Bursting onto the season of “peace of earth, goodwill toward men” comes a new conflict bent to destroy the emotion of that peaceful scene. Were there even any ducks in the manger?
What about you? How can we respond to this new debate in a way that represents the spirit of the Savior during this of all seasons? Several observations from my perspective:
First, I am amazed at the level of biblical illiteracy revealed in this debate. Over and over, in print and image, the words of scripture are dismissed as only the homophobic opinion of Phil Robertson. One newspaper article attributed the reference to the Old Testament. If you teach or lead any kind of bible study, be affirmed that you are making a most significant contribution to our culture.
Secondly, this partial quote from a blog from the Gospel Coalition warns me, “The world murdered Christ to shut him up. It should not surprise us that the world would want to silence one of his followers. Yet as Christ was reviled he did not lash out. Jesus loved self-righteously rich rulers, helpless beggars, legalistic lawyers, crooked tax collectors, adulterous prostitutes, loud-mouthed insurgents, and traitorous thieves. He looked on them with compassion, as helpless sheep without a shepherd. Shepherdless sheep don't need armies of Christians bombing them over censorship in a fallen world. They need our love to be bigger. Our light to be brighter. Our words to be gentler. Our ways to be kinder.”
Thirdly, I am reminded how much I need God to set a watch over my lips. In conflicts like these emotions run high and I am tempted to speak before thinking of the impact my words may have on others. Indeed, what would Jesus do? What would Jesus say?
Fourth, let’s be prayerful that these discussions will provide a context for conversations about the problem of sin in all forms and thus the need for a savior. Christmas is God bringing the ultimate good news, “Unto us is born this day in the City of David, a Savior who is Christ, the Lord.” We need Him. So do those shepherdless sheep that He loves. Merry Christmas!