Friday, November 14, 2008

Gay Marriage and Abortion

I don't intend to be controversial or anything with this post, but mom and I got into a small conversation about gay marriage. I also don't want to seem condescending or judgmental. Jesus has accomplished forgiveness for everyone through His Cross. So there is no judgment.

I know there are a lot of Christians who hold the belief that we should not allow gay marriage - besides, God doesn't approve of it anyway. But should we really force morals on the outside world? "Does not God judge those outside?"

Here is my point: In Romans 1:24 Paul says, "For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error."

Now, if God gave them up to do what they like, should not we also? I'm not advocating gay marriage in the least. It's sinful. But should we try to keep the world moral? I don't think that is our job.

Now, when it comes to abortion, I am all for putting a stop it. Murder ought never to be legalized, regardless of the persons size or age. To what point do you consider it murder? where is the line drawn? At what point in time does the child enter into their right to live? What size or age must they be before it's considered murder to kill them? Of course one may say, "You are forcing your ideas and beliefs on me by outlawing abortion." But you seem to think it alright to force your ideas on the helpless infant by condemning that defenseless person to death. And that for the sake of your convenience. "But", one may say, "I was raped". Does that make the child in your womb any less a person because you were raped? What about their ideas and beliefs? Or would you kill them before they are able to voice it? Who's ideas and beliefs are being forced on who?

36 comments:

Grace Walker said...

I appreciate this post Matthew.

RJW said...

Oh no Matt...not controversial in the least...

Morality can't be legislated. PERIOD.

Jesus didn't come to make us "moral" but to give us Life, His Life.

Life in the Spirit doesn't lead us into sin but I have to trust the Christ in you just as you have to trust the Christ in me, not seeing you according to the flesh lest I judge your actions, not your standing. We aren't to focus on our own or others performance.

The Christ life is about belief and unbelief not SINS!! It doesn't matter what "pet" sin you want to pick, you are still making performance an issue. Abortion is no bigger to God than a little white lie. There was no little sins to God; Jesus died for them all. That's the deal. Sin is not the issue; LIFE IS THE ISSUE!

All have sinned and fallen short. God fixed that at the cross. All continue to sin and fall short but they are forgiven through belief. The ONLY thing God wants to know is do you recieve His son and thus NEW LIFE!

If you want to make it about our righteousness, then who among us is righteous according to our performance? ONE; His name is Jesus. I want to be found in Him. He has become the righteousness of every believer.

C'mon, Matt...what does sin have to do with it??

Matthew Daelon said...

Hey mama cat. I completely agree it isn't about sin(s) anymore. It's about Life. You either have Jesus or you don't.

RJW said...

I love you, Boo-baby. :)

Matthew Daelon said...

I love you too!!!

Joel B. said...

I think some heterosexuals ought not be allowed to marry... LOL ;)

I'm not sure if I can find an instance in New Covenant scripture in which people are told to fight/stand for political rights or legislation. (That said, I'm don't think it's "wrong" for a person to do so if led by the Lord who lives in them).

But overall, I look around both the conservative and liberal Christian world (I have various friends and family who lean heavily in both of those ways), and I see people in such a struggle to have their "rights" and to have laws passed that favor their own view of morality (what is right and what is wrong, what should be and what shouldn't be), and I'm sad to say that I think both 'sides' have lost touch with the true gospel.

I see scriptures being taken way out of context. A liberal family member spoke out against the people of California when the ban on gay marriage was recently passed, saying "in the same way you judge others, you yourself will be judged." I can't tell you how many conservatives I know who have also wrongfully used scriptures to support their political/social views.

I guess the way I see our lives in Christ, it's not a matter of trying to enforce behavior change. I think it's more a matter of helping people to find out their true identity in Christ - their identification with the holy, wonderful, loving, pure God - and learning what all of that means (their identity in Him), and growing in letting His life express itself in and through them.

If we entrust people to man's laws, we may or may not be able to get behavior changed, but for certain we won't help them one iota to find real Life. But if we always point them to the source of true Life, Jesus Himself, the world will truly be changed one life at a time.

Matthew Daelon said...

Well said, Joel.

I guess I'm still thinking all of this through. I have problems with both parties.

Joel B. said...

