Michele Bachmann attended an “anti-gay church,” quipped a perturbed commentator. Another derided the prayer given by Rick Perry stating that what we need now is not prayer.
The basis of the outrage was the question: how could these people do such a thing? How could Michele Bachmann attend such a church. How could Rick Perry pray for forgiveness of the nations sin and God’s blessing?* When I heard these questions, the first thought that came into my mind was, what do these people expect?
What do you expect from people who indentify themselves as Christians? If you place any meaning to that word at all it means they believe in God. They believe in prayer. They believe in forgiveness. They believe in a certain moral standard. They believe that individuals should live up to that moral standard. They believe that God forgives the sins of individuals and nations.
If the above is true, then why the shock? Historically, Christianity has stated that sex outside of marriage, with marriage being defined as between a man and a woman, is sin. To many this is considered anti-gay. However, I teach this same truth and I’m not anti-gay. Instead, I’m anti-sin and how it separates people from God. Thus I speak clearly about sin, its consequences, and how God sent His Son to save all man from sin. This should not come as a shock to anyone, because I’m a Christian preacher.**
The same is true concerning praying for our nation. Christians believe that they have access to God through prayer. We also believe that sin affects not only the individual but the community and the nation. Therefore, we are honest when our nation sins and we seek God’s forgiveness and blessing.***
Therefore two politicians who identify themselves as Christians, doing things that Christians do should not be a news story. Instead, it should be expected. However, it is much easier to get a laugh, or a nod of agreement from you audience to just lazily make a comment then to actually think through the point.
*Do not read this post in some partisan way. I do not know enough yet about Michele Bachmann or Rick Perry to speak assuredly concerning their political views. I also am giving both the benefit of the doubt, as I hope others would give me, that their motives are pure.
**Yes, I know other people claim the same identity and state homosexuality is not a sin. You can read my reasons why I am convinced it is a sin by click here.
***Do not read into this the idea of nationalism that somehow God only deals with America in this way. Instead, God deals with all nations in this way.