“She is the Jesus freak.” a boy said from behind me, knocking me in the head with a closed fist.
My eyes smarted. I tried to change seats, but the bus driver threatened to write me up if I moved.
“Why do you raise your hands in church, dork,” a girl laughed in my face.
They witnessed my worship at my church because our services aired on a local television station. I sang and raised my hands, praising the Lord, not thinking about the cameras. I never dreamed the bullies would torment me. I felt tears threatening to spill over.
Drawing closer to Jesus leads to persecution and costs something. Others have given their lives for Him. I endured shaming from school bullies, but Jesus sat next to me on the bus. His love flooded my heart. It is only later that I connected the shame and ugliness to the long walk Jesus traversed to Calvary. He knew my pain and hurt.
Just as He knows the pain of Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, jailed for her conviction that gay marriage is a sin. No matter where you stand on the issue, no one should go to jail for religious beliefs in the United States of America. She should be released today. I think there is room for compromise, and legislators need to pass laws protecting those who disagree with gay marriage on religious grounds.
I admire her conviction that just because it is law, it does not mean that gay marriage is moral. I also empathize with her because Satan throws my past in my face everyday just as the media is doing to her. Before she became a Christian, she made mistakes in choosing men and married three times. I was a Christian and married two men whom I later divorced because one deserted me and the other abused me. Regardless, I sinned because I did not wait on the Lord and married these men despite warning from my parents. Jesus forgave me for my mistakes; however, just as he has forgiven her.
Gay marriage is now a right in the United States, and I may disagree with it on moral grounds, but I respect the law. I personally feel that if clerks issue licenses that they are not sinning. They are following the law of the land which God commands us to do in the Bible. This is just my opinion, however. We each have to follow our own convictions as the Spirit directs us. Other Christians have opened their hearts to the issue of gay marriage and believe that Christ allows it.
I respond in love. In my heart, I believe gay marriage and homosexuality are wrong according to the Bible. I pray that Jesus’s will prevails on this issue. I also know that according to some interpretations of the Bible, slavery is legal and women are instructed to wear their hair up and not wear gold and lavish apparel. The Bible is clear, however, that God hates divorce, lying, stealing, cheating, and pride. Eating too much is a sin. According to James, Jesus considers all sin equal, and we all deserve hell as a result of our sins.
Jesus tells us to love others as He does. He loves gay people and wants them to come to Him. In the end, what is more immoral and more dangerous? Gay and lesbians sharing multiple partners or settling down into a loving, hopefully, life-time commitment.
At the same time, He tells us to go and sin no more. The Bible is clear that gay and lesbian behavior is sin; however, to hurt or kill someone because of their gender or sexual preference is equally sinful.
In the end, I understand the pain of facing prejudice when I did not deserve it. I understand how it feels when someone treats me cruelly because of my beliefs. Gay or straight, I don’t want that happening to anyone. I don’t want gay people treated with hatred; however, it is just as wrong to jail Christians because of their religious convictions and their love for Christ.
We can answer this current situation with love. Allow clerks who believe that issuing marriage licenses to gays is wrong according to their convictions to step aside when they come in and have someone else sign the license: a judge or another clerk who feels as I do that even though I disagree with the law : it is the law of the land. I will respond in love and honor Christ by following His Word and respecting authority. At the same time, I will continue to pray for gay and lesbians that they find the Truth for their lives that align with God’s Word, the Bible.
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