In the past four days I have filled up 21 pages in my journal. It might just be a new record. Most of it are my scribbled thoughts, ideas, prayers, & struggles with the church’s response to the SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States, if you’re not good with acronyms) decision to make same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states.
For the record, I support the decision 100%.
And I still love Jesus and believe he is the way, the truth, and the life.
I support the ruling for several reasons. And I’ll hopefully share them later. There are so many many layers to my thoughts and feelings.
But the biggest reason? Because it’s fair. And that’s what America is about (or should be, when everyone is following all the rules).
Christian friends, the government is not the church. The laws of the land are created (and often amended) for one reason: to ensure liberty and justice for all.
If the freedom you’re asking for doesn’t hinder anyone else’s freedom then, chances are, you’ll be allowed to have it in America (again, if everyone is playing by the rules).
Does allowing women to vote violate the men’s rights in any way? Nope.
Does freeing slaves violate the already-free white people’s rights in any way? Nope.
Does allowing Christians the freedom to worship the God of the Bible violate the Muslims’ rights in any way? Nope.
Does allowing two men or two women to get married violate the rights of men and women who want to marry the opposite sex? Nope.
(I read this today and believe it’s so true: When someone tries to take away your rights, that’s called persecution. When someone else gets rights you already enjoy, that’s called sharing.)
I know know know know know that homosexuality goes against God’s plan for marriage as laid out in the Bible, but America’s laws are not based on the book only Christians believe to be God’s truth.
As Gabe pointed out today, America was founded on the inalienable rights of life, love, and the pursuit of happiness, NOT life, love, and the pursuit of godliness.
In America, people are allowed to live together & have sex without getting married (the Bible says no) and get divorced for most any reason they want (the Bible says no) and get drunk if they’re 21+, don’t drive, and don’t physically hurt another person (the Bible says no).
In America, men can have long hair and women short hair (the Bible says no). And lots and lots of other things.
We can’t be all for separation of church & state (and the pursuit of happiness) when it suits us and rail against it when it doesn’t. We might think we want Christianity legalized in our country, but Constantine did that once upon a time in the Roman Empire, and it ENDED BADLY.
And, besides, which Christians would get to make the laws? It’s not like any of us really agree on everything the Bible says (see: Christian men with long hair). We all interpret it so differently. And we all think we’re right.
I’ve been saddened by the fearful, doomsday response by many Christians to this landmark event in American history. I think it’s a crazy-amazing opportunity to show the world the love of Jesus, and I’m afraid we’re going to blow it. My stomach is all in knots, and I feel like people are going to run even faster in the opposite direction of Jesus and his “followers.”
But God has been whispering to me, “So you think this is too big for me, huh?” and I’m reminded that, no, it’s not.
God is still on his throne.
For people who are scared of this ruling, this is good news. For people who are scared of what the people who are scared of this ruling are going to do in the name of Jesus, this is good news.
And I’m slowly, prayerfully, reading back through the Gospels and asking the Holy Spirit to give me the eyes and ears and mind and heart of Jesus.
One thing that keeps repeating in my brain: “Are gay people going to be more likely to listen to us talk about Jesus if we 1.) graciously give them the rights we already have or 2.) fume and lament that they’re allowed to get married??
(Never mind the huge chunk of people who identify as both gay AND Christ-followers. Another post perhaps?)
I know many people disagree with me, but I so, so firmly believe that we should LIVE JESUS FIRST before we ever ever say THE BIBLE SAYS YOUR LIFESTYLE IS A SIN.
My job? Love. Holy Spirit’s job? Conviction.
One of the things the Spirit convicted me of this weekend was that I need to react with love, not frustration and anger, when (I think) people are being hateful. And I need to make sure I’m not hating in return. Grace for all.
Lots more to say on the topic. (I meant this to post to be about 100 words and a bunch of links. Ha.) But, for now, sooooooo thankful for others who have been saying what’s all jumbled up in my head, gut, and on the pages of my poor journal.
Stuff to Read:
1.) I’ve heard lots of Christians talk about how much persecution we’re under now.
2.) Another thing I’m hearing: God is going to judge our nation for this.
5.) Distorted love.
7.) Could this ruling actually be a gift for evangelical Christians?
(If you have a link to share, have a go at it in the comments. I’ll try not to let it get sent to spam.)
I do want to keep this conversation going, but I know there are so many other things we want to talk about too (racial reconciliation, depression & suicide, Cambodia, other justice stuff, third culture kids, living our passions, how awesome Jesus is…). So little time…
Someone also asked me recently if I hate America & white suburban Americans (she asked in the nicest way possible, and I’m leaving out the context), so that might be something I tackle on here as well. (The short answer? No. The long answer? No, but…)
Until next time, peace to you, friends!