Why We Can’t Legislate Morality (Short Version)
I will make this short. If you want to debate or unload or vent, you can call me or come talk to me. My blogs on controversial topics, like this one is about to be, are meant solely as conversation starters/facilitators/talking points. You can attack me, or you can agree with me, but neither of those will change the way I live out my Christian faith; the way I love my God and the way I love my Brother.
I don’t partake in politics, for the most part. Every political representative of a major party or slant that I have seen does not represent my views even slightly. Beyond that, I’m somewhat of a conspiracy theorist, and I don’t think our votes matter anyway. Regardless, when I do speak out about political matters, it’s simply to point out how messed up things are. I don’t align with Republican, Democrat, or Libertarian. I think most of those guys are wackos. However, several times in recent months there have been course altering bills being put to a vote- some to my peers, some to our representatives. The interesting thing is that most of these course altering bills boil down to human rights. Whether we’re talking SOPA, SEA 590, Prop 8, CISPA, or Amendment 1, these attacks on our freedom are going unchecked, and in the most recent case of Amendment 1 in North Carolina, even championed by “the church.”
Why did I put that in quotations? Because my view of the “church” that is so concerned with legislating things like the definition of marriage, or the illegality of abortion, or whatever other nonsense, is not favorable. In fact, I am constantly reminded of the late Roman Empire, post-Constantine. Constantine had what he believed to be a conversion experience, and subsequently mandated the entire Roman Empire to become a Christian Nation- under penalty of death! We know what happened- everyone professed the name of Christ with their lips, put to death perceived witches and other evil people- even went on holy crusades in the name of Jesus and the protection of His people. However, the atrocities committed by the “Holy” Roman Empire during this time, later to be known as the beginning of the Dark Ages, was no representation of God or anything to do with Christ. In fact, they were acts in complete defiance of what Jesus taught.
In the 21st century, in the West, with all the access to education and resources we could ever want and more, we have no excuse of illiteracy or lack of information; there is no reason that the Church should be so overshadowed by the nationalist, succubus being that is the Church of the Political Right (Editors note: When I say “Right,” I really just mean political agendas masked in religion in general. It just so happens that in the examples of Prop 8 and Amendment 1, it is the political Right that is using the name of Jesus to propagate their agendas).
For many years, the cry of this “church” has been, “We must take back our Christian Nation from the hands of __________!!” (fill in the blank)” They point to the founding fathers as great Christian leaders (which is a lie), to the Pilgrims sailing over for the sake of religious freedom (which is not entirely a truth), the constitution for its mirroring of the 10 commandments (??), etc etc. Yet, when it comes to living out what Scripture says, there is a general lack of commitment, and even sometimes, like the Romans, an enormous disconnect in a way that consciously defames the Jesus they claim to serve.
I say all of this because I need to set myself apart from this political church machine. Now. Today. I realize there are those of you who still have hope in our political system- who still believe if we elect the right people, legislate the right amendments and laws, that this country will somehow become some kind of Christian Utopia. Well, I have news for you all: the Utopia your are trying to build looks nothing like the Kingdom of God.
For too long Christians have confused the American Dream with the Great Commission, and the time for that to end is yesterday. The time for us to place our hope in Capitol Hill- in Mammon- is over (It should have never been). The time for us to put our hope and our efforts in Christ and His commandments is now! Here’s the truth: we can pass all the laws and amendments we want to. We can outlaw homosexuality. We can outlaw abortion. We can take away healthcare. We can mandate that creationism be taught in schools. We can do all of those things and more… But will ANY of that change the hearts of one person? No. I will tell you right now that it will not. Behavior modification does not yield heart change.
Behavior modification does not yield heart change.
Do you see? You can change the laws. Build the walls. Burn the bridges. But in the end, nothing that matters will change for good. In fact, it will almost assuredly make things worse- harden hearts, fuel the fires of hate and segregation… What can wash away the brokenness of this world? What is the only thing that can restore us to the God who created us?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
I implore you to set the hate you have in your heart at the feet of Jesus- the kind of hate that takes basic human rights away from your fellow human beings. We need to stop defaming the name of Jesus in the name of America; the cross for the flag. They are not the same. They do not mean the same thing. They are not even similar. Lay down your flag, and pick up His cross. The cross is the tool that builds the Kingdom of God. No legislation can do what the truth of His sacrifice can. It won’t even come close.