Well said. Of the points in contention, I either concede or think you’ve filled in the gaps. Just to add on/tweak to your battle analogy (and possibly conclude this thread), I’m not asking the members of the church to abandon anything. By all means fight the battles you can, but know that both the enemy and the indifferent see your losses. If you’re in command, take care not to lose too many battles all at once as it is apparent to those not yet in the fight, and no one wants to enlist on the side of a loser. However, just because you’ve lost a battle doesn’t mean the war’s over. If you believe in a moral truth, then be smart, prepare yourself, and defend it at all costs over and over again until the war is over. If however, you’re wish-washy, then stand aside until you’re ready. We don’t need the ranks filled with boys, cowards, and traitors, for they only hurt our cause, lose us battles, and prolong the war.
Well, early Christians were losers, but that was a draw early on in the fight. Many Romans converted after seeing Christians fed to lions without fear. I would say the times when Christians were persecuted and hunted down were glory days for the church because the ones who called themselves Christian put themselves in dire danger for their beliefs, but were committed anyway. They weren’t Christians because it was popular or for political gain—they had everything to lose for their beliefs. If Christianity starts losing big-time, maybe people will wake up during the slide and say "Whoah, wait a minute, this is getting out of hand." and/or see faithful people consistantly, steadfastly and valiantly go down fighting and reflect on their own beliefs.
None of us are supposed to judge gays; just their actions (love the sinner, hate the sin). And if our churches fail, I don’t think God is going to hold us responsible as individuals.
In the end men and women are judged on their individual actions (or their faith, if you’re a Protestant) more than what battles their church wins or loses. The only person I can control is myself, and God knows that. We have a duty to our community and church, but our first duty is to live right.
Part of living right is, to modify a familiar phrase, "to not sin, nor tolerate those who do." But it all starts with me.
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