The Grammy Awards; one of several nights in late winter when many (particularly fundamentalist/evangelical) Christians act surprised, disgusted and dismayed that there is a world outside the four walls of the church that behaves differently than they do.
Via Facebook & Twitter, I watched my brothers and sisters open their mouths in shock last night as mine dropped open in awe. Love is a powerful gift, a God-given gift which I personally believe is divinely inspired in all of us.
As thirty-three couples joined in matrimony in front of millions of viewers, I made a comment to my wife, Veronica, “there’s a lot of love, a lot of light in that room,” as we continued to watch, amazed.
Like my fellow Christians, I was completely shocked, but from the other side of the spectrum. What a beautiful moment. A demonstration of the limitless love of our Father, beyond comprehension. Where love is, there He is. I pray that the couples married in that public forum, regardless of race, faith or sexual orientation will discover the love of God as lived through the parable of their own unions.
I happen to be one of Jesus’ followers in a more awkward position than many. I’m one of the accepting, loving, non-judgmental followers of Christ. I have friends who are gay that I know I don’t love enough. I know my timid silence is wrong when it comes to helping turn hearts from casting stones of judgement.
To clarify even further, I’m not talking about agenda-driven love. I’m not talking about loving the sinner so that they can change and turn from their wicked ways. In the words of the Macklemore song that undergirded this controversial wedding ceremony last night:
And a certificate on paper isn’t gonna solve it all
But it’s a damn good place to start
No law is gonna change us
We have to change us
Whatever God you believe in
We come from the same one
Strip away the fear
Underneath it’s all the same love
About time that we raised up
Ben Haggerty, Ryan Lewis, Mary Lambert
These words are easily reconciled with my Christian faith, because as I’ve put my trust and faith into the teachings of Jesus, there is no other way than that of love. He taught us to love, abundantly and unconditionally.
The level of disconnection with culture has become increasingly disconcerting to me. I’ve watched the “in-the-world-but-not-of-it” divide grow further apart, making Christians who see a bold line separating sacred from secular seem even more irrelevant to the world than they already are.
If we truly believe that we are called to affect culture, do we really think the best way to do that is by separating from in? I think we’re missing the “in” part of in but not of.
Personally, not all of the music performed last night during the Grammy awards ceremony was to my taste, but that doesn’t mean I would rather disconnect from the culture in which I exist.
Public spectacle-type wedding ceremonies, even public marriage proposals aren’t really my thing, but love…love definitely is. In the words of John, one Jesus’ closest followers among the original disciples:
“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”
The apostle John, son of Zebedee (from 1 John 4)
God was honoured in the Staples Centre last night, present with every tear of joy that fell and loving on every broken heart healed of hate.
I hope that, as we each provide our own perspective and commentary on our culture, we respond with the same love of God, rather than a knee-jerk religious reaction.
Love is patient, love is kind…