What is the Christian position?

Church news
Church news

You have to sympathise with the people of Somerset, who are enduring such an awful time with floods destroying homes and cars and further damaging farmlands.

But who is to blame? Is it because we have not respected the environment? Is it the lack of foresight in building homes on flood plains? Or could UKIP councillor David Silvester be right?

It was he who defected from the Conservatives and then wrote to David Cameron warning of divine retribution for acting “arrogantly against the Gospel” by legalising gay marriage.

Now, whether or not you approve of the redefinition of marriage – and I do not – it has to be said that Cameron’s decision to legalise such relationships was a demonstration of breathtaking arrogance.

Firstly, he went ahead with it despite a 600,000-signature petition by opponents to the move, and despite the fact that more than half of his own parliamentary party said that he should not do so.

Secondly, the proposal to legalise gay marriage did not appear in the Conservative Party’s manifesto – the statement of the beliefs, values, aims and objectives of a political party.

However, the suggestion that the floods and surge tides in the West Country have a divine origin is as flawed as was the notion that God sent Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to punish the wicked people of New Orleans, and as off the wall as the argument that AIDS is a sign of God’s revulsion against those who indulge in homosexual acts.

And the reason is simply this; the Bible teaches that Jesus was “pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed”.

So how do you think Jesus would feel, sitting there at his Father’s right hand, still bearing the scars of his time on Earth 2,000 years ago, if the humanity whom he loves had to endure yet another battering at the hand of the one who presided over his piercing, and crushing, and wounding?

Didn’t the prophet Isaiah tell us that Jesus was punished so we would not have to be?

And if we believe that God sits up in heaven at some great PlayStation in the sky, micro-managing every aspect of life on this planet, we risk becoming supremely self-righteous and cruelly arrogant.

Why? We will be void of compassion for the people in New Orleans, and our fellow countrymen in Somerset because in our delusion we will convince ourselves that they are getting their just desserts.

And we will wallow in self righteousness because “our God” is punishing them and not us.

I am firmly of the view that the decision to legalise same-sex marriages was fundamentally flawed, for there has never been a time or place in the history of civilisation when marriage was other than the union between a man and a woman.

However, what is the Christian position? We can look to the example Jesus gave us: he accepted everyone, no matter who they were. We too must be accepting, without implying approval.