Thursday, February 09, 2017

When freedom is not freedom

I haven't blogged in, let me see.... WOW I just checked and it's been over a year. How did that happen? I guess just keeping up with the 25 Motif Challenge doesn't leave me a lot of blogging time. That doesn't mean I don't have a lot to say, it's just not about tatting. I have done some tatting, like 8 bookmarks, sorry they're already gone, so no pics. 4 hanky edgings done and waiting to be mailed. I still have another to do. I did get a couple of snowflakes designed, and sent out a repeat of the snowflake I designed last year in the Christmas cards. See I have been tatting, just not much.

Instead I've been reading a lot and studying a lot. No, not for school, just for information. A lot of things have gotten me riled up in the last year, but this didn't seem like the place to vent. On the other hand, it is my blog and why shouldn't I vent here. I did vent once, but in retrospect, I decided no one needed to suffer through my anger and I removed it.

Anyway, I've decided that I am going to vent here, after all.  You've been warned, I'm venting and what I have to say will probably offend some people. That's OK. People responding to me in comments is OK too. I'm trying to be thoughtful and I'm not trying to be offensive, I'm just saying at the outset that I might be, and I'm willing to have a respectful dialogue with anyone who wants to talk. That said, this is the first of several posts I plan to make.

I was born Canadian. So were my parents. This is my home. I used to think I lived in a free country, where I was free to live my life, express my opinions, worship as I chose and do all of those other things that were taken for granted in a "free" country.

Now, by being free, I don't mean that I want to impose my thoughts, opinions and religion on anyone else. Other people are "free" to disagree with me, as long as they don't want to impose their thoughts, opinions and religion on me. See that's what it's like to be free. I'm free. You're free. I don't hurt you. You don't hurt me.

That's a Biblical principle by the way. It's found in Matthew 22:37-39 - Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. It's repeated  in Mark 12:29-31, and again in Luke 10:27. If you are familiar with the story of the Good Samaritan, and most people are, the Samaritan took care of an injured stranger, binding up his wounds and paying for his upkeep while he was ill. Jesus used that story to demonstrate that all people, even strangers are our neighbours.

Increasingly, I don't live in a free country. I'm not free to express my opinion or practise my religion. Fifty years ago, a man having sex with another man was called a sodomite which is an ugly word and people practising such acts often preferred the prettier word homosexual, although since the 70s they have embraced the even happier word, "gay".

I don't really care what anyone does in their own bedroom, I'm not there to see it, nor do I want to. Procreation doesn't happen between same sex couples. The tradition, since the time of Adam and Eve was one man and one woman, having children, forming a family unit, preserving humanity and forming the basis for a stable society. I don't even want to get into a discussion of whether same sex couples can bring up children as well as heterosexual couples. I'm neither interested in the topic, nor qualified to discuss it. What I am saying, is that the norm has been a heterosexual society for centuries. Normal is what most of society does. Therefore, heterosexual is normal.

Beyond what is normal, as a practising Christian, I strive to follow what the Bible teaches and it clearly teaches that same sex behaviour is an aberration.
Leviticus 20:13  If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
The new covenant found in the New Testament repeats it.
Romans 1:27  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

So, my personal feeling about same sex couples is "eww, gross". The traditional view is, "that's not normal". and the Biblical view is, "it's an abomination".

Does that mean I think that vigilantes should run through the streets terrorizing people who are not heterosexual? No. Absolutely not. It does mean that I am free to express my opinion. It also means that I am free not have aberrant behaviour thrust in my face. I don't want to see an amorous embrace between a heterosexual couple in a public place. Even more so, I don't want to see it between a same sex couple.  Nor do I want acceptance of something I find abominable thrust upon me.

I really have a hard time justifying in my own mind, why a same sex couple would choose to bring political pressure to bear on a Christian minister to perform a same sex marriage. If a same sex couple chooses to defy what the Bible says, why would they want a Christian ceremony. It just doesn't make sense. I personally don't think it's morally right to have same sex marriages, but if people choose to do so in a civil service  I have no objection.

In the same way, if a Christian, in their normal duties, believes that it isn't appropriate for them to provide goods or services, they ought to be free to do so. For example, many fast food places have signs on the front door saying things like, No shirt, no shoes, no service. No one has a problem with the vendor refusing service. But when a caterer refuses to make a same sex cake for a wedding, suddenly they're hauled into court. The couple getting married could have just gone to another caterer, they could have just replaced the his and hers topper, but no, they had to make a political statement. I don't think that's right.

I think, if I had been the caterer, I might have just refused on the basis of being too busy, just to avoid the political fallout. If coerced, I think I might have tried to explain to the couple that based on my religious beliefs that I couldn't in good conscience do what they requested. For all I know maybe the catered did and the same sex couple were just eager to throw their weight around.

