If there is any subject that I’m qualified to write about this is the one. I can scarcely pick up a newspaper or read an article and I find someone condemning myself and my peers for our old fashioned values and our well storied grip on our guns and our Bibles.
One would think my values are a throwback to an earlier (and ancient) time. Oddly enough I feel in sync with the current culture. Politically I’m an independent (small i) which means I don’t need some political party to make my decisions for me. I’m quite capable of researching an issue and coming to a conclusion on my own.
At this point I’m sure you’re beginning to form a mental picture of what my position may be on any given issue. Don’t leave yet, you may be surprised.
One of the hot topics of the last few years has been gay marriage and gay rights. I have to admit that it’s not a lifestyle I would relish. But one of my core beliefs is self-determination. I’m free to impose whatever I choose on myself but at some point along the continuum I lose the freedom to impose my beliefs on others.
I was asked once if I wanted gays in my church. Well, if it’s a good church it’s already filled with liars, thieves and drunkards. Before you get the pen out and give me a piece of your mind you should know that I’m one of the aforementioned. Our life choices are between us and our Maker. There are areas that I feel our governing bodies have the right to govern. Like murder and larceny. When it comes to what goes on behind closed doors I don’t want anyone telling me what I can and can’t do in the privacy of my home. I’m accountable to the Lord and that’s what matters As a result I owe the same to others, so what you do behind your doors is none of my business. That’s between you and the Lord. Don’t mistake this as acquiescence, if you’re a member of my family, both church and blood, it’s my obligation to rebuke you if you’re in sin.
If atheists are right and there is no God then you escape any punishment you may have suffered and I’ve lived a well disciplined and compassionate life. If you’re wrong…well I’ve still lead a well disciplined and compassionate life.
The covenant of marriage comes from the Bible. In the tenth century B.C. the Bible was The Law. If you’ve studied religion at all you know that the Old Testament was referred to as The Law. Yet over the centuries much of the law has evolved into a secular convention and important marital rights such as property rights have become secular institutions that are tightly woven into the marriage contract.
In order for gay families to exercise rights of inheritance and to participate in insurance coverage offered by their spouses employer they must be “married”. I believed a civil union was appropriate but the Supreme Court found otherwise. Having said that, I will say I have no issue with gay marriage. We as a society must live by all the civil law not just what we agree with. As a child of God I personally live by His as well. I do think it’s incumbent on gay families to allow their children to have the same self-determination that they demanded for themselves. Beyond that it’s not my right to interfere.
Surely by now you’ve surmised that I might have strong religious convictions. You would be right. I’m always amused by people who subscribe to the latest motivational or fitness guru but are repulsed by the teachings of the Bible when both are aimed at the same goal, to immerse yourself in its doctrine with the hope of changing your life for the better.
I don’t believe that God literally created the universe in six days and rested on the seventh. Anyone who has studied the Bible, not read, studied, knows that some of the passages are metaphorical. Too often Christians take passages literally that aren’t meant to be. After all, could a camel pass through the eye of a needle? We read tenth-century B.C. passages that were penned some four thousand years ago with twenty-first century education and values and it seems old fashioned to us.
Don’t be deceived, the values espoused, love, honesty and brotherhood will never be old-fashioned. They will always be the under pinning of a healthy and vibrant culture. When we lose them our society will crumble. It happened to the Romans, it will happen to us.