A Game of Tug-of-War
As of Jan. 14, there was a ruling by a federal judge that an Oklahoma law was unconstitutional. Most of you know exactly what I am talking about. Most of the headlines about the event say something like, “Federal judge strikes down Oklahoma ban on same-sex marriage.”
Today, as I scan my Twitter and Facebook, I see many posts saying, “finally!” or a comment bashing “conservatives” or something about “Oklahoma pride” and “fairness and dignity.”
The issue reminds me of a game of tug-of-war. You have two sides, both pulling on the same rope. The winner is determined by who can get the majority of the rope on their side. The winning side wins as a result of one or more of a few things: 1) they have more people on their side of the rope 2) they have bigger, stronger people pulling for their team 3) they wear the other side down enough for them to give in.
I see this taking place in the debate of homosexuality, but the biggest barrier I see is the difference on how individuals perceive the homosexual issue based on their beliefs. Let me explain.
On the one hand, there are people, I’ll call them Bible-believers, who believe the Bible is God-inspired and true. They weigh and test everything based on what the Bible teaches. Generally speaking, this group of people firmly believe that practicing homosexuality is sinful and wrong. They believe that this sin should not be encouraged, so as to teach what they believe the Bible says and keep others from stumbling into the sin. They do not believe that they are better than their neighbor, but, similarly, they do not believe they can take a stance of toleration. True Bible-believers desire to live a life like Christ, and His example exposed the darkness in others (with love) so that they would see their need for a Savior.
On the other hand, there are those who I’ll call nonBible-believers. This side also includes many influential people who are persuaded because they want to be on the “winning” side. There are some who might know what the Bible says, and they might follow some of the Bible’s teachings, but they don’t believe it is entirely God-inspired or true. And therein lies the conflict, the separation.
The government sees homosexuality as an equality issue and wants to bring justice to what it sees as unjust in the ban on homosexual marriages and lifestyles.
The church, a body of Bible-believers, sees homosexuality as a sin issue. Therefore, no legislation, no equality speech will sway them to see homosexuality as right in the sight of God.
Sin is sin. It separates us from God, but it also causes friction between people. This is seen in Gal. 5:17 —
“For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want.” (HCSB)
The ‘tugging’ is not going away. The conflict is growing because we don’t know how to address the war. I challenge you to be the beginning of the solution.