If Jesus Let Them Vote

As we all know by now, Minnesota voters will be the next who will be allowed to vote on keeping marriage. Last November’s landmark election shifted a decades-long hold that the Democrats had on the legislature to the Republican party. With this shift in balance, both houses passed a resolution to allow the citizens of Minnesota to vote on a constitutional amendment to protect marriage. To date, 31 states have put the issue of same-sex “marriage” to a vote and to date, 31 states have voted against allowing same-sex couples to “marry.” However, I would not be shocked if Minnesota were to be the first state to vote in favor of these so-called marriages.

But I want to write today about one Minnesota senator’s comment during the debate on the Senate floor on whether to pass the legislation or not.

Think about how different Christianity would be if Jesus ask crowd to vote on stoning Mary Magdalene.

Minnesota Senator, Barb Goodwin

Sen. Barb Goodwin

It always amazes me that so many people will use this story about Mary Magdalene without having the slightest clue as to what is actually going on. The story in itself doesn’t fit in with what is going on in Minnesota anyway. We aren’t voting on whether to stone or execute homosexuals. We are voting on whether we want to allow a sinful lifestyle to become an honored aspect of our culture and not just honored, but held at the same level of a virtuous institution, like marriage. In the proper context of this whole “Jesus putting it to a vote” concept, Jesus would have asked the crowd to vote on whether adultery should be considered an honored and virtuous behavior in Jewish society. That is the proper context of the analogy Sen. Goodwin.

Analogies aside, the lessons that we should glean from the story of Mary Magdalene are as follows:

  1. Christians should not condemn the sinner, but rather the sin itself. That is, we should be merciful and compassionate towards the sinner because we all have fallen short of the simple life God has called us to.
  2. Mary Magdalene defied one of the highest points of the law, she committed a sacrilege against the institution of marriage, an institution that mirrors the very unity and nature of God. For this sin, she deserved to be stoned to death. She deserved to suffer for an eternity in hell. The crowd was only complying with the natural justice that such a crime deserved.
  3. However, God’s mercy is deep and wide. Jesus showed that God loves the sinner so, so, so much! He forgave her out of a love that runs deeper than the bounds of the law.
  4. This is most often missed (as is #2), Jesus commanded Mary Magdalene to sin no more. He did not permit the crowd to stone her, as she deserved, but he did not permit Mary to live the sinful lifestyle she was living. The Gospel never ever condones sin, but rather, through the mercy of God, gives us a second chance at living the life God intended.
And so we cannot use this parable as an opportunity to approve of sin. Scripture is clear in both testaments that homosexual acts are gravely contrary to God and that partakers forfeit heaven. God can wipe our slates clean, he can erase our broken pasts, but to live in obstinate, persistent, grave sin is not an offense that God allows. That is why we cannot, as Christians, be supportive of homosexual “marriage”. We certainly cannot condone violence against the men and women who commit said acts, we must love them, but we cannot run to the other end of the scale and elevate what is sin to what is virtue.
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