1 Thessalonians 5
The United States is divided in numerous ways right now. However, this is what makes our country spectacular in itself, in its diversity of perspectives and moral standing.
One of the deeper rifts, currently, is of whether same-sex marriage should be legalized or not.
Personally, I don’t care. The United States has never been a country to legislate morality either way, and as long as the government doesn’t force the church to do anything besides what the Word of God says, I’m cool with that.
But the problem is deeper than this, because right now we see the church deciding that particular portions of the Bible are inconvenient and old-fashioned. Adherents to the Christian faith now argue that no one should be prevented from having a loving relationship with another person, regardless of gender or orientation, even if it violates what the Bible clearly states.
And I understand the sentiment. It looks bigoted and ignorant. I get it.
It becomes problematic, however, when there is an intentional refusal of tenets stated in black and white in the Word of God. These Christians have decided the Bible is less relevant to our culture, that it does not work, and that their own moral standards are superior to the Lord’s.
And again, I understand that this world will not fall in line, that they will believe God to be a contrivance of men, that they will perceive the Bible as a historical tome that belongs with fictitious legends and mythology. This was forewarned of in the Bible — that believers would fall away, and that this world would reject Jesus as Lord and even hate His teachings.
This should make us angry. Those who know what the Word says should be bothered, not because homosexual folks want to get married or that multiple sex partners is cool, but that the church is willing to compromise and allot for sin of ANY kind. We develop arguments, and whether or not the arguments hold logical bearing, we are met with resistance, further angering us.
We must remember, however, what Paul writes here in 1 Thessalonians 5: let us be sober.
This command is useful in the colloquial sense, that we should abstain from drunkenness, but it’s also useful in the sense of our thinking and awareness.
It’s easy to get frustrated and lose our cool. We can get fired up and say stupid things, getting carried away in frivolous arguments, and in our rage lose our ability to be effective for the kingdom of God. This includes the homosexual marriage argument. How many opportunities have we lost in the midst of our great anger and misunderstanding?
We must be thoughtful. The mind is included in that list of how we must love the Lord, yet it’s often not used at all in our approach, both in worship and our association with others. Friends, we do great danger letting our hearts conduct our behavior.
Surely we can devise counterarguments and, if they’re well-constructed, even be convincing, but we must not be fueled by malice and rage. Instead, as Paul’s writing permits, we are to be sons of light, filled with the Spirit, disassociating ourselves with the blood-lust of this world, giving ourselves over to emotion in daily decision-making.
We must also be aware. We can’t be useful in the army of the Lord with our backs turned to the enemy.
Just because the world sucks doesn’t mean we should huddle together in a little Christian haven and play keep-away from everyone else. Many Christians shun this world to the point of total isolation, making it difficult to be cognizant of what’s happening and how others think. We should not participate in the practices of darkness, but recognizing what darkness looks like and to know how to associate with those trapped in immorality is very important.
Let us not be clouded in any way, but let us be present and accounted for, sharp and ready at all times.