The Loves of My Life

The Loves of My Life

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Prop 8: Hate or relate?

Proposition 8 is a particularly very heated issue on the California ticket this election. I have steered away from conversing about it because I think I am on the "unpopular" way of thinking among my friends that are Christians. It's not something I want to argue.

My friend Kristi wrote a beautiful post on why she is voting yes on Prop 8. Kristi is someone who I respect a great deal and I know who has put a lot of thought and prayer into her decision. My other friend Diane also wrote on her position of Prop 8 and why she is voting no. Diane, like Kristi is someone who I respect and whose thoughts I value. They are both people who love Jesus and love people with such compassion. They are also people who love & respect each other.

Their courage to blog aloud about this issue has given me mine. My words will not be as eloquent but I wanted to give voice to my thoughts in a simple a way.

I have thought a lot about this issue. For you non Californians, voting yes on prop 8 would basically not make it possible for the homosexual community to marry. It defines marriage between a man and a woman.

Quite honestly, this issue has been a really hard one for me. I am still searching and grasping for what God would do in this situation. I am still on the side of (yet wrestling with at the same time) God creating marriage for a man and woman. After reading Kristi's blog. I agree with everything she said and side with her basic beliefs about scripture(click on link above to read- I am too lazy to basically re-type something that she has already put into words).

Today at church we had a guest speaker about the persecuted church all over the world. It was a wonderful reminder of the freedom I have to worship God in America without the fear of death, imprisonment or threats. Our country declares the freedom of religion......and as an American I feel the responsibility to declare that freedom for others who may not believe what I believe. As I have grown in my faith I continue to believe more and more in the separation of church and state. It's this freedom that gives me, as a follower of Christ the ability to worship and take communion weekly.

I also am aware that I am a Christian first. That I am a follower of Christ and what I hold true I need to stand up for.

I do believe that marriage defined by my God is created for a man and a woman. But I am still voting (actually I already voted) No on Prop 8 and this is why:

Simply because of the fact that if the State of California changes the definition of marriage to include homosexuals it doesn't change my definition....and it doesn't change the church's.

At this time in my life, I don't feel it's right to not allow someone else the same basic right that I have to marry.

But that's just my opinion. I honestly respect and understand many others who think differently....as long as they have really thought & prayed over their decision instead of just screaming "God made Adam & Eve, not Adam & Steve".
Seriously....that statement makes me so mad.....but I won't go there...... this time......

12 comments:

Diane Davis said...

Thanks, Jen. I've missed your blog. I just posted more on Eight and came over here and it was good to read your thoughts. It's good to see how you are wrestling with issues... I know how tough that is. I don't wrestle with this issue, but there are so many others I do in regards to faith and hearing of your journey makes you all the more approachable.

I *think* I'm done on my thoughts on Prop 8 for a while. But it's been brewing in me for so long, it was nice to get it out. :)

Please keep blogging. We need to hear your unique and wonderful voice.

Diane

Veronica Harmonica said...

Hey Jen : )
Thanks for posting. I really appreciate and understand your thoughts and position. I'm in a similar place, though I fell on the other side of the fence...

It has been a really tough decision for me and I appreciate the open dialogue based in love. It has been really disheartening to hear such harsh words coming from both sides of this issue. I understand why people are voting no and just wish we'd take more time to hear each other out and be willing to disagree without assuming people who choose to vote differently are doing so out of hate. I also wish we had some other options to choose from... Anyway, thanks & take care.

Kristi said...

Hey Jen...thanks for the kind words about my blog. I've already said almost everything I want to say. But I did have an interesting conversation yesterday with a friend of mine. He was asking where in the Bible it states that we should impose our religious beliefs upon others. I simply responded that it doesn't.

The truth is, I don't care who marries who. I am not trying to impose my beliefs on anyone. But when I go into the poll booth tomorrow, and it asks me if I believe marriage should be between a man and a woman, then I will vote with my heart. Who knows if it will pass or not. I won't lose sleep either way. I'm not trying to dictate anyone's rights or take anyone's away. I'm just simply saying that for me, voting yes on 8 is the right choice.

