By Gerald V. Paul
“Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear them or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”
Those are the wise words of Rev. Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, which has sold 30 million copies worldwide.
Elsewhere comes the headline, ‘Bishop T.D. Jakes addresses Supreme Court gay marriage decision’ – “We shouldn’t lose our minds over the world being the world. God is still in control.”
The international bestselling author of several seminal works and pastor of megachurch The Potter’s House with 30,000 members, said he’s more concerned with issues of religious freedom than same-sex marriage.
“I’m really not as concerned about it. This is not a news flash.
According to Jakes, also a film producer, the world is “gonna be the world and the Church is gonna be the Church, and you have to understand the difference.”
He noted the U.S. Supreme Court, as a worldly institution, has the job to uphold the rights of all Americans. “But I must warn you, God does not judge you by the Constitution. He judges you by the Word of God.
“The Supreme Court is there to make a decision based on constitutional rights and legalities that fit all Americans. They are not debating Scripture.”
However, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee continued to lead the Republican charge against the Supreme Court legalization of same-sex marriage, predicting civil disobedience.
“They either are going to follow God, their conscience and what they truly believe is what the Scripture teaches them, or they will follow civil law,” Huckabee said.
He reflected on Abraham Lincoln who won the Civil War and ended slavery in the U.S. and chose to disregard the court’s ruling. “They will go the path of Dr. Martin Luther King , Jr. who in his brilliant essay The letters from a Birmingham Jail reminded us, based on what St. Augustine said, that an unjust law is no law at all.”
Huckabee added “And I do think that we’re going to see a lot of pastors who will have to make this tough decision.”
But Jakes is not one of those pastors. He stressed that America has a lot of Christians but the country is governed as a democracy and not by theocratic principles.
He added, “But what we do need to watch is that our religious freedom is also respected and protected so that we don’t have to get caught up in the winds of the world and go the way the world is going. So we need to watch that as we grapple with an ever-changing society and our society is becoming more and more pluralistic.”
Jakes exhorted his congregants “Jesus said go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every living creature. So we need to change as a church, too. We need to start reaching out to all types of people and preaching to them and ministering to them and sharing our faith with them.
“I mean in the mall, I mean in the grocery store, I mean while you’re getting your hair done. It’s time for you to be a real Christian.
Eyes would like to add: “Be a follower of Christ with a relationship.”
Meanwhile, Muslim charities are helping to raise money for burned Black churches in the U.S. Eight Black churches have been burned since the Charleston shootings and Muslim charities succeeded in their goal to raise $20,000 in less than three days to help rebuild them.
Elsewhere, “End Times” broadcaster Rick Wiles renounced his American citizenship because of the marriage ruling while some Christians called for the Christian flag to top the American flag. O, what rascality.
By the way, methinks Nelson Mandela had it right: “To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
One love, America. Easy does it with that, navel morality gazing. Lord, have mercy. Prayers.