The Politics of Same Sex Marriage: From Jesus To President Obama
I am really saddened and appalled at the position the "Black church" is taking on same sex marriage, not that I support that life style, or abortion or any host of other "issues" but because as a people who have survived greater horrors than any people in recorded history, we should know better than to pass judgment on others and then try to justify it by evoking the Bible. But, more disturbing, though not surprising is the lack of compassion shown by the "Christians". Christians are followers of the religion of Jesus but the problem is they fail to follow Jesus. Jesus never condemned anyone especially sinners and He didn't judge people. Jesus stated mission was to save the lost. Do not judge, or you too will be judged.2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, Matthew 7:1-2. Or, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:1-5. The Bible is clear, it is hypocritical to live in a fallen world where all are sinners and fall short of the Glory of God to somehow believe we are any better. This passage is loaded with wisdom. In addition to shedding light on judging others this scripture is also about self-examination, or to paraphrase Michael Jackson, it's also about looking at the man in the mirror first. Believers, whether Christian or of some other "faith" argue from a narrow morality, I believe Christians, especially Black Christians take their eyes off Jesus while professing to speak for Him instead of letting Jesus speak for Himself.
It's a shame that many Blacks would rather have a Republican like Donald Trump win. They fail to let the past teach them anything. When Bill Clinton left the White House he handed the Republicans three trillion dollars in surplus. Bush started a war for oil adventure that sent the country into a downwards spiral. Many are preparing to not vote at all because neither candidate is a"good" choice or some other lame excuse. Many will vote against the Democrats because of the same sex marriage issue not realizing that "marriage" is what it has always been; a legal issue. Marriage is not a spiritual issue, if it were Christian folk would not have to buy marriage licenses from the state.
Whenever the question is raised concerning same sex marriage, I am reminded of the conversation recorded in scripture between Jesus and a disciple concerning what belongs to Caesar and what belongs to God. Jesus made a distinction then as we must now. Marriage is a legal contract. The Church is not called to defend legal contracts but to render unto Caesar what is Caesar and unto God what is God's. This scripture has been mistaught for hundreds of years because no one back then considered studying Roman Imperial Theology. Mark 12:16-17, records a conversation Jesus had with His disciples concerning paying taxes. As always Jesus used every opportunity to teach while answering a question. So as to make His disciples think when they asked a question Jesus invariably countered with a question. Jesus said, "bring me a coin"... 16They brought one. And He said to them, "Whose likeness and inscription is this?" And they said to Him, "Caesar's." 17And Jesus said to them, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at Him. What most pastors and teachers of the Bible failed to discern was this: "Caesar's coins said he was Devi F, that is Divi Filius, or Son of God". In God & Empire: Jesus Against Rome, Then and Now author John Dominic Crossan relates how this question, "who owns the earth' God or Caesar", and Jesus' attendant answer "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's" was and is a "politico-religious" question that only Jesus could answer correctly. The money was Caesar' so Caesar should have it. For centuries Church leaders have mistakenly treated this QA session with Jesus and His disciples as a spiritual issue.
Same sex marriage cannot nor can it ever be a God given "covenant". Marriage itself is not considered a sacrament outside the Catholic Church. Most Christians argue from an emotional position against same sex marriage in much the same way the disciples of Jesus day argued over whether or not to pay taxes. It is written that God's people perish for lack of knowledge. This axiom is still true.
The problem with most Christians is that they don't understand the teachings of the one they claim to follow. Christians are still shackled with religion. Jesus says give Caesar what is Caesar's and give Him what belongs to Him. You have to diligently seek after Jesus to understand Him and this can only happen if we acknowledge the Holy Spirit. The Bible says the Holy Spirit is our Comforter, our Helper yet most Christians pray but never acknowledge the Holy Spirit. Unless the Holy Spirit grant spiritual sight you will never see spiritual things nor will you ever be able to discern practical worldly matters from spiritual ones. Rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God what is God's is not a spiritual thing. Yet most will never make that connection in order to understand same sex marriage, or abortion or any worldly issue that we like to argue for in God's name. Real believers will never enter into a same sex relationship or have abortions but for those who say they are believers but are still involved in same sex relationships, have had or is considering an abortion, there is hope because like the prostitute who faced stoning, Jesus forgives not condemns. And once you and they have had a real encounter with the Living God Jesus the Christ Amen; you will cease judging and they will cease sinning willfully. Jesus is Love. And His Grace is sufficient.
"Religion and morality occupy a vital place in the public life of this country and the question of marriage is one of the most important and contested public issues of our time. It is neither surprising nor alarming if parties on both sides of the marriage debate seek to use moral argumentation and enlist the support of religious figures and institutions. Attempts to suppress the open expression of a diversity of viewpoints on the issue of marriage should be strongly resisted." —Thomas M. Messner is a Visiting Fellow in the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation.
Talking about our differences is a command. We are not only to confess our sins one to another but we are to study to show ourselves approved of the Lord, rightly dividing the word, and I might add all words. We must study and evaluate the word of culture, the word of politics, the word of humanism and science and the word of religion. Religious people now as in the days of Jesus do more harm to the Kingdom of God and his people than countless numbers of sinners who do what they do and make the choices they do because real believers are not speaking up...
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