I remember praying for moral leadership to win the 2012 elections. My hope was that those leaders would drag our country back to the Christian roots upon which our country was founded. How naïve was that?
It is said that morality can’t be legislated. And now we see the results of morality being expunged from our laws and leadership. It seems we have so turned our backs on God over the past 50 years that we have become the kind of society that legalizes homosexual marriage, forbids prayer in schools, removes the Ten Commandments from Courthouse walls, approves of abortion, levies healthcare mandates, turns a blind eye to rampant divorce, and who knows what’s next. We can no longer rely on our laws or our government leaders to support moral lifestyles. How are we going to live our Christian values in an immoral society? It’s as if we must live in exile much like the Israelites endured when they were removed to Assyria, except ours is self-imposed.
We brought this on ourselves. We are imposing this on our children. We elect the officials who initiate and approve these laws. Even so, are we now required to act as meek little sheep and benignly accept these laws as good? I mean homosexual marriage is fine as long as two people of the same gender love each other and enter into a life-long, committed relationship, right? If the state says it is, then I cannot imagine a more urgent need for the separation of church and state. We cannot allow the state to force us to condone, much less participate in what has been known for millennia is unable to support society in a positive and healthy way.
I don’t condemn or judge homosexuals. Who am I to criticize the twig in their eye when I, the worst of all sinners, have a beam in my own. But if I truly love my fellow human beings, then I must speak truth as I understand it. I am not a theologian or a Bible scholar; just an ordinary Christian father and husband trying to live a Godly life. Here’s what I understand:
It is incumbent on all of us to make moral choices despite what the law says is legal. As Paul explains in 1 Cor. 6, “All things are lawful, but not all things are beneficial…the body is not for immorality.” It is now more important than ever that the institutional Church be more effective at catechizing and teaching God’s laws for righteous and faithful living. It is even more important now than ever that we, the church, heed those teachings and form right consciences.
It is hard to live as Christians in an immoral society. A truck load of courage and strength will be required to uphold our convictions especially when the media, government, friends, family, neighbors and co-workers support laws and actions which are contrary to God’s natural laws. They say it is all relative, that people can do what they want as long as they don’t harm others. But woe to us all who call good evil and evil good (Isaiah 5).
I admit I’m guilty. My self-centered concern for my career success and my apathy toward political involvement have been the screens I hide behind. I’m tired and I’m stressed. I suspect I’m not alone. We silent majority allow the vocal advocates of immorality to relegate us to insignificance—our exile.
We aren’t at risk of being physically removed from our homeland and we probably won’t be in mortal danger. But, how will we choose to speak and act when confronted with labels of bigotry and insensitivity, and possibly putting our livelihoods and families at risk? How will the Church respond when, by adhering to thousands of years of teaching, and so not executing abortions in its sponsored hospitals and not performing marriages between people of the same sex, it may now lose tax-exempt status or government funding for its charitable works? And if they do, are we willing to step-up and fill the funding gap for those worthy causes out of our own pockets?
Now is the time for bold leadership from our clergy. Embarrassment and guilt for past inadequacies does not disqualify nor absolve the clergy from speaking truth. Legal threats, perceived or real, should not stop them from doing right.
Now is the time for us laity to be accountable and responsible for understanding our Christian beliefs and what those beliefs require of us. Volumes of information are available. We must be diligent in educating ourselves and live boldly our beliefs in the public square.
O God, by your grace may we have the courage to stand up for right. Show the light of your truth to those who go astray, so that they may return to the right path. Give all who for the faith they profess are accounted as Christians the grace to reject whatever is contrary to the name of Christ and to strive after all that does it honor. May we speak and act in such ways that others know our love for you and for them.