Plank in Your Eye?
“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18)
The dominating topic on last night’s news was certainly President Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage. The New York Times headline, “A Watershed Move, Both Risky and Inevitable,” caught my attention this morning. The article went on to say:
“A sitting United States president took sides in what many people consider the last civil rights movement, providing the most powerful evidence to date of how rapidly views are moving on an issue that was politically toxic just five years ago.”
So my friends, I believe it’s time for Stilettos to Aristotle to discuss something a little weightier. Firstly, I would like to lay a basic foundation of my own personal beliefs on this matter. There are a few specific scriptures that enter my mind when I think of gay marriage. My thoughts begin in Genesis and end with Jesus.
26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground. ” (Genesis 1)
18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman, ‘for she was taken out of man. ”
24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. (Genesis 2)
Here in the beginning I can see that God’s original design, His sovereign will, was for Adam and Eve to be in union. For male and female to be in union. Now for that to mean anything to anyone, they must believe in the one sovereign God and that His word is perfect and infallible. But the next passage is even more beautiful.
1 Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” (John 8)
Here I am reminded that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We have all strayed from God’s original design, His sovereign will. But there is a catch in verse eleven: “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” Once a sin in my life is made known, I am to repent, accept forgiveness, and “sin no more.”
But how does all of this relate to gay marriage? Well politically speaking, it doesn’t. Theologically speaking, it absolutely does. God is the inventor of marriage, and therefore has the right to declare its meaning. I believe His design was between a man and a woman. And I believe it is a holy and symbolic union not to be entered into lightly. (This is not a government’s role to define, nor should it be up for debate.) BUT, God also created for me to be in perfect fellowship with Him, and every day I push Him away, every day I create a gap between us.
“You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:5)
“How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Luke 6:42)
So for me, I am going to remain concerned with my own plank, and let others worry about theirs. I would abhor the title, “Hypocrite.” I think that maybe if us here in Texas, the “Bible Belt,” were as concerned about protecting our relationship with God as we are with judging others, this might be less of an issue. The fact is, there are many ways that the government’s view points differ from my own, this is just another to add to the list. I do not encourage complacency, or a “co-exist” theory, but grace.