The Right, the Wrong, and the Radioactive

Over the past couple of weeks, I have noticed the firestorm over the Duck Dynasty Program, and those of you who are frequent readers here (bless you!) may have noticed that up until now, I have been silent on this issue. Even now, particularly that the network has reversed its decision, I intend to remain silent, for I have never seen the show, nor frankly, have I even heard of it before.  What I would like to discuss with you all, as we sit here around the kitchen table, coffee or tea in hand, is the issue of homosexuality.  Note that I did not say “homosexuality” but “the issue of…”.CAP 032-LR

For it is the issue, rather than the subject that is instructive for Christians, and that is because the issue is politically radioactive. It is the bright shining light of oppressive political correctness at its most oppressive state.  Before we can go any further, it is crucial that we understand that political correctness is nothing more than a thinly veiled move to silence opposition to people who adhere to a certain political agenda.  It has nothing to do with polite behavior or getting along with each other; it is a tool for domination, and it is effective.  People in the public arena who voice opinions that don’t go along will be attacked.  They will be fired, they will be called nasty names, they will be, in short, silenced. If you pay attention to politics, you may have heard things like “code words for racism.”  If you watch the news stations like CNN and MSNBC, you may have heard “experts” explain how opposition to tax increases is “code” for hating minority groups, for example.  Think about it: It is much easier to brand political opponents as a racists, than it is to convince taxpayers that they aren’t paying enough in taxes!

The same folks that push this kind of thing, are the ones who are always lecturing us on Civil liberties, and yet they seek to since their opponents, keep our phone records (without a warrant) keep our emails, texts and tweets, not to mention Facebook pages and track our banking transactions and travel.  By the way, if this is news to you, you haven’t been paying attention!

How can people do these things to violate civil liberties on the one hand, and be the champion of civil liberties on the other?

Easy, they favor total freedom in anything relating to sex.  Everybody likes sex, so we support whatever you want to do sexually, as long as there are no children involved and it is consensual.  Everyone who differs will become a handy scpegoat.

Here’s Where it gets Dicey

If my theory is correct, homosexuality and gay marriage provide the perfect storm for Christians.  At first glance, there are two possible responses to this challenge.  First, just go along with the crowd; even join them, and all will be fine.  Many churches have done this, even to the point of allowing openly gay or lesbian pastors. The second option is to stand up in the public square and boldly proclaim opposition to all of this.  Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve seen many dozens of blog postings that take one or the other of these two approaches, but to what end?  If we say that God favors homosexuality, are we faithfully representing His Word? If we condemn it, are we being Christ-like in our behavior, or are we being more like the Old Testament prophet?  Is either of these approaches doing anything to build the Kingdom of Heaven?  I hope that my awesome readers will resist the temptation to give a knee-jerk reaction to these questions, for they are complicated and profoundly significant.

Let’s look at the situation from the point of view of those whose agenda is advanced by political correctness.

First, by being in favor of all sorts of sexual activities that have traditionally been considered out-of-bounds, this provides the appearance of loving individual liberty while actually taking it away bit by bit.  Second, Christians, who are potentially a danger, are set up for a no win situation.  Churches and others who embrace the idea lose credibility with the majority of those who are in no particular camp because they are going in a radically different direction than ever before, and thus they may appear to be rather ‘watered down’ in their beliefs.  Churches and others who stand up in opposition will come under vicious attack, and few will want to join them and be subjected to the attack themselves.  The result is that the Christian community as a whole becomes radioactive, just like the original issue.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, this is exactly what spiritual warfare looks like!

I know that I will be taken to task for saying this, but when you get sucked into this issue, you are playing the Enemy’s game by the Enemy’s rules on the Enemy’s home field!  Consider what Jesus told His disciples:

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”

Matthew 7:6

Surely, this issue requires discernment!

A Third Option

There is another option in this situation, and I hope that we will consider it prayerfully.  You see, just because the world around us is acting like it is lost and without God, does not mean that we need to jump into every controversy.  You see, the world around us is lost and without God!  Jesus did not establish his church to go straighten out the lost world, He commanded us to take the Gospel to the world.  If you look carefully at the gospels, you will notice that Jesus only confronted and pronounced “woes” on the religious elite, i.e. the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law who were misleading the people God had given them to shepherd.  To the sinners, He took God’s love and the offer of forgiveness.  No, He didn’t condone their sins, whatever they may have been, but He didn’t beat them about the face with the Law either.  Nor did He complain about being persecuted when a private company, not the government, decided they didn’t want a radioactive political issue hung around their neck.

