This week the US Supreme Court is hearing arguments about the constitionality of the “Defense Of Marriage Act” or DOMA…
As the standard rules apply this means all of my facebook friends from the evangelical tradition will be posting endlessly about our Courts making laws rather than interpreting them and a whole load of other kinds of post defending “Adam and Eve” not “Adam and Steve”…
As I stand back from the political fray and evaluate what I believe, it lands somewhere far away from the common debate and in another land altogether.
When scripture instructs us to pray it is not directing us to pray for better laws to protect our christian culture, it does not direct us to impose holiness upon the masses or even morality, it directs us to pray for our leaders and to pray for a peaceable culture so that we can live and influence in quietness.
This does not strike me a a popular metric in the church, quite often we want to shout the loudest and defend everything from owning guns to promoting wars and criminal executions…and this posture makes the world look at us and think that we are the barbarians who need exclusion rather than a people with a message of hope.
Paul did not tell the Romans to pray that the Senate would outlaw the rampant homosexuality, he did not instruct them to pray that Caesar be assassinated and a godly Emperor be installed , something that did happen and actually hurt the church more than we can measure…frankly I think Constantine has done far more damage to the cause of Christ that Nero could have dreamed about.
So where do I come down on the debate?
Well I don’t…Jesus is not an American so my interest in American politics has taken a minority focus lately, I am interested in following the Lamb and not much else.
I think there is an illusion that most politically inclined believers seem to ignore, and that is this, our culture is not going to change by changing its laws, it is only when we change its heart that real results will manifest and arguing in the center of the political arena will never win hearts that are not already on your side…its zero sum game as far as I can tell and so I will wait with a distracted sigh as everyone around me freaks out that our Courts are not Christian.
I have a voice in that I vote, but its only one vote in a sea over nearly 200 million, however I can influence far more of my culture by demonstrating an accepting love and peaceable posture for those who would cast me as the enemy, if I can disarm the argument with kindness I will have accomplished as much or more as my vote did.
So what the Supremes rule is relatively irrelevant in my actual world, it is my posture that determines whether or not I live in peace….and the whole point of this peace is to have an answer for the hope I have.
I have hope for this nation, but this hope is not that we will become a Christian Nation and enact moral laws, heck Israel had all of that and still managed to impose capital punishment on the gift of God who lived a perfectly innocent life, the courts thought they were right and justified in the sentence…it was probably Gods wisdom that Israel did not have a right to bear arms at that time or Jesus would never have made it to Jerusalem in the first place…
And I think that’s the crux of the matter…our rights…we have the right to love…that is the only right (other than authority over the demonic God never grants us authority over other people) scripture will give us…any push for more might actually be outside the bounds of our higher constitution.
We are called to love…so what does our culture see in the middle of this “moral” fight? Do they see love or exclusion? Love or bigotry? Love or fear?
Do I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman? Absolutely…but that is my belief based upon what I understand, and if it is not the belief of the rest of my culture then it is up to me to demonstrate why I have found life in this belief…
You do not demonstrate life by ruling against death, like the old wisdom says it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness and most of what I see in the religious political arena smells a bit like a curse.
Your mileage may vary.