Many men often come to a point in life where they are begged to learn or unlearn. This point is the precipice of a denouement of sorts; of a becoming or of a realization. When we come to this point, we either accept or deny the truth that we find. This is the sphere of crossroads.
When any human being is confronted and forced to review their personal dogma, many things happen. No man welcomes this review. Though some accept it, this review is often unwelcome as it is too personal an issue to be disregarded. This is especially true when regarding spiritual dogma. If the tenet of belief is challenged, one will find any phrase or quotation to prove his point. Most often this is done in denial, when a simple truth has been brought forward.
When confronted with a spiritual or dogmatic crossroads, a man first holds fast to his beliefs. He then thinks and challenges the new thought. He finds any reason to not accept it, while simultaneously knowing that he could easily be wrong. He then moves into the sphere of crossroads and is confronted by the face of truth. He can only accept truth and change, or deny truth and remain stagnant in growth.
We often see this scenario play out in the cultural customs that we have been used to for the past 2,000 years. When these customs are challenged or begin to shift, this causes a rift within the society and within the self.
The issue of homosexual relationships is a prime example of this crossroads. Does one accept it and move on? Or, does one deny this and hold fast to Biblical scripture? It is often the later; especially when the issue of gay marriage is brought forth. Of course, naturally a man and a woman fit together neatly. This is how we produce offspring. But, for states and politicians to institute law and constitutional limitations on a gay couple to be united in union is not fair, nor wise.
All men and women are born with the same ability to know of love and freedom. We are all born with rights to live our lives without interference so long as we have respect for others and for the law. To deny one person the right to be united in marriage based on his sexual orientation is pure discrimination; just the same as when women were not allowed to vote, own land or even speak to a man other than her husband in some communities; just the same as denying an African American the right to vote or own land or to be considered “free.”
We should all take a deep look within the sphere of crossroads. Sometimes, a shift in culture is exactly what is needed to bring society closer together. The written words and old dogmas of yesterday often become irrelevant as time progresses. If we are wise we will understand that tolerance and empathy are tools that bring diversity into unity.
If there is one passage in Biblical scripture that we could deem to be essentially timeless is the phrase “Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.” This is absolute. No matter your personal dogma, or what you deem to be “right” or not; others also have the right to live their lives and try to be happy, just like you.. Compassion for all creatures and all neighbors should be cultivated.
41 thoughts on “Cultural Crossroads”
…. Brilliantly written… Timely… Necessary…thought-provoking. An excellent read, thank you!
Good post. Great last paragraph, and worth noting that the ‘Golden Rule’ has parallels in many spiritual and religious traditions across all cultures.
Indeed it crosses all boundaries and unites if applied. Thank you 🙂
Your freedom and mine cannot be separated. -Nelson Mandela
Congratulations on your book…what a wonderful accomplishment.
One of my favorite quotes.. And thank you!
Yes indeed…as well one of mine. Good day.
Reblogged this on Religion4All and commented:
A very wise, and elegantly worded post on contemporary issues.
Thank you for sharing!
Thank you for such a great post :-).
Another great post, glad I am following.
Your ability to take a complex subject (gay marriage) and break it down in a pragmatic way is simply splendid. There are many Theologians who could not write as eloquently on the topic as you did.
Yet the great thing about your post as it can that it can apply to multiple issues facing society today, not just gay marriage.
Equality is a human right, not a privilege.
Thank You for another great post!
Thank you! that is a very humbling compliment!
Reblogged this on The Purple Jacket and commented:
Please…’Know The Sphere’… You will enjoy it immensely!
I love reading your entries. They bring light to the human kind.
Your post was excellently written, as usual. I understand the crossroads we all face when principles come across our path that differ in our own beliefs, but we must be careful to defend the basis of our argument with ideas that do not transcend the primary issue at hand.
You bring up the right that all men have to know of love and freedom, and to disallow one to have that right is, as you put it, pure discrimination. You mention in comparison women voting, owning land, or speaking to other men; African American’s right to vote or own land.
There is a fundamental difference you left out in your argument, and I believe is the difference between those items and homosexuals.
The bible does not mention that women (or another race) voting, owning land, or speaking to other men as being outright defiance against God.
Many times, in no uncertain terms, the bible directly mentions that homosexual behavior is an outright abomination to God; old and new testament. This is not an arguable point. It says that those that behave in such ways will not inherit the kingdom of God.
I believe this is the fundamental difference, and one that was clearly left out of your post. We are to love others as Christ loves us. Homosexual behavior does not define a person, we are all sinners, and all do things that separate us from God. We need to look beyond a person’s behavior and see that everyone has a story.
The statement is referenced indirectly with my post. This is the underlying issue, where one can take any scripture literally and allow it to form into a dogma. Everything in any religious text is arguable. I clearly doubt that “heaven” would be denied to anyone who lives a good life, respects life and has a pure heart, regardless if he is hetero or homosexual.
Agree to disagree. There is a clear difference between your beliefs and the beliefs of the broad Christian community with respect to the fundamental theology of the bible. Love your insight in your posts and congrats on the recent publishing. Stay the course, you have much to offer the reading community.
