For the past couple of days, I’ve been listening to an extended debate regarding the legalization of gay marriage, and the “rights” and “responsibilities” thereof. It occurred to me today that the primary reason for the whole debate, other than the financial benefits gained for gay couples from such legislation, is that gays are seeking the same thing everyone else wants — a legitimate, long-term relationship. Human beings were created for monogamous relationships. It is how our psyches function and where the greatest stability comes from. Ultimately, even gays want some sense of that, and they believe, and hope, that legalizing their relationships will give them that.
I found the book shown below in our local library. I’m just starting to read it, but the cover of the book caught my attention and so I want to see what this guy’s theory is about. I’m sure I will comment on it here as I work my way through it.
This whole business with Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake’s performance at the Super Bowl this past weekend has sparked huge controversy internationally (even the British are marking remarks). Did they violate obscenity laws? Is TV becoming too lewd and crude? What is it really that big of a deal?
The whole problem with this discussion is that one side of the argument insists that morals are a human construct, and that, subsequently, morals change, even ‘evolve’. On the other side of the argument is that side that declares that morals are constant, that they haven’t changed since the Ten Commandments were handed down (to use the words of the notable Rush Limbaugh). As Christians, we stand on the moral absolute side, yet sometimes I wonder if we don’t forget that we are often talking to people who don’t believe in moral absolutes. We know right from wrong because it is clearly spelled out for us in the Bible, and we need to remember that we are talking with people who, just because they weren’t offended by the display (and by continuing downward spiral of morality on TV), don’t believe it to be morally objectionable.
In the long run, the goal is the same as it always has been. Win souls to Christ. Encourage the saints. We aren’t going to change people’s minds about morals without first introducing them to the One who established morals in the first place.
This will very likely be a shorter post than I would like, since it is late, my stomach is empty, and I have a good-sized headache — but I will see what I can do to stimulate some thinking.
Tim Wilkins, former homosexual and founder of Cross Ministry, frequently points out that the opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality, but rather holiness. It follows in my mind that this can be said of everything, that the opposite of is not its logical opposite, but holiness.
I Peter 1:13 – 16 (NIV) — Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy” (emphasis added). Ephesians lays out further specifics of this principle.
I think we should be relieved. This, in some ways, makes it easier for us to live Christly. Instead of focusing on a list of do’s and don’ts, we can focus on what it means to be holy, what it means to be like Christ, our example of the Almighty. In the process, if we are striving to meet that goal of holiness, the do’s and don’ts have a way of taking care of themselves, via the work of the Holy Spirit.
Call me weird, call me a heretic, if you will. But I don’t believe that our government should be based on the will of the Christian ‘minority’…. I believe it should be based upon the will of the majority. Granted, our nation was initially founded on biblical principles. It was founded on the notion that freedom would reign, that people would be able to worship God as they see fit, even if the God they serve is merely themselves. America was founded as a republic, a place where the people could have a say as to how they govern themselves. The reason that I believe the way I do is because of this notion, that the people choose the shape of their country’s government. Christianity will thrive no matter the shape of the government. Christianity is not a religion of authoritarianism or of dictatorship. It is a kingdom of grace and truth, and it is our responsibility to bring others into the kingdom, not by force, but by the grace and power and love of God. Some Christians think we should force the rest of the nation to become something of a theocracy, but I know from experience that the best way to turn someone off to God is to force them to ‘love’ and ‘serve’ Him. So, let the people choose their government, and let the Christians continue to do what they do, serve God and love others into the Kingdom, sharing the truth in love, as we are commanded, and bearing up under the persecution that results from those who hate us.
P.S. Don’t get me wrong…. I’m not saying that Christians can’t or shouldn’t be involved in politics. I think we should be involved in every arena of life. I just think that we should focus on the eternal, using the temporal to affect the lives of others as we can. And, hey, if we again end up with a government based upon biblical principles and run according to God’s law, then so be it (though I doubt we will ever see a Christian society again until the millenial reign).
I am such a putz. I’m being real open and vulnerable here, but basically, as a person, I suck!!! The past few days I’ve been having major problems with my computer. Basically a stupid virus (or set of viruses) has been ransacking my Internet Explorer, to the point where I had to uninstall it and replace it with Netscape Communicator. And do you think I responded with grace and patience and a general spirit of good Christianity? Of course not! I lost my temper, threw a tantrum, swore and yelled and screamed and acted really quite childish! So, basically, I’m a jerk and a loser who can’t control his temper, who lets rage drive him to points of madness. I SUCK!