So then, how is it that we can allow ourselves to be dragged into politics, to the detriment of the Gospel at any provocation? Rather, may we turn our eyes upon Jesus, and be about the task of building His Kingdom, taking the message of reconciliation to those around us by reaching out to them in a loving and caring way, just like Jesus did. May we discern what the world around us is all about when these things arise, and not allow ourselves to be so easily distracted from the task that our Lord has given to us!

Now, before you send me hate mail for being either pro or anti gay, please take note of the fact that I haven’t shared my opinion on that question, for it is of no importance whatsoever.

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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31 Responses to The Right, the Wrong, and the Radioactive

  1. paulfg says:

    Mr M. You brew an exceedingly good cuppa.

  2. katebortell says:

    Amen Don, Amen!!!

  3. Thank you for paving the way towards peace.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I often think that being a Christian is easy if we stop trying to make it all about rules and trying to be so righteous on our own. Live are life as Jesus would. Amen…..

  5. Dan Ledwith says:

    I’m right there with you brother!

  6. Little Monk says:

    Bless you, Don, for the courage to declare the Emperor’s wardrobe, and recognize the elephant in the parlor. I love this post, and the thoughtful discussion of the Emperor and elephant. Let me agree with you, and add a thought that came to me as I read…

    A friend of mine once preached a fabulous Advent sermon that included in its focus, the scriptural phrase, “Now, in those days a decree…” (Lk 2:1) and he was struck by how we “romanticize” the Nativity Story, how we see the Currier & Ives decorative scene, the camels, sheep, shepherds, angels, baby, manger… and we think all was well with their world at the time. He taught one of the most powerful lessons I’ve ever heard, about the REALITY of “in those days”, when the country suffered military occupation, an uneasy political and military truce between the religious (civil) governing officials and the police (military) force, when intrigues and insurrection plots lay around every corner, when the Chief Executive of the country was mixing the blood of martyrs with pagan sacrifice, and calling himself one of God’s Chosen People.

    “Those days”, when Jesus lay asleep in a manger, were terrible days of political, military, religious, and economic intrigue creating civil unrest and insecurity on a scale we can barely even imagine. There was NOTHING peaceful or godly about “those days”. It was one of the worst times one could ever imagine in history for the God of Israel, Lord of All, to send His Son to be born! Inconceivable!

    Yet so it was. The point my friend made was that… far from the Incarnation meaning that we, as Christians, were to live our joyful peaceful lives insulated, isolated, and apart from the intrigues and horrors of politics, economics, despotism, and whatever is and was the surrounding culture… God the Father, Son, and Spirit have not only “told” us the best approach, but lived it out and modeled it as well.

    Very much as you’ve illustrated, brilliantly, in your post:

    God did not compromise… approve and endorse… the injustices of “those days”. They were seldom addressed at all, and most of the information we have of these horrors has had to come from other historical sources. Jesus’ criticisms were largely reserved to those who professed to serve God, and to speak in His name with His authority among the people.

    God did not enter the political arena. Jesus was not a “zealot”, of which there were many, taking up arms or placard, fomenting civil unrest. He drew a firm line separating that which was “Caesar'” from that which was “God’s”, and taught and demonstrated responsible citizenship.

    God, beyond all else, throughout the Gospels and Epistles, taught, demonstrated, and required that each follower live a personal life of obedience in love, grace, and surrender to compassion. Whether a person was Jew, Roman, pharisee, scribe, publican, sinner, saint… no difference. Frankly, He dealt with lepers, better than many of us deal with friends.

    THERE, was where Jesus calls forth our resolve and “fighting spirit”, in pointing us towards OURSELVES… on the battlegrounds of our hearts and our capacity to treat one another, live with one another, free of ego and personal agenda. Can we learn to receive the love and grace of God with such clarity and simplicity, that we can then reflect it back towards God in adoration, and lens it outwards to others in love, compassion, and service?

