Thursday, June 27, 2013

Are you an alien?

1 Peter 2:11
"Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul."

Yesterday was a landmark day in our country's history. June 26, 2013 will go down as a turning point in the moral decay of the United States of America. The Supreme Court took up two landmark decisions that were ruled on yesterday. The most remarkable of these decisions was made on DOMA, The 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. This act says that states don't have to recognize same sex marriage and restricted those couples from receiving federal government benefits on the basis of marriage. Until yesterday, this act was the law of the land. But today that all changed. It is now the opinion of the highest court in America, and the law of the land, that same sex couples can receive marriage benefits from our federal government.
In Mark 10:6-9, the Bible reminds us of what marriage is: " the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female.' 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let no man separate." But today our corrupt government, reasoning with blind eyes that have no regard for God's principles, disregarded the scriptures and the foundational reason for marriage. They trampled on the Bible's intent for the most sacred of earthly unions. And all in the name of "equality" and "fairness." These words that sound like such positive attributes have been used to destroy the very fabric of our country by breaking apart the foundation of a family headed by a father and mother, man and woman.
Listening to the response of my fellow citizens has broken my confidence in the heart of this country more then the actual ruling from the Supreme Court ever could. Instead of a call to return to our founding principles and scriptural truth, I have read countless posts on Facebook and web articles that are proclaiming what a  wonderful day this is for freedom and equality and for human beings everywhere! You would think that each of these writers and joyous advocates of same-sex "marriage" had just gotten married themselves. Their posts and comments were filled with words of celebration. Were these people in chains before this fateful ruling came down? If you didn't know any better you would think they had been locked up with the keys thrown away...until today.
I can't be alone in my stark opposition to the joy they are feeling. In fact, joy is the furthest thing from what I feel about this decision. To me, this day doesn't signify a step of progress for America, it signifies a leap into the abyss of darkness and destruction. Though many may be applauding,  there are those of us weeping for our country and for those who are blindly buying into the distorted principles and practices that are becoming law. But those of us on this side of the political and moral aisle seem to be in the minority. We have been overtaken by a population that thinks wrong is right and right is wrong. We are the "religious", "cynical", "old fashioned", "bigots" who just don't care about other people's happiness. We are seen as the enemy.
This worries me until I remember the words of the Bible: "foreigners and exiles." This is how the Bible refers to Christ's followers. The very defintion of a foreigner is one from outside a particular group or community. So wouldn't it be natural to assume that we will be the minority? If you are an American and you travel to Spain chances are you will be surrounded by people speaking a different language than you, following the practices of a culture unlike your own, and singing a totally different national anthem then the one you have become accustomed . Didn't you expect this? After all, you are the one from the outside, coming into their native land. You aren't Spanish. You are American. So it would follow that the life in Spain will look very different from your own and, at times, rather odd.
The same applies to a Christian's life on earth. We are the outsiders. We are aliens, here for a visit. We are sent to this foreign land to spread the good news of the gospel. But this isn't our home. We are to be busy doing God's work here on earth: being his hands and feet. Your life is to be that of a missionary, even if you never go out into "the field" and live in a village in Africa or move to the inner city to work in a home for recovering drug abusers and alcoholics. As one of Christ's disciples, you are to be on a mission no matter where on this earth you find yourself.
The Bible warns us that on our mission we will face opposition. The world around us will buy into lies and false ways of living. They will condemn those who claim Christianity as the only truth. Instead of claiming the one true God they will make many "mini gods" and rationalize all sorts of sinful behavior. Those of us who strive to live in surrendered obedience to God's word and will are certainly not going to be popular in this culture.
But don't be surprised by any of this. Instead, embrace your alienation. Thank God that you have been set apart. And remember this: if you are going to follow Christ, expect to feel like a foreigner. Because here, on this earth, we are not yet home.

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