Friday, July 11, 2008

Cue The Handwringing

Here we go again, focusing on what the devil is doing instead of what we should be doing.

Don't get me wrong. I appreciate it when the FRC and other organizations stand up for the unborn and the infirm. But I get so very tired of the "Oh my, what shall we do?" talk when it comes to the oncoming criminalization of Christianity. I get so tired of the use of the word "rights", especially when it is used in reference to things that Christians have been given clear instructions on.

I got this from the Family Research Council this morning:

"FRC held a standing-room-only panel discussion this morning about the California same-sex marriage ruling and its effects on religious liberty. Many religious organizations in California and elsewhere are worried about the possible erosion of their First Amendment rights and religious liberty protections. The panel addressed key issues being asked by religious organizations: Will churches be able to refuse to marry homosexual couples? Will they be able to deny access to their facilities? Will other Christian organizations be able to retain their religious identity and beliefs in light of the court's decision?"

This sounds rather like the psalmist who said "...if the foundations be destroyed, what shall the righteous do?" (Psalm 11). Problem is, the psalmist wasn't asking that question but quoting those who would mock us as if to say "what 'cha gonna do now that we've had our way?". And here, the voices of what we would loosely call "christianity" are saying "ooohh. . .if this all goes bad, we're gonna be in trouble!" Wow. What leadership.

This kind of non-faith is why I stopped listening to much of what passes for "Christian radio". The constant "call your congressman and protect your own hide" kind of garbage.

What is going on here? We are worried about getting permission to stand up for what is right? No, I don't think that is it. I think it's more of "I want to know I can live out what I believe without it demanding any real faith, please don't arrest me!"

I remember getting phone calls from the American Center for Law and Justice. I got lots of them. Jay Sekulow wanted me to help "fight for my rights". Excuse me? I don't have "rights". I have responsibilities given to me by God.

I mentioned that to the last person from the ACLJ that called for a donation. She sounded rather stunned when I suggested that perhaps, just perhaps, we should spend less time being like the world (that continually fights for its "rights") and simply do what we have been told to do regardless of the consequences. Yes, stunned. And she ended up indicating that I had a good point. Well, it is a good point. It's a Biblical one.

Daniel was "denied the right to pray". He did anyway. And Paul didn't have the "right" to preach in Rome. He did anyway. And he didn't even appeal to other Christians to "call your political leaders and demand a change".

Let's call this "I demand my rights" stuff what it is; worship of self. You want to say you "believe" but you want it on your own easy terms. Meanwhile, the Lord uses circumstances to show how real your faith is.

Is your faith in the Lord? Does it lead to obedience regardless of the personal cost? Or is it a sham, good only for displaying on Sunday mornings or in another "friendly environment"?

James would say such faith is useless.

Let me give you Psalm 11, without the remarks of the taunters in the first couple of verses:

"1 In the LORD I take refuge. . .
4 The LORD is in his holy temple;
the LORD is on his heavenly throne.

He observes the sons of men;
his eyes examine them.

5 The LORD examines the righteous,
but the wicked [b] and those who love violence
his soul hates.

6 On the wicked he will rain
fiery coals and burning sulfur;
a scorching wind will be their lot.
7 For the LORD is righteous,
he loves justice;
upright men will see his face."

God knows what is going on. His wrath is delayed by His mercy; but it will come. Justice delayed is not justice denied. Read Psalm 11.

When will we get a clear vision of this and stop all the hand-wringing?