While this blog is not usually a social commentary, sometimes I feel like making some social observations. This morning is one of those times.
Standard stats put the numbers of LGBTX people in North American society at 3%. Some even go so far as estimate 10% (assuming for large numbers of those “in the closet” still). Either way, a LGBTX person has grown up and lives in a society where they are not “normal” (where normal is defined as applying to the general majority of people involved). Interestingly enough, current numbers also place active practicing Christians in NA at the same percentage – 3%. From my observation, both subsets, LGBTX and actively practicing Christians (I’m going to call this just “Christian” from here on out), attempt to deal with the situation by changing society to be more like them. They attempt to flatten the waves of difference by imposing their own values, behaviours and ethics on their world at large.
This is strikingly easy to see for the LGBTX group in the media. Whereas when I was growing up (just a few years ago 😉 ), it would have been utterly shocking to see two men or two women kiss on a tv show or movie, nowadays almost every show has at least one character and “gay” kissing is almost normal. This is the result of an active lobbying movement of the LGBTX segment and it has been very successful. As a result of this active movement for social change, being “gay” is becoming and has become far more “normal” (although stats show no change in LGBTX numbers) – so actually, it is far more “accepted” than before, not more normal.
Christian subgroups go about changing society in different ways, but one obvious one is the Christian pro-life movement. This morning I woke up to news that Oklahoma passed a bill criminalizing the act of performing an abortion on a woman. Where it goes from here is up in the air (state vs federal law will surely come into play) but it’s still an obvious attempt to make society obey the morals of Christians. To “normalize” the belief that babies still in the womb are human and therefore ripping them from their mothers’ womb and tearing them limb from limb is an inhumane monstrosity.
As is obvious from this blog, I am a Christian (actively practicing the beliefs I hold to be true about God, life, the person of Jesus Christ and my own nature). And here’s the thing. The Bible does not teach Jesus’ followers to go around changing their world so that their differences become normal. It teaches that 1) Jesus is the light of the world, 2) without Jesus the world is in darkness, 3) believers in Jesus have his Holy Spirit inside them, 4) the Holy Spirit inside someone is like a lamp – the fire inside shines out of the imperfect clay and brings light to their surroundings. Christians are called to be lights to their world.
Now I’m not going to address the whole “people will know I’m different by my actions without me needing to tell them why” issue – save that St. Francis, unlike popular belief, taught the complete opposite of the saying commonly attributed to him – that we should let our actions tell people about God and only use words if necessary. The absurdity of this can be seen in this Christian satire post: “Man feeds the hungry at all times, uses food if necessary.”
The fact is, Christians’ Holy Word commands them to shine their lights before men so that they will see and be drawn to God. The Bible says that all people are in utter rebellion to God and stand in danger of God allowing them to experience the natural consequences of this rebellion. Hell. I’ve never quite understood why people object to Hell and say that if God is really nice why not let everyone into Heaven? Well, let’s think about that. Let’s take your standard atheist. He or she spends their whole life voraciously denouncing the existence of the Christian God, rejecting any call upon them to follow this God’s laws, and going their own way entirely. Heaven is said to be being in God’s Holy presence…eternally. Would you _want_ to be in the presence of your greatest enemy, having “lost” so to say, and being forced to watch their victory….forever? Sounds like….Hell.
Shining a light into a dark place does not mean turning the whole place into a carbon copy of you. Have you ever noticed how a flashlight brings a dark room into very sharp relief? Light in the darkness makes very clear lines – this is one thing, this is not that thing. Being light in the darkness means that Christians should be different from their surroundings. Not trying to flatten out their worlds’ differences so that they can feel more “normal” but showing the world that it is lost and needs a Savior. You know what? I would love it to live in a culture where I wouldn’t even need to argue that a baby is human. That murdering a human child is, well, murder. I believe every human is made in the image of God in some way and that trying to snuff out that life is an affront to the God who made it. I would love to have that be “normal” instead of what is normal now. Where a giant corporation is _proven_ to be murdering children and then _selling_ their body parts for profit…and the “justice” system instead charges the journalist who documents it! Nauseating.
But I can’t make everyone else agree with me, and in fact the Bible never tells me to. It tells me to tell the world that it is broken. And that God, who created it perfect, cares so very much for this broken world that He sacrificed _Himself_ to fix it, heal it, and make it clean and perfect again. That’s some pretty awesome news.
Right now, most days, me being light looks like…well….me being the mother of six kids. All of them are precious and lovely and amazing and the world would be a worse place without them in it. Our family may not be “normal” but it is shiningly different from everyone else around us it seems! (at least, from the constant reactions ranging from surprise to disgust that I get here in Canada….haven’t been called a “breeder” yet but many people have implied it and some have been downright ….explicit about their disapproval of my fertility). And while it is difficult being different, I know that’s the plan. No matter how broken a lamp is, the light inside will always shine out. We don’t have to try to make the world flatter.