Where the church when wrong
Disclaimer: For those of you who know me as Pastor Brad, this is not Pastor Brad writting. This is just Brad. My own personal thoughts. They do not reflect the oppinions of my current church, any church that I have ever served at or the Assemblies of God. Please do not take it as such.
This coming election is one of the most important elections in the history of our young nation. It is so very important on many levels, a new president, congress, and the whole bit of California legislation. In case you do not know, California has passed a law allowing for same sex marriage. On the ticket in the Golden State this year is a measure seeking to overturn the decision.
So, where did the church miss the mark? Well, to be brutally honest, the church is bigoted. We are not tolerant of certain things, and we think that expressing these opinions is the way to get people to change their lives. Let me clarify a couple of things. First of all, I believe in the Bible, every last word of it. It clearly says that homosexuality is not an acceptable lifestyle. However, it also says that neither is a lifestyle of heterosexual promiscuity, rebellion, lying, gossip, or tax evasion. Does the church take an active stance on any of these issues? How about Homosexuality? Why one, but not the other?
Where the church has really missed the mark is this: somehow, we think that it is the job of the church to convict the world of sin. The last time I read the Bible, it says that it is the job of the Holy Spirit to convict the world of sin (John 16:8), not the job of the church. Think about it logically. Does telling someone they are going to hell going to change their behavior? Has it worked for you? If you see someone stealing and you tell them that they might go to jail for it, does it ever stop them? Probably not. Our job is to love people where they are. It is through our love that people come to know, love and follow Jesus Christ.
So now we are stuck in this conundrum. You see, homosexuals hate the church. Rightfully so, I would probably hate the church too. They see all of us as bigoted, close minded, self-righteous, bible thumpers. I thought things were bad here, it gets worse. Now some churches are over compensating for the wrongs of other churches. Let me tell you a little secret, when you are trying to bring balance to a situation that is out of balance, error in the other direction does not bring balance, it brings more error. So now we have churches that overcompensate in the other direction, and say, “its not wrong, everyone else has had it wrong.”
Back to the conundrum. So homosexuals hate the church, because we have offended them. They want their rights, such as the right to get married, and all the other things that married spouses can enjoy such as hospital visitation. Frankly, I think they should at least have the rights that everyone else does, however now we are reaping the seeds sown in hatred. They do not want to stop there. They want write into the curriculum of every grade (yes, kindergarten through 12th grade) the ideas that homosexuality is right, normal, and acceptable. No parents can object, they cannot choose for their children to abstain. Even if they could, it would be such a major part of the curriculum that these kids would miss a majority of their schooling.
I saw a video today that broke my heart. In Massachusetts, same sex marriage has been legal for a couple of years. In this video, a Christian couple was being interviewed about their experience. Their son came home from Kindergarten on his first day, and he had a book which began to teach a little bit about same sex marriage. The parents did not want for their children to be exposed to this, so they went down to the school to have a talk with an administrator.
They asked about this book, and explained that they did not want their child exposed to this yet. Their religious beliefs do not agree with this book, and they requested that they be notified, of when they would be talking about same sex marriage so that they could have their child abstain. Because same sex marriage is legal in Massachusetts, it must be taught as normal, acceptable and morally right. They were denied their request. The father then told the administrator that he is prepared to sit there all night until he got a reasonable response. He received a night in a jail cell, and a day in court.
Is this tolerance? Personally, I hate tolerance. Tolerance says this, “I do not like you, but I will put up with your presence.” But it is what the homosexual community is asking for. Really, I think that people should be accepted and loved, not just tolerated. Tolerance is the lowest means of cooperation. Anyhow, is this tolerance? Was this father tolerated? I don’t think so. Tolerance would say, “I understand that you do not want your son to learn about this, I think he should, but lets work something out.” Frankly, the homosexual community is one of the least tolerant communities there is. I stress one of, because there are many groups that are much less tolerant, but that is a different blog.
Do I blame them? No, they have not been tolerated, and now that we are starting to think about getting it right, they are having their revenge. I am concerned about what this could do to the church in America. If same sex marriage should become legalized throughout the country (after all as California goes, so does the nation) what will become of the church? I have a legitimate fear that one day, a same sex couple will come to me and ask me to perform their wedding ceremony. I not allowed by my conscience, and bylaws of the Assembly of God to do so. If I decline, will I be faced with a lawsuit or even jail time for a hate crime. They are working on measures that would not allow a church to speak out against homosexuality. Pastors could face jail time for doing such a thing. What happened to free speech?
I’m afraid that we have gone wrong, and there is no undoing the damage we have done to ourselves. We brought this on our selves by not showing Jesus love, and instead trying to scare people into the kingdom of heaven. Will we ever get it right?
By the way, if you are interested in seeing the video, you can find it at:
Its about 7 minutes long.
Love as Jesus loved.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008