The Charleston shooting, gay rights, planned parenthood, and why it’s all gonna be okay.
I promise you this is not another blog post about why gay marriage is biblically sinful or why it's not, whether or not the Confederate flag should be allowed to fly, or a rant about how horrible it is that no one cares that planned parenthood is (supposedly) selling dead baby parts for profit. I don’t read the news much. Or at least I didn’t. I never knew what was going on whatsoever, to the point that the other day when twitter notified me of the trending hashtag “#PrayForLouisville” I flipped out and was like oh no what did I miss? (it turned out just being a bunch of losers complaining about the weather. The internet never fails to entertain.) Maybe it’s cause I’ve grown up a little, maybe it’s cause all people post on facebook now are rants and news articles, or maybe it’s because so much has been going on in America lately, but I’ve started noticing the news more. Noticing the horrors that come with living in a sinful world. Noticing the wreckage of death to not only close family but to a community and to a country. Noticing the pain and hurt of the Christians who feel injured and devastated because of the Supreme Court ruling and the gays who feel attacked and rejected by Christian hate blogs. Noticing the bitterness that exists deep within every human being. Noticing the instability of friendships that can fall apart after reduced to screaming at each other about the rights of unborn children, or whether or not a flag should be allowed to fly in South Carolina. Noticing Christian brothers and sisters turning on each other because of an article one of them posted. WHAT ARE WE DOING?
I’m here to say, none of this matters. This may be a wildly unpopular opinion right now, and maybe I’m just feeling apathy at a pretty deep level at this point, but folks, why are we letting this stuff destroy us?
I’m not here to share my opinions on any of the above mentioned things, but I will say that a government deeming gay marriage legal hasn’t changed anything about gay people or they way they think or feel, and it hasn’t changed anything about the way Christians should treat both each other and unbelievers. It hasn’t changed God’s love. And oh, how I pray for those families of the Charleston victims and even for the shooter and his family. But shouldn’t we be surrounding these families and this community with our love rather than bickering amongst ourselves about whether or not a flag should be flown? It’s a piece of cloth. It means nothing in God’s kingdom.
Now I don't mean to be harsh here. I can't expect to understand everyone's backgrounds and prejudices and why they care about what they care about. I understand the despair we feel at death and destruction and injustice. But I also know of a Savior who overcame that.
Doesn’t the good news still ring true? This world will be broken, we should expect it by now! But God is coming again to heal the broken. To fix up all the wrong that has been done, no matter what your opinion on it is.
We look to a day that's coming where all of this injustice will be made right, where everything we believe will be blown out of the water by the truth of Jesus Christ. We look to a day where God's justice will reign and endure, and where every moral issue will be resolved by Jesus' perfect standards. Who are we, mere humans, to expect to understand what God deems righteous?
Now that doesn't mean we can't try. It doesn't mean we can't care about these things. They were a big deal and it's good to care about things that will affect our day to day to life. It doesn't mean we shouldn't attempt to live in a way that is glorifying to Christ or proclaim proudly what we believe. There is a time for us to mourn, and a time for us to rejoice, but every point in time is a time to love. In mourning, we are losing the main objective: Christ's love, which we should be spreading to one another.
So I have something to say to all of you.
- You Christians who are posting all of those articles about how gay people are sinners and going to hell, there is a difference between proclaiming what you believe and saying things that truly injure your brothers and sisters. Consider the feelings of your gay friends, family members, friends of friends, or even those you've never met next time you share something on Facebook. Christ's brotherly love and forgiveness should be a stronger force in your heart than your desire to prove you're right. Having a scripture gun constantly loaded is not going to change the heart of a gay person, and if you truly believe homosexuality is a sin, you should know that Christ is the only one who can save and heal them.
- You Christians who support the Supreme Court decision, remember that your Christian brothers and sisters who are scorning you are simply just trying to do the right thing in their eyes. Don't turn your profile picture rainbow simply to piss off your parents or shock the old lady who sits behind you in church. Be sensitive to those who oppose your views, just as your brothers and sisters should be. In any church or even social media setting with other Christians, you and your opinions will probably be ganged up on, but don't feel the need to prove your beliefs to them. Like I said and like we all know deep inside, no Facebook argument is going to solve anything or change anyone.
- You who are unbelieving gays or unbelievers in support of the decision, Christians love you. It might not seem like it most of the time, but they do. They're confused. They're struggling with a changing world and are quickly becoming looked down upon as closed-minded and irrelevant, simply for their belief system. Remember that tolerance is a two-way street.
And I could go on to speak to all of you arguing about the confederate flag or racism or planned parenthood, but the message is the same. Let's make it super simple. Love one another. Let it go.
You know the amazing thing is that we should feel such joy. A cool way to look at pain and brokenness is as a sign that newness is coming. When I see an ambulance speed by me on the road or hear about a shooting, I'm at first deeply saddened but then humbly reminded that this imperfection is a blessing because with imperfection we are reminded of the perfection that is to come, the brokenness to be healed, the day of a wonderful joy that cannot even be expressed. When I hear about the Charleston shooting or abortion or gay hate crimes or simply friendships broken over a moral issue, all I can do is rejoice and be filled with hope for the day that is coming. The aching that we feel for all of this imperfection is a feeling that beats deep inside every human heart, an instinct that knows this world is not what we were meant for, but that every day we get closer to the world where there is no death and no injustice. Who are we to judge what God deems morally right? On the day that you stand before the throne, are you going to proudly announce to Jesus that you never flew a confederate flag or aborted a child? Or are you going to proudly spew off all of the bible verses you learned about his homosexuality is ok or not okay and ask for a gold star? No.
So who cares? Well, obviously a lot of people. And I know that these things were big news and all worth discussing and pondering, but it was blown way out of proportion in my opinion. This blog post is not meant to be a rant of anger or disapproval to anyone who has been posting or arguing about these issues, but simply a reminder of hope. Of hope that though these issues are confusing and that these injustices makes us so angry and we feel the ache of imperfection, no matter what side we are on, in the end none of it will matter because a perfect, blameless Christ loves you and makes you His own.
Christ is in control. It's gonna be okay.
“Another nail in another coffin, arms that held you returned to dust
Yet in our grief we know that death must be a liar
When no goodbye is ever good enough.
How could it be that everything sad is coming untrue?
The winter can make us wonder if spring was ever true
But every winter breaks upon the Easter lily’s bloom.
Could it be that everything sad is coming untrue?
Could you believe that everything sad is coming untrue?
Broken hearts and being unbroken
Bitter words are being unspoken
The curse undone, the veil is parted
The garden gate will be left unguarded.
Could it be that everything sad is coming untrue?
Oh, I believe that everything sad is coming untrue
In the hands of the One that makes all things new.”
-Everything Sad is Coming Untrue, Pt. 2 - Jason Gray