Monday, June 29, 2015

Please Stop Saying "We Lost"

This weekend, as we waited to park our car outside of wedding reception hall in Pittsburgh, a man in his twenties paraded past us with the Confederate Flag draped over his shoulders. He smiled, aware of the stares he was receiving, and continued on his way. His statement was loud and clear. I felt my heart drop into my stomach.

This is not a problem that seems to be going away.

But for the last three days, much of what I've seen on Facebook are statements like, "We Lost the Country," and "Don't Worry, We Know What Real Marriage Is." (And yes, there have always been gracious, love-filled posts and articles, and for those I am so proud.)

But just like that, a week and a half after a racially-charged hate crime killed nine people, we're back to politics and wins and losses and finger pointing.

What I've been wondering, mostly, is when our country become a theocracy.

Where, in the Bible, does it instruct Christians to impose our morals on non-Christians? When did Jesus roll into town 2000 years ago, saying he was going to take over everything, starting at the highest levels of government and working his way down to eventually loving the individuals?

Is my Bible missing those pages?

The Bible I read tells us to act justly and love mercy. We're told to walk humbly. We're told to care for the orphans and the widows. To love our brothers more than ourselves. To go and share the good news of the Gospel with the world. And yes, the Bible states that marriage is defined as one man and one woman.

What it doesn't say, is to stand on street corners and declare what are current score is in the great "God vs. World" game.

We're not told to create cultural or physical wars when we could, instead, be praying, and resting in the God who is in control of everything. We're not told to use Jesus as a political bargaining tool. And we're not told to make a whipping boy out of those who are trying to understand feelings of same sex-attraction.

But somewhere down the line, this has become our favorite sin. The best issue for stone throwers.

And I think I've finally figured out why.

Most issues, we know we might all fall into. We all lie, we all struggle with idolatry, we all have to work to protect our marriages from affairs--but because of the nature of homosexuality, unless you are dealing with it, you probably never will. To those who don't understand it, it's a very un-relatable struggle. People don't worry about falling into homosexuality the way they fear falling into alcoholism. For this reason, it just seems like the worst. 

Lord have mercy on us. We are hypocrites.

I sincerely believe it's possible to hold conservatively Biblical view of marriage without taking on the role of the thought-police. I hope I'm able to do this well.

I also sincerely believe it's possible to be hold a more liberal view of marriage and be deeply-loving follower of Jesus. I have too many incredibly Jesus-loving friends who've proved this to me to think otherwise. The conversations I have with these people challenge me to get out of my comfort zone. Their focus is on people, not prescriptions.

And then there are people who are in between, right now, struggling to figure out exactly where they stand. I hear that. 

We are all working out our salvation with fear and trembling--and that means also working out the big issues we face each day. May each of us go to God's Word for ourselves, converse with those we trust, and take our time as we learn to love and understand the world we live in. 

The important thing in all of this, is that the Supreme Court ruling is a federal issue. Unless something has recently changed in our country, I believe the separation between Church and State is still a thing. I think it's a good thing, at that. It means churches are protected by their own bylaws and beliefs.

You know what feels more like a Church issue? The shooting in Charleston, and the hatred that brought it on.

The teenage girl, trying to figure out what to do about her pregnancy.

The kids who are dying of starvation every day, right under our noses.

The women who are caught in a cycle of abuse with no one to talk to about it.

The people who need a voice, who need the Church to stand up in justice in love against the hate that so often colors this world.

The gay man who no longer has a family who's speaking to him.

These are people who need the love of the Church.

Guys, we don't have a high success rate in trying to lord over this world. We have a lot of work to do.

I can't pretend to know everything about this issue--I know there are facets I will never comprehend, and hurts and fears that I cannot address. For now, I just want to remind us all that this world is a broken place, and that through grace and faith in Christ Jesus, this world is not the end of the story. God is sovereign. May we never forget that.

 So please.

Let's stop keeping score.


  1. YES YES YES. So well said, Ashley. <3

  2. Great article. Thank you. I am also disheartened with the bombardment of opinions on this, or any matter at the forefront. It is in these times that our beliefs are tested. We live in a society that teaches "win, loose", and keeping score. We all get sucked into the details, and our egos want their say..Thanks for taking a step back, looking at the bigger picture, and reminding us about the way Jesus would want us to handle things....Grace and forgiveness.

  3. Hate the sin but love the sinner. Careful that you don't forget the first part of the sentence. Jesus is love, but he also condemned sin. If sin is a sin, we must treat it like such. If a person is committing sin, we must let them know that what they are doing is wrong and God (and therefore we) doesn't approve of it.

    1. We are suppose to let others know there is a God who forgives sin.


Leave me a comment. It makes my heart happy.