Caricature distorts our ability to accurately see others. The culture war feeds on caricature and it works like this: some evangelical ministries work hard to paint LGBT+ people as bitter, angry activists who demand absolute permissiveness to perpetrate all kinds of sexual sin; while some LGBT+ organizations work equally hard to paint evangelicals as bitter, angry fundamentalists who judge, hate and exclude gay people.
As Christ-followers, we must move beyond caricature and embrace the Kingdom role of peacemaker if we are to authentically reflect Christ’s love to LGBT+ people. The role of peacemaker requires us to do ministry in the “land between.” This can only mean one thing. You guessed it: we will get hammered by both sides. Are you committed to peacemaking in Christ’s name even when attacks and accusations start to fly?
With this sober introduction, recall that “self-determination” is the right of people to pursue their own course of action. God never grants us “self-determination” without boundaries – yet neither does He force upon us boundaries against our will. The former leads to rebellion; the latter leads to robotics. Within God’s full nature of truth and love, He grants to us what we might call “reasonable self-determination.”
Specifically, God grants us a degree of latitude in determining whether we are living within – or outside of – His will. The “land between” rebellion and robotics is a messy place. We can easily be deceived by others – or ourselves. This is why we have the Holy Spirit and God’s Word to aid our discretion. Yet even then, people – hearing the same Spirit, reading the same Word – often come to different conclusions about important doctrines. Like I said; it’s messy.
Join me next time as we further explore “reasonable self-determination.”