Reaction to Amendment One

Ah, my brain!  Can I just say “I don’t know” publicly?  Would that be ok with you?  Because I don’t.  I’ve tried to bury my head in the sand regarding Amendment One.  I’m not a NC resident but I work there and I live just a few miles away so all my friends are ALL talking about Amendment One.  I’ve even ignored Facebook to try to stay away from it *gasp*.  I just can’t handle all the hate.  So much hate.  It’s what I referenced in my Broken piece this morning.  And I wasn’t referencing homosexuals when I was saying “Broken people”.  I was referencing mainly heterosexuals that can’t seem to be anything but hateful to someone who doesn’t agree with homosexuality.  If you need to know where I stand go here and here.  It will be no surprise.  I’ve been called dumb (dumb, dumb, dumb), homophobic, bigoted, close-minded, backwards, blah, blah, blah.  All nasty things.  Can I just say I’ve NEVER called a gay person any nasty words?  Ever.  And yes, I have friends that are gay.  We’re not all bigots, I promise but my patience is wearing thin on being bashed.

But my patience will not wear thin on standing up for what I believe.  Because I know Amendment One is about a lot of other things besides legalizing same-sex marriages, but EVERYONE is talking about same-sex marriages, especially since Obama capitalized on the moment and put in his two cents.

If you’ve read the above two posts, you will see that I have taken time to search Scripture and wrestled in my heart about being gay.  Can I just say I WANT it to be ok?  I desperately want to look my Christian friend in the eyes and say go and do.  Do whatever you want!  But I cannot in good conscience agree with same-sex marriages.  I just can’t.   As I said in my post, if you are not Christian, go and have fun.  Seriously.  If you are not a professing Christian, do whatever you please.  I’m not giving you permission, you don’t need it or want it, but I’m just saying I don’t hold people accountable to Christian things that aren’t Christians.

And AHHH there’s the rub.  My friend said “I don’t agree that we should tell others what faith to believe, or force them to live on rules based on that faith”.  However, as I said in my above posts, I WANT God in my legal system.  When someone asks me to vote on gay marriages, I’m going to say I don’t agree.  There is no separation of church and state.  As my sister said on Facebook, I AM the church. I cannot “put my beliefs aside” when voting on an issue whose deciding factor is of a moral base.

BUT.  I keep going back to that whole sticky separation of church and state.  I put myself in another’s shoes.  What if I lived in, say, Iraq, and I was not allowed one thing or another because of my Christian religion?  Wouldn’t I want the government to allow me to do all the Christian things I want even if the main religion is not Christian?  Do you see?  When someone comes against Christianity, it’s different.  Does that mean I should simply not live in Iraq knowing Christianity would not be well-accepted?  I DON’T KNOW.

And that’s my problem.  I know I argued we are “One nation under God.” but is enforcing our Christian morals on everyone, even though we allow all types of religions here, the right thing?  Should everyone not Christian just leave America then?  Well, no!  I don’t believe that at all!

Some say we’d be losing God’s favor.  Would we?  Shouldn’t we already have done that with all the rest of the stuff that is allowed?  Shouldn’t we then push that the only reason for divorce is adultery?  Why are we not screaming about that?  Let’s get real folks, we’re not being consistent.  You only have to flip on CNN to see we really should have lost God’s favor a long time ago.  Thank God He’s so patient, forgiving, graceful and loving.

But if truth is truth, then it’s truth FOR ALL.  It’s not truth if it’s not.  Shouldn’t I then be required to always do what I can so that truth is followed?

All I know is this issue is splitting the church, splitting friendships and dividing a nation.  We cannot simply put our heads in the sand.  As I said before, BOTH SIDES need to learn some grace.  Lots of grace.  I will tell you I will not treat you differently because you are gay.  I will (and have) had a cup of coffee with you and talk to you for hours.  I will love you because you are you.  I believe God loves you because you are you.  We would do well to read posts like Justin’s that cause us to just stop all the hate and have true conversations and dig deep and love well.

