What can Christians learn about homosexuality from this hit song by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis?
Macklemore & Lewis have really put together a masterful piece of music with "Same Love". The song is a soothing blend of hip hop, jazz and R&B with Mary Lambert’s vocals falling perfectly into place, her smooth tone relaxing your ears and soul. If you were to just take the sound from this song and the excellent vocal performance, it’s a gem. However, God tells us that we need to have a spirit of discernment about what we see and hear (1 John 4:1). So, Christians cannot ignore the lyrical content that is wrapped within this beautiful piece of music.
"Same Love" opens with these words, “When I was in the third grade I thought I was gay”. You can immediately see there is an agenda here that will begin to test what you think, feel and believe. The song raises questions like, "Is homosexuality a sin?" and "Should gay couples have the right to marry?".
It’s the sort of content you would never expect to see coming out of hip hop. Just as Macklemore points out in the song, “If I was gay, I would think Hip Hop hates me”. This is a subject that is seldom touched on in hip hop music and something that is discussed even less in some of today’s churches.
Homosexuality in the Bible
So what does the Bible says about homosexuality? Let's take a look:
Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable (Leviticus 18:22)
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9 - 10)
We can clearly see that the Bible does not support homosexual sex but we must remember that the Bible doesn’t support any kind of sin. Many are quick to point out the verses that point to sexuality and homosexuality but they would rather overlook the verses on slander, drunkenness, greed or even the judgment of others.
Some of us can be so quick to judge that we actually end up being sinful in the way we treat homosexuals.
Macklemore makes a very positive point about how we treat others in the lyrical content of the song:
It’s the same hate that’s caused wars from religion, gender to skin color, the complexion of your pigment. The same fight that led people to walk-outs and sit-ins. It’s human rights for everybody, there is no difference.
This should resonate with you as a Christian. How many kids do you see bullied in school each day? How many people get pushed around because of their sexuality or even because they're just different? God’s love is for all and should flow through us, his people, to everyone equally.
The lyrics even have direct advice for us as Christians. In the middle of the second verse Macklemore says:
When I was at church they taught me something else: if you preach hate at the service those words aren’t anointed
This is an incredible statement by a man who doesn’t claim any religion other than that of hip hop music. He understands well that God’s message is not hateful and that it's full of love for all people. Everyone has an opportunity to come to Christ, despite their sin. This holds true for you, for me, and even for those who Paul mentioned in the above verse from 1 Corinthians. Just read the verse that directly follows that, “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11).
Mary Lambert ends the song singing “Love is patient. Love is kind”, such a familiar phrase to those acquainted with Christianity. Knowing Jesus, one must agree, that he would treat someone struggling with homosexuality in that same manner - he would love them, be patient with their struggle and kindly usher them into grace.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8)