“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously – no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.”
― C.S. Lewis
Lots of fur flying over the ‘correct’ Christian response to the current Marriage Equality debate, this during Easter season no less, a time when believers are reminded of a deeper, transcendent perspective and matters like Sin and Salvation, Mortality, and Eternity. Insert cliche here about forest and trees.
We have differing opinions on the matter but I genuinely appreciate my net-friend K. Coble, and her decision to put a reminder of the crucifixion on her FB page rather than a Equality sign.
“What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” – Pilate. Matt. 27:22
Duck out of the line of fire of all the arguments, opinions, and accusations for a moment – that’s is the real question that needs to be answered. Not ‘Where do I stand on DOMA*?” When the good, the bad, and the ugly secrets of my soul are laid bare before a Holy and Just Creator, He won’t be asking about nationality, political or denominational affiliations. The current furor will be a footnote in a history book/ebook somewhere. Repentance, Faith, and Redemption will be the central issues.
“Go and sin no more.” Jesus Christ to the adulteress. John 8:11
I used the R-Word just now; Repentance. We can debate sovereignty, free will, response and responsibility, but the fact remains repentance is the first step to salvation, and the critical, lifelong part of anyone’s walk with Christ. The call to faith – defined here as an inner conviction that prompts an outward action – is nothing if not an imperative to change our mind “metanoia” and live in obedience to the reality of God as seen in Jesus’ Life, Death and Resurrection.
God loves all people, absolutely, but it’s clear He loves us despite our sin, our sheer unworthiness. (Example: Rom. 5: 6-11) Yes, Jesus went out of His way to affirm the value and humanity of all people; Samaritans, Gentiles, lepers, women, outcasts, demoniacs, but He never, not once, affirmed people in their sin. Sexual Immorality – of which homosexuality is one type – is a symptom of a much deeper spiritual isolation, brokenness and defiance. It is not an ‘unforgivable sin’ and it’s only an obstacle if it’s refused to be acknowledged as such, the same as any other transgression. The grace that forgives also transforms. Love is God’s nature; Salvation is His offer.
“Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.” – Jesus Christ. Jn. 18: 36
Easter is the time Christians recall all Jesus went through to get us past our sin and inevitable death, and get us into His Father’s Kingdom, an eternal kingdom. Our hope is there, not in the systems and nations of this world. Yes, we should be passionate and engaged as citizens and neighbors, reflecting as best we can the Courage, Compassion and Convictions of our Lord and Savior, but I agree with Saint Clive, Jesus, and the writer of Hebrews: this present society and culture will pass away. The Perfect Kingdom is yet to come. God desires you, me, anyone who wants, to be there. The aim in the meantime is to freely extend the invitation made by Jesus Himself and paid for with His own Life.
Happy Easter. May God bless you with Grace, Peace, and the Comfort of His Presence.
* Defense of Marriage Act.