Thursday, August 05, 2010

Framing the Conversation: Is There An Echo In Here? Redux

This is the third time I've posted this excerpt from Framing the Conversation: How To Get Kicked Out of a Gaming Group... and in light of yesterday's decision by Judge Walker about Prop. 8, it's time to post it once again. It was originally written the night of the election back in 2008.

I want to speak specifically to those who declare themselves as followers of Christ. We have a huge responsibility tonight, esp. in regards to Proposition 8.

If Prop. 8 passes, we have to live out the love for gays & lesbians we've talked about... there is NO ROOM for gloating in the gospel of Jesus Christ. These people are not second-class citizens, to be loved only if they "mend their ways" - they are created in God's image & loved so much by God that He sent Jesus to die for them (and for us!). To do the church-y equivalent of "Hey, Hey, Goodbye" is a sick perversion of the love of Jesus Christ...

If Prop. 8 is defeated, we must still live out the love of Jesus Christ in a political situation that is not friendly to our values. I can not state it emphatically enough - this does NOT justify us behaving in an unfriendly manner to homosexuals or those who support same-sex marriage. If we're gonna call ourselves "biblical Christians", then we better live like it.

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. (Colossians 4:5-6, NIV)

If someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. (1 Peter 3:15-16, NLT)
The most important thing today is not the election of a particular candidate - no one person will usher in the Kingdom of God. (Well, one will, but He's not running this year.) Nor is it the passing of a proposition - law can compel moral behavior but it has no power over the heart. It is far more important that the world around us see followers of Jesus living in the grace & power of Jesus Christ.

A couple of closing suggestions:
  • Strike the phrases "activist judge(s)" (for you conservatives) and "fundamentalist Puritans" (for you not-so-conservatives) from your vocabulary. While there may be some truth to this in some situations, it makes us sound like little kids (or certain unnamed adult gamers) who start accusing people of cheating the minute they start losing. (In gamer terms, this is similar to arguing that a game is "broken" because you couldn't win it using the strategy you thought you should be able to use. Pathetic.)
  • Stop gloating/whining. The process isn't done yet (the decision may or may not survive appeals) and we just don't know what is or isn't going to happen.

And a final thought... the best thing you can do to support marriage is to do everything in your power to have a great marriage and/or support those around you in doing the same.


Luke Holzmann said...

Good thoughts.


Anonymous said...

As a person who lost his faith long ago... I find it uplifting to see someone like you write this. I feel that you are in the minority, and it's the majority that chased me from my faith due to hypocrisy and intolerance of others.

Keep it up and I might reconsider my faith. ;)

Thank you for helping bridge the divides between us all!

Mark (aka pastor guy) said...

Thanks, Luke & Anonymous.

Anon: My hope is that your faith can be found once again - like a lost sheep or coin or even a lost son. (Luke 15) I'll keep searching & encouraging on my end! :-)

BTW, I'm not sure if I'm in the minority - but that people of faith & people without both find it easier to define themselves by their "enemies" rather than Who they follow.