Monday, June 29, 2015

Accepting Our Natural State: Pride

So many opinions, feelings, thoughts, and judgments are darting back and forth on social media over the Supreme Court's decision on Friday. Those that do life with me know I don't scare from a confrontation, especially when a matter of truth is at stake (some would automatically bristle at that idea of "truth"--but my source of truth doesn't come from me and my own ideas of what makes sense).

And yet, this weekend I've thought, "what's the point?"  Those that agree with my position don't need to hear it and those that don't agree aren't going to be swayed by some traditional, "out-dated" view of marriage. But what kills me is how the controversy has become an illogical debacle of the either/or dilemma. Either we love "these people" or we don't.
  And by love, let me define:
Love doesn't mean the person, it means the actions they take, the feelings they have, the identity they claim, because love, true love, doesn't just tolerate the different, it embraces it. That's their position. To love is to say "everything you do is good with me."  Hmm....

But we don't do that with our children. We love them deeply and sacrificially and would do anything for them, but we don't say, "I love when you hit your brother (after all, you were just feeling neglected) and I love it when you sass me (you were just passionate about your thoughts and exerting your independence), and I love it when you steal money from me (you were trying to buy something for a friend)." We can love the person without loving their anger, their jealousy, their pride, their rebellion.

The major gap reveals itself when we in the Christian community bring up the big "s" word--few believe in sin anymore and even more would say that "as long as it doesn't hurt anyone," what's the big deal?  For you'll offend many people (yes, even some who claim Christ) if you say that homosexuality is a perversion of our sexual identity.

As a friend recently said, "It's not that they are permitting something unnatural or even hiding what many used to see as 'wrong'; it's that they are turning it all the way around and calling it good. And if we don't call it 'good' to, we are the haters." We aren't allowed to have a different belief and still be loving.
These words come to mind when I think of the sexual trends of our society: flaunting, glamorizing, chic. Because it's ever-so-popular to grab a label (LGBT) and strut. They don't call it PrideFest for nothing.

Which brings me to the bottom-line: the major conflict, and the one that those supporting the LGBT label can't understand, is one of pride. What we call sin, they would say is love.  It's a term of opposites. You can't have a logical debate with someone when your basic syntax comes from a completely different worldview. Obviously.  And yet, we act like if we just scream a little louder, throw out a few more Bible verses, or say, "let me help you" we'll "win them over, so to speak.

The idea is laughable. Our worldview comes from the Spirit within us, and without that counsel, all would be clouded over for us. "The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it." John 1:4

So many Christians are being labeled self-righteous, judgmental, haters. Self-righteous? Not even close. When I stand up to a holy God who took everything I deserved, I recognize how lost I really am:"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,"(Romans 3:23)  I've been seeing more and more how dark and deceitful my own heart is and that of my children. We aren't "basically good people"--we are basically rotten, dirty, tainted with the lies of the world and the pride of our independent selfishness. It's older than Adam and Eve really, this idea that says, "I don't need someone telling me what to do or who to be. I'll determine that for myself, thanks. I'm my own god."
"The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?" Jeremiah 17:9
Without God's sweeping love that renews my thoughts, restores my feelings toward truth, and recaptures the Creator's essence of my identity, I would see through a glass doubt.
But until we recognize our own depravity and desperate weakness and need for something Other, we won't grasp the danger of redefining our identity. (I Cor. 13:12).

So, we won't convince any person walking with a LGBT badge to turn it over for the sake of "truth" (no one walks into the homosexual lifestyle based on logic and thought--they do it for emotional desire and relational scars) and we certainly won't "win" any battles with pride.  Pride is what gets our world in the mess it's in in the first place.  "God doesn't know what He's talking about." or "God made me this way and loves me."  Absolutely He does love you.  He loves you so much, but until we allow His spirit to reign in our hearts, we won't have an inkling of who we truly are or what our purpose is.  It's the epitome of arrogance to declare His ideas erroneous; I have this figured out.

God's loving Spirit has to be the one to illuminate and restore.  We show the way toward a better identity in Him by humbly walking in the love of our Creator--for He sees all our heart wounds, our relational scars, our longings, our weaknesses, our ache. And He is the only one that can satisfy that ache. He alone can tell us who we are, because--believe it or not--He understands us better than even we understand ourselves.

                                   Image result for pictures of loving people
So, what should we as Christians do in the face of this pervasive identity crisis? There's no one standard approach, but if you have a friend or family member practicing homosexuality, don't ostracize them.  They may label you a "hater" because you don't embrace their lifestyle choices, but continue to love them and pray for them. Without God's Spirit, we are all hopeless and lost.
We can also spend time praying for the Body of Christ, that it would start to show the love of God to others and demonstrate the beauty of marriage between a man and woman, as image-bearers of our loving Creator.

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