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Fighting Against God's Terms

Thursday, March 11. Dear Diary: Today, the Massachusetts legislature decided to go along against gay marriage, and this Christian is disheartened, but not for the reasons you might think. On top of that, the California Supreme Court put a hold on homosexual marriages in San Fransisco, at least until it can examine the issue.

As you know, I disapprove of homosexuality. I’ve examined the scripture. I’ve studied the theology, more than many preachers have. It’s clear enough. Homosexual relations are sinful. I refuse to engage in them. I refuse to teach my family to accept them. They are an unacceptable variation. Unequivocally, unacceptable. But I fear a government ban on gay marriage.

Don’t misunderstand. Homosexual marriage will not stop. It’s too late, and at least in that I find encouragement. Even if we could at this moment win in Massachusetts, we wouldn’t be able to stop the gay marriages popping up like up whack-a-moles around the country. And we can’t shut down the issue in Massachusetts. It will take at least two and a half years more, if the amendment makes it that far. In the meantime, gay and lesbian couples will be getting married in Massachusetts, gathering more sympathy points with the public.

Don’t I trust in God? Doesn’t He have the power, even against the odds, to pound down all those moles? Yes of course He does, if He wanted to. But God doesn’t want to. God doesn’t even care.

To the extent He does care, He sides with the homosexuals. God lets us make choices for a reason. He wants a relationship, freely given and freely received. So He lets us make poor choices as well as good ones. He doesn’t force us to follow Him, and neither does he force others. Is God’s kingdom a kingdom of men, enforced by the sword? Or is it a kingdom of His Spirit, enabled by His grace through faith in Christ?

God is real. He can use us. He can change sinners’ hearts. I believe in hope and prayer and persuasion, with meekness. It’s in there. Read it again! Paul said it to Timothy and to Titus. He urged us to pray, rather than to make political enemies, “that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” Peter wrote about it. Read it in the last chapters of Romans. In doing what is right, as much as is possible live at peace with everybody, so that we can have an effective witness.

What does God have to do with politics? Politics means strife. He cares about people. He accomplishes more in one day in our families and jobs and churches and in our other relationships, more than our government programs have accomplished in our lifetimes. I know I can’t depend on the politicians I see, but I can depend on the all-powerful Invisible. In the end, that takes the more faith.

And so I’m disheartened, because the fight goes on. It’s a fight we can’t win, not by God’s standards, because it’s impossible to love the sinner while you approve of the gun pointed at him. And if you think there’s no gun, then what power do we expect the government to use? Maybe we really are just trying to keep a divine institution, just trying to live without having immorality forced on us. But we’re doing it the wrong way, fighting over government power.

We’re supposed to be better than that. Do we trust in God? Or do we need to resort to government force? (And if force doesn’t come into it, then what’s all the fuss?) In a political war, even if we win, we lose. We lose not just the homosexuals but everyone else, too. We’re just another one of the warlords, and the peasants get caught in the middle. Even if we conquer the land, the people will hate us. That’s already the biggest obstacle I face; before people even want to hear about Jesus, first I must convince them that I’m not out to get them.

If God’s word is clear about sex, how much clearer is it on Godly love? That message is written on practically every page. We’ve puzzled so long over the lesser issues, we can no longer see the basic morality in peaceful evangelism. Far more insidious than any form of sexual immorality is the sin of statism.

© 2004 J. Timothy King


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