    Here’s a strange thing I noticed one day, thinking about our “culture” and our “calling”… Did you ever notice, among all the instructions or commands Jesus ever gave to His disciples and later to us… the one thing He NEVER said… was “worship Me?” He never even commanded it to His Bride. Instead, He has commanded, “Know Me. Love Me. Follow Me.” And He has never called us His subjects or worshippers, but He calls us His “Friends”.

    Just sayin… great post, Don. You and God seem to be on the same wavelength with all this!.

    Blessings and grace to thee and thine.

    • Don Merritt says:

      What a story and what a point! To be honest, I try to avoid getting into the political side of things, but not because I hate politics, for truth be told, I enjoy politics and political debate too much. I’ve been in the game at the highest level and seen way more than anybody should really see. There are some good people there, and many really want to do good things, but the game is fixed, the “news” isn’t often quite accurate, and the people for the most part would be shocked if they knew the truth. I was there running away from God if you want to know the truth, and He is sure hard to find in those hallowed halls. But as you have pointed out, there is nothing new under the sun, and so it was in the days of George Washington, although he was a little before my time!

      This situation is, as President Kennedy said and as you pointed out, “as old as the Scriptures” and clearly, if we were on a mission of political activism, Jesus would have mentioned it… but He gave us a different mission, and the world of the political is only a distraction from our purpose in His service.

      Thanks for weighing in on this brother! All the best in Christ to you and yours!

      Don

  7. I love your focus of being about the Father’s business rather than into other people’s business.

    Blessings ~ Wendy

  8. amm07332 says:

    “If we say that God favors homosexuality, are we faithfully representing His Word? If we condemn it, are we being Christ-like in our behavior, or are we being more like the Old Testament prophet? Is either of these approaches doing anything to build the Kingdom of Heaven?”

    Thank you! I have been unable to take either side confidently for just the reasons you mentioned. Both sides seem wrong in a way. I agree with your sentiment and believe that getting involved in political debate is not what God wants me to do in these situations. I have been called to bestow love and blessings on those around me, not pass judgement (easier said than done sometimes, however).

    I like how Wendy put it also, “Be about the Father’s business, not other people’s business”.

    • Don Merritt says:

      Thank you! you know, the funny thing about this is that I have a strong opinion on this matter, which I haven’t shared here because I’m trying to see the whole thing from an “outsider’s” view. From there, the fight is just ugly, and since my calling in the Lord is to persuade people to follow Jesus rather than to persuade them to agree with my politics, there are just some things that don’t need to be broadcast.

      Hey, thanks again for your comment, all the best in the new year!

  9. melodymom says:

    Thank you so much for a) liking my post, b) finding the words to expose the problem, and c) saying it so well.
    Denise

  10. If someone wants attention or to jump start a sagging career they talk about Homosexuality and or Blacks. I try to avoid personal opinions on the subject of Sexual Immorality and stick to the Bible, 1Corinthians 6:9-11; 18-20, it’s very specific about Homosexuality, Fornication, Adultery and anything else unclean or a sin. Loved your Photo Vista’s and am grateful for your support. God Bless.

  11. Very discerning. You aptly capture the dilemma Christians face. Thank you for shedding light on this divisive topic.

  12. Messenger At The Crossroads says:

    What you bring up here: “to violate civil liberties on the one hand, and be the champion of civil liberties on the other” is I’d say the old bait and switch m.o. of the power elites. Bait and switch, problem-rection-solution. It’s all orchestrated. Familiarize yourself with their m.o.’s and follow the money. It’s good to understand the strategies but remain detached to a degree. All I know is that I can’t find in the Bible where Jesus ever got involved in politics, although there were factions like the zealots who wanted Him to. His kingdom was not “of” this world. He was always about the Father’s business, fully surrendered to Him and His will. Might it be time for Christian people to take a look at the Exemplar Himself, and pull their focus away from the fray instead of buying into the methods of the social engineers and manipulators? Clearly there is need for serious discernment.

  13. pianobluz says:

    Very good and well written. I also agree that we should be about our business of being the “Church” to the Church; rightly teaching and instructing the body of believers as they come to faith.
    Trying to make non-Christians conform to a standard of conduct that is alien to them at best, seems to be a example of harvesting before the sowing. But in the pulpit, the word of God should be properly taught no matter the vogue of the day. Seekers deserve the truth.

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