Every Vote that Leaves is a Vote to Affirm

“Those defections [of Presbyterian churches leaving the denomination] — many to smaller and more conservative Presbyterian denominations — made it more likely that the General Assembly would approve a gay marriage resolution this year.”
Washington Post article, June 19, 2014

Explain that to God. Explain to God that you needed to break your vow to work for the peace and purity of the church. Explain to God that you’re now purer, cleaner, truer because you have walked away from friends, family, congregation members to whom you promised to dedicate your life and ministry.

A friend said to me the other day that people were just tired. I get tired. But you know what Scripture says, right? I mean, right? You know that Paul wrote,

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Ephesians 6:13

Stand. Not leave. Not pick up your marbles and go home. Not sit down and weep. Not go off with your friends who can pat you on the back and say, “Well, at least we’re not doing THAT!”

The word of guidance by the Spirit was stand. In plain terms what that means is stand and let them have to walk over you to move ahead. It means stand and let them feel uncomfortable having to push through you or go around you. It means stand and create the kind of barrier that says, “We do not bow to anyone but Jesus.”

What is demonstrated by every penny not given when pledged, by every door that is shut on a congregation’s continuing history, by every minister who breaks his or her vows is that you believe the most important thing in life is power and not love.

You see this was a battle against flesh and blood. Someone told you that you had to fight to protect our denomination and then they told you, once you were tired of fighting, that the denomination had left you, that the culture was against you and that you had to circle the wagons, protect yourself, hunker down and save yourself. No one told you to follow Scripture, put on the armor of God and stand. Is there anyone who does that but the one who clothes himself in violence?

You decided to fight against men who love men and women who love women. Men have loved men since the beginning of civilization. Women going after women is not something new. You chose to defend God against people like this who have been your neighbors forever. You chose to defend God. Who is this measly god that needed your defense and could not defend himself?

We were given one weapon in our battle – love. It might require our lives, but we have eternal life and so nothing can separate us from that or God’s love. We are able to stand when we have nothing left to give because it is not our resources that we depend on. It is not our lives we are trying to save. We seek to save those who seek to make us captive to their cultural climate, these humans to whom we are to bring the good news of God’s love. The leaders of their cause have been shouting in their ears that the only part of the Bible to trust is the parts they approve.

And you have joined them… because you didn’t stand.

Explain that to God.

And may he bless you,

4 responses to “Every Vote that Leaves is a Vote to Affirm

  1. I choose to stand.

  2. donna morrison

    thanks Geoff, I needed to hear that!

  3. June carpenter

    I choose to follow in the path of Jesus

  4. Isn’t our job to love each other and that’s hard enough. Jesus didn’t ask us to try to make us all alike. Cathy Love

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