Are you concerned or perhaps even mad about our new president’s actions on his first day in office? You may need to take a step back and look at the big picture.
The goals and pathways are being made clear from the get go by our new leadership in Washington. But this could be said for all presidents’ first 100 days in office.
If you do not know what SOGI laws are, it is time to educate yourself. After that, consider the root causes of this shift in law making.
Perhaps the idea of transgender kids being allowed to play on sports teams based upon their chosen gender makes you ask:
“What does this mean for my kid?”
“What about female rights?”
“Is this an attack on our Christian values?”
SOGI laws are more complex than what they seem.
In order to speak truth into the foreseeable darkness, you must educate yourself. And, do not misunderstand me, to have more complete understanding you will need to look outside of your own standards and beliefs.
Then, once you have a fuller picture as to what these legal actions mean, where they originate from and where they are leading us, take another step back. Time for an eagle eye view.
Society is changing, each year moving farther away from Christendom. But, should we be surprised?
To expect people to ascribe to Christian beliefs when they do not hold to that set of standards is asking someone to enter into a maze and giving them the wrong map. Things will never add up, North will be South and East will be West.
Christ ended his ministry on Earth with clear instructions for His followers. Go forth and make disciples. Did Jesus say go forth and condemn the world? No. He did further say to teach those who believe all that He has commanded. But, again, condemning was never an instruction.
More than this commission, we also have Christ’s example of how to reach hearts. It wasn’t through angry voices and bashing gentiles (non-believers) either. Christ came along side people in their everyday life, meeting needs and gently asking questions or telling stories that led people to living waters (John 4:10).
Look around you. People are hurting. The World is groaning under the weight of the Fall. Secular theories have led to great inner turmoil, and the remedies the world offers only increases the turmoil.
The more outspoken you become against the things you hate (you may also label them as things God hates too), the farther you push people into the arms of their hurts.
John chapter 8 tells of an interesting account Jesus has with a woman caught in sin. While Jesus was at the Mount of Olives, in Jerusalem, the pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery before Jesus. Scripture says the motives of the religious leaders were devious. They had hoped to catch Jesus in apostasy and bring charges against Him. The irony is the accusing pharisees were themselves not following Mosaic law. The Old Testament states if adultery occurs both the man and woman are to be punished. But only the woman stood before Jesus.
I wonder what led the woman to that moment. While current culture is beginning to move away from the idea of monogamy, in general, adultery is still considered wrong on some level even today.
Why would she choose to step outside of her marriage? Did she even choose? Had she been pushed into the arms of a new man due to abuse at home? Perhaps she had an arranged marriage that was loveless. Or maybe the adultery was not what the pharisees believed it was. No matter the reason, this woman was broken. Laid bare before a crowd of people, angry religious leaders with stones in hand, looking towards Jesus.
How did Jesus respond? Weirdly, in my opinion. Counter-culturally would be a kinder way to describe His actions.
Jesus stooped and began to write on the ground. What did He write? The book of John does not say. However, many scholars believe Jesus began to write counteraccusations pointed towards the pharisees. Maybe he simply wrote, “Where is the adulterous man?” After Jesus did His writing in the dirt, He simply said whoever is without guilt cast the first stone.
Sometimes in conversations with my husband I will exclaim, “Glass houses!” Rolled eyes are the usual response. But my husband knows precisely what I am meaning.
Do not go throwing stones at other people when you do not live in a figurative shatterproof home.
Jesus’s dirt note and small statement were effective. Suddenly, the accused woman was left alone with Jesus. The accusers were gone and Jesus tells the woman to sin no more.
Now, let me ask you this: As you see the world turn farther away from the Lord, are you the red faced pharisee with a stone in your hand? Or, are you looking at people and seeing their broken hearts?
Make no mistake, Jesus ended His encounter with the woman by telling her to turn from her sin. But He also extended her grace and mercy. Then, within ear shot of this woman and to all who were still at the Mount of Olives, Jesus proclaims more hope:
“I am the light of the world! The one who follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
It is time for us to look for new avenues to share the living hope we have in Christ. Does that mean we might get messy? Yes. Does that mean we may need to put ourselves in the shoes of other people? Yes.
But when we approach hurts and confusion with empathy and humility perhaps hearts will soften to our Savior. This is a relational pursuit which means it will take the building up of personal relationships! Can there be a widespread global impact? The Lord works in mighty ways. But, in the meantime, as secular culture takes hold around you, look for the hurting, confused hearts. Walk along side them. Try to understand them and how they got to where they are. Speak truth sprinkled (doused!) with love. Pray without ceasing.
But stop being surprised or angered by the world in such a way that makes you pick up stones, how can we fulfill the task Jesus has set for us when we are busy throwing rocks?