Monday, April 1, 2013

Love and rights

I had the opportunity to be out of town this weekend and ran into a couple of demonstrations that have grabbed the headlines lately. Both were relatively small, but the messages grieved my heart as I thought of the Christ whose resurrection we were ready to celebrate. The first group at the state capital was made up of about 25 people with signs urging the Supreme Court to legalize gay marriage. They held a sign the said, "all love is love". Right next to them, were some guys with automatic weapons draped around their necks, American flags and a sign that said. "This is America and this is my right." How does a Christian respond to these protests and signs? Well, here are some thoughts that stirred in my spirit. 1. A culture in which everyone focuses on indidividual rights will be defined as selfish. In fact, this is what America is..we have become a people that are only concerned about getting what we want. Media cleverly has diverted many conversations to this mantra that is near and dear to the American heart. This was used to make abortion not about killing babies and about a woman's right. It is being used to divert the social implications of gay marriage into the rights of people to choose a lifestyle. It is being used to argue about who should have guns and what kind of guns they should have. Jesus, the most powerful person who ever lived gave up his rights to become a man and submit to death on the cross. His church is the answer for this problem of rights because in it's true form, everyone looks out for the needs of everyone else, not their own. 2. A culture which difuses the word "love" to mean any emotion that makes me happy will eventually not be capable of loving anyone. In fact, love is not love as defined by our music, movies, television shows, and entertainment industry in general. According to Jesus, love is not an emotion, it is a decision to put someone else first. Love is defined pretty clearly in I Corinthians 13 and can be used as a guide to determine if you are "in love" or not. True love must answer to all of these questions: "Is this patient?" "Is this kind?" "Is this out of envy?" "Is this self-seeking?" "Is this boastful?" "Is this rude?" "Is this easily angered?" "Is this keeping record of wrongs?" "is this delighting in evil?" "Is this protecting?" "Is this trusting?" "Is this hopeful?" "Is this persevering?" Answering one of these questions in the wrong way eliminates the emotion from being true love. Jesus said, "True love is this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." Of course he did. So what should a Christian (or pastor) do when he sees people picketing for things they don't even know about? Pray for conversations that will allow us to talk about Christ with them. They will never give up their rights until they hear how Jesus gave up His for them and they will never know what love is until they are loved by Him. Jesus is the only chance this culture has. And that's why we are called to be witnesses for Him.

1 comment:

Johnmark Hatfield said...

Love will always be legal.

Relationships will always be legal.

Supporting relationships by their broader communities will always be legal.

All that earthly kingdoms can change is taxes and material possessions.

The heavenly kingdom can never be touched.