Tag: equality

Equality, Hate and the Gospel

Labeling people as haters removes your influence in any civil discussion. Pastor Rick Warren suffered a tragic loss and I cannot imagine the pain he is going through. Given Pastor Rick’s stance on homosexuality, the vitriol for his family’s tragic loss is disgusting. In the larger cultural context of marriage, anyone holding to a man and woman together for life meaning of marriage is labeled as a hater or against equality. The biblical stance is then labeled as old and not understanding of the times.

The Gospel
In the Gospel we see the brokenness of humanity and creation. Pain is a result of how sin permeates the whole universe. The muscle disconnection in my right eye is a result of the sin filled world we live in. Was it because someone sinned? No. All creation groans waiting for the day of redemption, according to Romans 8. We all struggle with something it is a matter of what we struggle with. Some struggle with same-sex attraction.

In the Gospel we see the consequences of sin. Pain is also a result of sinful actions we take. If I abuse my body, if I steal, if I don’t treat my wife with the respect and love the Bible calls for, I sin and there are consequences to my actions. The greatest consequence is that Jesus had to die on the cross for my sin. Sexual expression outside of marriage, which Jesus defines as one man with one woman for a lifetime, is sin. Does Jesus show compassion on those with sin? Yes!

Told hold something as a result of brokenness or to hold something as sin does not mean I hate them.
Cancer is a result of brokenness, but I do not hate those who struggle with cancer.
Physical deformities are a result of brokenness, but I do not hate them- or myself for that matter.
Mental illness is a result of brokenness, but I do not hate those who struggle with that.
The Bible calls lying a sin, but I don’t hate liars.
The Bible says divorce is because of sin, but I do not hate divorced people.
The Bible says to do things without complaining, but I don’t hate grumpy people.
The Bible says it is sin to dishonor your parents, but I don’t hate kids who do that.
The Bible says it is wrong to neglect one’s wife, but I don’t hate those that do.
The Bible says it is wrong to be arrogant, but I don’t hate arrogant people.
The Bible says it is wrong to have an affair, but I don’t hate people who have done that.
The Bible says its wrong to over or under eat, but I don’t hate gluttons or those who struggle with eating disorders.
To all of these I point to the hope we have in Jesus. I have or had friends who walked through all of these.

I believe for theological, civic and biological reasons that marriage is one man with one woman for a lifetime. I think bullying for any reason is wrong. Some things in life prevent us for doing certain things. Does that make us unequal? No, it’s part of life. Ultimate equality is found in the Gospel. Before God we are all broken and it’s not a matter of if we struggle but what we struggle with. It’s not a matter of being perfect, but of being broken and waiting for Jesus who makes all things new. Regardless of struggle, regardless of sin, Jesus opens the door to all who trust that he rose again for them and that he is Lord.

Equality, Hate and the Gospel
Jesus spoke against many things and he is friends with those he spoke against. To be against something doesn’t mean to hate the person. The vitriol against Rick Warren because of his stance on marriage is uncivil. If one must label someone as a hater or a bigot because they don’t agree with you, then please look in the mirror. Our hope is not in the behavior of humanity, but in the humility of Jesus. In teaching the Gospel there are things that no doubt will offend, but it doesn’t make one a hater. The cross demonstrates God’s love for us and that’s the level of love we should have.

Man up! Why I agree with Mark Driscoll

While not shocking, Mark Driscoll riled up the social media world asking for stories about ‘effeminate’ anatomically male worship leaders. This lead to a ‘stop the bullying campaign’. Here are some thoughts. (This is a mobile post, so not very polished.)

1) You need to take comments in context of the person. Mark has praised the arts, promotes them, etc. Some rebutting (attacking?) Mark say I’m a man who likes art… He is not dissing that.

2) It is common practice in our culture to use a stereotype in pointing out truth. We also use sarcasm. We also ask questions like Mark did when we see something that aggravates us. And yes, the stop the bullying campaign folks (who do make some good points) do the same things.

3) Men follow men. You can call it what you want, label it what you want, condemn it all you want, but it is arrogant to think thousands of years of human history can be turned on a dime, told to change now, and expected to be extinct in a couple of decades. This is a major problem with the egalitarian movement, it’s arrogant. It further leads egalitarian types to blow out of proportion Mark’s statement.

4) MAN UP! (To the males rebutting Mark.) If you’re a man like you say you are, then relax! If the question makes you feel uncomfortable, good. As a man, ponder it. I find the highest mark of a man is when he doesn’t have to defend himself and let’s his record stand on it’s own. But, as a man, examine every criticism whether warranted or not and learn from it.

5) It’s a man thing. (To the females rebutting Mark.) There is an element to manhood where to be a man takes a blunt, harsh, in your face call to man up. I don’t think a female can understand this. I unapologetically think culture robs our boys from this. Yes, it is mean. Yes, it is often caustic. Yes, it hurts. BUT, it is the most sincere, most caring, most endearing thing a man does for a future man! (‘The Man From Snowy River’ portrays this well.) How can this be? Life is not fair. So, while you may not like this, I say with respect and sympathy, calm down, it’s a man thing.

6) Gender discussions always seem to run to stereotypes, equality under the cross, and debate about words such as effeminate. The curse in Genesis 3 pretty much points to these discussions happening. Have men abused their God given role? Yes. But neglect is just as bad as abuse. Our culture in large measure is dealing with neglecting manhood, not abusing it. This is why I agree with Mark. Am I always comfortable about his methods? No. Am I glad he is leading a charge to restore manhood? YES! It’s been neglected far too long.

7) I agree with those who think church is too effeminate, and our portrayal of Jesus is too effeminate. I disagree with the common thought that Jesus was starting a social justice trend. The pattern in the Bible is one of restoring people to the truth. Genesis 1&2 is the picture Jesus frequents and the New Testament frequents. It is a perfect picture of man leading, woman helping in harmony and without shame. Abuse of that portrait is error. In the sin cursed world we live, that portrait is elusive. Churches need to point to the truth. Truth is not prejudice, it hates all error. And all of us are in error in some way. The portrait in Genesis 1&2 will be back as Jesus will one day make all things new.

I often wondered how Paul carefronting Peter to his face would look like today. I suppose Paul would be called a bully. others would say this is why the world hates us. Sigh. I hear this coming from thus debate: “You can be open and authentic unless you say something like Mark Driscoll. BUT, to bash someone who talks like Mark is ok.” That is hypocrisy.

Well, using our cultures concept of effeminate, which I understand as having unsuitable feminine qualities, then based on our culture alone and not dealing with 1 Cor 6, Mark is right. And if Mark is wrong in his public calling out, then the stop the bullying campaign is equally wrong.

The bottom line:
We need males to man up! This is a major need in our culture and it’s been neglected. I say with compassion and sensitivity, the stop the bullying campaign is part of the problem and not the solution.