Hatred.  Name-calling.  Boycotting.  Call for tolerance.  The fight for freedom of choice and expression.  Rallies for human rights.

These are the cries that have been filling the airwaves in the recent days following an interview with Manny Pacquiao on his statement and stand on the issue of same-sex marriage.

It is heartbreaking to see a country so divided to the point of hatred and cussing.  It is even more heartbreaking to see the Christian church taking  opposing sides on a social and moral issue when there really should be only one stand that we must take – that of what God says in His Word.

What stand must we take?  How must we respond to such a controversial issue?

If we were to live in a culture where God’s laws are deeply embedded in our hearts, these things wouldn’t be an issue today.  But we don’t – and this is where the dilemma is.  Modern societies ideally want to live in an Autonomous culture, where each person sets and dictates their own moral choices.  BUT the minute we express this and disagree with one another, we immediately switch to a Heteronomous culture where we want to dictate to others  what we ourselves believe.   Personal choices and opinions run into a conflict where everybody has their own standard.

We must understand, however, that God is the ultimate source of morality, regardless of the kind of culture we live in.   The Bible is His Word, His Truth, His guide on how we should live our lives according to how He designed and created us.

The concept of what is right and what is wrong is universal. Everyone agrees murder is wrong. Everyone agrees dishonoring of parents is wrong. Some would even say that some lies are okay, but we hate it when people lie to us.  How do we know what is right and wrong? The Bible tells us:

“They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.”
Romans 2:15

In that light, the Bible and our conscience clearly tells us that sexual immorality (which includes adultery, incest, lust, pornography, homosexuality and same-sex marriage) is wicked in God’s sight.  Homosexuality and same-sex marriage is not an issue of social rights but of morality – one given to us by the ultimate Lawgiver, God.  When  we violate God’s moral laws we go against God, not man.  And whether we agree with it or not, we must bring it up to God, not with man.   This holds true in God’s definition of love and marriage.

Love and marriage, then, must be treated as sacred gifts, because they are given to us by God. Marriage is the most sacred relationship into which we will ever enter and it is the only relationship that pulls together the four kinds of love:  Agape (God’s love), Phileo (friendship / brotherly love), Storge (protective / parental love) and Eros (romantic love).   If you take Agape love out of the concept of marriage, Eros becomes whatever you want it to be; thus, romantic love will be redefined, ultimately changing the biblical definition of marriage.  Thing is, any departure from God’s design for marriage is not acceptable in His sight.

So, how do we deal with our current issue?

God gives us the prerogative of choice on how we respond to His Word.   But God does not give us the privilege of determining a different outcome to what that choice will entail.

“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.”
Galatians 6:7

As Christians,  there are really only two things we must do.

We love everyone with a love regardless of their views, opinions and choices.
We love everyone with a love that leads to Jesus.
We love everyone with a love that does not remain silent and tells them of God’s Truth at any and all cost.

We pray for mercy.
We pray for salvation.
We pray for repentance and transformation.

Written By:  Anne Ilagan