The Roar of our Rights


Yelling ChildThe uproar of men and women proclaiming their “rights” is reverberating throughout our nation. I can relate to the frustration of being told what I am allowed–or not allowed–to do, either legally or morally speaking. While I cannot relate to a desire to marry someone who is equipped the same way I am, genitally speaking, I remember a time when I thought the “one wife” rule was too restrictive. Looking back on that time in my life, I now realize I was simply enticed by the lust of my own flesh-stained immaturity. At this time in my life, the “one wife” rule makes perfect sense to me, and it makes perfect sense to Rose, too.

There are at least a couple of things that come to my mind when I consider the whole “rights” uproar. The first is that not everyone believes the Bible is the authoritative Word of God. For these folks, I can easily understand why being told I must conform to some “antiquated” teaching to which I do not subscribe would be annoying, if not infuriating.

The second thing that comes to mind is that for those of us who do claim to believe the teaching in the Bible is true, we do not think of it as being relevant to us in a personal way if it conflicts with our desires. In other words, our desires trump God’s truth. I believe this is true because of my own struggle at times to allow God’s truth to trump my desires.

But God’s design for marriage has not “evolved” to adapt to our (un)natural inclinations. As Christ followers, I believe it would be good to rethink the whole “rights” issue. I write about this in Holy Libido:

 

As Christ followers, our rights become secondary to what is right from God’s perspective. In fact, we need seriously to question whether or not we still have any rights at all. Based on God’s Word, “I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). So, in essence, I’m a dead man. What rights does a dead man have?

When I look at situations from God’s vantage point, I learn that my most godly right is the right to waive my rights. Or possibly that should read “the right to waive my phantom rights.” The default mode of my second nature is to stake my claim, defend my ground, and set the world straight, but when I am in the flow of God’s way, these things no longer make sense.

Satan wants to bind us up in our phantom rights—the rights we no longer have. He smirks at the things we cling to, like our grudge-encased right to judge, for instance, or even our right to be hurt or offended. We are tempted to react according to the gospel of our own selfish ambitions. After all, it’s our second nature. (Holy Libido, pg. 144)

 

I encourage my brothers and sisters who believe the Bible is God’s written Word to stand steadily on the Rock. Now, more than ever, we must surrender the way that might seem right to us–from the perspective of popular opinion–in exchange for God’s unwavering design for marriage. And may we resist our natural inclination to judge those who believe differently than we do. God grant us wisdom to be a conduit of his grace in our embattled world.

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