I’m here to say I don’t have the answers to how religion and politics go together.   I’d like to tie a pretty bow on this and settle on the left or right.  But all I can tell you is this:

God loves you

He didn’t make mistakes when He made you

He will always give you what you need to withstand temptation

I will love you no matter what

I have no idea how to handle state rules when it comes to same-sex marriages

Will you love me even though I don’t have the answers?  Will you love me when I don’t agree with what you do or what your son does or your cousin or your brother?  I hope you do because when you mess up or your brother messes up, I’ll still love you and so will God.  We have to get to that point.  When we all are lost, there’s grace.  It’s the only way.

Comments

  1. Amy, I’m conflicted about this too. I don’t have any answers. But I think the fact that there are many of us out there, wrestling with our feelings, faith, what we know to be true, and what we see in the world, that says something. I wish the LGBT community could see that we’re not all homophobes. Just because we believe homosexuality to be sinful doesn’t mean we hate them or are out to get them or don’t love them. There are people who cheat on their spouses and I feel like they are sinning but I also don’t hate them or want to take away their rights. Such a hard issue…
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  2. You have always been gracious and considerate when expressing your viewpoints. That is all anyone can ask of the people on either side of this, or any, issue.

  3. I too have tried to just stay out of it, tried to ignore it since I didn’t have to vote on the issue. However, all I can think about is Sodom and Gomorrah and wonder how much different we are becoming from that place known as evil? How long until there is only one who will stand up for what is right? God calls us to love and show mercy. Sometimes showing love and mercy comes in the form of voting for what is good and right and biblical, because what is good and right never hurt anyone. Think about it, would you let your daughter do something that is morally wrong and dangerous for her just because she wanted to? No. Should you scream and yell at her and call her nasty names because she wants to do something you know is wrong? Of course not. You’d tell her what you believe is the right thing and then you’d tell her you love her no matter what. And when she makes the wrong choice and finds herself in a mess you’d tell her you love her still. That’s what He’s done for us. It’s called grace.
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    • Yes, Dani. I love that. Do we need to be the vote for good and right even though it’s not “fair”? Thank you for your input, you always help.

      • Personally, I know God to be just, righteous, holy, omniscient, but when you think about it, “fair” is a pretty human term. Nowhere in scripture does He tells us we get what we deserve or that everyone gets the same thing or the same amount of anything. If God were planning to give us all what was “fair”, we’d all deserve hell. Thankfully, He chooses to extend to us grace and mercy. If dying on the cross were the only thing He ever did for us, wouldn’t that be enough? However, He continues to grant us new mercies every day – far more than any of us could ever deserve. In fact, thinking of God as fair is pretty dangerous because I personally don’t think it’s fair that I get to live here in my 4 br house in America where we even get to vote for what we believe while another mother raises her 4 kids in a shanty in Ethiopia. Talk about unfair. So yes, I think we vote for what is right, what we believe Jesus would sign His name on the ballot for, and after that we leave the polls giving out living water regardless of what others voted for.
        dani recently posted…Some Splainin to DoMy Profile

  4. Well said!

  5. While I totally see where you are coming from, and agree with your argument primarily, I still feel uneasy about the whole thing.

    If we are to show the love of Jesus to all, and He means ALL, then don’t you think that suppressing their freedom and making homosexuals second class citizens COMPLETELY goes against all of that? This is not an issue whether YOU think this is right or wrong, it’s so much greater than that. It’s about giving EVERY person in the state equal rights. Whether gay, lesbian, Christian, Muslim, white or black. Everyone.

    Now, if you really wanted to make laws according to the Bible and the Law, then there is so much stuff we should be voting for to be constant. Like stoning of people who work on the Sabbath, of impure women. I think you see my point. We cannot just force other people to laws under our beliefs (Because the Bible says so!), it’s immoral and just plain stupid. The Bible is filled with examples of Godly people, religious groups, nations, (whole generations, even), doing what they felt was “God’s will”, but being mistaken.

    We cannot have a government where the majority can decide the fate of the minority. That, is a scary thing.

