Michigan Gay Marriage Ban Struck Down

scales of justice gay marriage ban struck down

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It’s official. Michigan’s constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage has been declared unconstitutional. Things in Michigan are about to change, big-time.

I was one of the people going to door to door having people sign petitions to get the gay marriage ban onto the ballot in 2004. As a pastor, I even encouraged people in my church to do it. I now regret that very deeply.

I know I hurt some people at the time and drove wedges between myself and others unnecessarily.

What can I say? I was 35 — just a youngster! I was trying to hard to be “radical for Jesus,” but now I understand that the kind of radical Jesus was went way beyond my small-minded notions at that time.

Jesus was, and is, radical enough to let people make their own choices. Jesus never forced anyone to believe, or tried to shout down his opponents. He simply allowed people to live their lives, and let them know that, whether they realized it or not, they were already standing in the refreshing stream of the mercy and love of God, which was available to them freely.

That mercy and love is available to you too, no matter who you are. God created you and loves you. You may be gay or straight. You may struggle with your sexuality or embrace it. You are a creation of God, a work in progress, a gift to the world.

I apologize to those I hurt and have wronged by my well-intended zeal on this issue.

If you are gay, I want you to know that for some time now I have supported your right to live according to your best understanding of how you should live. That’s not a religious issue, it’s an issue of how we treat human beings in a free and pluralistic society.

Justice has been served today.

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  • kevin

    Marriage is between one woman and one man Dave. You will not win any popularity contest in todays society when you position yourself with Christ on this subject.

    • With Christ? Hmmmm… Christ never mentioned it.

      I’m a pastor in an evangelical church. Trust me, I’m not looking to win any popularity contests. Merely to be a good Christ follower and, in this particular case, a good American.

      • kevin

        Ok Dave. The creation of Adam and Eve should give you clarity. I believe in harmony amongst all people; however, gay marriage is wrong. Right is right and wrong is wrong. We can be imitators or followers of Christ. Surely you wouldn’t consider yourself of not being a good American if you did not bolster gay marriage?

        • Yes, I would, in fact. The whole idea of a pluralistic society is that no one religion is given favor over any others, or over none at all.

          There is one, and only one, argument against gay marriage, and it is a religious one. Religious convictions cannot be forced on those who think/believe differently. That’s perhaps the backbone of the American experiment.

          Religious people who would deny marriage to same-sex couples simply have no right to do this. This doesn’t mean they don’t have a right to their views, only that they cannot force others to live by their religious convictions.

          I do not believe in a literal Adam and Eve either.

          • kevin

            The problem here is many lack concern for what is right or wrong (immoral and lawlessness). Someone that chooses to run a four-way stop sign just because there is no other vehicle present, would be breaking the law and Jesus certainly would not approve of it either. The act would be immoral and illeagal. Gay marriage is against the law and immoral. So, how does God not fit in with establishing laws that are moral? I gather from your statements that God should not be active in those that establish laws and maintaining good moral upstanding laws.

            • Tonya

              There is a difference between running a stop sign and gay marriage. Running the stop sign endangers the safety of others. How will 2 guys or 2 women getting married because they love one another endanger others? It won’t so there is no justification in your argument. What are right wing conservatives so afraid of when it comes to gay marriage? What will the legalization of gay marriage do to you personally? I am a heterosexual female very secure in my relationship but I could care less if a gay couple wants to marry. It has no effect on me, it does me no harm and who am I to stand in their way? If they are doing something so wrong they will work that out with God not me. We all, gay, straight, right, left, Christian or atheist have plenty of work to do within ourselves to be worried about the shortcomings of others.

              • kevin

                I believe in structure that aligns with the word of God. I’m no better than anyone else for I’m a sinner too. However, I will acknowledge wrong and not deem it to be appropriate which in this case others are. The word ethnocentrism and its meaning appears to have been adopted by many to support their selective belief system. I believe the word ethnocentrism is a word devised to accommodate shared ignorance (false beliefs) and promote liberalism to the highest degree. Opinions very I suppose. I did not set out to refute anything, but to be a better listener to those that voiced their concern on the topic. In addition, to just simply engage in healthy conversation that mirrors the topic. I suppose you could revisit my post to see the main objective of the comparison of running a stop sign and gay marriage. It is illegal and immoral. I also stated in my previous post that I believe in harmony amongst all people. I am a voter and duty-bound by the Lord to follow his ways.

