Monday, August 6, 2012

GOMER: Why the POTUS’ Position On Gay Marriage Makes Sense

In getting started for what is "Season 2" here at I'd like to thank those who have been struggling along with me as we continue in the pursuit of truth.

It won't get any easier, or less controversial from here on out. Expect to be "touched" in various ways and an arousing of emotions #guaranteed.

The truth cuts deep. If after reading these blog posts, you "go away" w/o wounds; I'm not doing what I should be OR it just hasn't hit you...yet.

I encourage you to share these with someone you know. We need to get more people in on these conversations.

God Bless



When, I was younger and living in my parents' house there was one thing I hated more than anything else...even as a "grown up" in going back to visit I abhor this transgression whenever it's committed.

I'll be minding my own business, working on a project, or just shooting the breeze...alone, by myself, in my room. Before you know it SOMEBODY comes barging in. They may knock and then open the door, but generally convention tells us that when you knock one should wait for an answer. This is especially annoying during much needed quiet times....

Think about it. As a teenager did you ever want someone in your room without your permission? Given you may not pay for the space; however, it's personal to you. "Get out my room!" I'd say so many times to my younger brother...even today. 

Some times folks just want to be left alone. Is that too much to ask?!

It's not that I don't mind your presence every once in a while, but for now ...


Psalm 139 (NIV) #chopped
1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, 
too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
13 For you created my inmost being; 
you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, 
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart; 
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

Hopefully this'll set somebody "on fire" (i.e. Metaphorically speaking). Apologies on this, what is an overdue topic. As many of you know President Obama announced back in May his position on Gay Marriage and its "place" in America during these times.

What'd you know?! Three months later and we still can't seem to agree or love one another. Folks don't want to buy chicken or buy chicken and throw up pics using an instant gramification tool.

The Lord has been working on me in a number of ways. Let's take a look at what came forth back in May.

GOMER: Get Out...

First things first. Many Christians rush to make their thoughts and opinions known on certain topics. That's how people are in general; however, many of those who speak haven't dug deep enough into Scripture to have a well-rounded argument of validity as to whether or not Gay Marriage is something that truly is an abomination to God. Most of us, especially those in more "conservative" environments (e.g. The Southern U.S.) only know what we've been taught, have experienced, and have come to "know" (i.e. In an intimate fashion, like the way God knows us). You only know something by coming into contact with it.

There are 2 sides to the gay marriage debate, as there were 2 sides to the theological debate that Jesus had on so many occasions between himself and the Pharisees back in his day.

SN: History, is really "his"-story, so I suppose everyday is Jesus' day?! Back to the plot...

For those who don't know, the Pharisees were seen as the "religious leaders of the day". In other words, they knew the law and were supposed to be the crème de la crème (i.e. Best of the best) when it came to not only interpreting the law but putting it into action. As we see with so many people who claim to be something, applying the knowledge isn't always as easy and many of us tend to fall short. 

In all the situations that I can recall the end result would be something like this:
  • Pharisees make a claim, argument, or accusation against someone
  • Jesus responds in time w/ a lesson to be learned (i.e. For the Pharisees and the surrounding audience)
  • Pharisees accept Jesus' lesson, are upset b/c He challenged them, and/or continue to plot his "death"
Regardless of what happens Jesus comes away as not being liked by the Pharisees in just about every scenario.

So, what are the 2 sides to the debate? They aren't pro/con, for/against...if that's what you're thinking. They are (in this context) legal and biblical.

SN2: For the record there are Christians who affirm sexuality as a gift from God and therefore see only 1 side to the debate. (i.e. Homosexuality isn't a sin).

For me personally from a legal standpoint I support the President of the United States and his position on Gay Marriage. You can not "preach equality" and not have all "rights" open and available to them who have been availed such rights. 

On the other hand from a Biblical perspective...well that's what this entire message is about, an expansion of the Biblical perspective, so stick with me.

In the Old Testament (which is as relevant as the New Testament), there's a book written by a prophet called Hosea. A prophet was someone used to "teach and guide" the people of Israel, in many cases back into a right standing relation with God. Hosea used his own life as an example of the relationship between God and Israel. More importantly Hosea, a man of God was commanded by God himself to marry a prostitute (Hosea 1:1-3). That prostitute's name?! Gomer...if you stop and pay attention to life, you'll notice that there are umpteen "happenings" which occur that will allow you to have a better understanding of what God thinks about certain things. I can't even fully begin to explain, so I won't try...