Of course, and thank you! I give attention to all beliefs, no matter fundamental or progressive. All are entitled and respected.
Indeed, “anything in any religious text is arguable”. The Bible has been often used to justify discrimination. Further, blogs are not “white papers”. They serve as a means of communication – whether for the individual to communicate with himself or a broader community. They invite discussion. They give us access to humanity. Everyone has a story and everyone can use someone’s story to develop their own further. So to say a writer has left out something in their post is like saying they have left out a part of their story. Our life stories are not written in a single moment and cannot be completely recorded in a single post.
We should all live by the Golden Rule and no other.
WOW!…you address everything don’t you??? I have to give you credit for standing tall in your beliefs…or ideas…And we have the choice to accept or not…Thank God for our free country as of now…where we can read, listen, observe and relate our ideas…keep up the good writings …makes us think!
I have to agree with you on this post. Of course there are going to be people that will, no matter what, disagree with homosexuality. But it is present in our world and those people can’t always live with the same mindset forever. Change is good and change is always going to happen. People just need to learn how to adjust to our ever-changing world.
Your post was very inspiring and I hope a lot of people get the chance to read it. I came to that crossroad about a year ago and it has been a very eventful and growing time for me personally. I wish all people were as understanding as you. The surprising part for me at that time in my life was how easy it became for me to combine my old beliefs with what I wanted in the new me. Thank you so much for sharing. I look forward to following your future blogs.
You should be a preacher my friend. I am appalled how anyone could call him or herself a follower of Jesus and discriminate against another. No wonder the church is losing membership; the hypocrisy is astounding.
awesome!! loved it
Thank you for posting. It is refreshing to read such a positive view on these issues… Stop hating and start loving.
Keep up the great work.
Thank you for your well written post. This issue is one of the many reasons I am proud to be an Episcopalian, without apology.
It’s a well written post but i fall on the Biblical side of things. I see sex out if marriage as wrong no matter if you are gay or not. Church’s still do not accept gay marriage as legal but that doesn’t mean that they don’t accept the individual whoever they are.
Once again you have outdone yourself! I agree this can be applied to pretty much any topic, yet somewhere there has to be a decision point or governance as to what is acceptable by law in the culture you ‘choose’ to live in. Otherwise there would be chaos. I live by a philosophy that if it doesn’t interfere or cause harm to the lives of others, it should be your right of choice. Isn’t the American culture the land of the free and home of the brave?
Reblogged this on snee made me do it.
This is so true! It’s human nature.
I love my husband dearly, but there are some issues where we have to agree to disagree. I attribute this to the 10-year age gap between us. While it isn’t much, many changes occurred in our society between 1956 and 1966, and he was raised with a different set of ideas. Thankfully, he is an educated man with an open mind, and enjoys a good debate. 🙂
However, every now and then, we’ll discuss a topic that seems to hit home with him. He holds fast to his position because it is tied to his spiritual beliefs. He still supports his argument with logic and facts, but when presented with supported facts from the opposing point of view, he shuts down. Instead of pursuing the discussion, he takes the line of “I need more information.” If I’m challenging his belief with solid facts, he avoids the discussion.
When confronted with supporting facts from the opposing point of view, I do something similar. I don’t back off, saying, “I need more information,” but I do make the face and question the credibility of resources. I want to look it up myself. I’m just as guilty of wanting to cling to my old beliefs.
I mentioned this in a recent post on my own blog. Change is difficult and it’s always easier to hold onto familiar beliefs. The path we continue to walk is far more easy than the new path we have to make.
Thank you for making this post! 🙂
Bravo Jeremiah!! (And please check out my post about Six historical facts about Jesus and Christianity.) One of the mistakes that too many Christians make is the assumption that the Bible they read is exactly as it was written so many thousands of years ago. It has been edited more times than anyone can count. You wrote a wonderful piece here!
Compelling post, and rightly said.
Above all as long as they are not doing anything to hurt anyone else, then they have as much right as anyone else to love and be entitled to marriage, regardless of gender that person is.
And finally a major president has stepped up to voice this clear rights too!
Wonderful post Jeremiah. While I am of the same belief as dledet and Bev Smith, for many years it has been my belief that too many today are too legalistic in their beliefs. As I stated in a recent post (From the context of my heart, January 23), when questioned about the greatest commandment, Jesus stated first ” Love the Lord God with all your heart and second Love your neighbor as yourself. On these two things hang all the Laws and the Commandments.” Why are these two things so complicated? These commandments ARE NOT complicated, however we are. We are all created in the image of God. He loves us all. If we had this same type of love, we could move beyond all these legalistic walls. Who knows, maybe then we would see sin as God does. Standardized! All the same! Murder, rape, child abuse, shop-lifting, adultery, speeding, drug and alcohol abuse and even sodomy( homosexuality). Thanks for your time and God Bless You, Grant
Change comes in stages. Most of us have been discriminated at one time or another. Those that discriminate against others often forget they’ve been there too. Sadly, this then influences others. The influencers then become the thoughtless leaders instead of true leaders of thought.
Great words as always. I love people who “get it.”
Great post! It’s so true. Culture is changing, and if we hold on too hard to institution simply for the sake of it, we get left behind.