This is one of those areas, as Fitch and Holsclaw have noted, where any attempt to find a middle way guarantees that plenty of people will disagree with you. “He who would be a bridge will be walked on by both sides.”

But when I found this post by Zach Hoag, I thought, “Eureka! This is it!” Zach sketches a middle way which honors a traditional reading of Scripture, while allowing inclusion of an alternate practice. The way through involves a different approach to marriage, limiting the sacramental reading and practice to “one man and one woman.” At the same time, it recognizes that civil law is something different, and if the church gets out of the civil business of marriage and allows the State to function there, then we can include other definitions of marriage, without blessing them ourselves.

Zach writes,

“Because gay marriage is a forgone conclusion here, the primary question we got was simply and practically, “Could my partner and I get married in your church?” There wasn’t any getting around it – it was a yes or no question. This is where discernment began.

“Because of our denominational tie and our evangelical identity, the answer to this question formed our baseline: No, as an evangelical church with a traditional understanding of New Testament marriage, we could not perform gay marriages. As much of a turnoff as that might have been, though, we saw something interesting begin to happen as we discerned beyond that baseline. Namely, our leadership and key church members strongly sensed the need to stand with our gay friends in their desire for equal marriage rights under the law, as a way of truly and properly loving them, supporting them, and seeking justice for them.”