts of our flesh, doing(practicing) what the flesh and the thoughts, willed to do(practice), and were children(offspring), by nature(fallen) of wrath, even as the rest.
      BUT GOD, being rich in His Mercy, because of His Great Love, where with He Loved US, HATH MADE US ALIVE WITH CHRIST and hath raised us up together, and hath made US sit down together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus, that He might display in the coming ages the surpassing riches of His grace in KIndness towards US in Christ Jesus.

      What heavenly Language, all for US!

      Lifestyle is important because it “characterizes” who we are. Do we hear His voice, the voice of the Shepherd?! Do we hear the voice of the ,made flesh?! Read His Words in Romans 1:18-32 part.vv18,24,26-28, and v.30 “without natural affection”, v32-” who knowing the righteous judgment ‘of God’, that they who practice them, but have fellow delight in those who practice them.”

      And you say brother, that there are proponents of this lifestyle that belong to the Faith. We thought that you had made a very good case ‘against anyone, of this lifestye as fragmenting our society.

      And you mentioned Sodom and Gomorrah, and those of Faith among them and the results of their activity(judgment). There was only Lot and his family, absent his wife, as she looked back as one of them, apparently her heart was back in Sodom. Their actions betray them. That was their lifestyle, not occasional/struggling, but approving, practicing.

      Hope we were of some help, brother.

  98. melinda on July 6, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    I spent most of the day today reading the original blog and then thousands of comments. Here is what I have learned.

    There is a group of people on both “sides” of the marriage debate who can hold respectful conversations that involve learning. They are unfortunately the minority.

    When people do not agree about this issue it seems to take about a nanosecond for the name-calling to start.

    Lots of people feel judged but few people feel that they are judging.

    There may be an irresolvable difference between those who believe that same sex marriage should be legal and those who believe it is a sin. It is the very belief structure of evangelical christians that they should minister to the sinner which means that they have to first know what sin is and identify who is a sinner. “Non christians” do not have this same belief system so an argument about this is futile. There is simply no space to agree to disagree. Without that space I do not see any room to move the conversation to a more productive place.

    The majority rarely acts with charity toward the minority view. It is not enough to “win.” This is as true today with proponents of same sex marriage as it was during the heyday of the “moral majority.”

    I was struck by how few posts were about winning people to God and Christianity because it is a beautiful, wonderful experience to be in close communion with God. The vast majority of what I read was about sin and damnation. I am not saying whether this is right or wrong – just an interesting observation for me.

    Lastly, my plea would be for a world where we seek to understand even if we don’t agree. Why if something is so incredibly obvious to me do billions of people see it in a different way? I can chalk it up to sin or bigotry and save myself the effort of trying to understand. Whether a value system is based on God or humanism – I hope that it has a basic tenet of respect and maybe even love.

    • Mark on July 6, 2015 at 7:17 pm

      Is there something I’m missing? Evangelicals say they are required to point out sin and try to convert non-believers. In polite society, when someone asks another to stop talking, they stop. But evangelicals go on, and on and on–having harangued the LGBT community about what horrible people we are and THEN get mad when we a) don’t want to be part of such an hysterical, ranting group and b) push back and get angry.

      We’re happy for Christians to believe and even say, whatever they want. Where we draw the line is the intersection of those chosen beliefs to our civil rights laws that are not based on religion. On a related note, there are a notable number of LGBT who identify as Chrisiian. Great, right? Not so fast–apparently they can’t possibly be Christian–something about not following the labryth-like set of rules and scripture. The irony is astounding.

      Gays and lesbians have just started to have a voice in the world working to achieve equality (not “special” rights); a voice that is only about 40 years old. Conservative Christians have had a ruling hand for 100’s of years and in numbers that far outweigh the LGBT community. I believe this pushback on the status quo is what’s most upsetting. I understand that change is hard, but the world moves fast!

      We live in a country with secular laws. All religions have the ability to write, say, praise, believe and worship any way they want. That hasn’t changed. And that’s great.

      Chrsitians can throw the sin flag all they want. I couldn’t care less because I had my stint at Christianity and it wasn’t for me. But make no mistake: my marriage to my husband is legal and it is none of anyone’s business. If we can be supportive of Christian’s right to worship and believe whatever they want, why can’t I be afforded the same respect?

      • logicalphule on July 6, 2015 at 11:52 pm

        “In polite society, when someone asks another to stop talking, they stop.”

        Really?

        Okay, I’ll give it a try. Will you please stop talking about how you’ve been “wronged” by the Christians, and everyone else who doesn’t agree with gay marriage?

        There I have politely asked, according to you, you are going to stop talking about gay marriage, and bashing Christians.

        • Mark on July 7, 2015 at 2:49 am

          I plainly didn’t bash all Christians. I was pointed in referencing the evangelicals who want to legislate marriage.

