Thursday, 9 July 2015

An Open Letter to an Ex-Friend

Dear old friend,

It wasn't my choice to no longer be friends. You didn't even give me a chance to make up when you sent me this message on Facebook:

"Hi Joel as lovely as you are I'm really sorry to unfriend you. I'm afraid most of my feed was full of rainbow pictures and love, peace and kindness and then the post you liked sullied that love and kindness. It's with regret Joel but i don't want to be a hypocrite. Take care I hope you can understand why x"

The same-sex marriage bill was passed by the Supreme Court in the USA in the name of equality. Its advocates claimed to be tolerant and liberal and accepting of all people, no matter who they are.

But it seems like you don't count my opinions and beliefs as equal, you won't tolerate them and don't think I should be free to have them.


I don't even know which opinion or belief it is that you are offended by or which Facebook post I liked that caused so much hatred!

I assume it was one with regards to my Christian belief that marriage is between a man and a woman rather than between those of the same sex. However, even though I hold that belief, I am not against love, peace or kindness as you seem to think.

I would love to discuss this all with you but you have cut all ties with me before I had the chance. Hopefully you will see this letter and understand more of what I believe.

Love

I feel there has been a mis-use of the word "love" in Western society. Love shouldn't be defined in terms of who one has a sexual relationship with. We only know what love is by the example of Jesus Christ - who laid down his life for us.

Opposing same-sex marriage only means someone is opposing love itself in the view that love is confined to sexuality.  True love is sacrificial and should be for anyone.

Peace

If I have caused conflict through my beliefs and opinions, I apologise. Please tell me where so I can amend my ways and make it right.

In fact, in my experience of this topic, it seems that it is the same-sex marriage advocates that have been causing conflict, if anyone. Against B&B owners, against bakers and even you sending this message to me.

Indeed, I know that some traditional marriage supporters are aggressive their opposition to same-sex marriage too. And I can be quite insensitive sometimes in how I interact with people. This I know! I do regret that that is the case.

In reality, we are all in conflict with God through our sinful lives - same-sex marriage and traditional marriage advocates alike. It is only through Jesus Christ that we can have true peace.

Kindness

I feel that society is starting to believe that one must agree with someone to be kind and loving to them. This is not true! For example, our loved ones might be making a bad decision and it is only out of love and kindness that we oppose that decision.

I think most would define kindness as doing something for others out of selflessness, whether they deserve it or not. If God does exist, he must be the most kind being there could possibly be. The Bible says that his kindness is shown in Jesus Christ - who died for us, giving up everything he had for us.

I admit that I am not always this kind. But I hope I haven't been unkind. If I have, I apologise again and wish to make it right.



Same-sex marriage is now law across most of the Western world. This, no one can change, and most countries didn't get a say in it anyway. However, the law won't change the opinion or belief of most Christians on this issue, me included.

But I hope and pray that the people of the UK (and other countries) will still be gracious in their interactions on this matter. We should not dismiss others just because of their sexuality or belief.

This doesn't mean that everyone must either agree or be the enemy, though.  I hope I have made it clear that I don't want to be your enemy or the enemy of anyone else that doesn't share my opinion.

Discourse is so important in these issues so that we understand each other's beliefs and don't build false, straw men of those who don't agree with us.

I hope you will get in touch again. I hope when we meet in the street you won't ignore me but we can say hello. If you'd like to chat properly, please do!

Joel