Sunday, April 7, 2013

You Can't Legislate Morality

             If I've heard this once, I've heard it a thousand times. People who believe we should be allowed to do as we please often say this when Christians take a stand against abortion or gay rights. And they are right. Morality cannot be forced. God gave us the Ten Commandments to show us that no one can keep the law. "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way…" Isaiah 53:6.
            But if we don't at least attempt to legislate morality, how do we have laws to protect us from rape, murder, incest, stealing, malpractice, unsafe drivers, etc.? Without laws we would have chaos. What you think is right would not seem right to someone else. Who then would be responsible for determining right from wrong?
            Some laws are necessary. God put all them in the Bible to help us understand right living. Does He expect us to keep all of them? No. He gave them to us so we would know we can never get to heaven on our own. Our best efforts to be good will always fall short. We are imperfect beings in an imperfect world. But there is hope.
            You see, heaven is not awarded to the good. Hell is not punishment for the bad. Romans 3:10 says none of us are good. Jeremiah tells us that our thoughts are only evil continually. You don't believe that? Think about it. Even when you're thinking good, positive things, are you wondering what's in it for you? Are you trying not to think "so and so ought to have heard this sermon," or "I sure hope so and so gets his/hers?" Even when we're trying to be good our hearts are sitting in judgment of others.
            Homosexuals often sit in judgment of heterosexuals. Murders excuse their behavior because of something someone else did to them or because they are trying to make a political or religious statement. Some people who call themselves Christians sit in judgment of homosexuals, people who live together in intimacy without benefit of marriage, or have had an abortion. I must admit there are issues, and some political icons, that I take great exception to. I, too, am guilty of judging and being critical, and I must daily confess those sins (among others; I'm very far from perfect) and ask God for forgiveness.
            But does that mean I should, as a Christian, a born-again believer, accept the governments decisions without dispute? Absolutely not. I accept every person's right to choose right from wrong. However, I do not have to agree with every decision. I hate abortion. It is murder. Does the woman have a right to choose? Yes. Every person (even without government legalization) has the freedom to choose to kill or not to kill. The only difference is, women don't want to have to feel guilty about their choice, so they want government approval. The government should have stayed out of the whole issue. Abortion doctors are guilty of murder. The woman who chooses to have an abortion is guilty of murder. But both can be forgiven if they but ask God. Spare me the rhetoric of rape, incest, or danger to the mother's life. Abortion has always been a choice for the doctor if the mother's life is in danger. That's a no-brainer. In the cases of rape and incest, it is still murder, but again, we have a forgiving God. God has a purpose for every life. I believe in adoption. I believe in Biblical counseling. God understands these issues. He opens His arms in love, waiting to heal the hurt and heartache that comes with those decisions.
            God does not hate homosexuals. He hates the lifestyle and destroyed two cities because of it. It is not the nature God gave us. I've heard the argument that people are born that way. We are all born sinners, and, even as little children, it easy for us to be influenced to do those things that are not natural for us. God can heal. There are agencies out there that are able to help a homosexual change. It isn't easy. For some, the whole concept of what love is supposed to be has been skewed at some point. For some it has been there all their lives. For others it started in puberty. Regardless, God is waiting with open arms to heal you and show you His unconditional love. I do not have the skills to counsel these types of situations, but I can pray. I have, and have had homosexual friends. I will not abandon them. I care about them. I believe most homosexuals are nice people. They have many talents; they are polite, courteous, and friendly. I don't hate them. I just don't want them to be deprived of a relationship with my heavenly Father, who is the embodiment of love. No one, not even a Christian, can live in sin and have fellowship with God. God is holy and cannot look at sin. The only sin that sends us to hell is rejection of Jesus Christ as God the Son. If we receive Him into our hearts, we will allow Him to heal us of all of our sin and work toward making us more like Him.
            As Christians, we need to take a stand for what's right, not belligerently, but in compassion. Remember, it is not our goodness that will get us into heaven. The only difference between us and the rest of the world is our relationship with Jesus. If we aren't willing to show God's love and point the way to Him, we will be held responsible for our friends and loved ones who aren't saved, being cast into hell on judgment day.

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