So How Should We Respond?

18May08

Obviously the last post was written out of my frustration. My intention is never to live in that frustration though. I have to recognize as some of you pointed out that my “complaining” can be just as pointless and wasteful as the protesting in the article I linked to.

So how should we respond?

This week, much of the country gets to react to the major decisions taking place in California. Homosexual marriage is a hot topic and in a heavily political year like this, we are undoubtedly going to hear a lot about it.

So how should we respond?

When it comes down to it, do we have to be right? Do we have to prove something? If you profess to be a Christian and you are reading this, what is your goal as a Christian?

I love the quote by St. Francis of Assisi, “Preach the gospel, and if necessary, use words”.

So how should we respond?

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31 Responses to “So How Should We Respond?”

  1. we need to say something in this case, like you already have…serenity now, serenity now!!

  2. Amen!

    I hope people react this way.

  3. I don’t know. 😳 I think each issue calls for a different level of response.

    I think it’s complicated sometimes. To me, homosexual marriage is a much BIGGER issue than what some group is saying about what is on a Starbucks cup. Y/K??? Even though they could both do a lot of damage in the long run…..

    *sigh*

  4. Bran, I agree that this issue is a bit different than the cup, but you can imagine the response that may happen if everyone responds to this as passionately.

    We have an opportunity in this, as Christians, to prove who we really are in Christ. I am anxious to see that.

  5. 5 TheNorEaster

    First, as far as I’m concerned, you answered your first question when you said the absurdity motivates you to love authentically. (I certainly can’t think of a better answer.)

    Second, we should NEVER confuse the freedom of America with the freedom of Christ. (Most common mistake regarding the “church” and homosexual marriage.)

    Third, NO, we don’t have to be right. NO, we don’t have to prove something. As a believer, my goal is to love. Honestly. Sincerely. Authentically. And love is the antithesis of religious, coffee-cup legalism. The Pharisees were legalistic; Jesus was loving. And He was crucified for it. But lest we forget, He also rose from the grave. So, using His example, I try to make it a point to love those who are the most unlovable. The forsaken. The forgotten. Real people with real problems. Not the rich and wealthy who simply want me to trim their roses bushes.

    Fourth, if I have loved honestly, sincerely, and authentically I do not need to profess anything about my faith. My actions speak for me.

    Fifth, St. Francis sure was onto something there now, wasn’t he?

  6. NorEaster…YES!

    I think there is still a large majority that see it as Christians duty to claim America, politically for Christ. I have a hard time with that. I do honestly believe that if we as Christians were living out g\the example of Christ effectively, that America would be changed politically, but I think it has to be done in that order.

    Also, I liked this.”And love is the antithesis of religious, coffee-cup legalism”

    Are you a writer or something πŸ™‚

  7. 7 TheNorEaster

    “Are you a writer or something?”

    Yeah. Why? Was that line a dead give away?

  8. I like how you brought that last post into this one πŸ™‚

    you know how to choose your wording well.

  9. The New Testament reminds us that we all have different ‘Gift’s of the Spirit’

    We should remember that our individual ego’s are what usually ‘respond’ to what we perceive in our life and in what happens ‘outside’ of us.

    Living a Life in Christ is our BEST response. Christ overcame his personal ego and only did His Father’s Will.

    Can we say we do the same?

    Let’s all perfect ourselves in Him and then decide how we react to what we see in the World.

    Lord protect me from judging in unrighteousness.

    St Francis knew a thing or two! πŸ™‚

    <B

  10. 10 TheNorEaster

    Hey, It’s 1:20am over here. That’s my afternoon, man. πŸ˜‰

  11. “Let’s all perfect ourselves in Him and then decide how we react to what we see in the World.”

    Wonderfully said. It is only through Him that we truly see and know.

    Maybe a step further, we should never “react”. Maybe it’s the poise of reaction that gets us in trouble. Puts “me” in the drivers seat.

  12. I was going to go that way too B – but Christ reacted in the temple to the moneychangers – so i said what i said instead.

    I think reacting to a ‘negative’ can place a part of that negative within us ( or maybe reflect the same kind of negativity in our reaction ) but Christ ‘Acted’ in a fashion that was seemingly a ‘re-action’???

    We react usualy far too hastily, i feel.

