For many months now I have been struggling with my views against legislating morality. It has been difficult to find other Christians who don’t speak against hot button moral issues to stand up to the secular world and uphold the teachings of the bible in a political setting. I used to believe that was an effective way to represent my faith and fight against the crumbling infrastructure of our Nation. However, our nation (crumbling or not), was not founded as a Christian Theocracy. I believe our country was founded on the right to free speech, religion, the pursuit of happiness, etc etc. I am a(n imperfect) follower of Christ and believe I should have the right to exercise my freedoms a such, but I also know there are people who don’t hold to the same worldview I do. They should have the freedom to live their lives however they choose, according to their worldview, as long as it doesn’t bring harm to anyone. At first glance, I may look like a wishy-washy, liberal, lukewarm Christian who is afraid to fight against Satan in all his forms, thus contributing to the erosion of society. But I assure you, I am giving this a lot of prayer and a lot of thought, and I am not certain my signature on another petition will do much more than widen the gulf between “us” and “them”. But I’m not even sure about that.
A wise friend told me yesterday that to her it is more about where God calls people to as opposed to what’s best and whats wrong. If God calls you to the steps of the Capital, who am I to say my way is better? What’s more, I’ve spent so much of my time being frustrated with the division within the body of believers(politically speaking), I’m perpetuating the division with my anger. I think its ok to feel passionately about loving people in an approach you feel is best, but as I rail against the brokenness of mortal men, I fail to look at the broken person in the mirror I can control. I have not been setting a Christ-like example with my behavior toward other Christians. And just like in every situation, you make the best impact in how you live your life and not how well you can argue.
After having this realization, I have decided to focus on what Jesus actually said to do, and what that means for me. Just me. I decided to start reading through the gospels, thanks to some encouragement from a good friend. One of the first things John the Baptist said was, “Repent. Turn to God. The kingdom of God is near!”–something like that. Those are some loaded instructions–I could chew on that for weeks. Have I repented of my pride? My insistence that my way is better? And I wasn’t arguing for Christ, it was just about me being “right”. I’d like to ask myself each day if I am “turned to God”–that’s quite a challenge. If I am submitted to Him, who cares what anyone (Christian or not) thinks of me (I’ve been a harsh judge of others myself lately! Can anyone say hypocrite?)? I’m not beating myself up or anything, I’m just relieved to know that the problem isn’t other people, it starts with me. And then I get Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” stuck in my head. Words of wisdom, but I digress…
That doesn’t mean I won’t believe passionately in an alternate approach to love everyone…even if it goes against the grain of current Christian views and culture. I just need to spend more time practicing what I preach, and that doesn’t come naturally–ya know, stuff like gentleness and kindness and self-control. But honestly, its a relief to know that I can’t do that without supernatural intervention. I’ve been trying and it goes very badly.
Maybe I’ll write a bit about how the journey through the gospels is going–we’ll see.