Friday, April 24, 2009


Regardless of what you think of beauty pageants, you should be encouraged by Carrie Prejean’s response to a question regarding gay marriage at the recent 2009 Miss USA competition. When asked if she thought that gay marriage should be legalized in California, she responded, ""I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that's how I was raised." She had no regrets afterwards--as she explained in an interview--despite the possibility that her response cost her the crown, "This happened for a reason. By having to answer that question in front of a national audience, God was testing my character and faith. I'm glad I stayed true to myself."

These types of confrontations are growing increasingly more frequent in our so-called "tolerant" society. The proponents of tolerance are exceedingly intolerant of divergent viewpoints. Beliefs that are rooted in faith in God, Biblical standards, or salvation exclusively by faith in Christ alone--are simply not acceptable. How are we, as believers, to respond?

Carrie’s response is admirable for several reasons. First, she responded in faith not fear. What mattered to God mattered most to her. She could have shrunk back. She could have yielded to the temptation to say what some wanted to hear. She could have said that which might have won her the crown. But she didn’t. She spoke the truth. Secondly, she responded with care. She didn’t attack. She showed a concern for those who would disagree. She didn’t exalt herself in some misguided self-righteousness. She spoke the truth in love.

We tend towards extremes in our response to such issues. Some heralds of the truth attack their opponents with a self-righteous anger that elicits the same. They speak the truth, but not in love. Others misdefine love as tolerance and shrink back from declaring the whole truth. By the Spirit of God we are to be "speaking the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15). Such love is motivated by a genuine concern for the spiritual well-being of others, even those in opposition (2 Timothy 2:25; Matthew 5:44). At the same time, it is instructed by the realization that the truth alone that can set them free (John 8:32).

Our Lord Jesus Christ is the perfect example. Whenever He spoke, He spoke the truth. And whatever he said, He said it in love. Even in His suffering, He spoke the truth in love. He "committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously" (1 Peter 2:22-23). "But Jesus was saying, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing’" (Luke 23:34). His example demonstrates our need to depend upon the Spirit in our response (Colossians 4:5-6; Matthew 10:16-20). God is glorified and His truth is revealed when we do!

Pastor Jerry

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