Y u has Zeal but no Knowledge?! #LOL

One of my issues with Christians and sin, or specifically this debate is that (and you see this with a lot of younger Christians) they are gung-ho, you can't tell them nothing (even when you come in response to their claim using Scripture with more Scripture), and they think they know it all (which the Bible tells us specifically not to be that way). This is what is sometimes referred to as "zeal without knowledge" (Proverbs 19:2). The main problem here is that they know "a lil bit" but don't really KNOW it because they're still learning #doesThatMakeSense? 

So it's as if I give you a fact and you believe that fact to be true (because it is) but haven't actually done any further study on your own. When it comes time to tell someone else this fact, all you know is that "so and so told me, so it must be true". A perfect example of this are the Scripture verses used to suggest that homosexuality is indeed a sin, you know those seven or so that people are always ready to whip out and beat you over the head with. (Understand this conversation isn't about the "sin".)

We tend to make sexuality the main focus of our conversations using words such as "natural", because heaven forbid that God might do something in his creation that is beyond our understanding...clearly we know everything there is to know about his mighty works (cough).

Some people bring up the institution of marriage. What institution?! Last I heard the divorce rate was ridiculous and even more so people aren't interested in being married because they have yet to see examples of what marriage should be as based on God's word. You might say that the world has polluted the image of marriage. I'd say you're wrong. Many of the reasons the world is messed up today is because the Church (i.e. Church Universal, not a specific denomination or group) has failed to do its job. There's divorce in the church. What's the divorce rate?! I'll wait...

I know sometimes things don't work out, but there shouldn't be divorce in the Church, especially when people know the word and are mature in Christ. Love NEVER fails (1 Cor. 13:7). Sometimes I'll hear stories of, "They're not together anymore..."

There's a good friend of mine I met in graduate school and sometimes she'd respond like this: "Wait...what?!"

So to divorce in the church or hearing of a couple that is no longer together I say, "Wait...what?!" 

Vows...vows...has anyone seen their vows?

Maybe that's the question. Are we concerned with the "pristine" image of what we want people to think about marriage or the truth of what it's become both in and outside of the Church. Don't get me wrong there are a handful of people who have marriages that are above reproach (i.e. Secular and Religious, Young and Old, Cross-cultural, etc).

My Main Man Jesus

I have a brother who constantly mentions that Jesus never said anything about homosexuality. Well, partially he's correct. What we do know is that Jesus did speak on the context of marriage on several occasions (I suppose several being across the multiple Gospel accounts). I want to focus on how Jesus would approach Gay Marriage in today's context based on what I've seen in Scripture.

Jesus was effective because he was different. (read that again)

A lot of Christians believe they know the "mind of Christ" (1 Cor. 2:13-16), and they have began to grasp a little here and there...until you've become counter-cultural, sometimes even within your own sect/denomination/faction, etc you still have a ways to go.

Jesus' focus in his ministry was to love. When asked what the greatest commandment IS (i.e. One commandment) he said, the first is to love God with everything....AND the second is as equally important; love your neighbor as yourself.

It would take all day to fully understand what those two commandments mean individually and separately. I guarantee you that no one is able to explain in its entirety what this means, because for all that we do know what it means, there's a lot that we don't know. How many people do you know, that embrace what they don't know?!

Jesus taught us to be compassionate first and foremost. 
  • QUICK to listen, SLOW to speak, and (even) SLOW(er) to anger (James 1:12-27)
  • So far as it be upon you, live in peace (Romans 12:18)
    • Did you notice a lot of peace on last week?! #chikFilA
  • People may not agree with your beliefs but they'll admire you lifestyle and respect you (1 Thess. 4:12) #touchPointBible
    • I've earned respect of more people based on how I made them feel versus what I said #mayaAngelou
To that last point, I believe what we may be missing at times in this world is consistency or at least a better understanding of it.

I'm a tech guy and so last semester I took a distributed systems course. A distributed system is simply one that spans more than one "area". The Internet could be used as an example of this because it covers multiple "areas" at one time. Within distributed systems there are different types of "consistencies", which will determine how well your system operates on a whole with regards to certain "features" such as security, availability, so on and so forth. 

Strong consistency is where every "node" involved sees the happening of events in the exact same order (i.e. Sequentially). This implies that there is a "consistent state" of being for the system. So, if I look at the system and you look at the system at the same time we'll see the same thing.

Weak consistency is where the model of consistency is "weaker" than the strong version. To put it simply, pertaining to the system, we'll all agree on some things (i.e. The state of the system) but not others, for whatever reason due to the design of the system.

SN3: Do you know anyone on this earth who was around when God created man? Or whomever created man...or when man was created? I only ask because then at least we'd have an eyewitness as to how things "should be".

