California and Gay Marriage...

This is by far the most sensitive blog so far. I have words for both sides that neither will like but this is how I see it.

Those of you who call yourselves Christ-followers these words are for you. We all know scripture's stance on homosexuality. There are few verses but they are clear. It believes that it is a mal-socialization and the world has told you this was a stupid stance. But what was your response to the world? Was it love or war? Peace or punishment? Sympathy and Empathy or Judgment? Grace or hate? I think we know the answer to this. "Well," you might say, "We can't let them steal our institution." There is more wrong with this statement than I care to argue and this is complex but I will bring Christ words in to it like we always should.

"Woe to you, blind guides! You say, 'If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.' You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? You also say, 'If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.' You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? Therefore, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. And he who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. And he who swears by heaven swears by God's throne and by the one who sits on it."
~(Matthew 23:16-23, Jesus to the pharisees)
Jesus looks at the pharisees and gives them harsh words. These are the men that love religion. These are the men that embody the great religion of God. They try their hardest to follow the scriptures. They do everything that God has told them to since the beginning and as literally as possible. Yet our perfect Lord Jesus comes and is not harsher to any other group than these. He fights with them all the way until they kill him. Here he tells them that, again, they have it wrong. And what should I ask you, "Which is greater: The institution or the One that makes the institution sacred? Do you swear fidelity by the institution or by the Uniter?"

What then do we have to be afraid of? What do we have to defend, even at the expense of our reputations? The answer is nothing. There is no institution which requires our defense to the point where we lose our only distinguishing mark. Christ said, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another... I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends..."
~(John 13:34-35 & 15:9-14)
Are we known to all men for our love for one another (not only love but the intensity of love like Christ)? I think we also know the answer to this. We have become known for the things we hate. We have been characterized by those things we are against. We have become defined by our dislikes. And not just regular hate, dislikes and things contrary but all of those with such an intensity that we look like our enemies. We are not known for our love.

For those of you who are saying to yourselves, "Yeah! get 'um!" here are your words. You too are trying to legalize institutional morality. For all the religion bashing you may want to participate in, you too are a part of a group that holds certain beliefs very important; maybe even illogically. They are beliefs, not facts. It is a moral position and a relatively new one at that. It is far more complex than any side is making it. They may be trying to force their beliefs on you but this is not any different than what you are doing to them. These are not criticism so please don't take offense, this is merely a way of asking you to put yourself in their shoes and see the commonalities of both the actions and beliefs.

Christians, please for the sake of Christ's teaching, do not gloat or boast victorious about this latest judicial decision for surely man's court will one day be for you and the next day against. Instead, "Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil... If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."
~(Romans 12:14-18)

May we come to see that it is not about winning or losing but about how we treat eachother in the process. May we come to see that our enemies need to change but in "pointing out the speck in our neighbor's eye" may we see "the plank in our own." May we see that we are not so different after all (in our iniquity and in our endeavor) in the good and bad. May we see Christ even in our enemies and love others even to the death of institutions and especially ourselves.

Blessings and Peace!

P.S.
On a completely unrelated note: Go buy The Welcome Wagon's album, it is so simple and catchy that you will weep with joy and delight...

Comments

  1. These are truly humbling words. Once again, thank you.

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  2. With respect, I would point out that it is entirly fitting that those who love this county, and understand the role of the Government, celebrate when an attack on the very fiber of society is deflected. This issue is clearly between offenive and defensive opponents. Do not be ashamed to be on God's side. I'm sure that in the case of Soddom and Gamorah, there was no thought as to the feelings of those who defiled themselves and spit in the face of all that is Good. Thank you for your thoughts.

    Bo Scott

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  3. Thank you, Bo, for your great words, I love to hear diverse opinions. I think I am more wordy but let me simplify (which is what I should have done in the first place). I am not afraid to be on God's side and in fact think that gloating in victory given by a fickle human court is not being on God's side. The courts will turn again and we just lent credence to them. Our position stands in the face of institutions (Even the one of marriage; which let's be honest, you probably hold higher than Christians). I love this country but not more than God, or his teachings, or people. We, as people of faith, have citizenship elsewhere and our brothers and sisters are not our patriots.

    We would all do well to study the case of Sodom and Gomorrah for there are many sexual elements about it, but many other sins that might even be worse. Lack of hospitality is the historical Jewish interpretation. It wasn't until late Christianity that we viewed it as a text about sex and even in Christianity there are two views (sex and hospitality). Either way we should still be more humble and compassionate especially to those we disagree with and who might even hate us.

    Thanks again! I really do look forward to more conversation with you.

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  4. Good point jaymes, i don't think i've ever heard christ brag about his victory over ever death. I would love to see a forum where "christ-followers" as you put it, can reach out to those who are confused on the whole prop 8 mess...And maybe even one step better: those who believe against it...and maybe one step better then that: to fellow "christ-followers" who need to calm down and be more humble to others feelings, i think we are quick to forget that for some their whole world is turned up-side-down when prop 8 was voted yes, should we as christains rejoice in the sorrow of others? no, we should reach out with them like a parent that wont let their kid play in the steet, not to compare gays as kids who don't know better..but harshly it very well may be the fiting, and as children we should love them and teach them and care for them, not give them OUR set of rules and ethics and enjoy watching them try and "get by"
    Christ loves them and so should we, I think we were all "glad" to see the result of the prop 8 stand, let's not be proud, but rather sympathetic. Let's give the kids a place to learn and grow and feel loved, rather then just tell them they can't play in the street.
    Yoose~

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  5. Good to point out the difference of being for G-d or being for the courts. Can we serve two (or more) masters, G-d of creation and the gods of this country? I would argue no. And thanks for your appreciation of the Jewish interpretive tradition. Sodom and Gomorrah's sins were far more diverse than simply sexual sin.

    This is such a challenging subject. I support it whenever people even bring it up and attempt to have a conversation instead of just "beating with a book everyone that book told them to love," in the words of Brand New.

    Love and peace!

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