Warning: This post is intolerant in nature. You do not have to read it. It will not hurt my feelings one bit… not even the tiniest.
Am I the only one out there who wishes stores would just be stores? Why can’t Starbucks just serve amazing, overpriced coffee? Why can’t McDonalds just serve fries and burgers? Why can’t Target just be, well, Target? Why, oh, why must corporate giants align themselves with controversial, political issues?
I’m sure you know where I’m going with this… the great debate on homosexuality.
I am a Christian. Let me expand on that: I am one of those Christians… those that believe, wholeheartedly, that the Bible is true. All of it.
After reading scripture, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that God hates—yes HATES—homosexuality. God hates sin period… lying, stealing, gossiping, gluttony, homosexuality, fornication... SIN. Why does God hate sin? My best guess is because it separates us from Him.
Most people are on the “hate the sin, love the sinner” bus, and I’m inclined to reserve a seat there myself. We’d be in a sad state if God hated liars, thieves, gluttons, adulterers, and homosexuals (the list goes on, but…). We are all sinners. We are all in need of God’s grace, His salvation. A quick read of 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (posted at this end of this entry) shows us that God is in the business of changing fornicators, homosexuals, thieves, drunkards, etc, and making us fit for a relationship with Him.
My mom reads my blog so I’ll refrain from confessing my shortcomings, but BELIEVE ME, I am in no position to judge others. My life-long list of sin is pretty grim. What I am in a position to do, however, is read the Word of God, confess it as true and holy, and try my best to live by its standards. Sounds easy, huh? Even with freedom of speech and freedom of religion, it’s harder than one may think. Have you seen the “So many Christians, so few lions” t-shirt? (No doubt a reference to the feeding of Christians to lions in the Roman arenas, I am impressed by the creativity; but the message is still the same: let’s get rid of the Christians).
Somewhere along the way, our society has lost its ability to disagree. We’ve lost the right to a conservative opinion. Let a Senator or an actress speak out against homosexuality and she’ll be crucified on CNN. Let a teacher in the public school system vocally disagree with same sex marriage and he may as well pack up his belongings and kiss his classroom goodbye. Conservative opinions, once spoken, can be lethal to the speaker.
The media call it Hate Speech. How ludicrous! It’s not hateful for me to say I don’t agree with homosexuality any more than it’s hateful for me to say I don’t like anchovies. It’s my opinion. If you don’t like it, de-friend me, don’t vote for me, delete my blog from your reader. It’s ok. Really.
How helpful would it be if we flushed “political- correctness” down the toilet and simply decided to be kind? Is it kind to rally and hold a sign saying GOD HATES FAGS? Absolutely not! Is it kind to picket abortion clinics and call hurting women murderers? Absolutely not! Most picketers would benefit from a good whop upside the head with the signs they hold (is this an example of Hate Speech? Speaking out against those who actively “speak out against” with picket signs? Oh, the double standard… We live in a time when the only thing we don’t tolerate is intolerance). Yet, I digress…
A dear friend and I were solving the world’s problems in a telephone conversation the other day when she began to speak of God in a way I had never considered. As best as I can, I’m going to relay, in her words, what she’s been exploring in the Bible study class she attends:
God is merciful, loving, gracious, and slow to anger. At the same time He is righteous and just and holy and steadfast. All of these attributes co-exist in perfect harmony within Him. His mercy is a perfect mercy; His judgment a perfect judgment!
One attribute doesn’t overshadow or dwarf the other and they never work against one another. They work together in harmony. When we focus only on the attributes we like about God, we have a very distorted view of who He is.
There are times we extend mercy to our kids when mercy is not what is best for them. Not so with God! When He grants mercy, it is a perfect mercy. It is for our benefit. There are times we are patient when we should not be patient. Not so with God! God’s patience is perfect. It’s on the mark – at the right time and the right place.
How God can be perfectly merciful, just, gracious, loving, holy, protective, judgmental, jealous, terrible and a host of other things at one time without one quality working against the other is crazy-hard to understand.
I am more than confident that God is loving and merciful. However, I am also confident that His love and mercy do not make Him any less holy or righteous. Moreover, His love and mercy do not grant us a free pass to live any way we want. Beware! God’s love and mercy will lead you out of your sin, but it will never, ever allow you to remain there. We cannot put all of our eggs in the love basket, yet many of us have.
Why I chose to pipe in on this subject, I do not know. Homosexuality is at the forefront of not only the political scene, but my MSN homepage and Facebook newsfeed, as well; and Christians seem to catch the brunt of the controversy. Celebrities are “celebrated” for defending the honor of gays and lesbians and Christians are labeled “haters” for holding on to the Word of God.
Maybe I want to take a stand for righteousness in a kind, non-hating-kind-of-way. Maybe I want to join with other Christians who try (as best they can) to lovingly take a stand against same sex marriage and the cultural celebration of homosexuality. Maybe I want to defend the attributes of God that so often get ignored.
Maybe I just want to buy a set of sheets or a cup of coffee or some fries in good conscience.
I penned the above a month or so back and never published it to my blog; I guess things seemed to calm down for a bit and my frustration lessoned. Then Chick-fil-A busts out in support of traditional marriage and I must say I was proud of them. I chuckle at myself because I hate to hear corporate America in support of homosexuality, but I love to see the rare case of Biblical alignment.
Although many Christians will condemn me for this, I will still buy things from Target and Starbucks and McDonalds. If we boycotted every business that doesn’t hold to Biblical, traditional, conservative values, we’d be hard pressed to do business anywhere in the United States --and we’d get awful tired of waffle fries.
My advice to you?
If you like good chicken and great service, eat at Chick-fil-A. If you don’t, go somewhere else.
If you disagree with the way someone lives or thinks, remember that KINDNESS is never overrated. Having a loud mouth and mean spirit profits very little.
And lastly, you can’t hold a Bible in one hand and a rainbow flag in the other. Please put one down; and know that whichever you end up holding, I will be kind to you.
... and if you are one of the few that have stuck this out to the end… thank you.
9Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, 10or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. 11Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1Cor 6:9-11