[Reprinted from Benjamin’s Facebook post]
The pressure of conformity is overwhelming at times.
In light of the recent court interpretation of the constitution, the pressure is more intense than ever. Compassion, an important virtue, for our fellow man compels us to consider the feelings, plight, and desires of others in controversial times.
Like a deceptive undertow along the seashore, though, emotions can sometimes carry us away, appealing to our human longing to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. A movement, a cause, or a certain political position, give us a chance to make our mark, to make our difference and to be noticed among the generation.
With emotions and tempers flaring, venom and accusations in the air, and the battle lines being drawn more clearly each passing moment, I find it of utmost importance, now more than ever, to return to truth.
Throughout this process, the years long debate to redefine marriage, I regret that I have had more disdain for those who engage in a same sex attraction lifestyle than I have had for those who engage in a number of other outright violations of the Word of God like drunkenness, idolatry, or adultery (1 Corinthians 6). It is a constant battle to extend the same grace to those I struggle to understand as to those whose sin strongholds I can identify with.
It is NOT my job to hate, disparage, or condemn anyone. I lack a hell to send anyone to, or an achieved righteousness by my own merit from which I can justifiably fire accusatory arrows at anyone.
It IS my job, however, to hold truth in its proper place and to call myself and others to the standards set forth in God’s word, the only absolute in a world of opinion.
Relative morality is as capricious as the wind, leaving each generation to do what is right in their own eyes, while unknowingly undermining the exact concept of “right” that they are so desperately trying to attain. Instead of shooting for the mark, we lower it, doing what is good for “us” at the time, effectually creating our own truth, which when taken to its logical conclusion is always problematic.
We, as a nation, have continued our course into dangerous waters, shaking our fist and becoming our own gods. This individual Supreme Court ruling is not the cause, but simply evidence of how far we’ve gradually drifted.
The moral decay of America is not unlike moral decay in my own life, as I continually battle against self rule. It’s a gradual decline. The tire usually doesn’t spontaneously blow out. No, it’s an aggravating slow leak, that needs constant refilling of air, until eventually, busyness takes precedence and the now unattended to tire is completely flat.
Life’s proverbial morality tire responds in much the same way. It’s neglecting to read and respect the Bible. It’s listening to or watching things that aren’t uplifting. It’s allowing myself a second look. It’s removing prayer from schools and our homes. It’s legalizing the murder of babies in the womb. It’s glorifying promiscuity and reducing sex to a simple physical animalistic act. It’s objectifying woman and praising the “playa”.
It’s condoning divorce. It’s standing by in silence. It’s ignoring the promptings of the Spirit. It’s Christians, myself included, not living like Christians.
Attempting to normalize illegitimate behavior by law does not make it acceptable.
Moral law transcends, civil law and will continue to do so in all realms, not just sexuality. Before God, my lustful heart, pride, and selfishness, are not acceptable no matter how I or anyone else try to rationalize it. The manifestations of my sin nature, the carnal desires and appetites of the flesh, although binding and seemingly inescapable are not subsequently acceptable to act on, even though they seem to be natural or biological urges.
Love truly IS the greatest gift of all. It never fails and covers a multitude of sins. Ultimately Love DOES Win. But Love wins us with compassion, not endorsement. Love wins us with sacrifice, not self gain.
Love wins with understanding, not compromise. Love wins with brokenness over sin, not jealous anger because “we lost.” Love wins with adherence to truth no matter the cost because love cares about the well being and not necessarily the HAPPINESS of its subjects.
Above all else we must love or neighbors as ourselves, yet we can not fully do this unless we love God first. (Mark 13:30,31)
It is only through knowing God, loving him with our heart, mind and soul, and seeing His great acts of love for us that we understand the fullness of what love really is.
Today, I am not disappointed because of the possible restrictions on religious exercise, the inevitable categorization of biblical teaching as hate speech and pastors as bigots, the shift in American culture, its implications and the judicial and legislative process that has brought us to this point.
I am, however, saddened because of the corporate celebration and glorification of sin which renders us separated from our Creator, exposed to the natural consequences of our actions and in desperate need of a spiritual renewal and revival.
Though, I’ve had acquaintances from time to time, I do not have many friends who openly identify as gay. Last year an NFL player, told the world he was in a relationship with with another man. While the television display was less than tasteful, after hearing his story, I experienced much internal conflict with my feelings on the subject in light of my convictions.
Ironically we played his team in the preseason and I encountered him again at an awards show the next year. In putting a face with a name, assigning tangible humanity to this controversial and difficult issue my heart in some small way understood the struggle for those who care deeply about their friends and family who have chosen this lifestyle. I realized my shortcomings in this area, understanding that these relational and romantic bonds, although different from mine, are just as strong. I was wrong and was compelled to grow in my compassion and love for these individuals.
In spite of how we feel, though, God created one man and one woman, joining them together as an earthly picture of Christ and his bride, the church. Though we fall short, THIS is marriage, and there is no alternative.
While man governs the practice of this institution it is and will forever be divine in origin. The challenge is to never compromise the truth, but to speak the truth in love and compassion, understanding that we all stand before a just God in need of his grace and forgiveness.
It is not a time to be frustrated about the outcome, as if we can control a world that God gave free will, but to instead celebrate the fact that He is still on the throne, that the Gospel always will be our saving grace, and that because of His mercy, Love Wins.
Benjamin Watson (born December 18, 1980) is an American football tight end for the New Orleans Saints. His Twitter bio states: Brother of 5, Father of 4, Servant of 3, Son of 2, Husband of 1/ NFL Spokesman. Follow Benjamin on Twitter at @
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