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Who Defines Morality?

June 28, 2015 — 1 Comment

equal justice under law

This week, after the Supreme Court decision, Christian bloggers from across the globe took to the internet to express their opinion. Social media lit up with a flood of cheers as well as an onslaught of groans. I would venture to say the hashtag of #lovewins is likely one of the most trending topics on the internet.

I don’t know that I have anything new or unique to add to this topic, yet I feel compelled to chime in. As I read many of the blogs over the past few days, my heart just broke. It broke for 2 very distinct reasons:

1. My heart broke for those who call themselves Christian and spew such hatred and venom in their rhetoric. No matter your opinion on the subject, we are to always walk in love (now, that doesn’t mean we don’t express our opinion – we just need to have a better method of doing so…read more below).

2. My heart broke for Christians who have a distorted view of what Godly love is and of what Jesus demonstrated as love.  My heart breaks for the Christians that have compromised God’s Word and refuse to make a statement. My heart breaks for those Christians who don’t love their neighbors enough to tell them the truth found in the Word of God. My Heart breaks at an open acceptance by Christians of a sin.

Let me state the obvious: I believe in the Biblical definition of marriage – one man and one woman. Period. End of story. Let me be absolutely clear as a follow up to that statement – this does not mean I think anything less of the LGBT community or their desire to “marry”.  Do I think it is a sin? Yes. Do I believe the Bible calls it a sin? Yes. Do I love these people? Without a doubt!

I also think stealing, cheating, adultery and fornication are sins – but yet I love those people as well. There is no difference in my eyes – one person is not worse than another due to their sin.  The Bible is clear in Romans 3:23

For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God!

You, me, everyone. We have all fallen short.

As Christians, it is our job to be the light in a dark world and the example of God’s love – not His judgement.

The Supreme Court of the United States does not and cannot define morality – nor can they re-write God’s law. Yes, I believe all people should be treated equally with equal rights, but I do not believe that a “law” should be made that encourages someone to walk further out of God’s will for their lives.

If a law made by our legals system stands contrary to God’s law, we must express our concern. We as Christians must stand up and be the voice of morality according to the Bible.

I am fully aware that others will not agree with my opinion just as I don’t necessarily agree with theirs. That is what I love about our great country. We all share an equal right to believe what we believe and to freely express those beliefs without fear of persecution.

So where do we go from here? As a Christian, how do we proceed?

To me, it is simple. We show the world what #LoveWins really means. We show them that 2,000 years ago love won because a man died on a cross for you and for me. He died to free us of our sins. We show the world – just as Jesus did – that we can love and that sometimes love means we tell you what our God defines as a sin – that we open our Bibles and share with you the Truth.

Our desire should be the same as God’s desire – that none shall perish, but that all shall have everlasting life. The only way to do that is by boldly declaring His words through love.

I am reminded of Isaiah 40:8

The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the Word of our God stands forever.

There is nothing that can come out of Washington DC that will change the Word of God. To those in the LGBT and Christian community – let us find a better way to have the discourse. Hear me clearly, on behalf of Christians – we are sorry for any hatred spewed toward you – that is not the intent. We desire to introduce you to a savior that is all sufficient, all encompassing and all loving. It might sound foreign based on what you have seen – but Jesus desires nothing else but to love you and show you a better way.

Question: How do you show God’s love?

I have always appreciated the “Skit Guys” and their amazing ability to deliver a message.  I recently saw this clip and thought it would be a great way to start this post. Take a few minutes to watch this before you read on.

In all seriousness, fear is debilitating. It is the thief that not only steals your joy, but your ability to live in the present. Fear encapsulates your mind and forces you to live in a constant state of “What if?” thereby robbing you of living in the now.

I have seen it lived out in others and I have most definitely spent my fair share of days living in this state of existence. There have been those times when I have refused to take a step out of fear – fear of failure, fear of others or fear of the unknown. We cling to what we know, what we can predict and what we can control.

When I look back on those times that I took a stance over fear, it is in those times that growth and life truly happened. Don’t get me wrong, success did not always follow suit just because I overcame my fear – but there is no doubt in my mind that I became a better person each and every time.

From starting a business (and closing a business) to jumping on a plane to a third-world country with nothing but a passport and a few vaccinations – God has always brought me through. We are not to have a mind of fear. God has made that abundantly clear:

For God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness; but of power and love and discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7 ASV)

Look back at the call on Joshua’s life and just how many times God told him to fear not and have courage! In fact, there are numerous times in the Bible that God calls His people forth and says “Fear not”.  This leads me to believe that wherever it is that God is calling both you and I too would appear on the outset to be a scary path – however – God is with us.

It is the “I Am” that has sent you.

There is no greater statement than that. The “I Am” has sent you. Rest in that. Take a hold of the power in that statement and know that there is nothing you cannot accomplish if He is calling you to do it.

