Saturday, November 17, 2012

Bigotry? Really?

Before I launch into the subject matter for this post, have a quick gander to the right at the beautiful waters of the Buffalo River in Arkansas. This is a great little swimming hole near Tyler Bend. Crystal clear water.

Ah. Okay, down to business. I am getting weary with watching talking head shows at night involving subjects that are controversial. Everyone's talking (or yelling) and name-calling, but no one is listening. It especially gets irritating when the subject is a moral or spiritual issue that has become political, and they have two or three guests on to purportedly discuss or debate the issue. But it isn't really an honest discussion. The main point of these shows seems to be to work people up into a lather and get them yelling, with the host/moderator throwing his or her own nonsense into the mix, and almost without fail, the traditional/conservative/Christian position on the issue gets the short end of the stick.

The flavor of the day seems to be homosexuality, but really, we could be talking about almost any issue where "sin" is involved. Abortion, sexual immorality, economic immorality—pick your poison. With homosexuality, as soon as a Christian gets invited onto a talk show to discuss, right away the "bigotry" charge gets thrown and the well of discussion is poisoned right at the outset. No one is willing to give the issue a real hearing and discover that there just might be a non-bigoted reason why Christians believe the way they do on this subject, or any other.

Now, let me insert a parenthetical before I make my main point. The "Christian/Traditional" side of the argument certainly has people that are not its best ambassadors. There are some (such as the ridiculous Fred Phelps bunch at the Westboro "Baptist" Church) who I don't believe really are true Christians. They are haters with spiritual clothes on who take biblical commands and positions on sexual morality and leave all redemption, grace and mercy out of the equation. And the media LOVES to get people like them on the air and claim that they represent most Christians with their attitude and distortion of biblical positions. They do not. Not even close. But the other side also has its yellers and screamers. It's not just the conservative side. But at least I'm willing to acknowledge the creeps on my side. The hard left doesn't seem to think they have any creeps on their side. But they do, and it's self-evident when you hear the vile that comes out of their mouths.

Let's Make Some Assumptions for the Sake of Discussion

Having said all of this, I would like to ask the far-left and pro-homosexuality side of this issue to honestly consider the possibility of something that maybe they might not have considered. (And again, it's not just homosexuality). Let's imagine for a moment that what Christians have believed for the past 2,000 years is true. Let's assume that man is fallen, and that everyone will stand before God and account to Him for their behavior. Let's assume that the Bible is true, its commandments and statutes are in force, and its warnings about coming judgment are true.

Let's assume for a moment that the Creator Himself, the Second Person of the Triune God—Jesus Christ—indeed willingly did come to earth, take on the form of a Man, and out of His great love paid the price for the sins of His people on the cross. And now that He has done so, He has given only a short amount of time (from an eternal perspective) for people to respond to His free offer of mercy. He is now calling for all to repent of their sin and rebellion, and trust in Him for salvation, thereby receiving His full and free forgiveness of all their sin.

What next for those of us who have become Christians? I'll tell you. We have a Master, and we've been given some marching orders. Now that we have received Him and have been forgiven, He has told us that "if you love Me, keep My commandments." Jesus further said that the greatest commandment was to love God with all our hearts, souls, minds etc..and the second greatest commandment was like it—to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. He also has commanded those of us to follow Him to share the Good News with others—that their sins can be forgiven and cleansed, and that they can live new lives of freedom and have ultimate hope of eternity with Him. But there is also a warning attached with that Good News. For those who do not respond in repentance, that means that Judgment Day is eventually coming, and that to refuse means eternal separation from God. And yes, that means Hell. Assume all of this is true.

Now, you tell me. IF all of this is true, certain things follow forth logically. The unbelieving world wants true Christians—who are MOTIVATED BY LOVE AND COMPASSION—to go away and shut up. And we could. We could just keep our mouths shut and not say a word. We could let people just la la la their lives away, and never offer the Gospel, never warn of the ultimate consequences of sin and rebellion, never talk about how people can be free of sin, evil and guilt. We could just let people do as they will, live, rebel, do evil and die—and face a Christless eternity in a very horrible place. Yes, we could.

Where's the Love?

Think about it from our perspective. If we know all this is true and coming, would it be loving to keep silent? Wouldn't we be guilty of an unspeakable crime against humanity? That we knew the truth of what was coming, and knew the only way of escape, yet remained silent? Would that be loving? I think not. It would be monstrous and cruel.

This never gets said on the talking head shows. And more than likely, it wouldn't be heard even if it was said. But that is really the state of affairs with most Christians who do their best to love God, love their fellow man and be faithful ambassadors of God in a fallen world. That's why we do what we do and say what we say. It isn't hate. It isn't bigotry. No matter how much the clever opponents and propagandists of libertine behavior and yes, SIN, try to paint us with that brush.

One more thought. Those who hate Christians for their message seem to forget that outside of Christ, we're in the same boat too. From our perspective, we have been granted rich grace, mercy and forgiveness that we don't deserve. We're beggars, and we earnestly want to share with others where we found the nourishing bread. Yet, that's not considered or heard. To the unbelieving world, we're just a bunch of self-righteous, moralistic busybodies who want to take everyone's fun away. They don't consider all the good that has come from people of faith. Schools, hospitals, rescue missions, food pantries, clinics for the poor, universities, etc. They've forgotten that part of it all.

And in all truth, it's just like Jesus Himself said. God is really the ultimate target. They hate Him, and because they hate Him, they hate us. They can't get at God, so they do all they can to get at us. To them, we're all fools. And that's okay. To quote the old song, "I'll be a fool for Jesus." And as long as I have life and breath, I'll do all I can to love my fellow man with both deed and truth. I'll help feed the hungry, clothe the naked, comfort the broken-hearted, and all the actions of love and mercy within my power.

But I'll also continue to speak truth to the issues of the day, regardless of whether or not it makes me liked or popular. Highly unlikely. But please, let's just stop the slanderous hate and bigotry charges. They're false, and the people who make them know they're false. Disagree freely with me all you like as to the issue, but don't attribute to me motivations that I don't have. You can at least have that much intellectual honesty.

1 comment:

DebbieLynne said...

Exactly!