A number of months ago some eyebrows were raised when country singer Carrie Underwood expressed her views in support of same-sex marriage. Underwood, who is a self-proclaimed Christian believer, said the following: “As a married person myself, I don’t know what it’s like to be told I can’t marry somebody I love, and want to marry.” In speaking of the non-denominational church she attends, she commented: “Our church is gay friendly. Above all, God wanted us to love others. It’s not about setting rules, or [saying] ‘everyone has to be like me’. No. We’re all different. That’s what makes us special. We have to love each other and get on with each other. It’s not up to me to judge anybody.”
When I first read these comments by Carrie Underwood there were red flags popping up in my head like crazy. I am very concerned about what she said. I know that this is a loaded issue. In fact, marriage rights and homosexuality are topics that Christians must exercise a great deal of wisdom in addressing… and, yes, compassion. No, we do not have a right to judge others. Yes, to love others is of paramount importance. It is true that to love God, and to love our neighbors are the preeminent commands of God’s word.
But, it is the very issue of the God’s word (and its authority) that bothers me. While our goal as followers of Christ is not to attack people, or to turn personal opinions into presumed judgments from God—at the same time, we cannot deny or reject the clear teaching of Holy Scripture, on whatever subject. And when it comes to this issue (homosexuality) the Bible is not ambiguous at all. And for me, or any Christian, to reject homosexuality as sinful, perverse and ungodly is not a personal opinion. Rather, it is agreeing with what God has revealed as His will on this subject. It is not a personal judgment on my part. Instead, it is the judgment that God has already rendered, and that I must accede to as His follower. And to affirm that marriage is designed by God, and designed in a specific way, to follow a particular model, is simply to agree with the revelation of the Heavenly Father Himself.
Let’s be clear. The Bible is unequivocal about the sinful nature of homosexuality. For example, consider the following passages of Scripture: Romans 1:26-28, 1 Corinthians 6:9, 1 Timothy 1:9-10, Jude 7, Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, 1 Kings 14:24.
The Bible is equally clear about marriage being the union of one man and one woman. This is evident from the creation account in Genesis 2. It is validated and reaffirmed by the clear teaching of the Master Himself (Matthew 19:4-5). And it is ratified by Paul’s teaching on marriage in Ephesians 5:25-32. Here marriage is seen as a divine institution patterned after the relationship of Christ and His church. To present any other option for the married state other than the union of a man and a woman is to deny the very model given to us of Christ’s redemptive sacrifice, atoning work, and covenantal love for His chosen Bride.
With all this said, here then is what really worries me about (and for) Carrie Underwood. As a Christian, a follower of Jesus, what does she do with these Bible passages? Obviously in order to endorse homosexuality and same-sex marriage she must reject clear Scriptural teaching. And this is what is so scary (and dangerous) for her! If a Christian can choose to reject one portion of Scripture because he/she doesn’t like it, or finds it offensive, what about other Biblical passages? If we can decide that we don’t believe one particular Bible teaching, then isn’t all Bible teaching up for grabs? Where do you stop? If we don’t like Jesus’s teaching on loving your enemies and doing good to those who mistreat us—can we choose to ignore these commands? Are we to condone adultery because the man and woman involved are “in love” and we don’t like denying “true love”? Are we allowed to reject the wrongness of murder because some people believe it is okay to kill “inferior people”? And what about the key doctrines of the faith? Many find the idea of Christ’s passion and death offensive. Can we reject these? Some struggle with the concept of the Trinity, or the Incarnation, or Christ’s dual nature? Do we reject these also? Are we only to accept the Biblical teachings that we personally understand, agree with, or find pleasing to our individual tastes?
The bottom line is this: To reject any portion of Scripture, to deny any Biblical truth, is to stumble onto an extremely slippery slope. And once a believer starts tumbling down that hill, there is no end to where they may end up. Indeed, the likelihood of falling all the way to bottom is very high. And the bottom is in the Stygian depths of spiritual deception, moral blindness and ultimately apostasy itself.
Remember, God said: “Diligently do everything I command you, the way I command you: don’t add to it; don’t subtract from it” (Deuteronomy 12:32, The Message).