Refuse to let fear rob you of living your life any further. Begin today anew with a spirit of “power and love and discipline”.

Question: Can you share a time that God helped you overcome fear in your life?

2012-2013

2012 is now something of the past and 2013 is already in full gear.  There is something refreshing about a new beginning, a clean start and that is exactly what the New Year represents.  A time to re-chart the course.

For me, 2012 started with obstacles and challenges and finished with victory and breakthrough.  For my wife and me, I know our single most amazing breakthrough of the year is that we are finally expecting our first baby!  Our son will be arriving in a few short months and the journey that God brought us through to arrive at this point is nothing short of miraculous.  I know I wrote briefly in a previous post about our struggle, and I will write the full testimony shortly and post it here – but the years of trying, the struggles and the sadness are now behind us and God has truly shown Himself as our provider in 2012.

It really makes me think of a song I heard this past year called “Way Maker” by the Northwest Choralons.  I love the lyrics and the simplicity of it all.  God is our Way-maker. He is the path provider, the joy giver, the finance fulfiller-the all in all!

Is there a wall between where you stand and where you should be? He is the one who can make the way.

Despite the fact that I have seen God act as a Way Maker in my life in so many amazing ways, I still struggle with the concept that what I see with my eye is not reality. Just because your situation might look rough, the Bible clearly tells us:

For we walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV)

Sight is a pretty dominant sense in our body…if we can see something, then it must be real, right? But that is simply not how God operates.  He operates through the unseen…through faith. Hebrews 11 tells us that:

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

There is no greater testimony then God showing himself and providing a way when you think there is none.  I know that what I saw at the start of 2012 was not pretty.  It didn’t look good.  I simply had to cling to my faith and cast aside what I saw in the natural and hold to what He promised me.  Let me challenge you in 2013, don’t let your vision dictate your reality. Let your faith dictate your reality!

Question: Do you have a good testimony of when God was your “Way Maker” despite a situation that did not look hopeful?

 

Seeing that the Olympics just finished, I think it is fitting to share this great video I saw awhile back from Francis Chan:

Have you ever found yourself clinging to the balance beam of life?  Holding on tight…just waiting for things to stabilize?  Have you ever caught yourself getting too comfortable…almost to the point where you become complacent in your journey?

I know I am guilty of that!  I know there have been times where I would rather close my eyes and hold on – just let me know when the shaking is over.

However, with that said, I know that is NOT who I want to be.  It is NOT who God created you to be.  God calls us to live a challenging, exciting, adventure of a life.  The adventure is here, now!

Why are we so scared to step out and try something new for Him?

Isaiah 43: 1 But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.

3 For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;

With a promise like that we should have no fear.  We should pursue our calling with reckless abandon chasing after Him who is at our side.

I would rather cross the finish line broken, bruised and tired rather than the picture Francis described in his video – rolling off the balance beam after playing it safe only to expect to hear the words “Well done”.

Question: What does Isaiah 43 mean to you?

Movement.  Action.  Forward momentum.

All are required for our walk of Faith – perhaps that is exactly why it is called a “Walk of Faith”.  In Luke 9:23 Jesus tells us:

Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

He doesn’t tell us, “Whoever wants to be my disciple, get comfortable, lock your doors, and wait patiently for me.”  Seriously – how pathetic would that be?  There MUST be movement involved.  If you want to follow something that is moving, you yourself must move in that same direction in order to follow it.  Seems like a simple concept, right?

But too many times, we can get comfortable living our lives, that we forget this principle of action and momentum.  I don’t understand the reason for this, but yet we see it all too often.  Perhaps we are concerned that if we move, God won’t be there to catch us if we fall?  I don’t know.  But – what I know is what the Word shows us time and time again – if we want God to show Himself in our lives, it is going to require us to take a step outside of our comfort zone – just like Peter taking that first step out of the boat onto the water, we too must take that step.

Let’s take a look at John 5:

1 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades.3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.4 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, He asked him, “Do you want to get well?”  7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

There are some interesting things we can take away from these verses.  First, lets note that this person has been in this state for 38 years – struggling with this affliction.  Jesus asks him the question that I think we assume the answer is of course yes – but then why did Jesus ask?  I would challenge you that this man had become “comfortable” in this state – he had succumbed to a place in his life that this was the best he would ever have – he chose to believe a lie.

He then answers Jesus with what I feel is an excuse – “no one was here to help me”.  But Jesus looks right past this excuse, does not entertain even answering it or sympathizing – but rather, commands action and at once the man was healed.

We all have our own excuses.  We all have our reasons why we are staying put – why we are not moving forward. We all have our reasons why we would rather stay walking in place because it is the “comfortable” place – it is what we know.  But – that is not an option if you are following Jesus.  He does not allow that.  He commands us to take up our cross and move – daily!

Question: What do you think are the most common excuses we as Christians use that prevent us from moving forward?