Yeah, it's not black and white, and it's definitely worth thinking about and discussing with others. I'm still thinking a lot of it through as well. The problem I've had with talking about it is that so many people are so locked in to making sure their opinions are heard that it's hard to have a good conversation about it.

RJW said...

I think this conversation is a start and I love that we're talking about His Life changing us, not us changing ourselves and others. Love NEVER fails.

lydia joy said...

Hmm, interesting wavelength going on.......

I agree with RJW and Joel!

Just passing laws ain't gonna cut it......these issues will still be issues laws or no laws. What the world needs is for the real Christians, the genuine ones to step up and show them the ONE who can answer all their issues.......instead of showing them how wrong what their doing is by fighting for laws. I think these next 4 years are going to smash some serious fundamentilsm that has hung around our nation for too long! Don't get me wrong I hate that so many abortions occur, it breaks my heart!! But what is so much more painful is that the ones doing it could be loved and helped by the ones who want to prevent it, it seems the approach most christians take is missing the mark, Jesus came to love, to heal and to give life!!! Are we giving life by standing against certain issues such as gay marriage and abortion........anyway, blah blah, I love RJW's last comment...........and what is so cool is that we are all burning and wanting to love, I wonder where it will go...........to the ends of the earth I hope!!!

This is a good post topic and we should be able to discuss it, it's important to grow together in unity for how we can love the lost and hurting world around us!! Peace to you!!

Socoteanu said...

Great Thoughts Matt.

I think that we are called to love all Sinners. Love them as the world is unable to love....but i think that we are also called to stand up for what is right. Part of what made America a successful nation was that it was founded on Christian principles. We have gotten FAR away from that over the last few decades. I believe that as christians we need to stand up for God's morality. That does not mean that we condemn people. It does not mean that we discriminate. It does not mean that we judge. BUT, I think we are called to stand up and say to the world that God states homosexuality is a sin. We live in a democracy, which means that we speak with our votes. If the majority want homosexual marriage, than it will happen, but our voices need to be heard as well. Speak in Love. Vote in Love.

This will be a fin discussion....

Leonard said...

Thanks Matt, I never thought about the Gay marriage thing that way, always appreciate your thoughts.
Best
Leonard

Joel B. said...

Socoteanu,

I have a few differing opinions, and I by no means mean any disrespect to you by stating them here. This is simply where I'm at with all this right now and I think it's wonderful that we can all share our thoughts in such a loving way.

I agree fully that we are to love sinners, just as Christ loved us when we were still sinners. Now I may be wrong, but I'm not sure that I see New Covenant scripture making a case for Christians standing up for morality in relation to the world, but more in relation to each other as we build one another up and encourage one another in who we truly are in Christ.

In the world in general, I do think there is a time and place for talking about what sin is, but not for the purpose of taking a stand for morality, but more for the purpose of showing people their need for Christ. I think we can pass all the laws in the world that stand up for some form of biblical morality, but none of it changes the hearts of those who are still identified with Adam. They may even change their behavior for the better, but they're still dead to God.

If we're to be consistent in our speaking against homosexuality as talked about in Leviticus 20 and Romans 1, then I think we should also speak out against all the other things brought up in Leviticus and Romans. For example, Lev 11 says that all water creatures that don't have fins or scales are an abomination (lobster, crabs, etc). It also talks about eating clean vs. unclean animals, and it says the people should not touch geckos, lizards, chameleons, etc. The chapters that follow talk about so many things other than a man lying with a man.

Romans also talks about so much more than homosexuality. If we're to make laws regarding homosexuality, then shouldn't we also make laws regarding covetousness, envy, strife, deceit, pride, lack of discernment, lack of love, lack of forgiveness, lack of mercy, etc? :) Paul says that "those who practice such things are deserving of death."

I bring all this up to make the case that I believe these scriptures do indeed show what is "right" and what is "wrong," but, especially in the case of Romans 1, Paul is leading up to something much greater. His point in bringing all these things up is that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." I don't think he's making a case of saying that these are things that Christians need to stand up against, but rather are things that show how there's no one who has not fallen short. All have been born dead in Adam and all are in need of Life.

In saying all of this, I'm not saying that as Christians we have no place to speak to one another in love about any or all of these things, as we build close, loving relationships with one another. But I am saying that I believe our job is not to stand up up for what is right in the midst of a world full of people who are still in Adam.

