For Evangelicals, same-sex marriage is not an “agree to disagree” issue.
(By Ed Stetzer, The Exchange). Marriage, as Jesus defines it in Matthew 19—where a man leaves his father and mother and joins with his wife in covenant marriage—is a core evangelical belief.
It might not seem that way these days, when we hear of a few people making news by changing their views on sexuality and marriage, but we are in a season of one evangelical organization after another feeling the need to make clear their position on marriage.
That’s the bigger story than the celebrity of the moment.
Evangelical organizations across the spectrum are making clear where they stand on marriage. For some, particularly conservative Evangelicals, this view was already evident, but perhaps this is most difficult in the progressive wing of Evangelicals.
Organizations like Fuller Seminary, InterVarsity, the Vineyard, and World Vision are all known for their progressive views on gender, race, and social justice.
These organizations were seen as progressive—until recently.
They’ve recently made it clear what they believe on marriage, and some people are disappointed.
I imagine that if you’ve dedicated your life to making same-sex marriage an issue on which good, Bible-believing Christians can just “agree to disagree,” this must be deeply disappointing. And for many LGBT people who just want to live their lives as they believe God made them, I understand this can be hurtful. I know those emotions are real and deeply felt.
While those feelings are real, it is also the case that this is real: Evangelicals consider biblical marriage a core issue.
Now, Evangelicals are not the only ones to think this, but they are currently in the spotlight on this discussion. For a few years, some wondered if Evangelicals would move on same-sex marriage, or at least not make it the dividing line. For example, when one Vineyard megachurch pastor wrote a book affirming same-sex relationships, the question was, “Will the Vineyard make this an ‘agree to disagree’ issue?”
That pastor is no longer with the Vineyard, explaining he could not “enforce” the policies when the Vineyard said what they always believed—marriage is a core Evangelical belief.
Related article: What’s Really Going on with Evangelicals and Same-Sex Marriage