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Would Jesus have been willing to officiate at gay weddings? There is nothing in the Gospels that would indicate that he would not. Indeed, the Gospel writers do not record one word Jesus ever said condemning homosexuality.
But Jesus does say, “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give and it will be given to you…For the measure you give will be the measure you receive.”
(Luke 6:37, 38b)
What kind of hard heart does it take to see people weep with joy at being permitted to marry and respond with schemes to take their marriages away from them? Some of these gay couples have lived together in loving support and faithfulness for 20, 30 even 40 or 50 years. And yet, there are some who would change the law to take away their marriages and others who would make laws to prevent them from marrying in the first place. Whom does Jesus teach us will be condemned for these judgments? Those homosexual couples who marry for love or the hard-hearted heterosexuals who would try to prevent them?
Jesus often taught in parables, and I think a parable for heterosexuals is appropriate at this point. Once there was a rich householder who gave a great banquet. The householder sent his servant to invite all his friends and rich neighbors. But those people made excuses, saying ‘I have to go see about this cow,’ or, or ‘I just made a great real estate deal and I have to go check on it.’ So the rich man was furious and he said to his servant, ‘go and invite those who have been left out’ and fill the banquet hall. (Luke 13:16-24)
What is the meaning of this parable for marriage? Heterosexuals have been invited to the banquet of love and joy that is marriage. They have had the freedom to marry and they have refused it and abused it and often made a hash of this great feast of human companionship. So now God is inviting the outcast, the gay men, the lesbians, the bisexuals and the transgendered to come to the banquet of love. God says to them, ‘come and rejoice with me because there is room at the banquet table of love.’
Yes, there is a scriptural case to be made for gay marriage and that case is nothing less than the all inclusive love of God as taught to us by Jesus Christ. But there is also a word in scripture for hard-hearted heterosexuals who won’t face up to the sorry state of heterosexual marriage and who want to blame it on gay people and everybody but themselves. And that biblical teaching begins with the words, “Woe to you who….” Think about it.
Image courtesy of Flickr, Ivo Jansch