Recent events in the US has many people on the edge of their seats. I have never seen emotions so high as they have been this year. Particularly, racism and the recent ruling by the US Supreme Court on same sex marriages. I know the media feeds a lot of this emotional stuff to us because it creates advertising revenue by more visits to their articles. Meanwhile, the TPP has been going on under the radar and yes you should be concerned about it.
When taking Psychology in art school, I learned that two of the most emotional moments in life are sex and death. The thought is to include any one or both of these emotional attributes in advertising and you will get people’s subconscious attention.
Well I think both have been overrun by racism and same sex marriage.
I have opinions on these matters, but I know that whatever I say will be either taken out of context for support or I will be considered not fair to others and hateful. Either way I don’t win so why put myself in a position where someone is not going to like me?
Therein lies my problem. I don’t want anyone to not like me or mislabel anything I believe in. But people do that anyway so why would I let that stop me from saying anything? I don’t want to say something about these so you can hear me. I want to say something about these things because I want you to understand me.
I’ve been a Christian for about 21 years now and in my early Christian years I liked to tell a lot of people about what I believed and about my new friend, Jesus. I realized very quickly that many people, even in the church, were not as passionate about Jesus as I was. He changed my life and gave me purpose and I wanted to tell the world about Him. But in my latter years as a Christian, I began to see that I must consider the person and the circumstances of the person in order to share what I believed so that the impact of the message is better received. Everyone has a story behind their life and understanding the story is paramount to conveying the message right.
So if I tell you what I believe about the current issues people are talking about, it would have to be in a way that I understand you so as to not offend you. But the problem is that I do not know you so I cannot write in way that you will not be offended. You will just have to understand me even if it is hard from a screen.
God is love. Everything I believe in has to stem from this fact. God loves us immensely and some people think that it means that He says “yes” to everything. But love doesn’t always say “yes.” In fact, love says “no” many times. Many people’s picture of God comes from the “nos.” “Thou shall not..” is a prime example. People love to share the “Thou shall nots” because they are that way. But God is not all about the “nos.” Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10b.
Abundant life doesn’t mean whatever you feel you want to do is OK. God wants to protect us and in doing so He wants us to not do certain things. In my sinful nature, if I do not keep it in check, my heart and mind will lust after other women who are not my wife. But just because my heart and mind want to do that doesn’t mean that it is OK. It is betrayal, plain and simple, and would wreck the union I have with my wife. I would not understand this completely if I had not read, “You shall not commit adultery.” and “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Exodus 20:14; Matthew 5:28. So instead of living out whatever comes into my heart and mind, I am protected by God’s Word and it sets my path to a path of abundant living. I learned that God knows me better than what I know of myself and He knows what is best for me. The minute I place my life in my own hands, it sets me on a path toward destruction.
Now to the “issues.”
There is not going to be segregation in heaven so why use God to back yourselves up for your discriminatory mindset. People who favor their own race above others and believe in God are in danger of the judgement. Segregation is a concept of the world and I do not want any part of it. Knowing how much Jesus loves me and seeing that He loves everyone the same teaches me that showing partiality because of the color of my skin is not reflective of God’s character.
“For there is no partiality with God.” Romans 2:11.
“For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe.” Deuteronomy 10:17.
“Yet He is not partial to princes, nor does He regard the rich more than the poor; for they are all the work of His hands.” Job 34:19.
“Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality.” Acts 10:34.
“These things also belong to the wise: It is not good to show partiality in judgment.” Proverbs 24:23.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28.
People say “Let’s put prayer back in school.” or “The US is a Christian nation.” so they expect our government to reflect God. But that is the craziest mindset. Whose God should the government represent? If you say, “what Christians believe,” then which denomination? Protestant or Catholic? There are a lot of differences. Some people believe in “once saved always saved.” Some people believe the Law of God is still binding. Some people believe you can pray to Mary or any of the saints and others don’t believe this. Some people still worship on Sabbath (Saturday) and some churches think the Sabbath was changed to Sunday. Where does the government stop reflecting what Christians believe? You see how ridiculous this can be? If you want prayer back in school, would it be OK to pray to a saint or to Mary if you are a Protestant? A perspective is in order to see this clearly.
Jesus will come again, sin will be destroyed, and He will set up new heavens and a new Earth. If you are trying to set something up here on Earth for Him, He doesn’t need you to do that for Him. All He wants you to do to is to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20.
My view on marriage is that God has intended this to be between a man and a woman. He made us with specific organs that complement each other and any sexual relationship between a man and another man or woman and another woman that tries to replace this is contrary to that intention. But because I believe in God and His Holy Word, this is my stance. You can disagree with it all you want but you cannot change what I believe because to me, His Word is eternal.
Let me show you some Scripture to back this up for my belief:
“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.
“You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.” Leviticus 18:22.
“If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination.” Leviticus 20:13.
“Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”
“For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.”
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” Romans 1:22-32.
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God;” 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5.
Again, I listed these passages not to hail condemnation onto anyone, but to show you why I believe what I believe. You can see that there are a lot more things that God is displeased with, including people who love to talk behind other peoples’ backs, unloving, unforgiving, etc. This is only to back up what I believe.
But hear me out on this: I hold a distinction between the church and the world and I do not believe the church should run the world. All we have to do is look back on history and see what happens in a theocracy. In a theocracy, people suffer and are forced into believing certain ways about God. We can look to the Muslim countries and see how people are forced to align their beliefs to what Muslims believe. If they choose to believe something else they can be put to death.
So I hold a clear distinction between God’s church and the world. The US Supreme Court ruled not based on what the Bible teaches but what the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the laws of the land say. They weren’t debating Scripture in their decision so quit using God in the debate.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” – US Bill of Rights, 1 Amendment.
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” US Bill of Rights, 14th Amendment – Section 1.
So not only does our Constitution protect people from religious people, but also protects religious people so that they can worship and live what they believe. And if there are conflicting laws in the US that appear to disenfranchise certain people, the US Supreme Court has to try to reconcile them.
So I hope you can respect my beliefs and the beliefs of others like me. I’m not going to tell you that you cannot be a homosexual. I’m not going to argue with you about gay marriage. But please don’t tell me that my church has to follow what the world does and please don’t tell me that what I believe is hateful. I serve a God of love and I don’t hate anyone. If I hate you, then God will be displeased with me and I will be in danger of the judgement. I can disagree with you and still love you as a person. My hope is that my life will be an example to what others would want for themselves. And if not, then that is a personal choice.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. That means everyone.