I'm an American in addition to being a believer in the God and the Biblical text. There was a time when those two things were nearly indistinguishable due to popularity and national patriotism. I support the rule of law and justice. I can see that our legislative model is patterned after Biblical law.
I'd like to consider myself patriotic, but foremost I'd like to consider myself to be follower of God. Those two do not always overlap.
Yesterday 5 judges said that people who classify themselves as homosexual cannot be barred from getting married in all 50 states. I don't know where the separation of church and state was in that one, but that isn't my point here. Facebook was a wash with rainbows and the masses celebrating the court ruling. Many of them mocking people who disagree with the stance on homosexuality. I had a few discussions with an assortment of people, many whom at times seemed to be arguing someone that they assumed I was. I stated that homosexuality is wrong. What I didn't say was that I supported a constitutional ban on same sex marriage, and that I was grieved by the ruling by the court because now it's all ew gay people and people should all adhere to my belief system. I think some people heard that, even though I didn't say it.
Other people began posting about liberty and the united states being the land of the free. People have the right to sin, that is even afforded in the biblical text:
“See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the Lord your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it. - Deuteronomy 30
God did not set before us only life and prosperity and demand that we walk in it. He gave a cross roads and said one of these are right and good and the other is rough and wrong, you choose.
There are people that would want to dictate that saying that something is wrong is hate speech, bigotry or intolerance. It is not imposing views on people to tell them a way is wrong.
What many believers fail at here is how to state a truth without invoking anger or contempt.
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth
- 1 cor 13
How we express truth is often as important as the truth itself.
If you read the story of the woman at the well in John 4 there are a few major points that stand out.
1) The Messiah is waiting for the woman, not all super jerk like demanding that she repent and come clean and then set up a meeting with the disciples in order to come and meet with Him.
2) He strikes up a conversation with the woman. he doesn't come right out and scream at her for sleeping around. He has a conversation with her about the truth.
3)" At this point His disciples came, and they were amazed that He had been speaking with a woman, yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or, “Why do You speak with her?”"
This woman, a sinner, who has the liberty to sin or not, and may not believe that there is anything wrong with her sin was graciously approached by the Son of God, who had a conversation with her, even though any one of them probably would have scared her away from the truth by their actions. He did not impose His will on her. He told her the truth. He didn't hate her, but He told her the truth.
4) Because He told her the truth, many people were saved.
Many people do not want the things of God and when the get them in their fullness, and they taste the pain of sin, they blame God for some reason for not impeding their liberty.
I'm not one of the people that is going to sit here and tell everyone that they are going to hell for any one specific sin. I will say the uncomfortable truth that Sin results in consequence, and consequence and judgment is not pleasurable. There is a way that seems right to a man but it's end is the way of death ( proverbs 14). That doesn't mean that I hate sinners, that means that I care about what happens to them. I tell people that eating things that God has said aren't food is sin. I love the people, but I don't pretend that isn't wrong. It isn't my job to get people to repent, it is my job to tell them the truth.
Pride is the same level of sin as homosexuality, and there are some very proud people who hate people who call themselves homosexuals. I find that point pretty ironic actually. I've wrestled with pride my own self, that doesn't make it okay. I still wrestle with pride, that still doesn't mean that other sins are acceptable based on popularity.
yeah, I guess that will suffice for this months post.