Amendment One and the Christian Mission

The following is a letter I wrote yesterday to our local newspaper the Wilson Times.  Since it may never make it in the black and white, here is a copy.  At the time of this writing, voting on NC amendment one was still taking place. At the time of this writing, it is voting day in NC.  As we all know, one of the most controversial items on the ballot was Amendment One.  As I’ve read the editorials of this  Wilson Times and have watched the vigorous debate over this issue it seems to bring out the worst out of both sides.

As a pastor and a Christian, it has been very intriguing to watch the Christians in the city of Wilson as they handle this controversial issue.  Although I personally supported the amendment, I think some of the zealous passion Christians have shown over this amendment has been misguided.  Christians must indeed stand firm on the truths of Scripture despite the cultural milieu of the day.  However, I am terribly afraid that through this vicious debate over the marriage amendment, Christians in our city have indirectly tarnished the mission Christ has called us to do.  Our task as Christians is not necessarily to create a Christianized American but to proclaim the hope the everyone can find in our Lord Jesus Christ.  As Christians we want people to realize the treachery of their sins so that they can find peace and forgiveness at the cross of Jesus.  At the cross, Jesus absorbed the wrath deserved for our sins and as Christians we believe that forgiveness comes through the perfect son of God, Jesus Christ.  The message of Christianity is the good news that salvation is found in and through Jesus.  That is the center of our message and that is the purpose of our churches existence.

My fear as a Christian is that through the commotion of this amendment, our enthusiastic passion has indirectly communicated to our city that our churches care more about a Biblical definition of marriage than people finding hope and joy through Jesus.  As Christians, we must share the good news of Jesus to both the heterosexual and the homosexual in Wilson and pray that all would repent and believe.  Because no matter what NC or the United States will ever decide on the issue of marriage, it never changes the centrality of that mission.  Even though we might disagree with our neighbor, we still must love our neighbor and point them to the hope and joy that can only be found in Jesus.  May we fight to spread the good news of Jesus in our community with the same passion and ferocity we had with the marriage amendment.