The Bible trumps the law of the United States?

HI heard a conservative radio personality say this yesterday when I turned the dial to am to hear the traffic report. Wait? Whaaaaat???

Now if you are a Christian and I know many of you are, this may sound like a no brainer to you. “Of course the Bible supersedes the law of the United States! Or any country. And it should!”, you say. Well, I respectfully say, it absolutely should not. Before you go spray painting a big ol’ H for heretic on my chest, hear me out…

I do not worship the Bible. I worship the living God. The Bible is here to make known Jesus, and Jesus makes known the Father. The Holy Spirit convicts me of my sin and righteousness and teaches me (among many other things). When you tell me that the Bible supersedes the law of the United States, and that we should strive and work to make “what the Bible says” law. I start breaking out in hives. I mean, as my husband so eloquently asked this morning, “My question to you is, whose interpretation of “the bible and the Word of God” should “trump the laws of this country”? David Koresh’s? Pat Robertson’s? Mine? Yours? And how would this actually work? Congress passes a law, and then we appeal to the Supreme Court because we feel it conflicts with the “bible and the Word of God”? Please explain how you feel this is workable.” Or maybe would we need to set up some sort of Christian Sanhedrin or Sharia Court to hear such matters?

Are your sirens going off yet?

Believe me this isn’t just about gay marriage. It is about some citizens wanting other citizens to be forced to comply to something they feel is “biblical”. I have several problems with this.

  1. Since when do even all Christians agree on what is and is not “biblical” (see Rachel Held Evans take here: http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/11/17/my-take-the-danger-of-calling-behavior-biblical/ )
  2. When did Jesus ever say, “Hey guys, let’s force the Romans to do this stuff too! Let’s overthrow this government and put my face on the money!!” ???? Oh wait, he didn’t.
  3. When did Jesus ever force anyone to do his will? or even obey his commandments?
  4. In fact weren’t his harshest words reserved for religious leaders who shut the door in other people’s faces, practiced institutionalized hypocrisy and forced people to carry burdens they would never lift themselves?
  5. Wasn’t our country founded by people who didn’t want to be told what they had to believe or to be forced to worship in a certain way? Weren’t they fleeing places with nationalized religions?
  6. Theocracies are dangerous. My belief is that there will only be one perfect theocracy and Jesus will sit on that throne. No human is fit to rule in his place.
  7. In America we embrace the principles of liberty and justice FOR ALL regardless of religion or race or gender. I am fond of saying it is either liberty and justice for all or it is liberty and justice for none.
  8. There is no unless in the above statements, it doesn’t say…God loves you unless you are not a Christian or God loves you, unless you are gay. Additionally, our pledge of allegiance does not say liberty and justice for all (except gays or except blacks or accept women). It says, with liberty and justice FOR ALL.

After all my lovelies, people have used the Bible to justify all kinds of things I (and I am guessing most of you) find unacceptable today (Slavery, women as property and all manner of other abuses come to mind). The cause du jour for our time happens to be marriage equality. People are fond of saying, “I just believe what the Bible says. It is crystal clear” or they use phrases like “traditional marriage” . Let’s explore those statements through the following graphics:

tumblr_m80awqPk0Y1qkdvl3o1_1280

traditional-marriage

Many of my Christian friends think that “redefining marriage” will somehow tarnish marriage and make God angry. Listen, my marriage is holy because Kent and I choose to have God in the center of it. It is not made unholy by some other heterosexual couple being married who do not choose to have God at the center of theirs nor by any homosexual couple who do not. (or by others divorce or  infidelity or abuse etc. etc.) Incidentally, I neglected to mention a second ago, the Christian LGBT couples who choose to have God at the center of their relationships. A dizzying prospect? Here, sit down my lovelies, I will get you a cold glass of water.

A homosexual couple (or other “sinful” couple) marrying only affects one marriage, their own. This is the United States. We allow all types of people to get married for all types of reasons who commit all types of sins (I do not believe homosexuality is a sin incidentally), we recognize the marriages of all faith traditions, including non-christians! Gasp!! I just don’t see how or why free people do not understand this concept.

In Galations 5 it says, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Why, in God’s name, do people want to keep themselves or others under or put themselves or others back under a yoke of slavery when they have been set free? In the U.S we embrace the idea that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness“. Neither God (he gives us all free will) nor the U.S. Constitution gives you the right to deny these pursuits to your neighbor. You don’t have to agree with someone in the United States to afford them equal rights. Heck our country was built on that premise and that is why eventually this will prevail IMHO. As my Friend Matthew Paul Turner’s Facebook status read yesterday (and I like to think he is right), “Marriage equality will happen. It’s only a matter of time. This country has proven over and over again that it is indeed capable of changing courses, righting wrongs, reversing bad decisions, and siding with freedom, equality and democracy. We’re sometimes slow to get started. We’re sometimes blinded by our ignorance and fear. But we always eventually see the light. And once that light starts to crack through, you can’t keep it from shining. You can try. But you won’t prevail. Because in America, freedom always wins out in the end. It might take us a little longer to get to the finish line. But we will get there. And we will get there together.”

