WITH around eighty percent of eligible Australians having taken part in the SSM postal survey, it’s clear that most consider it an important issue. So significant, in fact, that it almost appears that the bell curve of views is inverted – everyone believes passionately at either side, fewer remaining middle of the road than ever. It can make for social war.
The result, therefore, polarised many of us. Many were elated and many, though fewer in number, were exasperated. Both the elated and the exasperated have the opportunity to conform back to the thinking of Christ.
Jesus challenged almost everyone he ever engaged with. Some were challenged for their encouragement. Others were rebuked, given cause for reflection. Others again received God’s wrath for the audacity they showed in abusing the powerless (i.e. chief priests and scribes). Few people are well at ease with the historical Jesus, except the powerless or those for whom life had crushed, who were also humbly ready to be nearer to God.
God does not change. Jesus does not change. He is the same yesterday, today, forever (Hebrews 13:8). His nature is how the Holy Spirit works. We stray off-line a tenth of a degree and the still, small, silent voice of the Lord counsels us back to the true and ancient path (Jeremiah 6:16).
I’m not entirely sure what Jesus would say. I’m not sure others can identify with precision what the Lord would say either. But I’m sure he would have many things to say – all truth-filled, balanced, wise, and challenges for us all to mull over. As we read the gospels, he was actually amazingly unpredictable in what he said, when he said it, and to whom he said what he said. Sure, we can say what he said makes so much sense, but wisdom is always logical from hindsight.
Simply posing this question helps us Christians check ourselves, before we respond – in the tradition of Psalm 139:23-24. In such a case, we might be counselled by the Holy Spirit to do what is always blessed and resist what is only occasionally blessed and at other times harmful.
Acting justly, being kind, and walking humbly –
these are always right.
It is good to ask unanswerable questions. They get us to stop and reflect into the mystery of life, which is God. And where we arrive at isn’t a set viewpoint, but acceptance for what is. That is God’s blessing for us, today and every day. It is great to know that we don’t know.
A safe position we as individuals can arrive at on complex matters like SSM is:
· acknowledge it’s complex, and that none of us owns every corner of truth on this issue or any other issue;
· understand our role is to act justly, be kind to others, and walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8), which means:
o we bear one another, our differences and inclinations, in mind, with respect;
o we watch what we do or say to avoid hurt and augment healing;
o acknowledge our opinions are just that – filtered through our limited way of seeing things;
o and, by doing these things, we hope to glorify God, which is our chief aim.
It’s good to avoid certain subjects socially so we can simply focus on being present with people. And if we really need to process the issues, it’s good to go to someone who will lead us to relief; someone who will listen, validate what we feel, but not fuel the fire.
We do not have to have something to say on every issue.
When everyone is respected, no matter their opinion or the strength of their view, everyone is loved.