I may step on a few more toes with what I'm about to say, but I really don't think the United States was founded on true Christian principles. Rather, I think much of it was based upon a false Christianity that was actually based upon the Ten Commandments - the Old Covenant - and was not based upon the New Covenant Life of Christ. I know, I know, I'll get mobbed for saying that!

But I've heard it said a few times, and I agree, that the U.S. doesn't need the Ten Commandments posted everywhere. The U.S. needs Jesus.

Again, please don't take my words as antagonistic. :) I'm simply stating where I'm at, and I'm fully willing to admit that I could very well be wrong. I also realize that in writing, various things do not come across as intended, such as mood, body language, etc (right, Leonard?). :)

I'm simply hoping to add food for thought, for better or worse, but hopefully for better!

Matthew Daelon said...

Amazing comment, Joel. I was reminded of 1 Corinthians 5:12

"For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the Church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside."

RJW said...

What does sin have to do with it???

All sins were forgiven at the cross.

Thank goodness because we all still sin!!! Sin being life independent from God. The moment I lean toward my understanding, that's sin. And God doesn't see it any different than any other sin. But how can God see that which is forgiven? He sees ME IN CHRIST. His righteousness has become mine. Not because He winky-blinky's it away but because Jesus became sin, took the full wrath of God for it, and died and was resurrected because God found Him just. His qualification and justification became available for everyone through belief. God sees men either in Adam (dead) or Christ(alive). If you want to focus on the sin issue, you have fallen from Grace in your thinking.

Jesus came to bring life to the world, RECONCILIATION. Not GOOD BEHAVIOR! Your sins, nor anyone else's, are an issue any longer. Unbelief, refusal to accept Life, is the only "sin" anymore. And that is just choosing independence from God and death.

To pick out homosexuality or abortion is ludicrous. Why not strife, envy, slander??? The point is ALL ARE GUILTY UNDER THE LAW and so we had to die to the law. And we did in Christ. The question is not whether we're sinners but whether we're alive or dead???

If sin is an issue we could picket our churches where big, fat lies get told every week from the pulpit! :)

The deal is not to give people Jesus and hand them a wash cloth to clean up their act. The deal is to tell people they're accepted AND teach them who has become their Life. If He is not big enough to lead them in the paths of righteousness, do we think we are??? Humph. ;)

This is a MARVELOUS discussion...

Socoteanu said...

Joel,

No offense, man. I love discussing. It does not matter to me if people agree with me, nor am I trying to convince anyone. Just stating what I think (and I fully respect what others think).

A couple points.

First, standing against gay marriage is nothing like standing against homosexuals. I think that we agree that we are to love all sinners. Homosexuality is no worst or better than any other sins. Just as those that struggle with it are no worst sinners than I was. As many people have stated, it is no different than envy, pride, judging others, etc, etc.

Second, standing against gay marriage is not the same as legislating morality. People are free to live their lives as they choose. I agree that we cannot legislate people into not sinning. The law could not do it and neither can our law. However, we have a right as a culture to state that marriage is between man and woman. That is the way that God intended it. Thankfully, at this point the majority of our culture agrees with that. There is no judgment or legislation of morality in saying that I believe that should be put into law. In my mind it is no different than saying that it is not ok for husbands to kill their wives or children. If our society did not see a problem would we not stand against this??

The people of Sodom were so far from God because the entire nation had departed from morality. They did not even know what God's law was because their cultural law did not support God's law. I would like to delay that kind of moral decline in America as long as possible. That means standing against what God believes is sin. That means standing for what God says is holy and pure. Homosexuality is repeatedly used in the new testament to demonstrate how far cultures have strayed from God. Our society is headed in that direction. It has become more and more accepted over the last decade. Standing against gay marriage is standing against the moral decay of a culture not an individual.

Who else will stand up for God's truth if we as Christians won't even do it??

I fully admit that it needs to be in love; if we can't stand up in love, we are better off sitting down.

RJW said...

Socoteanu,

Totally valid reasoning! :)

I guess I come at it from the view that legislation for or against moral issues doesn't change hearts.

Prayer in schools, abortion rights, creationism vs. evolution, gay marriage: passing laws FOR OR AGAINST these things doesn't do anything but make them illegal; it in no way changes people's hearts.

