I have yet to really introduce myself on this blog and since this post will really involve alot of who I am, I will fill you in a bit. First of all, I am a Christian. That in itself will evoke varied responses which is the overall theme of this post. Second I am a wife of 17 years this Friday. Third, I am a mom of 5, two of which are homeschooled. I am alot of other things as well, and maybe some would call me a few things that I wouldn't, but these are the 3 major occupations I have.
I have come to see that alot of the things we learn in history, completely tie in to what we experience in daily life. Certainly, there is nothing new under the sun where human behavior is concerned...or is there? I will expound on that later. But I have come to believe that, from a creationist standpoint, that statement applies to EVERYthing.
Now I hate Christianese, but having grown up with it, alot of the things I know about "Christian" things are associated with it, so bear with me. I often try to break away from it with a poor ability to describe what I am thinking in other terms.
All of these thoughts have stemmed from an argument among Christians right now about a stupid movie. Of all things, you would think Christians would be the first to get along, but I have found that we argue amongst ourselves more than Democrats and Republicans. What is wrong with us?
First of all, I see nothing in the scripture that tells us we are to legislate, command, compel, or impose our beliefs on the rest of society. Don't get me wrong, I am a conservative Christian and do not like the way our country is going. I do believe in the political system and am appalled that our government does not uphold the moral standards agreed upon by, yes I'm going to say it and based on election results it is true, the MAJORITY. Special interest groups have ruined this country as far as I am concerned and the judicial system has either been taken over by them (in most cases) or been bullied by them. I do believe we have a right and responsibility AS AMERICAN CITIZENS (not as Christians) to fight against such things in the political arena. I do not, however, believe that Christ's command to go into the world and preach the good news, meant that we are to require everybody else to live like us. I DO believe we are required to TELL about Jesus and the Salvation message, but I believe that it is up to the Holy Spirit to convict.
Let me put this as succinctly as I know how. I do not believe that any form of persuasion will sway a person who is not ready to hear. I DO believe that when we share the Gospel, if it is not heard right away, it will be when the time is right. I do not believe that the Word of God EVER returns to Him void. If the Word of God is spoken, the seed is planted and God Himself is able to cause it to grow in His time.
Ask any Christian and you will get a different point of veiw on this matter. Oh yes, they all say they love the sinner and hate the sin, but how many would actually reach out to a woman in the church if they found out she had a secret addiction to sex, or a young boy in the church who thinks he is gay? How many of them would not hesitate to preach at them about their sin and leave them to struggle with the guilt? How many would look them in the eye and say, I am going to stick with you through this all the way? Moreso, how many would go outside of the church and reach out to someone who lives a remorseless, sinful lifestyle? How many would even associate themselves with a person like that? I would venture to say that most would turn thier stiff, haughty backs to them and boycott whatever they do.
I speak of myself. I am just as guilty. I have done that very thing. But if God disciplines those He loves, He must really love me. It has not been easy, nor is it complete, but I am learning that God's command to love Him, and to love those around me, were really the only commands. The other 8 all fall under those 2. And those commands were from my God to me, not for me to give to everyone else. All I can do is share those commands, they are not my commands to enforce. I am simply to love and to show God's love. There is nothing else I can do to make someone want Christ. NOTHING. In doing ANYthing else, I risk weakening my testimony. I am human enough as it is, I don't need to add to the risk. It is a delicate balance and I have to say that failure is imminent.
The only way to imagine how I am supposed to be is to imagine how Jesus would have been. It is very easy to imagine Him just hanging out with a bunch of friends, laughing and having fun. Can you imagine Him carrying a picket sign or sending e-mails asking people to boycott? Can you see Jesus, at ANY time looking with disgust at any human being? What about the hooker on the corner on your way home from work? Would He make a face and offer up a half-hearted prayer for her? What about the guy that walks by you with a months worth of grime on him and is obviously drunk? I don't think Jesus would have even held his nose. What about the guy in your office that is obviously having an affair with the girl down the hall? I could go on and on.
I have a theory that the disagreement all goes back to the tower of Babel. Humankind had just come through the flood and was flourishing. We all know that Godliness is not necessarily passed from one generation to the next and it obviously hadn't back then either. Man had not forgotten God, but had lost his reverence for God and had grown proud of his own accomplishments. Everyone spoke the same language and, here is the possible exception to the "nothing's new" idea, everyone agreed.
God had told man to reproduce and "fill the earth", but man was having such a good time together that they decided to just hang out together instead of spreading out. So they all decide to build this big city and, "oh by the way, let's build this tower thing to heaven so we can hang with God too!" (At least that's how I imagine it.) But God said to Himself, "if they aren't gonna do what I said, We're gonna make it so they have to do it." God confused the languages and no body has gotten along since. Well, maybe. I have to wonder though if when He confused the languages, the confusion ran so deep that even when we could communicate, we still misunderstood each other.
Perhaps the whole reason we can't agree is due to the fact that we just can't communicate our meaning well. Perhaps that is why we can't even grasp the meaning of scripture the same way. Maybe the only real language it can be completely understood in is the language God gave man from the beginning.
I have one more thing to point out. American Christians have it made. I wish they would all take a look at history. No where in all of time past have Christians had it so good. No where in all of the world are Christians the majority like they are here. I want to know where this idea that we have a mandate to make sure everyone else is doing right came from. We (Christians) have been the minority, the martyred, the persecuted, throughout history. Jesus told us to go share the gospel and not to deny Him, but nowhere do I see that we are to be the moral police.
I recieved an e-mail today concerning that previously mentioned movie. The writer said "the world has gone so far toward accepting homosexuality that now it is being shoved down our throats." Well, the Christians have always had stuff shoved down their throats. We always will. Does that mean we are to respond in kind? Jesus Himself had an awful lot shoved down his throat. He never even spoke back. Never argued. Never demanded His rights. Never preached at those who were doing the "shoving". He never even said the condescending "I'm going to pray for you". But as He was dying, he prayed for God to forgive them cause they didn't know what they were doing. "They" still don't know what they are doing. Even when we tell them. They still don't KNOW and until God reveals that to them, they won't. Even then, it is THEIR choice, not ours.
She went on to say:
"NOW we are expected to
tolerate it and embrace it. It is no longer an issue
of love. Loving the sinner doesn't mean supporting
his every decision, loving the sinner is speaking the
truth gently and consistently."
Yes, we are expected to tolerate it. Not by any human, but by God Himself. He gave man free will. He tolerates it and He doesn't even have to. He will be the judge. Not us. We don't have to support anyone's decisions. We are just told to love. Speak the truth, yes, but we are told we will be despised and hated for that. We cannot, and should not, expect anything more.
Go see the movie "The end of the Spear". Then write to Chad Allen and tell him God loves him and so do you. His choices are his to make.