    And yes, I am Christian. However, I know that loving people is a lot more than just talk, but being nondiscriminatory and fair to all.

    • A few things…

      Showing people truth is never a bad thing. I don’t see that as suppressing. If I see something as TRUTH (for all) then I believe that is the most loving thing we can do.

      Be careful when you talk about Biblical law. Since Jesus came, we are free and are not bound under the law. So, no, I don’t think laws like that are required. But there are PRINCIPLES that God abides by and I think homosexuality is just one of those things.

      And we definitely have a government where majority rules. Isn’t that what democracy is about?

      Also, God does not call us to be “fair” but JUST and PURE and HOLY.

      • Yes, showing people truth is never a bad thing. Holding them accountable to a truth they don’t believe for themselves? Debatable.

        So if we’re not talking about Biblical law and using what Jesus said, great! I love the red letters! Now, when did Jesus talk about homosexuality? Not ever that I recall. He preached about love and compassion, neither of which we can show to the gay community if we limit their rights. Paul talks about homosexuality, yes, in our current translation. The word homosexuality hasn’t even been around for that long, relative to the history of the Bible. Paul talks about physical wickedness that existed in that time for multiple reasons. (Mainly the Church was being compromised through the actions of their people through sexual immorality)

        I agree with you that majority rules, we witnessed that last night. But is that fair to the minority? Compromising their rights for the majority’s “state of mind.” Does not seem fair to me. Cause, honestly, whether marriage (I hate calling it gay marriage, it’s dumb, they don’t go to gay schools or gay restaurants, sorry, personal pet peeve) is allowed or not for all, it affects NO ONE but the people actually getting married. Your marriage institution is just as valid. And when that person faces their judgement, it’ll be them face to face with God, not anyone else, and they will be judged on their life, not anyone else’s. It is not our job to judge, but to love.

        Yes, Amy, God calls us to be just, pure, and holy. However, if people don’t know God, they cannot know those things. All they see is our barrier of their constitutional rights provided by the Christian community. Plus, being “fair” is the first step to showing love to someone.

        • I didn’t say I was only talking about red letters. I’m talking about what God the Father is for or against. If you take it as a WHOLE, he is against homosexuality. I’ve read all the studies and looked up for myself about that word you mention (sorry I cannot recall it at the moment but I know what you are referencing), read the Bible 3 times and still come to that conclusion. If you link over to Ron’s post from one of my original posts, I think he explains it best how I feel. My question is not about whether it’s a sin, it’s about how we handle that in American law. I really do get what you’re saying about people not being held accountable to laws based on Christian beliefs AND being held accountable to God in the end. It’s exactly what I’ve been debating for years and what this post speaks to.

          I don’t agree that being fair is the first step to loving someone (do you have kids??). We’ll have to disagree on that point.

          Of course majority rules isn’t “fair” to the minority. It’s the whole point! We agree to be ruled by what most people want. It’s how democracy works. Heck, it’s how my family works. We vote and whatever restaurant gets the most votes wins. It’s not “fair” to the one person left out but if we all tried to argue our points or go, we’d never get to a restaurant together. All that does not speak to how I feel about this particular law. I’m just saying in general I think you need to step back and look at democracy/fairness/minority. I don’t think that’s the right angle to take with this.

          As Christians, we need to look at what God requires from us from a political standpoint. As I said, I don’t believe he calls us to fairness. I believe he calls us to holiness. But the question for me is do we “vote for that” because we know that to be truth or do we leave it alone and only be responsible for own actions? That is the question I’m seeking an answer to. Again, it’s not a question of fairness. It’s a question of responsibility of knowing and carrying out the truth.

    • And thank you, Tim, for commenting with grace even if you don’t agree. Much appreciated.

      • Thank you! It’s wonderful to be able to battle through the tough questions in a calm manner.

        And I totally agree with staying off Facebook by the way, it was just too much last night, haha.