We are blessed to live in a country where we can vote our views. I just always wonder what it would be like if the Christian view wasn't the majority; would we want moral issues legislated then?? The Jews were subjugated by the Romans and yet Jesus didn't seek political influence. His Kingdom isn't of this world nor His world perspective. Just thoughts... :)

Adam said...

I tried and tried to write something here but it just wouldn't come out right!

Thanks Socoteanu - you did it!

:-)

RJW said...

And another thing...Ahahahaaha...

Seriously, I've been throwing out thoughts and opinions but...I do truly believe that we as Christians should eat from the Tree of Life (Jesus) instead of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Why not offer Grace instead of debating what is right and wrong? Veritas?? Quid est veritas?? Jesus is TRUTH. :)

Bino M. said...

Great discussion! And I thought it was timely (for me) because I had a post in compose mode and now I posted it :). The one thing I draw from all these is this (said by RJW):

Sin is not the issue; LIFE IS THE ISSUE!

Amen! And I think that's the whole point!

Joel B. said...

RJW: "What does sin have to do with it???"

Sounds like a Tina Turner song that someone should do a parody of... "What's sin got to do with it (got to do with it...)" ROFL

Bino,

I think you summarized all of this with the one word that I would use as well, "Life."

I know that I'm stepping on a lot of traditional toes, but true freedom is not founded upon the behavior of people, but rather upon the very life of Jesus indwelling them. It's my observation that some people from England broke free from forced religion, and simply came here and started a nation that was also not founded upon the true gospel. :) Just as many churches today use the name of God and Jesus, a lot of what is taught is not the gospel. Same with the founding and continuation of a government that is really a creation of man.

I think it was James Madison who said that the survival of this nation was predicated "on our ability to keep the Ten Commandments." What??? That ain't the gospel.

The kingdom of God is not about rights, and it's not about fixing behavior, and it's most certainly not about a government that is "of the people, by the people, for the people," but rather "righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." (Rom 14:17). It's about the gift of righteousness and life from God in the inward man (the spirit), and I believe our call is to help others to find this same Life that has come to us, by pointing them to Jesus.

I honestly believe that American Christians have been lulled to sleep with the notion that the U.S. Constitution is the actual source of setting things right in the world. We have millions of laws that are based upon it, and yet the hearts of people remain dead in Adam.

As Matthew said in the post, if God has given people over to a certain behavior, then who are we to step in and try to stop it with laws? In God's kingdom, the majority doesn't rule, but rather Life, Love and Grace rules. =)

Think about the focus on banning gay marriage. How much of the life and spirit of Christians could be better used to love people into true fellowship with Jesus? Whether there are same sex marriages or not, the problem remains the same: people are dead to God and need to become alive to Him through Christ alone.

A quick read through the Sermon on the Mount shows even more of the outward signs of the trouble with society - but in the end we don't see Jesus pointing us to law to solve it all, but rather God used the law to point us to Jesus, who is the only true answer to it all!

The Apostle Paul went through hell in order to preach the gospel. Stoned, imprisoned, cold, hungry, in the deep, etc. But he always considered himself free! When he came across sinners we don't see him trying to get them to change their behavior. We don't see him starting a daily half hour radio program that tries to get Christians united together for the sake of passing or prohibiting certain legislation! Rather, I think the gist of his message was, 'here, let me show you true life and peace in the Lord Jesus Christ.' One by one, he led people to Christ, not to morality.

I realize I've said quite a lot in the past couple of days. These thoughts are not new to me; in fact I've held these views for quite some time. However, that doesn't mean I think I've got the goods on this one. :) I'm passionate about it, but I'm still always very open for discussion.

RJW said...

Ohhhh, man, Joel, I wish I could have said that! ;)

Jesus doesn't call me to change people just to love them.

Bino M. said...

Joel,
Well said! I believe it was you who wrote a post about 'moral police' sometime ago, which deals with this issue of Christians being the moral police in the world. This is a real issue, not only in America but all around the world. I wouldn't say this is only a problem in Christian religion but any religion in general.

Unfortunately millions are caught in the bondage of religion where the idea of freedom itself is totally foreign to them. They don't know how to handle freedom so they don't want to be free.

I think I am ready to take some 'risk' with Jesus...

Leonard said...

Ok, Ok, Ok, you guy's realize of course, I'm gonna have to print all this....


Just kidding...

but not about the printing thing.
Grace
Leonard

ps. thanks for the lessons.

