Why I decided to call this blog the Sunday News
I decided to call this blog “Sunday News.” I want to use it to tell you about my faith and also to comment on the things that are going on in the Christian world. It is no longer easy to be a Christian. People are getting locked up for conscience and faith.
I want to try and deal with the stickier issues.
Some issues are really difficult for Bible believing Christians
Have you considered how difficult these issues are for Christians? No matter how much we want to, we cannot go against God’s word and working out how to do that in a world that is very different from the one our parents grew up in is not easy.
It used just to be about sex and even that was hard
I remember when I got married. On our honeymoon our my husband and I went to visit friends. It was the early eighties and the sexual revolution had come and gone. Not one person said “Congratulations.” Almost everyone we met there said, “Why?” Marriage had become almost a dirty word in certain circles, but I had my faith and it told me to marry. It was not easy to be in a minority and before I became a Christian I moved in the hippy circles prevalent at that time.
I didn’t see why my point of view should not be as valid as the people who disagreed. I still do not. I had every right to follow my conscience and following it hurt nobody.
The minority belief has become a majority and this is hard
Now we have situations where it is very hard indeed to hold a minority view. Back then very few people were openly gay. (Please remember there is a lot of difference between saying you cannot support a way of life and actively and in a hostile way, propagating your belief, whatever it is.)
Whatever we think of the gay community, however sympathetic we feel, we Christians are stuck with a problem. The Bible does not appear to condone homosexuality. It doesn’t condone sex before marriage either. It would be easier if it did, but it does,not. I wish it did. It would make life so much easier.
However, I do not think my lesbian friend would want me jailed for thinking differently and we are still able to have coffee together and agree to disagree.
There is the issue of mutual respect for belief
I have a lesbian friend and when we meet we chat and can socialize together. We have mutual respect and in other ways admire what each of us is doing with our lives.
She knows what I think and I know what she thinks. That is how freedom of conscience works. You are allowed to disagree. You are allowed to stick up for what you believe without fear as long as it does not put the other person in danger. You do not have to be afraid to stand up for what you believe.
Jailing people for whatever beliefs they have solves no problems
In days gone by I would not have wanted Oscar Wilde jailed either. I just do not think jailing people for their sexual persuasion or beliefs against them does anything to make the world a better place.
The reality Bible believing Christians have to cope with
The reality however is that we now have a world where differing sexual persuasions are seen as the norm. We have children with two parents of the same sex. We have to live in a world that has changed what it sees as the norm. Christianity has somehow to cope with this and also the belief in the Word of God as God’s law.
This leads for many Christians to a very difficult crisis of conscience. If we believe that the Bible is the word of God and I certainly do, no matter how sympathetic we feel towards individuals, we cannot change our belief to suit society. To do so is to deny the truth of the Bible we believe in. We cannot say different even if we want to because that would be a denial of our faith. We can like people who believe differently, we can agree with them on all sorts of issues, we can even socialize with them, but we cannot change what we believe even if we want to.
Believe me, I wish I could. I really do. It would be so much simpler! I just have to go with that according to my faith, and my relationship with God, I cannot change what is in the Bible to suit me.
Cake is no a good way to promote your beliefs
At least here in England it tends to come down to whether or not cake bakers will bake a cake for a gay couple.
I still do not get why the gay couples had to choose a Christian business as surely there are plenty of places who would bake them a cake. If someone refused to bake me a Christening Cake because they were a Muslim I would just have taken my business elsewhere. Life is too short to get upset about who will or will not bake you a cake. I do think issues are created for the wrong reasons. I would feel the same if a gay couple refused to bake me a cake with a scripture because it went against their consciences. I do not think any of us has a right to demand anyone goes against their conscience.
It is not right that this lady is in jail
I can see why this lady has fallen foul of the system. However we feel, how fair is it that this lady has gone to jail? She has not said she hates homosexuals, just that her own conscience forbids her to issue a licence for them to marry and there were other people who could issue those licences in good conscience.
Personally I would have resigned from any job that asked me to violate my conscience for any reason. I have refused writing assignments on that basis once i realised there was an anti Christian bias.
This lady sees things in a different light but surely she should still be allowed her conscience. She is not inciting hatred, just saying for her beliefs a course of action is wrong.
Christians get it wrong to in the way they stand up for their beliefs
Had she been part of the church that actively demonstrates against gay funerals I would have been in agreement with the judge. The thing about freedom of speech and conscience is that it has to allow people to think differently even if we feel it goes against what we see as God’s standard for people’s lives. That is the whole point of free speech, we can think and feel and believe and act according to our conscience.
Our consciences rarely tell us to go at it with placards.
Too often Christians engage in the wrong fight
Too often Christians forget that the war we fight is spiritual. We can state our beliefs and should be free to do so openly and from the pulpit. If gay rights can then so should we be able to, but campaigns are usually best conducted on our knees. We war not against the flesh, but against principalities and powers in high places so usually an earthly fight is less than effective. Placards and protests will never be as effective as prayer. Personal following of conscience backed up by prayer will always result in a blessing.
The world changes and belief and conscience does not
The trouble is that the world has changed. We may have taken jobs where no Sunday work was required and found, as a friend of mine did, that requirements change. Once it was not an issue whether to marry homosexuals or not and now it is. Many people in England wore crosses at one time. Things that were not an issue have become an issue. People seem to expect people of the Christian faith to go with their own flow while expecting others to follow and respecting their faith. Muslims can have time of work for prayer on Friday, why not Christians on Sunday? Women can wear Hijabs to work or men their turbans, why not Christians their crosses?
However, the deeper issue is that most of us can no longer say we are able to act according to conscience. I don’t like to work on Sundays, but I am unlikely to get a job if an employer demands that and I refuse. If I wear a cross at work to show my faith I may fall foul of laws that allow other religions symbols of their faith.I don’t get to choose what my Kids hear in what used to be the scripture lesson and if I want to stop my kids hearing about sex, and that it is ok for couples to have sex outside marriage I would have to turn off the television, hide the radio, teach my kids at home and even then would probably fail. I am sure some social worker somewhere would then make a case for child neglect because our world has changed that much.
It was never about one woman following her conscience and we Christians need to understand that
We must understand there are deeper principles at work. There is a spiritual war and the news this Sunday is that we are in the thick of it. It never was about a woman trying to follow her conscience, it was always about a war in the Heavens using every possible route to bring Christianity down. If one issue grows big then other issues grow smaller. The reality is there are people suffering for believing in Jesus and being killed for it out there in other countries at this very moment and our efforts are turned from one issue to the other and both need prayer.
The fact remains. If one woman had been able just to follow her conscience and others theirs, then there would have been no fuss at all.