Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Are Christians Too Judgemental?

Can a real Christian be comfortable in conversation with a same-gender couple and their child?  Absolutely.

Can a believer sit with agnostics and talk thoughtfully about the world in which their children are growing up?  Of course.

Can a person of faith have gracious friends on the other side of such issues?  Yes.
NOTE:  By this point, some may be struggling with the media version of a Christian response.

Jesus didn't spend much time with the religiously legalistic folks, and he did seem quite open to those whose lives were less than perfect.  Prostitutes and publicans and those perhaps out on the fringe of of the religious world; you do get the impression he was open  to conversation about the important things.

Times (and our national culture) have changed in the last half century.  Family has been disassembled, marriage has been redefined, and childbirth outside of marriage is the majority norm.  Many now say a child isn't a child until birth.  And thanks to politicos and the media, we're more polarized than ever before in our nation's history.  That means we're more at odds, more judgmental, and more likely to clash rather than find some middle ground of mutual respect.

While Christians will have strong personal convictions for how they live their own lives, is it their job to hate (of course not) and judge (absolutely not) and rail against and condemn?  Such behavior seems unchristian in pretty much every context, does it not?  And if our children behaved that way, we'd certainly have to step in and redirect them.

So how do we live in today's world but with a heart like Jesus had?  
And ... how do we prepare our children for life?

Now to be clear, the issues are volatile, and people of faith feel betrayed by their government.  They rightly and justifiably are angry and threatened.  The choices they must make among available options will be difficult, and much has already been taken from them.

Our second president John Adams warned, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Perhaps he's right.

The decline of biblical morality in America has yielded a Supreme Court that is now able to invent new ways to look at our Constitution and its later amendments and discover “rights” within the meaning and between the lines that are nowhere to be found. This is precisely what happened in both Obergefell and Roe.

In his Roe v. Wade dissenting opinion, Justice William Rehnquist stated that “to reach its result [in legalizing abortion], the Court necessarily has had to find within the scope of the Fourteenth Amendment a right that was apparently completely unknown to the drafters of the Amendment.”

In his Obergefell dissent, Chief Justice Roberts similarly and aptly stated that “if you are among the many Americans . . . who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision. . . . But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.”

The Obergefell decision has placed our nation in a position opposite to the Judeo-Christian principles on which it was founded. Two of the justices acknowledged this in their Obergefell dissents:

  • Chief Justice Roberts -- “The Court today not only overlooks our country’s entire history and tradition but actively repudiates it, preferring to live only in the heady days of the here and now.”  
  • Justice Thomas -- “The Court’s decision today is at odds not only with the Constitution but with the principles upon which our nation was built. Since well before 1787, liberty has been understood as freedom from government action, not entitlement to government benefits.”

So the question remains, how do we live in today's world but with a heart like Jesus had?
And ... how do we prepare our children for life in such a world?