Saturday, June 27, 2015

3 Things to Remember About the Church and the Gay Marriage Ruling - Part 1

I'm hesitant to pollute the FB waves with even more commentary on the recent Supreme Court decision to make Gay Marriage legal.  However, posts at the far ends of the spectrum compel me to voice my position. This may be partly so that I know where I stand personally, then can verbalize it to others as they ask me. It is also so that I will quit yelling at my FB screen from reactionary scares my children when I do that.

So here goes round one...and as with much good practical theology and doctrinal position, is subject to change.

1. Marriage still belongs to God and the Church will go on.  It's interesting to me that the Church was birthed in Greece and Roman culture. Our New Testament was fuel to a movement called Christianity in cultures where marriage and sex were practiced outside of God's instructions and commandments. Still, the Church thrived, people came to Christ and sought lives that honored the God in which they served and worshiped. The United States is not accustomed  to being a culture that is post-modern to Christianity, and it scares us to death.  There are cultures around the globe where the framework of marriage and sexual relations is foreign to our "Christian values." Missionaries can attest to this.  Still, marriage is an institute of God. There is no shortage of values and practices in life where the "created" don't honor the "Creator." Even we heterosexual protectors of marriage and family values have our own kinks in the armor of following Christ. Still, it all belongs to God and this is His story in the will end the way He wants it to.  We must not be scared that God has lost control.

2. We are instructed to NOT judge those outside the Church for homosexuality.  Paul, in writing a letter to a church within a culture that practiced sexual relations outside of the boundaries of God's instruction, instructed them to refrain from judging.  1 Corinthians 5:9-11 says: When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. 10 But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. 11 I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people...

We don't seem to think the country is crumbling because of these issues.
(I don't see many Christians today refusing to associate with those in the Church that practice abuse on their family, cheating on taxes and the such, or seem to worship other things than God...hmmm)

A good question I was asked by someone I respect very much:  "Do you believe homosexuality is really a sin?"  My answer:  "Yes".  So is my battle with wanting more cars, nice stuff, judgement of other people, etc...  

For those of us who use the Bible as a guide to know God's desires and wishes for life, it is very hard to skip over Romans 1:26-27 26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men,... 

If you don't use the Bible as guide, then I can certainly understand why we disagree....but I love you just as much. 

3. God's love is not dependent on how someone acts.  Boy, do we love to preach about grace! Salvation by faith and not works is the proud flag flown for decades by fundamental evangelicalism (right below the American flag). Excuse my pointed frustration, as you can sense in my writing, but I'm am fed up with Christian knowledge that falls short of being lived out when relationships get hard. When we put our love on a restricted basis, available only when someone acts the way we want, we are communicating an incorrect Gospel. God loves us in spite of our life activity...does He want us to transform and change? Absolutely, but that is a process of loving relationship with God and, more importantly, with loving community (Christians). It's no wonder we Christians are seen as the most judgmental group in America today.  If we want America to be Christian, maybe we need to start acting Christian first! 

I'm sure there is more to come. With each FB post I read, instead of yelling, I'll add a sequel to this post.

This ends part 1... I feel better

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