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Marriage between a man and woman

Question

The Bible is very explicit that marriage is between a man and a woman. With the acceptance of gay and transgender marriage within modern society, what should the Christian Church do? Allow gay and transgender marriage? Or continue to discriminate gay or transgender Christians?

Answer

As I write (July 2020), this issue is one that distinguishes the candidates in the upcoming run-off to the Polish presidential election. The incumbent is a traditionalist who has the support of the Catholic Church in being against gay and transgender marriage even in secular society. The opposition challenger, while himself a Catholic, nevertheless believes that LGBT people should not be discriminated in modern society. The same division is apparent in various churches all over the world. Some denominations would even go so far as to ordain LGBT people, while in other countries that same denomination would condemn them as sinful.

In the Bible, homosexuality is condemned, notably by Paul (Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 1 Timothy 1:9-10). Being brought up as a strict Pharisee, Paul was a strong moralist of his time. For example, he believed that a woman should keep quiet in church and cover her hair during worship. Many churches (though not all) would regard this as going too far in our day and age, and allow women to preach and certainly to show their hair. I suppose the crunch question for each one of us is to ask ourselves: is it a sin to be LGBT? Paul says yes. What does Jesus say? He doesn’t say anything, as far as I know – which doesn’t mean they aren’t sinners! However, remember John 8:7, where Jesus tells the accusers of a woman who was clearly an adulteress: “He that is without sin among you, let him be the first to cast a stone at her”. I think that’s a good rule for each of us to follow: it’s best not to condemn others, because we are all sinners ourselves.

The question formulated to me can be reduced like this: “If two LGBT people in your church asked you to marry them, would you do so?” Firstly, I’m not licensed to marry people. Secondly, neither gay nor transgender marriage are allowed in Poland on a secular level, let alone in the church. And as far as I know, neither are such partnerships blessed in any Polish church. But if you ask me what my view is in a purely hypothetical situation, I would answer that I’m not fully convinced by modern-day opinions that LGBT people should be allowed to marry or have their partnership blessed in church. What might be permissible in secular society is not necessarily permissible in church, because there are significant differences between the kingdom of this world and the Kingdom of God. To me, this is not a question of discrimination, but of whether the Bible is right to describe homosexuality etc. as sinful. I wouldn’t be so hasty to dismiss the Bible as being simply wrong or prejudiced against LGBT people. There is much we don’t know about the reasons for which people develop such orientations. Which does not mean we shouldn’t love and accept them as people!

Warsaw International Church
Miodowa 21B, 00-246 Warszawa, Poland | +48 601 331 032 | pastor@wic.org.pl
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