Friday, December 03, 2010

Day 18* → Your views on gay marriage.

*of this

Oh and how badly is this one going to go down.
*ducks and braces herself for virtual onslaught of fruit in various stages of decay being thrown at her head*

I've been dreading this topic because my views are not PC and the internet is notorious for vicious anonymous attacks. But then, I suppose it is good to be challenged on such things and for me to have to actual explore what I believe.

I think that this topic is a bit narrow. For the most part I don't think gay marriage is what the issue is about.

It's kind of like everyone tuning the pope about having an issue with contraception. They moan because he is against condoms, they say that his stance contributes to the spread of Aids. What they fail to mention is that the pope also is against sex outside of marriage, promiscuity, etc. If they take his full message then the spread of Aids shouldn't be a result of his stance. (please let's not start a catholic bashing session here, I am not against contraception myself and there's much that I don't necessarily agree with in catholicism, but that is besides the point. the point here is about logic or the lack thereof).

Wow... this really is such a loaded topic. I'm a bit unsure where to start.

My hesitation is this:
In short, I'm not for gay marriage and so I suppose I am against it. But if I left it there, with no context, I'd be grossly misrepresenting myself and my faith.

I believe that homosexuality is sin. I also believe that premarital sex is sin. I believe that lying is sin, that slander is sin, that self righteousness is sin. Obviously I sin too, although I try not to.

The bible doesn't talk much about degrees of sin, but to me one of the most repugnant of all sins is hypocrisy.

I am not going to judge a gay couple, or a couple who are sleeping together outside of marriage, unless they call themselves christian. Does that sound a bit weird? I'll try explain.

Synonymous with being a christian is striving toward a biblical standard for your life, Christ-likeness. It is both an awesome privilege to be able to call yourself christian and a weighty responsibility.

In the bible there is an example of a woman caught in adultery. Jesus' famous response to the crowd who are preparing to stone her is "he who is without sin should cast the first stone". The crowd sheepishly disperses. THEN He goes to the women and tells her to leave her life of sin.

The point is that Jesus is against us judging others, but he is ALSO against her life of sin and tells her to leave it.

The biblical exception is among believers. Believers are expected to keep one another accountable.

“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the
two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not
listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector." (Matthew 18:15 - 18)

I wonder if that sounds controlling, scary, overbearing to you? Actually I see this as one of the gifts of being part of a church community. I couldn't handle being surrounded by a bunch of "Yes-men". Instead I'm surrounded by people who hold me true to my beliefs and values, rather than to my emotions. Emotions are short term and can be fickle - there could, for example, be a colleague of mine who makes me feel special. Perhaps at this time I am feeling particularly down on myself and TheBand is busy, stressed, overlooking me, or whatever. And so I respond to the colleague because he fulfils an emotional need at that time and voila. Disaster.

In such a case I have no doubt that I have plenty of friends who would call me on it before anything had happened and hopefully spare me from a disastrous situation and the same goes for The Band. He is surrounded by people who value us and our marriage and hold us to our vows.

If a christian were to tell me she was gay I'd have to discourage her from pursuing that lifestyle in the same way that I can't agree with my christian friends living with their boyfriends. The reason is that it is hypocritical. You choose to strive toward a biblical standard for your life or you don't. You are christian or you aren't. We all get to choose.

If a non-christian is gay or lives with their boyfriend I have no place to judge because they are not purporting to live by any other standard.

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESH I hope I've explained this right.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Day 17* → A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.

*Of this

(thanks to Lotus07 for the kick up the butt to get back to this meme! :)

After Sophia's death I was floundering. Floundering in my faith. Floundering to find peace. Floundering with where she is now. Floundering with whether I'd ever see her again.

Two books opened my eyes and brought me much peace.

The first is I'll hold you in heaven by Dr Jack Hayford.

It's a little book and a quick read and basically looks at the theology of baby loss and baby salvation. I was astounded at how much the bible actually has to say in this regard. For one thing it explains from a very practical perspective why a child is a 'person' with a soul from the moment of conception. So many who have really early miscarriages - like as in they test positive this morning and bleed that evening - don't understand why it still shakes them so profoundly. I believe that this is the reason. Whether your baby was a few days along or many months along that baby is a person with an eternal life before them. In heaven they'll be whole. In both cases PARENTS have lost children.

It's a beautiful book and the first thing I recommend to anyone who has lost a child - whether through stillbirth, miscarriage, infant death or abortion.

The other book is called Heaven by Randy Alcorn. It's fascinating. I've never been one of those who's wished the second coming would hurry up. Before reading this book I always thought Heaven sounded... well... boring. I don't want to sing all day, and what's with the no marriage deal? What about The Guv and Phoebe? Where do they go? And my family? Will I know them there? Will I be bored? Most importantly, how does my daughter now spend her days?

Alcorn paints a picture of Heaven which is so refreshing and appealing. His point is that we were created with Heaven in mind. We are eternal beings. Heaven is home for us. Therefore it's not going to be some dull and boring place, it'll be inspiring and invigorating and awesome. It will be like the world we're in, minus all the horros, illness, sadness, tragedy, sin and so on. He believes that in Heaven we'll have physical bodies again, that we will recognise and live with our families.
Anyway, long story short, it is the first time that I've been excited about the physical place (yep!) of Heaven.