Never mind the fact that Ohio has one of, if not the worst economy in the US, our legislators have what they think are far more important things to worry about. Why help Ohio’s economic problems when there are strip clubs open to all hours of the night with strippers who can get close to the patrons. So it is that, thanks to the morons of Citizens for Community Values, a group out of Cincinnati who feel they are morally superior to God Himself (more on that in a bit), have pressured Ohio legislators to pass a bill that would do two main things. The first, is restrict the hours a strip club can be open, at least for the strip club portion of their business. Basically they can’t operate from midnight to 6 am. I think midnight is a tad early, if they made it 2 am, and this was the only provision of the bill, I wouldn’t raise much of a fuss. I would still wonder why the legislators are worried about such meaningless tripe when there are real issues facing Ohio, and I would still think the Citizens for Community Values are first class idiots who need to get off their high horse and realize they are not above God. Anyhow, the second part is the one that really got me going. The bill, if passed (it passed the Ohio Senate, and is being argued by the House) would require the strippers to stay 6 feet from the patrons, even after they put their clothes back on. Yes, that’s right, even after they put their clothes back on… and 6 feet. How unreasonable can you get? If it was perhaps 2 feet, and no restrictions after being clothed perhaps we could just say… well nothing positive, but 6 feet, even after she’s dressed is stupid to a level unheard of nearly anywhere.
Let’s take a moment to consider why one can’t nor shouldn’t legislate morality, and I’ll use the Bible itself to demonstrate why (and I do believe they are all in context, so I am not just picking a verse to prove my point, but picking a verse, using it in its original context).
Let’s start near the beginning. Samuel is getting old, his sons are not being the fair judges that he was, and so the elders of the tribes come to Samuel and ask that he give them a King.
And the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even to this day–with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods–so they are doing to you also. Now therefore, heed their voice. However, you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them.”
So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who asked him for a king. And he said, “This will be the behavior of the king who will reign over you: He will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be his horsemen, and some will run before his chariots. He will appoint captains over his thousands and captains over his fifties, will set some to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and some to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers. And he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants. He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and servants. And he will take your male servants, your female servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants. And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the Lord will not hear you in that day.”
Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, “No, but we will have a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” – 1 Samuel 8:7-20
So, let’s sum that up in the event you weren’t following. They wanted a King, God didn’t want them to be ruled over by anyone but Himself. He was in essence a libertarian… or course the Old Covenant Law was still in effect, son not really, but you get the idea. God didn’t intend for them to have a large government, and since everything is even better under the New Covenant, all the more so now. Even after the dire warning however, the people still demanded a King and so God allowed them to get a King. However, it bares repeating, even under the Old Covenant, God didn’t want people ruled by a government, and now with us under the New Covenant built on better things, which retains all the promises of the Old Covenant. So we can see from this that government is against the will of God, and utilizing in a way that the Citizens for Community Values are using it is very far against the will of God. The bad thing is, they are undoubtedly doing it in His name.
It is people like the Citizens for Community Values and ugly hate groups such as the Westboro Baptist Church, the KKK and other so called “Christian” organizations that don’t act remotely Christ like, that make Christians appear as bad, intolerant people. It turns people off Christianity so that they can never come to know the love of Christ, or the way that Christ would actually have His people treat others. If I were God, I would say the Westboro people, the KKK and their ilk would be sent to Hell, regardless of them having accepted Christ since there is no excuse for their kind of behavior. Note I wouldn’t send the people of Citizens for Community Values there, but I would be sure they understood they defied me and went completely against my will, and tried to say they were morally higher then myself… but that is me. God is infinitely more compassionate than me, and since the only real requirement to eternal life with God is to have accepted Christ (as the Son of God and as Savior), they may squeak in, but they won’t get much reward and will be living in the Heavenly equivalent of a shanty town.
Romans 8:1 tells us that “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death..” Now, I am sure those groups would point out that this is talking about those who are in Christ, meaning those who have accepted Him, and while that is true enough, we also know the Golden Rule, expressed best (at least within the Bible) I think in Luke 6:31 “And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.” Anyhow, there being no condemnation isn’t the only point here. It is also a bit about what Jesus referred to when He said He came to fulfill the law not destroy it. He was not talking about the old Levitical Laws, but to fulfill the law that a Christ would come, that He would give the Spirit of Life and all that.
