Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Are you on or off the bandwagon?

You all know that eventually I will “hop on the bandwagon” of Facebook blowing up with people’s opinions, but I don’t usually put much of it on Facebook. Today’s post is to follow up with the Supreme Court decision and the ranting and raving Facebook posts on both sides: before, during, and after. I will address the religious aspect and the political aspect, both of which are equally concerning to me.

I saw a comment by someone on Facebook asking why is it concerning or disappointing to Christians that equal rights are given to homosexuals? Isn’t Jesus all about love? Wouldn’t he want them to have equal rights?

Absolutely, Jesus does love homosexuals, and I feel that he would want them to have equal rights. He would be telling us Christians to throw the first stone only if we ourselves have no sin (which I don’t know that any of us is willing to admit). However, he would also tell the sinners (all of us) to go and sin no more.

So, the reason for my distress, as a Christian, is not the sin itself. The sin of homosexuality is no worse than that of divorce, pre-marital sex, polygamy, child abuse, dishonoring your parents, or hating someone in your heart. But the issue here, is that we are saying one sin is okay, despite what God clearly says in his word. We think that we know better now. When Jesus confronted the woman at the well, He didn’t tell her she was going to hell, but neither did He tell her, “Good for you, I can tell you’re committed to and really love the man you live with, so keep up the good work”. Instead he talked with her, gently pointing out that what she was doing was wrong, without telling her to “fix it”. She believed not because He told her she was wrong, but because he told her the truth. As Christians, we can’t shy away from the truth, but neither can we beat people over the head with it.

I will say, that on my Facebook feed, I only had one Christian who was posting something that was bigoted and hate filled. But there are other Christians posting truth-filled statements. Simple Bible verses or a statement of Christian faith, nothing overtly against gay marriage, and yet they are quickly jumped upon and commented to death by vocal gay marriage proponents. I don’t think this is a bad thing. I think this is an opportunity to clear up some Biblical misconceptions. However, as Christians, we need to be clear in what we believe before we jump on the comment train that Facebook has become.

First, much of the Old Testament has been done away with because of grace. But what remains is put to a higher standard by Christ. Have you lusted after someone in your heart? You’ve sinned. Have you hated your fellow man? You’ve sinned. Have you cheated, or lied, or stolen? You’ve sinned. The point is not to look at other people’s sin, but to look into our own heart at our own sin. The problem with saying homosexuality is no longer a sin, is that I can also explain away all my other sins on the same basis. God is love, so it doesn’t matter if I… (watch porn, lie to my husband, cheat on my taxes, hate my neighbor).

Salvation through Jesus is a unique combination of grace and truth. Christ died for our sins, regardless of our deservedness, and we are unlikely to stop sinning after becoming Christians. Does this mean that we should stop trying not to sin and just live our lives the same? No! That would be like saying, “I really love my husband”, but continuing to slap him in the face whenever I disagree with him. It’s like saying, “I love you a lot, Jesus, thanks for being such a cool guy and all and changing the history of our world with your sacrifice and death, but I think I’m a bit smarter than you, so let’s just go with my own ideas from now on, because you were right about some things, but a little unclear on other things.”

So our goal as Christians, should be to prayerfully identify the sins in our OWN life and work towards fixing them. We should not be lambasting those who choose a different lifestyle, but neither should we celebrate that lifestyle. The Bible says to flee from sexual immorality. Sexual sin is a slippery slope and causes intense pain to those involved. It’s a short step from lust to porn to consensual sexual acts outside of marriage. We should not encourage any form of sexual sin due to its pervasive nature. We should also not confront anyone directly telling them not to sin unless we already have a loving relationship with them and they claim to be Christian and are still living in a sinful sexual lifestyle. Even then, it should be done with one or more witnesses and elders of the church, not a personal snide comment.

Another comment someone made was, “Why should you fear a God of love? He’ll work it all out in the end.” God is love, yes. But He’s also the God of creation, have you looked around you lately? Someone that powerful deserves some awe and respect. He’s also the God who swallowed a whole bunch of sinners in an earthquake and plague because they were hard-hearted.

Now, I want to change course a bit, and talk about why the Supreme Court decision is dangerous from a political perspective. First, marriage has never before been a “right” according to the Courts. States have always had freedom to legislate (to some extent) who can get married for various reasons. Now that marriage is a “civil right” according to the Supreme Court, are we denying the rights of children who want to get married? Are we denying the rights of already married people who want to remarry without getting divorced? Are we denying the rights of first cousins who want to get married, or mothers who want to marry their sons? There are a lot of people in the world who are having their “rights” violated suddenly, now that the Supreme Court has declared marriage a basic human right.

I would have celebrated if the end result of all this political/social chaos was a legislative decision to create a civil union and say you can get married religiously however you choose, but a civil union is defined as X, Y and Z (including gay and lesbian relationships) and will be considered equally as marriage under all federal provisions. However, since our legislature has decided that they are too busy campaigning and raising money to be put upon to create laws, the Supreme Court decided to just do what they could to make something happen. So, they went a bit outside of the law to do so. Umm, excuse me, let me repeat myself one more time, our highest federal courts went OUTSIDE OF THE LAW to define a new CIVIL RIGHT and NO ONE IS UPSET!

Apparently, under the guise of freedom and with a majority of Facebook support, we can do whatever we want in this government. And can everyone get a good laugh with me here on the fact that made the WHITE HOUSE rainbow colored? How obvious can it be that this was about public relations more than equal rights? Hey, everybody should like the United States government now, because they’re on the "correct" side in the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram bandwagon of public opinion.

Here’s the danger folks, if we’re creating new laws based on public opinion rather than moral standard, state’s rights, or legislation, we are creating a dangerous new world. What if the next “cool thing” is to allow pets “equal rights” (they are part of your family, right)? Or mandate that all food must be locally, organically grown or it can’t be purchased. Or legislate the sale of formula, because we should all be breastfeeding. Or legislate that all children are required to attend school at age 4, because Obama thinks it’s really important that all our moms be working moms, and that would be the easiest way for it to happen.

If we’re no longer voting on public officials (instead we vote based on what "side" believe in), and all the “popular” votes which states have had about marriage have essentially been ignored, then what rights do we really have? We are giving up our political rights, in the name of “freedom”. Well, now you are free to do anything you want to in the name of “freedom” and “civil rights”, yet you’ve given up what our country was founded on, the Constitution, the idea of states rights, and the ability to get the government the heck out of your business.

As a libertarian, I cringe. As a Christian, I am disheartened. But as a human, I rejoice that today is another day of life, love, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We may never get there. We may destroy what we’ve built with our own pride and self-centeredness. But, for today, we haven’t messed it up too much yet, so there is still hope.

So before you celebrate or hate the Supreme Court decision, make sure you do some research so you understand the religion and the politics, rather than just jumping on one bandwagon or another. And for those who hate, on either side of the bandwagon, make sure you are looking at the sin in your own heart before making a comment against someone else.
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