Following President Obama's coming out in support of redefining marriage a few weeks ago, Rev. Leslie Braxton, pastor of New Beginnings Christian Faith Center in Renton, Washington gave a sermon titled, "What to Do About Same-Sex Marriage."
Pator Braxton told Crosscut's Anthony Robinson, "For the black church, gay and lesbian issues have long been tough ones."
"More often," he said, "black clergy have chosen to look the other way. 'Don't ask-don't tell' was invented by the church."
Pastor Braxton says he himself has made a "radical shift" in his beliefs about marriage.
He also says he is encouraged that many in his congregation agree with him.
He says, "The Bible passages condemning same-sex relations do not come from Jesus, but from Moses and Paul."
He said, "I am a student of Moses and Paul, but am a follower of Jesus."
The pastor told his congregation, "Jesus is our interpretive lens."
Indeed He is.
Let's look at marriage through the Jesus lens. How did He define it? What did He teach about it?
Mark 10 describes a setting where some who opposed Jesus and His teaching were essentially trying to set a philosophical and spiritual trap for Him and His teachings.
In that setting He explains why Moses "permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce" and send his wife away, by telling his listeners that it was because, "Your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law."
Hardened and rebellious hearts are generally the reason people turn away from God's plan.
Then Jesus made it very clear what His position is on marriage.
(v.6) "But at the beginning of creation God made them male and female,
(v.7 ) For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,
(v.8) and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one.
( v.9) Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."
So looking through Jesus' lens, we find a clear message. He believed and taught that:
1. God created male and female.
2. God created the marriage model for one man and one woman.
3. Male is the husband, Female is the wife. One male, one female = a marriage.
4.. Marriage between one man and one woman has an element of the miraculous---two become one.
5. And because God created this model, man should not try to separate or change that model.
God's model of marriage predates any organized civil government. All successful civil governments have honored and encouraged this model because it is consistent with nature, pro-creation, productive and successful societies, sustainability and the best possible environment in which to raise and nurture children.
Natural marriage is the cornerstone for every successful culture in the history of the human race.
The Truth is quite clear. Our attempts to shape the gospel to popular culture becomes difficult and complicated.
The Truth of God's Word was intended to shape an individual heart to His Truth and a culture to successful principles.
America was founded on those principles and has become the most exceptional, free and blessed nation in the history of the world.
We are preparing to launch an intensive educational campaign regarding marriage. Thank you for standing with us financially at this time.
Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Active. Be Faithful. Be Blessed.