Store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven
where moth and rust cannot destroy and thieves cannot break in and steal

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Homosexual Marriage Is Not Our Problem

Our Creator went to dramatic lengths to establish the Jewish nation as His people.
In that process, as described in the Old Testament, Israel was to be absolutely unique among the surrounding nations. As I stated in the post  the ceremonial laws in totality and the judicial and moral laws in large part were to clearly separate and distinguish God's people in thought, word and deed from the behaviours of their surrounding neighbours.

Jesus the Christ went to dramatic lengths to establish we who are saved, as His people.
Unlike Old Testament Israel, we who are His people are to no longer avoid mingling with our pagan neighbours. We are instead to work diligently for the good of our secular world without becoming like the secular world. Rather than an individual nation being set apart for God, it is now our individual lives that have been consecrated and set apart for Christ. So what's this got to do with homosexuals marrying each other?

I read about a Pastor a few weeks back suggesting that the government of the United States “should be killing homosexuals, but it won't.” The implication being that if the government was obeying God it would force the inhabitants of the U.S.A. to obey Old Testament law – a law that was set forth specifically for God's chosen people. The question is, how could that Pastor make that kind of statement? Does he think that we're still living in Old Testament Israel? Jesus' Law Code (as pointed out in the post I referred you to above) is different from the Abraham and Mosaic Law Codes in very significant ways. It's understandable for atheists to not get that, but how can we who study God's Word miss that?

As Christians, the earth is not our home. As people who are part of God's family, we're strangers here. We're foreigners in a foreign land. So how did we ever come to a point where we actually believe that it is up to us, God's people, to tell other people, gentiles really, pagans and functional atheists in practice, how to live in their own country?

This world belongs to satan and his people, not to us. This world is their home, not ours.

So how did we come to believe that forcing pagans and atheists to obey Jesus' commands will make them right with Jesus? How did trying to make other people behave like followers of Jesus become our top priority? As I've said many times, if you are not in a healed and forgiven relationship with Jesus, then how you live is the least of your problems.

The Israelites were to remain utterly separate from the surrounding nations, both physically and behaviourally. We, as followers of Jesus are to be physically present in our surrounding culture, yet remain utterly separate in our obedience to our Lord and Saviour. In regard to this topic, Jesus has set forth very clear guidelines, for His people, for sexual intimacy; it is to be within the safety and protection of a male / female faithful and monogamous marriage. Period. Regardless of what our surrounding culture celebrates as wonderful, we who claim to be followers of Jesus, need to follow Him – Period.

Personally, I think that we get the kind of world we deserve. I think that any degree of sin makes our world a worse place in which to live and a high level of sin makes it worst of all. However, if those who live upon the earth want to engage in homosexual marriage or polyamorous relationships, or take us to the brink (or over) of world-wide financial collapse with their greed and corruption, what is that to me? My job is to live as a citizen of heaven. My job is to show by example that there is a different way to do life, a better way to do life. As to what the world calls “sexual freedom” or “diversity”? Been there. Done that. What they consider new and exciting is as old as humanity, and I judge it to be third rate at best compared to what I have now. If those apart from God don't want to enjoy the kind of marriage relationship that I have, it's their loss. If they don't want to experience the “fruit of the Spirit,” I can't help it. If they don't want the salvation that Jesus offers, it's not my job to coerce change in that area. It IS my job, however, to not make it more difficult for those who live upon the earth to hear their Creator when He calls them to salvation.

Actually, as is shown by the areas in the world where Christianity is experiencing its greatest growth, the darker the culture, the brighter the light of Jesus shines. Perhaps we need to slide back into spiritual darkness for a time.

. When I try to force non Christians, whether by law, or guilt or coercion, to live as a Christian is supposed to live, do I really think they'll say, “Sir what must I do to be saved?”
. When I try to copy or mimic the behaviours of my pagan neighbours in some convoluted attempt to make Jesus more appealing to them, do I really think they'll say, “Sir what must I do to be saved?”

So how did we come to a place where we think that it is our job to tell those in the secular world (those who live in another nation so to speak) how to think and act? Sure there was a time when those who live on the earth tried to emulate “Christian” morals. Fine. Good for them. Good for society. Good for the world. Sure there was a time when the lives of Christians was attractive to those stuck in slavery to sin. Who could blame them for wanting out? But we're well beyond that time and I think it is time for us to return to our roots.

“This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those in Babylon: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the place in which you live. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” Jeremiah 29:4-7 (rod's paraphrase)

We Christians are today living in a virtual Babylon. Followers of Jesus do not need a Christian culture for us to live in peace or to find joy. And for what its worth, a lack of joy or peace is not what keeps people from heaven, so that is not the “bait” that we need to be offering people. It's un forgiven sin, not a lack of joy or peace, that keeps people from heaven. 

By trying to force secular people to obey God (in the hopes of accomplishing what - exactly?), we have wound up making it impossible for those people to hear their Creator's call.

It's when we live as Jesus commanded us to live, not to earn salvation but out of gratitude for the salvation granted to us, that we become an irresistible flavour, drawing people to Jesus. It's when we live in obedience to Jesus in the midst of a pagan world, that He is able to use us to show the lost how to reach a safe harbour for their souls. It's hearing the Gospel of Jesus, not being forced to live out “Christian” rules of behaviour, that brings people to salvation.

Homosexual marriage, or living comon-law, or any other behaviour that contravenes God's will for our lives is not the problem. Those things are merely symptoms of the problem.

I say let the people of the world live as they want, while we enjoy the freedom that comes with salvation.

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