I’m reflecting on a different aspect of the conversation I launched here on Tuesday. Thanks for bearing with me. I think I finally have it out of my system for now.
Give ‘Em What For!
When I was a teen, Sunday services often included a song, They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love. Some days I look around and I wonder, will they?
How about you? Have you ever shaken your head as you heard some Christian state a claim that seemed, well, not quite right to you? A favorite, for example, seems to be that some calamity is God’s judgment on gay people/unwed mothers/”the wicked” in general.
Personally, I get a little squeamish when humans start telling me they know exactly what God is up to. We’re told to pray and search our hearts and study His word, yes, of course, but we’re also reminded that, well, God’s God, and we’re not, and we’re not able to comprehend His ways.
But here’s the thing: to the rest of the world, these claims sound smug and sanctimonious. The article I cited in my last post discussed “the yuck factor” and its utility as a moral compass when deciding what to think about homosexual relationships. Well. I will applaud the author for honesty, but I don’t agree with his thinking.
Because I’m reasonably certain that sweetbreads are not immoral. But they do provoke me to go “yuck.”
Seriously. More often, I hear my brothers and sisters in Christ explain that it’s not that they’re against gay marriage, (for example), but rather they’re supporting the sanctity of “traditional marriage.”
I’ve been thinking and praying a whole lot about this line of thinking. I’ve been thinking about these words from previously-referenced article:
We’re going to be branded “mean” and “bigoted.” We should not in fact be mean and bigoted. We should speak the truth in love. But the consequence will be a nasty brand from the culture. I should say branded again because we’ve already been given those labels simply for being Christians.
Dear Sir: with all due respect, it’s not “simply for being Christians.” We’re branded that way because too often Christians make pronouncements that sound mean and bigoted.
On the other hand, we are to seek mercy and justice.
I set to thinking about this state of affairs, and I’ve come to a modest conclusion:
We can reclaim our position as loving, selfless followers of the Most High God and keep our commitment to encourage godliness with one simple change in tactics:
We stop fighting against the ways of the world and start standing for God’s way.
Want to support the sanctity of marriage? Offer to babysit for the couple down the street who’s been under some strain. Learn how to counsel couples, then give your time to do it. Pour all your heart into making your own marriage a model. Show your own children that your marriage is a treasure to you. [Note: as a follower of Christ who has marriage failures in her own history, I must add: please don’t take me as an expert. Or maybe I am. Anyway.]
Does abortion break your heart? Teach your children (your daughters and your sons) about personal responsibility, consequences, the immeasurable value of life. Help support a woman dealing with a crisis pregnancy. Adopt.
We’re blessed to know God’s overwhelming love for us. Let’s show it. Let’s share it.
Because our best weapon against worldliness, against sin? I am convinced it’s this: We get honest about our struggles against our own sin. When we talk about sinfulness, we focus on ourselves.
As my husband wisely says, We’re called to be lights, not flame-throwers.
9 The one who says he is in the Light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now. 10 The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
1 John 2:9-11 (NASB)