Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Living Their Faith

The Detroit Free Press has an article entitled “How a married gay Catholic couple live their faith.”* It tells of a homosexual couple who got married in an Episcopal church because “their Catholic faith is against same-sex marriage.”

Which makes me wonder whose faith it actually is.

Actually, it doesn’t make me wonder at all. I know whose faith it is. It is the faith of the couple, not the faith of the Catholic church. It is not Catholic faith that enables homosexuals to marry. In fact, the Catholic faith (at least as of now) still forbids it.

These two men believe that their homosexuality is acceptable. And therefore they live by that faith. Their church does not believe that, nor does it teach it. That’s why they had to get married somewhere else. So when these two men get “married,” it is in opposition to the faith they claim, but in line with the faith they hold.

But, lest you think I am just beating on Catholics, these two men are just like the rest of us. We all live our faith. We live by what we believe. Even atheists live by their beliefs. They are not, as commonly thought, people without faith. In fact, it takes more faith to be an atheist then it does to be a Christian.

The only question is whether or not what we believe is what we should believe. It is whether our faith lines up with the faith that God commands us to have. It is whether our faith is big enough to account for the world that we live in.

These days, faith has become very personalized. “I believe; you believe; we all believe; good for all of us.” Or “It doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you believe something.”
In this, the subjective and personal nature of faith has become confused with truth. It has made it so that people feel good about their own faith whether or not that faith makes any sense at all, or whether or not it is true.

Most would agree that it is neither good nor virtuous to believe something that is not true. In fact, it is dangerous in many cases, and damning in some. If you choose to believe in Santa Claus or the Elf on the Shelf, you will survive. If you choose to believe that God doesn’t exist or that homosexuality is okay, then you won’t survive, at least not for long.

What these two men have done is hijack the Catholic faith for their own purposes. They desire to salve their own consciences by burning the candle at both ends. At the one end, they can fulfill their lusts by continuing and even legitimizing their relationship. On the other end they can fulfill their own lusts by holding to a religion.

Except they aren’t holding to a religion. They have instead created their own.

Let us not mistake faith for truth. Let us not believe that faith has the power to create or, for that matter, the power to condemn. That responsibility belongs to God alone. Our responsibility is to believe what God has already said, not to “lawyer it” to death for our own ends.

Having faith is not necessarily a good thing, though it is a necessary thing. By that I mean you can’t live without faith. Everyone believes something. But not everyone believes the right thing.

And so God has given us his word that we might not simply believe, but that we might rightly believe.

So believe it and then live by that belief.

*Yes, the capitals, or lack thereof, belong to the Freep, not to me.

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