          I’d say we don’t really need to “talk about gay marriage” much anymore since its legal. Until two weeks ago, it was definitely necessary as people were actively working to legally prohibit my rights. I’m sure you can appreciate the need to “talk about” civil rights versus, oh, a chosen belief system that tries to convert unwilling participants.

          Cheers!

          • logicalphule on July 7, 2015 at 10:52 am

            Isn’t it a civil right though to proselytize ie practice a religion? So whose civil rights do you want to talk about?

            Or are you one of those people that believe that only the liberal left’s civil rights count?



          • Mark on July 7, 2015 at 12:46 pm

            you can talk about it until you’re blue in the face. I’m just telling you it’s annoying, particularly when I’ve said “no” multiple times. AND, I’m not trying to legislate you from practicing your religion. Again, as I very clearly stated, I welcome you having the time, energy, space to pray, believe, worship, speak, etc about your religion. Please improve your reading comprehension. Not only have you repeatedly failed to understand my simple messages, you’ve (ironically) proven the author’s point.



          • logicalphule on July 7, 2015 at 1:17 pm

            Your original post said that, “We’re happy for Christians to believe and even say, whatever they want.”

            What happened then to the Benham brothers? All they did was publicly state that they supported the traditional view on marriage. They lost their show on TLC because of the LGBT communities lack of acceptance of Christian beliefs and what they say.

            How is my reading comprehension now?

            You, personally, may not be trying to legislate Christians from practicing their religion, however there are people in the LGBT community who are. You, personally, may be accepting of the Christian view point, and what is said, but there are a lot of people in the LGBT community that are not so accepting.

            Why should Christians support something that they believe fervently against?



          • Mark on July 7, 2015 at 3:39 pm

            The Benham Brothers broke a clause in the contract with their employer (TLC). TLC decided (like lots of companies) to sever ties with people who made statements they felt shed a poor light on their brand/company. Don’t confuse freedom of speech with that speech not having consequences. You people blame LGBT? Of course we spoke up and out against their homophobic hateful and uninformed speech. We didn’t fire them. Their employer did. Why would that surprise anyone?? Do you have any concept about how employment contracts work? Every company I’ve worked for has had similar clauses.

            Why would LGBT people be accepting of ultra conservative Christians when basically all they’ve heard is how horrible they are? It was all well and good with conservative Christians when LGBT was kept in the shadow and treated as second-class citizens. You HATE that your worldview is being challenged. And it makes you even more unhappy that the world’s view is evolving to see that gay rights are fair and decent and good.

            So, to be crystal clear. Scream, shout, rant, rave. Write to your legislators. Work to elect crazy, fearful, hatemongering lawmakers to try to silence. Keep prostelytizing. Just stop being mad and surprised that a) we’re fighting back to achieve equality (not special rights) and b) that your flock is dwindling in numbers.

            Cheers and good luck!



          • Dingo on July 8, 2015 at 1:01 am

            TLC is not *obliged* to give a platform to the political views of it’s employees, especially if those ideas are against the company’s own commercial interests.
            Similarly, the company you work for might not be able to prevent it’s employees holding foolish ideas, however, *they don’t have to publish* those foolish ideas on their websites/newsletters/advertising (and the like), nor give their employees bullhorns to harangue other employees or passers-by.
            While you’re on the dime of someone else, you represent the person(s) paying your wage – on your own private time, as an individual, knock yourself out!
            I’m sure the strangers you harass will happily tell you just what kind of person they think you really are!



          • JUST THINKING on July 8, 2015 at 4:59 pm

            I agree that TLC is not obligated to provide any such platform, especially if that platform goes against the company’s beliefs. Similarly, cake companies should not be obligated to bake cakes for LGBT couples’ weddings when doing so goes against their beliefs. Interestingly, one group is being punished, and the other is not. The only reason the cake company is being penalized is because the engaged couple wants to force everyone to condone their behavior and “marriage.” They are not happy to simply have the right to get legally married, they want it shoved in everyone else’s face until we all admit defeat, hang out heads, and agree that their marriage is morally supportable. If they just wanted a cake, they would have gone somewhere else to get one. BTW, these are the same people who scream at the top of their lungs about having the freedom to make their own choices…but have no qualms about taking away that freedom from the rest of us.



