My thoughts (Lynnette Pullen):
Have you ever been in a situation where you weren’t sure what was right? What do you do if everyone else around you seems to know what is right but you are still on the fence?
I felt like that at one point about homosexuality. Everyone in my church and in my life was certain it was absolutely wrong. At that point, I had not even considered being with someone of my same gender so it really didn’t concern me much. It wasn’t long, though, before I started seeing signs around town that said Jesus Affirmed a Gay Couple and asking Would Jesus Discriminate? I started thinking about the topic again and wondered who was right. It started to become more important to me as I have been discriminated against and know how painful it is.
I went to the pastor of the church I attended at the time and asked him what he thought of these signs. He said that Jesus MCC (now LifeJourney Church) was severely distorting God’s word and that they were condemned to hell. I believe the analogy he used was “Like a bug to a bug light, these people are drawn to sin and hell.”
I knew immediately that I did not believe the same thing he did. I knew in my heart that the people who posted these signs were not trying to entice others onto the road to hell. It made sense to me that Christ would never discriminate. After all, weren’t we taught that Christ loves everyone? I was curious about the affirmation of a gay couple, but at that point, I was not totally convinced that “they” were right. I was not immediately affected (or so I thought) and I didn’t feel as strongly about it as my pastor and others around me, so I kept my mouth shut. Yup, I stayed quiet while others judged, condemned and criticized people neither I nor they even knew. Meanwhile, I later learned that at least three members of this church were gay and unfortunately privy to the conversations — one of which turned out to be my future wife! God does have a sense of humor I think!
I wasn’t sure what was right, but I did know what was wrong. I knew it was wrong to deny someone the right to attend or serve in the church because of the sexual orientation. I knew it was wrong not to at least hear the argument on why Jesus MCC interpreted the scriptures this way. I knew it was wrong to keep quiet and let the condemnation occur. But, because I wasn’t sure if homosexuality was right or not, I chose not to speak up about the things I knew were wrong for fear of suffering their same fate.
I read a bumper sticker once that said “Pollution: If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem.” In this situation, I was part of the problem. I believe this is what Proverbs 24:12 is saying to me. I like the New Living Translation for this verse best:
Don’t excuse yourself by saying “Look, we didn’t know.” For God understands all hearts, and he sees you. He who guards your soul knows you knew. He will repay all people as their actions deserve.
At this point, I know that loving someone of the same gender is of no concern to God. It is not the gender God is concerned with; it is the genuineness of the love expressed.
Thought for the day: As you reflect on this verse, I encourage you to think about a time (past or present) when you kept silent or inactive because you didn’t know what was right. When pondering over what is right, make sure you stand against what you know to be wrong. We cannot plead the Fifth Amendment with God, because God knows our hearts. If more people are willing to speak out against what we know to be wrong (racism, sexism, discrimination, abuse, hate, etc.) maybe we can save a soul or two.
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.