Pastor Michael Geerling
New Life Chapel September 2017
The coming Australian Plebiscite to alter the definition of marriage will be a cultural change for Australia.
Every Australian has a responsibility to be aware of the implications and vote accordingly.
As Christians there is much that we value that will be influenced if the vote changes our national marriage law.
I think of the Apostle Paul writing to the church in the city of Corinth. He writes: “…everything is permissible but not every thing is beneficial.”
Australia will choose and then be responsible for the outcomes. It is entirely permissible that the marriage definition will change. If our country votes then it has spoken.
I desire that marriage law will remain the same. I also desire the elimination of negative discrimination from law for LGTBI people. A same sex union is not a marriage but is a suitable recognition of two peoples commitment.
Whatever way the vote is cast, Christians will aspire to live in accordance with the teachings of Jesus.
His primary teaching directs us to love God and love people. We are called to love our neighbours and pray for those that present as our enemies.
Jesus reached out with a message of love and inclusion to people right where they were at, and also immediately lifted the expectation upon their life to conduct themselves in his pattern for life.
As Christians we must also continue to honour his teachings on how to conduct or lives as his followers in a lifestyle of discipleship.
Jesus reinforced the teachings of marriage from the Old-Testament, threw away some of the Jewish religious teachings and then lifted the bar on many others.
A most famous moment when Jesus dialed up the expectation on adultery, From the perspective of marriage and divorce, he said the act of adultery is not the sexual act, it is the thought process.
So as Christians, we will continue to teach our families and our congregations the pattern of marriage and the high moral standards of Jesus and the early church. That sexuality is best expressed through a life long marriage as husband and wife.
We will teach the message of grace in light of this high standard. We will teach that no matter how far outside this pattern we have lived, that through Jesus he can redeem any part of our life that we bring to him in humility and repentance.
Right now in every congregation and community there are people looking for deep answers.
Christian teachings encourage every person to express their sexuality in the strength, security and clarity of a marriage as a man and woman for life.
We have in our church family, people working through their identity and sexuality.
All these people will find a secure environment that loves and values them. As Christian leaders we will always lead people to the scriptures and the spirit of God to guide them in their decision-making about how to live.
Christians will be un-surprising in their intention to promote sexuality in the context of marriage as a man and woman for life.
There are no perfect people in the local church, only people working through life and aspiring to become more like Jesus.
Whatever the outcome of the vote, we will love people.
So, educate yourself, love your neighbor, caste your vote, raise your family and live your life in the outcome of Australia’s decision.