The numbers are in. The latest poll, conducted by the Washington Press/ABC News, says that 58% of Americans now believe we should legalize gay marriage in this country.
But there is another number.
“Among young adults age 18 to 29, support for gay marriage is overwhelming, hitting a record high of 81 percent in the new poll,” says the Washington Post.
For many conservative Evangelicals this points to a failure on the part of the Church to educate our young. It points to biblical illiteracy and being too relaxed about the biblical moral code. It points, in essence, to a problem.
But for me, it points to possibilities. That perhaps God is up to something new and people too young and too idealistic to know any better, are following in God’s wake.
Sometimes God acts in ways that make us uncomfortable, as we see in Acts where it took literally an act of God for the Jewish Christians to see that maybe those unclean & pagan Gentiles could be the beloved of God. It took the Spirit of God working in the hearts of people who followed the letter of the Law to take a detour down the road of grace.
Maybe this is a moment for us to let go of our fear, our need for certainty, and see that there are people in the world who need good news. As I’ve said in the past, allowing gay people to get married doesn’t have to mean you “accept” their behavior, it just means we believe in equality, that we are made in the image of a God who “allows the rain to fall on the just & the unjust,” and that we follow Paul’s advice not to judge the behavior of others outside the church.
So for these 81% I say as Paul did to Timothy:
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faithand in purity” (1 Tim. 4:12)
Lead on young people. Bring fresh eyes and open hearts to a nation with a history of oppression and privilege, a nation that claims to follow the God of the stranger, widow, orphan, and foreigner. Do not give up following a God who breaks the rules to create spaces of belonging by giving up his own power and privilege in the person and work of Jesus. Do not give up!