Thursday, June 12, 2008

Do Christians sell the faith short? Part 3: Sexual integrity and abortion

In my school days, I noticed something disturbing about the Christians I knew -- even myself. Now, I knew a lot of people on different sides of the major social issues. Back then (as now), Christians were taking fairly harsh criticism from certain camps for being pro-life and for insisting that sex was reserved for marriage. "Should a woman be punished the rest of her life for a single mistake?" people asked about abortion. "If we're living together, that doesn't hurt anybody; you all should mind your own business!", couples would say. The Christians often seemed embarrassed and defensive.

The more I thought about it, the more I wondered why in the world Christians should be embarrassed. Any faith that can stand up and say without shame that human life is sacred -- and that children are a blessing rather than a punishment -- this is a faith which has reason to hold its head high. Christianity can say to the over-eager couple: "Who gets hurt? You do. You involve your hearts and lives and sign a lease contract on the basis of a hormone-based relationship, and the one who gets hurt when it falls apart is you." But the Christians are often embarrassed. We were not standing up and saying, "Marriage is to save you from being that broken-hearted -- from being over-involved with someone who wasn't right for you. Why would you want to be that involved with someone if you don't know if you're right together? How many years before you're cynical? How long before you stop trusting? How many things will you do that you wish you could take back?"

Instead, we Christians often show little appreciation for the strength of our own position. What we call "morality" is God's way of creating a livable world and a life we're glad to have. "Morality" says our sexuality is meaningful, that children are worthwhile, that the burdens are outweighed by the blessings. Too often, we Christians cower in the corner.

In this light, I think I will always remember two particular days: one day in high school when a friend of mine asked me for an opinion on whether she should go all the way with her boyfriend; I "didn't want to offend her" so I "let her make her own decision" -- I sat on the fence. And another day a good few years later, after the same friend was cynical and broken-hearted and had had two abortions, and she reminded me about that day when she had asked whether I thought she and her boyfriend should go for it. She told me: she had been hoping I would talk her out of it.

I hope I never again forget that there is a human price tag to being unwilling to be unpopular or to be called names. I hope I never again forget that the point of morality is that God is trying to bless us with better lives.


Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Amen,amen, and amen.

Whatever God asks of us, is for the purpose of blessing us. (It's not as though HE needed anything from us!)

All very well and courageously said. Thank you.

Karla said...

We often get attacked for being moralist. However, the world is in pain because they forsake doing things God's way. I think the key though is that all we do and say must be done in love. Some people have honestly never heard the real Christian perspective on these issues and why we believe it and if we can share it in love we can bring life to the person. If we share the same truth in condemnation we can bring death and turn them away from Christ. We must always speak out of our relationship with Jesus and not out of religion and laws. It makes all the difference.

Weekend Fisher said...

I think the part that disturbs me most is not that most non-Christians have honestly never heard the real Christian perspective on these issues and why we believe it ... it's that most Christians have honestly never heard the real Christian perspective on these issues, as far as I can tell -- I number myself among those who, at the age of 20 or so, had never had any in-church instruction on those things. If I didn't do a lot of reading, I wonder if I'd still be waiting, y'know ...

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF

Amillennialist said...

The "love" mentioned above is often misrepresented as moral relativism.

Jesus said that the world hates Him because He tells the world that what it's doing is wrong.

If we are doing our job, it will hate us too. Look at John the Baptist or Stephen.

Look at the way our Lord, John, and Stephen (and Paul!) spoke to the unrepentant.

They would be intolerant bullies by today's standards.

God is gentle with the sinner who confesses his sins; with the unrepentant He is more direct.

Anne, I hope you'll check out my 'blog and leave a comment.

Keep up the good work,


Craig said...

Great post, Anne! Thanks for the reminder!!