Sunday, April 26, 2015

What Do You Believe?

It seems everyone has an opinion these days. And that's fine - as long as that opinion can be kept in perspective. On my current facebook feed, the current opinion has to do with religious beliefs. Again, that's fine - as long as people look at what they're believing.  Here's my issue ...

It seems that some people are perfectly confident about espousing their beliefs as to what should and shouldn't be regulated. Some people seem to think that others should be able not to serve some people, that some people shouldn't be able to marry other people, and that some people shouldn't be consuming what they want to consume - simply based on what the person opines.  And while I can respect your right (we do live in America) to believe what you want, I just have to wonder what you really believe.

Let's talk gay marriage. People say that it's against God's plan. It's a sin. It's this and that but mostly it should be illegal. My question is - why? I'm sure you can find in the Bible that man should not lie down with man (or something along those lines). And I've studied the background of that passage.  Frankly, there's a lot of sexual misconduct in the Bible. But if two consenting adults genuinely love each other, and want to be legally joined, where is the sin in that? If they want to have the same legal rights that Steve and I do, who is anybody to deny that to them? And frankly, there's a lot of different kinds of sex going on in the world - is there a list somewhere of what's okay and what's not? Are you trying to regulate sex or love, because that's a much broader topic to discuss.

Let's chat about sexual sin. In the Ten Commandments, I could not find one commandment about same-sex anything. But I do see one about adultery. Is it okay for an adulterer to get married? Why is it okay for a heterosexual couple to get married and have sex with anybody but not a same-sex couple who will remain faithful to each other forever?

Let's talk about sin. I personally live by something I was taught when I was a teenager. What is sin? It is anything that separates me from the fellowship of God. In other words, it's the first commandment - "You shall have no other gods before me." I believe this because anything can put me out of fellowship with God - if I allow it. And on another note, if I adhere to this theory of sin, then I don't have to find a list of sins. Sin can be anything from "don't murder" to "don't think such mean thoughts about that person."

The most recent "opinion" was something I read about Christians drinking alcohol. Basically the writer surmised that Christians should never drink - at all. Because it would demean their Christian influence. Just for the record, I do consume alcohol. I didn't growing up, and we didn't have it in our home. I didn't have my first drink until I was probably in my 40s. Now I rarely drink, and when I do, it's usually a fruity drink that's more fruity than alky. And sometimes when I have my fruity drink, I do pause and wonder if someone thinks less of me because I drink. And then I drink it all up.

I understand that a drunk is possibly not the best Christian witness. And I understand the havoc and destruction that alcohol can cause. As can cigarettes. As can hate. As can meanness. But I have to wonder if it's the sin that we're condemning or our own egos that we're building up. Are we trying to judge others or make ourselves better than others?

In the end, I'm left with the old WWJD (What Would Jesus Do for those of you not in the loop). What would Jesus do? We know he turned water into wine. We know he said, "Those of you without sin, throw the first stone."  We know he said, "Why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye but ignore the log that it in yours?" For me, the best I can do is to try to live by these word of Jesus, when someone came up and asked him about the greatest commandment.
Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31.
I know, this whole post will probably make some people angry, and that's okay. In the end, we have to believe what our hearts tell us to believe. And in the end, I know I will still love you. I just hope in your heart you can love me, too.
Today is a gift because: Lindley time; Mathieu's safe flight back to school; Sam's safe travel back home

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