          • Dingo on July 9, 2015 at 7:30 am

            JustThinking – no, no I don’t think you are.
            There’s a fundamental difference between the two situations:
            a) If you’re employed by a company then you are called AN EMPLOYEE. Employees are representatives of that company so the company has limited rights to control their speech (for reason outlined earlier).
            b) The people who come into your place of business to purchase goods and/or services from you are called CUSTOMERS. Unless your business is some kind of subscription-only operation, the customers are the *general public*, this means your business is a ‘public accommodation’ and that you are not permitted to discriminate when providing your goods and/or services to the public, you have to serve *all* of them whether you approve of them or not. You don’t get to control your customers speech, but such speech is not representing your business.
            These famous bakers discriminated against these particular customers (who simply wanted a cake) solely based on their choice of marriage partner and for no other reason (they hadn’t refused, or even asked, other customers about ‘sinful’ behaviours previously). But as they’ve produced identical cakes for other customers they’re obliged to do the same even these customers of whom they disapprove. It’s the law.
            If they want to protest they are completely free to do so, as individuals on their own time. Despite ‘Hobby Lobby’, businesses are *not legally persons for the purposes of free speech generally* (only in respect to giving donations to political parties).
            As far as ‘going somewhere else’, isn’t that what is being complained about, that customers refused to give them business and they were forced to close? So which is it, do you want customers to use the bakery (despite the owners’ attitude toward their customers), or go some where else instead. Which is it?



          • Just thinking on July 9, 2015 at 10:58 am

            I submit to you that all private companies should be able to serve or not serve whoever they want for whatever reason they choose. I also believe that people should vote with their feet, and boycott companies with practices they disagree with, or for any other reason. Freedom all around. I am not complaining that customers have gone away from the bakery in question, I am complaining that they are required to serve people that they do not want to serve. It is not a question of morality or religion, it is a matter of freedom. I fundamentally disagree with any law that forces me to serve anyone. I believe that anti-discrimination laws fly in the face of freedom. In a truly free country, people decide who they serve, and people decide where they spend their money, it is that simple.



          • Dingo on July 9, 2015 at 11:10 am

            OK if you want your (let’s say) hypothetical business to discriminate against (again, let’s say) people over 6 feet high, then make your business a private club where one has to pay a fee to get in. In that case it would be perfectly legal to say “sorry you’re over 6′ high you can’t enter”.
            However that’s not the case here, it was a business open to the general public and so is legally obliged to serve said public. It’s nothing more than a discrimination case that, despite the ‘best’ efforts of certain people on social media trying hard to create a case of anti-Christian persecution, really is nothing more than that.



          • Dingo on July 9, 2015 at 11:18 am

            Also one who have to ask, would you be happy if businesses could discriminate against black people? Or Jewish people? Or tall people? Or women? Or people with tattoos? Or even Christians?
            Don’t they all have a reasonable expectation that a business that provides goods and/or services will provide those goods and/or services to them just as they would any other customer?



          • ExcellentJim on July 10, 2015 at 11:42 am

            So many people are missing an important factor in the Bakery case. The Bakery would have Happily baked them a Birthday Cake, or Cookies. It’s even been reported that the couple were already a Customer and purchased other goods.

            The issue was a GAY Wedding Cake. That is not just Selling a cake – that is Participating in a Gay Wedding. It’s NOT discrimination – they only had a problem with the CAKE, not the Couple!



          • Dingo on July 10, 2015 at 12:31 pm

            ExcellentJim! (I like the nym, BTW) –
            As explained earlier – if they supply a good and/or service to other members of the general public they are obliged to do the same despite disapproving of them. They were not interested in the ‘sinful’ (but perfectly legal) behaviours of other customers and happily took their money in exchange for baked goods, why was that? Could it be *discrimination*?
            What if a shopkeeper decided Christians should not be served because they worshipped gods they didn’t approve of, would that be acceptable?



          • ExcellentJim on July 10, 2015 at 1:31 pm

            But that’s not what happened. They did NOT turn down the couple because they were Gay, they refused to Make a Gay Wedding Cake. The couple still got a cake and had their wedding. So, how were they harmed?

            How would the shop owner even know of their customer’s sins. What was asked of them was to Participate in a ceremony that they found to be against the teachings of GOD. The point here is all in one word “Participate”!

            Yes, in my opinion, that would be acceptable. Christians would just find another business to give their money to.

            Let me tell you a little story – The FBI comes to a Bookkeeper and claims he is breaking the law and must come with them for questioning. The sit him down and explain that he has been keeping the books for a Crime Lord and he is guilty of Racketeering. He protests, He knows all of his clients and none of them fit that description. Then the tell him who it is and he admits he has been keeping the books for that person, but he had no idea he was a criminal.

            In that story, the bookkeeper went to Prison. If we follow the rules used to punish a baker, then we can’t use different rules to punish the bookkeeper. If you MUST serve the public, then you MUST serve the Entire Public. However, if a Gang leader wanted a cake and the baker made him one, he is Guilty of Money Laundering, receiving stolen goods, and possibly Racketeering.

            No, businesses need the right to Refuse business to whomever they want. How does that harm anyone? Of course, there would be exceptions to that, like Emergency Rooms.



          • Dingo on July 7, 2015 at 12:49 pm

            The First Amendment has time and place restrictions.



          • logicalphule on July 7, 2015 at 1:19 pm

            Not in regards to proselytizing on public property, or within one’s own home.