  6. Amy, Great post! I understand the heavy heart that you are feeling and I love your compassion. I am very sorry you are feeling so torn.
    I am worried that many Christians are losing sight of the big picture. It scares me that Christian’s don’t know their stance on this when it is clearly in the bible. It is our job to speak the truth of the gospel, not to make it what people want to hear. Many people out there are trying to twist God’s word. People want it to say that Homosexuality is ok. We can’t twist God’s Holy Word to fit our needs nor anyone else’s. God says homosexuality is wrong. Oh and Dani, I think you are right on target with this as well. You make some great points.
    Just a few thoughts to add to some of the things I have seen:
    1) We are supposed to be IN it NOT of it (meaning this world)
    Because of who we love and serve the world is going to Hate us.
    2) Christians should not be afraid to follow God’s word or tell someone what God’s word actually says because it might hurt someone’s feelings. To be blunt, Hell is gonna hurt ALOT worse.
    3) Homosexual activists say their identity as persons is rooted in their sexual self-identification and practice and we as Christians can not hate the sin and not the sinner because of who they are. Well the same concept applies for Christians who believe God’s word. God should be the governing body in our life and that is why we have trouble with the separation between church and state because we can not separate ourselves from the church. We are the church. It is rooted in OUR self-identification! It is who we ARE! It is why we should always vote for right even if it is not fair. (I believe Heather and Amy touched on this yesterday.)
    Also Homosexuals are just as much discriminating towards us as we are being accused of. They want us to accept their lifestyle, which they say is who they are, if they can not separate who they are, how can we? Where is their tolerance towards us? Can’t they accept that we are who we are because we accepted Jesus as our savior and are required to live as He has instructed us and we do so because we love Him? I have said this before somewhere but I’ll repeat it. It has been said that you can not regulate morality but someone’s morality is being regulated. The question is it going to be ours or theirs?
    4) The bible IS clear on this issue. God did destroy Sodom & Gomorrah for this very reason. There are several verses dealing with homosexuality specifically! No matter how much someone may want it to be different, God HAS spoken on this. For Christians we have our answer. You can not LIVE in sin and God very clearly calls homosexuality a sin. We need to spend our time lovingly pointing the lost towards Jesus instead of trying to be ok with homosexuality or any sin God has said to stay away from and we should not be squeamish about it just because it might hurt or be uncomfortable. Again really think about it Christians, if we are silent or if we do not make God’s word CLEAR to someone we very well could be helping someone to Hell, towards eternal separation from God. For the Christians that are ok with homosexuality have you ever considered what it would mean if you are wrong? Are you sure enough in your belief that it’s ok to bet someone’s soul on it? Cause you very well may be. Really think about what that would mean. Trying to be ok with something that is NOT ok in God’s eyes and telling someone it’s ok is the cruelest thing we could do. (Dani gave a great example regarding this in her comment) We should not shy away from what is right because we are afraid or uncomfortable interpreting God’s word as He meant us to. Let us treat homosexuals with love and kindness but let’s tell them God’s TRUTH clearly. That is TRUELY the RIGHT thing to do. God bless you all.

    • Carmen, I agree Biblically it’s wrong and that is not under question for me. But there are people who go back to the original Greek and see that maybe it’s not what is meant. They truly believe they have the correct interpretation. Not saying I agree but there are Christians that are not simply ignoring truth but believe they have found it.
      In that regard, we don’t spend our time trying to behavior-correct the lost. We simply show them Jesus. He changes hearts and that changes behavior. Telling a non-Christian to just simply stop homosexuality would be like someone telling us to pray 5 times a day to Allah…just because that’s the right “thing to do”. It doesn’t make sense without a heart change behind it. In addition, homosexuality is only ONE sin among many. Honestly, I’m more concerned about the hate and anger towards each other than what they do in private. But thankfully, it’s not up to me to decide either way. The point is we just can’t expect non-Christians do act like Christians when there is no heart change.
      My issue is surrounding how we deal with that truth in the legal system or do we? Still don’t have the answers…
      Thank you for adding your voice. I think this is an absolutely relevant and necessary conversation we should all be having.