You know, it’s good to know that our British friends have more common sense than their American counterparts. I’ve been listening to a jazz station out of London, England, via the world wide web. Just a few moments ago, I heard a news report about how Americans are considering adding cigarette-style warnings onto chocolate bars because some obese people have complained that they became fat from eating too much chocolate without appropriate warnings. A British judge considering the same case for the UK said that kind of thing just “wouldn’t wash here” because it is considered ideological common sense that eating too much chocolate would cause weight gain. It’s too bad we Americans can’t figure out the same thing!!!!
Man’s search for a unified body of knowledge has led to a “forcing” of that unity because he has not been able to attain it in any rational sort of way, and he has forced this unity to encompass all of life and all of knowledge. Man has been reduced to a machine, with no freedom, just a function of the elements. And yet we know that free will exists, for Man operates against what would seem logical and against what would seem to be the appropriate response to a specific stimulus. And the modern modern scientist would simply nod and smile and insist that this is still not freedom, that there must be an element of which we are unaware which causes the response, for Man is a machine, determined by Fate or the environment or whatever else to behave in a certain way.
Thought based upon a chapter by Francis Schaeffer in Escape from Reason.
Something that has come to my attention this morning on the political front pertains to the judiciary. A number of illegal aliens were arrested last week (all were Wal-Mart employees) and will soon be deported back to their homeland of Mexico. However, in the meantime, nine of these illegals are suing Wal-Mart for discrimination for not paying them overtime. The sad thing is, they will probably win the suit because there are liberal judges who fail to do their duty to protect the citizens of this country from such abuses as these. The judiciary in this country has gained far too much power, and all in the name of protecting Constitutional rights. Frankly, it’s ridiculous! Common sense has ceased to rule, being usurped by the political agendas of the few sitting behind the bench. And when a move is made to appoint judges who will exercise fairness and justice as it is intended to be exercised, that move it typically blocked by those who care little about such things. The people need to step up and elect officials who will appoint fair judges who will actually fight for the people and make decisions that are in the best interests of the country.
So, some Christians (I don’t really know how many) think it’s better to not get involved in the political arena because we have a more important work, that being to win souls to Christ. Yet, I have to disagree with the notion of non-involvment. It seems to me that part of our responsibility as stewards is to be involved in every arena as much as possible in order to have the greatest influence possible. Granted, our most important work is that of the Kingdom. The eternal state of man’s soul is of utmost importance, and we should be striving in everything we do to see others added to the Family.
We have a great freedom to move about and worship as we wish in this country, something few other countries can claim. Persecution is rampant across the globe, and there is greater insurgency of persecution arising here in the US, as well. And guess where that persecution originates? Politics! Many of the liberals in power have been trying to pass legislation to limit the religious freedom of Christians. The Ten Commandments dispute in Alabama is a prime example of this. And without strong, moral Christians in politics to take a strong stance against these would-be persecutors, our very freedoms might be stripped from us, freedoms that were hard-won at the foundation of this country, freedoms that were bled on by our men who fought and died for a freedom that they so dearly held to and believed in. We Christians (and conservatives) tend to be way too quiet about things, preferring to hope that the other side will see reason, come to their sense, and change their ways. Well, I have news for you, they haven’t, and they won’t. So, we have to stand strong and fight against them in order to hang on to and win back the freedoms that allow us to worship and speak freely about our faith.
I have a deep respect for the men in Congress and in local government who stand strong against their liberal, intolerant peers, as well as for the talk-show hosts who keep us informed of what we are not being told. Support these men who stand up for what is right, and exercise your voice in the voting booth each and every opportunity you have. It is our right as US citizens, as well as our responsibility as Christians.
So how does one live a holy and moral life when our society is so absolutely immersed in the immorality that the media so blatantly promotes? It’s tough being a Christian in the midst of this, let alone a Christian married man, when every other TV commercial or show is all about half-naked (or even mostly naked) women (and latetly, even guys). It’s on the TV, on the radio, on the Internet, and even in our email. The message is being sent this is all ok, and since truth is such a relative or non-existent thing in our society, there’s really no base for a stance. And it is our youth who are so vulnerable to this. They are being brainwashed right out from under us. It’s no wonder that they think so much differently than we do.
Now, we can fight against this at every avenue, and it is our Christian responsibility to do so and to promote biblical morals (old-fashioned as they may sound sometimes), but with all honesty, we probably are not going to do a whole lot to change things. We are woefully outnumbered by the moderns and postmoderns who are submerged in their own despair. As unrewarding and unsatisfying as it feels, the main area where we can find success in waging war against relativity and immorality is by training up the younger generation to think differently than the majority of their peers. I thank God for His grace and my parents for their training that I think “old school,” with a sense of absolutes. I can’t imagine just how confused I would be right now if the only truth I knew was the one I made for myself. It would be so fluid and changing. And so it is up to us to mold and train the younger generation to continue the battle with us and after us.