Previously, I wrote about “Gay Bashing” and the (future)-end of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Both of these topics revolve around a bigger issue: the Hate Crimes Bill – which is slated to be signed into law by President Obama this Wednesday.
There has been a lot of talk from Christian circles, on why this bill should not be signed into law. From what I can gather, their sole point is this: the Church will be limited (silenced) on what they can and cannot say about homosexuality. A valid concern for pastors who hold a strong conviction that homosexuality is wrong.
But, this is an invalid point to use in protesting a bill that will (hopefully) bring better protection to those within the GLBT community. Let’s be honest here, Church, many gays face unjust discrimination everyday. Many are killed, beaten, jailed, fired, and the like, just for being gay. Many things are done, as the Church stands by in silence. How is this “loving our neighbor” as Jesus taught?
Put yourself in their shoes. How would you respond? How would you want the Church to respond?
If we are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27), then that means everyone is made in the image of God – regardless of their race, gender, and sexuality. Now, I am not saying that people are born gay – I don’t believe. What I am talking about, though, is that life comes from God – all of life comes forth by the Word of His mouth; and because of this, God cares about every life – every person – regardless of race, gender, and sexuality.
If God cares about all of us equally, then we, His Bride (His hands and feet), should care about others equally. One of my favorite passages sums this point up quite nicely:
If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother. 1 John 4:20-21
We are constantly reminded, by the words of Jesus, to think of others over ourselves. In a sense, we are asked to walk in their shoes – not just gays, but those in poverty, oppression, widows, and fatherless – and view the world from their eyes. Too often, though, I think the Church has failed to do just that; turning a blind eye to injustice, while protesting those who go against their beliefs.
Sounds harsh; but it’s true.
The Church is quick to stand up for injustices against themselves, and, in some cases, the Church is willing to stand against the injustices of those who can’t stand for themselves (like racism, poverty in other countries, and abortion). However, almost never does the Church stand against the injustices of those in the gay community. Why? (I say almost never, just in case there have been cases where the local church has actually done this.)
What’s my point? Hate is wrong. Injustice is wrong. Jesus speaks very clearly on these subjects (check out the Sermon on the Mount). Therefore, His disciples (i.e. the Church) should also be against such things.
Church, Jesus assured us of certain things. One of those being this: you will be misunderstood and persecuted. People are going to reject God’s truth, and stand against the Church, as the end draws nearer. We should get used to it. We should not be looking to the government for “our rights” or for our voice to be heard clearly. Our voice is given by God. Our rights come from God. And, it is through His grace that such things come forth.
Another assurance, is that we are to stand against injustice just as God stands against it. Since He desires none to be lost (2 Peter 3:9) in the end, we should at all cost show our fallen world His saving love and grace – regardless of our own personal preferences. We live life for His glory, not our own. We are here to proclaim His kingdom, not our here. God desires all of His children to come back home to Him, including those we sometimes think are too far gone from His reach (i.e. the gay community).
I seriously think that if Jesus were here, He would stand FOR the passing of this bill. In fact He would pass a law against ALL hate and injustice within the world; regardless if those He fought for believed in Him or not (John 3:16, Romans 5:8).
The only people who are able to silence our message of God’s redeeming love, is ourselves. God’s message is not confined to man-made laws, but it does get silenced through a Body that allows hate to freely reign.