We are now under a new, better Covenant. The Levitical laws are nothing more than a footnote of our history, and more an example of what Christ brought us out of. We are freed of such old laws. The only real law now is to love one another. If we were to obey all the Levitical laws, I would guess we would all be bound for Hell or death. Unless your steak is well done, you are going to Hell under the Levitical law, wearing clothes with more than one type of fabric is against Levitical Law, any sea creatures that do not have both fins and scales (i.e. anything but fish, such as oyster, lobster, and shrimp, etc.) are an abomination, pork of course would be out, we would have to cast off from society any couple who has sex with a woman during her period, divorced and widowed women would not be allowed to remarry, heck you couldn’t go near anyone who had a defect even eczema (I guess I am unapproachable), it is against the Levitical Law to not only get a tattoo but to cut your hair or shave. You can’t pick and choose if you say one law applies, they all apply.
Does this mean that God doesn’t still view homosexuality or sexual immorality as a sin? No, He may, as the New Testament is repeat with warnings to avoid sexual immorality as well (though no real specific mention of homosexuality). However, it is all moot since sin means essentially nothing. God doesn’t care more than one iota about sin under the New Covenant. This doesn’t mean we have free reign to sin, and we should still seek God (not man, or somebody representing God, but God directly ourselves) for forgiveness of sins. However, God’s only concern is acceptance of Christ. The thief on the cross didn’t ask Christ to forgive him, he just recognized who Christ was, and Jesus said that the thief would be with Him in Heaven. We have been beat over the head for so long with the sin message we lost track of the real message of Christ and that is a pure love message. He didn’t berate people about their sins, as a matter of fact He often defended the sinners and often ate with them and showed them nothing but love. The only time we really see Him doing anything to any sinners was with the money changers in the temple, and that is more a topic to be saved about the dangers of the Federal Reserve than here. It has been said, “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” I don’t think that is the way Christ would look at it at all. He would simply say, “Love the sinner.” The Holy Spirit will take care of the sin issue in that person’s life when the time comes for them to deal with it. Let God be God, and let Him be the judge. Jesus said in Mathew 7:1-2 “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” He goes on from there talking about wanting to remove the spec from your brothers eye when you have a plank in yours, notice how He upped the size from the spec to a plank. Heck, I have a problem with any praise and worship song or hymn that says I am a sinner, since I am not in God’s eyes, and never have been… again that is another huge topic on its own so I won’t go into here, but just know that if you are in Christ, and you have no unrepentant sin in your life at the moment (all sins prior to accepting Christ are gone already, so any earned since then are the ones I speak of here) then so far as God is concerned, and remember He knows everything that ever has or ever will happen, you have never sinned. So to confess you are a sinner is going against what God has said, and say He is a lier… anyhow again that is another topic all together. (Note, that just because you are forgiven, doesn’t mean the plank is out of your eye.) The main point here is that sin in of itself does nothing to keep a person out of Heaven. The only ones that sin matters to really is us, and our sin consciousness, which we need to get away from if we are to be free.
Okay, so far we have seen that God doesn’t want us ruled by a government and that sin is a fairly moot issue so far as God is concerned. Yet we have people still trying to legislate morality, something God Himself wouldn’t approve of. The final evidence that we can’t and shouldn’t legislate morality, from a Christian perspective is simply that God gave us a free will for a reason. With no Levitical/Mosaic Law over us, we are even more free under the New Covenant. If God doesn’t force His will on us, then what gives us the moral superiority over Him to force what we think is His will on others? This is exactly what Citizens for Community Values and all others who want to legislate morality are saying, that they are morally superior to God and that they have to force what they see as the will of God is on everyone. Note I point out what they see or perceive as the will of God is. Does He want a person to go to a strip club at 2 am and be inches from the stripper? Probably not, but His will is that the person chooses of their own free will not to go. His will is not to force people to serve Him, but to choose to serve Him out of love. His will is to let other people have their free will to do as they wish.
While God wants everyone to have the free will to do what they want, this doesn’t mean that we should get rid of all laws. Some laws need to stay around such as laws against murder, rape, robbery and other crimes against other people. However, victim-less crimes, be it drug use, going to a strip club or anything else like that really need to go away.
We are called to be in the world and not of it. To use the government to force it to legislate morality is being of the world.
As Christians we need to accept people, not accept the sin perhaps, but ignore it for the most part and let God work on them when He feels the time is right. We need to love and accept people for who and what they are and not pass judgment. By doing these things we can reach the world, and they will listen and not scoff. Above all, Love. I’ll leave you with a few closing quotes from the Bible on loving one another.
“But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.” — Colossians 3:14
“And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” “– 1 Peter 4:8
“Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins.” — Proverbs 10:12
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” — 1 John 4:18
Edit: The law passed with some refinements. See Update on Ohio’s Idiot Legislators – More on Why God Does Not Approve of Legislating Morality.