Friday, June 28, 2013

Swimming Against the Current

I had a couple friends comment that my last post was appropriate for the day the DOMA and Prop 8 decisions came down.  Truth is, what I wrote was not in response to or in anticipation of the Supreme Court's business -- it was just my heart these days.

But I do have a response to SCOTUS's actions.  I hesitate to write it, however, because someone else already has -- a man named Ed Stetzer in this article here.  There are a few points of his I'd like to elaborate on, though.  Actually more than I can cover in one post, so expect a short series here.

The first concerns this remark he makes:  "We must realize that believing what the Bible says about sexuality will increasingly put us at odds with our culture. Pressure will continue to mount to accept a worldview rooted in cultural acceptance rather than biblical revelation. And we must prepare ourselves for the day when acceptance will not be enough—affirmation may be demanded to be a part of society."  (emphasis mine)

I have friends who insist to me that affirmation will never be demanded.  And I think they probably believe that.  I don't.  I hope I'm wrong -- and if I am, I will gladly admit so and eat my words publicly.  But I fully expect that there will come a day in America when I and others like me who continue to believe that homosexuality is not a way of life blessed by God will be ostracized and persecuted.  I expect businesses to be shut down . . . I expect preachers and other public speakers to be fined or jailed . . . and I absolutely, positively expect to lose friends, maybe even long-time ones.  And I will cry when that happens.

My fear, however, is that THAT fear is what is driving the ever-waning opposition to the gay rights bandwagon -- and what is driving once-opposing people to hop on.  I suspect that an awful lot (maybe even a majority) of the people who complain about the legalization of gay marriage do so not because they have any concern about the welfare of those who engage in the practice.  They do so because they don't want the wind to shift against them.  They don't want their lives to get hard.

As long as Biblical Christianity was the default in America, people like me have been swimming with the current.  From now on, we'll be swimming upstream, against the current, and some of us fighting to stay afloat.  And THAT's what people are afraid of.

So, a word to my complaining friends:  suck it up.  Nobody promised you a rose garden.  Quite the opposite.  "If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also", Jesus said.  There are people in other countries right now who are put in jail, who have their homes and businesses burned to the ground, and who are tortured and killed for their faith.  Paul talks about the joy of being considered worthy of suffering for the Lord.  Christian martyrs in ancient Rome went to their deaths joyously singing hymns.  We are WIMPS.

A strong body requires exercise.  A strong mind requires study.  And a strong faith . . . well, it probably requires persecution.  So be it.

More next week . . .

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