Legal Rights & God's Truths
I encounter a lot of Christians who seem confused between legal rights and what we should be teaching and espousing as believers. As one very obvious example, homosexual Americans have the legal right to get "married," including all of the obvious homosexual actions that come with that. But God, on the other hand, has made clear that any homosexual action is a sin, and that, in fact, unrepentant homosexual actors will not enter the kingdom of heaven (leaving only one eternal option, which I genuinely wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy).
So how do we handle that? Well, here's some Old Testament guidance that God gave to His people in another scenario where the laws of the surrounding nations were at odds with God's holy commands and decrees:
"You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you. You shall not walk in their statutes. You shall follow my rules and keep my statutes and walk in them. I am the Lord your God." (Leviticus 18:3-4)
And so at this point, some of you may be saying, "BUT I'M NOT ENGAGING IN HOMOSEXUAL BEHAVIOR! AND I'M NOT A MUSLIM WORSHIPPING A FALSE GOD! LET IT GO ALREADY!!!"
But look at what else God commands us to do -- and this is in the New Testament writings, as well as in the Old:
"As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, TO BE A HOLY PRIESTHOOD, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 2:4-5)
And what was one of the primary jobs of the Jewish priests? The same job as Jesus commanded his disciples -- to teach the people of the world all that He taught us. Our job is not to convert. Our job is to teach what Jesus taught (including the whole counsel of God's Word), to proclaim His name and His Truths, and to witness to what He has done and is doing in our lives.
And so, as we continue to teach and proclaim God's truth on the "hot button" issues of culture, our job is not to win converts. Our job is to teach a very lost and misguided culture the truths that God's Word proclaims on the various issues that concern those around us, as well as other truths that our culture may not even realize matter to God.
The good news is, Jesus has already won the war. We get to freely go forth proclaiming that good news, inviting all to put down their weapons of sinful rebellion and be freely welcomed into His victory. But being included in such salvation requires BOTH putting your trust in Jesus Christ (belief) AND turning from your sins (repentance). And you cannot do the latter if God's own priesthood of believers is unwilling to tell you that your sins are sins, or if they/we are advocating things that are directly contrary to God's Word, which is a sin in and of itself (see Romans 1:18-32).
And so if you are a Christian in that very last category -- teaching or approving of things which God has called sinful -- then I hope this encourages you to repent from your own sin. Remember, our job is not to convert. Our job is not to be approved by the culture, or to be popular. Our job is to speak God's truth, in love, into a lost world. But we cannot speak truth in love if we are unwilling to speak truth in the first place.
Blessings, and Good Day to All! :)
"For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God." (Acts 20:27)