3 The legal experts and Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery. Placing her in the center of the group, 4 they said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of committing adultery. 5 In the Law, Moses commanded us to stone women like this. What do you say?” 6 They said this to test him, because they wanted a reason to bring an accusation against him. Jesus bent down and wrote on the ground with his finger.
7 They continued to question him, so he stood up and replied, “Whoever hasn’t sinned should throw the first stone.” 8 Bending down again, he wrote on the ground. 9 Those who heard him went away, one by one, beginning with the elders. Finally, only Jesus and the woman were left in the middle of the crowd.
John 8:3-9, CEB
One of the things that I’ve noticed in the comment sections of all these blog posts about the legalization of gay marriage is how often Christians equate being “open-minded” with being “soft on sin”. I know very few people who are soft on sin, by the way. In fact, I know far more people who can’t see themselves accurately simply because they’re so overwhelmed with guilt at their own sin. But, that issue aside, this is essentially admitting that they are not open-minded while also saying that being open-minded is wrong.
In community, open-mindedness is a necessity. Having an open mind doesn’t mean you change it whenever someone speaks up. It means you actually respect people enough to take what they’re saying seriously. It means asking the question, “What if this person is right?” when they share an opinion different from yours. This is an act of love and, if we’re in community with someone, it is an absolute necessity. Refusing to do this is akin to violence. Refusing to consider or respect another person’s views is to admit that this person is not as important as you are. Again, this doesn’t mean you have to adopt another person’s views as your own. It doesn’t mean that your views are less important than everyone else’s. It means that you actually stop to consider another person’s thoughts because you value life and recognize that each person is made in the image of God. Therefore, each person is worth hearing and respecting.
Ready? Let’s practice. I’ve picked an article for you no matter where you are on this issue. Read the one that applies, and truly try to consider the author’s argument. Neither of these authors is considered particularly liberal nor are they considered particularly conservative. They each are fairly moderate and yet have two different views of gay marriage. Read and ask yourself with all necessary humility, “What if I’m wrong?”
If you’ve made up your mind that the legalization of gay marriage is wrong, then read this: http://www.jrdkirk.com/2015/06/26/gay-marriage-the-law-of-the-land/
If you’ve made up your mind that the legalization of gay marriage is right, then read this: http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2014/06/n-t-wrights-argument-against-same-sex-marriage
Now ask yourself, “Is my call to value life and reflect God’s love to all, influencing the way I’m talking about this issue?”