What if it were true?
What if Christ really were coming tomorrow, God on Earth, only this time we were all forewarned?
I write this in the United States (I know many readers are British) and here the whole past week the chatter has been about Phil Richardson, a man who plays himself on the popular American television Duck Dynasty, or did play himself, until he made some anti-gay and racist remarks in an interview published in a magazine, and his television producer fired him.
In the States we have people who are pro gay-marriage–17 of our 50 states have legalized it–and people who are anti gay-marriage. Many of the antis cloak their opinions in a mantle of religiosity, claiming that they have to speak out against gay people, because the Bible clearly says that homosexuality is a sin. (This side of the argument also tends to believe that homosexuality is a choice, not something you’re born with.)
Many people on the other side don’t think that Bible is all that clear about homosexuality. The Leviticus verse is somewhat vague in its original language. It is perfectly clear that Leviticus bans eating bacon, and also shrimp, but somehow we’ve all become okay with ignoring those restrictions.
Here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter. And also, it does. It matters because, at least in the States, a whole lot of people are telling other people that God doesn’t love them. It matters because, at least in the States, gay teenagers are three times more likely to commit suicide than straight teenagers. It matters because someday someone who spoke out harshly and emphatically against homosexuals is going to have a beloved child confess that he or she is gay. It matters because there’s no reason to believe that any one sin is bigger than any other sin, that someone else’s gayness trumps my vitriol, that it’s bigger and more important than my lack of charity or love.
And yet. All the newsprint devoted to this one issue, to one man who said that homosexuality was a lot like bestiality and that black people were happier in the days before they had equal rights. When yesterday, 19,000 children died of preventable causes. Abigail/Aisling/Amanda/Amata/Anne. That’s five. Jacob/Jafta/Johanne/Jordan/Justin. Ten. 18,990 to go.
What if Christ came back tomorrow? What would He find us fighting? What do we ignore?