The Best Lovers are not Cowards

There they are.
Filling the rotunda of the Rhode Island State House.
Christians with signs
and microphones.
I just want to crawl back under the covers and come out the day before the Rapture.
What I wouldn’t give to avoid, dodge, duck, ignore, and otherwise elude
the Gay Marriage Debate and the Church.
 
I don’t want to talk about it. I don’t have to talk about it. I could clam up or feign cell-phone calls whenever the topic comes up in public.
I’m no coward (okay, I try not to be a coward), it’s just so complicated and hard to discuss without pain, I wish the subject would go away.
Explaining what I believe and why is not a quick conversation,
or  a sound-bite,
a bumper sticker,
a protest sign.
It isn’t derived from one Bible verse or commandment but from a holistic understanding of the complete revelation of God in Jesus Christ and in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.
I don’t believe what I believe because I’m homophobic or because I don’t know anyone gay or because no one I love is a lesbian or because I’ve lived a perfect life and expect everyone else to fit into my mold.
My beliefs haven’t been formed because I blindly follow white male leaders whose teaching I never question.
I’m not old-fashioned, narrow-minded, intolerant, or prejudiced. I don’t feel threatened by people who believe differently than I do.
And yes, I know other Christians disagree with me.
They were there at the statehouse, too.
One group of churches united in opposition to gay marriage
another united in support
and both groups there in the love and in the name of Jesus.
Yeah. That’s confusing and complicated, too.
And, it’s not as simple as saying things like, “Well, those liberal guys can’t be Christians,” or “That group is so legalistic they can’t possibly know Jesus.” or “Don’t those people ever read the Bible?” (which works in either direction.)
It’s not simple.
And more and more, the modern world has no tolerance for complexity, for nuanced conversation, for informed dialog, and intelligent debate.
Give it to us quick and dirty or you don’t know what you’re talking about. The world is moving on so if what you believe can’t be tweeted, it’s not valid and you’re archaic – we’re moving past you – enjoy your black-and-white TV and your root beer float, we have a parade to attend.
 
Glib doesn’t work for me on topics that touch people at the core of who they believe they are. This is heart-achingly serious life business with eternal ramifications.
I don’t have it all figured out. I’m fallible. I sin. I’m not perfect but I didn’t create the rules and they aren’t mine to change.
If a person chooses not to live by God’s rules, that’s entirely up to them and I won’t try to impose God’s laws on them and I will live with them in peace
but if they ask my opinion by opening the issue to a vote, to legislation, to public debate, then what I voice will be informed by my understanding of Biblical truth. Hence, personal belief enters public discourse.
Marriage is not just a nifty reason for buying a new dress and inviting everyone we know to a great party. It’s not just a convenient way to organize life and love and display our politics.
When God created the world, He created a million different ways for us to find Him, to know Him, to understand Him and marriage is one vehicle for that message.
Marriage is a picture of Christ and the Church. Male and female He created them – in His image – and something about the union – of male and female – illustrates something powerful and mysterious about God.
That’s just one of the many reasons not to rearrange it to fit the spirit of our age or the mood of the masses.
There are more reasons, but this post is already too long for most people to read.
This post isn’t so much about conclusions as it is to give voice to the angst many of us feel when it’s open mic night at the State House rotunda and we know and love the faces on either side of the debate
but we must choose a side on which to stand
and then the faces on the side we stand against may stop listening to our words and to our hearts.
But the best lovers are not cowards because love is bold and brave.
So those who love Christ cannot crawl under the covers or change the channel to We TV and live with a clear conscience before God.
We must speak. Stand. Keep trying to represent Him as He reveals Himself through Scripture and through Jesus Christ.
So this is me, not hiding. This is me, holding a sign. This is me loving God and you but you may translate it as hate and I can’t help that but I can keep trying.
This is me, holding a sign.
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4 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. I think you said it well…difficult times we live in for sure. Complicated, painful and heated topic.
    I guess that’s why Grace and Truth are linked. Both are needed. Often truth is proclaimed without grace- and grace without the truth is really not loving. Following His lead is the key. You can’t hate certain people and have a ministry to them. I think Christians need to be honest with themselves and God and pray before they ever share the truth with anyone- God calls people to reach people but not all people are called to share his truth with all people (especially if they have hate towards certain groups of people). I hope this makes sense. We are all called to share the gospel. But lets face the fact that many Christians ARE in actuality biased in their attitudes about certain sins. Either way…I think on this one, you hit well the balance. In my opinion.

  2. I clicked the ‘encouraging’ box because you presented my position so well that I can share your words instead of having to write my own. I stand on God’s Word and I can’t help it if others choose to see that as being ‘against’ them as individuals. I will love them even as I stand by His grace.

  3. Anonymous says:

    We so often desire the love and acceptance of people we forget God’s Word never changes. No matter what the issue of the day, God’s Word stands. We who know His Word are bound to stand with Him. You always seem to have the proper perspective and I learn much from reading your blog. MOMMA

  4. Erynn says:

    Loved this. Thanks for being courageous.