The events of the last few days have me pondering quite a few questions and have me searching my heart for what’s true. I have some opinions on some things, and even as I have read prayed and searched for a deeper truth, there are some things that I just can’t shake.
Portions of the Voting Rights Act struck down
When this decision came down, I didn’t have a great problem with it. At some point we have to realize that in many ways, our nation has progressed and moved forward from the attitudes and values that prevented many minorities in this country from truly aspiring to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as our constitution has guaranteed. I was all set to say, okay time served let’s move forward. Then I read a post that brought up a very interesting point. If governments in the affected states attempt to redistrict, establish voting rules, or enact other policies which infringe upon the rights of a certain part of the citizenry, those citizens are able to sue to have their grievances redressed. The problem, as the writer posited, is that you place the burden upon those who are likely least able to bear it. By forcing them to bring these issues into the judicial system, and to bear the associated costs, you make even challenging these policies unfair. The citizens who may be discriminated against can pool their resources via class-action, but this still places the duty solely on the shoulders of the affected citizens. This is not necessarily an untenable position. The problem is that Congress had the opportunity to change the rules for how voting changes are made in the affected states, but declined to do so when the law was renewed in 2006. In our representative system of government it is the duty of the people to make sure that their voices are heard by those whom they have entrusted with that responsibility. In light of this decision and until or if we force congress to act upon this, we will have to be vigilant in our efforts to make sure that the abuses that existed before 1965 do not return.
Repeal of DOMA
This is an area in which I am learning more and more that I don’t know as much as I thought I did, yet some things I know remain true. I’ve heard this said and I agree that no man, government or any other institution gets to determine what marriage is. We can attach names to it and call it whatever we desire, but we are not changing God’s mind about this (Genesis 1:26 – 2:25). The other part of this is what does it mean to be a person with same-sex attraction as a follower of Christ. This is truly a case of identity. Whatever I struggle with in the flesh is at war with the Spirit of God within me (James 4:4-10). This presents a huge opportunity for compromise. When we talk about sexuality, we are addressing an issue that is intrinsically attached to how I view myself, i.e. my identity. As followers of Christ our primary identity is found in him. I am a child of God, I am the righteousness of God, I am beloved, I am everything God sees when He looks at Jesus. There is beauty in that. There is also acceptance in that. One of the worst things believers can do is to make anyone feel like they are an “other.” That is not a place of acceptance and it is NOT what God thinks about His children. Thus, as he is wont to do, the enemy comes in to deceive, and isolate. As he did with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, he distorts what God is saying and convinces us that the lover of our souls is against us and wants to keep something from us. God has given us everything we could ever need in Jesus. There are many believers who don’t have a clear picture of who Christ is and it limits the way we live our lives (raises hand). The greater he becomes in our hearts and minds, the smaller everything else is. That doesn’t mean those things disappear or have no value, it just means that over time my life is brought into right perspective. If I identity with my flesh in any way more than I identify with Christ, my life will be out of order. In practical terms on a day-to-day basis I really don’t know what this looks like. What does it look like to walk in this world with a desire for physical intimacy that cannot be reconciled with the new creation that I am in Christ? The depth and breadth of this matter can ONLY be found in the person of Jesus Christ (Philippians 3). The father of lies and the rulers of the darkness of this world want to convince you otherwise. May God through Christ Jesus lead us all into the truth of who we are (John 16:13, Ephesians 4:13).