Letters to the Editor
I wish to respond to the letter to the Editor in the January 23 issue of your newspaper regarding the issue of same sex marriage and whether Salem Lutheran or any church should allow this.
I believe this is not an issue of showing love to the parties involved, we should all do this, but of God condoning same sex marriage or blessing it. The Bible calls homosexuality a sin. Read I Corinthians 6: 9-11 and Romans I:18-32. He also destroyed Sodom because he hated homosexuality ( Genesis 19). I was taught that God does not change and believe it to be true. In the Christian marriage ceremony a blessing is given to the couple—either spoken or implied. Would God bless something that he calls sin? We have no Christian ceremonies blessing drunkenness or any other sin mentioned in the Bible. So why should we have a ceremony blessing a homosexual union?
Even though homosexual marriage is now legal, it does not mean that any Christian church should take part in anything God declares sin.
This letter is in response to the discussions happening over having same-sex marriages performed at Salem Lutheran Church, as there are two gentlemen seeking to be married there. God loves these two men immensely. That is 100 percent true. And He loves everyone reading this. We are undeserving of His love. Jesus Christ came to offer us all salvation and forgiveness of sin. We all need that forgiveness.
Sadly, the people encouraging same-sex marriages are encouraging people to embrace something God does not desire for them. God speaks specifically in the Bible, saying to not engage in same sex relationships. It is one of a host of sins of which God has lovingly warned us to refrain and from which to repent. That doesn’t mean he hates people with same-sex attraction, just the opposite; out of love He wants the best for them and that is not found in homosexual love.
Christ defined marriage to be between one man and one woman. God’s Word also says sex should not be between people of the same gender. He has defined what is good and what is not, for our good. When we sin, as all do, He says, “Turn away from your sins, because the Kingdom of heaven is near!” (Matthew 4:17) Repentance is “turning from sin.” I don’t know why some have same sex attraction and some are susceptible to other sins, but God desires to give people the power to refrain from it and wants us to help one another do so.
When we sin, there is forgiveness with repentance. Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:31-32), and in the New Testament book of Acts we read, “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord” (Acts 3:19). As Christians, we should not enable or bless sinful behavior but lovingly encourage people to repent, to turn away from sin.
One of the foundational questions in this conversation is “What is the loving thing to do?” Love leads people to the Lord where we receive truth, promises, a relationship with Him, freedom and so much more. Love invites people to repent, of any sin, so as the verse from Acts above says, “our sins may be wiped out,” and we will be refreshed. That is love. That is grace. Those are promises that invite us to truly live.
It is out of love for the people of Lake Mills and of the LGBT community that I write this. Sadly, and discouragingly, those who share this Biblical understanding are often labeled as “not loving” and worse. I care about these two gentlemen, and it would be not be right of me, Salem Lutheran Church or anyone else to bless or encourage people to embrace something God says not to do.