Whatever the reason, Christians are no longer able to freely express their beliefs or stand on the principles which the Bible clearly teaches. According to what the Bible teaches, people engaged in same sex behaviour are bound for Hell. God isn't sending them there, their own aberrant behaviour is. I don't want them to end up in Hell, but the only way to keep them out of Hell is to tell them the truth. Of course, Christians today are muzzled, when the tell the plain truth of the Bible it's declared "hate speech". It isn't hate, it's love.

God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. God loves the world and as Christians, we love the world too. We don't want anyone to go to Hell and when we say that same sex behaviour is an abomination in God's eyes, we say it so that people can repent of that behaviour and be saved. The consequences of not leaving that behaviour is Hell. Warning people, so that they can change, is not hate speech, it's just the opposite. Of course, if people have been warned and they choose not to listen, they can go to Hell. Literally. Go To Hell.

Hell is not someplace where you can hang out with your buddies. Hell is eternal isolation and eternal torment. But if that's what you want, go ahead, keep on having sex, men with men and women with women. I don't care, I won't be there to see your agony or hear your screams. I won't be the one who put you there, you will. God set the standard. Keep it, and enjoy Heaven. Break it, and suffer Hell. Not my rules, God's.


God's Kid said...

Hi Sharon,
I just want to commend you for stating your beliefs so beautifully! I too am a Christian and stand for the same as you, and have the same struggles here in the "free" country of America.
I want to thank you for sharing because someone else might need to see it and know that others feel the same as they do.
I encountered a situation where I had to openly voice my opinion on this in a ministry I in and satan reared his ugly head and I had plenty of arrows and trouble thrown my way, but let me say that God was with me the whole time and I can tell others now.
Please continue to stand strong for Christ!! :) Sue

God's Kid said...

My daughter says, you go girl, and more power to you! It needs to be said!!(from Sarah)

Madtatter80 said...

Amen to that!

Margarets designer cards said...

I read your words with interest, I am suppose to live in a free country, free no it is not, free speech does not happen any more in the UK, if it's not Europe dictating with what we can and not do, hence now you know why most of us voted to come out of the EU. We have a population of Musins, now please I don't care what religion anyone is, I have mixed with various religions, as long as they don't interfere with me I don't care, but I do care when they come and live in my country, a country I was born in, lived in and told they want our laws changed to suit them. No you come and live in my country you abide with our laws. If they want to live by their laws go back and live in your own country, we abide by their laws when we go to their country so abide by ours when you come to ours.
I don't care if a man beds a man, or a woman beds a woman, as long as it's in their home, out of my sight I don't care, I can't see it and they don't interfere with me, but once they interfere with me them I don't like it, I am not that type of person, I won't be interfering with them so don't interfere with me. I will say I have meet some really lovely men who are gay and they have a wonderful personality and some have been very good looking and would do anything for anyone.
Your piece started me off on a rant, I am sorry I went off topic a bit, but the word free seems to be disappearing down the plug hole.

Elaine R said...

Very interesting to see these comments from different parts of the world and thanks Sharon for venting, makes me feel that I am not alone on this planet wondering if the world has gone made. In Australia now we have a programme called "safe schools" supposedly to teach children not to bully. However it is being conducted, often without parents knowledge, with the main aim to teach that homosexuality is the norm and very good. Children as young as 6 are being taught that gener is fluid, ie you can be a boy one day and a girl the next. In the state of Victoria it is possible to adopt the male gender for a period of 12 month then change to female. The mind boggles whe a prisoner decides he would rather be in the female prison so adopts the female gender, but I digress. These youngsters have to role play at being in a same sex relationship, as if young children not even at high school would know what a sexual relationship is all about. I have just met up with old school friends and we all felt as if we were unable to express an opinion on many subjects for fear of being labeled a racist or bigot. We come from different walks of life but all felt the same. The "progressive elites" want to put labels on anyone who does not agree with their opinions. Our laws are being watered down where the perpetrators have more rights than the victims. No wonder we have seen Trump elected in USA and Brexit in the UK.

Lynn said...

Thank you for choosing to vent today, Sharon. As an evangelical evangelist who has lived in Hong Kong, China for the last 37 years, I find your comments spot on and quite refreshing. You absolutely nailed it. Disagreement is not the same thing as hate. And we often have to do or say things that are not pleasant simply because we love the person we are talking to. Just watch any parent discipling their child to see this cosmic truth in action. What you said and the way you said it is totally in keeping with Jesus commandment to love our neighbors. You have nothing to apologize for.