Chad Gniffke said...

Jenn,

Gosh I love you!

Here are my thoughts on this subject. The Bible is based on morals and God instructs us to keep these morals independent of "the law of the land". The ten commandments are, in my opinion, the foundation of these morals. Do not murder, do not steal, and honor your father and mother are all listed there. (Exodus 20:2-17) Some of these morals are even enforced by our government to maintain order and justice. I believe that most people would agree with the continued support of these laws in society. I for one plan on teaching these to my kids because it is morally right to do these things even if someone is offended or has a different view on lying, stealing, or murdering. I believe God has called us to live Godly lives in this way. I feel this is no different when it comes to homosexually.

God has also clearly communicated that homosexuality is morally wrong . Not only does he say that, but he puts them in the same sentence as murders..

"Knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine,"
—1 Timothy 1:9-10 (NKJV)

I believe that by lumping murders and sodomites together it is clear where God's moral stance is on this subject and leaves little to no room for interpretation. This is not a civil rights issues, it is a moral issue.

I believe that our culture is loud and very convincing. So much so that we are unknowingly able to rationalize God's word against our freedoms. I agree that the freedom of religion we experience is amazing, but I don't believe that it should condone immoral behavior.

If this law passes I fear much persecution for the Christian church in the coming future. It truly opens the door for the gay community to accuse the church of discrimination by not letting same sex marriages happen in their buildings. The pastors of our churches will be asked to stand trial and be punished accordingly for this act. I fear that it will not stop at Prop 8 and will be the tipping point to the persecuted church in the US.

I will be voting Yes on prop 8 in hopes that my kids will still be able to worship Christ freely and without persecution in the years to come.

Jenn, thanks for giving us a platform to share our thoughts. You are much loved.

Veronica Harmonica said...

Hey Chad : )
I don't struggle with what's moral here but rather with what the role of government should be in dictating morality through legislation. God gave us rules to follow but also gave us our free will. I can't say I'm comfortable allowing government to take away people's free will in order to force our version of morality. And really, at the end of the day, is anyone closer to Jesus because of our laws? Isn't that the ultimate goal?

It's easy to give the government that kind of power when we want the same things as they do but when that turns, when what we define as "moral" changes even more, won't we regret that the government has the power to define that morality for us? Shouldn't we try to keep them from gaining that kind of power over how we live our lives now?

Jesus changed the world and bypassed the government of his time completely. He was effected by it but didn't try to change laws or gain power politically. I think too often we assume government is God's chosen medium and we lose sight of God's heart for people. I think its easy to ask the wrong questions and fight the wrong battles. Can you really imagine Jesus trying to pass this legislation? I imagine he'd probably be hanging out with the gay community loving them like they've never been loved and he'd probably take election day off.

twoboysmommy said...

Just my little ole opinion..not a debate:)
but I don't think for some reason that God would just be so cool with those who are living morally wrong (according to HIM)...yes, he loves them..unconditionally, but I can remember some pretty harsh punishment for those in the Bible who were living immorally. Yes, He will love them..but doesn't mean there is not a consequence to their sin. God wiped out an entire land in a flood because of immorality.
anyhoo...short...but just my 2 sense.:)

Veronica Harmonica said...

Hi twoboysmommy : ) And sorry Jen to post a gazillion times! I agree with you, I think that there are definitely consequences for choosing to disobey God's word and I am by no means saying that God looks kindly upon it. I am only questioning what role government should play in enforcing God's morals, that's all. I'm not trying to redefine what God has defined as moral, I just realize that Jesus chose not to fight his spiritual fight on a political front and wonder if we miss something when we place so many of our eggs in that basket. I appreciate the dialogue and I think we actually agree more than I probably let on... Okay. I feel bad for commenting here so many times but please feel free to visit my blog and comment there if you want to continue the dialogue.

sarah burgess said...

