I recently officiated the wedding of two of the most kind, compassionate, Christ-following young women I know. The wedding was holy, filled with love and laughter. The entire event had a profound impact on all of us who were there. The love these women share is contagious!!

The argument I often hear against same-sex relationships and marriage is, "It's not God's design ..."

This is often a conversation stopper. A pronouncement from on high, a statement of belief that, of course, people are allowed to make, but one that limits our vision. It gives us permission to refuse to really see other people as people. It allows us to dismiss others with barely a thought of the impact our dismissal might have.

I assume that this statement is pulled from a couple verses in Scripture that were written in a culture far removed from ours, at a time in history when the concept of homosexuality was non-existent and most of the Scripture passages relied on were addressing issues related to temple prostitution or older men purchasing young boys as sex slaves. We then take those passages of Scripture (SIX OF THEM!!! ONLY SIX PASSAGES IN THE ENTIRE BIBLE) and come up with a blanket phrase like, "It's not God's design" to talk about flesh-and-blood humans and their lives and love.

This phrase is also (again, I am assuming) extrapolated from the Creation story found at the beginning of the book of Genesis. Yes, it tells us that God created male and female and gave them to each other, which is beautiful. It also contains a talking snake and a tree called The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which, of course, was not a real tree. This is a beautiful, deeply true Creation STORY, and to do it justice, we must read it as it was meant to be read, which is not LITERALLY. I think the writer of this story would roll over in his grave if he knew the way many modern Christians read this particular text. We literalize it into the dust. We make it seem silly, rather than serious, substantial and true at a soul-deep level.

"It's not God's design ..."


I wonder if people know how that phrase can wound ...

Can crush a young soul ...

Can destroy faith ...

Can turn people away from, rather than toward, God ...

You know what's not God's design?


Dismissal of someone's personhood.

Pronouncements that God is disgusted with a flesh-and-blood neighbor.

Exclusion from faith communities.

Misuse of Scripture to harm.

Incurious certainty about what God thinks or feels toward another human being.

Denial of legal rights.

What are we doing, church?

The night I married my two friends was one of the most love-forward, sacred moments of my life. Two beautiful humans, servant-hearted, sacrificially committing to each other, promising before God to live out the covenant of marriage to honor him, eyes fixed on Christ and his Kingdom.

And a rowdy, wild-with-joy crowd of their friends and families cheering them on in Jesus' name.

It was the closest thing I've seen in a long time to what feels like God's design.