In this world our views of consistency are not always consistent, or to make it less confusing with the word play, "We all seeing the same thing, but not seeing the same the same time, in the same light." 

More importantly above all, we should seek to be examples of the types of people we want to be in community with. Gandhi said it best, "be the change you wish to see". In many cases it's not even about trying to change people but being able to live together in harmony. Some folks are stuck on the change thing as if they were apart of a chain gang #mentalSlavery

Jesus' Persecution by His People

We also know based on Scripture that as I mentioned earlier Jesus wasn't liked by everyone because of what folk thought they were supposed to be doing, or felt what the Scripture meant. Effectively this led to the disagreement between Jesus and those who "knew" the law. There's also the fact that those who "knew the law", didn't lead the best lives. In any event we (i.e. All of us) were against Christ (until we acknowledged the truth in his teachings) and persecuted Him for being who he is, an example of who we should strive to be.

“ We see that in the life of Jesus Christ. Jesus didn’t limit his ministry to the four walls of the church. We know that. He was out there fighting injustice and speaking truth to power every single day. He was out there spreading a message of grace and redemption to the least, the last, and the lost. And our charge is to find Him everywhere, every day by how we live our lives. That is how we practice our faith.”
 - Mrs. Michelle Obama (A.M.E. 2012 General Conference)
I'll talk more about persecution in another posting.... Coming soon: Make 'Em Suffer.
Maybe another topic could be...Jesus Christ: Model Citizen?!
Or a new tagline: "Less talking. More doing. #imdatr..."

I digress... 

Ya Understand?

When we fail to understand what's going on or seek guidance and wisdom beyond our human comprehension, we end up making grave mistakes and errors that cause a falling out beyond anything that we could fix. The fact of the matter is that there are things we will never understand because we aren't God (Romans 11:33).

Holy Matrimony

We aren't talking about Holy Matrimony most regards this is about civil marriage. Civil marriage, is a civil right, governed by civil law...not religion, faith, or opinion. In an article here, this comment was made, "Lesbian and gay couples are entitled to fair and equal treatment from the federal government"

The Wrap-up

I got one last question. Are we all Israel? #atThisPointInTime #remnant Scripture is always talking about the Israelites. The Bible speaks on Jews vs. Gentiles, Slave vs. Free, Male vs. Female. Christians attempt to "force" people to live by our set of rules, even when they aren't Christian. Doesn't make sense does it?! For those who are homosexual and Christian, there's a different conversation that might need to be had; however, for those who aren't Christian, we can't expect them to live according to what we deem to live by (1 Cor. 5:12-13). This is where many of us get it WRONG because we're doing it "in love". No, what you're doing is...I wont tell you; the answer is in part 2. Does the Bible still apply if people aren't Christians? A partial answer to that in the follow-up to this entry.

I won't get into the "black" vs. homosexual polarity that we have in the United States, but it is interesting that even if being black is not the same as being homosexual b/c one "clearly" involves a choice, I find it funny that people would want to back policies that effectively do the same thing. Remember that Plessy vs. Ferguson case? Probably not depending on how young/old you are. It essentially said that racial segregation was kewl, "separate but equal" was how they termed it. Yet, even today we liken ourselves to be equal but our access to certain "rights" are separate b/c we disagree with how people view themselves, even if it is a true, genuine, and authentic understanding of who the individual says they are (i.e. I know who I am).

I leave you with this. Remember, the Steve Harvey Show? He was always trying to get with Principal Grier. There was one episode in particular where Principal Grier was imitating Steve. They were working out their relationship issues nonetheless.

“And my favorite...
'You knew I was a player when you met me' #playerStrut/pimpWalkIncluded"
Steve Harvey imitated by Regina Grier
 It was pretty funny because anyone who has seen the show and knows a bit about Steve's "past life" knows that his character as a music teacher was also "partial player".

Going back to our talk about Hosea and Gomer, I thought of this parallel.

"You knew I was a prostitute when you married me.” #Gomer

Some things we already know...let's not act surprised but remind ourselves to "act out" according to what we believe and be willing to be corrected in those beliefs if indeed our understanding needs to be expanded.

Even if we do know we should still engage in honest dialogue and not resort to, "Well, we'll have to agree to disagree" in the form of a cop-out. People are afraid of "confrontation" and truth talking. No sir, not I. If you want to live an honest life, you've got to start being dreadfully honest. Of course we won't agree on everything, but you must engage in conversation (if you disagree) at least once in order to understand more of the fullness that is the "spectrum" of the issue.