My incredible sister in law posted a blog entry last night that I felt I just had to comment on.
I don't see how some actions can be deemed wrong enough for laws against them to be created when other behaviors are totally ignored or even encouraged. I do understand that God wants marriages to be between one man and one woman, but seriously, if we think we can go around saying gay marriage is wrong while adultery and divorce are rampant, while parents can get fed up with their teenagers and drop them off at a hospital, while we buy big-screen tvs and ignore the cold, lonely, hungry people in our community - well, I don't even have words for how twisted that is. I understand gay marriage is not God's will, but neither are my disrespectful words to my husband or people's strangleholds on their bank accounts and disregard for their neighbors. I don't believe we were ever given the right to determine one sin worse than another.
sin is sin is sin.
I believe that it's up to God to convict us of what is right and wrong. I also believe that God knows what's right for me, might not be right for you. You all can probably be responsible with your drinking. I cannot be. But for me to determine that drinking alcohol should be illegal just because I can't handle it, well, that just seems wrong. It's not my job to determine what is right and wrong for you. As a Christian, I believe that I'm supposed to introduce people to Jesus and then let Him transform their lives. I know that I'm not supposed to look the other way when a fellow believer is stuck in sin, that I'm supposed to bring it up with him/her alone and individually at first and offer to help them out of it. But the key words there are 'fellow believer.' Telling people that their choices are going to displease God and that He will send them to hell if they don't repent, doesn't attract people to Him. How can they believe Him to be the merciful and loving God that He is if He needs to scare you into listening to Him? People aren't going to understand it when you say, "You have to stop loving the person you are loving because if you don't, God will send you to hell for eternity. Oh and by the way, God loves you!" People should be able to come to Jesus just as they are. They don't need the burden of cleaning up their act first. Not that they could anyway. I don't agree with those people who stand outside abortion clinics saying that these girls are going to hell. If they're going to do that, why don't they stand outside divorce courts and Neiman Marcus? In the same vein, I don't agree with those who spit on our soldiers. I honestly don't know where I stand on war in general, but punishing one sin while ignoring another is just not ok in my book, and if we punished all sins, we'd all end up being punished since "all have sinned."
I also want to mention something else. I don't have all the answers. I don't entirely know where I stand on many issues because I can see both sides and don't feel like I can choose one over another, but I don't believe that there should be a mandatory re-distribution of wealth. I agree that to do so would really help those who can't help themselves. I agree that helping the needy is good. But I believe that our 'giving' should be from the heart, not enforced by law. I don't want my government to determine a certain dollar amount or percentage of my income to be reserved for charity. I realize that our taxes have been used for years to better our country and our fellow citizens. But to level the playing field seems unfair to me. Only because I know my flesh. If I knew that my needs would be taken care of, regardless of whether I took care of them or some hard-working, educated guy I've never met took care of them, I would not try to better myself. I would let you all take care of me and my family. At least, that's the way I would have been before I became a believer.
I'm not saying all non-believers are going to intentionally slack off and not work hard to get educated and trained to become productive members of society, (and I'm also not saying that Christians are doing enough to help their struggling neighbors), but I know that's what I would do if I was still the person I used to be. I wouldn't better myself. I wouldn't see the point in working hard if someone else was footing the bill. I did this with my parents and my ex's so I know it's true about me. I also know intimately the way I felt when I didn't work, when I didn't contribute to my own betterment. I was depressed, did loads of drugs, and attempted suicide many, many times. I realize I'm just one person, but I believe that we all have an inner need to contribute to our own lives. We need to feel useful and necessary, that sense of pride in a job well-done. The people who are really struggling to make ends meet are typically working their butts off to provide for themselves. Or they can't because of a disability, temporary or chronic. I pray that the taxes I pay go to help them. I truly do. But I also know that some of my money isn't getting to them because there are some in this country who are satisfied being leeches, like I used to be. These people are never going to get better if they don't have to. And that's a shame because I imagine there's a whole heck of a lot of potential in these people if only they are given the opportunity to find it.
I believe it's God's job to convict and challenge me to give by faith. I believe that to give to the needy is a responsibility that every single one of us share, but it's not obedience if it's forced. It's not loving. It's not 'giving.' Does that make sense? I'm trying to think spiritually more than just physically here. Other cultures seem so much better at giving than we are. In Israel, you can just drop in at your friends' house and have some tea or dinner with them. No need for formalities, no need to call first or not have people over until you clean up your house so that you stay in the competitive game of 'keeping up with the Joneses.' It seems that fellowship is so much easier in other countries. We isolate ourselves here in the United States and perhaps for that reason, we are insulated from the enormous amount of need in our communities. It seems other cultures are painfully aware of the need of their neighbors and because they are aware, they act. They share. They give. They sacrifice their own comforts for the survival of their peers. I don't know why we here in the States are so blinded. Even when our eyes are opened, it's only temporarily because that voice that convicts us turns into a whisper as soon as an advertisement for the latest fashion or home furnishings or techie gadget bombards our senses.
I just think that we need to get off our man-made thrones and let God be God. We can't be God. We need to let Him give us the parameters for how we live our lives, how we behave, how we treat our fellow human beings and our loved ones, and what we spend our money on. Furthermore, and I know that this will not sit well with everyone, but if we're gonna single out a sin to make illegal, let it be something other than gay marriage. Or make every sin illegal and just watch the chaos as our entire lives are deemed against the law! As usual, I'm thinking out loud here. If you have a different opinion, please enlighten me. Sometimes I can't see the blind spots of my own views.