As far as “making God angry” I don’t believe that anymore but you can read all about that in my earlier post Why was God mad in 1927 or Was Jesus enough?

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7 thoughts on “The Bible trumps the law of the United States?

  1. How refreshing. How true. Heterosexual marriage often skews and defiles its representation of Christ and the Church, but we don’t ever ban these people from getting mattied, again and again and again. Marriage isn’t in the province of the church, it’s in the province of the government. Therefore every citizen should have equal privileges under the laws that apply to us all.

  2. Melissa says:

    I enjoyed reading much of what you had to say here. I used to believe a lot of what you are referring to: i.e. the OT law. Until I educated myself, properly, on it. Many misunderstand OT law, so this is not finger pointing…

    Remember when Jesus said things like, “You have heard it said”… Those ‘rules’ were put there TO protect women. Moses allowed many of these relationships, as the leader, and Moses sinned many times. God never condoned any of this: rape, incest, concubines, etc. For example: Men were not allowed to rape, and leave. They were required to own up to their responsibility. Imagine if that happened today?! There would be a LOT less rape, I think? I could happily explain all these, but I’ll only do one more: The brother-in-law marrying a widow, if no child was born. The women back then were married to the family – as such, she wanted to be taken in and protected. Much like we don’t understand lots of tribal marriages today, similar thing. However (and this is the biggest part that is missed) – She had to agree to the marriage. If she did not, she was not obligated. He also had to agree to the marriage, too, btw… 😦 It’s even in the text.

    Remember, a lot of the Bible is what happened Historically. Much of it was not, “The Bible says so, so let’s all have 20 spouses…”

    Lastly, you stated that you believe homosexuality to not be sin. You also claim to be Christian. Unfortunately, the Christ that you say you follow does not agree with you. You must therefore not be following the Jesus of the Bible, or you must study it and repent. You are teaching others to denounce the very Word of God.

    Disagreeing with someone’s lifestyle, does not mean you are a phobic or a hater. Homosexuality is equal to beastiality and lying and witchcraft… We all sin, but one who chooses to do so in the face of God, boasts and is habitual to it – Let’s sum it up with a great quote from 1 John 1:5-10
    “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

    None of us are made right with God by being perfect. None of us are or can be. Let’s praise Him for being gracious, and loving us at the place we are. And let’s not condone sin to make the sinner feel better about himself. God can take care of that. He’s big enough. 🙂

    • First, as far as OT laws being there to “protect women”, You state,

      Moses allowed many of these relationships, as the leader, and Moses sinned many times. God never condoned any of this: rape, incest, concubines, etc. For example: Men were not allowed to rape, and leave. They were required to own up to their responsibility. Imagine if that happened today?! There would be a LOT less rape, I think?

      Oh joy! Men were not allowed to rape and leave. Yay! Now I get to marry my rapist. I feel so protected and valued! DO you actually believe this would lead to less rape? I hardly think so. Under this system, if a man saw a woman he wanted he would just rape her and then she would have to marry him. Lovely. How about this solution. Keep your effing hands to yourself, no means no, yes means yes, and you do not get to rape anyone for any reason even if you plan to stick around and marry them. UGH.

      Last in this section, you state:

      The brother-in-law marrying a widow, if no child was born. The women back then were married to the family – as such, she wanted to be taken in and protected. Much like we don’t understand lots of tribal marriages today, similar thing. However (and this is the biggest part that is missed) – She had to agree to the marriage. If she did not, she was not obligated. He also had to agree to the marriage, too, btw… 😦 It’s even in the text.

      Why were women married to the family? Because they were property and not considered free moral agents. Indeed they were not considered equal in any way.

      Next topic…

      On the subject of simultaneously being a follower of Jesus as well as an ally you say Jesus does not agree with me. Hmmm. Really? Can you provide the chapter and verse where Jesus says ANYTHING at all about homosexuality? You cannot. Why? Because he never discusses the topic even one time. For more on this point I recommend checking out my series on the subject which addresses every passage in the Bible that “Christians” use to condemn gay people or at the very least “gay behavior”. You can find links to all the posts in the series on the conclusion post found here: https://wordofawoman.com/2012/04/16/homosexuality-and-god-conclusion/ I will not go into all of them on this thread one by one as it would take waaaay to long and I have already written on this subject extensively.

