Which Way to the Kingdom?

So there is this county clerk in Kentucky who won’t issue marriage licenses to gay couples. It is the law of the land, but she says that she won’t do it because it is against her religion. I say, where is your particular kingdom, woman? Is it of this earth, of the United States, of Kentucky, or is it of heaven? If it is of heaven, then upon what basis do you think that homosexual marriage should be prohibited officially? The kingdom of heaven is, according to Jesus, about loving God and others, as ourselves. To do otherwise is willful, even in defense of some written charter, or some understanding of such.

On his way to the cross Jesus said to those around him, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were then its subjects would defend me. Even now, if I didn’t want to do this, I could ask the Father and twelve legions of angels would come and defend me.” Twelve legions of angels rather than twelve scruffy disciples. Twelve legions of angels rather than twelve wide eyed clerks!

Rules and regulations don’t teach men’s hearts much of anything. The kingdom of heaven here on earth is about the influence of love. That is the path toward understanding and developing ethics. That is the path toward bringing about a type of change where man can accept the way that God thinks. That is the beginning of wisdom. Just as the first thing that Noah was given after the flood was an understanding that life, all life, but especially human life, is precious, so does love communicate to man that the basis of ethics is built not upon rules but upon relative order. Some fear this order as an introduction to absolute willfulness. They would be wrong, for it is much more democratic and subservient to the mean than that. The statement to the Church was whatsoever you shut no one can open and whatsoever you open no one can shut. The you in this statement is not a single person, but the whole of us. While it is true that there are certain abstract truths, such as right of way, which pertain to the establishment of ethics and would encompass the transit of a single person, there are at the same time other abstract truths, such as the requirement to pay attention, which might, when right of way brings harm, countermand that.

As this Church Age progresses, it will ever be thus. Democratic practice will determine how the hearts of men are opened to understand God. The increase of the suffrage to include even those opposed to the explicit written words of the law is God’s will. Take notice of how they come, two by two in commitment. They are not insisting upon each one their self. Take notice of how they come accepting a relative order rather than willfulness. Don’t let it escape you that their acceptance of marriage itself, and the concept of commitment to each other is a type of blending of what was once so far outside the law and what the law always sought to foster. It isn’t perfect, and probably never will be, but it does open their hearts, at least to each other and to stand answerable before a democratic society. I believe that what God wants is for it to help them to understand him. Now we just need His “people” to quit trying to be angels.

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