Thursday, December 1, 2011

WWJD if He Were Invited to a Same-sex Wedding?

FYI, In the world of witty Christian catchphrases, WWJD stands for "What Would Jesus Do."

Tying the knot in Scandinavia
I love a good wedding.  I like the symbolism, the romance, the sweetness, seeing everyone dressed up and looking their best, dancing at the reception, and the best part has got to be the cake.  Come on, wedding cake rocks!  Soooo good!

I've been to lots of weddings over the past few years, and three of them have been gay weddings.  Two were in Norway and one was in Sweden.  One was the wedding of my cousin, to his high school sweetheart, and the other two were weddings of friends of mine -- one a male-male couple and the other a female-female couple.

I got an email a while back from a very sincere Christian woman in the Philippines asking me how I could attend a same-sex wedding if I'm a Christian.  She said she believes gay marriage is wrong due to her religious beliefs, and knowing that I myself am a Christian, she couldn't wrap her mind around how on earth I, as a Christian, could attend a gay wedding and support such a "sinful union."

She was sweet and very polite, but conflicted on the issue; torn between what her heart is telling her (to be tolerant and compassionate) and what she's been taught by the church she attends (to be in firm opposition to anything gay), based on their interpretation of certain Bible verses.

She asked me, WWJD?  If Jesus were on earth today, would he attend a gay wedding?

In my opinion:  Yes, JWDT (Jesus Would Do That).

In the New Testament we find these powerful words, straight from the mouth of Jesus:

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices — mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law — justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.” (Matthew 23:23-24); and

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.” (Matthew 23:13); and,

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.” (Matthew 23:15).  And last but far from least:

“Love your neighbor as yourself,” [said Jesus]. “There is no commandment greater than this.” (Mark 12:31)

When you weigh these against the fact that Jesus never once said anything about gay people or homosexuality (and you can look for yourself: he talks about gay people as much as I talk about unicorns, which is never), it becomes obvious that this isn't something Jesus concerned himself with.  His modern Church is obsessed with gay people and "the evil plot of homosexuality," but they certainly didn't get their homophobia from JC.

Where, oh where, could it have come from?  Hmmm, maybe culture and a poor understanding of science has something to do with it?  Maybe?

In fact, if you take a glance at Jesus' words it's easy to see that the only people he had a major problem with were the most religious people of the day; the ones who put doctrines and dogma above what Jesus taught and stood for:  God's love.

Jesus was a cool and obviously smart guy.  He was tolerant and accepting and patient.  But when it came to the moralists who used Old Testament laws as justification for denying the grace of God, Jesus put his sandal down.  He saved his condemnation and strongest words for the ones who set themselves up as sanctimonious judges of others.

So would Jesus attend a gay wedding today?  You bet he would, in his best toga.  Jesus was God after all, and the mind of God is slightly higher than our finite little human brains.  He understands the biology of being gay; he knows it's natural and innate.  He knew this long before we ever figured it out with the help of modern science.  He's not afflicted with the fear and ignorance that so many of his so-called followers are afflicted with today.

One of my all-time favorite lines of Jesus is John 16:12:  "I have many more things to tell you, but you're not able to grasp it (comprehend it) now."  If Jesus would have told us everything he knew and broken down every cultural wall, 98% of it would have flown over our heads and the remaining 2% would have made our brains explode.  It simply would have been too much for us to grasp.  We don't even know an eighth of all the things we don't know.  We humans are so small-minded and petty and judgmental, which is the exact opposite of how Jesus is.  Jesus knows all and sees the big picture.  That's why he's so cool.

I think Jesus loves a good wedding as much as anyone else.  I bet he'd love a piece or two of some of that awesome wedding cake, too.  Who knows, being a rabbi he might even officiate the wedding himself.  And let's face it, he'd be pretty cool to have around -- after all, his very first recorded miracle was turning water into wine, at where?...wait for it...ah yes, at a wedding!


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