RJW said...

Guys...this is GOOD!!!

Seriously, REALLY GOOD!

Jesus in your earthsuits looks soooo beautiful!!! :)

Even when we disagree; we trust the Christ in each other. :)

Socoteanu said...

Oh man, Matt, you stirred the pot up nicely. Good job.

I think that there is a great danger in saying that we should not speak up against sin. The prophets spoke out against it. Christ was not silent. He took on obvious sins and added the "respectable sins" (Great book by the way) to it. He even went a step farther and offered an escape from sin through His blood. But what does a person get if they do not accept the blood of Jesus?? They are judged on the basis of the law. They are judged on God's standard. This is true regardless of what their society or culture says is ok.

I firmly agree that we are not in a position to judge people. But we are not the ones doing the judging. God is. His standard is clear. Without Christ, we are all condemned. Freedom from that condemnation is available ONLY through Christ. There is nothing wrong with telling someone what is wrong and what is right. Grace is freedom from sins. But that freedom does not extend to those that do not believe in Christ.

The law absolutely still serves a purpose today. It convicts people of their sins. It shows people that they need Christ. Once you reach that point only then you are freed from the law. Prior to that it is vital. If you have not accepted Christ than you are still held to the standard of God's law.

We are called to love all people regardless of who they are, what they have done, etc. Part of loving people is to tell them what is wrong. I do not let my children steal something from the store. The first time they do it, they do not know it is wrong, but I teach them. In the same way as a society I think we SHOULD be the ones that are directing morality. The reason for this is not to get people do the right things or make better choices. Not to get them to not sin or not be homosexuals. But to make them see that they need Christ. To make them see what the standard is and make them realize that they cannot meet it. I want people to think that it is not alright to commit a sin and not understand why they are still tempted to do so. This realization is what may draw them to Christ. That is the goal. Not to tell them they are ok.

RJW said...

But "sins" are not what is keeping unbelievers from God. Spiritual death is. Jesus reconciled ALL MEN to God at the cross.

2 Corinthians 5:14-21 (New International Version)

14For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

16So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21God made him who had no sin to be sin[a] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Everyone is reconciled because of the cross. All sins have been forgiven. Some just don't appropriate what is theirs in Christ: New Life.

John 3:16-18 (New International Version)


16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[a] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.[b]

And finally, if someone is good and moral they are still dead without Christ!


Romans 5:12-6:14 (New International Version)


Death Through Adam, Life Through Christ
12Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— 13for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. 14Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.
15But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man's sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

18Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. 19For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

20The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 6
Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ
1What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
5If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with,[a] that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

8Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

11In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. 14For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

It will never be about sin again. Just Life in Christ or death in Adam. God only sees two men in a sense: you are either in Christ or in Adam, either in Life or death.

OK, Matt, are you challenging my 50comment post?? Wait!! You got close with universalism. You controversial dog you! How sneaky!! ;)

Joel B. said...

The title itself was enough to stir the pot substantially. LOL =)

In many ways I think Paul's 'law' and 'sin' talk in Romans 1 was a necessary part of his own presentation of the gospel to the Romans. In fact in several other chapters in Romans Paul talks about the purpose of the law.

But I've come to see that overall, the main purpose of the law was to actually charge the world with guilt (Romans 3:19) - whether they had ever actually heard the law or not. In other words, the law imputed sin to the entire world (Rom 5:13). Again, this had nothing to do with whether or not anyone had actually heard the law, and in fact I'd argue that most of the billions of people who have ever lived have never even heard the Ten Commandments. Sin was in the world before the law, but sin was not charged to mankind until the law came.

I think that with or without the preaching of the law, most people understand that they are sinners. In the case of people who do think that they're ok as is, perhaps the preaching of the law will convince them otherwise, but generally speaking it's not even their being convicted of sin that saves them - but rather it's the hearing and believing of the gospel that saves them!

I want to be clear that I'm not saying that we simply let everyone think that they're ok - after all they're DEAD! But it's not through the hearing of the law that they're saved; rather it's by faith through the hearing of the gospel.

My mindset has been challenged in all of this, even within the past year. Many of Matthew's readers are familiar with Terry Rayburn and his Grace For Life blog. Here's a post of his from a year ago that was part of the process of my mindset being challenged. Do We Need To Preach the Law To Preach The Gospel?. Terry makes some really good points, and backs them up biblically. You can see some of the wheels in my head turning in my comments to him as well.

