Since the introduction of this legislation the conversations and debate around this controversial subject have dominated our media; battle lines have been drawn: some say the legislation does not go far enough and others insist that it goes too far. No doubt you have found yourself being drawn into the conversation. How do we respond as a people of faith? How do we make sense of all the rhetoric; of our convictions and conscience?
As I have had conversations, as I have reflected on the complexities surrounding this debate, I have had to step back and remind myself again of the truths of Scripture that are so relevant as we wrestle with this issue; God's Word is our final rule of faith and practice. It not only informs our theology but it speaks to the very issue before us. With that in mind, below are six foundational truths to consider as you enter into the conversation.
1 - Sovereignty of God
We proclaim with the early church, Sovereign Lord, you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. (Acts 4:24) We understand that This Is My Father's World, that our God is still on His throne, still working out His purposes. And though the wrong seems oft' so strong, God is the Ruler yet.
2 - God Is the Author of Life
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:13-16)
3 - We are called to be honorable citizens
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. (Roman 13:1) As we enter the conversation we have a responsibility to be honorable in our attitudes, actions and words.
4 - We are to be defenders of the truth
We recognize God's divine plan in establishing governing authorities for the good of society, but at the same time we also understand there may be times when we are called to be a voice for what is right and good when those authorities fail to align with the truth and purposes of God. We must obey God rather than man. (Acts 5:29) There are times when we need to stand firm...with the belt of truth buckled around your waist. (Ephesians 6:14)
5 - We are to be a people of compassion and grace
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (Colossians 3:12)
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. (Colossians 4:6)
6 - We are to be a people of prayer
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Recognize that this issue may not be 'black and white' but stay in the conversation, represent well the Lord Jesus and the truth of His Word by the words we speak and the way we say them. And above all pray!