Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Blessed are the Persecuted: A brief note on Christians and Gay Marriage

"God will judge us not on how much we endured, but on how much we could love"
- Richard Wurmbrand, Tortured for Christ

A large number of Conservative Christians today believe that if gay marriage is legalized, it will be the beginning of the end of Christian liberty.
It will lead to persecution of Christians, including the prohibition of saying that homosexuality is a sin.
Though I doubt that it will be anywhere near that drastic, let’s say they’re correct and it will be.

If I had to choose between being persecuted as a Christian, or finding out about another homosexual committing suicide because of persecution, I would choose my own persecution!

If it really came down to our persecution or theirs, it would be the most Christ-like response to choose ours.

Though Christ was equal to God in nature, he emptied himself completely, made himself nothing, became a human servant, and then became obedient to death. And for this he was exalted. (Phil. 2:6-11)

We should seek to be like Christ (v.5).
We should be self-emptying, self-sacrificing, and other-focused.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition” (v.3). The Greek word for ‘selfish ambition’ denotes one who demands his own rights.
“Let your benevolence be evident to all!” (4:5). The Greek word for ‘benevolence’ denotes one who does not care about his own rights.

Rather than demanding our own rights, we should forget about ourselves and focus on the rights and interests and needs of others (2:3-4).
In our lives, we should look like Christ dying on the cross to transform people with infinite, salvific love.
Even if that means sacrificing our religious liberty and accepting persecution!

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.
Blessed are you when people persecute you and insult you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you on account of me.
Rejoice and be glad! Your reward in Heaven is great, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
- Matt. 5:10-12

3 comments:

  1. Poor comparison....being persecuted stands alone and if declaring a sin to be sin no matter what the sin, we could list them and not isolate just one, and saying that when sin is confronted is the same as persecution is a as I said a poor comparison.

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  2. It's not a poor comparison, actually. God knows it's sin, and His Word is clear, so those who truly follow Him will believe it. Our "right" to declare it is really just a blessing from God anyway; the truth will continue to be so, whether it is declared or not. Besides, John Daniel is not necessarily arguing that we should vote for gay marriage, but moreso that should gay marriage be legalized, Christians would actually be in a better position to image Christ than in our current situation. JD, I heartily agree.

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  3. I think this might truly be a case of thinking through that so often and loosely thrown about question, "what would Jesus do?". It is hard to definitely say but I think I can come up with as many logical possibilities as the more studied and learned amongst us. If we think Jesus would have us remove ourselves completely from the operational activities of society and the structure of law, then I could maybe buy into him thinking that the legalizing of gay marriage would make sense for a nation. However, if we are to be active participants in the workings of our communities, states, nations, and the bodies of law that govern them, I think he would think the proposition is a bad one. I don't believe this is about persecuting a gay person. I do not persecute my child when I discipline him, correct him, or speak truth to him. Why would we think it persecution to speak the truth in love to someone who is choosing such a wrong and destructive path as that of homosexuality and marriage between those of the same sex? No, this is beyond one person's feelings and one person's personal responsibility for another person's sense of guilt. This is about setting and maintaining a set of standards for a civilized society. We have to ask the question, "what is the net effect of such legalized marriage?" We are taught, by God, to be careful not to lead others astray. We are taught that we should provide for and protect our families. We are taught to love others. I submit that loving others is a much deeper and profound thing than feeling for others' feelings. I submit that love sometimes means we have to take hard and unpopular stands... stands that, in the long run, are better for those who we seek to reach/love, and yes, better for our society. (Just some random thoughts: I would not willingly assign a known alcoholic to be the driver a school bus full of children. Why then would we position such a twosome of persons to be in line for equal treatment as parents as the parents ordained/created by God? I doubt that Corrie Ten Boom and others who survived (and did not survive) the holocaust would have chosen such a way to live just so they could shine in the midst of persecution. Why would I knowingly contribute to the destruction of civilized society, just to prove my faith in God? I would not knowingly trust my child's care to a child molester.) In the end, I believe this is quite simple. Why do we try so hard to make it so complicated?

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