Leading by love vs. legislation

Before reading, choose not to be offended…just process this, get your brain thinking!

Obama made a big step today by sharing his “personal opinion”.  It just so happens that his personal feelings actually do affect more than just him, but that is beside the point.   His statement in support of same sex marriage was in response to a ruling yesterday in North Carolina defining marriage as between a man and a woman and upholding a constitutional ban on gay marriage.

As a bible believing Christian I am completely familiar with this subject, especially when pastoring a church called Open Life!  I believe every word written in the bible and it leads me to understand that my relationship with God should foster my view on marriage and the intent of such to be between a man and a woman.  I get that, and I also get that some of my family and friends are gay.  We can probably all echo this unless you are living in denial or a separatist life in hopes of never being contaminated by the world (which is unbiblical and off the intent of Jesus example).

That said; I don’t see anything within the content of scripture encouraging me to legislate morality.  If anything, I see the opposite.  We see that Jesus came to fulfill the law, and introduced us to the fullness of God’s forgiveness, hope and mercy.  While Jesus lived according to the law of the land, even paying his taxes, he did not encourage the disciples to go forth and make laws upon that land that would make people with no relationship with God live as if they were children of God.  Instead we see that purity and faithfulness to God’s standards is a matter of the heart and surrender to a faith in Jesus.  And we are challenged to bear the fruit of those who are no longer under the law, which makes sin abound, but under grace which makes love abound for all.

So why does it surprise the conservative politicians and religious rulers of our day (who take an offensively harsh and impersonal approach at morality and culture) when people get ticked at their attempt at legislating morality?  Their push back is totally justified by our hypocrisy!

Maybe if those of us who love Jesus live out a life that truly reflects Him, we would inspire people to live according to the word of God instead of trying to force those who are without a demonstration of faithfulness to live biblically in a very post biblical culture.

You can’t claim you have a better way of living unless you prove your way of living bears better fruit.  Let the fruit lead your friends, family, city, state, government and country into right relationship with Jesus and stop trying to force them to live as if they are Christians before they ever choose Jesus in the first place.

Until then, let’s love people…all people, no matter their ethnicity, gender, sexual preferences, or criminal pasts!  Let’s engage in life with everyone, learning where they are coming from and allowing them to see where we are coming from, but all the while living in unity, community and love.  Isn’t that what Jesus said we would be known by?

Let’s get back to leading by love vs. legislation…it just works better in the end!  And I echo our President…”it’s just my opinion.”

4 thoughts on “Leading by love vs. legislation”

  1. Although I wholeheartedly agree with you about loving unconditionally and accepting all people regardless of lifestyle, I don’t agree with your history. Jesus lived in a time where they didn’t have a say in politics. He didn’t preach what was unavailable at the time. Although I am not a sign waver, I will take my beliefs to the polls every chance I get. In regards to gay marriage, I think it is an abomination but I also think it is not the states job to define marriage. Marriage is a biblical institution and I only hold Christians to biblical standards. I, like you, would rather my light shine through my life than through legislation but I will always vote my convictions.

  2. Dennis, glad you took the time to drop a comment. It does make me think and in some ways my mind is at war with my own thoughts on this! Truly it is a place of modern day tension that we have not seen in a long time and will be a true test to our faith and convictions. While you might assume there is contextual challenges with using Jesus and politics as illustrative fodder, Jesus didn’t do a lot of preaching period…he did a ton of demonstrating. And if he demonstrated anything it would be what the OT calls an abomination, Jesus confronted with forgiveness and mercy.

    We did legislate and found this country on Christian principles, and now we face the defense of those very core values. We just approach it at a very different level. As a minority trying to force a majority to live according to our values. Should be an interesting road ahead.

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