    • melinda on July 7, 2015 at 9:40 pm

      Thanks all for reinforcing the points I made above. Someone wrote things that were deleted from the post by the moderator. The responses to that person are similarly not civil. Can you all take it up elsewhere???

  99. Ester on July 6, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    Muito obrigada por compartilhar! (thank you very much for sharing, in Brazilian Portuguese). Here in the church where I congregate, these kind of subject is a taboo.
    I personally always thought that our God`s love is above all of us, and He looks to reach everyone, despite our sins, through Jesus sacrifice, and that is what I think many of us Christians tend to forget…
    Here in Brazil we are starting having problems – some churches that trough rocks, and send a message of hate and damnation and the LGBT provoking more dilemmas showing a transsexual Jesus on a cross in the Gay Parade… Things are not getting well… Love is let aside, only judgment from both sides…

  100. Char on July 6, 2015 at 11:42 am

    Your country was not founded upon the same principles that ours was. Apples and oranges. If liberals want to live such different lives, they have gone about things the wrong way – they want to change so much about our country when they could have just moved to Canada.

    • Taylor Fultz on July 6, 2015 at 12:57 pm

      If everyone kept that mentality, interracial marriages would still be illegal and segregation would still be the norm. People fought for what was just. They didn’t run away from the unconscionable judgement that God intended races to remain separate. Until you can prove unquestionably that God both exists and what his will is, those “principles” have no place in law. The concept of Justice does not require a deity’s existence.

      • Char on July 6, 2015 at 1:26 pm

        Well by that logic we should do away with how our laws largely come from the original laws… You know, the 10 Commandments. By your logic, we should allow people to murder and steal

        • Taylor Fultz on July 6, 2015 at 1:36 pm

          Except one can prove why things like murder and theft are unjust and why society is better off if such things are prohibited. If we believe a man has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, then murder deprives him of the right to life, hence, it’s illegal. The 10 Commandments are not necessary to see why such things shouldn’t be acceptable in a civilized society.

          • Char on July 6, 2015 at 2:43 pm

            Our civil laws come from deity, whether you like it or not



          • Taylor Fultz on July 6, 2015 at 3:05 pm

            I’m of complete conviction that you’re wrong. If we both walk into a court of civil law, where you decree that a murderer must be punished because it’s God’s will, while I decree that a murderer must be punished because logic dictates that a murderer in a just society must be punished for depriving the right to life of another human being; My argument has legal weight. Yours has none.



          • Smalls on July 6, 2015 at 10:14 pm

            Diety 99?



        • Joe M on July 6, 2015 at 1:46 pm

          I don’t need a deity to tell me that infringing on others is wrong. Murder and stealing is wrong because it infringes on the rights of others, not because it’s written in stone.

          • Char on July 6, 2015 at 2:42 pm

            Like it our not, civil law comes from deity.



          • Joe M on July 6, 2015 at 2:54 pm

            No, it doesn’t. Or we’d be free to have slaves and beat them. As long as they don’t die in the day or two after the beating, it’s legal, right?

            Civil law doesn’t have to come from any deity. We don’t need a god to decide if something harms someone else and therefore, is wrong.



          • ExcellentJim on July 10, 2015 at 11:56 am

            That’s a good point. It’s never been true, but a good point no less.



          • Char on July 7, 2015 at 4:04 pm

            Look at the Vikings. They didn’t have God (well, THE God) and thought nothing of offing each other, including children.



          • Jerry Noneofyourbizz on July 7, 2015 at 4:25 pm

            Just look at the Christians in Germany in the 1930’s and 40’s.



          • Char on July 7, 2015 at 4:05 pm

            It is interesting that your replies come with personal attacks. Usually that is the case with mentally unstable beings.



          • Jerry Noneofyourbizz on July 7, 2015 at 4:24 pm

            It’s interesting that you just did the very thing you accuse me of.



          • Char on July 8, 2015 at 7:57 am

            I haven’t attacked at all. It is interesting how much time you spend on the internet bullying people. Kinda sad and pathetic 🙁



    • Courtney Warneke on July 6, 2015 at 1:07 pm

      I assume when you say “our country” you mean the US? If so, maybe you should open a history book. This country was founded to have freedom of religion, which means that government should be separate from the ideals of the church. Also, most of the founding fathers were deists, not Christians.

      • Char on July 6, 2015 at 1:24 pm

        Maybe it is you that should open a book because most of them were actually Christian

        • Smalls on July 6, 2015 at 10:12 pm

          Really? 99%? Not 97 or 72%? What about 46%?

