February 20, 2010

Missing the point.

So...first post on the new blog, let's kick it off right.  And by kick it off right, I mean post something that most likely will have a lot people disagreeing with me.  But it's something that's been bugging me for quite some time.  I will apologize in advance for it's disjointed nature, my brain is running sub par at the moment, so bear with me.

There is no question...or at least there shouldn't be...that our country is having serious problems.  From our multi-trillion dollar financial deficit, to the attacks on marriage and the unborn, to growing threats from foreign powers.  And while I could write a book on the roots of all these problems and the people responsible, I will refrain, because right now it is a different group of people annoying me.  And that is people on the far right, especially Christians, who are missing the point.
These are the people getting riled up and throwing fits over the recent court ruling in California overturning the ban on same sex marriage, crying about the downfall of tradition, screaming about the millions of murdered babies, threatening revolt due to high taxes and government intrusion, fighting each of these individual battles...and missing the bigger picture.  Now are they necessarily wrong in any of these things?  No.  Marriage is established in Genesis as the union of one man and one woman.  Murder is obviously wrong, a violation of the sixth commandment, and we see in the Psalms(and increasingly in science) that life begins at conception, hence abortion is also wrong.  One can make very strong arguments for individual liberty and it's importance, especially under the framework of our constitution.  So if these are all good things, why would we be missing the point to focus on them?
The reason, without going into a ton of detail, is this-those are merely battles in a much bigger war.  And what has happened in the Conservative political movement, and even more so in Christianity, is that there has been so much focus on these truly tiny battles, that people have lost focus on the bigger picture.  What is the war?  How do these battles affect the outcome of the war?  Who is the enemy?  Wait, is there actually any war to start with?  That seems like some pretty inflammatory language.  These are questions that people need to stop and ask themselves.  More importantly, they are questions that they need to ponder and go to God with.  I would like to submit to you what I think are some of the (condensed) answers to a few of these questions.
First, it is I believe, imperative that we understand that this truly is a war.  But, it is not a war of issues, nor is it even a war of morals, per se.  It is a war of opposing world views.  This is probably the most difficult part for people, and yet it is really the fundamental truth upon which everything else is built.  You can either accept the God (Jesus) taught in Scripture, and live your life in light of who He is and what He has told us about life (the Bible...all of it), or you can reject that.  Those are your two options. 
Now some of you are going to agree with that on the surface, but I want you to pause and think about it.  Because to accept that statement and take the first position (I don't expect anyone in category two to agree with me, haha) means that you actually have to know what the Bible says, and what it's major themes are.  You have to understand that we don't run down every sinner and beat them with a baseball bat and tell them to conform.  They have reason to.  A non Xian has no inherent reason to agree with us on same-sex marriage, abortion, freedom, education, or any other issue.  At times we will find common ground in these areas, but the trap that far too many fall into is taking their view and trying to force it upon others.  We try to "legislate morality."  I'll let you in on a secret-that doesn't work.  You cannot force your opinions, beliefs, or morality on other people, no matter who you elect, what laws you pass, it doesn't matter.  Yet that is exactly what is going on in our country.  People on both sides of the isle are screaming "I'm right!", and on the basis of this conviction, if you can call it that, are trying to shove their ideas down other people's throat.  Why?  Pride.  We are convinced we are right, and therefore others ought to agree with us.  But I'm about to rabbit trail, back to the task at hand.
I'm writing this specifically to Xians who desire to affect the world for Jesus.  And basically what I'm trying to say is this-you need to quit quibbling over the battles, quit trying to treat the symptoms.  The problem with this country, and with this world is not abortion.  It's not homosexuality.  It's not even voting Democrat.  The problem is that we live in a world full of sin and sinners.  As such people are looking for answers, they are looking for happiness, looking for joy, looking for satisfaction, and are trying desperately to find those things.  And instead of hating them for it, or protesting it, perhaps what we ought to do is share with them the only One who brings those things, that being Jesus Christ.  This world doesn't need laws banning everything that is wrong or sinful, this world needs Jesus.  Does that mean we shouldn't stand up for the unborn, or stand up for Biblical marriage?  No, absolutely not.  But we need to realize that the only basis we have for defending those things is because of what God has revealed.  Why do we believe in the sanctity of human life?  Because we as humans are made in the image of Almighty God.  Why is marriage sacred?  Because God established it as the institution by which the human race would continue, children would be raised, and people could enjoy the most intimate of emotional bonds, and in some sense to help us understand our relationship as the Church to God.  These things (and others, those two are just easy to write about without going into extensive detail) are important.  But we cannot expect others to share in that view until their world view has been changed, and that will only change by means of a relationship with Jesus Christ.  These battles and this war, they aren't against people.  They are against views which run contrary to Scripture, and until we get that straight we are going to keep losing the war.  We may win an occasional battle, but our culture will be lost.  I think it's time to re-evaluate our priorities and see if we're really missing the point.

About Me

Follower of Jesus. Husband of one. Father of four. Pastor at Remsen Bible Fellowship (remsenbible.com).