Over the last several months the debate concerning “gay marriage” has risen to new heights of passion and meanness. I suspect the basic reason for this is centered around power and control issues. Those who have defined marriage as the exclusive right of heterosexuals want to continue to control the rules. It is a “Members (who meet the standard) Only Club.”
The modern marriage is less about two people who love each other deeply and are committed to living in a way that will enhance that love. Rather, it is about tax breaks, exemptions, property and legitimate sex. I wonder which scenario God is more concerned about.
We live in a world where marriage vows are usually not worth the paper they are written on. Yet, the idea of a covenant is the total investment of those involved. I wonder if God is more concerned about broken promises or covenants that call on people to go deeper in their relationship than simple vows.
Finally, I wonder from a spiritual perspective if a God who by biblical definition is both male and female is really concerned about the gender identity of a couple who are willing to live in covenant with each other. After all when Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was — in other words which commandment should be the basis of who and what we are — his reply was, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment and the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and prophets hang on these two commandments.”
If these commandments are where it begins and ends, I believe our God, the God of Jesus Christ, is far more interested in covenants of love regardless of gender identification rather than traditional marriage which does not have a hint of these two commandments.
Editor-in-Chief of Whosoever and Founding and Senior Pastor of Gentle Spirit Christian Church of Atlanta, Rev. Paul M. Turner (he/him) grew up in suburban Chicago and was ordained by the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches in 1989. He and his husband Bill have lived in metro Atlanta since 1994, have been in a committed partnership since the early 1980s and have been legally married since 2015.