So here’s the question for everyone watching the Grammys and wondering what God really thinks about all of this spectacle. Are you going to believe in the God of the Bible and His way of salvation? Or are you going to trust yourself to the god of “same love.” The god of “same love” says no repentance and no savior is required. That god approves you just the way you are. The God of the Bible says you need repentance and salvation. That God will save you just the way you are.
Last night [1/26/14] on the Grammy’s, hip-hop artist Macklemore performed his song “Same Love” as Queen Latifah presided over a “wedding” ceremony for about thirty couples. Many of the couples being married were same-sex, and that was the point of the entire event—to show that there is no moral distinction between same-sex marriage and conjugal marriage. It’s all just the “same love.”
The lyrics to Macklemore’s song took aim at Christians and their views on marriage. To be more precise, it takes aim at the God that Christians worship and offers another god in His place—a god that bears no resemblance to the God of the Bible. Nevertheless, these performers were obviously grasping for divine approval. All of the trappings of Christianity were invoked to bless “same love”—a stage decorated to look like a church, a “minister” presiding, and a gospel choir singing the words of 1 Corinthians 13. You might say that it had the form of godliness while denying its power (2 Tim. 3:5).
What struck me about the performance, however, was not what Macklemore got wrong but the one thing that he got ironically right. In one line from “same love,” Macklemore says this:
Whatever god you believe in
We come from the same one
This statement is profoundly true, although Macklemore is probably not aware of its true implication. We all really do come from one creator God. From one man, God made every nation of mankind (Acts 17:25). As the Psalmist writes,
Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves. –Psalm 100:3
God made us. Every single one of us. And that is true whether or not you believe it. It is true even if you believe in a false god. But that truth does not imply that God approves of everything that His creatures do (as Macklemore appears to believe). It does imply that God is God. And He is not accountable to us, but we to Him (Heb. 9:27).
The Bible is crystal clear that all of us have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). Because of this, all of us have earned God’s judgment (Rom. 6:23). Every one of us stands in need of salvation from this horrific prospect (Rev. 20:15).
The good news of the gospel is this. God loves sinners (John 3:16). And because of His great love, He has made a way for sinners to be reconciled to Himself. He sent His one and only son Jesus to the world. Jesus succeeded where all of us have failed. He lived a perfect life. In the fullness of time, he gave himself over to be executed on a Roman cross. Three days later, he rose bodily from the grave. He is now seated at the right hand of God in heaven (Rom. 8:34). Through his death he offers us the forgiveness of sins, and through his resurrection he offers us the promise of eternal life.
We cannot earn our salvation. Jesus earned it for us. We can only receive it by repentance and faith (Mark 1:15). Repentance means turning away from our sin. Faith means putting our trust in Christ alone to save us based on his death and resurrection. God is lavish in His invitation. He offers this salvation to anyone who will have it—to gay, straight, red, yellow, black, and white. Anyone is welcome to come by repentance and faith. Anyone.
So here’s the question for everyone watching the Grammys and wondering what God really thinks about all of this spectacle. Are you going to believe in the God of the Bible and His way of salvation? Or are you going to trust yourself to the god of “same love.” The god of “same love” says no repentance and no savior is required. That god approves you just the way you are. The God of the Bible says you need repentance and salvation. That God will save you just the way you are. And He will take you to Himself and remake you into the image of His own dear son (Rom. 8:29). But you must repent, and you must believe.
In the wake of the Grammys, the big question is not what you thought of Macklemore. The big question is which God you will believe in. The false god of “same love,” or the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ? Which one will you choose?
Denny Burk is Associate Professor of New Testament and Dean of Boyce College, the undergraduate arm of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminar. He blogs on matters concerning politics, theology and culture. This article is used with his permission.