The cultural reaction to the Supreme Court’s ruling on same sex marriage has not calmed any seas around me. I’m still hearing intense, aggressive statements from both sides. No need to summarize them here. You’ve heard them, too. But where do I find myself in the middle of it?
Why? Because I wonder if we, the community of faith, have been part of what pushed this.
I’m not talking about negative and less than compassionate dialogues and debates. I’m asking myself convicting questions, especially as I have been re-reading and studying I Peter. Have I/we been negligent, complacent, and less than whole-heartedly committed to allowing Christlike work to be done?
There have been glaring gaps in our message to the world. Our marriages are as broken as those who do not claim Jesus as Lord. Why should we be surprised if the way we as an entire Church have not been able to demonstrate how God, living in us, works a oneflesh love so great that it stands. Not from endurance but because of transforming love.
Perhaps our best response to this decree is not to join the many to talk about, for or against it, but to strengthen our marriages in ways that people ask what the secret is? Perhaps we have said too many words that our actions have not demonstrated.
I am also remembering that where Jesus drew lines and called out the disobedient was more inside the church than outside of it. Is that where we have missed it? We draw the lines in the wrong place? Ared we the ones standing on the other side of the scribbles in the sand when Jesus asked, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone.?” (John 8:7)
Before any prophet was given permission to take on the unpopular and persecuted mission to call sin, sin, he was called to personal and painful confession. “I have an unclean mouth,” Isaiah confessed. Whether he was guilty of careless words, unkind words, or rationalized words; Isaiah knew that each of his spoken words must be consistent with God’s standard. At Isaiah’s confession, God came swiftly to clean and purify and make him ready to speak God’s way.
I read in I Peter that I am to “be done with all . . . unkind speech,” (1 Peter 2:1) and I am brought to my knees. Where have my words joined ripples with other words and made ever widening circles so that when people complain about inconsistencies in the church, my words ripple among them? And I’m not talking about words directly related to this Supreme Court ruling or same sex issues. I’m talking about unkind words anywhere. Anytime. For any reason.
Perhaps we are called to a wilderness trek where we must learn again that God is being completely literal when He asks ALL of us. ALL heart, soul, and body. ALL words, priorities, and values. ALL attitudes and actions.
Yes, I am brought to my knees to listen carefully.
Just what is God saying to me?