Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory. But as it is written, ‘what no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him-‘ these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the the depths of God. (skip to verse 14) The natural person does not accept the things of the spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. ‘For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct Him?’ But we have the mind of Christ. (2 Corinthians 2:6-10; 14-16)
I believe verse 16(all of chapter 2, really) to be one of the greatest ‘arguments’ for the sovereignty and goodness of God in all of scripture. Many like the passages from Romans and Ephesians(which I also love), but there is nothing more straight forward and frank as 2 Corinthians 2:16. It tells us that the wisdom we have as believers comes only from God and His good purposes for it.
On June 26, 2013, one of the most monumental decisions was made in regards to same-sex marriage and homosexuality. Many Christian leaders are saying that we will look back on this as we look back at the 1973 Roe vs. Wade, a turning point in American History. In regards to the statement made by President Barack Obama(found here) following the Supreme Court handing down the DOMA situation, Albert Mohler shared on his June 27 edition of The Briefing that it will only be a matter of time until the “same-sex” issue will bleed into other areas of marriage and sexuality(polygamy, polyamorous relationships). That being said, this decision has heavy ramifications for religious freedom in America. These same-sex marriage laws will not stop with same-sex marriage. It can’t. The logic with which Obama spoke with carries over into previously stated issues.
Again, that all being said- how do we respond? Do we replay the scene of Beauty and the Beast when Gaston and his men went with torches in hand and raided the castle? Is this what we do to those who have chosen to live a homosexual lifestyle…? Dragging them into the streets beating them with our Bibles and Biblical knowledge, or lack thereof.
Or do we realize the difficult, yet beautiful truth of 2 Corinthians that there is a reason these people don’t understand? Not that they won’t ever understand or don’t have an opportunity to. But that for whatever reason, at this time, God has chosen that “only through Christ the veil is taken away.” Not through our convincing, Gospel-saturated dialogue. For as the apostle says in 1 Corinthians 2: “The natural person(the unbeliever) does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for those truths are foolishness to him and he is unable to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”
The Gospel means Good News. I believe that in the chaos and dishonesty of the DOMA situation, there is Good news to be found. Good News that has found a way to not lose its way, power, or popularity since Christ walked this earth.
I remember my first semester at Bible college. Showing up with my guns loaded ready to fight those who thought homosexuality and drinking and tattoos were ok. I found myself very soon in a heated conversation with another student that homosexuality was evil and wretched. I felt, and still feel, that my beliefs and convictions toward homosexuality are the same as they were then. I failed, however, to realize that the colleague I was debating was not a believer… nor had any desire to become one. As many know how conversations like this end up, there was no resolve or change on either end. The Lord graciously placed a couple of people in my life that day to speak truth into my life and share with me reasons why that kind of debate was of very little use in that context. Over the next several years, even into today, God tenderly gave me the peace that it was He who saves. It is He who changes hearts. Paul makes clear in chapter 1 that it actually pleases God to use idiots and fools like me to save those who believe. I can talk until I’m blue in the face and at the end of the day, God saves. God saves how and who he pleases.
John MacAthur says in his commentary on 1 Corinthians: “It is impossible for a lesser creature to understand a more advanced one. How can anything understand something more complex and advanced than itself? For a flea to understand a dog it would have to be at least as advanced as a dog. For a dog to understand a man, it would have to be at least as advanced as a man. How much greater distance is there between Creator and creature…Man’s opinions are irrelevant, because they can never be more than speculations. By his own resources the creature cannot possibly comprehend his Creator. ”
Christians, we have to keep this mind. We must continue to speak truth and proclaim the Gospel unapologetically. We are not like those who can’t comprehend. We are not like those who are unable to understand certain truths about God. As Paul says, “But we have the mind of Christ.” Christ thinks God’s thoughts, understands God’s wisdom. We have His mind. We are unable to know everything but there are also truths we are able to cherish and obtain that others simply cannot. There is still a legitimate command and task to share the Gospel with our words and lives everywhere we go. There is a legitimate case for even opening our mouths about these controversial topics and being voices of wisdom in our communities. Remember though Paul’s example, “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”
The truth is, that while this situation is difficult to swallow, it is actually trumped by Good News(Gospel). It is Good News that God in His goodness and justice chose to save us. It is good news that despite this bad news, God will continue to save. He is able to save those that right now are 100% behind marriage equality, and He might! We must be faithful to press forward.
So as we remain passionate about the Truth God has called us to consistently proclaim, may we recall the Grace God showed us in pulling us from the same pit we believe those who openly live in sin to be in. May we be reminded also of the call to place our faith in Christ and recall His grace every single day(1 Corinthians 15). The Gospel that saved us is the Gospel that is continuing to breath life into our hearts each day.
For more information and background on DOMA and Prop. 8, read this article by Ed Stetzer.
Good stuff there bud! Though I confess, the Beauty and Beast illustration made me chuckle a bit 🙂