Beliefnet
You Can Sit With Us

Jesse is dating a guy she met in college and wants to bring him home to meet her parents for fall break. “Mom, you are going to love Justin.” He is kind, and smart, and so cute.” “I can’t wait to meet him, Jess.” Jesse looked really happy as her mom remembers the same glimmer in her own eyes when she met Jesse’s father. “What’s he want to do for a living when he graduates?” “He is going to be an electrical engineer.” “Does he go to church?”

Jesse thought, here we go again and responded back, Not, that I know of but please don’t start with church stuff again.” “I just want to know what kind of values he holds, thats all.” Jesse’s father Sam overhears and makes his way into the kitchen where he proceeds to ask Jesse, “Does he believe in God?” “Yes, dad he believes in God!” “Whether he goes to church or not is not an issue for me.” Well, it is for me,” he says firmly. Just because Justin and I don’t believe exactly like you do, doesn’t make us bad.”

Jesse’s mom feels terrible, “Honey, we do not think you are bad.” “We just don’t want you or Justin to get hurt.” “Justin will never hurt me, mom.” Susan, thought what a naive thing to say but kept quiet. “Well, we are excited to meet Justin and we love you.” “I’m going to go change the sheet in the guest room.” Jesse looked at her mom in irritation. “Mom, we are grown adults and are going to stay in my room.” “No, you will not in this house, Sam responded. “You know that is not right, Jesse.” Susan could barely get the words out but needed to know. “Honey, are you and Justin sleeping together?” “Yes, mom we are in love,” Jesse said matter of fact.

Jesse and her parents are at a cross road in terms of how they view and tolerate things differently. Jesse would like her parents to be okay with her choices now that she is an adult. Sam, the spiritual leader in the home who has raised his family with biblical principles will not bend in terms of what the word of God says. Conflict has now ensued.

There are many different sources of truth.  We, humans tend to think we are the end all be all on truth but little do we know; we know very little. Sam’s narrative of truth is based on his understanding of what God says through His word. Jesse and many people, young and old base their truth from a cultural stance that says moral truth is found within the individual.

Biblical truth- Moral truth is grounded in the character of God; it is objective and universal. This truth is known by discovering the nature of God and His ways as revealed through scripture and within all creation. 

Cultural truth- Moral truth comes from the individual: is is subjective, situational and changing. This truth is known through choosing to believe it and through personal experience- you are the creator of your own truth.

When Jesse’s mom told her “I don’t want to see you get hurt.” What do you think she means? If they are in fact in love, then why is sex such an issue for her parents?

Let’s look at these statements for a second and let them resonate before we go on.

“No one has the right to tell me whats right or wrong for me?”

“I can’t tell you what’s right or wrong for you, you must decide that for yourself.”

“It’s wrong to impose your “morals” on someone else.”

“I have the right to do whatever I want as long as I am not hurting anyone.”

“Look, that’s your opinion.”

“Listen to your heart.”

“Only do what makes you happy.”

“That’s not what I was taught.”

“You are judging me and that is not right.”

When moral truth becomes a matter of opinion, personal preference, or the individual’s view and feelings, then practically anything goes. In a culture of tolerance where the individual decides morality, morality has no bounds.

If we truly believe that individuals get to decide what is best for them, then what do we do about the authority of the Bible? The Bible is a book that is the very foundation on which our faith and morals rest. God gave us free- will as a gift but he wants us to use that gift to honor him and his ways, not our own. The reason that God commands us to love him by following him is because it keeps us from sin ( which is harm). The word sin has gotten such a bad wrap as if it means that God and Christians are trying to restrain someone from doing something. That is a lie from the enemy. The Hebrew word for sin is to miss. ie, misbehave, misconduct.

See, God says come to me all who are burden and weary laden and I will give you rest. God does not want us living in a state of confusion, a free for all. He longs to show us how loved we are. Then we can begin to obey His teachings.

Many consider the Bible to be only one resource of many. Just think about all of the self help books out there. People view the Bible not to discover truth and bend their lives to it accordingly but to use it as just sort of a resource to help them form their own version of what’s true and false, good and evil, right and wrong.

Real love isn’t an unlimited endorsement of just any behavior a person chooses to engage in. Many of those behaviors are inherently and inevitably harmful, and to endorse, approve, and encourage them is not loving; it is cold and uncaring. If we care we won’t approve behavior that is damaging and destructive to a person’s life. Nevertheless, expressing real love doesn’t mean condemning people when they live contrary to scripture. God’s love ( real love) because God is love and love is God, exposes cultural tolerances as the counterfeit of love because cultural tolerance fails to point people to a universal standard of morality designed to save them from serious harm. Real love looks out for the best interest of others, and sometimes that means addressing destructive choices and behaviors that can cause harm to themselves and others.

God gives us clear moral commands and boundaries in his word. Now, some people do not know this because their parents did not teach them or perhaps even know themselves. However, once we do know, then we now know truth. At first we think that God’s moral commands are restrictive and negative but they are actually freeing and positive. God did not concoct a set of rules just to be a buzz/joy kill or to throw his weight around. He gave us rules because he loves us and wants the best for us. How can we ever question our creator on this topic? It just shows how prideful and arrogant we really are when we do.

I was, for sure and still am but now that I know God’s goodness, I go to him for direction and to help work out the harmful stuff in my life for He is gently and firm with me.

Real love makes everything right!  This is the character of God and what he wants to teach His children. The predominant quality of God’s love is that it is other focused; sacrificing for the good of others.

When we turn to our own understanding and what we think works best, we are not necessarily living from a place of sacrificing for the good of others. This is why we have so much destruction going on in our world.

Joyful are people of integrity ( Hebrew meaning is completeness, wholeness) who follow the instructions of the Lord. Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts- Psalm 119

Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found-Psalm 119

My child, listens to what I say, and treasure my commands. Tune your eyes to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will find the right way to go. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy. Wise choices will watch over you and understanding will keep you safe- Proverbs.

The Lord your God requires you to Fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the Lord’s commandments and His statues which I am commanding you today for your good. 

The Beauty of Intolerance- Josh/Sean McDowell.

 

xo

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