In light of the SCOTUS ruling Friday legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states, I found myself having to explain something to my young children that I hadn’t planned on explaining yet. It’s probably not what you think. It had nothing to do with marriage or homosexuality. What I had to explain was my own frustrated comment that “some Christians are idiots.” Of course, you know it is true and I know it is true, but I had planned on letting my children continue for a while in their innocent assumption that all who claim to be Christians actually love Jesus and love other people.
Instead, mostly because of my own frustration, I had to explain that there are Christians who are being mean to other people simply because they didn’t get what they wanted. There are Christians who are saying ridiculous things simply because things didn’t go their way. As I explained this, we were able to talk about how important it is to behave properly no matter what happens.
To be honest with you, this is where my greatest concern lies at this moment in time. I know that there are godly men and women who feel it is their burden to be active in the political arena, but that’s not me. My burden is with the church and the fact that regardless of what is happening in society, culture, government or anywhere else, we the church have the responsibility to live the love of Christ. With this in mind, allow me to share some scattered thoughts that I believe need to be understood by the Christian community as a whole.
- Not all who claim to be Christian actually have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. As a result, much is done in the name of Christ that is not Christian at all.
- Being a Christian is not about what you are against. Opposing gay marriage or homosexuality or any other sin does not make someone a Christian. I believe that the Bible teaches that any sexual conduct outside of the confines of marriage between a man and a woman is sin. However, I also believe that many who oppose gay marriage, homosexuality and the LGBT agenda are simply bigots and not Christian at all. Being a Christian is about following Christ. This means having faith in Him and treating others as He would treat them.
- Contrary to popular opinion, we do not have to “take a stand” against every political or social decision that allows or legalizes sin. Biblically, we should take a stand when we are personally being asked or forced to sin. Paul and Silas would not quit preaching the gospel, but they did go to jail quietly and without resisting because that is the government’s right. They did not, however, try to change the laws to make it legal for them to preach the gospel. We should not be attempting to legislate righteousness onto an unbelieving culture, because even if we are successful, we create hypocrites and not Christians. This would be entirely selfish because it says that we value our personal comfort more than their souls.
- The Christian’s greatest desire in regard to the unsaved world should be to see them saved. We were not called to change the conduct of the unbelieving world to make it more comfortable for us. We have been called to share Christ regardless of the circumstances. The primary sin that Jesus and Paul dealt with in regard to the unbelieving world they lived in was unbelief. Once someone believes in Christ, than we can begin to help them address all manner of sins in their life.
- There are no biblical exceptions given for godly conduct. A true Christian is kind and loving and respectful at all times, not just when they are agreed with. The Bible doesn’t say “be kind unless they are mean” or “show love unless they are a homosexual.” I am tired of so-called Christians using Biblical truth as an excuse to be mean, nasty, jerks. As a Christian, you should show love, mercy and grace toward all, even and especially toward those who believe and act differently than you.
Though these scattered thoughts don’t even come close to exhausting the issue, I trust that they reflect my heart’s desire to see genuine Christians live the light of God’s love in a world dark with sin. As these principles relate to yesterday’s SCOTUS decision specifically, let me say two final things. First, our attitude and actions toward the unbelieving LGBT community should reveal a greater desire to see them come to Christ than to change their lifestyle. Second, our attitude and actions toward Christians who struggle with homosexuality should be to lovingly, graciously and continually point them to the victory over all sin that is available only through Christ. In all things, I pray that we overflow with God’s love toward all mankind.