Margaret Romao Toigo
Tuesday, January 4, 2004
I want to share a wonderful Internet resource called Bible Gateway, a tool for reading and researching the Scriptures online in wide selection of languages and translations. Bible Gateway is maintained by Gospel Communications International, a non-profit, non-denominational Christian ministry dedicated to spreading the Gospel by means of the Internet and other media.
Gospel Communications International offers online guidance for many of life’s challenges. This page really comes in handy in times of spiritual need, such as when the spirit is tempted to the deadly sin of wrath, as mine was when I read this Los Angeles Times article about the uncompromising zealotry of Concerned Women For America.
Now, I could have simply sat down to my computer keyboard and unleashed my verbal rage at CWFA. But instead of doing that, I turned to Gospel Communications International’s online guidance page where I was reminded that even righteous anger — such as that directed toward the injustices of bigotry and oppression — can be twisted and made harmful if it causes us to sin. Ephesians 4:26 offered some very good advice, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.”
I prayed for the strength to resist tempation and the serenity to adhere to the principles Christ taught in Matthew 7:1-2, “1. Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” And then I praised His wisdom! Without reflecting upon it, I would have surrendered to the temptations of wrath and pride and passed judgement upon my brothers and sisters at CWFA.
However, as a matter of conscience, I feel that I must somehow reconcile the principle of not judging others while also giving consideration to the injustices that have been suffered by my brothers and sisters in the gay and lesbian community and how their fight for the recognition of their right to the secular, legal benefits and protections of marriage has apparently caused them to become an object of CWFA’s judgement.
As I perused CWFA’s talking points, thinking about how to word peaceful, non-judgemental rebuttals to the charges made therein, I realized that my brothers and sisters at CWFA are not prejudiced and judgemental, but rather that they are woefully misinformed about what the secular, legal recognition of same-sex marriage really means to American society, America’s churches and people of faith — but even that is a judgement, isn’t it?
Maybe all that I can really do is pray for their poor lost and tormented souls because the good people at CWFA, who have lobbied to preserve public displays of the Ten Commandments, cannot possibly realize that they have broken the very first one, Thou shalt have no other gods before me (Exodus 20:3), by looking to the United States government for spiritual salvation, instead of praying to God for it.
Unfortunately, my brothers and sisters at CWFA are not alone in the misdirection of their faith and prayers. Tragically, more and more people of the Christian faith have been unknowingly practicing idolatry, worshipping a graven image in the form of the U.S. government, instead of praying to God, as He commanded in Exodus 20:4-5, “4. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.”
I will not judge any of them for it is not my place to judge the sins and virtues of my fellow man. I will pray for their confused souls because our brothers and sisters who have lost their way need charity and prayers, not prideful judgements and wrath. I will pray that they receive grace through Christ so that they might be able to find their way back to live by His wisdom. And I will pray that they find the strength and serenity, through faith, fellowship and prayer, to deal with the difficulties of living as Christians in a sinful world.