Thursday, February 27, 2014

Questioning Our Priorities



I have set and watched the ongoing saga/debate of gay marriage and now state legislation to allow businesses to refuse service to individuals based on their sexual preferences for months. And honestly,  I am amazed at the amount of time, energy, and money that is being poured into it all. I have to wonder if it is necessary and if it is as much of a priority to God as it is to some of the folks heavily involved who call themselves doing His work. For years preachers have refused to marry people if they did not agree with the situation. I know of preachers refusing to marry couples they did not think were prepared for marriage and because one or the other was divorced. I do not recall anyone getting sued over it.

And further, it seems like much of the argument has come down to comparing sins. My studies of the Bible have concluded that sin is sin. There is no big and little sin. One is not worse than another, and God hates ALL sin. Lust, gluttony, adultery, lying, cheating, and yes homosexuality are all equal. Unfortunately as humans, we can accept our sins and ignore them as slight indiscretions,  but we are repulsed by the sins of others.

Andy Stanley said in an interview (read it here) this month on the subject of the legislation to allow businesses to discriminate on the basis of religion or sexual persuasion that if we wanted to be like Jesus then we would serve everyone because that is what Jesus did when He was here. He served everyone - thieves, prostitutes,  lepers. I cannot argue with that point. And "Christians" have questioned his theology and want to stone him for making that statement. Sorry, but I cannot join in on that campaign, because Jesus proclaimed love not public stoning.

Read the story of the woman caught in adultery: 

John 8:2-12
2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

He did not stop the stoning because it was an acceptable sin. He stopped it because of His love and forgiveness for her. And He called out the crowd and encouraged the sinless to throw the first stone which demonstrated that He saw all sin the same.

My question is this: Are our priorities and agendas in line with God's priorities?

What is REALLY more important? How do we ignore modern day slavery and families starving all around us while fighting same sex marriage? Right now there are 27 million people in slavery worldwide including the United States.  Read about it here: CNN and here: EndItMovement

Right now in the United States 1 in 6 Americans struggle with hunger. That is more than 49 million Americans starving all around us.  Read about it here: FeedingAmerica. In Forsyth County where I live, approximately 11,000 children get one meal a day - school lunch.

How can we ignore these types of situations and spend our time, energy, and money on same-sex marriage?

Aren't we commanded to?

Matthew 25:37-40
 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Isaiah 1:17

Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.

 What could be accomplished if those resources were focused on hunger and modern day slavery in the United States? If Jesus was walking the earth today, which would He be addressing? Are our priorities properly aligned with His?

-Peace
Allen

1 comment:

Richard M said...

Several of us were discussing this just last week and came to a similar conclusions...