Thursday, November 6, 2008

how did jesus vote on proposition 8?

In recent years, I have come to believe that God intended for man to be with woman. Don’t ask me why I think this. If asked, I could probably find some scripture verses to back up this feeling. But it's not that important today.

I also believe that the attraction felt between one man and another (or one woman and another) is natural. That we are all designed and created by God with a certain bent, if you will. And the fact that we are designed with certain inclinations that I consider counter to the way God intended us to live may seem odd – but it’s something that everyone I know can see in their own lives. Even those who devoted their lives to Christ found they were wired in ways that seemed counter to God's will. As the apostle Paul wrote: For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.

But that’s not what I came here to write about today.

Fact is, I woke up this morning surprised. Surprised that I am sad that Proposition 8 passed in the state of California. More so, I am angry that this question was even on the ballot. And embarrassed that many proponents of this initiative did so in the name of Christ.

The local church can do an amazingly good job at making people feel broken, damaged and unwanted. And that is exactly the opposite of how Jesus Christ led his life. He said to all, I love you. I love you for who you are. Exactly who you are.

No one needs to change in order to be welcomed in God’s house.

Yes, those who are called to Christ are asked to repent. In the Book of Galatians, Paul records: The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.

For many Christians, this idea of sin has mistakenly become a yes or no check off box. With the goal being to “stop sinning”. And even worse, get others to stop sinning.

But that is NOT what Paul wrote. If one continues reading Galatians, you find that Paul does not focus his words on telling people how NOT to live their lives. Rather, he is inviting people to let the Spirit of Christ into their lives.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Against such thing there is no law.

Before Christ, there was only the law. With Christ, there is the Spirit.

Those who are looking to dictate spirituality by state and federal laws, whether Roe v Wade or Proposition 8, seem to be missing the point. I do not need to judge others behaviors. I certainly don’t need to legislate it. I simply want to invite you into a relationship with Christ.

Eight years ago, my life changed for the better. Today I am full of peace and purpose, not because someone pointed out things about me they didn’t like, but because someone invited me to renew a relationship with the living Lord.

So I sit here today sad, embarrassed and angry. And my prayer today is for my brothers and sisters who are gay, that you will not let Proposition 8 – and whatever role the local church had in its passing – turn you away from a relationship with Christ. Because it doesn’t matter what I believe. It doesn’t matter what the California lawmakers decide. You are loved by Christ for exactly who you are.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.


Kansas Bob said...

This was a good statement Ed:

"The local church can do an amazingly good job at making people feel broken, damaged and unwanted."

Sad that many feel called to this kind of "ministry".

wilsonian said...

What a beautiful post, Ed.

Anonymous said...

i think that Love is what we come around to again and again in our walk with Jesus.

the Holy Spirit is speaking to our spirits and starting to produce His fruit within us.

i am so glad that this process is taking place within God's children.

of course we must pray for all believers...continual prayer.

thank you for this wonderful bit of writing. it is a good reminder to act in the Love of Jesus.

Missy said...

A very touching post, Ed. Thank you.

Ariah said...

great post

Ed G. said...

KB - i guess i can start with my own ministry. i actually surprised myself with this post, because i am not sure how i would have voted if i lived in CA. the fact that it's possible i could have voted yes makes me sick and ashamed.

wilsonian, missy and ariah, thank you for stopping by and for your words of encouragement.

nancy - you have a knack of getting right to the point. i appreciate your reminders!