An Open Letter to a Young Ministry Leader: Should Christians Oppose “Gay Marriage”?

By Robert A J Gagnon, PhD

Dear Julie,

Here are some thoughts regarding your blog post, “They’ll Know We’re Christians by What We Oppose” (July 1, 2013). Julie, I appreciate your heart to win over others for the Lord and your sweet spirit of encouragement. This is your strength, along with your marvelous writing ability. Having met you once personally, I can testify that you are just as delightful in person as you are in your writings. You are also faithful in your own Christian life in not acting on your publicly acknowledged same-sex attractions. I expect that you will become a major figure in Christian ministry (and indeed you already have a growing platform). It is in this context as a Christian brother who cares about you and your ministry that I register the following concern: Your encouragement of Christians to bail on the public “gay marriage” debate is a harmful false start. Because your posting is public and because the view that you espouse has been put forward by other well-meaning Christians (though rarely as winsomely and artfully as you), I have decided to
make this a public letter to you.

1. The problems in your blog post start with your title, which recalls a lyric in a Christian song. The lyric itself directs the hearer to John 13:35: “By this all will know that you are my disciples: If you have love for one another.” Both the song and the verse refer to the love that Christians have for one another. Neither was ever intended to be used as a basis for Christians to shut up when the broader
culture is declaring immorality to be a good and the Christian stance on sexual purity to be an evil. As Christians we can and should oppose lots of things: slavery, wars of aggression, material exploitation, racism, and immorality. Doing so does not violate the spirit of John 13:35. I believe that you have taken a common Christian phrase out of its context and made it say something that it was never
intended to say.

Read here (pdf)

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