Newsweek’ s new issue came out with this gem of a cover this past week.
Unless you live under a rock than you know the President O came out strongly in support of gay marriage last week and continues to play the card every chance he gets.
Personally, I feel this is some great political grandstanding on Mr. O’s part, but truthfully it has disturbed me a little. Something you need to know about me is this: I LOVE POLITICS. I know, I know, minister’s aren’t supposed to get into it, but I am a fan of political stuff. I read the news a lot, read articles, watch the news, watch C-SPAN, etc. That being said, I love politics, but I really don’t care in the outcome of them…why? My worldview is that God is on the throne and He reigns. He’s bigger than the Supreme Court, or NATO, or the Euro Crisis, or The POTUS. Whatever man says doesn’t really hold much stock in the grand scheme.
However, there is something that burns my biscuits and that is the fact that the church is somehow supposed to be involved in politics. Sure, I understand taking action against evils like abortion, sex slavery, hunger, homelessness, etc. I AM ALL FOR THAT! However, we’ve somehow got it ingrained on our brains that we have to be the loudest, most obnoxious group in the political arena. They use the Name of God to further their political agenda and it makes me sick…and sad.
SIDE NOTE: Just so you know, I’m all for Marriage being defined as one man and one woman. That’s the way God designed it when it was instituted in the Garden of Eden. There is value and purpose in gender roles. The world views the church as judgmental, hypocritical, and politically motivated…and that’s exactly what Jesus warned us not to be. That being said, I lament the way God’s people have responded in the past as well as now to this issue, so I want to offer a couple practical things to remember to help deal with this issue while being salt and light in this dark world.
Jesus Called Us to Love Our Neighbor as Ourselves. Now, if you read the Scriptures this is instituted in the Schema, or Deuteronomy 6:4-9.
It helps to define our “neighbor” the way that God does. Back in Leviticus 19:19, God says it like this:
18 “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.”
But God takes it a step further and says,
“34 The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.”
So our neighbor, according to the Old Testament, and according to Jesus – they are the people we know…but they’re also the folks we DON’T KNOW.
Jesus shores this up with a nice bow on the package when He’s approached by a Lawyer of the day asking what the greatest commandment was – what was the one thing God wanted His people to know? Jesus replied:
29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31, NIV)
Remember Where You Came From.
In the epistle to the Corinthians Paul reminds them how important it is to remember where you came from. They crazy thing about this Scripture is this: it actually calls out homosexuality by name! Paul writes,
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 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor. 6:9-10, NIV)
Now, alot of people (me included) just stop there and say, “See! It’s calling out gays.” Yes, yes it is. But it is also calling out the ‘sexually immoral’ which would include all kinds of things from porn viewing to sex before marriage to lusting in your heart (Mt. 5), and on and on and on. It brings out thieves, greedy folks, idolaters, drunks, slanderers, swindlers, prostitutes…all kinds of thing that EVERY single one of us, at one time or another are guilty of.
Also with this Scripture the tendency is to stop and proof-text people to death…but finish the passage:
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 Cor. 6:11, NIV)
Wow! Before you were a Christian (assuming you who are reading are) you were ‘those’ people. You were the jacked up, messed up, busted, broken, hurting people. Remember that? Remember what it was like? You do. It was a dark, lonely place. What if someone hadn’t come to you with the good news of Jesus? You’d still be there, wouldn’t you? I know I would.
It is possible to be biblically conservative and yet still show the love of Jesus. I believe that homosexuality is a sin. I also believe that greed, treating people like garbage, oppressing the poor, selfish ambition, murder, hatred, and a plethora of others are sins too. We get so wrapped up in singling out homosexuality that we forget that it isn’t any worse than killing someone, stealing a Milky Way, or committing adultery. A sin is a sin is a sin to God and ALL sin has the same value – Death. The wages of sin is death – that’s our payment; what sin earns; what we’ll get…but the gift of God is in the work of Jesus on the cross…to pay for my sin, your sin, our sin…if we’ll only come to Him on His terms.
Maybe before you fire off about this subject you’ll realize you might be about to look more like the Westboro Baptist Church more than a disciple of Jesus Christ. Think carefully…speak slowly…love liberally…pursue peace and run from evil. May God bless you richly in Christ.