      • Rich Rodriguez on July 6, 2015 at 2:47 pm

        That’s true, Courtney. Many of our Founding Fathers were deists and practicing Freemasons who saw Christianity and the Judeo-Christian ethic as wonderful and superior moral principles to build our new nation upon. Thomas Jefferson’s outright denial of Jesus’ miracles while supporting His moral teachings are well-documented and need no elaboration. One can hold fast to Christian morals without ever really being a follower of Jesus Christ. I would suggest, as blasphemous as it may sound, that many of our founders weren’t really saved as we would understand the term today. Many of them were Unitarians, a heretical offshoot that among other things denied the Trinity, a core doctrine of historic, biblical Christianity.

        All that said, the Lord still used these great men, some Christian and others not (Thomas Paine of “Common Sense” fame was an atheist), to establish the United States of America. God has always used even nonbelievers to carry out His will and to even advance the Gospel through circumstances that we don’t understand until later in hindsight.

        • One other person is typing… on July 6, 2015 at 5:21 pm

          How can you say they were “great men” when they owned slaves ??

          • logicalphule on July 7, 2015 at 12:28 am

            Does owning a slave negate the great things one does in their life? Great men and women still do horrible things.

            There are many great men who were pure evil. There are many great men who were very godly.

            Greatness does not depend on doing good or bad, you’re either great or you’re not.



          • ExcellentJim on July 10, 2015 at 11:53 am

            We can say they were “great men” for what they did.

            Owning Slaves was NORMAL at that time. How can so many people not understand that? There was no moral outrage against slavery at that time. Slavery was a Normal part of the World; practiced in EVERY country (though it was not always called slavery). My point is, we cannot judge the past with Today’s rules. One must judge people in the past based on rules in effect in the same time. Otherwise, everyone was evil and we should just remove all history books from view forever.



      • logicalphule on July 7, 2015 at 12:31 am

        I’ve yet to find a single founding father who was an atheist. There were both Christians and deists among our founding fathers.

        The colonies were started because of religious persecution, not this nation. This nation was founded due to primarily taxation without representation.

    • Sharlee on July 6, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      You are mistaken to say our country was founded on different principles. America was founded on secular principles. Most that came here came because of religious percussion and they were not going to allow it to continue in the new country. Some simple studying of how America was really founded might be helpful here. Christians should not be fighting for the right to discriminate. They should be fighting for the right of all men and women to have equality and freedom because THAT is what our constitution guarantees. Christians, for far too long, have come down on the side of oppression and discrimination. Slavery, women’s voting rights, civil rights. The evangelical church represented the wrong sided of these issues each and every time. Yet, every time, the constitution was found to defend against oppression and provide freedom. Those are the principles this country was founded on.

      • Tyler on July 6, 2015 at 2:43 pm

        Sharlee, I believe that if you studied some of the atrocities of the past that you mentioned, you would find many Christians that opposed slavery, fought for women’s rights, and civil rights. Martin Luther King, Jr. comes to my mind as a Christian that was the face of the civil rights movement.

        • Sharlee on July 7, 2015 at 6:04 pm

          Not saying they didn’t, but the fact that the majority of those that support inequality are doing so for Christian reasons and it’s atrocious. Not saying there are not some good Christians out there that actually enhance the world. Just saying, the negative impact on the world done by Christians just being the best Christian they know how to be is quite real.

          • Tami Miller Skinner on July 7, 2015 at 6:06 pm

            I completely agree and it’s very sad considering we are suppose to lift people up give them hope not the opposite 🙁



      • Char on July 6, 2015 at 2:44 pm

        The people who came here were 99% conservative practicing Christians

        • Taylor Fultz on July 6, 2015 at 3:10 pm

          And also criminals who were exiled from England. (After the Revolution, they had to start using Australia instead.)

          Also, did you know 99% of statistics are made up on the spot?

        • Smalls on July 6, 2015 at 10:09 pm

          Really? 99%?

        • RJ on July 7, 2015 at 11:40 am

          Actually, many of those who assisted in writing the Constitution were not Christians. Jefferson, for example, denied the divinity of Jesus. There were practicing Christians, but reading the evidence, it is impossible to talk about the faith of the Founding Fathers. One can only talk about the various faiths of the Founding Fathers.

          • Char on July 7, 2015 at 2:52 pm

            Jefferson was very much a Christian



          • Sharlee on July 7, 2015 at 6:06 pm

            Jefferson was not at all a Christian. He rejected Jesus as the son of God and as the promised messiah. He was a deist.



          • Char on July 8, 2015 at 7:56 am

            He even called himself a Christian. There are many many writings from Jefferson on his self proclaimed Christianity



          • Sharlee on July 8, 2015 at 12:36 pm

            It is immaterial if he called himself a Christian. One is not a Christian when they deny that Jesus was messiah. That is the essence of Christianity. That is why he is defined as a deist. He believed in God.



          • Char on July 7, 2015 at 3:03 pm

            I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrine of Jesus.
            -Thomas Jefferson

            He was very much a true Christian. Can’t rewrite history.



