“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” ~ Proverbs 16:18
The world has proclaimed that silence is golden. Well, I have remained silent concerning the supreme court’s ruling on gay marriage since it went historically viral, but I desire to remain quiet no longer. I have friends who sit on both sides of the fence in this moral debate. I see the world split in two. Therefore, I am going to say some things. First, because I am a born-again Christian who believes that God’s word is final and inerrant, I believe that homosexuality is a sin. I do, and this places me on one side of the fence. This statement will shock some of my friends who have heard me say otherwise in the past or because I have remained voiceless about my true feelings on the issue to avoid being “offensive”. I am sorry, but my Savior was spit upon. My Savior was lashed and beaten because he was offensive to people who did not wish to face their internal demons. Because of his offense, I am free. Because of his bravery, I will be brave enough to speak truth. But, I refuse to throw stones. Instead, I have decided to straddle this fence of offense and offer salvation, just as I believe Jesus would. I believe the homosexual lifestyle is a sin and I believe that the supreme court has disrupted a standard for marriage set in place by God in the garden of Eden, but I also know that Jesus died for all sinners. Just because I think your lifestyle is morally wrong, does not mean that I hate you. How could I be so presumptuous? God does not accept the homosexual lifestyle either, but he sent his son to die for those who practice it just the same as he sent his son to die for me. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Despite all the little, big and in-between things we do that go against what God has proclaimed as good and righteous, God loves us. He knows that we struggle. He knows that we defy him. He knows that we do not like to admit when we are wrong. And still he loves us. And still he died for us. And still he conquered death. For you. For me. For everyone who has ever struggled with any sin in his or her life ~
When I posted this on facebook, someone with a differing opinion commented. I want to share our micro-debate with you:
Jim: I support your rights to religious freedom; however, your religion does not belong in government. Otherwise there would be no divorce (Mark 10-2), or tatoos (laviticus 19) or eating shrimp. But how is it the sin of homosexuality is not listed as one of the Ten Commandments but adultery (committed by many Christians) is?
Honey, I love you dearly and think you are a wonderful person, but when it comes to marriage, it’s not a religious concept so really, do we only count certain sins or all sins? Let people live the way they are born and take care if the poor, the sick and needy.
Rachel: Let me address the points you have made. First, you say that marriage is not a religious concept and I disagree. Considering the fact that my religious freedom grants me the right to believe that the Bible is truth and inerrant, I believe that marriage was instituted by God in the garden of Eden when God placed one man with one woman who became one flesh and were given the responsibility of filling the earth. This is a union established by God and therefore, I see an earthly court ruling of redefining something eternally defined by God as a concept that is against a core foundation of my faith. Second, I can understand your stance concerning divorce and the ten commandments, but consider that homosexuality falls under the category of adultery. Yes, Jim, Christians get divorced. Christians have sex before marriage. Christians get tattoos. Christians cuss and flip people off and murder others through vile, hateful speech. Christians are not perfect. Perfection within Christianity is not required. Perfection is not attainable through the self. We all fall short of God’s glory. The beauty of believing in Christ is that though I make mistakes, though I blunder and am a hypocrite and though I struggle with sin daily, I am forgiven. This does not mean that egregious actions should be taken lightly. This does mean however that when I see my fellow man believing a lie and when I see the world and people I love satisfied to rejoice in sin that I am to be a voice for reason and truth and love. The greatest love I can do for someone is to show through my actions and words that God loves them and does not wish to see them wallowing in the darkness of sin no matter how colorful it proclaims itself to be. Third, to address your question concerning certain/all sins. Every person – proud and humble, rich and poor, black and white, faithful and unfaithful – will give an account for everything they have done in this life. We are physically, mentally and spiritually incapable of being perfect. God knows this, but he has also sent us an advocate. We do not have be defined by our actions or mistakes or slip-ups and accusations and pride because Christ took the burden. He has set you free from the burden of self-righteousness and self-preservation. He has set you free from guilt and anger. He has set us free to care for others without doing so in a manner designed to gain eternal brownie points but rather to do so solely in love.
Jim: But Honey, you are using your religious laws that don’t apply to US laws. It would be one thing if we lived in Israel or followed sharia laws but we don’t unless you are saying we should invoke sharia laws which follow the Old Testament?
Rachel: Jim, you are missing the key point I am making. I understand that the Ten Commandments and sharia law are not the law of the U.S. The supreme court does not have the right to make the decision it has made however by violating the 10th amendment and acting outside of its bounds as a judicial branch and political branch of government, so yes, I disagree with the decision made beyond the proclamations of faith I have addressed, but the main point I am emphasizing is: the grace of God, His forgiveness. Jesus Christ’s sacrifice fulfilled the law. Before his heart burst and lungs collapsed as he hung upon the cross, He said, “It is finished!” This is an exclamation. Just because God fulfilled the law through Christ’s death and resurrection which conquered spiritual death does not mean that it is okay to continue to sin or to not speak up when we see sin hurting the lives of others. “Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near. Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very though of doing wrong. Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously. ‘My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,’ says the Lord. ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.’” Isaiah 55:6-9
Jim: You do realize Muslims follow the same portions if the bible? Just saying
Rachel: The Muslim religion stems from the same history, yes. But it boils down to a dispute between two half brothers and God preserving the blessing upon Jacob’s descendants and not Ishmael’s. Through Jacob’s lineage was born Jesus Christ who fulfills the law and provides salvation to all of mankind. I have a question, however. Why do you only battle the Christian faith in its stance for what it believes to be truth and not also battle the Muslim faith when they hurl homosexual men from rooftops or be-head them publicly? I speak out in love towards the gays because I want them to know the grace of God and overwhelming love that washes away the stain of sexual struggles. I want them to spend eternity in the glory of God’s love because God intended forgiveness. I do not scream out that they should be murdered. I call out sin for what it is: sin. But there is no sin too great that God is not willing to forgive someone and guide them in a path of new life.
Jim: Baby I battle all religions that claim to be the only true religion.
Rachel: “This is what the Lord says – Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies: ‘I am the First and the Last; there is no other God. Who is like me? Let him step forward and prove to you his power. Let him do as I have done since ancient times when I established a people and explained its future. Do not tremble; do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim my purposes for you long ago? You are my witnesses – is there any other God? No! There is no other Rock – not one!’” Isaiah 44:6-8
Fruity pebbled breath
Exhaled on alien tongue
Forms the Yin and Yang.
Their smoke travels on the waves
Crashing through the channels
Of my eager brain.
They whisper of Universe’s plan
And give me Van Gogh vision.
I see the world melting –
Crayons left to weather
The cruelty of the sun.
Skies are swirling –
Tie-dyed orange blushes
Melding with a violet midnight
Punctuated by a dripping
Blob of cream.
My garden is
A pot of gold –
Place of tranquility;
Beauty draining from the canvas;
Muddied rose turned daffodil
In puddles of wintergreen;
Rainbowed polka dots
Where flowers did once bloom.
The sun is casting dominance
And the metal world
Bends at the waist
To bow its head
In reverent understanding.
Now cascading –
Smoggy, silver waterfalls.
©2014 Rachel Karp