Some of you may have seen the recent interview between CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Vice President Dick Cheney. A particular moment in that interview is drawing media attention and it is worth every Christian’s notice. Here’s a snip from a review posted at foxnews.com,
Cheney said he was “delighted I’m about to have a sixth grandchild” during the interview with a cable news network. But asked about his reaction to a statement by Focus on the Family, the organization led by James Dobson, Cheney stared down his questioner, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
“Mary Cheney’s pregnancy raises the question of what’s best for children. Just because it’s possible to conceive a child outside of the relationship of a married mother and father doesn’t mean it’s best for the child,” Blitzer read, quoting the organization.
Asked if Cheney wanted to respond, the vice president paused and stared at Blitzer before saying, “No, I don’t.”
…“I think, frankly, you’re out of line with that question. … I just fundamentally disagree with your perspective.”
The Vice President’s wife chimed in on another occasion, saying, “Dick and I [are] both very much looking forward to this new baby,” and said her daughter would be a “great mom.”
As traditionalists, Christians argue for a particular view of marriage. We have a particular vision of what is right and good concerning marriage, family and sexuality. For Christians, this vision is grounded in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, though we argue for that vision in a number of ways when engaging culture in the public square. We appeal to common sense (biology indicates that we were made for the opposite sex), history (heterosexual marriage has stood the test of time while all other arrangements dissolve the society that embraces them as normal) and what is observably best for children (ie. its better for a baby boy to have a mom and a dad rather than two moms or two dads). Many affirm the Christian vision of the family who are not themselves Christian. In deed, anyone who believes that marriage is important, that it is to be between a man and a woman and that it entails a lifelong commitment, believes a Christian thing! The Christian vision of the family is attractive and its arguments satisfying because the Christian vision of the family is true.
But what happens when its your daughter who is a homosexual and your granddaughter who is her child? How will we speak about such an arrangement when it exists within our own families? Well, it goes without saying – we cannot allow the circumstances of life to determine the things we believe. But this is tempting. On the local news, I remember the mother of a murderer saying, “he is really a good kid, he’s a loving person.” In a sense, we can all understand the struggle inside this mothers heart. But morality is not determined by popular vote, or by the standard of living embraced by the people whom we love most. Lying is wrong and our children will lie. Lust is wrong and our children will lust. Homosexuality is wrong and some of our children will be homosexuals.
So, exactly what will we say when posed with this kind of question? For, its not a matter of if we will be asked this kind of question but when. Well, for a perfect example in our quest for an answer, we need go no farther than the example and genius of Jesus Christ, who did not avoid though questions or awkward situations, but told the truth, provided the way and offered life.
In his conversation with the woman at the well, found in John 4, for example, Jesus was clever, he was creative and he was clear.
A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”(For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”
In the pattern of Jesus, we should not just brace ourselves for conversations about what is “right” and what is “wrong,” but actively seek them out. For in talking about how the world and everyone in the world, including ourselves, is bent toward sin, we create an opportunity to speak of how God originally intended the world to be, exactly what it is that went wrong and how God, in Christ, means to redeem a people for himself. Jesus is our champion in this task.
I expect that the days ahead will make Jesus Christ more interesting and more marvelous than he has ever been to us before.