I usually shy away from controversy, like the one last week about the Supreme Court decision broadening the definition of marriage.
Typically, I don’t cultivate conversations, write blog posts, or start discussions on social media about these things…I figure that someone else has already said it, and said it better, like my friend Kayse.
When my feelings get involved, I worry about saying important things in the wrong way, or in a way that doesn’t honor the Lord. I believe that if your contribution doesn’t improve the conversation, it is better left unsaid.
That kind of sets a high standard here, but I am going to step out there. I want to say something that I haven’t heard much: The struggle between the opposing sides in this disagreement isn’t really about marriage at all; it comes down to worldview.
Christians, our differences with secularists, atheists, agnostics (or even other Christians) are due to the underlying assumptions we make about the veracity and value of God’s Word. When I see the anger of Bible-believing Christians, I want to say, “Don’t you see that there are many who simply don’t believe the Word of God? And in those people, how can we expect them to acknowledge the Truth?”
We see the Word as alive and active, a change agent, the Gospel…the best news ever…God’s revelation of Himself and His invitation to us. They see the Holy Scriptures as “wisdom literature” (alongside Buddha, Confucius, Ghandi, and Depak Chopra). Or they accept parts of it, but ignore what they think is “outdated” or “irrelevant” (of course there is no logic in that…either a source is trustworthy or it is not). Still others reject all of the Bible as bunk, or a joke.
We, who hold the Bible to be authored by the God of the Universe, should expect that those who reject it wholly, or in part, will disagree with us. These disagreements run so deep and are so fundamental to decision-making and interpretation of experience, that we might as well be speaking different languages. Rarely can those who strive to water it down, or reject it, claim to be students of the Word.
What is the solution? Prayer, patience, compassion, and remembering our purpose.
- We should pray, because He tells us to: Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:5-7, ESV).
- We should be patient, because He is: “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9, ESV).
- We should have compassion, because He did: “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36, ESV).
- We should behave according to our purpose: …Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:18-20, ESV).
As Ambassadors for Christ, we should invite others to read Scripture, all of the Bible, and be ready to walk with them and talk about it. Many people who have set out to disprove the Bible have been won over by the careful, complete reading of it. God’s Word is powerful:
For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account (Hebrews 4:11-12, ESV).
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