EDIT: “A Love That Sees” (the sequel to this post) can be read here.
By now most, if not all, of the people in America (possibly the world) are aware that the law has finally passed today legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states. This is huge. Monumental.
Some argue that it is progressive. Some argue that it’s an abomination. Some are saying it’s in violation of what this nation was founded on (one nation under God), while others say there is no violation (those same founders also owned slaves).
Eeeeeverything is getting tossed around and discussed.
All in favor of this law are proudly proclaiming that love has won. Love for all. Love equality. This is a great irony because spirituality has been excommunicated from this entire ordeal (in terms of the law), yet love (a purely spiritual force) is the bedrock they claim to stand on.
However many against it are saying that love has been violated. That sacrilege has been committed. Love has lost a mighty battle today. Also ironic because untold amounts of bigotry, shaming, and hateful talk has poured from the very same mouths prior to this.
Love, it would seem, is the almighty essential that everyone lays claim to, but few are actually intimate with.
I reckon that’s why relationships are so difficult and so few last… it’s easy to be enamored with the idea of a thing, because the idea grants you all of its benefits. When one is receiving the benefits, intimacy with the giver is not required or even expected. But when confronted with the reality of a thing – like, say, a spouse – we discover that receiving benefits is less than half of the whole equation. Intimacy with the giver on every level becomes vital for reality itself. It’s so much more, so much deeper.
And the effort of uncovering the depth, and applying it is completely unattractive. Worth it. But not appealing. Which is like many things of value- nearly impossible to grasp the glory of it until you’ve persevered through the trials of it.
And, if you can even imagine it… like a fly trying to envision outer space after finally catching view of the seemingly infinite sky… unconditional love (instead of merely the romantic) is even deeper and more nuanced than THAT. That’s why it’s the key to everything.
But we’re getting slightly off topic.
“Well what do you think of it?” I hear the crowds ask. “What’s your response to all of this?”
What in tarnation has any of this got to do with me?? What has it got to do with any Christian?
Sure, many of us were not for it. Any time there was a vote about it, I voted against it. Not as a knock to any individual person/people group or as a hate action- it’s just in direct opposition to the Christian bible. End of story. There are other things I voted for and against (for various reasons) that did not happen according to my preference. Laws passed that I had no (or very minute) say in and wasn’t in agreement with. And… I suspect, I’ll follow the same model now that I did then.
… I’ll get over it.
Wait, wait, wait- hear me out.
The law is passed.
They aren’t asking me about the spiritual ramifications of this alleged freedom.
They aren’t asking me for their blessing as they move forward.
They aren’t asking me what I think this implicates as far as government-church relations.
They aren’t asking me for Scripture references.
They aren’t asking me why unconditional love does not equal unconditional consent.
Heck- they didn’t even ask permission to lobby for this law!
They aren’t asking any of that. You know why? Because it doesn’t matter.
And you know what’s gonna happen if you go around being loud and obnoxious, spitting answers to questions nobody cares about? You’re gonna embarrass yourself. Nobody will listen and embarrassment is the destined outcome.
They felt strongly that this law is what was needed, and they happened to succeed in getting it. The spotlight is on Christians now, whether we like it or not, because the question “what do you think of it… what is your response to all of this” is actually a front question.
This has nothing to do with me or any Christian. A law was passed that we don’t agree with. Welcome to Christian history in every country everywhere ever.
No, no what is really being asked is…
Do you love me now?
At once, we can discern that this altogether a very different question.
Because you see… it’s easy to say you love someone as long as you have the upper hand. It’s easy to mask hate or disgust with casual love gestures. It’s easy to throw a less than convincing cheesy grin over one’s shoulder, as you surreptitiously sweep the undesirable elements under the rug.
But what about when the playing field is “level”?
Homosexuality is more popular than it has been in a very long time.
Gay marriage will be here for a very long time.
The brooms are broken, carpets pulled up and replaced with shiny new hardwood floors. There’s no more sweeping. Gay people and their desired status of relationship are out, in your face, and here to stay.
Do you love me now?
It’s no secret that they’ve been the target of much unlove (not a word, I know, so spare me). It’s no secret that we’ve gotten used to wrapping ourselves up in the elegant robes of high morality in the throne room of hypocrisy.
Flat out- they DON’T feel loved by most anybody who doesn’t agree with their life choice.
You know what happens when you claim to follow Christ, but fail to walk in love? You embarrass yourself.
But if I may… if I could pose a question from the Creator… upon whom His image – His whole self – is implanted as the source material for existence in every human being…
“Do you love me now? Even shrouded in the very things you disagree with? Wrapped in elements that go against My nature? Do you… love Me?”
Gay marriage as a law has nothing to do with me. Nothing to do with any Christian. It’s just a law.
But the love of Christ?
That has everything to do with me and everybody else!
And, in spite of my salvation, daily I find myself shrouded in things I disagree with. Daily I find myself again wrapped in elements that go against His nature.
And daily He has grace and mercy and favor on me.
Sometimes I pay a consequence. Sometimes I do not. That’s HIS prerogative.
It is the goodness of God which leads to repentance… not the chastisement of man.
Being able to truly love and love on people we disagree with is like Christianity 101. The basis of the faith. The homosexual community is no different. They deserve no less.
This law has nothing to do with us.
God’s glory is the only thing that matters. Living it, walking it, abiding in it, learning it… Love. But wait… GOD is love. Awwww snap. That means we’re going to have to get intimate with Him! That means we’re going to have to seek Him for the glory of Himself, rather than try to prostitute (or pimp) Him for what He can do! We’re going to have to learn the true meaning of “in this world, but not of it.”
Matthew 22:37-40 ESV
And he [Jesus] said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
And now the picture completes itself. Loving God is the greatest thing ever and the designed focus of our life accomplishments. The second greatest is loving our neighbor as we love ourselves… This implies that we must actually love ourselves- otherwise we’ll just mistreat other people and think it’s normal, because we only ever mistreat ourselves.
Interesting, isn’t it, how “love yourself” isn’t like an actual commandment? Not even listed as the top 2, or added for a top 3. Now, I’m no scholar, but I would dare say… the first command is greatest not ONLY because we learn to love God and learn what love IS- but because through loving God we instinctively learn to love ourselves.
Which empowers us to love other people. No doubt this is why Jesus took it one step further, restoring to original intent, and making all things about a love relationship with Himself.
John 13:34 ESV
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
Our identity is embedded in His reality.
Know something else?
Humanity is the love playground of the soul. There is a whole dimension of love that is fully inexpressible through words. We draw analogies, and employ metaphors and similes… but even those are a thin shadowy vapor in comparison to the grandeur we’re attempting to communicate. There’s a part of love that is so deep we cannot verbalize it- but we know it when we encounter it. And when we do not. The deep image of the Father cries out within us.
If you try loving people without involving God, or loving God without involving people…
You’re gonna embarrass yourself.
Don’t do that.