Peace In Conflict
Read 1 Corinthians Chapter 4
1Co 4:4 My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.
I have been overly distraught over recent events in connection with the new religious freedom law in Indiana. After being way too upset over those who oppose it, I finally received some much needed relief. As I was doing my bible study recently, this passage, verse 5 specifically, jumped into my heart in a powerful way. It gave me an opportunity to step back and think about the issue with a much better perspective. Please let me share my thoughts with you.
Verse 5 says, “Judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts.” That is a powerful message! The main understanding which I received from this was that there are people on both sides of the issue who do not have the mind of God in view. Some of my own opinions weren’t completely right, and hopefully it was the Spirit who has corrected my vision. I believe that to be the case.
There will be business owners who will try to misuse any religious freedom law. There are many people who do truly hate homosexuals, and they will demonstrate that at every opportunity. Any man or woman who has hatred for gays and lesbians does not have the mind of Christ. There is no room for hatred in the heart of God’s chosen. The Christian will not be allowed to continue hating. The Holy Spirit will convict and convince of sin, and repentance will be the ultimate result.
On the other hand, there are some Godly men and women whose hearts really would condemn them if they were to provide a service at a gay wedding. Those people should not be forced to provide a service against their will. Any government agency that would do that is acting in full contradiction against God’s will. Further, any gay man or woman who would wish to force someone to provide them a service is acting against God’s will.
None of us know the heart of any particular man. We don’t know which business owners are true believers whose consciences would be hurt. We don’t know which ones harbor ungodly hatred. We do know that gay weddings are not sanctioned by God. But we also know that it would be wrong to hate the participants. Another thought: gay partners, whether wed or not, are not walking in harmony with our Lord.
Now that we are totally confused, we can take some good thoughts from verse 5. There will be a time when the hearts of man will be revealed. Our Lord will sort it all out with perfect judgment. At that time, everyone will know that His design for mankind was correct from the beginning and did not change with the “times.” His perfect plan will be vindicated, released permanently from all criticism the world has unleashed upon it. He also will reveal who had ungodly attitudes and have acted with ungodly motives. Everyone believes that their views are right, but everyone isn’t right. Some are at odds with the mind of God. Those who were mistaken will be exposed. God is eventually going to straighten this all out, and He doesn’t need my help.
Here is another thought, which comes in the form of a personal opinion. There currently exists no government that has the necessary Godly wisdom to enact laws that can correct the ills of mankind. In fact, laws more often than not make situations worse, because they are almost never in harmony with God’s word. We already have the perfect law on the books – it is written in God’s word. Nothing man can do will improve on or repeal any jot or tittle of it.
Would I perform any kind of service at a gay wedding? No. Do I hate gays? You know I don’t. And no law favoring either side would have any effect on my decision and my actions. I must obey God rather than man. Therefore, I will be chilling out on the issue from now on.
Prayer: Father, give us wisdom. We do not want to find out in the end that we were wrong. Yet, we are grieved over the evils we see openly paraded in our world today. Help us to love when love is needed, rebuke only if You direct, and do so with the same Agape love that You have for man.