James 4:11 – Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brothe, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.
So I was surfing Facebook yesterday and came across a story in my feed about George Takei putting Donald Trump in his place. I listened to the YouTube video and read the transcript of what he said and I have a few thoughts. Please keep in mind that my thoughts are more toward both George and “The Donald” but George’s final comment that went viral is what I feel the need to discuss.
Also note that this came on the same day as I was reading/viewing a ChurchLeaders.com article about 10 views on the gay marriage debate with views that are incredibly dangerous (Hillsong’s Carl Lentz) to Pharisaical (John MacArthur) to completely uneducated (Joel Osteen).
I want each of my readers to know that I am working to understand everyone’s viewpoint in this debate. The Christian church has a bad reputation in this day of being so closed-minded that it doesn’t even take the time to hear people when they say they are gay (or divorced or having an affair or, or, or….)
But I also want each of my readers to know where I stand. First, I truly believe homosexuality is a choice. Second, I believe that since it is a choice, and it is spoken against in the Bible (both Old and New Testaments), that it is a sin. Third, because homosexuality is a sin in the Bible, and living a homosexual lifestyle is living a volitional life of sin, I would not be able to marry a homosexual couple. I also would not be able to ordain a homosexual person. Fourth, I believe that we as Christians scream at people way too much about their sin and neglect to get ourselves right with God and crucify our sin daily.
So, Fred, what does this have to do with Takei and Trump?
Well, I am glad you asked, but I am not there yet.
Donald, I have very little respect for you as a politician and absolutely no respect for you as someone who understands the Christian worldview. I do respect what you have done in business, although I am worried that you have done so through ruthless, cutthroat actions, which runs counter to what I believe. If you plan on running my country like that, I cannot, in all integrity to what I believe, ever vote for you.
George, I enjoyed watching you on Star Trek. I respect that you lived your life quietly in the shadows until the day came when you could unleash your frustrations. I do respect that you have taken up this cause, no matter how misguided I believe it is. But, George, there comes a time when humans should learn to control their tongues. And with this latest round, I believe you crossed the line.
Ok, so now, here is what happened.
Romans 14:1 – As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.
You probably saw it on the news, but George took to the news media to explain his differences of opinion to Donald Trump. He pointed out that Donald, who supposedly believes in “traditional marriage,” holds his definition of traditional marriage loosely because he has been married three times.
Now, while after research, I must agree that Donald holds his definition too loosely, I believe George generalized way too much.
Let me explain.
When George simply said that Donald didn’t believe in traditional marriage, he was speaking about the marry/divorce/marry repeat cycle that Donald has been involved in. But that over generalizes, George, based on the definition of traditional marriage in the Bible and what Paul meant by a “one woman man.”
You see, George, I got married this weekend. This was my second marriage. It was my new wife’s third. In the Bible there are circumstances that divorce is approved. And just so you know, George, both Mimi and I fit the criteria for being able to divorce. We did not nullify what you think is the definition of traditional marriage. Both of our previous marriages ended when our ex’s had sexual relations with another person. Beyond that, my ex gave me the writ of divorce. Biblically, we were open to marry another person, whether they have never been married or if they had a similar situation.
So, George, don’t generalize those of us who support traditional marriage and got divorced.
I want to make one more point clear. I support our government doing whatever they want from a standpoint of providing equality for all.
Our government is not Christian.
But when that same government reduces rights of a population (aka Christians) to increase rights to another population (aka the gay community) then that is where I see the problem.
If our government wants to give you “marriage” rights by their definition, let them. They will have to answer to God for their choices.
But if they are going to remove the benefits and rights they have provided me or my group, then the constitution is not being upheld.
Your definition of marriage and mine do not intersect. The government’s definition and mine do not intersect. And I am fine with that.
1 Corinthians 11:19 – For there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.
I never expected those with non-Christian values to understand the choices I make.
I just expect that the government that I am living under to protect my rights as a citizen, and that includes my right to worship how I see fit.
That means I cannot marry a gay couple. That means that in certain circumstances, I may not be able to accommodate a gay couple. For example, if we host a homeless shelter in our church, I will allow the heterosexual married couples to room together but I cannot allow the homosexual couples to room together. If I own a college that is founded on a Biblical premise, I cannot allow housing for gay “married” couples.
The church of Jesus Christ does not recognize the marriage of gay couples.
So judge me how you will. It is what I believe.
And, from what I understand of the constitution, I am allowed to believe what I want freely as long as I do not advocate a breach of the peace or cause violence.
I am calling for Christians to get back to the Bible. Peacefully reject the government’s claim that homosexual couples can marry. Refuse to marry and ordain. Remember during all of this, Christian, to love. If we simply attack with our words, we are breaching what we love this country for and the commands of our own Christ.
To my gay friends and advocates for them, I appreciate you each in my life. You have helped me to understand that I need to stay strong to my own convictions but to do so with love and grace.
To that end, I would be more than happy to talk to anyone at any time about my beliefs and how my own convictions do not make me discriminatory any more than you wanting me to give up my beliefs is discriminatory.
So, George, I ask you to simply think a little harder before you make blanket statements about a population. In return I will strive more deeply to offer grace and peaceful words to those who believe as you do.
In Christian Love,
2 Timothy 2:15 – Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.