I was recently scanning my Facebook feed, and I saw that a friend had posted an article about the same-sex marriage ruling. My friend was pleased with the article, and said it was one of the best pieces he’d seen written on the issue. I clicked the link, and was appalled by what I read.
The piece, by Ed Cyzewski, which currently has over 84,000 Facebook shares, claims that the same-sex marriage ruling isn’t where our focus should be as Christians. To truly obey Christ, he claims, we must focus on what Christ said in Matthew 25. Cyzewski then goes on to present a false dilemma.
“When the Supreme Court ruled to make same sex marriage the law of the land, American evangelicals received a gift that many don’t want: official permission to fight for people in need instead of fighting against same sex marriage.”
This is either/or thinking. Cyzewski wants his readers to believe that one cannot both fight against the encroaching godlessness in our society while also caring for those in need. He sees a negativity in fighting against something rather than fighting for something. This is not atypical of many in the church who are unable to see the long-term arc of this fight.
“Whatever you believe about same sex marriage, the role of government, and the future of the church in America, disagreeing with same sex marriage on moral grounds does not demand a public campaign to prevent it from becoming legally sanctioned…evangelicals in America should have never made legalized same sex marriage a central moral issue to fight in the courts.”
Why? Why does it not demand attention? This line of reasoning is very similar the “be in the world, but not of the world” argument. It’s a twisted way of saying that we should not participate in the social landscape of our culture because this world is not our home. It’s passive, and it’s incorrect.
What Cyzewski doesn’t understand is that the same-sex marriage ruling is a rung on a ladder. He is looking straight ahead, instead of looking upward. He cannot see what this ruling means in the grand scheme of things.
“[Matthew 25] isn’t a call to relativize our sexual standards. Rather, I see Jesus pointing us toward the issues that pertain to the most basic aspects of human dignity: food, shelter, clothing, justice, and sickness.”
After this, Cyzewski goes on to talk about all the terrible things in the world, like human trafficking, ISIS, Christian persecution in the Middle East, and hunger. He writes as if human beings are incapable of maintain multiple ideals. Can I not care about and tend to the needs of world hunger while still fighting against the moral decay of society? Apparently not.
I can make similar arguments about anything. We shouldn’t focus our attention on ending the brutality of abortion because what about human trafficking? It’s infantile. However, worse than the small-mindedness of Cyzewski’s argument is his short-sightedness. He don’t see the ways in which one event impacts another, how one cog causes another to begin moving.
This type of rhetoric appears throughout Cyzewski’s piece:
“Declarations about the collapse of civilization because of same sex marriage ring hollow when we consider that Americans toss 31.1% of our food while allowing millions to go hungry…”
“If God is going to condemn us over anything in America, it’s going to be our indifference and inaction when it comes to feeding people, giving out clean water, offering shelter, visiting the sick, and helping the prisoners, not a Supreme Court ruling.”
“God’s judgment has been upon us long before a single state allowed same sex marriage. God’s judgment came upon us when we left people hungry, thirsty, sick, unclothed, and alone.”
I get it. Feed the poor. But can we also address moral decay? Because as you mentioned in your own piece, there are Christians being persecuted in the Middle East. Where do you think Christian persecution comes from? Those who hate Christians. And many of the same people who fight so hard in the gay rights movement despise Christians, and therefore, Christ.
As the moral fiber of society decays, we will see an increase in persecution against Christians. It’s already begun. We’ve seen Christians who conscientiously object to participating in same-sex weddings sued, and run out of business. In England, we’ve seen street preachers arrested and interrogated for offending gay people. What comes next?
The fight for same-sex marriage isn’t about marriage at all; it’s about crushing those who would dare to object. Now that same-sex marriage is the law of the land, it’s on to the next frontier.
Christian ministers will be sued for refusing to marry gay couples; churches will be forced to give up their 501c3 tax-exempt status; the blowback against participatory Christian businesses, like wedding photographers and bakers, will intensify; animosity toward those who kindly object to what they believe is morally wrong will only continue to grow. If one cog moves, so does the next.
To argue that Christians are wasting their time fighting moral decay is so small-minded. We are fighting these battles now so that we may not be forced to violate our faith in the future to assuage the demands of a government that once protected religious liberty.
Christ himself flipped the tables in the temple because of the moral decay of the Jews. He also fed thousands. So, excuse me while I both wage war on the intensifying anti-Christian bigotry in our society, and help the hungry. It can be done.