To start – a whistle-stop tour of my last few posts.
Prompted by an item in the news, I started off by asking: Am I free to disagree?
I (and I imagine I am not alone) find myself living in a world that seems to have taken various God-given; fundamental to human society; beautiful and good elements of human life and redesigned them in a way that is deeply troubling to me. For a start, I am troubled by the very fact that ‘society’ has given itself the authority to do this – a fact which is symptomatic of a much bigger attitude problem! But there are also the consequences of the redesign itself to be faced up to – some of which may be discovered and understood only by future generations.
One impact that is apparent in the here and now, however, is the impact on our freedom to live in a way that is faithful to God’s word. Hence my post – Are we free to disagree?
While recognising our need for humility, love and a readiness to confess our many failings in this area, I encouraged us to be bold in continuing to vocalise our beliefs in this area with gentleness, grace and wisdom. To defend the right that society claims to offer all without discrimination to disagree and to celebrate the existence of an alternative viewpoint.
We then came to look at the huge role our emotions play in how we react when faced with a question regarding the morality or acceptability of a situation. What might come across – even to ourselves – as a rational, intellectual position is often a lot more intuitive then we would imagine. Taking a look behind the scenes at these intuitive, gut based responses we saw that they were largely determined by our position on a spectrum of differing key concerns and questions about the situation at hand.
We met a hypothetical grandmother who seemed to have done a u-turn in terms of what she believed to be right and wrong – until her original feelings about homosexuality were exposed to be just that – feelings. When feelings much more important to her were aroused it was entirely natural that she should eventually respond to the idea of a homosexual relationship quite differently.
So what difference does it make? Well – it has been a revealing journey!
In my travels I have been confronted with my own emotional blind spots and have become much more aware of the dynamics that are actually going on around me – both personally, within individuals in my life and within society as a whole.
As to where we go from here…
Step 1: finish reading ‘A Better Story’. I’m nearly there and I am both sobered and motivated by its conclusions. One of the book’s objectives was to answer the questions:
1. Did the sexual revolution deliver on its promises? (Abundant, wonderful sex, great relationships, personal fulfilment and happiness to name but a few!)
2. What impact has it had on our lives more generally?
In very basic terms the answers are in the first instance: No; and in the second: very damaging particularly to the most vulnerable – our children.
As I say – sobering; but also highly motivating.
What an incentive to press on advocating and modelling life to the full as designed and given to us by our loving maker. It turns out that we are not old-fashioned fuddy-duddies trying to spoil everyone’s fun and make people feel terrible! Of course you probably already suspected that – but when you are portrayed a certain way again and again the doubts can so easily creep in.
The world needs a better story and we know the very best story ever – the only one with a real-life happily ever after. Let’s press on with sharing it.
and most important of all….
I want us to finish up where I ended my first post.
We must keep the main thing the main thing.
Our job is not to force either our nation, or the individuals in our lives into submission to God’s rules about sex.
Our job is to offer Jesus to all who we meet. To live lives that render people unable to do anything but ask: “What is the reason for the hope you have?” and to be ready to take them to Jesus when they do.