Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Some personal thoughts about the latest polemical and divisive issue...

     Well, here in Mexico, although we're somewhat removed from what has just happened in the US (Supreme Court decision regarding same-sex marriage), and has happened some time ago in Canada, the ripple affect is felt here as well.
     It seems that the conversations tend to polarise and divide people along fairly clear 'for or against' lines. Although I have decided not to dedicate too many of my waking hours to the subject, this issue also speaks to a larger issue for Christians. My policy has generally been to be silent on divisive stuff,  especially when using social media instead of face to face communication. However, I do see merit in talking about the bigger picture, so that we learn something from the immediate situation, that might serve us moving forward.
     As you might guess, as an Anabaptist I am not a sympathiser of the Moral Majority approach of trying to legislate their version of morality on the rest of society. I believe the world is the world and Christ followers belong to a different kingdom. I also believe that God created ALL of humanity with freewill, and, because He doesn't take it away, and respects our freewill, I don't have the right to take yours away either. Just as I wouldn't want another religion (for argument sake let's say Islam) to use a majority to legislate their understanding of morality, and impose it on all the rest of us (Sharia Law), I don't think its right to do the same from a Christian perspective. I believe that we are called to be salt and light, to model, to proclaim truth, and to love ALL of humanity, whether we agree with their behaviour, beliefs, or worldview. I believe we are called to model truth, from the bottom up, rather than trying to impose it from the top down. I actually believe it is ludicrous to expect a pre-Christian to act like a Christian! That doesn't even make sense to me.
     Further, those who are thinking the world as 'going to hell in a hand basket', why the big surprise? Isn't that something scripture describes? Have we lost an understanding of what it means to live out our faith in a context that isn't characterised by Christendom? We are called to be counter-cultural, and yet (at least in North America) we seem to have gotten fairly comfortable just 'fitting in'. Should we not be agonising about how to better reach our neighbours, and those who don't know Christ, than to spend our time in moral judgements, and diatribes, against those who don't hold our values? I realise that sometimes its tough, but isn't it possible to respect and love someone even if we don't approve of their behaviour? Will the way we respond to others draw them to Christ, or away from him?
     How should Christians make their way in this world, "loving God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength, and their neighbour as themselves"? What does that look like in today's world?
     Here are some links that I found to be informative and thought provoking, and great for helping me to think thru the broader issues. I hope they are stimulating for you as well, whether you agree with the viewpoints expressed or not:

 Mark Gungor "Now You're Upset?"  (article on Facebook)

"Some Advice For Same-Sex Marriage for US Church Leaders From a Canadian (blog article)

Bishop TD Jakes (You Tube video) some excellent thoughts!!

-posted by Ernie Koop

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