I tried to stay out of this, but I can't. I'm a Christian; I believe in and worship Jesus as my Savior. And, I'll be honest, I am not at all conflicted about the morality of homosexuality and I'm not at all conflicted about legalizing gay marriage. I simply don't believe homosexuality is immoral, anymore than I would believe that being a person of color, or a woman, or having a disability is immoral (which, or course, I don't). Here's why:

The Bible, when interpreted literally, can be (and has been) used to justify slavery, subjugation of women, the Holocaust, and all kinds of other atrocities. If we are to interpret every passage as literal, then we shouldn't hold on to some scripture (as was quoted by Chad in regards to homosexuality), and discard others (I Corinthians 11:5, for instance).

The Bible is truth and I regard it as such. However, where I feel that we (the Church) are missing the mark is focusing on the letter of the law, rather than the Spirit of the law. Personally, I don't care whether or not the Bible is literally true, and I don't feel that my salvation is contingent on whether I believe that or not. What's important to me is whether or not I am living His message; whether or not the Greatest Commandment is getting lost in noise of condemnation.

There are, of course, clearly defined "rights" and "wrongs," and I do think that the Ten Commandments are an example of this. However, the last time I checked, homosexuality wasn't one of the ten. Equating murder with homosexuality is an incredible and dangerous proposition, opening the door to all kinds of discrimination, persecution and hatred.

My opinions about homosexuality and gay marriage are not born out of rationalization of the Bible, nor are they the result of a dilution by culture. My thoughts on this have been tried and tested over many years of critical thought. I truly believe that God has spoken to my heart on this subject.

Really, I'm very glad to not have to be voting on Proposition 8. There is no easy answer on either side.

sarah burgess said...

Real quick, I'd like to clarify that in I Timothy 1:9 where it talks about "fornicators and sodomites," I think we can look at that in broader terms. If we look at the historical context, people living in that time were participating in bestiality (which could also be considered sodomy...I'm just saying),incest and all kinds of other perversions.I believe he was speaking to promiscuity in general. Heterosexuals can be promiscuous and perverse as well. Shouldn't we encourage monogamy and commitment in any community?

Diane Davis said...

i like sarah. :)

Sassafrass said...

I had chosen not to comment regarding this blog and the many comments made even though I have much I could say in response to these thoughts. But since I don't know these people and you don't know me, it is best not to try to articulate my opinions on God's truth and His Word on the internet.

However, there is just one thing I feel God would like me to address regarding something Kristi said:

"But I did have an interesting conversation yesterday with a friend of mine. He was asking where in the Bible it states that we should impose our religious beliefs upon others. I simply responded that it doesn't."

I would have to disagree with you on your statement regarding what the Bible says about this. First, I don't like the word 'impose' because of it's negative connotations but Merriam-Webster defines it as:
1. to establish or apply by authority 2. to establish or bring about as if by force

We are in fact commanded by Jesus to share our faith and your response to him leaves out this commandment often referred to as the Great Commission of Matthew 28: Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

An imposition is to establish or apply by authority which Christ has claimed ALL authority has been given to Him and He commands us to 'go and make disciples of all the nations' which thereby means that we are technically to 'impose' our religion on others.

The problem I see with so many today (specifically Christians but even unbelievers) is that they look at taking a position on an issue or a candidate as being 'hate filled,' biased, unloving, discriminatory, etc. No one is willing to stand up for the Lord and declare that His truth is His truth for a reason - LOVE!!!

God so LOVED the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that whosoever believes in Him shall be saved. Without the Truth of Christ and EVERY man and woman's need for Him as their Saviour, there is no love from God to a sinful and dying world.

Our commission by Christ is not to impose the rules or beliefs of our so called religion onto everyone around us, but because of our LOVE for every person we encounter and know exists on this earth, we should WANT to share with them the REAL HOPE they have in this world from a Saviour who wants to know and love and save them. If they don't recognize sin in their life, they have no need for a Saviour who died for that sin.

I hope this comes across in a gracious way because I am not trying to debate or argue the issue but rather just clarify something I am passionate about that I believe is being left on the sidelines of those trying to be politically correct.

The Unlikely Pastor's Wife said...

Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts and views on the subject. I appreciate that we can all voice what we believe in a loving way.