A Victory for Love?

Today’s Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states has been proclaimed a “victory for love”. While I am a huge proponent of love and believe in love, I don’t believe this is a victory for love. The LGBT community heaps vitriol and condemnation and threatened lawsuits on religious Americans who hold deep convictions in the sanctity of marriage as being between a man and woman. They don’t extend the same “love” as they have demanded over the years.

I strongly object to being labeled a “fear mongering hater” and a “bigot” and being accused of “hiding behind the Bible and my religion” because I truly, honestly believe marriage was designed for a man and woman. As a spiritual person, who believes in God and the Bible, I follow what I believe are God’s precepts for life. Do I always follow through? No, as a human being I fail and I sin but I still endeavor to do what I believe God wants me to do. I don’t pick and choose which rules to obey, I don’t single out Bible verses to follow while ignoring others. As a Christian person I love all people and accept all people but that doesn’t mean I have to agree or condone their choices in life.

As an example–my niece is a gay woman and a few years ago held a commitment ceremony (in lieu of marriage) with her partner. I chose not to attend although I love my niece dearly. When I visited her, I enjoyed my time with her and her partner who was a lovely, intelligent woman. It didn’t mean I condoned their lifestyle–it meant I loved my niece.

Non-believers will toss around the passage from John 8 where a woman is caught in the act of adultery and is dragged to the town square to be stoned for her offense. The crowd asks Jesus what should be done with her and Jesus looks at them and says, “Whoever is without sin cast the first stone.” Of course no one could, with a clear conscience, throw a rock at her and the crowd dispersed. But, this wasn’t the end of the story. Jesus looks at the woman and asks her, “Where are your accusers? Who condemns you?” She answers, “No one.” Jesus lifts her to her feet and says, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” Those last five words are key. Jesus loved the woman, he accepted her as a human being but he recognized her sin and told her, “Go and sin no more.”

As Christians, we believe if we reject what God says then we are legitimizing the very things he condemns. And yes, there are all kinds of sin–adultery, fornication, stealing, murder, envy, hatred, gluttony, ad infinitum. We are accused of honing in on homosexuality but the fact is, this issue has been thrust into the national spotlight and as citizens of the United States, protected by the First Amendment, we have the right to express our views as well. After all, we vote, we spend money here, we raise our families here, we work here. Yet, the very persons who have resounded and screamed for their rights would deny us the very rights they fight for.

A friend of mine from college, who is a film producer in the LGBT community, wrote an article for the Huffington Post accusing Christians of “hiding behind the Bible” as a way of saying our views and thoughts and deeply held beliefs are not valid. I don’t hide behind the Bible–I believe in the Bible, I believe in God and I believe morality doesn’t change even though our culture may. I will continue to live my life following my beliefs while loving and accepting those around me who choose to live their life in the manner they want.

 

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Do You Have The Guts?

I had surgery two weeks ago to repair damage done to my intestines from adhesions and strictures. It was the second time my abdomen has been opened up, in a nice long line, from my belly button to my pubic bone. During the surgery, the doctor pulls all of your intestines out and examines them inch by inch to make sure they get all the bad part taken care of. I had about a foot of small intestine removed because it was so damaged. It wasn’t a procedure I wanted to go through but it was necessary if I was to have any quality of life. I was malnourished and had lost a great deal of weight because the damage was preventing my body was using the vitamins and minerals I was taking in.

God never promised we would have a life free from pain and trouble. As a matter of fact, our lives are a little like my surgery. Over time, if we don’t take care, we build up scar tissue and strictures, from living defeated lives, which prevent us from having a closer relationship with God. We resent the trials and pain and blame God for our misfortunes. The nourishment we might receive from him passes through us because we are too damaged to use it. Our lives are cluttered with unnecessary barriers that need to be cleaned out so we can live a healthy, spiritual life.

The process is painful and takes time to heal but if you take one day at a time you will find yourself healthy and able to use the nourishment you receive. The question is: do you have the guts? Do you have the guts to examine your life and see where you need to clean out scar tissue and damage? Do you have the guts to allow God to clean up the areas of your life which need changing? Do you have the guts to face the process, knowing it will be painful, but worth it in the end?

Don’t wait until the strictures and scars in your life obstruct God’s work. Ask God to show you the areas in your life that need changing and fix them now before you need spiritual surgery to correct the problem.