Saturday, July 4, 2015

Return to Eden

I'm a thinker. And a feeler. Have you ever taken one of those personality inventories to figure out more about yourself? I've always been hungry for information about myself which is weird in a way because I should be the one who knows myself best, right? Well, I do, but I have to admit there are times when I let myself down like when I forget to put the clothes in the dryer because I was too lost in a book...and times when I amaze myself like when the TV warned "there's tornado activity over Longview Lake...take shelter" but instead of heading to the basement, I head to the porch. We are all different...even identical twins are different.

So...I've spent a while thinking about things, same as everyone else. For someone (me) who doesn't even watch the news, I found my fair share of public service announcements and articles on fb concerning politics, church  burnings, and rainbows. I read them actually, in abundance.

This slant, that angle, his opinion, her plea...and I kept waiting. Waiting for my feelings to kick in. I was thinking about things for sure, but nothing changed for me...nothing was getting me fired up like everyone else seemed to be. My heart went out to the families and communities where God's people were being slain either for their race or religious beliefs...or both, and I join many who pray for the transgressors and murderers to receive what they justly deserve. But the only emotion I felt besides compassion over the past couple weeks was frustration.

Frustration, yes...that's the best word.
Because I'm so tired of the back and forth.

Frustrated when rainbows impose on red and white stripes. And, also frustrated by hateful posts against fellow Americans -protected by the red and white stripes- who found joy in a political victory that was important to them.

Frustrated that the General Lee's flag will be removed (I'm still sort of in love with Bo Duke). And, also frustrated that we still fly a flag to commemorate a time when brother fought against brother.

Frustrated by Christians who judge what we consider to be a "big" sin while spending money they don't have. And, also frustrated that the word "Christian" is becoming synonymous with "bigot."

Frustrated that Christians presume to judge non-Christians in any way. And, also frustrated that people lump all Christians into one category...after they argue that there are "different kinds" of Muslims.

Mostly, I'm tired of being stereotyped...frustrated that harsh, non-loving Christians are part of my assigned persona when I say "I'm a Christian." Because I AM a Christian, one who follows and loves my God desperately...but I'm uniquely different too.

Out of my frustration, some clarity emerged.

Was I fearful when marriage became legal for same-gendered couples? Absolutely not. This is why...I was the same the day after it happened as I was the day before the 5-4 vote. It's simple, people. The calm Spirit of peace within me was the same because God never changes. This is NOT the end of the world, nor is it a utopia of marriage equality.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8

Furthermore, after trying to search for answers within and without, I must admit that I do not have qualms about political marriage equality. Shocker, right? Not really, if you know me. I've never believed that a marriage should be defined politically anyway, and I've been outspoken with a few of you about my belief that the marriage covenant between God and man should not be synonymous with a legal marriage. It's apples and oranges really.

Think about the Garden of Eden, did God have Adam and Eve stand in front of witnesses and sign a paper? No. Their union was NOT a binding legal document that allowed them access to each other's health records and later, custody of Cain and Abel and Seth....what it was...was a promise to God and a promise to each other to help one other through life. Adam and Eve didn't get married in our traditional sense, they made a promise, a covenant, with God.

So, we have two issues here. One, does everyone deserve to marry any adult human being in order to have marriage rights? As an American, yes...because in a political realm...equal rights are afforded to all free subjects within our government. Two, should Christian pastors whose beliefs contradict blessing a union between same-gendered couples be forced to do so? No, they should not...because they too have the American right of religious freedom. Which brings me back to my point that spiritual marriage covenants and legal marriage unions should not be viewed synonymously.

Solution? Churches should return to Eden and to facilitating a covenant between two people who want their union sealed and blessed by God, no paper to sign. And, that settles it. Let legal marriages be done in courthouses. Christians can choose to do both if they want.

Why does this seem so simple to me and yet no one is bringing it up? After all, isn't that the real Christian argument that no one can force God to bless a marriage? God still wants to make marriage covenants with us and our spouse, but then's truly a rare thing to have God in a marriage today...easier to sign a piece of paper and pretend God blesses that.

If anything, all the political changes and turmoil will separate the wheat from the chaff. Because it's not normal to be a Christian anymore. Isn't that the point anyway? To be set, let's start by thinking as much about what's happening in our world as we feel about it.

God has not changed since Eden, we have. 


  1. these are great thoughts! also...i wanted to stand up and yell amen when i read "frustrated by christians who judge what we consider to be a "big" sin while spending money they don't have"...that is my soapbox ;)

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