There have been a lot of things going on in the news lately as well as in daily conversation, social media and generally on a lot of people’s minds, it seems. I’m sure my observations and comments won’t be exhaustive, but I have been involved with reading, hearing, discussing, watching and considering many of these “social issues” in everyday life. If you have different thoughts, I’d love to hear about them.
The purpose of this post isn’t to completely hash out the social issues in the news, including abortion, homosexuality/transgenderism, immigration, gun control, welfare and well, I’m sure you get the picture. If I feel it’s necessary in the future, perhaps if it’s requested, or depending on where the news (social, mainstream or otherwise) may go, some individual topics may be adressed in the future. In considering these issues, whether in discussion or news reporting, of course everyone has an opinion. The more important consideration is in all aspects is the “final say,” if you will.
Since everyone has an opinion on these issues, are there any absolutes to be considered? Is every opinion valid or is there a truth to be known in all the jumble? As many may say we either “need to keep ‘religion’ out of the discussion.” Or, “religion defines or at least guides the answers.” I would submit that “religion” is sometimes a part of the problem if “religion” is simply to be defined as a “belief system.” For some people who are passionately involved in the discussion, or interested observers with strong opinions, “religion” may be a big part of the discussion, but I would contend they are missing the forest for the trees.
I will contend that God and His word are the ultimate and absolute authority and He will have the “final say” in these issues. I also will contend that anyone who uses God’s Word, the Bible as their foundation and absolute authority when discussing these issues is right. Unfortunately, I’ve experienced “Christians” who have strong opinions about this one way or the other, who don’t seem to even consider what the Bible has to say. The other aspect of this is that some will attempt to use what they THINK scripture SEEMS to say to support their strong opinions one way or the other.
I’m not exactly sure what happens, but in many cases to me it seems that “Christians” use some kind of a digital search tool to find a verse of scripture which seems to support their preconceived ideas regarding some issue. They find what they think supports their position, but don’t take the care or the time to read the surrounding verses or similar passages of scripture to get the context. Then when anyone counters their position with proper biblical exposition, the true student of scripture is called all sorts of names or derided as being “hateful, judgemental, narrow-minded” or worse.
Some of the people involved in these heated discussons are everyday people but some are well-known in some way. Ministry, politics, business and such. I get the popularity game often played by businessmen and especially politicians (where have all the ‘statesmen’ gone?), but it’s the ‘ministry leaders’ that are especially troubling to me. I don’t get how some appear to feel the need to be popular to be able to get the message out. The true message of the Bible is that Jesus Christ came in to the world to save sinners, as the Apostle Paul stated in 1 Timothy 2:15. A huge part of that message is that sin separates people from God and left to itself the separation will be eternal (Hebrews 9:27).
Regardless of whether the person discussing the issue is an ‘everyday’ Christian or some well-known ministry leader, can we just get back to the sufficiency, inerrency and infallibility of scripture? God’s word cannot contradict itself and remain valid. God does not and will not contradict himself. Essentially, he said what he meant and meant what he said. Your thoughts and feelings hold no weight against the very word of the Creator of the Universe. When disagreements come, attempting to argue feelings or out of context verses of scripture as your proof-text simply won’t work. In that vein, the ‘arguments’ are not with me, but with God and His word.
So, considering the thought of the title, “I” am not saying anything that God has not already said. While I don’t always say it perfectly, God does. I do try to explain my position as standing on God’s word as patiently, carefully and lovingly as possible, but there are times when I certainly don’t do it as well as I could or should. I do try to employ the spirit of Colossians 4:6 in these discussions to the best of my ability by the grace and power of God’s indwelling Holy Spirit. (“Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. ~ Colossians 4:6)
The bottom line is that God is who he said he is and what he said will stand forever. Overall, the answer is only found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Once that’s settled, the continuing effort should be to know and understand His word by regular, continuous and diligent study (2 Timothy 2:15). The follow-up to that is consistent obedience and then boldly standing firm on His word, regardless of the opinions or actions of a sinful world.