Thursday, May 07, 2015

Persecution in America

The United States of America has the right to enact whatever foolhardy laws it wants. It is not bound by the Bible but only by the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and laws previously enacted. You would think lawmakers and supreme court justices would use the Constitution as a guideline when reviewing future laws, but that doesn’t always seem to be the case.

Followers of Christ should not expect non-Christians to follow Biblical principles. Christians should love non-Christians no matter how the non-Christian behaves. Jesus said in Matthew 5:43-45: "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' "But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.…"

Normally non-Christians are not thought of as the enemy of Christians, but in these times several groups have struck battle positions in opposition to what the Bible states. Christians have become the enemy of non-Christians. Part of the reason is that some Christians have drawn a line in the sand, saying that if you commit this particular sin and live your life in this sin, you are not accepted by our body of believers. Right or wrong, that is the perception the LGBT community has of the church. Since I am no Biblical scholar I will not address whether one sin is worse than another. Other sins like drunkenness, idolatry, gluttony, lying, adultery, and others do not stand out as much in today’s ever-sinful world.

Why is this? For one thing, in their heart people committing those other sins know they are disobeying God’s Word. But for the most part people committing these other sins having banded together as a group and taken a stand against Christians for calling their behavior a sin. Alcoholics Anonymous does not exist to attack those who oppose people who ruin their life and their families lives by drink. AA was created to help people overcome a problem.

The LGBT has drawn their own line in the sand: approve of our lifestyle or we will destroy you. Bake our “wedding” cake or we will not only destroy your business but your personal and private life as well. Why such a harsh, militaristic, unloving stance? What ever happened to respecting other people’s opinions whether you agree with them or not? Muslims believe all homosexuals should be killed, but there’s no outcry from the LGBT community about that. Could it be in part because deep down they feel guilt for living the life they lead? Sure some have been personally condemned by family, friends, or other sinners – some perhaps from a person in a church. But instead of seeing those condemning them as imperfect sinners, the homosexual instead often rejects the One who loves them like no other – the One who loves them despite their flaws and sins, be it drunkenness, anger, lying, hatred, or…

Muslim bakeries have also declined to bake “wedding” cakes for homosexuals - without protest by LGBT groups or penalty by local, state, or federal government. Why? Put the shoe on the other foot. Would a LGBT baker cook a cake iced with a Bible verse calling homosexuality an abomination? If not would the government fine said baker $100,000.00? What’s the difference?

Who is being discriminated against and persecuted? It’s not the homosexuals but the Christians. This should not come as a surprise to the Church. The Bible says that in the end times Christians will be persecuted. Yet my job remains the same: to put God first and others before myself, to love others as Christ first loved me. As the verse says, to pray for those who persecute me.

I may have written similar words before, trying to figure it all out. I am a right and wrong person. It bothers me when someone cuts me off in traffic. Why is it wrong in America for a person to believe and follow what the Bible says? It may be hard, but it is my desire to love and be like Jesus, to obey His commandments, and follow His Word. Even if the world hates and persecutes me for it.

NOTE: Last week friend Andy Whorton had several challenging, loving, Christian responses to a friend's opinion about gay marriage below an article Andy had posted on the subject. I won't reprint his words here, but they are great reading. 

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