      Second, the phrase “disagreeing with someone’s lifestyle” I would like to challenge you on that. The “gay lifestyle” is as varied and individual as the “straight lifestyle”. When you refer to this lifestyle are you referring to my sil and her wife who both go to work every day, pay their taxes, enjoy eating out and doting on their two cats and one dog? I am thinking no. Hugh Hefner and Pope Francis are both heterosexual. Does that mean they live the same lifestyle? It is time we retired that phrase as the “nice”, “Christian” way to say, “Ewwwwwwww.” For more on this I suggest the tremendous post by Justin Lee of the Gay Christian Network called, No I am Not in the “Gay Lifestyle”. and Neither is Anyone Else. You can find it here:
      http://gcnjustin.tumblr.com/post/27909731175/no-im-not-in-the-gay-lifestyle-neither-is-anyone

      Next, you say, “Disagreeing with someone’s lifestyle, does not mean you are a phobic or a hater. Homosexuality is equal to beastiality and lying and witchcraft…” Really, do you seriously not believe that statement to be hateful? I am guessing it sounds pretty freaking hateful to almost any gay person you ask. Why? Because equating who someone loves to beastiality, lying and witchcraft is not only inherently hateful is is also just plain mean. To push that off on God by saying, if God said it in the Bible it is the loving thing is not only a cop out it is a slander against Jesus.

      Lastly you assume that I am condoning “sin to make the sinner feel better about himself”. I am doing nothing of the sort. I already stated I do not believe homosexuality to be a sin. How then can I be condoning something I do not believe to be sinful to make someone feel better? Ironically it seems more like you are condoning your own prejudices by justifying them with scriptures never meant to condemn the LGBT follower of Christ.

      I do sincerely appreciate you taking the time to read and comment and I do hope that you will read the links I suggested. I wish you well and pray that your eyes would be opened, that you would be filled with empathy for your fellow human beings and that you would “know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge”.

      • Melissa says:

        Thank you for your thoughtful response. I’m not sure how my comments came off as threatening in such way that I deserved your reply. We don’t know each other and written words can obviously not compare to relationship. However, I did not mean to come off sounding like some judgmental bigoted whatever you would like to call me… 🙂 My history is very bruised. Rape, family molestation, near death, loss of children, cancer… lots and lots – my faith has been tried and tried. I’m not a shallow person. I’m not the person you probably intended your original post for. I sincerely regret shallow people and their incredibly callous comments.

        I did read some of your posts. I am stuck on “When I pull up my Bible on my chosen Apple product, I no longer read it as a blue print, owner’s manual for life or constitution. Instead, I try to read the Bible these days as a living breathing library of books. A library of books written by humans who were inspired by the Holy Spirit. Books not written in a vacuum, but written by a person with a specific set of talents, a specific vocabulary and a specific set of life experiences who lived in a specific time and in a specific culture. I no longer look at every word of the Bible as a telling of exactly what God wanted to happen; rather, I look at the Bible as a collection of poems, prose, psalms and prophesies.”
        Which would describe where you and I differ. That is ok. We differ.

        As far as the rape goes: I have been, so my comment is not ignorant, or without experience. Again. Not in support of rape! In support of the women who get raped. It’s disgusting and God hates it.

        Let’s go down this trail though… rape is defined differently even in our states: age, consent etc… Do you oppose a 12 yr old marrying a 40 yr old? Why?…

        Now, placing all those ‘sins’ in the same category: You do know that some do not see beastiality or witchcraft as sin, right? What I was saying is we all sin, we all fall short of the glory of God.
        At the bottom line of things: sexual relations outside of marriage is sin. How does GOD define marriage? Not the law of the land, but God…? Again, we differ here. I believe the Bible to be His Words… He opposes it. It’s ok if you support it, but rather not say God does too. I mean, what is your measurement for anything He stands for or against, if you feel free to pick and choose? For example, when He said not to bow down to any image… how do you interpret that? When He tells us to not murder… is that free to interpretation?

        Last point: Jesus was not quoted as speaking directly to homosexuality – do you, knowing that as the perfect Holy One, that He could not go against, including supporting or turning his eye, to anything His Father hated? This is where it is clear to make a very important distinction. I believe Jesus to be God. Maybe you don’t? I know there are a lot of people who don’t. Do you worship Jesus? – a sincere question – if you don’t believe he’s God, then you should not worship him. If you do, then the words he spoke in the Bible are All His. (John 1)

        But we return to your comment of where you stand with the Word of God – it does not seem you believe it is his actual words…

        That is a big big difference between you and I.

        We will find out some day.

        I’m am far far far from any hater. I do not intend to give you any reason to believe this. I have my share of sinners in my life, including the 4 fingers pointing back at me…

        We don’t need to keep going back and forth. I understand your anger. I sympathize. But I cannot agree.

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