Take this week for example. Our beloved Missouri Baptist Convention met for their yearly shindig, and I'm sure the normal course of conversation filled the air. "How are you doing?" "I'm just fine. How are you doing?" (feign an interested voice here) "Well how is your church doing?" "Just great. We blah blah blah this year. How about you?" "Well, not so good. You won't believe what our pastor is doing blah blah blah."
And then they convene.
"Hear ye! Hear ye! Let this meeting come to order. I've got an idea. How about we vote to oust the gay population from our earth?"
Don't believe this happened? Read this story.
The MO Baptist Convention adopted a formal resolution pledging to "ban" consumer support of all Wal Mart stores. Or in more "politically correct" language, to "exercise moral stewardship regarding the businesses they patronize." Some delegates (messengers to be exact) demanded harsher words be used in the resolution. Why the ban? Simply because Wal Mart has agreed to provide an equal opportunity working environment free from discrimination.
Now please don't misunderstand me. I am not in favor of gay rights, gay lifestyle, or any other "choice" that someone may make. I believe that God has set up an order of marriage that includes a man and a woman in one of the most sacred relationship. That part is biblically very clear.
The part I don't read about in the Bible is where we condemn those who may have a different sin than us. Let's face it. All sin is sin. If we are going to ban Wal Mart for allowing gays to work there, shouldn't we ban other businesses who have employees who are having sex out of marriage, or maybe an employee that beats their spouse, or someone who doesn't spend any time with their kids? Or better yet, let's not shop any place where there are sinners at all. Won't that fix the problem?
Jesus doesn't tell us to love only those who agree with our same beliefs. He says to love one another as He loves us:
"Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other." John 13:34-35 (MsgB)Many people are confused on this issue. WE DON'T GET TO CHOOSE. Will you be a radical follower and disciple of Jesus, or will you simply be content to live a life full of religion?
We will never fix life's problems. Never. We will always fall short of the perfectness God originally designed. Ignoring the problem or "voting it away" like it never happened is similar to the colloquial expression "calling the kettle black." When you clean up the pot, it's still black.
Let me suggest something radical. Something so radical that Jesus thought of it (and was certainly accused of it) 2000 years ago. What if we simply develop relationships with those who have never experienced the love God? No condemning, no judging. Authentic relationships built on authentic conversations.
Let's do our part and let God take care of the rest.