Unpopular Convictions

Vaniz   |   August 28, 2020 

Not many weeks back, I got an email from the Marketing team in my company to send in my 'leader quote' in celebration of PRIDE month.

The first time, I avoided the email and went about my usual tasks. But the team didn’t stop - I received a reminder and then another reminder… I secretly wished they would forget about this task, that they would let me be, and that this would quietly be forgotten. That way, I could 'politely' avoid taking an unpopular stance. I could blend in with the world's way of working and continue to live in a state of self-righteousness - the best of both worlds basically!

This was one of those classic dilemmas of conforming to the pattern of this world or holding a conviction based on biblical teachings.

I remembered the sermon at our church a year ago on Christian beliefs on the topic. The preacher had passionately narrated the story of Jaelene Hinkle, the US soccer player, who turned down the chance to play in the US women’s national team because she was not convinced about wearing the LGBTQ pride jerseys, which were the chosen uniform for the team in 2017.

I have nearly two decades of corporate experience and now more than ever before, corporates are swept by the storm of supporting the LGBTQ movement. Here was an opportunity for me to quietly go with the flow and send a couple of lines of support & encouragement, which would reward me with fancy social media presence, my name, title and photograph flashing under the company’s logo with the rainbow flag. Or it was time to pause and reflect on my role as a follower of Christ and a believer of the biblical principles on how my stance would influence the worldview of those around me or observing me.

Are awareness campaigns and celebrations in the world today, redefining moral standards to suit our convenience? We are moving towards a mindset where we want to do whatever we desire. We don’t want to be constrained by rules, by some conservative, traditionalist beliefs which are 'not cool'.  We want to feel 'included' and go with the flow so that we are accepted in society and don’t stick out like a sore thumb.

But the Bible is very clear on moral standards.

Romans 12:2 says 'Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind'.

Matthew 15:19, 20 reads 'For out of the heart come evil thoughts – murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person'.

In the eyes of God, there is no lesser or greater sin.  Murder, theft and sexual immorality are all quoted under the same category. There could be a compelling reason to steal or a rightful justification for murder, but that reason or justification does not make theft or murder the right thing to do. It’s the same for any undying urge and desire towards immoral sexual addiction. This is what Matthew 15 and Romans 1: 18-32 point us to.

There is the Biblical law, which without doubt explains right and wrong.  There is the law, and then……….there is GRACE.

John 8: 1 – 11 captures a beautiful story of grace. The teachers of the law brought a woman caught in adultery, made her stand before the group and said to Jesus that the law of Moses commanded them to stone such women. They asked Jesus for His views, intending it to be a trick question. Jesus answered that any of them who was without sin be the first to throw a stone at her. Hearing this, the people went away from there, since there was none who was without sin. No one could condemn her and Jesus did not condemn her also, but He commanded her to go and leave her life of sin.

Through the life of Jesus, we learn to separate the sin from the sinner. We are called to express God’s grace and love to the murderer, the adulterer, and the thief - without becoming judgemental - yet hate the act of murder, the sexual immorality, and the theft. Because there is no perfect human being. We all have sinned and we are none to judge others. Jesus Christ died and rose again to give grace to the fallen, to the addict, to the broken, to the miserable. The greatest commandment is to love God and love people. To love not just the so-called law-abiding, holy, good citizens or church-goers, but each and every one, so that grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life.

Therefore, as across the world, as a portion of people want to celebrate, encourage and thereby prove right, all kinds of preferences and orientations driven by worldly desires, I pray for God’s help – for wisdom to be non-judgemental, for unwavering boldness to stand out, for clarity in worldviews, and above all courage to express God’s boundless love to those who are caught in the grey area.

As for the task at my office, I decided to take the unpopular stance. After much discomforting deliberation, I spoke to my Communications Head and informed her that I wouldn't be sharing my leader quote for this cause.

 

 

Photo by Allen Taylor on Unsplash

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Vaniz

Hi, Nice to e-meet you :)! I'm a student of life, a child of God and a person who loves to celebrate the simple joys of creation. There is love and beauty in everything around us only if we have the eyes to see it. Though I'm imperfect, and inconsistent, I've learnt that God sees our availability more than our ability, He calls and He qualifies. I'm a full time HR professional, mother of two children and love music and the rain.

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