Joel B. said...

I will say that this conversation is perhaps a little more involved and intense than the little conversation Matthew and I are having on Facebook about BACON. ;)

ViolableWings said...

Hi Matthew,
This sure has started some good conversation, I really enjoyed reading the post with all of the very interesting comments. I have started to write this comment at least 4 times and gave up. There just doesn't seem alot a guy like me can add lol. One thing I will throw in there though is that I have a friend (of sorts) who I work with, or worked with until just over a week ago, that is gay. In fact she has been in a relationship with another young lady for some time. I have worked closely with her for about 2 years (I was the teamleader of our work team and she was basically my right hand taking over when I wasn't there ect.) From the beginning my Christianity was obvious, I often read my bible and trying hard to be what a "good Christian" aught to be. I never condemned her, told her or even hinted at telling her that what she was doing was wrong. I always felt neglagent for not doing that, but at the same time it just didn't feel right (I was struggling pretty hard with the legalistic bondage that had me at the time and did not know it fully yet.) To keep this from making your thread a mile long she respected me for not doing that, she also knew that I did not approve, and even listened with interest when I talked about Christ (not preachingly or even evangelically, but just conversationally.) The end of last year, even though gay marriage is not legal in Ohio, her and her friend joined in a civil union which you would be hard pressed, from the photos I saw, to tell it from a wedding. The company we worked for allowed her partner on her insurance, her partner legally changed her last name to the lady I worked withs, it was by all intents and purposes a marriage without the marriage license. I say all of that to say, and its only my thought, what difference is a law making? Seems to me a person doesn't really need that license in todays world. I taught a class in youth group to some teens in our old church and used the Way of the Master DVD's and study guide. I really liked it but discovered some issues with it, one being that some people just do not believe, their statements include, "in your opinion" or "according to your beliefs". There is alot to be said about the whole "pearls before swine" thing. We cannot make anyone believe, but we can alienate them and innoculate them against even wanting to hear the name Jesus by trying to politically order them to fall into line with Christian morals.
Sorry I made it so long, for someone with little to say it seems I said more than I should lol. BTW - a good link to check out that seems to follow along where this thread has seemed to go is over at Free Spirits blog a blog called "Grace, whats the big Deal" at http://spiritunleashed.blogspot.com/
Ron

ViolableWings said...

Oh yeah, I know I didn't say anything about abortion, but man, isn't taking a life more than a moral issue. I have to stand pretty darn strong with that one.
Ron

Joel B. said...

Ron, lots of great stuff there. Among other great stuff that you said, this stuck out to me:

"We cannot make anyone believe, but we can alienate them and innoculate them against even wanting to hear the name Jesus by trying to politically order them to fall into line with Christian morals."

I think this is key. One thing that it seems Jesus did was to 'alienate' the legalists who wanted to force their control / rules / law on everyone, and He embraced those who had lived lives of sin (He ate with harlots and 'sinners,' etc). I don't see Him trying to get laws passed to make society fit into His holy standards. He loved them, and showed them that God accepted them apart from their behavior, and He even laid down His life for them while they were yet sinners, and through that love-in-action they were transformed.

Today, instead of eating with sinners, I see Christians staying away from them, and yet trying to change society through legislation. In all of the time that has passed since the Garden, that has never worked.

Even the prophets who were sent to the people were mocked and killed. The Law was disobeyed. The Covenant was broken over and over again. Hearts were not changed. Life was not to be found.

But in Christ, there is Life - abundant life - and this is the Life we get to share with others!

Joel B. said...

I do want to repeat what's been said here already - even with a difference of opinions, Love is what rules and I'm thankful for all of you, and for this very good conversation of mixed views.

RJW said...

Final thought: read "Touch" by Rudy Rasmus to see how Jesus loves through us. :)

Bino M. said...

Okay, I ordered it in amazon.com (used for $1.59). Thanks, Jamie!

Socoteanu said...

Great discussion. I enjoyed it. I don't disagree with anything that anyone has said. I do think that there is a difference in dealing with an individual and dealing with this as a society. I hope I made that clear. When dealing with an individual it is all about love and acceptance. But as a society we do not need to accept sins as being allright.