I am fascinated with the responses that I receive from some of my thoughts. I used to be terrified of them; well at least the negative responses. It was emotionally paralyzing.
Now, I’m just fascinated. Though, I will confess that sometimes I do venture towards an emotional response (i.e. irritation or sadness).
A few posts back I shared some of my thoughts on homosexual marriage – NOT HOMOSEXUALITY, just homosexual marriage. It was one of my most read posts, ever. And I received a lot of feedback. Some of it was people agreeing. Some of it was from some who disagreed, but were appreciative of the dialogue. And others . . . well, that’s where the emotional response part comes in. But that’s neither here nor there.
As I have pondered and prayed about my own thoughts (and the thoughts of others) I have become increasingly alarmed at two things: (1) the pool of hypocrisy that we (conservative evangelicals) so willingly wade into. (2) Our willingness to confuse and abuse the separation of church and state.
Here’s an example of what I mean.
As I scroll through Facebook I see so many of “us” blasting our President. Not just for his politics, but for our judgments about the morality and ethics of his politics. When it goes against “us” we cry foul. Well, more like yell, throw things and curse the assailant. But with a straight face we insist that the same politicians legislate, not only ethics and morality, but Kingdom ethics and morality – i.e. Sermon on the Mount kind of stuff.
Can we really have it both ways? Nope. That’s called hypocrisy. It’s okay for our politicians to get involved in “religious” issues as long as it goes our way. But as soon as we get a liberal democrat stirring things up and going the opposite direction we get bent out of shape.
Should we even want to have it one of those ways? That’s for you to decide. For me personally, I am apolitical (or maybe Libertarian?). But that has less to do with my Faith and more to do with my lack of faith in the participants in the political arena. I understand how that might concern you. I really do; and I respect your concerns and your right to have them. Perhaps that’s something that I need to mature out of?
I’ve kind of digressed here. I wanted to respond to some of the comments I received about the “Homosexual Marriage” post. I was taken to task by folks who couldn’t understand how I, a Christian and a preacher, could not be totally against homosexual marriage. Well, here’s a couple of points to consider. First, I am against homosexual marriage because it’s a continued act of disobedience to God (the first act of disobedience is having sex with a person of your gender). Second, what I questioned (I never said I was for or against anything) was whether or not it was helpful, in terms of peoples’ souls, to legislate against homosexual marriage.
In other words, I am hesitant to ask any government or political entity to do what I ought to be doing as a follower of Christ.
This is really what scares and alarms me; that Christians have developed the idea that our jobs or responsibility is to get our government to legislate and enforce the behaviors that Christ is calling for us to live out and model for others to see. If our purpose, as Jesus followers, is to show people how to be Jesus followers with us, then I have to believe our best road is to follow Jesus’ example when it comes to lifestyles that are disobedient to God.
Jesus chose the relational route to discipleship and conversion. Don’t you think that if GOD wanted to, he could have set up an earthly Kingdom where he legislated and enforced behaviors?
Instead, Jesus got into people’s lives. He came to them, where they were and loved on them. That’s what initiated a change in people’s lives. Not telling them that they weren’t allowed to do something that they would probably do anyways.
One last thought. Our heritage in the Churches of Christ and Restoration Movement have not always felt the way we do about a Christians’ involvement in the political process. You might be surprised to discover that it really wasn’t until Jerry Falwell and the Moral Majority came along that we really jumped on that bandwagon.