          • RJ on July 7, 2015 at 3:20 pm

            You can pull one quote, but you really need context. How do you explain the Jefferson Bible, in which only the teachings of Jesus remain? When he said he was a disciple of the doctrine of Jesus, he was saying that he followed the moral and ethical teachings of Jesus over and against a follower of doctrine about Jesus, i.e. he was the Son of God. There are many places you can do a very cursory reading and find out that Jefferson did not believe in the divinity of Jesus. If you don’t believe that, you are pretty much something other than Christian. I’ve read enough Jefferson to know that Jefferson was not a Christian. Here is a quote from a letter Jefferson wrote to John Adams, “And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter” It’s hard to imagine that came from a Christian.



          • ExcellentJim on July 10, 2015 at 11:46 am

            Your quote is a Warning from Jefferson, not a statement of his belief. You should read more.



        • Jerry Noneofyourbizz on July 7, 2015 at 3:22 pm

          You mean they decorate pine trees and dye hard boiled eggs?

      • Basset_Hound on July 7, 2015 at 8:09 pm

        Many of the abolitionists were Christians.

  101. momofexperience on July 6, 2015 at 11:40 am

    There is a difference between judging and condemning – God asks and expects us to judge- first ourselves in righteousness, then everything and everyone else around us. If you are a pastor, you should know the difference? What many Christians are doing is condemning people, including people in my own Christian religion which does turn people away as it is NOT GOD’S way and is not of love, but judging, please re-read the Bible on that and see that we should judge for the safety and potential happiness we can have when we choose to live God’s way…

    • Taylor Fultz on July 6, 2015 at 1:03 pm

      1 Corinthians 5:11-13
      But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat

      What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you”

      Matthew 7:1
      Do not judge, or you too will be judged

      1 John 4:20
      If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen

      Romans 2:1-4
      You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?

      • ExcellentJim on July 10, 2015 at 12:09 pm

        John 5:30
        “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment
        is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.

        John 7:24
        Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”

        • Taylor Fultz on July 10, 2015 at 1:28 pm

          Romans 2:1-4
          You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?

          • ExcellentJim on July 10, 2015 at 2:00 pm

            Very Good.



  102. […] post will be one of those exceptions.  An article which has drawn a great deal of attention is a blog post written by Carey Nieuwhof, a pastor based in Toronto, Canada.  It’s another article offering advice to the […]

  103. Jacob Jones on July 6, 2015 at 10:56 am

    Nationalism; Community; Sports; Culture . . . you have some powerful things to say. You have a great deal of wisdom and insight. It causes me to reflect.

  104. Hi on July 6, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Homosexuality is not the moral equivalent to premarital sex. Premarital sex (without contraceptive) is open to life, and the couple could one day form a valid union through the sacrament of marriage whereas a gay couple cannot.

    • Mark on July 6, 2015 at 12:23 pm

      you thumpers need to get you story straight. I hear some of you saying all son is the same. Others like you have concocted some rating system. Regardless, feel free to have your religious beliefs. They matter not to me in my legal marriage to mr husband.

      • Sharlee on July 6, 2015 at 1:17 pm

        Mark, you are accurate in saying that some have definitely set a different standard when it comes to homosexuality. Paul states that all sin is on equal ground. I personally think this is because there is doctrine in Christianity that teaches that there are signs in society that will indicate the return of Christ. The more moral decay, the sooner his return or the judgement of God. The unfortunate twist to is, I have noted, along with what Christians call moral decay of society, an equal amount of moral decay in the church. This decay brings about far worst societal ramification than say, homosexual marriage, where two ppl just want to build a life together because they love one another. They are not actively harming anyone or anything. But the judgment that comes from the church on this is causing a great chasm of hatred and withdrawal that has become so destructive it is mind blowing. A fear based relationship, instead of a love based relationship has been established. What is most sad is that studies show that America, compared to other more secular countries, has far more unwanted teen pregnancy, sexual violence, lower education and higher poverty, and a myriad of other maladies that don’t exist when a society’s laws are secular versus religious based laws. The same can be found in more churched areas of the country. The problem is, Christianity itself can’t agree on what is sin. Those that can’t abide a mutual set of laws for all to enjoy religious freedom (or freedom “from” religion) on a personal level tend to find situations like marriage equality to spelling doom to humanity. All in all, it keeps one from looking at and examining one’s self and allows one to blame instead. Life is easier when you can blame, but with becoming a victim, one loses control of one’s destiny and in that comes hostility and that is what we are seeing so much of as of late. Enjoy your marriage. We are going to have to let the Christians fight this one out amongst themselves because the generation that is coming up has no tolerance for this kind of discrimination.