    <B

  13. “Puts me in the drivers seat’ – well said! That should be a warning to all of us to watch for! πŸ™‚

    <B

  14. 14 tam

    i love to see you boys playing nice πŸ˜‰

    makes my heart happy!

  15. Love, we definitely react too hastily. I do think however that Jesus responded verses reacted. I think when He was faced with something that was completely oppose to His mission, He responded. Of corse He responded appropriately.

  16. Tam, haha! What are you talking about. We always play nice πŸ™‚

  17. well… 😳

    Yeah! πŸ˜‰

    <B

  18. 18 odgie

    I agree that we are mistaken when we think that we have to (re)claim America for Christ or some such. “My kingdom is not of this world” and all of that. And speaking in a strictly pragmatic fashion, I don’t think that legalizing gay marriage is somehow going to invalidate straight marriages. This is not to say that I am happy about it, but I just don’t feel this sudden fear for the future of that institution.

    Besides, marriage is a covenant between a man, a woman, and God. No law can change or invalidate that. God decides which marriages He will honor, and as in all things, we need to trust in Him.

  19. 19 tam

    odgie – that is the best I have heard that explained. thank you!

  20. 20 Darla

    My goal as a Christian is to be more like Christ and not like the Pharisees, to love and offer hope and rescue to the lost. I really love how Odgie explained his stand…and that is all there is..God is in control and HE will honor what HE honors and all else falls outside HIS blessing. Whether or not the state of California or anyother state approves of gay marriage…does not tear down the union God blesses.

  21. I agree that the absurdity of boycotting a coffee chain over a logo borders on legalism. It feels sometimes like the people of the church have become so hypersensitive to the culture and responding to the moral decline of America that they have lost sight of what our mission truly is – to be disciples of Christ. Someone on Twitter said that the church has bigger things to worry about than a mermaid on a cup of coffee. To which I say, amen! There is so much righteous indignation amongst the church body that is grossly misplaced. I find it very telling that with all of the suffering in China and Myanmar, this Christian group is more concerned about rallying the troops to bring down a java conglomerate over a pair of non-breasts. It is no wonder the unchurched look at us with such disdain. We preach grace, yet consistently fail to practice it.

    Hope some of this, at least, makes sense! It’s still early for me to be thinking this deeply!

  22. Comment 11 you nailed it Brent. We DO NOT react to a situation because that implies that we know what we are doing…we don’t…sorry for those that haven’t gotten that memo…

    Responding though means that we are taking a step back and assessing things, generally (I’d hope πŸ™‚ ), with God, listening to what He wants us to do.

    Gay marriage? I’m against it but I refuse to go protest it on some street corner because I don’t believe that God is calling me to do that. Instead, I think he would call me to stand among those that consider themselves gay and simply love them, not protest them.

    There is a lot of messed up things in this world but there was equally as much messed up in Jesus’ time. No where in the Bible does it show Jesus protesting on the street. He DOES tell people how it is. The scriptures say gay marriage or relationships are wrong. Don’t do it. But He still loves them.

    That’s my calling. Respond with God’s Love.

  23. 23 rlh27

    The only thing that comes to mind is the story about Jesus writing in the dirt, when a group of people were going to stone some chick over her publicly known sin.

    Even though it was a set up Christs reaction was subtle yet effective.

    Also, God destroyed Sodom and Gamora when he felt the time was right. Im sure He has plans for the future so we should probably just be subtle yet effective, and wait till He tells us to leave the cities.

  24. 24 TheNorEaster

    And how can we respond with love when we’re telling others how to live instead of seeing the artistic masterpiece of God’s Image covered in the graffitti of a fallen world? You see a newborn baby and realize instantly just how precious life is. But when God sees a 98-year-old man, He sees that man as infinitely more precious than we will ever see a newborn baby. And the same goes for the homosexual, the crack addict, the homeless alcoholic, the woman turning tricks to feed her kids, and a Deaf man who spent 80 years in an institution because hearing people thought he was mentally disabled.

    That is why you will NEVER hear me give my opinion about homosexual marriage. I wrote about homosexuality, Yes, in “Any Port In A Storm,” but I NEVER mentioned my opinion about homosexuals or homosexual marriage or any of that political nonsense, which is precisely what it has become. Someone on one side says, “Yes.” Someone on the other side says, “No.” And then the people follow the politicians instead of acting on God’s Love.