                • Thanks for your thoughts. I don’t agree with you, but I appreciate your civility and willingness to voice your opinions.

                  • J D

                    Pedophilia, With Christ? Hmmmm… Christ never mentioned it.
                    Man marrying his mother (or father), With Christ? Hmmmm… Christ never mentioned it.
                    Bestiality, With Christ? Hmmmm… Christ never mentioned it.
                    Gun control, With Christ? Hmmmm… Christ never mentioned it.
                    Polygamy, With Christ? Hmmmm… Christ never mentioned it.
                    Polyandry, With Christ? Hmmmm… Christ never mentioned it.

                    • You know, those are all excellent points. All of those are things our society has acknowledged are harmful/wrong in various ways, and are also subject to ongoing modification and opinion. Society could, if it wanted to, revisit those things and decide differently, like they are doing with homosexuality.

                      Although you run into real problems with some of these things. Animals can’t give consent and a human being cannot, by definition, have a relationship of equals with an animal. Same with a child, so those should be safe. There are already laws against sexual relationships with one’s immediate relatives, and no reason to think we’ll revisit those at any time. Plenty of good biological and social reasons to preserve them. Gun control? ?????

                      Polygamy and polyandry are both things society has also found illegal at the time. Though, as you know, we already make exceptions in the case of religious issues or whatever.

              • I simply could not agree more with this, especially the last sentence. Well said.

              • Elevate_YA_Min

                Tara sin has consequences. If, as you say, homosexuals love each other AND desire to be “Christ followers,” why on earth would they continue in a lifestyle that is, according to the Bible, an ABOMINATION? Look at Sodom & Gomorrah. Theses cities we’re were handed their consequences from God BECAUSE OF their sin AND their CHOICE NOT TO REPENT. Sin, rebellion, has consequences and it effects and affects everyone and everything around the person who chooses to live in rebellion. God does not change. He is just and righteous. So to say someone’s choice to run a stop sign is not an applicable analogy is incorrect. It is spot on! Your sin effects others around you. My sin effects others around me. My choice to rebel against Gods Word not only has consequences in my life but indirectly it effects the people around me and ultimately my community.
                The sacredness of a union (marriage) between a man and a woman is Gods plan for us. For homosexuals to have some sort of affirmation in their perversion via a marriage license is, again, in complete opposition to Gods Word. Mr. Flowers, you and anyone else that agrees with him on this subject is in direct opposition to what Gods plan is for His creation.

                • You’re right on that, Elevate. Sin definitely has consequences. That is beyond argument. Your sin, whatever it is currently, is having consequences in your life at this very moment. It is that sin that is messing up your life and having consequences there, and so it is there that you can be free to focus the vast majority of your efforts. This is true for everyone.

                  To me, that is the essence of spiritual formation: when I can see my own sin as clearly as the sin of another, and when I can be as horrified by my own sin as the sin of another.

                  • Elevate_YA_Min

                    Yes, and to CELEBRATE a people groups perversion while they stay in that sin is criminal.

          • Elevate_YA_Min

            So we as “Christ Followers” Christians are to let society determine if we are to be light and salt to the earth? Pluralistic society has no room for the ONE TRUE GOD then. Because Jesus said He is the way, the truth and the life.
            1 Corinthians 6:9-10 list all of the lifestyles that will keep people from entering into the Kingdom. Verse 11 states “as you once WERE” meaning there was change or xchange if you will, of a life on the fast track to death and destruction to being save by grace through faith. It mentions being washed, being sanctified and being justified. A new creation where the old way of living has died.
            Living in any of these lifestyles listed in the verse above, and especially knowing the truth, one has not allowed the washing of the baptism of Holy Spirit to cleanse them.
            The reason I point this out is we are called be light to a dark world. We are not called to follow society but rather lead society in the paths of righteousness. To let an alcoholic stay an alcoholic is a tradgedy. Much worse, if we tell that alcoholic that we support thier right as a person to keep on doing what they’re doing because we love them without showing them the Way what good is our light?
            So no, I will be loud and clear pointng out the devastation each lifestyle listed in that verse and point each individual who is living that lifestyle to Christ and the Cross and certainly not celebrating an institution that will even further their boldness to live a life bent on self destruction. Who cares what society is embracing! Our job is to show them a better way Christ Follower!