    • Taylor Fultz on July 6, 2015 at 1:04 pm

      Boy, it’s a good thing there are laws about sacraments, am I right? Oh, wait…

    • Tami Miller Skinner on July 8, 2015 at 8:42 pm

      seriously? lol You cannot justify premarital sex if you believe it’s wrong by saying that because it might produce a kid it’s morally superior!
      Either it’s ok or it’s not ok but if this is the kind of justification rating system you use for morality you might want to consult that bible you claim to use as your rating system because I think you must have been reading something else the day you came up with that one.

    • Charles Rent on July 9, 2015 at 5:50 am

      Are you kidding ?

      Fornication is condemned routinely in the Bible.

  105. Darlene on July 6, 2015 at 10:22 am

    Thank you Carey for this very informative blog. It helped me sort my feelings about all that’s going on in our country. I agree with you about sin. No one protests about fornication or adultery. Sin is sin. Your comments about Jesus not changing the government was very helpful. I have always believed in hating the sin but loving the sinner which applies refers to all of us. We sometimes forget that we are all saved by the Grace of God. There was only one sinless person and He died for the sins of all. People need to also recognize that God loves the Son of SAMs, the Jeffery Dohmers and the Adolf Hitlers of this world as much as He loves the Mother Theresas, and the Billy Graham’s. He is not willing that anyone should perish but have everlasting life. God is good…..all the time.

    • Sheri Fazenbaker on July 6, 2015 at 12:56 pm

      Amen!! Well said. Love the sinner and hate the sin is something I try to live by. God commands us to love one another, not love those who think like us or believe like us. How beautiful the world would be if we all practiced this. We are living in the times the Bible said we would – where right will seem wrong and wrong would seem right. Hold tightly to God!!

  106. Sharlee on July 5, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    I am a wholehearted supporter of marriage equality, but I also understand the quandary some of my evangelical Christian friends feel they are in with the new Supreme Court decision regarding marriage rights. I think this article is so refreshing and right on regarding myth, fear mongering, despondency, hopelessness and then reality. AND what the bible might have to say about that. I find it so refreshing because the American church is in such a crisis right now, with the fear of losing control of the masses and the lack of willingness to do, first, some self-reflection on one’s own sin, and second, addressing how far they have come away from the gospel and how the way they interpret their scriptures is actually destructive to a healthy society. So much time is spent preaching about all the caveats to loving those that don’t believe like you that a Christian is now considered one of the nastiest, hypocritical ppl to exist. It is so sad and yet, by my observation, a deserving reputation right now! Christ says that all you have to do is feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, etc. So when someone comes into your shop for a cake for their homosexual wedding, make it for them! Feed them! Not by cramming your beliefs down their throat, but by actually making them a cake. Treat them like you would want to be treated, with love and respect. Like the author says, you will be judged and measured by the same yard stick you judge and measure others.

  107. Rich Rodriguez on July 5, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Carey: Mahalo (“thank you” in Hawaiian) for your article and the balance you bring to the whole gay marriage controversy. I didn’t know it was already legal in Canada for the past decade, and I haven’t heard any horror stories about evangelical leaders being thrown into prison or run out of your country for disagreeing with it on religious grounds. I am so thankful that there are people such as yourself that are calling us American evangelicals to account for our own hypocrisy in tolerating “normal” sexual immorality within our own ranks (adultery, pornography, premarital sex, shacking up) and making homosexuality as seven times worse as our own sins.

    The pastor of my current church here in Honolulu has gone berserk with a gloom-and-doom, fear-filled response that the persecution has begun, adding such nonsense as the so-called Blood Moon prophecies and impending financial collapse this fall based on an interpretation of the old Jewish years of jubilee. I remember Christian buying into similar prophecies for the Y2K computer bug that never happened. As a Christian who used to struggle with crossdressing and same-sex attraction but found lasting freedom through the Celebrate Recovery program, I felt personally attacked by my pastor’s railing against the gay community as a whole since he exhibited the same anger and judgment that kept me from seeking help in the church for several years. I am now looking for a new church, since that divisive attitude from the glory days of the Moral Majority is alive and well at my soon-to-be former church.

    • Samantha Siegel- Campbell on July 5, 2015 at 8:19 pm

      Rich,
      Thank you for sharing a portion of your story. It shatters my heart that anyone’s words/behavior would cause you to feel attacked. Know that some in South Carolina is praying that you find a church where you feel nourished and safe!

      • Rich Rodriguez on July 6, 2015 at 2:51 pm

        You’re welcome, Samantha. I think I may have already found a new church this past week. Please keep me in prayer!

    • Jason on July 6, 2015 at 11:18 am

      Thank you for the courage to admit your own struggle. I know Heaven applauds your commitment and sacrifice. Keep up the fight! Good luck finding a new church as well!

