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Sometimes Christians are accused of being bigoted against other groups of people when they hold to biblical teachings about the definition of marriage. Jesse M., US, wrote in asking:

Hello CMI, and let me say God bless your ministry! I know I have contacted you before, and I appreciate your prompt and thorough responses to feedback. A quick question I have is this. Recently, the gay marriage issue has heated up here in the United States, and us Christians are increasingly being accused of “discriminating” against gays for “excluding” them from marriage. I know that is wrong since by definition, marriage only exists between man and woman, and “sexual orientation” is a choice, not something you are born with. (So it cannot be compared to skin color or sex.) How would you respond if you were accused of “discrimination” for opposing gay marriage?

Lita Cosner replies:

Dear Jesse,

Thanks for writing in. We ‘discriminate’ in all areas of life—and this is generally a good thing. For instance, someone choosing which college to go to would ‘discriminate’ based on the professors, degree programs, and academic reputation. As Christians, we should ‘discriminate’ against false doctrine—it isn’t bigoted for me to refuse to go to a church where the truth of God’s Word isn’t clearly proclaimed from the pulpit, for instance. And someone who needs a major surgery would ‘discriminate’ and get the best surgeon available.

We discriminate in all other areas of life, from things as trivial as what we like to eat for breakfast all the way down the spectrum—any time we make a decision about one thing being better than another. But what about homosexual practices and ‘gay marriage’? Well, for all the other examples, what makes the discrimination ‘good’ is the reasoning behind it. E.g. if I choose to go to a certain university and not another because of its academic reputation, that’s good. If I go there because the statistics say there aren’t many minorities there, that’s bigoted and wrong. So why do we ‘discriminate’ against homosexual practices?

Simply, it’s because we believe that the Word of God is true and it communicates God’s best for mankind in all areas of life, including salvation, our culture, and so on. This includes God’s best for marriage. God forbids all sorts of practices that our sinful natures like. Basically, Jesus says you have two choices: faithfulness in heterosexual monogamous marriage, or complete abstinence from any sexual practice whatsoever (Matthew 19:1–12).

When God forbids something, it isn’t because God is a big meanie in the sky who wants to keep all of us from having any fun; it’s because He loves us and warns us away from things that are physically and spiritually destructive. Much like when parents tell their children not to do drugs, it’s not because they don’t want them to enjoy a party with their friends, but because they don’t want their children to suffer the effects of dependency and addiction. And God’s commands regarding sexual activity and marriage are equally loving for the married couple and for single people—and all single people (regardless of who they’re attracted to) are to abstain…..

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