As I continue to watch the media regarding Christian businesses boycotting selling cakes and flowers to gay couples getting married, I wanted to provide a different perspective. Besides, when the Lord continues to tap on my heart and spirit, I know I need to say something.
To properly discuss this, I need to share some personal stories. For this issue is more than just about an institution, or sin it is about people.
As a nursing instructor I take nursing students into hospitals and teach them how to care for patients. Many years ago I met a wonderful nurse manager who was supportive and caring to my students. She was warm, friendly and that wonderful person you want to collaborate with for the best learning opportunity. She was also a lesbian. The year is 2008, and as a California resident, I was grappling with the issue of gay marriage head on. As a Christian who participates in our nation’s democratic process, I was not only praying for the election I was truly seeking God for his wisdom of how to respond to both Christians and non-Christians. The incident brought back a time when I first came into academics and met a professor who shared with me the “gay-bashing” him and his partner had faced. It was so horrible. They had uprooted their lives and moved to the Bay Area. All of this was stirring in my spirit and I was at a loss of how to respond, how to vote, and even at times how to pray. What could I do? What would Jesus do? How can I be a nurse and teach students about non-judgmental nursing care in the hospital, yet be hateful and rude in the community. I was dazed and confused and continued to pray, seeking the Lord’s wisdom. Since that time two things have spoken into my life and faith, that I use today as a barometer for these ethical and moral dilemmas:
–What if I am the only Jesus they see? In other words, what if Jesus Christ reflected through me is the only opportunity gays, lesbians, or anyone else have the chance to see him? What will they see? Judgment? Hate?
–The second was humility before God and his Word. When I stand before God and give an account of my life, I would rather say, “Lord, where I erred in following your ways, I erred in love.” When I am confronted with the challenges of living during this time, I have chosen love. From this simple, yet complex mysterious word comes kindness, gentleness, and other loving attributes of the Holy Spirit. Many times I fall short of being a caring, loving person and depend on the Holy Spirit to teach me how to walk and reflect his holiness.
Which leads me to my next perspective–I think the Christian Church, body of Christ is missing the boat. We are to be holy, not the world. I am not a theologian, nor do I have an M. Div (Pastor degree), but I have extensively studied the scripture. The Epistles, the New Testament letters, were written to the the Church. Here we see the apostles/disciples exhorting, encouraging, and guiding Christians in living out our faith. We are called to be holy, blameless, and loving; not the world. If there is a bandwagon to jump on, it is cleaning up the church. I will use my husband’s wise statement, “How can we expect the ungodly (those who don’t know God) to behave godly?” Even those who know God, don’t do a good job.
1. Don’t leave me a hateful message–I will delete it, for obviously you have missed the point.
2. As brothers and sisters in Christ embodied by the Holy Spirit, let’s commit to pray about the issue. I am not writing, because I am right. I am humbling seeking the Lord through prayer and scripture.
Verses: 1 John 4:8; 1 Corinthians 13:1-7; 1 Peter 1:15-16; 1 Timothy 6:11; James 3:13-18; Galatians 3:26-27