Yes, I’ve been avoiding this post for quite some time. I didn’t know where to start, where to finish or how the two connected. I had hoped if I waited long enough it would just go away. It didn’t. Before reading any further I need to offer my *weasel words*; you know the disclaimers that attempt to dodge the responsibility for content. What follows is just from my rather myopic viewpoint based wholly on my woefully inadequate knowledge and understanding of scripture, read it as the narrative of a blind guide. I reserve the right to be completely wrong and pray frequently that I am.
Take nothing from this post save a call to ponder the mind of God, the depth of His unending mercy and the breadth of His unfailing grace.
I am completely UNsurprised by the actions of the lost, they are lost, it’s what they do. I still remember (and shudder) groping in the dark for something that might calm the storm in my soul, clinging to whatever was found in the blackness, finding it more than empty, and groping on more frantically. I still remember (and tremble) seeking diligently the bottom, some footing, only to find none there and then gain speed. I still remember (and shiver) trying all things, everything, hoping to fill the emptiness nothing could fill, to slack the thirst none could quench. I still remember the fear. I still remember being lost. Sometimes, most times, I wish I didn’t. I believe it is something He desires for me to remember, to remind me, to soften my heart for those so bound to chains they cannot see. He came to save the lost, I was lost when He chose to pay my penalty for my sin, I was His enemy hurling curses at His face when He chose to love me, to reach down into the pit in which I wallowed, to dip me out, wash me in His blood and set my feet on His solid rock. Knowing how He chose to love me, how then should I treat the lost?
I am, however, frequently surprised at the actions of the “so called” saved … that would be me, mostly. I am surprised when I treat one sin differently from another when ALL sin drove the nails into innocent hands. I am really surprised when I treat one sinner differently from another when all were forgiven by the blood let from those nails. I am surprised when I condemn the sin of a lost child and yet excuse the sin of a “brother” in Christ. I am surprised when I wield a certain passage of scripture as a dagger to wound the hearts of those He loved to death and yet ignore the rest of scripture as I find it uncomfortable. Then I am surprised when the lost hang the placard “Hypocrite” about my neck. Surely they don’t understand … or maybe they do. Does anyone else see the irony of a 300lb. “Christian” calling a homosexual an abomination? He came to save the lost … ALL of them (John 3:14-17).
As a Christian, should I not be more concerned with where the lost will spend eternity than where or how they are living now? Should I not be more concerned over their eternal life than I am this temporal and temporary life? Should I not as a Christian do all I can to introduce them to the healing power of His Holy Spirit and then let that Spirit convict them of the sin in their lives, like I ought to be convicted of the sin in mine (John 16:7-11)? Does not the “least of these” include the lost?
Maybe, before we, as Christians, attempt to define what is and is not marriage in the lost world, maybe we should discover what it is or should be in the Christian church.
1 Corinthians 7:10-11
Maybe, once we’ve figured out how we should act towards our own marriage, then we maybe should determine how we should act towards one another.
We already know how to act towards the lost; we should love them exactly as He loved us, without condition, completely, sacrificially.
Okay, now what? What’s the bottom line for me?
What others do with or about marriage in no way harms my marriage. My marriage is harmed when I fail to love my wife as Christ loved the church; when I fail to treat her as He commands; when I act like the sphincter we all know I am. Only I can harm my marriage, regardless of how she acts, I am commanded to love her as Christ loved the church, unconditionally, whether or not she loves me or likes me or not or even tolerates me or not.
I can’t speak for you, but as for me, if my position on gay marriage causes one person to reconsider accepting His free gift, I have not acted in love. If my words about gay marriage cause another to stumble, I have not acted in love. If what I think about gay marriage causes someone to question the grace of God, I have sinned. I cannot allow my feelings, words or deeds to even delay the coming to Christ of even one of His beloved. It is not up to me to enforce His law, He has commanded only that I teach them all He has commanded; to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love others as myself … and that for my benefit alone.