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Why Welcome a Same-Sex Couple to Church?
Jahi Chikwendiu / The Washington Post / Getty
Gary Nixon, right, and Mel White, a gay couple, attend Jerry Falwell's church in Lynchburg, VA. The couple (together for 20 years) has rented a cottage directly across the street from Falwell's church for a year, are are attending services there and getting to know the neighbors. While some people have called them sinners, others have brought over pies and cookies in welcome.

Imagine this no-longer-hypothetical situation: Matt and Alex Jones-Smith, newlyweds, arrive on a Monday morning in summertime to register their adopted daughter, Rachel, for Vacation Bible School at Maranatha Bible Church on Main Street.

What should be the response of the Sunday school superintendent?

  1. Provide directions to the nearest liberal congregation.
  2. Register Rachel for Vacation Bible School and then hand the couple Marantha Bible's statement of faith, including the part on human sexuality where homosexual behavior is condemned.
  3. Proceed with registration, and then ask the Jones-Smiths, legally married in the eyes of the state, to meet with the pastor to talk about baptism and membership.
  4. None of the above.

The Unbiblical Marriage

This week, Minnesota and Rhode Island became the 12th and 13th states to allow same-sex marriage. With the favorable U.S. Supreme Court rulings in June, there will be more same-sex marriages nationwide for years to come. The 2010 federal census estimated there are already more than 150,000 same-sex couples legally married or in legal civil unions. It reports some states experienced a 50 percent or more increase in households with same-sex couples from 2000 to 2010.

For generations, Christianity has encountered unions outside the one man-one woman Christian ideal. During the colonial missionary era in Africa, many Christian churches had zero tolerance for a new convert with multiple wives. If these men wished to be baptized, join the church, and follow Christ, they had to dismiss all but one wife.

But missionaries soon realized that this policy of zero tolerance created enormous hardship on abandoned mothers and their children. It also absolved the polygamous husband ...

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Why Welcome a Same-Sex Couple to Church?
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