            • kevin

              Nice post.

            • I know you’re sincere, and that you mean well, but the approach you’re talking about is contrary to human life because it denies the wide berth God gives us to live our lives the way we want to. It’s just not this black and white thing, where you declare truth and someone else hears it and that’s it. People change over time. They stumble and bumble their way to truth and, most often, they don’t even realize where they are on the journey at any particular time.

              I know this can be really difficult to get. I hope my post over on SelfGrowth.com can be helpful.

              http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/what-is-compassion

              • Elevate_YA_Min

                Mr. Flowers, I totally GET IT! Please don’t patronize me.
                By you saying, “you’re talking about is destructive and contrary to human life because it denies the wide berth God gives us to live our lives the way we want to,” where in Gods Word does He condone or encourage us to “live the way we want to?” Secondly, are you saying that TRUTH is relative? I’m blown away if that’s the case! Jesus said, “repent (CHANGE THE DIRECTION YOU ARE GOING) for the Kingdom is at hand.” (Parenthesis mine) I cannot, and know that I will not, find a single place in the whole Bible where God condones, ordaines, or encourages His creation, US, to live life the way we want to. No where.
                It is not difficult to understand that you are a heretic. And I say that with restraint and as much respect as I can muster because you are misleading everyone you have influence over. Sodom & Gomorah were warned to CHANGE their lifestyles; to stop what they were doing with each other. They did not listen or heed the warnings. Hopefully you know the rest of the story.
                To say people “bumble around” is saying that they have no ability to rationally understand the difference between right and wrong. And at the same time with this position you therefore offer a blessing to those you see as “bumblers” as incapable of knowing TRUTH, who is Jesus, when Jesus is revealed in everything in creation since it was created by Him, for Him to remind and call us to Him, and certainly NOT to “bumble” around and do whatever we want, believer or not. There are consequences to every decision we make. So, if my position is perceived as destructive, it is only because those who are living contrary to the Way are either appalled by the TRUTH or or they CHOOSE to just ignore it.
                You, in your position, would rather, as I pointed out in an earlier post, encourage people IN THEIR REBELLION and bless the institution that emboldens them in their sinful lifestyle than be like a true Christ Follower and let everyone know it’s time to repent for the Kingdom draws near.

                • That was the most restraint and respect you could muster? 🙂

                  My point, of course, was not that God says “live however you wish” but gives us the freedom to do exactly that. We are all free moral agents.

                  I didn’t say truth can’t be found, only that it’s not as mathematical as you made it sound. You didn’t really reply to what I actually stated. I’m sorry you felt patronized. That was not my intention. I edited out the word “destructive” on my end because I felt it was way too strong, but it didn’t show up on your end. I take full responsibility for that.

                  I hope one day you too can be a “heretic” and find the freedom and joy I have found. There’s nothing like it in the world.

                  • Elevate_YA_Min

                    Mr. Flowers, I agree with you regarding freedom. But what I’ve clearly stated in prior posts is that because of freedom there is responsibility for our actions.
                    Again, I refer to 1Corinthians 6 and need to ask you based on this scripture why would you celebrate homosexual marriage when it is clearly wrong in Gods eyes or it wouldn’t be in His Word – or are you one of those Rob Bell types who think the Bible is so misinterpreted that no man could possibly know what God is saying to us anymore because we’re all “bumblers” and Truth is lost somewhere in translation? Bottom line, you will have a lot of explaining to do.

  • Janet Hinkley

    I applaud you for where you stand on this issue.

    • Kim Nebel

      me too

  • G Nelson

    Thanks for admitting your made a mistake. Not a lot of people can do that these days. Jesus had more important things to worry about like sick and hungry people, or at least that is what I know about the guy & the stories I’ve heard about him. I really hope all the $ that is spent on this issue by religious folk starts going to help people in this world that really need it.

    • Kim Nebel

      I think that this issue is just as important to the gay community and all who care about them, as illness and hunger. I wouldn’t trivialize it.

  • Brittany

    Daddy, I am so proud of you. This was perfect. I love you!