I think it is safe to assume that every one of you has heard that our president has declared that he is okay with same-sex marriage.
Many of you (I’m going to guess, most of you) are not in agreement with his position. I seldom, if ever, use this forum to address political issues and I am not going to do so now.
I, rather, want to raise another issue…ask a question that would have relevance for all of us and is related to the President’s declaration.
The question is: What is it that drives our decisions? In the president’s decision to support same-sex marriage, is it personal principles or politics that is leading him in making the decision he made?
Let me be clear that I don’t know the answer and, although you may have an opinion, you, in actuality, probably don’t know either. We don’t know his heart--only what we hear him say, what we read about what he said, or read what others say about what he said.
I will make it clear that for me personally I have a deep conviction, and do not support, or think it is biblical, to have a marital union other than between a man and a woman.
There is, however, a bigger issue in play here (not to say that the president’s declaration is not big. It certainly is making big news across the country and around the world.) I think that this is the key issue for you and me:
When we make decisions, are they coming from a solid biblical world view, anchored in the clear teaching of God’s word and based on our personal convictions; or are we tempted or motivated, to ask:
- What is the popular thing to do here?
- What is the thing that would enhance my reputation?
- What will gain me the most favor…open the most doors?
- What would be the easier route to take?
- Where do most other people stand on this issue?
- What would put me in a better financial situation?
- What is the politically correct thing to do?
For us as Christian leaders, it is never a question of what is politically correct, but what is biblically correct! Leaders in the Bible, including Jesus, never asked themselves what was politically correct and paid a big price for taking a stand and swimming against the current.
We are in big trouble when politics, popularity, prestige, production, power or anything else trumps principle in our decisions and our actions as Christian leaders.
Let’s face it that in the church, and in most Christian organizations, there are “politics” to deal with that can override our resolve to do the thing that honors Jesus the most and displays integrity, consistency, and brutal honesty even when it costs us.
Just last week I heard about a leader who was fired because he refused to carry out an order by his boss that he felt was not demonstrating complete honesty.
It seems to me that character is an endangered species today and yet it is the one thing followers value most in their leaders.
It was John Wooden who said, “Pay more attention to your character than to your reputation because your character is what you really are whereas your reputation is merely what others think you are.”