Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Matter of the Heart

This morning I heard a sermon that turned out to be a good explanation of how I feel about three important issues that cause great divisiveness in our nation: marriage, homosexuality, and abortion. Actually, the pastor was talking about divorce, but he touched on the “sanctity of marriage” and same-sex marriage. I generalized his words to include abortion. I happened to be a visitor at his church this morning.

Here’s what he said:

  • The Bible tells us to “Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." That means we should obey our government’s laws.
  • We have separation of church and state.
  • The government cannot “sanctify” marriage. “Sanctify” means to set apart to be holy; only God through the church can do that. No law can do it.
  • Slightly more church-goers than non-church-goers get divorces. There is an obvious problem here.
  • The problem is the human heart. As Jeremiah wrote: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”
  • What we have to do is study scripture and pray and try to change one heart at a time. Only changing hearts will heal our land. Being legalistic and warlike won’t do it.

I have to agree with him.

Large numbers of Christians are almost waging war over these issues. My feelings about those things—and giving voice to those feelings—has brought pressure on me to conform during this Presidential campaign. I’ve had some trouble explaining adequately to my Christian folk who see differently. It's true that I’ve been a bit wishy-washy and unable to get a handle on things; however, I’ve been uncomfortable with the McCain-Palin (especially Palin) aggressive bashing of people who don’t agree. Also, I am uncomfortable with the Obama-Biden views of abortion.

Now I can put it into words, thanks to this morning’s pastor.

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