Friday, January 3, 2014

Stop Pushing Me: A Statement About My Faith


In reference to the ongoing conversation about homosexuality I wish to make an open comment.

In light of the way things seem to be going it seems to me that lines have been drawn and forces arrayed on both sides. There’s a lot of pushing and shoving going on from the government. They want an anointed sainthood for the homosexuals and those of us of faith want to be left alone. This is nothing new under the sun. I’m an amateur historian and know that events like this have happened all down the centuries and, like I always say, history does repeat itself. Right now things aren’t too bad but I think  the time to choose may well be upon us sooner rather than later. It's important to me to clearly state my position and openly declare which side I am on and who I am. It comforts me that so many have also stated in no uncertain terms what they believe and who their alliance is with. I can do no less.

I am an unabashed and unapologetic Bible believing, fundamentalist Christian. That means that I personally have accepted and embraced Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I’m counting on Him for my eternal salvation. That also means that I know that the Holy Bible is the literal Word of God. In that light I also know homosexuality is a sin (just one of a multitude, but still a sin and worthy of death). Not a crime but a sin. I only care about this as it relates to everyone's immortal soul. It horrifies me to think some will be spending eternity in Hell because they haven’t accepted Christ. All of us as Christians have the duty to tell folks that unforgiven sin is a one way ticket away from the Grace of God and into eternal damnation. We are His Ambassadors in a foreign land. My statement today is that everyone can have a relationship with God, no matter what the sin. What that relationship is depends on each of us. I'm not in the eternal judgment business, that's God's purview, but with the help of His Holy Word, I can make my own judgments on what constitutes sin, what the result will be and what I need to do personally to be right with The Lord. I'm a sinner, no less than anyone else. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God …” [Romans 3:23] As one who professes Jesus Christ, that puts me in the position of witnessing to others but also looking after my own house. How you manage yours is your business but I will speak out. I will not be silenced no matter the cost. That makes me loving, not full of hate and certainly, not intolerant. If you where sitting on train tracks with your back to an approaching train, shouldn’t I warn you to get off the tracks!? Of course I would. This is no different.

I also strongly believe in the rule of law and the fact that all people are created equal with inherent free will. That means they are free to choose the life they wish to lead and so long as that doesn't infringe on the inherent personal rights of others, it‘s none of my business. I'm supposed to love all and I strive to do just that in my own quiet way. I do not hate anyone based on their race, culture, life choices or sexuality. Every human being is my brother or sister. If you're life choice is destructive, it‘s only hurting you, not me. It doesn't effect our relationship, only yours with a loving God. It has nothing to do with me. If you've heard The Word then go and live your life as you deem fit. I have taken the same stance on homosexuals pretending that they can be married to each other. They want to play house without any of the consequences. Doesn’t work that way. We all pay for our life choices. However, it seems to me that it is in the best interest of a country to encourage the idea of Going Forth and Multiplying under the protection of the marriage contract. It protects women and it protects the children that are sure to follow. I’ve always felt that the Constitution is a divinely inspired document. The reason it's silent on the specifics of marriage is because back then, people walked closer to God and this wasn‘t an issue. I do suggest that let's get government out of marriage altogether and let churches go back to deciding who they'll marry. For everyone else it should remain a civil license. A contract is a contract. Perfect equality while respecting religious freedoms.

But. There's a limit to all this tolerance and it's reached under duress and state coercion.

This then is the position I and many others of my faith find ourselves in. I think by our very silence we encourage further persecution of Christianity. As a Christian it is my sacred duty to teach The Word and share the love of Jesus Christ to anyone who desires to hear and that's the key phrase. Desires. Teaching others about the His love has a lot of different connotations. I'm a layman so I'm generally limited to a soft word, a prayer or an answered question. But I'm beholden to my God not to be silent. That is my Faith in action.

What I strongly object to is the idea that I must celebrate any lifestyle at odds with my religious beliefs. Why isn't it enough that we can live together in peace and harmony without my having to deny my profound and deeply personal relationship with my Creator and literally abandon Him? Stop pushing me to accept your sin as being “OK“ or an “alternate lifestyle“. It ain‘t happenin‘. I won't do that no matter the cost. Leave me alone and I'll return the gesture. Defend my freedoms and I'll do the same for yours. But stop pushing me. If you back me into a corner where the choices are between belief and non belief, between God or political correctness, there's going to be a fight because I'll choose God every time and I won't go down timidly. It has nothing to do with tolerance or bigotry or phobia or any of the other made up buzzwords being tossed out by a culture increasingly hostile to God. It has to do with my own personal deeply held faith and the idea that I am either free to live my life as I deem fit or we as a people are a lot less free than we imagine. Thought Crime persecution isn't on my side, it's on the side of the rabidly atheist, humanist, politically and power driven Left.

I desire no authority over anyone's life and it infuriates me that others want power over mine. God is my ultimate authority and I desire no more than to be free to try and live as I believe he wants me to. In my world Christians are the Paladins, riding to the rescue and defending freedom and the forces of good and decency. Yes, we do fall and fail with maddening regularity but that doesn't take away from the core. The basic idea behind true Christian Faith. Love. Love for God and Love for each other. If you're like me, a sinner (and in my belief you are, we all are), then I love you. If you hate me I love you. If you persecute me I will still love you and I will continue to do so even if you force me to defend myself, my freedoms and my faith. And understand, defense of self and faith is no sin. Defense of faith does not mean forced conversion to Christianity but it does mean active and forceful resistance to forced conversion to a belief system incompatible with my faith by those who view Christianity as something to be eradicated.

