Saturday, June 27, 2009
Changing the law, Doesnt change the heart
As many of you know, Iowa (the state in which I live) made gay marriage legal fairly recently. Many (particularly Christians) have been outraged and furious, holding up signs and protesting. Many commenting to me jokingly about it, expecting me to be on their side I suppose, and then are infuriated to find that I really am not.
First off, I dont personally condone homosexuality, nor do I think that the Bible does. Yet on the same note, I dont elevate it to this terrible atrocity that most Christians seem to do. I dont see it as any greater a "sin", than premarital sex, lust, lying, or gossip (None of which, by the way, do many Christians hold signs up about or try to make laws banning them). If it is truly not Gods will to practice homosexuality, than I dont think God loves the person in that any less, than He loves the one who has premarital sex, lusts, lies, gossips or all the above.The same can be said about abortion, which I most definitely do not agree with.
So we try and implicate these laws, and protest, assuming that by doing so...we will create a safe, "Christianese" country for us and our families. And thats understandable, I think it is important to vote and stand up for the things we believe especially as Christians.
But I cant help but ask, what changing the laws of our country will do to change the hearts of those I disagree with? We can bar people from doing all sorts of things, and we do on many occasions. Our laws try to prevent us from things like murder, stealing, cheating, and running red lights. Yet even when the threat of punishment is successful in preventing an individual from doing such things (or more likely, from getting caught), is that person really any different? Do their views on right and wrong, good and bad, necessarily change at all?
Even if gay marriage were to have been kept illegal in Iowa, it wouldnt stop anyone from practicing homosexuality or still feeling that gay marriage was their right. The same with abortion, if it were illegal, nothing would stop anyone from feeling it was okay or worse yet, find ways to abort babies outside of medical direction. Just because something is illegal, doesnt make someone think that it is wrong. Just because someone is prevented from doing something bad does not automatically turn the person's intentions good. This is common sense.
Beyond all that, Im not sure it is my right to try and make other people live by my moral convictions. Part of the reason the United States was founded was to break from the oppression of religion, and worship, believe and live as one chooses. It doesnt mean I have to personally agree, or support someones life choices...but it doesnt matter if I agree. I hope people will make Godly choices, but they have to find the motivation to do that themselves (which ultimately comes from the conviction God gives us). I or no one else can force that on them...
I guess I just find it hard to believe that God is as concerned with the laws of America, as most fundamentalist Christians seem to be. This is maybe why politics fail to interest me more often than not. Afterall, Jesus was certainly not a political activist, and no where in the gospels do we see Jesus rallying any political overthrows of Caesar. In fact he said "render to Caesar, what is Caesar's". Jesus was however, all about changing the hearts around him, helping people reunite in relationship with the Father and His will. Jesus knew that the religious and political laws could never change anyone, yet he loved us, died for us and gave us his spirit to live within our hearts.
I truly believe we as Christians, should be more concerned about loving people and showing them the God we serve, rather than trying to impart laws for our own self-centered, self-concerned motives...and then claim that "its what God wants". I think what God wants is people to turn to him in his appointed times, not for America to have the most Bible based laws. Therefore, I think our part as followers of Christ should be to be a light to our fellow humanity and country men. In which they can see the life and love of God emitting from us and will too want to be apart of what God has for them.