While the debate continues, there are a number of voices calling for peaceful, pastoral dialogue on the subject and continued loving outreach to those on both sides of the debate.
"Our public conversation should not begin with opposition to homosexuality, but with our witness for Christ in word and deed," said pastor/author Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, which provides information and research for evangelical pastors. "We need to show grace and friendship to those who struggle, while holding fast to what the scriptures teach. Without hiding our beliefs, we need to look for opportunities to have conversations, build relationships and demonstrate grace."
Christians, he said, should not panic.
"The sky is not falling," he said. "Jesus is still King and God is still sovereign."
Regardless of the Supreme Court rulings, he continued, "your church — as well as mine — has the same mission it did last week: we are to love people and share the Good News of Christ with them. We can't hate a people and reach a people at the same time."
"So don't rant on Facebook," he said. "Don't lose your temper on Twitter. Don't rage to your neighbor or coworkers. Even though the playing field may have changed, the mission of God has not. We are not here to protect our ways and traditions. We exist to show the world the love of Christ and share with the world His good news. No election, referendum or court ruling will ever change that."
"As we stand with conviction, we don't look at our gay and lesbian neighbors as our enemies. They are not," he said. Nor are they "part of some global 'Gay Agenda' conspiracy. They aren't super-villains in some cartoon. They are, like all of us, seeking a way that seems right to them. If we believe marriage is as resilient as Jesus says it is (Mark 10: 6-9), it cannot be eradicated by a vote of justices or a vote of a state legislature."
This is not the time, Moore concluded, "for fear or outrage or politicizing."
"It's a time for forgiven sinners, like us, to do what the people of Christ have always done. It's time for us to point beyond our family values and our culture wars to the cross of Christ as we say: 'Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.'
"And that's good news."
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