Friday, April 15, 2011

Wisdom from Heaven

For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.--James 3:16-18
Today is the Day of Silence -- I don't even know from whence this day of observing gay people rights arises.  I just know that it puts a trouble, a thorn of irritation in my side, a vexation in my soul -- perhaps, now that I think about it, ALL controversy and conflict does this to me.  This particular observation every year puts me in the difficult and odd place of finding myself between people I care about who feel PASSIONATELY about their position on the gay issue; and they are not in agreement.  I have been listening to all the voices on it for a very long time - in the church, in science, in my family, amongst my friends, in society.  My conclusion has come down to this -- it is a complicated issue, too complicated for a human meeting of minds.  Within the controversy swirls a multitude of other deeply personal and spiritual nuances, interpretations, beliefs, and attitudes.  Many hold such beliefs and attitudes to be "self-evident" and absolutely essential for coexistence with other human beings.  I do not have any answers.  Being caught between people I love with fervently opposite views is a painful place.

There always seems to be this element of "selling" ones' side.  When that happens we run the risk of "selfish ambition" (to be right).  There, as James says, we find disorder and every evil practice.  This is, without question, true of the the gay debate, as well as a number of other ones of which I can think.  I know there are hot and even hostile and belligerent beliefs at play on all "hot-button" issues.  The advice James gives here in verses 17 and 18 seem profound and right to me.  Are your beliefs coming out of a root of wisdom that comes from heaven -- is it pure?  If yes, then the results are listed.  If those aren't the result you feel, then perhaps something is wrong somewhere, and it would be best to remain silent and continue pondering these things, asking for further wisdom and guidance from heaven?  And this is where I stand -- silent and searching in prayer.

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