We were once a nation founded on the basic idea of live and let live. Cuique Sum," to each his own". We are seemingly no longer that country. I still see signs of it, in the words of some who are not of my faith, but I fear they are now the exception and not the rule. So let me state it for myself. My words and not those of any other. My understanding and not those of learned scholars. My misunderstandings, failures and weaknesses. My human frailties. My Faith.

We are all created equal in the sight of God. We all have the exact same chances, choices and inherent rights. We are all free to choose the life we want within the strictures of civil law. No one should be free to exercise undue and unfair influence on that basic equality. We should be free to practice religion, or the absence of same, as we deem right and fit without fear of repercussions or silencing. No one is created better or worse than anyone else. How we end up depends on the choices we make on this Earth. I love everyone to the extent that I am capable and within the bounds of my life experiences and how they have shaped me. I am fragile, fallible and imminently human. I am prone to mistakes and errors of both discernment and judgment. I am a terrible sinner who needs God's Grace and Forgiveness each and every day of my life. I am neither judge nor jury and have no desire to be either. I have enough problems ordering my own life to meddle about in others. Please stop pushing me.

And that's sort of my point in all this. Faith, or the lack of, is a deeply personal thing. It's in our hearts and the deepest and darkest parts of our minds and souls. It is an intimate matter between each of us and our Creator and no one else. In the end it's all that really matters in this life and to be so arrogant as to believe that anyone has the right to dictate what that relationship is, or even whether it will be allowed to exist at all, is the ultimate tyranny. Coercion is evil. Period dot end. My answer is an unqualified No.

I keep getting told that my faith makes me a hater, a phobic and a criminal moron. So be it. If that's what you believe then you are free to do so. You are free to insult, hate, and preach against me and my faith. But understand that I, and a lot of others just like me, have more than a bit of the Old Testament in us and we absolutely will not lay down and die just because we're inconvenient to your view of the World as you wish it to be. I am most definitely an acolyte of the Church Triumphant. Anyone who has ever read my blog or writings knows that I am hardly a fire and brimstone Christian. I consider myself a fairly quiet person on issues of faith preferring to let others seek and find as they will. Sometimes I worry that I'm too silent but my Libertarian side requires that of me just as my Faithful side requires obedience. I am not tolerant, I am an American who holds the idea that true freedom is given by God Himself and is the natural state of Man. Your relationship with God is your own business. I won't pretend otherwise. But so is mine. Please refrain from telling me otherwise.

I've come to the point where I have stopped begging and started telling.


Stop pushing me into that corner.

~ Ride Safe ~
Sparky

8 comments:

linda eller said...

You are so grounded in your faith and I admire that of you. A lot of people are not. I concur with every single thing you said. It is a Christians responsibility to love and forgive, but it isnt our place to force ourselves on others, and by the same token, they should not try to force us to accept or believe what they do. Keep on keeping on my friend, and am proud to call you a friend.

Sparky said...

@Linda Eller ~ Gosh, thank you. I'm so flattered that my thoughts made an impression. Even my husband was impressed. [smile] I just felt like it was time for those of us Of Faith to make some noise. Thank you for joining me in that chorus. God bless my friend! ~:)

Simply Linda said...

{SPEECHLESS} WOW..100% in agreement. You sure had some gumption to write this, I will give you that. I called Dave up here to read it & he goes, "I knew there was a reason why we got along so well." WOW, Sparky Spark. I am just plum speechless. 100% agree with you and Linda's comment. Blessings

Sparky said...

@Simply Linda ~ Every once in awhile, I write something profound. I give God credit for that. I tend store a lot of useless info in my fuzzy blonde head. I probably had some of these things I've read from somewhere else long ago (who knows!?) but I managed to get it all down into something others can understand. This probably won't happen again for a long time. [lol] I do love the Lord Jesus and want to love my country. I pray it doesn't come to pushing back (but history does dictate otherwise). [sigh] Thank you for the kind thoughts. ((HUGS)) and stay warm my friends! I hear there's more storm coming your way. ~:)

Deb said...

Sparky - I am fairly new follower and have only visited your blog a couple of times. I totally agree with what you said in this post! Amen and Amen! Thanks you for articulating this so well! I will certainly be visiting you more often. God bless you for speaking for mind and your faith!

Sparky said...

@Deb ~ I'm certainly no paragon of virtue but I do love the Lord Jesus because He first loved me. Nor am I always good at articulating my usually scatterbrained thoughts. I think I just had an moment of clarity and had to write exactly what was in my heart. I will not always be so pithy so I really appreciate the kind words. Y'all stay warm out there. God bless everyone here too! ~:)

Thistle Cove Farm said...

If you stand for nothing, you'll fall for anything. Sparky, God will honor us if we honor Him. I believe the reason our great country has fallen so low is because we've asked God to not be a part of our government, our schools, even our churches. He has honored our requests.
God help us all.

Vee said...

Very well stated. Thank you.