They’re knocking at my door. Standing on the doorstep, rapping and tapping at first from outside…in the world around me. Lately they come banging with wadded fist on the entry to my own house.
“Little pig, little pig, let me in”
I stand on the other side of the division separating me from the huffing and puffing…standing and wondering which house I’m living in.
The culture wars are blowing on my house.
I find myself in the midst of my own home, that I know is built on solid ground, but I wonder what I’m made of. Am I straw? Am I sticks? Am I bricks? What kind of house do I live in when I know that the cornerstone of it all is Jesus.
A prominent evangelical church on the east coast made a decision that kicks a big rock into the culture wars on marriage and the gender/sexuality questions that rage around us. And I find myself wondering where I fall.
A writer and speaker I respect and personally know wrote a post last year on these culture wars and on where she stands in them, and I shared it around the interwebs because I agree. I agree on the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. But the truth is that other than a few heres and theres in my life, I haven’t had much actual skin in this game.
But now I do.
And when friendships and marriages are wrecked with questions on sexuality, and they happen in my house…inside my inner circles…and I watch a battle raging after a soul torn between decisions and questions of identity, I find myself aching all over. Grieving and longing for heaven to come and Jesus to make sense of all the struggle in this world.
If I say that I think it’s pursuit of sin, an intentional turning away from statutes of God to live the way he…or she… or you… may think you’re created, then the world says that I’m a bigot and a hater.
But all I can think of too is that for all of us who follow Jesus, we are all called to a dying to self anyway. I die to myself in so many ways over and over again.
But when I say that I love my friend in the midst of the struggle, despite the rage I feel about the infidelities and hurtful choices made that impact family, friends, and life all around, somehow there are people who will tell me that I’m condoning wrongdoing and pardoning sin. And I still find myself with a knife to my throat.
I know what I believe to be true…but I also know that life hands us all struggles that tear at our identity…that huff and puff and threaten to blow the house down around us.
Grace covers all, but a pursuit of holiness is pleasing and honoring to the Lord. The same Lord who died to cover my struggles and poor choices and indiscretions asks me to pursue a holiness that cannot be achieved in my own strength.
And in a zillion ways I know that I crap on that holy pursuit my own flesh too. The skin in this game isn’t just about who we choose to love, it’s about the flesh that we all walk around in.
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” – Gal. 5:16-17
I love so big and wide and deep my sisters and brothers who are caught in the middle feeling unloved, shunned, or rejected by some and misunderstood by others. I see other brothers and sisters standing on either side… pulling the arms of those in the middle in opposite directions. And all I can think is that Jesus hung there, arms outstretched, reaching to either side of himself saying, “this is my body broken for you…do this to remember me.” And in a final groan exhaled, “Father, forgive them.”
And I see bodies breaking all over. And I see The Body tearing itself apart too.
Father, forgive us.
Noone wins this war. And my house is built on the rock… which says love enormously…and pursue holiness…and I’m just trying to figure out what that means that I’m made of.
Straw? Sticks? Bricks?
I know I’m not alone.