It doesn’t matter what I think

One of the responses I got to my recent post was from a fellow Christian on Google+, who was interested to know why I think God says no to homosexual sex even in the context of a lifelong relationship.

I didn’t attempt to answer it there, and I’m not going to attempt to answer it here. This question is not a new one, I’m sure plenty of words have already been spilled onto the screen in discussing the different points of view on this issue, so I don’t see much point in me going in depth into what plenty of people have already said. I don’t feel I have anything new to say, anything of unique value to bring into this ongoing debate.

And what I think doesn’t really matter.

In the context of what is or isn’t okay in God’s eyes, it doesn’t matter what I think or what your parents think or your friends or your pastor or your rabbi or your mentor or whoever – what matters is what God thinks, because it’s to him we will each have to give account on the day of judgement.

I remember years ago, when I had gone away on retreat and I was wrestling with a different issue also to do with human sexuality, and I had a chat with this very wise lady who was one of the people in charge at the retreat house. I asked her what she reckons God thinks about sex. Thankfully, she had the wisdom not to answer me but instead, to point me in the right direction so that I could figure it out for myself – she sent me away to read Scripture and to keep my mind open to what God might show me. I had come into a relationship with God but still had lots of preconceptions from before – I needed to put those to the side and let God be God in this area too.

She could have sat there and told me what she had learned over the years, she had been a lecturer at a theological college so no doubt she could have easily lectured me… and I respected her, so I would probably have taken her words seriously. But what would I have done when I faced the next challenge or temptation? Could I have stood up to it just on the basis of “Maggie said…”? No, in order to be able to make tough choices and resist appealing stuff that the world around me says is okay, I needed much stronger weapons than that. I needed to know that it’s not just Maggie who says that, I needed to know that it’s God who showed me that this is how he sees things.

Of course none of us can have 101% certainty that we hear God right and understand him perfectly. Of course there is room for error. I trust God will deal graciously with my errors. And I know that the sacrifice of Jesus atones for all my sins.

But it troubles me sometimes that we get focused on what some human being says (not that this is what was going on when this guy asked me that question – it’s just where my rambling thoughts took me from there) instead of what God says.

I was going to say: obviously this is relevant only to people who believe in God. But then I thought: no, it isn’t. Non-believers also sometimes get into the “how dare Christians say it’s not okay to do X” when actually it’s not about us saying it, we’re just passing on what [we believe] God says. But it troubles me more when I see Christians talk like that, putting human beings on a pedestal, letting someone else do the thinking and praying and then passively accepting that person’s pronouncements. Of course that’s reasonable if you’re, say, three years old. But I was talking once with a lady in her forties who has been a Christian for over 20 years and when we got onto the subject of whether or not it’s okay to marry someone who has been divorced, I was stunned to find that her concern was about going with what her parents think and she seemed totally uninterested in getting into what Jesus actually meant by what he said about it.

If you’re a born again Christian then you have direct access to God, you can talk to him and ask him to help you understand things, you don’t have to rely on other people to spoon-feed you. (And if you haven’t put your faith in Jesus for your salvation, then I’m sorry to say this but I believe you will be in trouble on the day of judgement no matter what you do or don’t do in bed. And again – this isn’t about what I say but about what [I believe] God says. It’s not me who gets to decide about these issues. Personally, if it was up to me to decide who goes to heaven and who doesn’t – well, obviously I’d want all my friends and my family there, and my nice neighbours but not that really annoying one… but guess what, if that really annoying one has put her faith in Jesus, she’s in. It’s not about how nice you are or how many old ladies you help across the road.)

Okay, this was a very meandering kind of rambling post – starting from a question put to me which I’m not answering and ending with faith in Jesus being the only way to salvation, but my main point was this: don’t get too focused on what a human being says, check things out for yourself. You will, one day, stand before God and have to give account for the way you lived your life – before God, not before your friends or your pastor or your parents or your favourite blogger or whoever. Don’t worry about what any of us think, worry about what God thinks. He’s the guy in charge.

7 thoughts on “It doesn’t matter what I think

  1. With all due respect, Meirav, it can be iffy and tricky to get an answer directly from “Scripture”. Your answer might depend on what you would read and how you would interpret. Our sages often disagree. Entire religions are started only on different interpretations. So, to get God’s true intent directly from Scripture, well…
    I would rather you depend on a trusted person.

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    • First, I’m not saying we have to get all the answers to everything directly from Scripture – God has all sorts of ways of communicating. But once a person puts his/her faith in Jesus and is born again of Ruach HaKodesh, the Spirit of God, we then have God’s Spirit living in us and helping us to understand what we read when we’re reading Scripture.

      Certainly, consulting other people can be part of the process – people I have a reason to respect as those who are spiritually wise. But when you say you’d rather depend on a trusted person – is there any human being you can totally trust 100% to always get it right? No human being is infallible. And when I stand before God on the day of judgement, it won’t help much to say “so-and-so told me it’s okay to do X” – not if God’s own Word says it’s not okay to do X.

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    • p.s. I feel I should clarify that this post was *not* about how to hear God – my point here was as expressed in this paragraph:
      “In the context of what is or isn’t okay in God’s eyes, it doesn’t matter what I think or what your parents think or your friends or your pastor or your rabbi or your mentor or whoever – what matters is what God thinks, because it’s to him we will each have to give account on the day of judgement.”
      This isn’t a post about how to hear God, it’s about the fact that God is the one in charge and what he says goes.

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  2. yup, yup. Amen. It matters what God thinks.

    I have read, but haven’t answered this or the related posts – because it’s personally painful for me to think about… my former best friend married my hubby’s brother, moved 2000 miles away, we drifted apart as we had children, and 20 years later she came out of the closet (to the surprise of all of us!) and divorced her hubby and is now walking into a relationship with a woman…

    And our conversations go nowhere and she’s convinced that I dislike her because I disagree with her choices…. it hurts to talk to her. Hurts to pray. Hurts to even think about. She’s sad that I’m not as tolerant as she hoped… and I’m to the point where I don’t know how long I can stay in a conversation where neither of us can (or wants to) really grasp the other point of view. I love her but I’m going to need a lot more wisdom from God to know what more (if anything) I can say to her.

    I think she wants to convince me that her choices are right, because it will help her convince herself…. though of course she wouldn’t say that. And, sadly, I suspect the same holds true for me… I desperately want her to agree with ME, for my sake. But that doesn’t matter…. God’s truth matters and we all give account to him. It’s good to remember that – thank you.

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    • thank you for sharing this. I think it is very very hard to deal with these situations, there are times when people just can’t accept the “I disagree with you but I still love you as a friend” option, insisting that you must accept their choices, otherwise they feel you’re not accepting them.

      Ironically, it was as a result of this very post that I lost someone’s friendship – not a deep and close friendship but still it was a loss, and it was because I mentioned in passing that I believe gay sex is a sin, and as far as he’s concerned if I believe that, it makes me the enemy :(

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