Wedding Supper of the LambI wrote last week about the working definitions of pride and love as they relate to getting beyond the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees. Coincidentally, a debate reignited when North Carolina passed a ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions, which provides a handy scenario in which to apply and practice last week’s subject.

Whenever I struggle with complex issues like this, I can only go back to the basics: Love God with all my heart, mind, strength, and soul; and love my neighbor as myself. No command is more important than these—according to Jesus, anyway.

If God had singled out sexual immorality as the greatest sin, and homosexuality as the worst possible sexual immorality, we’d have a different situation. But God spoke at least as much against violence, for example, or defrauding one’s neighbor as He did about same-sex issues.

Think, Consider, and Ask

Therefore, when deciding where I stand, I consider what’s most important to God. I also contemplate how I’d feel if I couldn’t marry who I’m in love with—say, a violent person or one who embezzles from his company. With my mind and heart willing to consider compassion, I ask myself some questions and invite God to join me in my thoughts.

Does one type of sin disqualify people for marriage while others don’t? What about my own sins; and which ones? If I’m not following the top two commands, does that sin disqualify me from heterosexual marriage? I think most Christians would say No. (more…)

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The four forces on an aircraft: lift, weight, drag and thrust. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Aerodynamics 101 says that when thrust overcomes drag, and lift overcomes weight, even a brick will fly. So it is with spiritual dynamics, as measurable as any physical science.

“Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isa. 40:31) New life is about joy in the midst of sadness, confidence in the midst of chaos, soaring in the midst of difficulty.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Rom. 12:2)

This is the beginning of repentance, the turning point where spiritual thrust and lift begin to overcome drag and weight to transform, or re-form, the entire person (soul). I wish I had known this decades ago! I’ll assume that others would like to know, too.

Re-Think

Let’s start with a good definition of faith/belief and see how that relates to body and behavior. Faith is more than acceptance or awareness; it’s confidence, certainty, even of things we don’t see with physical eyes. That’s because vision is rooted in ideas and images. This becomes action because faith always acts—good or bad—as if something were true. To put faith in Jesus means to put confidence in his ability, availability, and willingness to show us the Way to life.

Faith and belief are thus born in the mind/thought/emotion soul-ring of personhood. “Faith comes by hearing,” and, in modern times, by reading as well. The door that Christ knocks upon is the door of the mind, which we open to him. The mind’s eye catches his vision of life in the kingdom of heaven among us, for without that vision, no one can repent. (more…)