  108. Micah on July 5, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    Thank you Carey, I am from Australia (not a pastor) but am dealing with this issue with a very close friend. My Pastor has sent me a link to your article here.
    It has been very helpful and very thought provoking. Thank you for your shared wisdom to assist us all to still be compassionate even to those who disagree with our beliefs.
    This information along with guidance from my own pastors will help me still accept my friend as a friend, and I just hope & pray that my life can reflect the Spirit of God and therefore allowing God’s Will be done in ALL situations
    Thank you

  109. Patsy on July 5, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    By the way I am discussing the interview with Caleb

  110. Patsy on July 5, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    I found the interview very hopeful. I have been feeling depressed about the pressure being put on the church over same sex marriage. I am in England and we have had same sex marriage since last year. I totally identify with Caleb that it is the sin that we reject, not the person. But the problem he recognised is that the LGBT community identify themselves by what we cannot accept and we have to make space to have a way of encouraging dialogue to enable Christ to be known. I just hope that the Anglican Church does not go down the same road as the Episcopalians. As he makes clear – acceptance is not affirmation of lifestyle. God has just reminded me about a quote from a Celtic Christian community – we allow everyone to join in the dance, step out to rest if necessary and rejoin the dance when they are ready. It is in the dance that we become community. Jesus is the Lord of the Dance.

  111. Monica Napoli Warren on July 5, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    THANK YOU for taking the time to write this blog. In the past decade, Jesus has brought many friends in the LBGT community into our lives. As a result, my husband and I have been praying and processing (living with and loving in) these waters. I shouted so many YES and AMEN as I read your post. Eyes on Jesus and not the culture. Arms offering love not a pointing finger. Led people to Jesus. His presence, His Holy Spirit, has transformed, and continues to transform, me. Why in the world should I expect anything less than that for my LBGT friends? And that transformation will come in Jesus’ way and time, in the areas of their lives HE deems in HIS perfect time.

  112. Independent Voter on July 5, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    Man’s opinions and rulings don’t count. Only those of God count.

    • Mark on July 5, 2015 at 5:16 pm

      Except that we live in a civilized society not governed by religion but by laws that test everyone equally.

      • Bill Ensinger on July 5, 2015 at 8:01 pm

        Man can enforce man’s law, and if it isn’t against the law, the society you speak of can’t enforce it. But God WILL enforce his laws.

      • Independent Voter on July 5, 2015 at 9:31 pm

        Only God’s opinions will ultimately count.

        • Taylor Fultz on July 6, 2015 at 1:05 pm

          Romans 2:1-4
          You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?

  113. max on July 5, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    According to the author, “Judging outsiders is un-Christian.” This notion is very judgmental at best and purely hypocritical at worst. He is passing judgment on us who do not subscribe to his idea. In reality, we all pass judgment on everything. The only question is: Is it righteous (true) or unrighteous (false) based on the ultimate arbiter of truth–the Word of God. Jesus himself admonished His disciples to exercise judgment. John 8:24 reads: “Do not judge according to appearance, but JUDGE WITH RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT.” If we confirm and declare that homosexuality is sin (like fornication, adultery, abortion, etc.) and deserve divine condemnation, then we already passed judgment on people practicing them. In fact, we passed judgment on ourselves for we are all sinners. It doesn’t mean, however, that we are hateful. We simply confirm the truth! Doing otherwise is actually deceiving and unloving. The bottom line: God is glorified when we preach the Gospel unadulterated by personal agenda that counters the cause of Christ.

    • max on July 5, 2015 at 2:47 pm

      God FORCED Jonah to preached JUDGMENT on a SINFUL city. As a result, the people (the king included) REPENTED and turned to God for FORGIVENESS. Consequently, the whole city was spared and SAVED from the coming WRATH of God. Jonah was disappointed with their REDEMPTION because Jonah HATED these people and wants them to be CONDEMNED. Therefore, compromising the TRUTH given by God in the name of “relationship” is actually very deceiving and unloving. We demonstrate our LOVE for people by telling them the TRUTH which will set us all FREE. And who are we to tell God how to reach the fallen world with His Word! We were called NOT to be MEN-PLEASERS but to GLORIFY God by OBEYING His WORD!

    • Jason on July 6, 2015 at 11:29 am

      Max, Anyone who fails to bow their knee to Jesus, and call Him Lord is guilty of divine condemnation. Yet, if they accept His FREE gift of salvation, they have escaped God’s wrath. Lets focus on the inside of the cup first.
      The Scriptures are clear that we are to have RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT, the New Testament is also very clear how we are to SHARE IT with BELIEVERS.

      • max on July 7, 2015 at 7:26 am

        100% agree bro.

  114. Is love really winning? | beckydalton on July 5, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    […] Advice for US church leaders from a Canadian pastor […]

  115. Samantha Siegel- Campbell on July 5, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Thank you, Carey for this well worded, well thought out response! The points you made are points I have made several times and often felt like I was a lone voice. The Supreme Court decision did not surprise me. However, the amount of venom that was spewed by “Christians” shattered me. The behavior of those who are supposed to demonstrate love to all was anything but loving.