    And, quite frankly, I get disgusted with the whole thing.

  25. Odgie, well said!

    Dalra, There’s a reason for this statement in marriage, “What God has placed together, let no man put asunder”. God is in control…always. I agree with you!

    givemejesus, I am glad you brought up the issues abroad. Some of us sit back and think “what can we do”. Just look around the blog world right now. There are posts that relay ways we can pray, ways we can get involved both financially and physically. Just do something.

    Evan, we have to love. We have to learn how to do that. We as a church have been taught for so long to shun, it’s ingrained in us. Yes, we have to learn to love. Right on.

    Randy, He’s in control isn’t He. I’ve never felt our job on earth was to control anything for Him. It was always to be a beacon to Him. We have to release control to him and proving our love can do that. I pray for America and what God has in store. That makes me even more passionate about spreading the true gospel.

    NorEaster, I am with you here,

    “I NEVER mentioned my opinion about homosexuals or homosexual marriage or any of that political nonsense, which is precisely what it has become.”

    We can get trapped in fighting for morality in the political process and forget our purpose. To fight in the political arena, demands a right and a wrong. Someone has to win and someone has to lose. That determines a fight.

  26. I say pissed is a righteous state. Especially when things like this keep popping up.

    grrr….

  27. mudpuppy, WOW! They have completely shut the love of God out of that church.

  28. 28 tawny

    Well, someone may have said this and I missed it, but the other thing we have to remember is, the enemy of the church wants to make christians look stupid. So the stupid, legalistic, horrible, things we do get a lot of attention and the wonderful things that we do get downplayed. We are all going to have good days and bad days, the important thing is that we know God well enough that He can correct us if we are wrong.

  29. Tawny, I agree. Satan will do anything he can to deceive.

  30. It always comes down to sex, doesn’t it? When we talk about morals.

    I like gays. No more or no less than straight folk. But I’ve got some gay friends. I wouldn’t dare tell them how to live their lives. Is homosexuality a sin? Debatable. Are they hurting others? No, I don’t think so. Do they love the lord? Some of them sure looks like it.

    I have some friends that work in banks. Do they love the lord? Maybe, at least they go to church. Is usury a sin? Yep, no debate there. I wouldn’t tell them to quit their jobs, though.

    have some friends that work for weapons manufacturers. They sure seem to be good Christians. Is killing a sin? Yep. Is making machines that kill sinful? Don’t know for sure, but I doubt it. But they’ve got bills to pay just like me.

    I love God. I’m pretty sure I do anyway. But I can’t stop worrying about things like money and the future. I’m always buying clothes made in China, probably by prison labor, or from Malaysia by indentured servants. I can’t stop buying coffee that is cheaper than fairtrade coffee – I can’t afford it. But what can Juan Valdez afford these days.

    I drink hard liquor (and soft liquor as well), smoke cigars, dance (badly) listen to rock and roll, watch R rated movies and eat fatty foods. Not going to stop anytime soon, either. Maybe I’m not a good Christian.

    I do find that there are some very repulsive homosexuals out there. With all the revealing clothing and wanton sexuality and promiscuity. But there are many more repulsive heterosexuals out and about. Many, many, many more. And last time I checked the statistics it wasn’t homosexuality that was threatening the American family- it was poverty. Perhaps that’s a better reason to reconsider buying a $5.00 cup of coffee.

  31. Christian, I think sexual sin is sexual sin. Married, single, straight, gay…whatever is sin, is sin.

    Here’s where I am at though. Some days I may argue whether homosexuality is right or wrong. I have my convictions, but today they are staying right there with me. What I do know, is that I have to do better at responding and caring for people. Gay, straight…whatever.

    My hope for this post is to make us think about response and you’ve done that well with your last statement,

    “And last time I checked the statistics it wasn’t homosexuality that was threatening the American family- it was poverty. Perhaps that’s a better reason to reconsider buying a $5.00 cup of coffee.”

    Like I said earlier, we need to get away from reaction and learn response. That takes thought. That takes intention. I think when that happens, we are going to be more concerned about how we care and who we care for.



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