Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Bending the knee...
Today, I read another announcement from a young Christian leader welcoming discussion on "why he is dating men" and that he would do this the healthiest way possible because of his relationship with God.
For many people they would embrace this and celebrate his liberty and freedom and yet for me, my heart grieved. I felt deep sadness in the statement he made. There was no rejoicing. My first words out of my mouth were "Lord have mercy!" I was immediately drawn to the prodigal story. My thoughts on all of this are for those who are believers...who have been enlightened to the truth of Jesus Christ and the full Gospel.
Here we have a loving Father who has a son who wants desperately to go his own way. The son sees all that he has and wants out. He wants his freedom. Maybe he felt too confined within the parameters of his Fathers standard. So his goal is to get what is due him and leave. So his father gives to him what he is owed (his inheritance) and he goes his own way. Maybe to find himself...who he really is. We may think the father would take a passive response...just get on with life, but he would have continually gone to the road to see if his son was coming back...day after day, month after month, year after year. Maybe people would have mocked the Father...told him to just get on with it, forget about the son, yet I don't see the Father doing that...he waits for the day of his sons return.
Now the son...wanting liberation tries this and that to see what appeals to him. Living his life to the fullest. He no longer lives under the confines of his Fathers standard. He is able to do what pleases him. He is able to do everything that feels right. Why would his father not allow him this freedom? Such a backwards father, stuck in the dark ages of religion, could well have been his thoughts. Why would a loving Father not allow me to be who I want to be and express that however I feel like?
Until it all crashes around him...when the money is gone...his friends leave and he is left alone.
As I write this...can we link this with an aspect of God handing us over to our desires and our own lusts? Slowly and inevitably we begin to bend and accept an even broader realm of sexual expression? We bend our knee not to God but now to a cultural humanistic expression of "what feels good".
What I imagined in this whole scenario and discussion is this:
The "church" the "bride of Christ" is adopting a definition of grace that allows us to go with our feelings. If we do this then nothing is unacceptable. Seriously. Think about it.
I feel attracted to the same gender. It's not going away as much as I want and so I'm going to still LOVE God with my whole heart and date those of the same gender. (bending the knee)
I feel attracted to young children and this has never left me. For as long as I know I have had this attraction so I am going to date young children. (bending a knee)
I'm married and feel attracted to your spouse and so I'm going to leave my spouse for your spouse. (bending a knee)
I struggle with same gender attraction and I still feel that attraction, but I'm married. So I'm going to leave my spouse and take a position that this is what God had for me all along. (bending a knee)
I'm in love with an animal and they love me. (bending a knee)
I'm in love with my father's wife and she loves me, so we're going to get together. (bending a knee)
When does the bending stop? When we begin the dialogue of one issue, we begin the dialogue of another. We begin to lose the foundation set before us of Godly, healthy sexuality. Designed and created by God. Because inevitably, we stop the dialogue! We stop being generous and gracious! Because we will view those who hold a standard of faith and a value that sexuality is a sacred and holy expression only in the pastures of a monogamous marriage between one man and one woman as hateful and archaic and unattainable to those in the margins. That we are being mean and unsympathetic to those who face something different as their reality. If we welcome the bending of the knee we actually have to lay something down, I have to sacrifice something. What we lay down is the standard set before us, not from an archaic God who is just out to get us, break us, pound us, enslave us, but one who knows the good of what is best for us in a broken and sinful world. Who calls us into the fullness of life with Him and to live within the boundary lines that have fallen in good pasture.
Can we use the theory that because we live in a fallen and broken state, if my sexuality is broken than it's okay to embrace my broken sexuality and that God will bring it glory. We can make license by saying the Church has a double standard, accepting divorced/remarried people to the church but we won't allow gay Christian's there. These are all excuses to follow our own desires and place ourselves before God.
We proclaim "God...it's messed up down here, and since you're not doing anything, I will take matters into my own hands...and oh ya...can you bless me too?" Can you bless my idol worship?
That goes contrary to who God is. God won't bless idolatry! Or can he? You might say...Kenny, that is a hateful thing to say. But you know what? If I don't fear God and holiness...I will seek to sooth people. To pat them and say...ya...that's okay, keep living in the mud and mire and keep saying it's okay and keep saying God will bless it. But in all honesty can we say that he hands you over? Things get more muddled and more welcoming and pretty soon, everything that feels good, is good.
I saw this in my own life. I began believing that same theology. I listened to the feel good messages of humanism. Since I always struggled with same gender attraction and God never took it away, I must be gay and I then cannot deny these feelings anymore. No one had the right to speak what I didn't want to hear. You needed to bend to my view and if not...you were hateful and unloving. "Keep your opinion to your self...you self righteous Christian...who excuses all other sin...but mine..."
Some of that was truth...because the bride was looking pretty messy and bending their knee to easy answers and solutions. Why stay with your spouse after they had an affair? You have every right to divorce them?
Falling out of love...this is too hard...okay, lets part ways and find our true love and remarry! Hard realities of truth? Maybe!
Yet...I saw for myself a different picture of a loving Father who waited for me...but he also released me to go and live contrary to his heart for me. He never once blessed my actions and said..."Oh Kenny, what you are doing is great!" He did say this though "I love you with an everlasting love, can you hear me Kenny? I have so much more that I want to you show...don't settle for this, because this isn't my best for you!"
I see the end result of the prodigal as the young man sitting in the filth and mud of his own making. His decisions and actions brought him to the mud and mire and he realizes where he is and what he is doing. He recognizes that even the servants of his father are treated better than this. Was he remorseful? Was he repentant?
I think in the loving arms of his father who ran out to greet him with arms full of compassion, tears washing away the mud and mire, soothing the young mans hurt, a father extended grace in the midst of the sons repentance, now being offered much more than he deserved. How much more is our Father who calls out to us..."My son...My daughter...I love you...come home! Don't settle for less than what I have for you, which is so much more than what you deserve...COME let me show you My mysterious ways...I'm waiting!"