The front page of the “Living” section featured a nice story on Jerry Walls and Southside Baptist Church, and a column on the church that “voted on gravity.”
It amazes me that churches purporting to follow Jesus would literally vote to support a practice the Bible condemns. This column appeared in the Macon Telegraph on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017. Ironically, the same issue of the newspaper did a nice feature on Jerry Walls of Southside Baptist Church. We just hosted a trip to Israel with Southside. What an honor to be connected with a great man and a great church.
Here’s the column:
There once was a church that entertained a debate on gravity. Some of the more progressive members of the church felt the law of gravity was no longer relevant in a modern society. “Gravity is too restrictive,” said one member.
“It has held us to the ground far too long,” said another.
“Even if I personally choose to believe that gravity still has some value,” said another member, “we need to include those who do not believe as I believe. Who am I to judge?”
“I certainly don’t want to offend anyone in our community,” said the pastor. “That would not be a loving thing to do.”
And so it came to pass that the church had a vote on gravity. After an admirably civil discussion, the majority voted to ignore the old-fashioned and outdated standard. From that day forth, the law of gravity was off the books. When it was over, the church congratulated itself for its progressive attitude. Its members headed happily to their homes. No one seemed to notice that the law of gravity had ignored their decision, even as they left the building.
There are some matters on which a church should never vote. The law of gravity is one example. God’s definition of marriage is another. Perhaps it is not surprising that political leaders and secular courts have recently redefined marriage. Politicians and judges are not charged with upholding biblical standards. That’s a pity, for without a biblical anchor of unchanging morality, generations of political leaders and judges have been amazingly inconsistent in dealing with the most basic of human values.
Consider American history for a moment. Our political leaders and judges once defended slavery. Aren’t you glad another generation abolished the “right” to own human beings?
One generation of our national leaders supported legal segregation only to see the next generation deem their opinions and actions “immoral.” Indeed, there was nothing fair about “separate but equal” policies in this country.
On the other hand, leaders from the past would never have passed or even considered laws protecting abortion or assisted suicide. They also would have never dreamed of defining marriage in any way except the way it had been defined for centuries.
The definition of “right” and “wrong” in any society is a matter of debate and subject to the whims of those in charge. If Abraham Lincoln is your leader, you’ll get solid moral leadership. If Adolf Hitler is in charge, there will be hell to pay.
Thank God for the Bible.